24 edc breakfast 1

Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, speaks during the Solano Economic Development Corp. breakfast at the Hilton Garden Inn in Fairfield, Wednesday. Garamendi spoke about “Washington and Solano.” (Aaron Rosenblatt/Daily Republic)

Solano County

Congressman talks Travis, water

By From page A1 | April 24, 2014

FAIRFIELD — Rep. John Garamendi told local leaders Wednesday that Travis Air Force Base will survive, even if specifics about the base’s future missions remain uncertain.

He gave his audience the credit. Local civic leaders, concerned about shrinking federal budgets and new military priorities, have lobbied Congress and the Department of Defense on the importance of Travis Air Force Base to the nation.

“The future of Travis has been assured by the work this community has done,” Garamendi said.

Garamendi spoke at the monthly Solano Economic Development Corp. breakfast at the Hilton Garden Inn. He jumped from topic to topic over a span of about 20 minutes, then took questions.

Local leaders are concerned about the proposed retirement of the KC-10 planes based at Travis. It’s unclear when and if Travis will get the K-46, the next generation of Air Force air tanker.

“Change is occurring,” Garamendi said. “We’re not exactly sure how all of this will work out.”

Garamendi talked about California’s plans to help solve state’s water problems. The Brown administration supports building twin, 35-mile-long tunnels to take water exports under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The estimated cost of the project is $24 billion.

“Let me just start with three words – stop the tunnels,” he said. “Let me add a fourth word – stop the damn tunnels.”

Garamendi said the state under its twin-tunnels plan would create enough export capacity to handle all of the water in the Sacramento River. Only the political power would be needed to increase exports, he said. He raised the possibility of Endangered Species Act requirements that have limited water exports being waived.

“It’s an example of why you never want to build something big enough to destroy the Delta,” Garamendi said.

He talked about Maritime Administration’s decision to tow many of the surplus military ships in the Suisun Bay reserve fleet to Texas for dismantling. That long journey includes going through the Panama Canal.

Garamendi supported having the ships dismantled in the dry docks built for the former Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo.  He wondered aloud why it’s cheaper to take the ships to Texas. Local officials have mentioned such reasons as environmental laws in Texas that are more lax than they are in California.

Vallejo has a wonderful facility that needs to remain in place to build the ships of tomorrow and break up the ships of yesterday, Garamendi said.

Samina Masood told Garamendi that there’s a need to invest in human beings. She is director at the Heather House homeless shelter in Fairfield. Solano County’s homeless population has doubled in recent years, she said.

Garamendi responded by talking about a veterans job fair that took place in December in Fairfield. He was saddened to see about 1,000 people standing in line on a 40-degree day. They were desperate to get a job, he said.

He talked about reviving the economy and about the importance of education and job preparation. He talked about Genentech expanding its Vacaville plant and aircraft manufacturer Icon possibly coming to Vacaville. He talked about the work of the Solano Economic Development Corp.

“If we have the jobs in the community, then many of the problems you’re trying to address can be reduced,” Garamendi told Masood.

Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling has been a reporter with the Daily Republic since 1987. He covers Solano County government, transportation, growth and the environment. He received his bachelors of art degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.

Discussion | 5 comments

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  • Rich GiddensApril 23, 2014 - 3:47 pm

    Erberling------you know why it's cheaper to dismantle those ships in Texas. You're a UC Berkeley grad and really smart. It's the 800 pound gorilla in the room you and Garamendi won't dare to mention. Garamendi, Wolk, Brown, Frasier et al get their campaign cash from that 800 pound collosus of corruption and horrific public expense. You let them get away with such an omission! Delibertly too! The people here are stupid and you and i know Garamendi will say ''it's Bush and the Republicans fault'' in perpetuity while the rat political party rank and file shake their dumb noggins in agreement. But now there are fewer beievers and many rats are bailing out and heading east!

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  • BJApril 24, 2014 - 1:00 pm

    Rich Wish you'd go East as well, you sound like a broken record and frankly the only one who loves the sound of your voice.

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  • Rich GiddensApril 24, 2014 - 2:17 pm

    Sounds to me like you're attacking a truthful messenger. What's your point other then engaging in a personal attack against me? You have no point! I say unions are ruining your State and even the great liberal Democratic icon FDR said "the right to collective bargaining can't be extended to the pubic sector". But you don't want to hear the facts because the facts are not on your or Garamendi's side! When truth speaks to power we see how YOU react---pointlessly and in a cowardly manner. Why don't you use your real name too?

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  • RodApril 24, 2014 - 8:57 am

    Garmendi says anything you want to hear , yet he votes how Nancy Pelosi wants him to.

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  • @ RodApril 24, 2014 - 9:38 am

    Who did 9/11? ................ For Mr Garamendi .... Why is the Obama/Clinton/Kerry/Hagel (Chuck)... Administration taking out countries for the international bankers?... Libya, Syria, getting us involved in the Ukraine, Yemen, Iran? Are not all these places crisis engineered by the International Banking Cartel? Mr. Garamendi... Who really controls the Federal Reserve? Mr. Garamendi What are the American People suppose to do, once the International Bankers have intentionally crashed the dollar? Why does our tax money actually support The City of London Bankers? Why is our own government building up an arsenal to use against the American people, are we expecting an economic collapse?.... Then should not we be telling the American people to stock up on food?

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