Compiled by Nick Sestanovich
75 years ago
Increase Granted Police, Fire Chiefs, City Attorney (Oct. 8, 1942)
Benicia City Council at their meeting Tuesday evening decided in view of increased costs of living to grant increased salaries to various city officials.
Increase of $25 monthly was given to Chief of Police J.E. Ackerman and Fire Chief William Davena, Jr.; salary of City Attorney Harold M. Simon was increased to $150 per month; $15 mostly increases were also granted to Geo. Joseph, night watchman and J.O. Dell, street superintendent.
Police patrolmen Eugene Barbiero and Vincent Warren were increased to $175 monthly.
Firemen Jose Silva and Robert St. Onge were raised to $165 monthly.
Chief Ackerman stated today that the police department has been collecting monthly from fines more than the entire cost of his department; fines for August were approximately $1700 and in September totaled $1567.50.
Fire Chief Davena was authorized add one more fireman to his staff at a salary of $150 monthly.
50 years ago
Virginia McKee Is Feted By Safeway For 20-Year Career (Oct. 5, 1967)
One of the most familiar smiles in town belongs to Mrs. Virginia McKee, widely known food checker-cashier in the Benicia Safeway Store. A recent ceremony in the store saw Mrs. McKee honored by the national chain for 20 years of continuous service.
A lovely charm bracelet, a token of esteem and appreciation, was presented to her by John Ball, district supervisor, and Kenneth Nelson, local store manager.
Actually, she has worked a total of 30 years in the local store, with a break in service between the first 10 and current 20 years of employment. She began her career as a part-time employe while still a student at Benicia High School. This was before the store bore the Safeway name, and when it was housed in the building next to Wolff’s Drug Store.
Accurate and quick, she always finds time to exchange a few words with each customer, an important part of her local popularity. From her position at the checkstand, she greets most of Benicia during each busy week. She can call most of Benicia’s tots, toddlers and teens by name. Many she served as young people now come and shop as young marrieds, bringing with them their babies to show off to “Virge.”
“I like my job,” she says, “because I like people. I enjoy talking to them and meeting them. You have to like people to be in this business.”.
25 years ago
Sparky teaches Benicia kids about fire prevention (Oct. 4, 1992)
By David Hagerty
This week, Sparky the Fire Dog will be making the rounds at all of Benicia’s elementary schools to teach children about home fire safety.
One of Benicia’s firefighters, sweating inside a dog suit, will be telling the youngsters about what to do when they hear a smoke alarm, and how best to edit a house in flames.
The show is part of the annual Fire Prevention Week, sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association.
“I think what it does for us is it raises home safety awareness,” Benicia Fire Capt. Joe Thurin said.
In addition to hitting every classroom in public and private schools, Benicia fire engineers Dave Both and Mark Stevens will be passing out coloring books containing instructional guides for adults.
Firefighters now advise that a smoke detector be placed outside every sleeping area in the home, as well as on every floor, including the basement. Fire inspectors can enforce the rules in apartment complexes and businesses, but only residents can do it in their homes.
The full articles of these and other stories are available on microfilm at the Benicia Public Library.