Rio Vista Beacon News


Superbug Answer found in Rio Vista

March 25, 2105

Recent news headlines across the country have reported seven hospital patients at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center were infected with the deadly superbug CRE — also known as Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae — from October to January, according to hospital officials. Two of those patients died. The patients caught CRE after routine endoscopic treatments. Hospital officials believe two medical scopes that still carried the deadly bacteria even after disinfection guidelines were followed, were the cause of the superbug outbreak.

This problem is nothing new, and is characteristic of the difficulty of adequately cleaning the flexible endoscopes. Plus, after cleaning the flexible endoscopes are left hanging in a closet to dry and are not checked before being used on another patient.

This problem came to the attention of Laurie Oleksiewicz and Robert Hird, residents of Rio Vista, several years ago through their work in the field of bacteria and infectious diseases while exhibiting their unique on-the-spot tests for bacteria detection at a food safety trade show in the Midwest. They were approached by Ralph Basile, CEO of Healthmark Industries, which sells cleaning and monitoring products to hospitals and related facilities. Mr. Basile was fully aware of the issue with endoscopes and he could see a good fit with the fast bacteria detection kits Laurie and Robert were displaying at the trade show.

For the next few years, Laurie and Robert, who operate under their company EnZtek Diagnostics Incorporated, worked with Healthmark to market the tests under the product name – HangTimeKit. Healthmark has been actively working with the industry to change the language supporting the testing of flexible endoscopes. When a CRE outbreak occurred in Illinois last summer, Healthmark hired an independent testing lab to validate the ability of the HangTimeKit test to detect CRE bacteria.

“While UCLA was the 4th reported facility with an outbreak of CRE in the last year, it is the one that seems to have finally lit the fuse, so to speak” as stated by Ralph Basile.

In addition to the current news headlines at UCLA, the FDA has been aware of this issue since 2009, and now Congress is involved and after the FDA to do something about it.

“We are happy that Healthmark has been diligent with their efforts to promote microbial surveillance testing of flexible endoscopes, utilizing our tests”, stated Laurie, CEO of EnZtek Diagnostics. “Robert and I love living and working in Rio Vista, and it is a kick to think that something we created right here could save peoples lives not only in this country, but around the world as people and industries recognize the value of monitoring for bacteria and other infectious diseases effectively.”

An In-Depth Look at a Rio Vistan

March 25, 2015
By Linda Orrante

Whoever Heard of Someone Named Herky?

Herky Ostlund’s real name, Hermelle, is a French name that her uncle brought back from France. According to the internet, Hermelle is related to Hermes, a messenger of the gods in Greek mythology. The name Hermelle means harmony, compassion, service, and nurturing. If you know Herky Ostlund, you are not the least bit surprised at how well her given name fits.

“Herky’s not a friend, she’s an angel!” exclaims her friend Lynn Jones. And indeed 91-year-old Herky is a true Rio Vista angel. She is a devoted volunteer and a reliable friend who is dedicated to her family – “the love of my life,” and she likes to have fun. “She’s a first class human being!” says her friend Eileen Smith.

Herky’s been a Delta girl all her life. In 1923, Herky was born in Lodi to Dave and Alice Gier, hardworking people who worked in fruit all their lives. Herky grew up during the Great Depression, but she remembers that she and her family were always satisfied with what they had. Her mother was a good seamstress who made the girls’ dresses. Herky and her siblings rode their bikes, went for walks, and the girls played with their dolls. Herky’s mother “worked so hard during fruit season and then she did all that too; I don’t know how she did it.”

At about age 8, Herky was sent to the Bret Harte TB Sanitarium and Preventorium even though she didn’t have TB. She was sent there by the public health department, like many other children at the time, because she was “just a skinny little thing.” She had lots of good food, fresh air and sunshine, rest and sleep, to build up her resistance to TB. “They put pounds on me. I was eating well but my family wasn’t.” She missed her family, but she adapted, and they came to visit as often as they could. Even at that young age, she says she didn’t “let things bother me if I couldn’t do anything about it.”

After living a while in Walnut Grove, Herky and her family moved upriver to Courtland when she was in the 5th grade. Even though Herky didn’t dislike her name, her sister’s friend said, “You need a name people can remember!” and so “Hermelle” became “Herky.” Herky and her family lived at Stillwater Pear Ranch near the Paintersville Bridge. Herky still admires that her mom was “the fastest packer in the Delta.” Herky’s dad sent the fruit to market. He gave all his children jobs in the packing sheds. Growing up as “my Dad’s girl,” at age eleven, Herky sold soda since she was too young for a regular packing job. Herky remembers proudly that one year Herky’s mother packed an extra-special, perfectly packed box of cherries for President Truman as a gift. Herky learned a strong work ethic at a young age, but she also remembers days spent swimming and playing on the beach at Steamboat Slough and fierce sports competition between Courtland and Rio Vista high schools. At Courtland High School, Herky was on the honor roll while holding office, being in sports, singing, and working on the school paper and yearbook. In her senior yearbook, there are 13 activities listed under Herky’s name! And she is still just like that.

After high school, Herky worked at Delta Telephone for 10 years. Herky met Marvin Ostlund while he was stationed at Travis AFB and they married on July 4, 1947. In August, 1955, Herky and Marvin moved from Courtland to Rio Vista where Marvin became supervisor of Bridges and Ferries from Courtland to Antioch. They had two boys, Dennis and Roger, when they bought their home in a brand new development on Crescent Drive. There were only about 3 other homes there at the time. Later Herky and Marvin had two more children, Patty and Paul. When Herky moved to Rio Vista, someone advised her, “don’t talk about anybody here because they’re all related to each other.” Herky remembers walking down the street and knowing everybody. Herky was a working mom but she made time for fun too. She and Marvin bowled regularly at the 12-lane bowling alley (where Family Dollar store is being built now), and even won a championship one year. Herky and her children went regularly to the movie theater on Main Street until it closed down when Mrs. Schmidt, the owner/manager, could no longer tolerate the noisy, rowdy kids who interfered with adults’ enjoyment of the movies. There were few restaurants and “more bars than churches.” When the boys were old enough, Herky and her husband bought a ski boat and taught their children, and most of the neighborhood kids, to waterski.

Herky is a woman of action. She doesn’t worry about another’s need, she takes care of it – or as Herky tells it, she “looks after others.” She doesn’t make time to volunteer; helping is her lifestyle. Herky’s sister contracted polio as a child and Herky’s role in her recovery process was to help her if she fell. As a little girl, Herky played at and dreamed of becoming a teacher. She tutored children even though some of them didn’t want to learn. Herky says: “I am a patient person.”

Herky has steadfastly volunteered at the Congregational Church and Rio Vista CARE for decades, continuing to this day. Her friend Lynn Jones says “Herky does for everyone and she never says an unkind word.” Herky started a college scholarship program at the Congregational Church years ago by asking for pennies and “pocket change. ” By now, her church has awarded thousands of dollars in scholarships to local students.

Friend Eileen Smith describes Herky as “a very big producer” for their church. Annually, Herky takes care of the entire project of selling hundreds of Harvest Festival tickets. “She’s an accountant by trade, she does everything like a CPA.” Herky used to help make and ride on the church’s floats for the Bass Derby Parade. Herky says “I do whatever they ask of me.”

Herky volunteers for Rio Vista CARE as a Pal, or mentor, for elementary school children. After 18 years of volunteering, Herky says she sees that her students start out “being inside themselves” and then developing self-confidence that is “just right out there.” Herky doesn’t see anything wrong with a child, she sees what’s good. Herky provides them a pure acceptance which is a safe and rare harbor in today’s world.

When Herky’s daughter and husband took her to Hawaii last summer, her first – and Herky says only – Zip Line experience (at age 90) took her breath away. She says, “I like to have fun.”

Herky doesn’t take anything for granted. “I thank God every day for my good health, my family, my friends, and my home in Rio Vista. Years ago, my sister moved in with me. After a while, she said, It’s too quiet here. How do you stand it? Don’t you want to move? I said to her, No! This is my town, my home, I love Rio Vista.” Herky says that eventually her sister agreed that Rio Vista is the place to be.

Delta Community Meeting Regarding Crime

With County Supervisor Don Nottoli
Delta Community Meeting regarding crime With County Supervisor Don Nottoli Event organizer, Andy Krotik announced due to recent spikes in crime on the Delta, a Community meeting will be held on March 25th, at 6:30 PM at Oxbow Marina Clubhouse Said Andy Krotik, “My property has been robbed, several of my neighbors, and many others in the Terminous Road, and Delta loop area.” “We’re all hoping to have a good dialog with The Supervisors and members of the law enforcement community to strategize how to combat this crime wave”. “We’re delighted they accepted our invitation to attend”.

Confirmed attendees:

  • Supervisor Don Nottoli
  • Pat Braziel Chief of Staff to Supervisor Don Nottoli
  • Sergeant Scott Mayberry, Marine Detail Sacramento County Sherriff Department
  • Captain Gary llg, Central Command Sheriff Department Representatives from California Highway Patrol
  • Also in invited Senator Cathleen Galgiani

Meeting Place & Time:

  • Oxbow Marina Club House
  • March 25, 2015, at 6:30PM
  • Oxbow drive (across from space 135)
  • For more information: Andy Krotik 209-777-5070

Third Annual McCormack Ranch Sheepdog Trials

The third McCormack Sheep & Grain Sheepdog Trials will take place at the McCormack Ranch outside of Rio Vista on Friday, March 27; Saturday, March 28; and Sunday March 29. Tickets are required to attend the event. Attendance will be limited to 200 people per day.

Ninety two dogs and their handlers from eight western states will show their skills by moving sheep around a large course within an allotted time limit. Dogs will be judged by their ability to complete tasks that require all the skills a dog and handler need to carry out competent livestock work. All dogs are veterans of previous trials and are hoping to qualify for the USBCHA National Sheepdog Finals to be held in Alturas, California in September.

On Saturday and Sunday between 10am and noon, there will be a Kid’s Corner, where there will be demonstrations of spinning wool and wool crafts. This is free to all participants.

A lamb barbecue will be provided by the Montezuma Fire Department on Saturday only. A separate ticket is required for the lunch and will cost $12. Rio Vista Youth Services will be selling hot dogs, hamburgers, sodas, and bottled water all three days of the event. Alcohol will not be sold.

The sheepdog trials are sponsored by McCormack Sheep & Grain, the Rio Vista branch of Soroptimist International, and Rio Vista Youth Services.

Gates to the event will open at 8 and close at 5 each day. Tickets are $15.00 daily per adult. Tickets for children 6-12 years of age are $5.00 and free for children 5 and younger.

Tickets are sold online at and in Rio Vista at Fool Crow, 33 N. Front St; Books Rio V, 187 Main St.; Pets 4All, 167 Main St; and the Galleria Bra Room, 26 N. 2nd Street.

The event will take place rain or shine. In case of rain, the dog trials will be held anyway and ticket purchases will not be refunded.
The only dogs allowed at the dog trials are those dogs entering the contest. No other dogs or pets will be permitted to enter the gates, except for legitimate service dogs for disabled persons.

For information, please call Jeannie McCormack at 707-374-2254, Ellen Skillings at 707-374-5236 or Vera Sunada @

Soroptomist Awards

National Organization for Women’s Harriet Tubman Award, along with countless other awards in her lifetime.

Polly Welts Kaufman, Historian and Women’s Historic Trails Pioneer (1929-present).

Lynn Sherr, Broadcast Journalist and Author. (1942-present).

Judy Yung, Oral Historian, Author and Professor (1946-present).

Darlene Clark Hine, Educator and Pioneer in African American Women’s History (1947-present).

Holly Near, Singer, Songwriter and Activist (1949-present).

Vicki L. Ruiz, Educator and Pioneer in Latina History (1955-present).

Rio Vista Beacon

Cindy Green, Publisher/Owner of the Rio Vista Beacon Newspaper is presented by Assemblyman Jim Frazier a certificate of recognition for the Soroptimist International of Rio Vista Ruby Award

Following the slideshow presentation, Assemblyman Jim Frazier presented a certificate of recognition to Cindy Green, Publisher/Owner of the Rio Vista Beacon Newspaper for the Soroptimist International of Rio Vista Ruby Award. In honor of her distinguished service and extraordinary contributions to the residents of Rio Vista.

The Soroptimist presented The Violet Richardson award to Cheyanne Bastedo, a junior at Rio Vista High School. In recognition of her dedication and compassion for fellow school mates and those in the Rio Vista community.

The Soroptimist also presented Cindy Green the 2015 Ruby Award for her outstanding work to improve the lives of other women. They also donated a generous check in Cindy’s name to her favorite charity, Patients for Pennies. In honor of her Father who passed away last April from Leukemia.

Around the world, many women are working to improve the lives of women and girls. Some women work to improve conditions for women and girls through their personal or volunteer efforts; others do so through professional avenues. The Soroptimist Ruby Award, formerly the Soroptimist Making a Difference for Women Award, is designed to honor these women.

This program will give the club and the entire organization the opportunity to say “thank you” and encourage others to explore ways to assist women. A Ruby Award recipient should be a woman who:

  • has worked to improve the lives of women and girls,
  • has had a significant impact on the lives of women and girls,
  • would inspire and encourage other women.

Soroptimist of Rio Vista continues to live up to their mission statement and core values. This is to continue to improve the lives of women and girls, in the community. Their goodwill and understanding, through volunteer action, leadership development, fellowship and diversity are second to none.

Do you have, or know, a woman in your life that puts forth these very same efforts? If you do, she should be a part of this very special, one of a kind, organization. 

John Lamb Top Dog in Life

John and Faye Lamb have been residents of Trilogy for over five years. Both of them are very active physically, even though they suffer from some major league health issues. Faye’s issue is that she has had MS for over 27 years and John has nerve damage and pain from a congenital defect which necessitates him to soak in a bath tub for 5 hours a day. This couple is not letting their health issues stop them from getting on with their lives and especially John’s gift of helping others

John belongs to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training Readers can learn more about the Team In Training Northern California Chapter at They train people to do a half or full marathon and they fundraise for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. John‘s first event was San Diego, where he raised $5000.00 over his goal. He did the race with back and shoulder issues. Shortly after the race,he had back surgery. That did not stop him. The next season because of injuries, he tried to train but was not able to run but he still fundraised, and again, finished $5000 over his goal again. It was in the third season in 2012, when he did a half marathon in Washington DC, he finished 1st from, California and 8th nationally in fundraising.

John is the TOP DOG in fundraising to date across the nation. His efforts for fundraising are remarkable (ask his friends, he’s unrelenting). He works through so much discomfort and to quote him John, “I will not just roll over” “We have made huge improvements in cancer survival rates because of research. Research costs money, I have to keep going. ” John states. “He’s like the energizer bunny…. he keeps going and going and we love him!!!, John is an advocate of progress,” says Teresa Fimby-Christensen John’s coach for Team In Training for four seasons.

Mobile Medical Van Comes to Rio Vista Every Tuesday

March 4, 2015
By Linda Jensen

Solano County Family Health Services brings their Mobile Medical Van at 628 Montezuma Street, Tuesdays from 9am to 2:30pm. The big green van will be parked in the Rio Vista CARE parking lot and walk-in patients are welcome.    <READ MORE>

Three Generations Living in Rio Vista and Loving it

March 4, 2015

Mike Wertin and his wife Judy are what you would call the beginning of three generations living in Rio Vista. They are what you call the “new generations,” where the Grandparents move into town to a wonderful retirement community because their children and grandchildren already live here.   <READ MORE>

Isleton Chamber Cajun & Blues Festival at New Location for 2015

February18, 2015

The Isleton Chamber of Commerce is happy to announce the location of the Cajun and Blues Festival 2015, to be taking place at E2 Family Winery in Lodi. On Father’s Day weekend June 20th and the 21st. Last year’s location was at Delta Boat Storage/B &W Resort and was just a one-time opportunity. While looking for a new location for this year, E2 Family Winery offered their accommodations for the Festival.   <READ MORE>

Main St. Neon Sign Project is Underway

February 18, 2015

The original idea and seed money to restore neon signs at Raul’s Striper Cafe and Foster’s Bighorn started with an anonymous donor who “just wanted to contribute something to the downtown area that she could see when she drove by”.    <READ MORE>

New Banners and Logo to Promote Rio Vista

February 11, 2015
The Rio Vista Chamber of Commerce is announcing a new campaign to promote local shopping. The new” Rio Vista First” logos were designed by local business owner Julie Griffin.   <READ MORE>

Thank You “Woody Woodruff ” for the Service That you Give

February 11, 2015

When Woody Woodruff of Rio Vista commits to doing something, he really commits. For the last 48 years he has been organizing the men’s breakfast for the First Congregational Church of Rio Vista. <READ MORE>


February 4, 2015
The RioVision Biking and Hiking Group has its hands full, now that the push to increase the number and quality of bicycle racks and stanchions is well underway.  <READ MORE>

Crab Feed Kickoff

February 4, 2015

The newest addition to Rio Vista’s growing calendar of annual events took place last Saturday night, January 31. The success of this sold-out inaugural event assures that it will return in future years to raise funds and celebrate the local bounty of Dungeness crab. <READ MORE>

Scam Alert Bogus PG&E Calls and More in Rio Vista

January 28, 2015

It seems like more and more scams are popping up all over the World, the Bay Area and right here in Rio Vista. Over the last couple of weeks the Beacon has received numerous phone calls from residents and business owners that have tried to be deceived by others.   <READ MORE>

Pennies for Patients

January 28, 2015

Rio Vista High School’s Leadership class decided to run the “Pennies for Patients” campaign through the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society this year because their high school, and the community as a whole, has been greatly affected by all different forms of cancer.  <READ MORE>

Family Dollar Store Groundbreaking Ceremony

On Thursday, January 15, 2015, the City Council, City officials, the Rio Vista Chamber of Commerce, community leaders, and representatives of Family Dollar held a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the new Family Dollar Store. The Store will be located on the south side of Highway 12 between Taco Bell and the Cemetery.  <READ MORE>

Rio Vista ATOD Alliance Becomes Rio Vista Alliance

January 21, 2015

As the New Year brings new beginnings, so it goes with the Rio Vista ATOD Alliance. Due to the changes in County goals and grants, ATOD is giving up the ATOD and keeping the Alliance.  <READ MORE>

RVHS Radio Rio Tuned Into the Community

January 14, 2015

Did you know that Rio Vista has a radio station? Not only do they have one, but its ran solely by the students at Rio Vista High School. Radio Rio is the name and 91.5 FM is their fame.  <READ MORE>

The Year of Humphrey

January 14, 2015

This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of one of our most famous “tourist’s” visit to Rio Vista.  On October 10, 1985, Humphrey, a wayward humpback whale, became lost in the migration along the California coast and traveled up the Sacramento River.  <READ MORE>

Discover Rio Vista

The insert in this week’s edition of the Rio Vista Beacon is the second edition of the promotional quarterly, Discover Rio Vista (we had a name change), that provides information for Rio Vista residents and visitors about local events and activities. Be sure to check it out.

Third Thursday Sale

Bargain hunters take note: participating Main Street merchants will be holding a “Clean Sweep Sale”, clearing out post-holiday inventory this Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m. Come by and check out what kind of deals are being offered. <READ MORE>

Rio Vista Company Manufactures Barriers and Road Zippers for Golden Gate Bridge

January 7, 2015

Rio Vista has done it again, by putting themselves on the map. Lindsay Transportation Solutions of Rio Vista has filled over 3500, 12 inch wide by 32-inch high steel-clad movable median barriers with concrete at their location here on River Rd.  <READ MORE>

Refflecting Back in 2014 on Rio Vista

December 31, 2014

As the community of Rio Vista closes out 2014 and rings in 2015, let us reflect back on this year and some of the “good” and bit of “sad” the happened in this city of around 8,400 residents.  <READ MORE>

Businesses Putting Kids First in Rio Vista

In the past week Rio Vista Police and State ABC agents conducted a Tobacco and Alcohol Compliance Check on local businesses, using underage decoys to attempt to purchase tobacco and alcohol.  <READ MORE>

The new Fire Chief for the City of Rio Vista is Alan Hartford.

The city held a wide area of recruitment for this position, even having a few candidates outside the state of California.  <READ MORE>

Future of the Skateboard Park

If you happen to drive by the Police Station on Poppy House Rd. in Rio Vista you will be sure to notice next to the station is the skateboard park. <READ MORE>

Women Veterans Nonprofit Thanks To Rio Vista Community

Since the article in the Beacon on October 22, 2014, about the need of clothing for Women Veterans, everyone that read it wanted to help. Veteran Women return home with fatigues/uniforms and no civilian clothes.   <READ MORE>

Rio Vista Hotel Owner Makes Proposals to City

City Council Meeting last Tuesday evening, December 2, 2014. Jack Hirsch, owner of the Rio Vista Hotel located on the corner of Main and 2nd Streets proposed that he would like to step up and build apartments on the 2nd and 3rd floors.  <READ MORE>

The Point Restaurant Re-Opens

The Point Restaurant is back and will be having its Grand Opening on Saturday December 13th. The Rio Vista icon first opened its doors in 1964 by Jack Baumann, who built the restaurant in 1964.  <READ MORE>

Isleton Father Helps Deliver Son at Home

Alicia and Dusty Silva of Isleton welcomed their second son Easton on the night of November 21st. This little guy came into the world at home and was delivered by his Dad. There was no time to get to Lodi Memorial Hospital. <READ MORE>

New Quarterly Tourist & Event Guide

RioVision will be spreading the word even more with the launch of its new quarterly Tourist & Event Guide. 10,000 copies will be produced.  <READ MORE>

The Rio Vista Waterfront RioVision:  Bridge to the future. 

The Rio Vista Waterfront.  What does the City of Rio Vista have in common with San Antonio, Texas?  In 1964, the City of San Antonio took a risk and passed a $500,000 bond to begin development of the frist 250 feet of riverfront that was to become known as the Riverwalk.  <READ MORE>

ATOD Bigger and Better. 

“Let’s make a difference together.”  These words are easy to repeat, but how about putting them into action.  Last week an article about the program ATOD was viewed by all in the Beacon.  <READ MORE>