Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Council OKs pact for backup water supply to Travis

FAIRFIELD — An agreement for an emergency water connection – estimated to cost about $1 million and paid for by the federal government – to provide a backup supply to Travis Air Force Base won unanimous approval Tuesday by Fairfield City Council members. The city needs to take care of the base, Councilwoman Catherine Moy said, because the […]

How can authorities restore order in Ferguson?

They’ve lined the streets with police in riot gear, brought in a new black commander with an empathetic manner, imposed a curfew, lifted it and deployed the National Guard — and still the violence erupts nightly in the town of Ferguson, Missouri. After more than a week of unrest following the fatal police shooting of […]

Holder brings his civil rights push to Ferguson

WASHINGTON — Eric Holder talks about the nation’s civil rights struggles in a way no previous U.S. attorney general could — by telling his own family story. As he increasingly pushes his Justice Department to protect voting rights and end unfair prison sentences and police brutality, Holder has drawn on personal history to make the […]

Strong DOJ response to Ferguson seeks truth, calm

The U.S. Department of Justice has mounted an unusually swift and aggressive response to the death of Michael Brown, from an independent autopsy to dozens of FBI agents combing Ferguson, Missouri, for witnesses to the shooting of the unarmed black 18-year-old by a white police officer. The goal, legal observers say, is to ensure that […]

As protests rage, Obama struggles to find his role

WASHINGTON — When racial tensions erupted midway through his first presidential campaign, Barack Obama came to Philadelphia to decry the “racial stalemate we’ve been stuck in for years.” Over time, he said, such wounds, rooted in America’s painful history on race, can be healed. Six years later, the stalemate suddenly seems more entrenched than ever. […]

Ferguson pledges outreach efforts after shooting

FERGUSON, Mo. — Ferguson’s leaders urged residents Tuesday to stay home after dark to “allow peace to settle in” and pledged several actions to reconnect with the predominantly black community in the St. Louis suburb where the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown has sparked nightly clashes between protesters and police. According to a statement […]

Memorial flight honors beloved Gordon Valley man

VACAVILLE — Writing a eulogy for Duncan Miller, the Rev. Larry Vilardo of Rockville Presbyterian Fellowship said, was one of the easiest tasks he has had.

Miller, a much-loved aviator and Gordon Valley resident, was lauded at his Monday memorial service as a man who always did all he could to help others.

Such as the time he stayed up all night in temperatures that dropped to 25 degrees to ensure one of the slabs for the Gordon Valley fire house was laid properly. It was one of the many things Miller did as a . . .

Peek into brain shows how kids learn math skills

WASHINGTON — Sometime in elementary school, you quit counting your fingers and just know the answer. Now scientists have put youngsters into brain scanners to find out why, and watched how the brain reorganizes itself as kids learn math. The take-home advice: drilling your kids on simple addition and multiplication may pay off. “Experience really does […]

Federal autopsy ordered in Missouri teen’s death

FERGUSON, Mo. — Attorney General Eric Holder on Sunday ordered a federal medical examiner to perform another autopsy on a black Missouri teenager whose fatal shooting by a white police officer has spurred a week of rancorous and sometimes-violent protests in suburban St. Louis. The “extraordinary circumstances” surrounding the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown and a […]

Camps take cystic fibrosis patients surfing

SAN CLEMENTE — For three of Rob and Paulette Montelone’s five kids, spending the summer surfing is more than just a fun activity. It could also extend their lives. The Montelone siblings are part of a growing number of people with cystic fibrosis who are taking advantage of the health benefits that come with surfing. Since […]

Zombies on the move – to raise scholarship cash

FAIRFIELD — Ilay Padilla underwent a major transformation Friday afternoon. In a matter of a few minutes, the high school student went from human, to not-so-human – as in the walking dead.

Ilay is vice president of Teens Achieving Change Through Service, one of the groups involved with the Aug. 30 Zombie Run to raise money for scholarships.

When asked in jest if he had a dinner date to follow the makeover, Padilla’s response was, “She’s going to have to like me for me.”

The time is ripe for the 23rd annual Tomato Festival

FAIRFIELD — Two plump juicy tomatoes and 30 seconds was all it took for Vacaville teen Jessie Campbell to earn $25. The 14-year-old Vacaville High student bested a handful of other youth in the tomato eating contest at the 23rd annual Tomato Festival on Saturday. Her mother, Janette Campbell, videotaped the contest. Jessie had hoped […]

Vacaville couple, police dispute source of cash found at home

VACAVILLE — A couple contends $6,651 in cash at their home came from selling a car, boat and trailer. Police, who had placed tracking devices on vehicles of the couple, describe the money as proceeds from illegal marijuana sales. A Sept. 23 case management conference is scheduled in Solano County Superior Court about the asset forfeiture […]

Travis asks Fairfield for backup base water supply

FAIRFIELD — The agreement for an emergency water connection to provide a backup supply to Travis Air Force Base – spurred by uncertainty about the long-term reliability of groundwater resources and the federal government evaluation of privatizing the water system for the base – goes before Fairfield City Council members Tuesday. Travis Air Force Base […]

Potrero Hills Landfill grows one cell at a time

SUISUN CITY — Making room at Potrero Hills Landfill for more garbage involves more than just moving around some dirt and tossing in the trash.

Dirt did get moved to create the latest trash disposal area or cell – 450,000 cubic yards. But the project also involves putting down a polyethylene liner and installing drains to comply with environmental laws.

“Nothing leaks out,” said David Jappert of Waste Connections Inc., the company that owns the landfill. “It’s kind of like a bathtub.”

Potrero Hills Landfill takes garbage from Fairfield and Suisun City, as well as other counties such as Napa County. It is located a few miles southeast of Suisun City in the hills of Suisun Marsh.

The landfill over the years has grown in sections, or cells. It . . .

3 shot Friday night in Fairfield

FAIRFIELD — Three people were shot in the leg Friday night in an incident that started at San Jose Court and reached a mile away at Travis Boulevard and Union Avenue after an officer saw a white SUV leave the shooting scene at a high rate of speed and followed the vehicle to Travis Boulevard, […]

Abrams takes helm of DA’s office

FAIRFIELD — Deputy District Attorney Krishna A. Abrams raised her right hand at 5:01 p.m. Friday and took an oath of office that officially dropped the word “deputy” from her job title, making her Solano County’s 28th district attorney. The event held some minor notable elements for local history followers. Abrams is the first woman […]

Acorn woodpeckers returned to Rockville Park

FAIRFIELD — Larry Herzig slowly opened the top of the plastic animal carrier.

Out flew one bird, toward the blue sky. A second quickly followed. The third wasn’t far behind and headed for the white oak tree. It’s the same oak tree whose limb broke off, sending the three acorn woodpeckers about 15 feet to the ground.

Herzig was riding his mountain bike in that area of Rockville Park when he heard hissing and chirping noises. A few feet away, he found the bird siblings. One had fallen out of the nest. The other two were inside the limb, where the nest was.

A few hours passed before the birds could be rescued. It was nearing midnight when. . .

Wife a no-show: Councilman’s killer to return to court in 2 weeks

FAIRFIELD — Yet another delay arose Friday in resolving the question of whether the killer of Fairfield City Councilman Matt Garcia in 2008 deserves a new trial because of juror misconduct during his trial. Dozens of friends and supporters for Garcia’s family were on hand at the courthouse for what was supposed to be a […]

Councilman’s killer in jailhouse interview outlines quest for new trial

FAIRFIELD — On the eve of a hearing about possible juror misconduct during his 2010 murder trial, the man who shot and killed Fairfield City Councilman Matt Garcia in 2008 said Thursday he is suing his defense attorney and that Judge Robert Bowers is not going to be fair. Henry D. Williams wants his current […]

Solano officials see pluses to water bond

FAIRFIELD — Solano County had some wins and losses in its efforts to help shape the newly crafted $7.5 billion state water bond that will go on the November ballot. Local officials wanted to make certain the bond would have a category of money that could be used to build North Bay Aqueduct pumps at an […]

Tomato paradise Saturday in Fairfield

FAIRFIELD — The man whose farm supplies the Tomato Festival has been growing the fruit since 1982 and was introduced to agriculture by his brother, who ran cattle in Mendocino County.

“I loved the country life,” Steve Tenbrink recalled.

He grows tomatoes on his Suisun Valley farm that includes wine grapes, walnuts and four acres of fruit trees.

“It’s in my heart,” he said of agriculture. “I’ve always loved growing things.”

Tenbrink, 60, had in his truck this week tomatoes the size . . .

California water bond signals historic compromise

SACRAMENTO — The $7.5 billion water package brokered by Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders signals a rare bipartisan agreement on a thorny, politically divisive issue that has bedeviled California governors and lawmakers for decades. To get sign-off from the dizzying array of interests, Brown hunkered down with lawmakers from both parties behind closed doors […]

California water spending plan at a glance

SACRAMENTO — Details of the $7.5 billion water package approved by the Legislature Wednesday for the November ballot (the total repayment cost is projected to be $14.7 billion over 30 years, assuming a 5 percent interest rate on the borrowing): — $2.7 billion for water storage projects, with criteria that are designed to encourage building […]

Brewery gets second wind turbine

FAIRFIELD — Anheuser-Busch’s drive to make itself more energy self-sufficient takes a big step forward with the construction of a second large wind turbine behind the brewery, west of town. Work crews from San Francisco-based Foundation Power carefully lifted the turbine nacelle to the top of a 213-foot tower as Anheuser-Busch employees watched Thursday morning. Crews started […]