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George A. Johnston

December 31, 1937 – June 20, 2016 (57th Wedding Anniversary). Loving husband of 57 years to Kay Johnston of Trilogy at Rio Vista, CA. Devoted father to Bob Johnston of Morgan Hill, CA and Sandi Johnston and her partner Dr. Rachael Petitti of Monroe, CT. Brother to Shirley Smyth of Beaverton, OR and Carroll Hooley of Canyonville, OR. Brother-in-law to Steve Hooley of Canyonville, OR, and many nieces and nephews.

George was born in Lyons, OR and grew up in Culver and Redmond, OR. His parents were Betty and G. Paul Johnston.

George graduated from the Oregon Technical Institute in Klamath Falls in 1959 with an Engineering Degree. He was hired by IBM, married Kay, and moved to Oakland, CA to start his career. He was a talented engineer for IBM for 34 years receiving many service awards. George’s career led him to live in San Jose, Concord, Pleasanton, Morgan Hill, Rochester, MN, and Endicott, NY. George’s greatest accomplishment was retirement at age 59. Retirement led George and Kay to Oro Valley, AZ for 13 years until they returned to CA to reside in Rio Vista. George had a love for gardening-especially roses, model railroads, fixing and building anything and everything, music-choir/bell choir, traveling, boating and camping. George was a member of many organizations while at Trilogy in Rio Vista for the past 10 years: Model Railroad Club, Delta Breeze Choir, Drama Club, and Bocce League. He was also a member of the New Pilgrims Fellowship in Rio Vista.

George will be truly missed by his family and friends. The family would like to extend our gratitude to the staff at Jen N Leen Board and Care in Suisun City where George spent the last ten months.
Services will be held for family and friends on Saturday, July 2, 2016 at 12:00pm at Trilogy at Rio Vista. Delta Club, 990 Summers Dr. Rio Vista, CA 94571

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in George’s name to The Michael J Fox Foundation For Parkinson’s Research 1-800-708-7644

Not Right to Shame Local Businesses on Social Media

Op-ed article
By Scott Brizel

On the Next Door Core Rio Vista community network, I’ve recently noticed that some are offering their unsolicited criticism of local businesses, including locally owned restaurants. Some of these reviews are so adamant about broadcasting shortcomings of businesses that they seem spiteful. I’d like to offer perspective about what homegrown businesses by local residents mean to our community, and also propose perspective about the function of providing public notice to fellow community members for calling out problems with local businesses.

First, if there is spite, instead of support, for local entrepreneurs struggling to get their success-formula down, our town will become overrun by faceless national franchises like every other no-name city U.S.A. It’s very easy and tempting for city governments to encourage the certain monetizing that proven national franchises may bring. Only very foresighted regimes may be concerned with how such monetizing merely buys short-term gain to local coffers at the longer term expense of the city losing any real sense of ‘place’ with a character of its own. It’s not easy, and takes time to develop the balance of factors that optimize the interface between a new, independent business and the community it has chosen to serve. We need to be a little patient and supportive. Keep in mind, these are our neighbors.

Our future entrepreneurs at Rio Vista High are watching what this town cultivates. If local business is not supported and national franchises become entrenched, none of our talented teenagers will want to stay here to further develop this town, and will rather leave here to glorify other towns that do support and encourage opportunity in their communities.

I’d like to suggest local residents consider homegrown businesses by Rio Vista locals in a more community-minded way for the common good of Rio Vista. If there is a business that is under-performing in some area of service or style, speak to the manager – not as an affronted customer, but as a fellow community-member. Managers of local business desperately want your input, suggestions and ultimately, your satisfaction. Help them give you what you want!

If it feels too confrontational to complain to a manager, then drop the business a line – politely. If the note makes it clear that it is not coming from you with disdain in the role of self-righteous, ‘wronged customer’, but rather in the spirit of ‘what would have made my own, and probably other customers’ experience better’, it will be a accepted as a great favor, rather than a gripe.

Regarding public shaming of businesses: I feel that is only appropriate if you think the business willfully cheats, exploits or disrespects its customers. In that case, I agree there’s a responsibility to fellow citizens in warning them about businesses that aim to offend or harm them in some way. On the other hand, if you are writing a negative review of a business that is trying to serve the community and has done nothing unethical, but had, in your opinion, failed to meet your expectation(s) on a particular occasion (did you visit a newly established diner during peak rush on a weekend morning, for example?) — and you’ve not made a suggestion to the management — then what do you think you are doing that is positive for anyone? If a business is poorly run, its patronage will naturally dwindle and it will cease to operate. Why would you find it important enough to trouble to write something to hasten the failure of a local entrepreneur, but not important enough to see if you can make a suggestion that might help improve the situation?

Let’s leave snark in the big cities where it belongs. In our small community, it makes more sense to work together with the talent we have and encourage the best from each other.

Rio Vista Farmers’ Market returns for third season with a special guest for the kids!

A festive Grand Opening celebration of the downtown Rio Vista Certified Farmers’ Market is slated! Scheduled to appear on Saturday May 14th is the children’s entertainer that can routinely be found at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, Kenny the Clown! He’s the most decorated Triple Crown Winner in the history of clowning. He’s the reigning “Most Balloons Made” and “Fire Torches Juggled” Champion. Kenny also performs magic tricks and rides a unicycle. Check him out online at

Performing music is the one-man band from Pittsburg who will be on hand for Opening Day, Muzeke.  He became a regular at the Rio Vista Farmers’ Market in 2015 and a skilled musician who plays a wide variety of instruments and runs the gamut of musical stylings!

The 2016 Rio Vista Certified Farmers’ will be featuring an outstanding selection of new and returning vendors that will excite the farmers’ market faithful! New produce vendors include Esquivel Organic Vegetables (Gilroy), Thao’s Family Farm (Sacramento) will provide delicious Asian veggies, J&J Ramos (Hughson) will make available stone fruit including peaches, nectarines and cherries as well as delectable walnuts and almonds. Alpine Blue (Stockton) will offer luscious blueberries, blackberries, cherries and apricots. V&V Farms (Lodi) will bring their distinct, exceptional assortment of apples and cherries!

Also joining the Rio Vista Farmers’ Market is Bonami Baking Company (Pittsburg), offering baguette style loaves, sliced breads, Danishes, scones, croissants, muffins and much more.  Bonami supplies baked goods to the San Francisco International Airport, Cache Creek Casino and the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco.  Please welcome them to our farmers’ market!

Looking for a delicious lunch to enjoy while shopping the market?  Look no further than Farmers’ Market Bistro (Waterford).  They offer handmade tamales, salsa and chips as well as flavorful pistachio and lemon muffins.  If you prefer some back home southern style cooking, then you may want to check out Freddie Covington Barbeque (Fairfield) who will be providing mouth-watering barbequed tri tip, ribs, chicken hot links hamburgers and chicken tacos for your lunching pleasure!

Of course we want to welcome back the following returning vendors:  Bay Fresh Producers (Salinas), Resendiz Farms (Hughson), West Coast Producer (Salinas), Olio Bello d’Olivo (Byron), and Hummus Heaven (San Leandro), Cobblestone Bakery (Riverbank) and Wowie Worms (Isleton).

The Rio Vista Certified Farmers’ Market will be open every Saturday, on Main Street and 2nd, May 14th through November 19th from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. rain or shine.  If you have any questions or are interested in selling at the farmers’ market, feel free to contact Bill Harlow at (408) 831-8741. The farmers’ market is organized by the All Bay Farmers’ Market Association and sponsored by the Rio Vista Chamber of Commerce.

Rio Vista Watering Guidelines Ordinance From Last Year Still in Effect


Rio Vista City Hall has been inundated with phone calls asking if the water ordinance is still in effect. The answer is YES. Even though California has had much needed rain this season. We are making up for the dry years in the past and still need to conserve!!!  >> READ MORE

Rio Vista Community Center Draws Another Enthusiastic Audience


The Rio Vista Community Center hosted another well-attended community meeting on Monday, April 4, 2016 at D. H. White School. About 100 residents and interested parties came to hear the latest updates resulting from the large gathering on February 25, 2016. On that date, over 125 folks showed up, divided themselves into eight discussion groups, and came up with over 325 suggestions for the community center.  >> READ MORE

First Congregational Church of Rio Vista Welcomed New Interim Pastor


On February 1, 2016, the 147- year- old, historic First Congregational Church of Rio Vista welcomed its’ new interim pastor, Dr. Frank D. Ward, and his wife Lynn. >> READ MORE

Rio Vista Fire Department Annual Firefighter Appreciation Banquet and Awards Ceremony


On Saturday, March 5th the Rio Vista Fire Department had its annual Firefighter Appreciation Banquet and Awards Ceremony at Sir Flair’s 19th Hole Bar & Grill. This gala event, sponsored by the Rio Vista Fire Hot Shots Volunteer Program, was an evening to reflect on the accomplishments of 2015 and to bestow the Firefighter of the Year Award to a deserving firefighter who was elected by a vote of his peers.  >> READ MORE

Solano CHP Marrow Drive


The Solano Area CHP office will be holding a Marrow Drive at 3050 Travis Boulevard, Fairfield, 03/15/2016, from 8:00am until 4:00pm.  A statewide drive, “Stand Up for Keith – Team Meter Marrow Drive,” is being organized by CHP Headquarters and the CHP Santa Ana Area office to try to find a marrow donor for Officer Meter, an 18-year veteran of the Department. In 2014, Officer Meter was identified as a potential marrow donor for a young girl with marrow cancer.     >> READ MORE

Mayor’s Corner

By Norman Richardson -3/9/2016
I have promised to write about Highway 12 and the bad shape it is in. A few months ago I wrote a Mayor’s Corner describing the Highway 12 Gap Closure project from Summerset Drive to Drouin Drive (the Arco Gas Station). That stretch of highway is to be widened with 12 foot travel lanes and 8 foot shoulders.     >> READ MORE

American Pickers to Film in California


Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz, and their team are excited to return to California! They plan to film episodes of the hit series AMERICAN PICKERS throughout California with filming scheduled for March 2016.  AMERICAN PICKERS is a documentary series that explores the fascinating world of antique ‘picking’ on History.     >> READ MORE