The Top Best Things that ever Happened to me In Hercules in 2011

There are quite a bit of unusual things that ever happened this year 2011, right here in Hercules. I will mention a few.

A neighbor found my dog, K.C. and took him in for the night, while former Interim City Manager Chief Deltorcchio led me to a web site that ultimately connected the neighbor and myself. K.C. is my 11-year old Keeshond who acts like he’s 2! If you have a pet dog or cat, they are a part of your family! Losing one for even an hour can be agonizing!

A group of non-profits stepped up to the plate and organized the Hercules Community Tree Lighting/Trimming that took place in Dec. 15th with lots of families with their children attending! Click here for Press Release!

I assisted a Herculean resident/businessman (who was also Hercules Business of the Year 2011) opened up a new restaurant which now provides employment to many people in the West Contra Costa County. Congratulations Martino! Check out

The DELICIOUS project was launched at the Hercules Senior Center turning our seniors into Chefs and their sons/daughters into story-tellers. The project is a video-documentary of seniors doing a cooking demo of their home cooking recipes to be passed on to the next generation. The “next generation” in turn shares a story about their relationship with their Mom or Dad (the seniors). I even received a hand-written recipe from Congressman George Miller’s wife – I will surely cook her recipe.  Click here for press release.

Community folks gathered and participated at the city-sponsored planning charrette, a very positive sign of the city moving on.

I created a relationship with my father without a barrier last October, and a week later, it actually happened through a conversation that needed to happen!

A few years ago, I attended a seminar CALIFORNIA DOWNTOWN ASSOCIATION and heard many presenters who are instrumental in developing and planning cities, referred to the “Downtown” as the heart of any city. Back then, I asked, “Does Hercules have a downtown? If not, then are we a city without a heart?” Soon after, a groundbreaking took place, it was exciting: the North Sycamore Downtown Project. But for many many months now since that groundbreaking event took place, it’s remained unfinished, and many referred to it as a symbol of failure. I had thought many times, then, that if the downtown is the heart of a city, then Hercules still doesn’t have a heart – it’s unfinished, laid bare, exposed to the elements, a “sign of failed leadership,” as many people would say. But the last quarter of this year, I had a paradigm shift that took on a different outlook to our “downtown.” I realized that the real heart of any city – is its people! It’s you and I! How we relate to each other and how we choose to contribute or not to contribute, creates what we call “OUR CITY!” I have faith and a very positive outlook that Hercules is on its way to a higher level!

What is the best thing that ever happened to you, a Herculean, in 2011? To your spouse, your children, your parents? How have you contributed to their well-being? Did you get an award this year? Any new discoveries? Accomplishments – professional and personal?

WOW Hercules is about its people! Real lives! It’s the WOW factor in our city! I look forward to hearing from you!


Jojo Soriano


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