Angel Island Shines Again
Erected in the late ’50s by a lonely electrician dismantling a Nike missile site, the holiday lights atop Angel Island—a Bay Area tradition now known as Angel Lights—have overcome a mountain of obstacles. First, then–Governor Pat Brown resolved a money crisis that had darkened the mountaintop; years later, Marin’s George Lucas replaced collapsing equipment with a new system; and in 2001, Lucas again rode to the rescue after the top of Angel Island had been reconfigured.

Then, in October of 2008, a wildfire ravaged the east slope of Angel Island, wiping out power poles. “All were soon replaced,” says Suzanne Badenhoop, president of the Angel Island Association, “except for those powering the Angel Lights.” Thus in 2008, for the first time in years, the top of Mount Livermore on Angel Island was dark. Enter PG&E. “It’s true,” says spokesperson Katie Romans; “PG&E has donated and is installing a power-saving LED (light-emitting diode) beacon on a 20-foot pole that every year will shine over San Francisco Bay during December.” Included in the $15,000 gift are the 36-inch beacon, five solar panels, a power device and battery storage. “That beacon is like a lighthouse,” adds Badenhoop. “It’s got a ton of LED lights in it.”

License to Give 
What do you get for the person who has everything? How about a Bay Area special license plate, which will benefit the San Francisco Bay Area Conservancy Program? The campaign needs 7,500 paid pledges within a year for the special license plate to become a reality. The plates cost more than the typical registration fee and are $50 for a random set of six numbers and letters selected by the DMV or $90 for personalized plates. Money raised will help the conservancy protect open space, restore and protect habitat and wetlands, provide public access and trails, create education centers and protect farmland. For more information, call 877.4SF.BAY1.

EZ-Holiday Cookies
Mill Valley’s Barbara Hazen a former pastry chef has started a new slice and bake cookie dough company; Sables Gourmet. High quality ingredients made locally, sold at most stores in the area.

Marin Dream House Raffle
There’s still time left to get in on the February 20 Marin Dream House Raffle! A $150 raffle ticket gives you the chance to win a brand-new $2 million bayfront home in Larkspur. All proceeds from ticket sales benefit Community Action Marin. 888.999.4540

Goodnite Moon
Stop by Goodnite Moon in Corte Madera’s Town Center to say hello to new owner Louise Harrison, who also owns Link Works in the center!

The Fort Baker Post-to-Park Transformation Project has won the 2009 Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership (GEELA) award, one of California’s most prestigious environmental honors, given to organizations and individuals who exemplify exceptional leadership for protecting and enhancing the local environment while also promoting economic growth.

Mill Valley residents and San Francisco State University faculty Paul Hoover and Maxine Chernoff have been awarded the PEN USA Literary Award for their translation of poetry by the German Romantic poet Friedrich Hoelderlin (Selected Poems of Friedrich Hoelderlin, Omnidawn Publishing).  

San Rafael’s Dominican University of California is receiving an almost $1 million grant from the 2008 Farm Bill to establish the National Ornamentals Research Site, which will focus on understanding and controlling the plant pathogen that causes sudden oak death.