January 30, 2006

If you are a boy scout who has always been interested in trains and the railroad, this is for you. For the first time ever the Niles Canyon Railway is offering a program to help you earn your Railroad Merit Badge. Sponsored by the Pacific Locomotive Association, this will be a full day program at their maintenance facility.

Your day will begin with a safety lesson, and then you will board a 1926 Skunk Rail bus for a ride around the facility. You will then discuss merit badge requirements, take a walking tour of the maintenance yard and be introduced to the various departments that all come together to make the Niles Canyon Railway operate. You will then be shown examples of specific duties related to the railroad.

Adult Scout David Harris of the Niles Canyon Railway will be guiding you through the day's activities. "It has been very popular", says David. And due to the popularity and limited seating capacity there is a waiting list. David said that if you are a scout who has already fulfilled a few of the merit badge requirements and just need a little more training to get signed off, you will be moved near the top of the waiting list. He also stressed that it would helpful if you had some experience before you attended this program, but all scouts are welcome. You may even bring along up to two siblings and three adults but for safety reasons no one under 10 years old will be allowed in the program.

The first program is set to begin sometime in late February and David requested that if you are interested you can visit the Niles Canyon Railway's website at www.ncry.org for updates on the specific dates when they become available. Please email David at railfan@baylug.org to have your name added to the waiting list or if you need more information.

Bosco's Bones and Brew is celebrating their first anniversary February 3 and have invited the public to their buffet dinner taking place from 4:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. After you have stuffed yourself you can hop on over to their saloon and kick up your heels to some live music by Wicker Vault where they will be playing from 8:00 p.m. to midnight. Call Bosco's 925-862-0821 for more information.

Sunol residents Hans and Pam Peeters, co-authors of "Raptors of California" will be speaking at the Pleasanton Library on February 5th at 2:00 p.m. This program is free and open to the general public.

The Sunol Glen School Community Club is organizing a fundraiser at Sweet Tomatoes on February 9 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in Fremont located at 39370 Paseo Padre Parkway. Sweet Tomatoes is offering a sweet deal by donating 15% of sales generated on that evening to Sunol Glen School. A flyer announcing this fun event is available at the school and you must present it at the restaurant in order for Sunol Glen to receive the donation.

Don't forget to make those reservations for Elliston Vineyards romantic "Love and Chocolate, A Chocolate and Wine Tasting Experience" being held on February 11. Live music featuring a pianist tinkling the ivories on their elegant, 1893 Steinway will serenade you as you wander through the beautiful, historic stone mansion sampling chocolate fondue, light hors devourers, desserts and wine. Tickets are $35 per person and advance ticket purchase is required. Please call Elliston at 925-862-2377 for reservation.

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