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August 14, 2014 | Issue # 148
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City of Vallejo Hires New Police Chief


Vallejo City Manager Daniel E. Keen announced yesterday that Andrew Bidou has been appointed to the position of Police Chief and will be starting his new role on October 4.


Bidou has more than 24 years of experience in policing, beginning his career in the City of Newark. During his 18 years with Newark, he rose from the ranks of Police Officer to Captain, and then moved to the City of Benicia to embark on a new role of Deputy Chief. He was named Benicia's Police Chief in 2011.  


Bidou has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Management from St. Mary's College and a Master of Public Administration Degree from Golden Gate University. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and completed executive education at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government. Bidou was selected following an extensive, nationwide recruitment process which included a thorough interview process with community members, police chiefs and City staff.


"I am very excited to have been chosen to lead the City of Vallejo Police Department," Bidou said. "I think that my career experiences have prepared me well for the challenges I'll face in Vallejo, and I'm eager to carry forward the progress which Chief Kreins has achieved in the Department. The Vallejo Police Chief position is a unique and special position, and I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to apply my skills and experience to the hard work ahead of me."


During his time on the force, he has achieved extensive experience in all aspects of police work, including assignments in patrol, SWAT, K-9, gang enforcement, narcotics, rang master and field training officer. He is also acknowledged for improving the training and selection standards for civilian and sworn staff, as well as increasing the professionalism and diversity of the Benicia Police Department. In addition to his impressive resume, Bidou is widely recognized for his commitment to outreach and engagement, and developing a strong relationship between the police department and all segments of his community.


"Andrew Bidou's experience in implementing Community Oriented Policing in two communities was very important to me, and will be very helpful in improving the way our Police Department develops stronger relationships with all parts of Vallejo," Keen said. "I was also impressed with his commitment to improving the diversity of his workforce in Benicia, and his successful efforts to work collaboratively with other police departments, including the City of Vallejo. He's had a front row seat to what's been going on in the City of Vallejo over the past several years, and I expect that his transition to police chief here will be smooth."

Kaiser Receives $7.3 Million Grant


The National Cancer Institute (NCI) recently awarded Kaiser Permanente a new five-year, $7.3 million dollar grant to expand its innovative oncology clinical trials program and conduct new research on cancer care delivery.


Kaiser's Northern California clinical trials program is currently one of the national leaders and is the California leader in enrolling cancer patients into clinical trials, sponsored by the NCI. The program, led by Dr. Louis Fehrenbacher, Director of Kaiser Permanente Northern California's Oncology Clinical Trials, will be housed at the  Vallejo Medical Center.  


"This award will allow Kaiser Permanente's cancer care teams to offer an even broader menu of clinical trials at all 21 medical centers in the Northern California region," said Fehrenbacher. "Being one of the NCI's 34 community-based research sites will help Kaiser Permanente continue its focus on enrolling patients in the NCI Clinical Trials Network, testing new cutting-edge therapies, and comparing existing cancer treatments on a patient-by-patient basis."


The award is part of the NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) and will help Kaiser serve about one out of every 40 cancer patients in the United States. It includes clinical trial programs in Kaiser's Northern California, Southern California, Northwest, Colorado, and Hawaii Regions.


The NCI award emphasizes the importance of including minority and other underserved patient populations in clinical research, while posing research questions that address health disparities in many aspects of cancer control and cancer care. The Kaiser NCORP has been successful in providing access to clinical trials to minority and underserved populations, and expects the grant to solidify this achievement.


The NCORP designation also offers new funding and focus for research into cancer care delivery. This includes evaluating alternative treatment delivery systems, preventing disease, managing pain and symptoms, and investigating disparities in cancer outcomes and identifying how to eliminate them.


"Kaiser Permanente is ideally situated to be a major force and provide national leadership in cancer care delivery research," said Laurel A. Habel, PhD, section chief of cancer research with the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research. Habel will co-lead the new research program for the Kaiser NCORP. "The investigators in our research centers are experienced in delivery-care science and multi-institutional studies, have access to cancer registries and research databases, and most importantly, are committed to improving cancer care delivery and outcomes.

Verismo Opera Presents La Boheme 


The Verismo Opera, in partnership with the Bay Terrace Theater and Mira Theatre Guild, is proud to present La Boheme, an opera in four acts by Giacomo Puccini, with Stage Director Frederick Winthrop, and Conductors Ari Bocian and Michael Shahani.


In a community of artists in Paris, Rudolfo, an aspiring poet, falls in love with Mimi, a fragile seamstress. Their intense passion is only matched by their youthful idealism. Can their tender relationship survive the cruelties of life? Charming camaraderie and sincere emotional truth make the characters among the most appealing in opera. Their surging passions are masterfully conveyed by a tune-filled romantic score that's easy to love and impossible to forget.


La Boheme will open this Saturday, August 16 at 7:30 p.m. at the Bay Terrace Theater, located at 51 Daniels Avenue, and will continue until Sunday, September 7. For a full list of dates and times, click here. Tickets are $25 general admission, $18 for seniors and students, and $12 for children 12 years and under. To purchase tickets, please call 707-864-5508 or click here.

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In This Issue
New Vallejo Police Chief
Kaiser Receives $7.3 Million Grant
Verismo Opera
Visions of the Wild Festival
Input & Suggestions

Visions of the Wild Festival 


The Wilderness Act, signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson on September 3, 1964, defines wilderness as "an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man."  


Fifty years later, Vallejo will play host to the second largest celebration of the Wilderness Act in the nation.


The City of Vallejo, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the Vallejo Community Arts Foundation (VCAF), will be commemorating the Wilderness Act from September 3 to September 6 with the Visions of the Wild Festival.


Films, field trips, author talks, panel discussions, art exhibits and a concert will take place in downtown Vallejo and local parks.


Festival venues include the Empress Theatre, The Hub Vallejo, Artiszen Cultural Art Center, McCree-Goudeau Gallery, Temple Art Lofts, the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum and others.


Artists have played a big role in the Festival from the start, creating multiple exhibits, including a youth art show from the VCAF summer arts camp, all featuring works inspired by the "Visions of the Wild" theme.


"The Visions of the Wild Festival is creating excitement in the performing and visual arts community that is currently driving a revitalization of the downtown Vallejo area," said VCAF board member Susan McDonald. "The artists and merchants are adding their creativity to make this a spectacular, vibrant regional celebration."


To go along with the theme, the festival will strive to share the values of wilderness with a diverse urban community, connecting nature, culture and community to bring people of all ages and cultural backgrounds together.


"Vallejo is the most ethnically diverse city in the United States," said Vallejo City Council Member Katy Miessner. "Our historic downtown is the perfect location for the Festival."


Many of the Festival activities are free. Forest rangers, boy scouts and others will be demonstrating how to safely camp and hike in our local parks and in our national forests.


At The Hub Vallejo, presenters will give talks about a wide range of topics from backyard animals to local wilderness preservation campaigns.


The field trips, including a Napa River Cruise, will require purchase of a festival pass.  


For additional information about the Festival or to register for the event, click here.


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