HERE'S GOOD NEWS FOR TRAIN BUFFS: The Niles
Canyon steam train is back in action, and will be part of the
Sunday rides this spring. The canyon is especially beautiful
after the recent rains, so whether you hop on board the steam
train at 10:30 a.m., noon, 1:30 p.m. or 3 p.m., or answer the
"all aboard!" on the 1940's diesel train at 11:15
a.m., 12:45 p.m. or 2:15 p.m., you are in for a treat.
The weekly Wildflower Trains are a wonderful way to relax and
take in Nature's ever-changing display in Niles Canyon. Our
local blooming flora include mustard flowers, lupin, California
poppies, rosemary, wild almond and more. And on a couple of
upcoming Wildflower Trains, you will be able to enjoy elegant
wine tastings hosted on-board by Sunol area vintners.
I'm sad to report that you've already missed Fenestra's and
Little Valley's turns, but you can enjoy free samples of premium
wines from Chouinard Vineyards Sunday (4-27) and Elliston on
May 5. The on-board tastings will take place on the noon 1:30,
3 p.m. trains. Both Fenestra and Little Valley have tastings
and special events all spring, too, so visit them soon.
The train rides are free, although the all-volunteer Pacific
Locomotive Association (PLA) suggests donations of $4 for children
three through 12, $7 for seniors, and $8 for everyone else.
The train boards at the Sunol Depot, 6 Kilkare Road, Sunol,
and seating is first-come, first-served. There is wheelchair
access and all trains have open cars, covered cars and enclosed
The purpose of the PLA, as stated on their Web site, is "to
preserve the physical aspects and atmosphere of Pacific Coast
railroading during the period from 1910 to 1960." The organization's
mission is to develop and operate a working railroad museum
for the benefit of the general public. You can become a member
and volunteer in the PLA and help restore equipment, build track,
operate trains, or do other tasks necessary to run a railroad.
Applicants must be at least 18 but no experience is necessary.
Dues are $25 per year, and there's a $10 initiation fee for
the first year. An application to become an Associate Member
may be obtained at the Sunol Depot or from the Membership Secretary,
2196 Taper Avenue, Santa Clara, CA 95051-2341, or via e-mail
SCHOOL BOARD MEETING: The next Sunol Glen School Board
meeting will be Monday, April 28 at 6 p.m. in the school library.
The Pledge of Allegiance and flag salute will be led by the
Sunol Boy Scouts, who will also have a presentation to share.
Agenda items for the meeting include the Superintendent's reports
on enrollment and the charter school, the approval of financial
resolutions and bids, and reductions in classified personnel.
STARLAB COMES TO SUNOL: The Starlab portable teaching
environment comes to the Sunol Glen auditorium on Thursday,
May 22. The system consists of an inflatable dome, a projector,
astronomy projection cylinders, and other accessories. Students
view the constellations while listening to a self-paced, taped
lesson. Big thanks to Sunol Glen's mentor science teacher, Kalina
Wong, and the generous support of Teaching Opportunities for
Partners in Science (TOPS) for bringing Sunol Glen this terrific
A SPECIAL PITCH: Taylor King, a Sunol Glen fifth-grader,
will throw out the first pitch at the Oakland A's game Wednesday,
May 23 at the Oakland Coliseum. The game will be played in memory
of Taylor's grandfather, Carl Finley, who died March 30, 2002
at the age of 78. Taylor's granddad was the cousin of Oakland
A's owner Charlie Finley, and served as Vice President of the
ball team for 22 years. Strike 'em out, Taylor!