Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Fairfield labor pact wins City Council OK

FAIRFIELD — A project labor agreement – criticized as contrary to capitalist competition by limiting bidding and boosting costs to taxpayers, while praised as providing honest wages with benefits and jobs for local workers – won unanimous approval Tuesday by the Fairfield City Council for the Intermodal Station Project.

Eric Christen, executive director of the Coalition for Fair Employment, spoke first during the public hearing and opposed the pact for the train station project.

“It’s a political document, not a business tool,” he said.

But Ben Espinoza, president . . .

Travis Dairy killer misses arraignment; now a fugitive

FAIRFIELD — One of the teens who killed the owner of Travis Dairy in Fairfield during a 2011 heist is now a fugitive after skipping out on his arraignment Tuesday for a felony gun possession charge. Dezmon “Young D” Frazier, 20, was stopped by Vacaville police outside an Alamo Drive apartment on the night of July […]

Moy wants tour of Fairfield property owned by group housing immigrant youths

FAIRFIELD — City Councilwoman Catherine Moy says she’s asked to tour the Fairfield property owned by a religious organization that helps house Central American youths who crossed the American border. “I want to know exactly what is going on,” Moy said. The councilwoman has also asked the Fairfield city staff to review use of the property […]

Dueling rulings: Courts split on health law clash

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s health care law is snarled in another big legal battle, with two federal appeals courts issuing contradictory rulings on a key financing issue within hours of each other Tuesday. But the split rulings don’t necessarily mean another trip to the Supreme Court for the Affordable Care Act. And White House […]

US outlines case against Russia on downed plane

WASHINGTON — Video of a rocket launcher, one surface-to-air missile missing, leaving the likely launch site. Imagery showing the firing. Calls claiming credit for the strike. Recordings said to reveal a cover-up at the crash site. “A buildup of extraordinary circumstantial evidence . . . it’s powerful here,” said Secretary of State John Kerry, a former […]

Mission Solano short on food

FAIRFIELD — Mission Solano’s food supply is running low. The nonprofit that offers meals and shelter for the area’s homeless at its two Fairfield locations is seeking donations during what’s considered the slow season. “This is the summer slump time for Mission Solano,” said Ron Marlette, executive director. He said 50 to 60 percent of food comes in donations and […]

Poor teens’ health may benefit from top schools

CHICAGO — Disadvantaged teens may get more than an academic boost by attending top-notch high schools – their health may also benefit, a study suggests. Risky health behavior including binge-drinking, unsafe sex and use of hard drugs was less common among these kids, compared with peers who went to mostly worse schools. The teens were […]

Bodies from downed jet piled in boxcars in Ukraine

TOREZ, Ukraine — Pro-Moscow rebels piled nearly 200 bodies from the downed Malaysian jetliner into four refrigerated boxcars Sunday in eastern Ukraine, and cranes at the crash scene moved big chunks of the Boeing 777, drawing condemnation from Western leaders that the rebels were tampering with the site. The United States, meanwhile, presented what it called […]

Distraught Dutch mother: ‘Send my children home’

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — A distraught, grieving mother summed up a swelling mood of despair and anguish in the Netherlands on Sunday at faltering efforts to repatriate the bodies of loved ones killed in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, appealing directly to Russian President Vladimir Putin to return the bodies of her son and […]

Airlines symbolize nations’ hopes or reflect shame

NEW YORK — The jetliner is much more than a machine used to get from one spot to another. It often carries deep symbolism, especially when flying for a national airline. It can represent hope, modernity and a country’s power. And when things go wrong, that once mighty plane can bring about deep national disgrace. Malaysia […]

Without radar, missile may not have identified jet

LONDON — If Ukrainian rebels shot down the Malaysian jetliner, killing 298 people, it may have been because they didn’t have the right systems in place to distinguish between military and civilian aircraft, experts said Saturday. American officials said Friday that they believe the Boeing 777 was brought down by an SA-11 missile fired from an […]

Monitors try to secure Ukraine plane crash site

HRABOVE, Ukraine — International monitors moved gingerly Saturday through fields reeking of the decomposing corpses that fell from a Malaysian airliner shot down over rebel-held eastern Ukraine, trying to secure the sprawling site in hopes that a credible investigation can be conducted. But before inspectors ever reach the scene, doubts arose about whether evidence was being […]

Dutch leader calls on Putin to help crash probe

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — An angry Dutch prime minister says he has had an “extremely intense” telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin in which he urged him to “show the world he intends to help” in the investigation into the Ukraine air disaster. Mark Rutte told reporters on Saturday that he told Putin he […]

DNA being collected to ID Ukraine crash victims

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Forensic teams fanned out across the Netherlands on Saturday to collect material that will help positively identify the remains of victims killed in the downing of the Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine. Families and friends of the dead huddled to console one another at churches, schools and sports clubs across the nation. […]

Trio will go to Solano thanks to Rotary clubs, college

FAIRFIELD — Help from Rotary clubs comes at the very right time, says Bernardo Ortega, 17, whose mother Abelina teared up when her son went before service club members who are paying for his books, laptop and meals at Solano Community College.

The college will cover tuition costs for Fairfield resident Ortega, one of four family members who will be in college this year.

That same assistance from the Fairfield-Suisun, Cordelia and Fairfield-Suisun Twilight Rotary clubs will be provided to Raimauri Barron, 17, of Fairfield.

Without the help, said Barron, “it would have been difficult” to attend college. …

Workers finishing historic courthouse renovation

FAIRFIELD — Amid its rebirth, the century-old Solano County courthouse on the outside looks like the same old, granite-clad, neoclassical monument to government.

Inside is where the big changes are taking place. Workers are putting the finishing touches on the building’s transformation, with a grand reopening scheduled Sept. 18.

The old courthouse will once again have courts. It most recently housed county offices only, until the county left in 2005 after completing the $100 million county Government Center across the street. The courthouse has sat vacant since.

Fairfield labor pact attacked – and backed

FAIRFIELD — What happens in Fairfield reaches Vacaville. At least it has with project labor agreements – a document the Fairfield City Council takes up Tuesday for the Fairfield Intermodal Station Project. Marx Mix, president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation and the National Right to Work Committee, spoke about such pacts during […]

Fairfield to tackle McGary Road fix

FAIRFIELD — Fixing McGary Road once and for all has proven a challenge, but Fairfield officials say the end is near.

The city is ready to do what it hopes will be a final repair job on the 2-mile stretch within its borders. The work is scheduled to close McGary Road from Red Top Road to Lynch Canyon Road for up to seven days, beginning Monday.

Fairfield Construction Manager Tom Martian describe the work as “minor” and said it could cost $140,000. Three small dips need to be repaired. Money is to come from remaining federal funds used to do a $2.5 million renovation job in 2010.

Logue: 1991 bond sale by Garamendi proved costly backroom deal

FAIRFIELD — A 1991 sale of bonds by John Garamendi when he was insurance commissioner for California was a backroom deal that shows it’s time to retire Rep. Garamendi, says his 3rd District congressional election opponent, Dan Logue. State Assemblyman Logue, R-Loma Rica, noted Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters’ account this week about Garamendi seizing […]

Police ID victim in July 9 fire; new details emerge

FAIRFIELD — In addition to releasing the identity of the victim in a July 9 fire Friday, new details were made public earlier this week about events surrounding the fire at a Pleasants Valley Road nursery. The body of Robert L. Thomas III, 43, was found by firefighters at the Mercier grapevines nursery. Firefighters found his badly […]

Downed jet claimed victims from 13 countries

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The human cost of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 hit home around the world Friday, upending scores of families and small communities spanning half of the planet, from a Dutch fishing village to an Australian soccer club and a Dubai cake store. Relatives and colleagues paid emotional tribute to […]

What we know, and don’t, 1 day after Ukraine crash

BRUSSELS — One day after the crash of a Malaysian jetliner carrying 298 people in eastern Ukraine, here’s what is known, and what has been claimed: ___ THE CAUSE U.S. officials and an adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister have said a surface-to-air missile brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 as it flew Thursday from Amsterdam […]

Credible probe sought in downing of Malaysian jet

ROZSYPNE, Ukraine — World leaders demanded Friday that pro-Russia rebels who control the eastern Ukraine crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 give immediate, unfettered access to independent investigators to determine who shot down the plane. At an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council, the U.S. pointed blame at the separatists, saying Washington believes […]

Solano unemployment rises

FAIRFIELD — Solano County’s unemployment rate ticked up slightly in June, from 6.6 percent to 6.7 percent. That compares to a seasonally unadjusted rate of 8.6 percent in June 2013. It also compares to 7.3 percent for California and 6.3 percent for the nation. A slight rise in the unemployment rate is usual at this […]

Vacaville board votes to put $194M schools bond on upcoming ballot

VACAVILLE — It was a done deal in a matter of minutes Thursday night. With 100 percent backing from the Vacaville School District’s board of education, the city’s schools moved closer to a modernization makeover with a $194 million bond that will now appear on the November ballot. “I think this is the most important vote […]