Did you know that the town of Sunol has an advisory
group that works as a liaison between the citizens and the Alameda
County Planning Commission? Most of us in this tiny town are
not aware of that little known fact. Organized in 1989 by the
late, former Alameda County Supervisor Ed Campbell, the Sunol
Citizens Advisory Committee is appointed by the acting county
supervisor. The appointment has a 12-year term limit and whenever
there is a vacancy, residents may submit their personal/professional
resume to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors to request
a position on the committee.
The primary function of the group is to advise the county when
dealing with issues regarding but not limited to zoning restriction,
out of the ordinary property variances and adding or enlarging
a home or building. But the group mainly gives the town a voice
in our county.
The group, which meets at Sunol Glen School, has no regular
meetings but is usually called by the county for special circumstances
meetings or whenever a Public Notice of a meeting is posted.
The county sends committee members agenda items, which include
background information, general use blueprints, or plans and
what is requested by the land or homeowner. Following Roberts
Rules of Order, the group meets, does research if necessary,
makes a motion to accept, reject or modify, a discussion follows,
and then they vote on the subject matter. Their recommendation
is then submitted to the planning commission and the county
Sunol Citizens Advisory Committee Chairperson, Irvin Tiessen
said, "I feel that it is a necessary tool if the town of
Sunol is ever going to build an acceptable general plan for
the town's future".
Current committee members are: Assistant Chairperson, Dan Reasor,
Joan Hall, Maryanne Canaparo and Dimitris Kastriotis.
Grab your camera, oh and the kids too, for Niles Canyon Railways
exhibition of model trains, Al McCracken, Chief Station Agent,
will be displaying two of his "G gauge" model trains
in the baggage room of the Sunol Depot every Sunday in June.
Al's trains are a little larger in scale than your average
model trains, standing 6 inches high and 24 inches long. His
trains also include a sound system and knobs and levers that
allow the kids, with adult supervision, to operate. "They
are kid proof", says Al.
Al belongs to the Bay Area Garden Railway Society, which has
boasts a membership of 500. Members hold monthly open house
displays of their trains and have offered to assist during the
month long Sunol Depot exhibit. Best of all, this exhibit is
A model train enthusiast since 1992, Al is also an avid stamp
collector but he said his grandkids were not interested in stamp
collecting and he said, ""I had to get a hobby that
the grandkids would enjoy". Model trains were just the
beginning of Al's love of trains. He soon acquired a speeder
car, which is actually a railroad motorcar formerly used by
track crew members and then his interest turned to the real
thing, big trains, when he became involved with the Niles Canyon
Our neighbors in the Niles community are planning a special
tribute to Charlie Chaplin on Saturday in their downtown area.
Local business will be displaying Charlie Chaplin memorabilia
during the day and the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum &
Theater on Niles Blvd. will be showing a special silent movies
featuring Chaplin that were filmed in 1915 during the afternoon
and evening. Another little known fact is that the Niles and
Sunol areas were used as the scene for several silent movies
before the movie studios relocated to Southern California.