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Volume 5 Issue 8 • June 2010

insidebenicia.com

Boredom-busting Summer Fun Exhibits & Concerts & Classes, Oh My!

Larnie Fox Takes the Helm at Arts Benicia Benicia's New Fast-food Wonder

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Above: Playground of Dreams, photo by Jerry Bowles. Top Right: Arts Benicia Director Larnie Fox Bottom Right: Royal Court Student Forest Belluzzi

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In This Issue 6 10 12 14 15 16 22 22

Boredom-busting Summer Fun Fashionista Kicking it Korean in Benicia Legalities A Fresh Take on Fast Food IB Interview with Larnie Fox Looking Back Benicia High SAGE Team Competes in New York

All opinions expressed in this magazine, including articles and paid advertisements, are those of the authors alone. Ad positions near articles or other ads are not intended as endorsements for any product, service, opinion, or political affiliation. 4

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Contributors

Photographer Graphic Design

Samuel J. Adams Anna DiStefano Stephen Gizzi Mary Marino Beth Steinmann Christina Strawbridge Sue Sumner-Moore

Jerry Bowles Margaret Bowles

Editor

Jeanne Steinmann

Publisher

Polygon Publishing

Ad Sales: 707.853.5226 adsales@insidebenicia.com Inside Benicia Printed with soy ink PO Box 296 Benicia, CA 94510 T 707.853.5226 F 707.745.6757 insidebenicia.com editor@insidebenicia.com Editorial & ad deadlines: the 8th of each month


Editor’s Letter: Cultural Seeds of Change When Inside Benicia Magazine launched in 2005, Benicia’s cultural seeds of change - swept in with an infusion of fresh new energy - were just beginning to sprout. We weren’t quite on the radar screen as a cultural hot spot. If you haven’t been paying attention, there’s a new, creative energy that’s been causing quite a buzz. The variety of cultural offerings is more robust: new events, art galleries, restaurants (6 of them!), more shops, more music, just MORE. In this issue, we’ve given readers many “what to do” options to spark your own creative flow this summer. As Inside Benicia celebrates its 6th year of highlighting Benicia’s cultural landscape, we too have grown with subtle and not-so-subtle changes to the magazine. You may have noticed that starting in December 2009, we began sprouting our own small changes. One example— our calendar, Happening in Benicia, has blossomed into its own full page for local events. To continue capturing everything Benicia, we are ready to unveil changes that culminate

the work of the past year: A brand-new name, logo and all-encompassing new website. The website debuts this month with wide-reaching capabilities. We designed it as an interactive, single go-to source for all kinds of information. Along with feature articles from the print magazine, it will include web exclusives on a wide variety of topics; e-newsletters targeted to your interests; videos, photos, and much, much more. We’ll have to keep you guessing about the new name and logo; you’ll see it first on the website in mid-June and in print June 30. As always, we are very mindful of our carbon footprint; sustainability remains a top priority. For that reason Inside Benicia has no trim waste, is printed with soy (not petroleum-based) ink and delivered from a nearby Northern California printer. Distribution for the print version will remain the same: Benicia residents and businesses, with highly-targeted distribution to neighboring communities in Contra Costa, Napa and Solano Counties. And for those who want to go green, the website will offer a complete digital version of the print magazine to read online, page by page. We are very excited about these changes and the ability to serve Benicia on a much larger scale. Check www.insidebenicia.com mid-June to see our continuing evolution. —Jeanne Steinmann

Happening in Benicia 6/1

JUNE

6/6

Dr. Taylor of UC Davis will speak on John Adams Benicia Public Library, 150 East L Street Benicialibrary.org 707.745.4770

6/12

6/12

Benicia Farmer’s Market 4-8pm

Capitol & Fischer-Hanlon House Guided Tour 1-4pm

6/12

Art Exhibit: Structure & Light noon-5pm

6/19

25 Years of Community Service – A Place to Mend 7pm

6/20

Benicia High School Graduation 707.747.8325

Kennedy Music Studio Presents Annual Student Concert 1:30pm Players of all ages – pop, rock, blues, jazz & classical Stone Hall, 2024 Camel Road Beniciahistoricalmuseum.org 707.745.5435

6/23

Kids’ Mad Science Show 10:45am Get ready to be mystified – the power of pressure City Gym, 190 East L Street Call 707.746.4285

Exhibit opening & lecture by Dorothy Rozzi Belknap Benicia Historical Museum, 2060 Camel Road Beniciahistoricalmuseum.org 707.745.5435

6/5

Benicia Work Day 8:30am-4:30pm Help rehab two homes in Benicia Rebuilding Together Solano County & Valero 707.580.9360

Images of the former Yuba Manufacturing Complex Arts Benicia Gallery, 991 Tyler Street, #114 Artsbenicia.org 707.747.0131

6/4

Spenger Garden Concert Series 8pm Guy Arrostuto & Friends Benicia Historical Museum, 2060 Camel Road Beniciahistoricalmuseum.org 707.745.5435

Capitol tour 1-4pm, Fischer-Hanlon tour, 2pm 115 West G Street 707.745.3375

6/3-7/17

Marche Benicia 11am-4pm Outdoor marketplace with a French flair, food, wine & more Shoreline Promenade, foot of First Street Beniciamainstreet.org 707.745.9791

Benicia Middle School Graduation

Fresh produce, baked goods, food booths, arts & crafts Thursdays through October Benicia Main Street, First and D Streets Beniciamainstreet.org 707.745.9791

6/3-6/25

Friends of the Library Book Sale 10am-4pm Benicia Library, 150 East L Street Benicialibrary.org 707.745.4770

707.747.8340

6/3-6/24

John Adams and the Freedom of Speech 3pm

Liberty High School Graduation For more information call 707.747.8323

6/3

Festival of Arts in the Park 10am-5pm Children’s activities, hands-on art, crafts, food & more City Park, Corner of First & Military Streets Benicia Community Arts 707.745.2787

Family Art Day 2-4pm Hands-on art activities for parents and children Arts Benicia Gallery, 991 Tyler Street, #114 Artsbenicia.org 707.747.0131

6/3

6/6

6/25

Outdoor Concert & Movie in the Park 6:30pm An evening under the stars with music & a movie City Park Gazebo, First & Military, 707.746.4285

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Summer Boredom Busters By Beth Steinmann With so much happening in town this summer, there is something for every mood: Dance your way through June, improve calves & quads with local hikers, learn a new hobby or rediscover an old one, take in some music at a number of new venues or enjoy a free concert and movie with the family. Here’s a primer to get you connected to the goings-on around town that you won’t want to miss.

Music Scene

What could be better than relaxing on a warm summer evening, listening to music in a beautiful outdoor setting, perhaps with a glass of wine? The Spenger Garden Music Series is rapidly becoming a local favorite. From Bluegrass to Americana to West Coast Soul, this popular annual event at the Historical Museum’s enchanting Spenger Garden features a variety of performers. Doors open at 7:30pm; shows begin at 8pm. www.beniciahistoricalmuseum.org Right: Benicia Historical Museum’s Spenger Garden. arden. n. Photo by Jerry Bowles

Guy Arrostuto and Friends The David Thom Band

• B3 Hammond Artistry—Saturday, June 12, 2010

• Bluegrass—Saturday, July 10, 2010

Edna Love and The North Beach Brass Band The Elliot Randall Band Mumbo Gumbo

• West Coast Soul—Saturday, August 14, 2010

• Alternative Country—Saturday, September 11, 2010

Art

Scene

• Genre-bending Americana—Saturday, October 9, 2010

Outdoor Concerts & Movies in the Park Grab your kids, your pillows, blankets, low chairs and a picnic dinner (but leave the pets at home) and take in a free concert and movie at the Gazebo in City Park. Put on by the City of Benicia Parks & Recreation department, the concerts start at 6:30pm and movies start at dusk, with free popcorn. Fridays June 25, July 16 and August 13.

Arts Benicia Gallery 991 Tyler Street, Benicia Noon-5pm, Thurs. – Sun. www.artsbenicia.org Benicia Plein Air Gallery 307 First Street, Benicia 11am-5pm, Thurs. – Sun. — www.beniciapleinair.com Lindsay Art Glass, 109 East F Street, Benicia Nourot Glass Studio, 675 East H Street, Benicia

The Union Hotel Restaurant & Bar One of Benicia’s landmark eateries now serves up music on Thursday nights. Featuring local talent, it’s a fun spot to grab appetizers or an Italian meal while listening to a foot-tapping band.

The Rellik Tavern Along with cozy seating & specialty cocktails, Rellik has an almost daily lineup of events, making it a popular hangout for locals and out-of-towners alike. Live music and DJs, runway shows and movie nights are all part of the weekly mix. www.therelliktavern.com

Smyers Glass Studio, 675 East H Street, Benicia Viva Benicia: A Great Day by the Bay — Enjoy weekend culture Downtown, featuring music, history, art & more Arts Benicia Presents Rotating exhibits at the Library and other local venues. Visit the website for details. Above center: Lindsay Art Glass Vase. Below top left: Arts Benicia Gallery Interior, Photo by Michael Van Auken. Below bottom left: Arts Benicia front facade. Mural Candied Stripe, created by Tae Kitakata in 2005. Below right: Terry Hughes, Tanker at Dock, 18” x 14”

Choices Feel like dancing? Choices features live music every Friday and Saturday from 9:30pm-1:30am. Pop, R&B and Funk. www.myspace.com/choicesbenicia

Upstairs at the Café This is a low-key spot to have a meal and then meander upstairs for the music. It’s the perfect place to meet up with friends for conversation and soft guitar, R&B and other musical genres on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. www. firststreetcafe.com Summer Boredom Busters Continued On Page 8: 6


Need additional copies? Contact the Community Relations office: Valero Benicia Refinery, 3400 East Second Street, Benicia, CA 94510

707-745-7534 June 2010

CommunityNEWS “A safe and healthy home for every person.”

‘Rebuilding Together’ Comes to Benicia In traditional Western literature, nothing brought a community together better than an old-fashioned barn raising. Now you can experience that sense of community by volunteering for the Saturday, June 19 Rebuilding Together Solano County projects. Rebuilding Together Solano County repairs and renovates homes and community facilities with the partnership of local companies, concerned residents and service organizations. Its goal is to provide low-income homeowners with an avenue to remain in their home - safely and with dignity. “We strive to preserve affordable homeownership and revitalize communities by providing free home modifications and repairs, making homes safer, more accessible, and more energy efficient,” said Elizabeth Hoffman, executive director of the year-old nonprofit organization. “We will rehabilitate our first two homes in Benicia thanks, in part, to a generous donation from Valero,” said Hoffman. “The Valero Volunteer Council has taken a leadership role in organizing the workday projects, and we need hundreds of volunteers from the community to help.” Workday volunteers must preregister by June 12 for the shift that best suits their schedule: All Day (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.), Morning (8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.), Afternoon (noon - 4:30 p.m.). “We are seeking both skilled and non-skilled volunteers, including teenagers age 14 and older, with parental approval,” added Hoffman. Tasks include interior painting, grab bar installation, cleaning, repairing a rear porch, yard work, fence repair, and other health and safety features. Rebuilding Together began with a small group of founding affiliates more than 30 years ago. With the

help of 2.5 million volunteers, 100,000 homes and facilities have been rehabilitated. The Solano affiliate, one of 200 nationwide, is in its second year having successfully completed its first two projects in Vallejo, including a refurbishing of the Veteran’s Memorial Building.

How You Can Help • • • • •

Donate home rehab services (plumbing, electrical, carpentry) Donate home rehab supplies (paintbrushes, buckets, etc.) Donate money Volunteer Help plan future workdays/projects

To register by June 12 call or email: Rebuilding Together Solano County R P Box 5996, Vallejo, CA 94591 PO 7 707.580.9360 E Elizabeth Hoffman, Executive Director ehoffman.rtsc@gmail.com e

Rebuilding To Together Solano County’s Elizabeth Hoffman recently met with Benicia residents Rick Morgan and Joe Muehlbauer, Valero employees who will serve as captains for the June 19 home renovation projects.

Community Benefits From Amended 2008 Agreement In 2008, Valero sought an amendment to its City-approved permit to construct several refinery projects referred to as the Valero Improvement Project (VIP). The Good Neighbor Steering Committee (GNSC), a Benicia-based community group, had concerns about the VIP Environment Impact Report (EIR), so they entered into discussions with Valero. As a result of the discussions, a legal challenge was averted and Valero agreed to invest up to $14 million in a variety of projects that provided numerous benefits to our community. As time passed, new technologies and new community sustainability goals emerged. Valero, the GNSC, and the City of Benicia agreed that the 2008 financial commitments could be structured in a different way to accomplish even more in the community and improve on the sustainability needs of the community.

Last month, Valero, the GNSC, and the City of Benicia entered into an amendment agreement that added no new financial commitments. However, it did change the way the dollars will be spent. The bulk of the agreement focuses on water conservation and other projects to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. The agreement now directs $2.85 million to LEED design (Leadership in Energy & Environment Design) and construction of the new Community Center. In addition, $437,000 has been earmarked for improvements at Benicia High School including funding for the Green Academy. Valero will also implement a steam condensate recovery project that will save over 40 million gallons of water annually. Funds from the agreement will also be available for energy audits of residential properties and tree planting around the city of Benicia.

Fast Facts:

Fifty percent of sediments dredged from the Valero dock in Benicia are used to enhance local freshwater wetland habitat through the repair of levees and the creation of new wetlands.

Safety First:

As summer approaches, more boaters take to Benicia’s waterways. Please remember the three Bs of boating: Boat safe, Boat smart, Boat sober.


Benicians are justifiably proud of our abundance of beautiful parks. There are 28 parks in all with a total of 577 acres. With that much space to walk, bike, run, jump, play, compete, barbeque, swim, spin or take in a beautiful sunset, there is definitely something for everyone. Hats-off to the City's Parks & Community Services department. The oldest park is City Park, which was dedicated around the time Benicia was born in the late 1840s. The newest is Water’s End Park, which was dedicated just four years ago in 2006. From the large, multifunctional parks to the small neighborhood pocket parks, each is unique and designed to take maximum advantage of the landscape. We chose seven parks with outstanding features that merit acquainting or reacquainting yourself with this summer.

Best

Summer Boredom Busters Continued From Page 6:

Parks

Best Place to Spend a Day with the Family Community Park This park has something to offer people (and dogs!) of all ages. We could have chosen it for “Best Slide,” but that was just a bit too obvious. Besides the big cement slide, this super-park boasts an X-Park, a dog park, soccer and baseball fields, a large covered picnic area with BBQ pits, a great kids' playground, and a path around the perimeter to run/walk/bike. So grab some burgers and potato salad, the pets, the little ones, the teens, grandma and grandpa; head on down and make a day of it!

Most Peaceful Southampton Park This designation goes to a park that I have personally always loved but is often overlooked. On the corner of Chelsea Hills and Panorama, it’s a lovely, serene park with a stream running through it, picnic tables with BBQ pits, a basketball court, and play area for the little ones. On a soft summer day, a quiet breeze rustling through the willow and eucalyptus trees alongside the gracefully meandering stream makes this park a great place to sit and read a book.

Best Design Jack London Park Beautifully landscaped around a theme of circular elements, this park’s design welcomes and intrigues. The wide cement pathway winding around the playground under a series of tall blue archways is striking from any vantage point. Across from the play equipment is a giant compass you can walk around and see how far it is to different places around the world. Did you know that Tokyo, Japan is 5,163 miles west of Benicia and Melbourne, Australia is 7,882 miles south?

Best Place to Get Lost Benicia City Park, Playground of Dreams Planned and built in just five days by a dedicated group of 3,000 volunteers in 1992, the Robert Leathers—designed playground is a masterpiece. There are nooks and crannies galore to explore in this castle-like wooden structure. Tiny places to crawl through, stairs into tall turrets, a cross-park telephone system, racing slides, bars and balancing walkways, artwork, swings and more. It’s full of children’s fantasies made reality. While the kids play, picnic tables in the shade keep parents happy.

Best View 9th Street Park The Point at 9th Street offers up a panoramic view of the straits and the Carquinez Bridge. Enjoy a breathtaking sunset from the ship-shaped playground, the beach, the pier, or the flagpole above. If you don’t have a boat or kayak, launch your imagination from the sandstone rocks above the water. If you still have the energy, work off your barbeque meal with a game of volleyball. This park gets lots of sun but the breeze off the water keeps it cool.

Best Exercise Benicia State Recreation Area The ongoing challenge of keeping our State Parks open makes this one even more special. Used on a daily basis, it’s Benicia’s outdoor gym. The 2-1/2 miles of pathway along the marsh afford many opportunities to stay in shape. Walking, running, biking and skating are the most popular activities but one can also check out California native plants or view birds and other wildlife. There couldn’t be a more natural setting to get your exercise on!

Spin Cycle: Best Place to Get Dizzy! Channing Circle Park This small-but-charming neighborhood park in Southampton has been around for a long time (but the tire swing that used to call it home is long gone). It has a vista that rivals some of the best, as well as some interesting play equipment for young adventurers. Spin around on the corkscrew, take a turn on the spinning chair, slide down the twisty slide, or navigate the curly-cue climbing structure.

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Summer Boredom Busters Continued on Page 10 :


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Saturday, June 12, 10am-4pm

Marché Benicia! An outdoor marketplace with a French flair!

At Downtown Benicia’s Shoreline Promenade

French music Wine garden Food vendors Arts & crafts Entertainment Free admission!

Benicia Main Street • 90 First Street, Benicia, California 94510 • (707) 745-9791 • www.beniciamainstreet.org

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Summer Boredom Busters Continued From Page 8: The Parks and Community Services Department offers an impressive array of fun classes for all ages. Learn to cook or skateboard, get fit with Thai Chi, yoga or hula, summer day camps for kids, music lessons, gardening, crafting, and much more to keep you entertained. A few highlights:

& Grow

Healthy Cooking With Kids A multicultural nutrition education program Ages 6-12, 10am-noon, June 14 –18 Clocktower, 1189 Washington Street

A Lot of Art An outdoor visual arts opportunity for children ages 5-12, June 29 – August 5, Tues, Wed or Thurs, mornings or afternoons Topics include “All About Me,” “Making Music,” and ”Windy Wonders & Water Works.” Benicia Community Arts, 707.745.ARTS www.Beniciacommunityarts.org

Mad Science Camp Crazy Chemworks: Five half-days of chemistry packed solid with cool reactions August 2-6; M-F, 9am-noon (ages 6-9); 1pm-4pm (ages 10-12). Clocktower, 1189 Washington Street.

Sewing for Beginners Learn basic hand and machine techniques through projects you can take home. See Parks and Community Services Activity Guide for dates and times or visit www.ci.benicia.ca.us. Senior Center, 1201 East 2nd Street.

Your Path to Home Ownership Want to buy a house, but don’t know where to start or if you have enough money? Learn a different approach to home buying so you can become a homeowner. Contact Parks and Community Services for dates and times. Youth Center, 150 East K Street

For Adults Line Dancing

For the Kids

F A S H I O N I S T A I N B E N I C I A

Learn Learn the latest line dances in a fun and relaxed atmosphere Beginner 7-7:30pm, Tuesdays (ongoing) Intermediate 7:30-9pm, Tuesdays (ongoing)

Benicia Day Hikers Twice monthly Saturday hikes around the Bay Area; meet at the parking lot behind Benicia City Hall at 8:15am Saturday morning. Contact Bob Colby if interested in attending, 707.745.4661. www.beniciadayhikers.blogspot.com.

Introduction to Mosiacs Weekend Workshop Learn to create mosaic art! Ages 13 – adult, 9am-3pm, Sat, June 26, and 10am-noon, Sun., June 27 Youth Center, Room C, 150 East K Street

Writing Science Fiction, Fantasy or Dark Fantasy Learn how to develop ideas, setting, characters and plot, ages 16 and up. Call 707.746.4283 to add your name to the interest list.

Benicia Public Library Adult Book Clubs Each month a new book is passed out and discussed. Come share your thoughts! Check in at the Customer Service Desk or call Helaine Bowles, 707.746.4358. www.benicialibrary.org

Senior Center 187 East L Street, 707.745.1202

Craft Class For the crafty and the not-so-much. Try a craft class every Thursday, 9:30-11:30am.

Zumba Gold Class Dance, move, and have a good time! Designed for seniors of all levels, every Thursday at 1:30pm.

Transform Your Inner Critic Tai Chi for Seniors Learn to meditate in motion, Tuesday, 1:30-2:30pm and Friday, 9-10am. Into Your Best Friend Attend this class and learn the transformational language to change your life, calling forth your own powerful Genie. Sat, June 5, 1-4pm. Youth Center, Room C, 150 East K Street. Contact Val Logan, 707.642.3626. www.FulfillingRelationships.com

Italian Class Learn to speak Italian! Classes held in the craft room on Thursdays, 1-2pm. IB

Sex and the City 2 and New Fashion Trends By Christina Strawbridge We’ve waited two long years with high expectations to see our screen BFFs and to find out what they are up to with love, each other, New York and fashion. The sequel to Sex and the City the Movie is sure to please fans who can’t get enough of Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda. Fashion remains a central theme in the film and there is decadence in every scene. There is a wedding scene with Liza with a Z performing in what else – Halston black sequins. The New York shots show dresses and skirts with plenty of leg and shoes, shoes, shoes. The new “it” shoe designer is Christian Louboutin with his signature red soles. In the opening scene, Carrie Bradshaw wears a white vintage Halston dress with Louboutin glitter heels, gold aviator sunglasses, a Chanel clutch and a Solange Azagury-Partridge jeweled necklace. It seems as if Carrie has evolved from the oversized flower white dress she wore to open SATC1 into a 5th Avenue diva. The infamous closet that was central to the first movie’s plot is now full of couture treasures. And as Carrie and John (Mr. Big) celebrate their second anniversary, we wonder what fashion trends are about to be launched by The Sex and the City phenomenon. The New York City skyline is replaced by the mysterious mosques and palaces of Abu Dhabi as the four friends “get out of town” on a magic carpet road trip. “We are definitely not in Kansas anymore!”, Carrie explains as she enters the sumptuous hotel in the middle of the Arabian Desert.

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The desert is having a fashion impact on the summer 2010 collections. Harem pants that work as an option for events with a strappy sandal or for more casual occasions are already in stores. Surprisingly, they look great on a wide variety of body types and heights. Since the filming of the movie actually took place in Morocco, certain customs had to be followed regarding the showing of skin—especially shoulders. The women wore longer skirts, but usually with an extreme slit. Scarves were used for coverage as well as drama as head wraps, sarongs, shrugs, shawls and jackets. Clothing and accessories are bold in color and design. Fabrics are sheer and flowing. Hats that were designed as turbans or with wide brims are stylish, but practical in the intense Arabian sunshine. An outfit favorite is worn by Carrie in the marketplace, filmed in a sea of desert tones: an extravagant long purple skirt with a t-shirt that says “J’ Adore Dior 8” and outrageous pink sandals with heels up to there. Definitely a fashionista moment. New trends inspired by the movie are aviator sunglasses, flower pendant necklaces, umbrellas, tunics, harem pants, long skirts, strappy sandals with the highest of heels, and maybe some camel riding—always appropriate in Benicia! Cinema is an escape from reality - now more than ever. Decadence called, and SATC2 answered. And though the four friends have made significant changes in their lives since they met in the ‘80s with their Flash Dance attire, they remain soul mates. Despite the over-the-top production, we keep watching because we can relate to the enduring bonds of friendship – and fantasize about those Christian Louboutin shoes! IB


Photograph by Dorothy Rozzi Belknap Windward Cove Boathouse at Low Tide, Benicia, California 1998

Capitol Glass Co., Inc. Serving Customers Since 1970 707.745.4570

THE BENICIA HISTORICAL MUSEUM IS

PROUD TO PRESENT

A PLACE TO MEND Exhibit Opening and Lecture by

DOROTHY ROZZI BELKNAP FRIDAY • JUNE 4, 2010 • ARTIST RECEPTION 7:00 PM SATURDAY • JUNE 5, 2010 • EXHIBIT VIEWING 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM SUNDAY • JUNE 6, 2010 • LECTURE & EXHIBIT 2:00 PM A Place to Mend is an award-winning handcrafted art form integrating poetry and photography in two bound volumes and was inspired, in part, by the City of Benicia. Don’t miss your chance to see this wonderful exhibit on loan, for this weekend only, from the National Museum of Women in the Arts and the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library. Admission is Free

707-745-5435 • 2060 Camel Rd. • Benicia, CA 94510 www.beniciahistoricalmuseum.org

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Kicking It Korean in Benicia, California By Samuel J. Adams In a somewhat improbable development for a town of 28,000, or at least any town of 28,000 located outside of Korea, Benicia will soon host two Korean-style martial arts centers within its city limits. Both institutions are led by people formerly associated with Benicia Martial Arts Academy, whose lease in the Southamptom shopping center recently expired. One, located downtown and closed during the time of this writing, will retain the old name but focus on a different, purportedly easier fighting style, while a second will operate under the title “Royal Court Martial Arts Activity� and continue specializing in Kung Jung Mu Sul. Will Gomez, a long-time Benicia resident and instructor at the old location, has already begun teaching classes at the Royal Court in the upper floor of the Benicia Health and Fitness Center. For Gomez, the move feels like a welcome return to his roots: he began taking classes in Kung Jung Mu Sul (which means, “Royal Court Martial Arts�) at this very building over a decade ago. When asked what sort of positive benefits the training conferred, he noted the feeling of confidence and discipline he felt even as a beginner. “I felt like if I could dream it I could do it.� Kung Jung Mu Sul doesn’t yet command the name-brand heft of Karate or Tae Kwan Do, but Gomez feels it has tremendous potential for growth, especially in the Bay Area, a region rich in opportunities for Korean Mixed Martial Arts. Gomez believes that the discipline’s strength is that it offers the earnest athlete a Martial Arts System unrivaled in its comprehensiveness, while at the same time providing amateurs unique opportunities for physical, emotional and cognitive refinement. “It’s not just about physical training—it’s about

character development.â€? Kung Jung Mu Sul and Kul Sul Do (the fighting style emphasized by the other academy) draw from different fighting styles used centuries ago by the members of the protectors of Korea’s historic royalty. An ideal curriculum in the discipline would’ve included hand-to-hand combat, archery, and battling while on horses. There are no horses hidden away in Gomez’s studio, but an average student can expect to learn everything from stretches to how to down an opponent with “joint lock manipulation.â€? What’s more, they’ll be following the instructions in Korean. (On a similar note, the Benicia Martial Arts Academy offers courses in “martial arts etiquette and Korean terminology.â€? If all this still sounds intriguing but still maddeningly obscure, Gomez maintains that skills gained from Kung Jung Mu Sul translate easily into real-world success. “All my blackbelts are going to college‌many to U.C.s.â€? And with students as young as four joined up for Gomez’s “tiny tigers,â€? it looks like he’ll have plenty of time to try and rear up future scholars and warriors. The Royal Court Arts Academy is located at 1150 West 7th St. and is open to all regardless of age or ability. The Benicia Martial Arts Academy is located at 513 1st St., and has a similarly inclusive policy. It has an extensive and fascinating website that answers questions like, “Why do Martial Artists Break Things?â€? Find out at www.kuksuldo.com. IB Top: Will Gomez and Ross Garner. Right:

On June 8 Vote

Jay Speck

Solano County 2010

Superintendent of Schools

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No candidate cand is better prepared to lead us into the future.

Jay will: t&NQIBTJ[FDBSFFSUFDIOJDBMFEVDBUJPOBOEDPMMFHFSFBEJOFTT t4USFOHUIFOPVSQSFTDIPPMTTPDIJMESFOBSFSFBEZGPSTDIPPM â&#x20AC;&#x153;We must create schools that engage our children and ensure a bright future for every student. The fiscal crisis is an opportunity to transform our school system. Our children deserve experienced leadership that will revitalize our public schools. Join me in this cause.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Jay Speck

www.electjayspeck.com

Jay has an unprecedented list of supporters from all areas of the community, including: %FF"MBSDPO $VSSFOU4PMBOP$PVOUZ 4VQFSJOUFOEFOUPG4DIPPMT 4PMBOP$PVOUZ#PBSEPG&EVDBUJPO .BSJB,FOOFEZ 3BZ4JMWB +PIO(BMWBO .BZSFOF#BUFT -BSSZ"TFSB3P[[BOB7FSEFS"MJHB &E% 4PMBOP$PVOUZ#PBSEPG4VQFSWJTPST -JOEB4FJGFSU #BSCBSB,POEZMJT +JN4QFSJOH  +PIO7BTRVF[.JLF3FBHBO 5IF4PMBOP$PVOUZ&EVDBUJPO"TTPDJBUJPO 5FBDIFST BENJOJTUSBUPST TDIPPMCPBSENFNCFST  DMBTTJĂśFEFNQMPZFFT NBZPST DJUZDPVODJMNFNCFST CVTJOFTTMFBEFST Visit www.electjayspeck.com for a list of individual supporters

Our children are counting on you â&#x20AC;&#x201C; make your vote count June 8. 12


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Legalities You Have The Powerâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; Now Hand It Over! By Stephen Gizzi A properly written estate plan always includes a durable power of attorney document. This is a very simple, but extremely powerful legal document, whereby one person (the principal) authorizes another (the agent) to act on the principalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s behalf when he or she is unable or unwilling to do so. As you can imagine, the principal must choose the agent with great care due to the tremendous power, authority and control that is conveyed. The power of attorney can be written so that it becomes effective immediately or, as is more often the case, upon the incapacity of the principal. It can be all-encompassing so that the agent acts on behalf of the principal in all financial and business affairs; or it may be limited to just particular functions such as banking, real estate or household matters. Once activated, it can be revoked if the principalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s capacity is restored or if the principal decides to rescind the authority for other reasons. When preparing the power of attorney document, â&#x20AC;&#x153;capacityâ&#x20AC;? can be defined, or a formula for determining capacity can be established, in any manner acceptable to the principal. Though the document is powerful, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also very important for all adults to have one in place. One never knows when a medical condition, accident or other circumstance will leave the individual temporarily or permanently unable to manage personal affairs. If such an unfortunate occurrence arises, and one does not have a power of attorney in place, the alternatives are extremely expensive and time-consuming. Without a power of attorney, if an individual suddenly becomes incapacitated, a close relative or friend must petition the court for a â&#x20AC;&#x153;conservatorshipâ&#x20AC;? in order to gain similar powers. If one holds joint ownership of certain accounts with the incapacitated party, that person may be able to act as to those specific accounts without a conservatorship. However, the powers will be limited to those. In order to obtain a conservatorship over a person, one must petition the probate court. The court must then verify the personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mental capacity and appoint an attorney to represent the person who is allegedly incapacitated. Financial statements and accountings must be filed with the court both initially and on an ongoing basis. Several hearings are held in order to obtain a temporary, and later a permanent conservatorship. We recently obtained a conservatorship on behalf of the spouse of a 57-year-old business owner who had a stroke and did not have a power of attorney. By the time the accountants were paid for preparing the necessary documents for the court and all attorney fees, the six-month process ran close to $8,000. The fees and months of angst all could have been avoided with approximately 1 ½ to 2 hours of attorney time devoted to the preparation of a power of attorney. Soâ&#x20AC;Śthe moral of the story? No matter what your age, be thoughtful and judicious in choosing whom you would like to have â&#x20AC;&#x153;step into your shoesâ&#x20AC;? if you are unable to act on your own behalf, and formalize that in a durable power of attorney. You will be doing yourself and your loved ones a big favor. Stephen Gizzi is a local attorney, President of the Solano County Bar Association and Judge pro tem with the Solano County Superior Court. IB

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Taking a Fresh Approach to Fast Food By Samuel J. Adams While the Benicia dining scene has seen an unusual number of high-profile debuts or comebacks over the past few months, there’s one new spot that’s managed to generate a loyal fan base without so much as a street sign. Technically, the place is called Fresh Burgers, but its devoted customers have another name for it, “76 Burgers,” an admittedly fitting name for a restaurant located entirely inside of a 76 Gas Station. To some, this approach to food service may sound like a recipe for disaster or—considering the visible proximity of fire and gasoline—explosions, but the employees at 76/Fresh Burgers have done an ingenious job of turning their eccentric location into an atmospheric and culinary asset. If the concept sounds like something cooked up for a sitcom, the menu is a model of no-nonsense, quality food service on the cheap. And I mean cheap, not just California cheap: most meals are five or under, and chances are you can fill your stomach here for less than it costs to cross a bridge. As the idea of eating a meal cooked in a gas station back room sounds disturbing, the gentlemen at Fresh Burgers cook everything in plain sight. They’ve got a sophisticated grill setup and a menu that audaciously includes Indian food (with a vegetarian subsection), Mexican and American cuisine, the eponymous burgers, and, wonder of wonders, the legendary deepfried Twinkie, presumably plucked fresh from aisle two.

That last item sort of vetoes any attempt to call the place healthy, but most meals are actually quite light and made from ingredients infinitely more wholesome than those found in usual packaged goodies sold at gas stations. Still, the Fresh Burgers operation is not without flaws: the waits can be long, seating is scarce, and the portions are, well, less than jumbo—they’ve not yet concocted an edible analogue to competitor/neighbor 7-11’s Big Gulp. But the most perplexing thing about the place is that Fresh Burgers is “closed” on Sundays, even though the gas station is open, the pans are out, and the same workers are still there, working. These, however, are minor quibbles about a thoroughly remarkable thing: the first authentically Recession-friendly restaurant in town, a place where workers can dive in for cheap food, cross off a few errands, and then leave with the mysteriously pleased smiles of those who are in on a wonderful secret. It’s difficult to walk by and not feel one’s inner entrepreneur applauding the crew’s heroic evasion of overhead costs, a wait staff, or adequate seating, and instead give you exactly what you came in for: good, cheap food. And maybe a lotto ticket, too. IB Fresh Burgers is located in the 76 Gas Station at 505 Military East. Hours: Mon-Fri: 9:00am-7:00pm Sat: 10:30am-6:00pm Carry-Out Orders (707) 746-7316

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An IB Interview with Larnie Fox By Sue Sumner-Moore Larnie Fox builds hand-cranked musical instruments and reads science fiction. He loves to cook with his wife and sometimes lets a roll of the dice decide where he walks. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in painting and drawing and has taught both subjects. He’s run the Children’s Fine Arts program in Palo Alto for the past 15 years and says he can have fun even when working with budgets. The bearded 54-year-old with a ready smile is the new executive director of Arts Benicia, a full-time post that he assumed on May 18. Larnie will draw upon his background as an artist and manager as he heads a staff of three part-time workers for the nonprofit agency founded in 1986. He worked diligently to land the job. “I spent a lot of time trying to get the application materials just right, really tailoring the materials to what Arts Benicia was looking for,” he says. “Arts Benicia hopes to build its educational and community outreach programs with Larnie on board,” says Gene Doherty, chairman of the organization’s board of directors. “Larnie is an artist, a performer and an educator, and he brings all that to an organization that has a strong artist community,” Gene says. Larnie is married to a fellow artist, Bodil Fox, and they live in San Francisco. His own art has evolved over the years; and he now focuses on the hand-cranked instruments that are used in the Crank Ensemble, a musical group he founded in 2005. His step-daughter, Liv Lopez, is a college freshman living in Santa Barbara. “He’s really an interesting guy. I can’t wait to spend more time with him,” Gene says. “I can’t wait to see how this evolves.” Larnie is equally enthusiastic. “I’m just going to throw myself into it,” he says. “It’s going to totally engage all my energies for the foreseeable future, and the possibilities are fantastic.”

How did you learn about the opening at Arts Benicia? What about it appealed to you? I was working for the City of Palo Alto; and, like with every city, our budget had been cut. So my position was not going to be quite as good as it had been. To scale down something that you’ve worked hard to build up is difficult, so I started looking around. I wasn’t desperate, I was being very choosey. … When I saw the ad on Craig’s List, I was interested, especially after I googled Benicia. I didn’t really know about Benicia then. But we like small towns, we like artist communities, so I checked out Benicia online – Arts Benicia had a lot of good links to the artists on its site. I sort of stalked Arts Benicia online. Then we came to see Benicia, and we just fell in love with it on our visit.

What skills do you have in running art programs? They wanted a good communicator, someone who knows about the organizational side, who knows about budgets and fundraising and those administrative skills; plus I have experience working with a city government and I’ve supervised people, including a whole bunch of aides, lots of volunteers, and an assistant. When I’ve worked with artists who came in to teach, I helped them with classroom management, helped them put together curriculum, supervised them -- though that’s more playing together than bossing anybody around. So I told (Arts Benicia) all about that stuff, and they went for it (laughing). The fact that I’m an artist myself helps. They could see I’m a little bit playful and I try to keep that, even when I’m working with budgets.

How did your art evolve from painting and drawing to kinetic sculpture and sound art? It goes back to my grad school days, when I was painting a lot – painting, painting, painting all the time. Meanwhile, I’m hearing about all these other things -- performance art, installations, kinetic sculpture. I never felt the need to limit myself and I didn’t see why I shouldn’t try it. I was really mastering painting, at least as far as I got, and I got this aesthetic from that. I felt I could take this aesthetic and move it to whatever field I wanted to go into. When I graduated, I lost the studio – well, I had a basement – but I was a little burned out on painting. I had a show at the University of Utah where I went to

16

thrift stores and just bought vacuum cleaners, rechargeable shavers, on and on; and I basically created a sound sculpture and a kinetic sculpture that made a lot of different kinds of noises, and people loved them. People sometimes feel disenfranchised from art because they don’t understand it. People coming to this show didn’t feel they had to understand it. It was just amusing. That kind of set me off on this path. I go back to painting sometimes, but more of my time goes to straight sounds, recording and processing sound. Now my work is centered around kinetic sculpture and sound sculpture.

How would you explain sound art to someone who’s not experienced it? There are two families of sound art. Some are pure sounds, so as you move through the space, you hear different sounds. … I make sculpture that produces sound. A lot of it is controlled by motion sensors that respond as people move around the sculpture. Some can be played like musical instruments … it’s more like an installation that makes sound. There’s a little bit of it online if you go to You Tube. It’s a small field, not well-defined. I like the lack of boundaries. Because it’s not done very much, you don’t run into the problem of “Oh, that’s been done before.”

What type of work are you focusing on now? My work recently is more with instrument making. Very low-tech, hand-cranked things that could be shown as pieces of art, but they’re more for performance. They’re made with wood, rubber bands, hot glue, Popsicle sticks, bird feathers, wire, bones…. Sometimes they look more like sculpture. Art should be fun.

Your hand-cranked instruments are the basis of the Crank Ensemble. How did that group get started? There’s an event called the Garden of Memory in Oakland every summer solstice in a big columbarium, the Chapel of the Chimes. It’s this beautiful space, and I was asked to do an installation there in 2004. It involved these little machines running up and down on these strings. The next year my idea was to make a lot of small sound sculptures, control them all and run them through a sound board. But the motor noise was really bothersome. I had all these little motors and it was very hard to isolate the sound from the motor noise, so I started making these things that didn’t need a motor.

I put out a call for volunteers; and I got all these wonderful volunteers, 14 in all. They are the Crank Ensemble. We still have all the same members, still the same core of people. One of them is a school principal, one’s a poet, a couple are artists, people who are in bands, people who work in hightech industry. We just keep getting asked to do shows, plus there’s a certain pressure from people in group saying, “Hey, we’ve got to do something.”

What is a Dice Walk? It’s a really good way to explore a community. … It’s a random way of moving through an area, usually cities or towns. You roll a die whenever you have to make a decision about whether to go left, right or straight. You can throw in options for public transit, restaurants – and you roll to see if you go in there. I mostly do it for exercise, at least once a week and sometimes twice a week. But we have public Dice Walks from time to time. I don’t have any formal plans, but I’d really like to do a Dice Walk in Benicia and invite whoever feels like coming along. My wife and I did one recently in Manhattan. It was a fabulous day. We didn’t get very far; I think it took us 40 minutes to go two blocks. I make the rules, so we’re allowed to stop if we find something interesting, a restaurant we’d like to try or someplace we’d like to stop. … Surrealists were really interested in that, in using dice to make decisions about art. Fluxists did that, too. There’s a tradition of artists working with random chance. I’ve used it in my own work in painting and sculpture and in Dice Walks as well.

What if you don’t like the result of the dice throw when you’re painting? If you’re not pleased, you just paint over it.

What are your goals for Arts Benicia? My goal is to pretty much not do any big, traumatic changes but run the organization the way it’s running now and get to know it. I hope any changes will come in an organic way. IB


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Providing exceptional legal and mediation services to Solano, Napa and Contra Costa Counties

Training for Youth â&#x20AC;˘ Make New Friends â&#x20AC;˘ Scholarships Available

â&#x20AC;˘ Act, Sing, Dance â&#x20AC;˘ Daily rehearsals culminate in ďŹ nal Friday performance â&#x20AC;˘ For advanced and beginning actors â&#x20AC;˘ Located at Vallejo Ctr. 545 Columbus Pkwy. â&#x20AC;˘ Recommended for Grades 4-12

Solano County Bar Association 2008 Law Firm of the Year

by William Shakespeare with music and dance Meets: June 21-July 2 Mondays through Fridays 9:30am-3:30pm â&#x20AC;&#x153;Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in a name? That which we call a rose, By any other name Would smell as sweetâ&#x20AC;Śâ&#x20AC;?

Stephen Gizzi, Esq.

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Visit the â&#x20AC;&#x153;How to Enrollâ&#x20AC;? page at www.solanoyouththeatre.com or call (707) 863-7841 for more information

 Wills, Trusts, Estate Planning  Probate, Trust Administration  Business Law  Real Estate  Consumer Law  Mediation & Arbitration www.SolanoLawGroup.com

Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t delay! Register Now! a division of solano college theatre

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940 Adams Suite A

Benicia Historic Arsenal 707.748.0900 Scott D. Reep, Esq.

19


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Tax Advice, Inc. T Tax Return Preparation

Professional Thorough Affordable 919 First Street Ste.4 Downtown Benicia 707.746.7767 www.BeniciaTaxAdvice.com

CA license #719381

29 years of experience providing the highest level of satisfaction for

Our Brand-new Look Debuts this Month! We're unveiling the new name & logo with the launch of the online edition in mid-June (www.insidebenici.com will still get you there), with the print edition to follow June 30. Don't miss it - we are still Benicia's Community Magazine

Let our family keep your family comfortable! Providing excellent customer service since 1996

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For the events schedule, please check our website

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Designing Spaces that Inspire

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Celebrating Our 12th Year

Your #1 source for complete kitchens, bathrooms and much more!

Simply Beautiful V i s i t o u r s h ow ro o m a t : 7 3 6 F i r s t S t re e t Benicia, CA 94510 707.745.8337 Beniciahomeimp.com C o n t r a c t o r â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s L i c e n s e # 8 6 4 8 5 3

Financing available on approved credit, some restrictions apply. 21


L O O K I N G B A C K

Looking Back at Beniciaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s History By Mary Marino, Benicia Historical Museum She describes it as a journey â&#x20AC;&#x201C; one that she traveled â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and now she is inviting todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Benicians to travel. Dorothy Rozzi Belknap and her husband Gene lived in Benicia in the late 1980s. She used her artistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s eye and photography skills to photograph, in black and white, much of the Benicia shoreline and local buildings. From these photographs, she created A Place to Mend, a two-volume artistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s book. Some of the pictures are accompanied by her poetry. All will strike you with their composition; many will bring back memories of times past. The books will take you on a memorable journey.

C I T Y F A C T

A Place to Mend was chosen from over 1,000 entries to be permanently housed in the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. A second set resides in the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library in La Jolla, California. This set will be on loan to the Benicia Historical Museum June 4-6, 2010. An artistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reception will be held Friday, June 4 at the Benicia Historical Museum. The books will be on display Saturday, June 5 from 1-4pm. Mrs. Belknap will tell the story of her work with a slide presentation and display of the books on Sunday, June 6 at 2pm. The presentation is open to the public and free of charge. IB

BHS SAGE Team Competes in New York! By Anna DiStefano The City of Benicia, in conjunction with energy experts Ennovationz and the Benicia High School Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship team (SAGE), provides subsidized in-home energy and water assessments to participating homes. SAGE began at Benicia High in 2006 under the advisement of Polly Farina. The clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mission is to become entrepreneurial leaders and transform lives by creating social enterprises and businesses following their theme of water conservation. The club has a competition team, which includes Emmalyn Tringali, Terra Schamun, Kenya Wright, Phil Salazar and Anna DiStefano. On May 1, 2010, in thirteen minutes, they earned first

place after presenting their projects to a panel of judges at a state competition. They are now going to represent California at the national competition in New York. The two businesses are Water Audits and Green World Water Bottles. In support of Beniciaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Home Efficiency Program, a part of the Climate Action Plan, students perform residential water audits to reduce the communityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s use of water. They also sell water bottles to help fight pollution and finance other projects. The students in the program have helped finance 13 female entrepreneurs in developing nations, have changed countless lives through their projects, and hope to continue being the change they seek in the world. IB

Beniciaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Studio One

A Hair Salon

Haircuts with Form & Balance Colorist â&#x20AC;Ś Bridal Serviceâ&#x20AC;Ś Makeup Styles for Everyone

707.373.7256

273 East H Street, Benicia

Kathy Muniz Your Hair is an Expression of You

relax

Experts in the art of expression

WE MAKE ALL THE ARRANGEMENTS

Benicia cia Floral Weddings Weddi 838 First Street, Benicia, CA 94510 707.745.5838 www.beniciafloral.com

Camellia Tea Room

Delicious Lunch, Afternoon Tea, Desserts & Fine Teas and Tea Accessories

Camellia Tea Room â&#x20AC;˘ 828 First i Street Downtown Benicia â&#x20AC;˘ 707.746.5293 22

Gallery Hours: Tues-Thurs 11-5 'SJt4BUt4VO &BTU'4USFFU #FOJDJB $"

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Summer Special Schedule a check-up and cleaning and receive

Welcome to Tosch Dental

50% off

Come visit our beautifully restored 1900â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Craftsman cottage located across from the downtown City Park. Our goal is to make you feel at home, even in the dental chair. Make an appointment today and meet Dr. Tosch and staff who have been proudly practicing full-service Family Dentistry in Benicia for 25 years.

Ronald J. Tosch, DDS

Professional Bleaching

l 707.745.2130 l 118 West K St., Benicia, CA 94510

CONVENIENT ONE STOP AUTO SHOP OIL CHANGE $



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Awarded the Benicia Chamber of Commerce 2009 Business of the Year

Because Life Takes Place in the Kitchen What Makes DeWils Unique? Solid wood construction Full extension, self-closing drawers Dovetail joints

Celebrating 20 Years in Business

CABINETS AND COUNTERTOPS 4852 East 2nd Street, Benicia Open M-F 9-5, Weekends and Evenings by appointment

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Contractor’s License # 678979

Hand rubbed stain and varnish Soft closing system on each door

You Won't Find Better Value Than DeWils Fine Cabinetry

June Issue 2010  

Benicia Magazine June

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