Thursday, March 27, 2008

Extending CA net operating losses carry-forward to 20 years would create a better business and innovative environment

For the full article link to:

Extending the net operating losses carry-forward to 20 years, as do the federal and many state governments, would create a better business and innovative environment for the development of many new therapeutic and prophylactic products.

David Martin is president and CEO of AvidBiotics, a biotechnology company developing protein products for the treatment of specific bacterial diseases of humans, with particular emphasis on antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Matthew M. Gardner is CEO and president of BayBio, an independent, nonprofit trade association serving the life science industry in Northern California.

Finding drugs to combat super bugs

By David Martin, Matthew M. Gardner
Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The antibiotics we have come to depend upon to fight bacterial ear infections, pneumonias and strep throats are working less and less well. At the same time, we have fewer new drugs in the pipeline to replace the increasingly ineffective antibiotics. These problems have serious consequences for all of us. Last year, 2 million people were infected with drug-resistant "super bugs," resulting in 90,000 deaths and an additional $9.5 billion in health-care costs, according to the Infectious Disease Society of America.

The high risks and high costs of drug development, coupled with the relatively small antibiotic markets, have resulted in the limited pipelines. High overhead costs and limited market demand constrain traditional pharmaceutical companies' interests in developing an effective response. The result is a dearth of new antibiotics: between 2003 and 2007, only four new antibiotics received FDA approval.

Small entrepreneurial companies that make up much of California's life sciences industry can fill this gap. Many of these companies focus on discovering new treatments for unmet medical needs that are more difficult to develop, but have a large public impact. Small biotech companies have the institutional agility and the scientific know-how to discover and develop new drugs to combat super bug infections. Markets of considerably smaller sizes are sufficient to greatly interest small biotech companies. Yet these companies face their own challenges.

Raising capital to fund research and development is the top priority for any small life sciences company. Drug development costs continue to escalate. The average company must invest $800 million of capital over 15 years to develop a successful product and eventually achieve profitability. Because of the length of the research and development cycle for typical biotechnology products, some California tax code provisions that are intended to assist emerging industries are less than useful. In the fight against antibiotic-resistant super bugs, new solutions are needed to spur innovation and stem this deadly trend.

A case in point is California's treatment of net operating losses. Net operating losses are generated by companies engaged in research and product development but not yet making a profit. California law allows such losses to be carried forward for 10 years and written off upon profitability. Extending the net operating losses carry-forward to 20 years, as do the federal and many state governments, would create a better business and innovative environment for the development of many new therapeutic and prophylactic products.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Benicia's Universal Environmental bought by Clean Harbors Inc.

East Bay Business Times - March 17, 2008

Business News - Local News
Monday, March 17, 2008
Benicia's Universal Environmental bought by Clean Harbors Inc.
East Bay Business Times

Clean Harbors Inc. has acquired Universal Environmental Inc., an environmental services company, Clean Harbors said Monday.

Norwell, Mass.-based Clean Harbors (NASDAQ: CLHB) is a provider of environmental and hazardous waste management services. Universal Environment, which provides environmental services, has headquarters in Benicia and a site office in Sparks, Nev.

The purchase includes the land surrounding the Benicia office, which Clean Harbors said it will use for future expansion.

Universal Environmental has approximately 100 employees and was profitable and generated approximately $15 million in revenue in 2007, according to Clean Harbors' announcement.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

All contents of this site © American City Business Journals Inc. All rights reserved.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Copart Grows Again

Copart Grows Again

Copart, Inc. through its subsidiary in the United Kingdom announced that it has purchased the assets and business of AG Watson Auto Salvage & Motors Spares (Scotland) Limited. AG Watson operates two salvage locations in Scotland and two salvage locations in northern England. With the closing of this transaction, and including the expected closing of the pending acquisition of Simpson Salvage Sales as announced on Feb. 20, Copart will operate 15 locations in the UK and 143 locations worldwide.

In addition, Copart also announced the opening of a new facility just north of Minneapolis, Minn. This latest addition to Copart's growing footprint marks the company's second facility in the Minneapolis area and the 129th facility in North America.

Copart, founded in 1982, provides vehicle suppliers, primarily insurance companies, with a full range of services to process and sell salvage vehicles, principally to licensed dismantlers, rebuilders and used vehicle dealers, through Internet sales utilizing its proprietary VB2 technology. The Company currently operates 143 facilities in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Sludge Spread: More Than 14,000 Tons of Biosolids Used in 2007

Sludge Spread: More Than 14,000 Tons of Biosolids Used in 2007
By Barry Eberling | DAILY REPUBLIC | March 12, 2008

FAIRFIELD - Eastern Solano County had more treated sewage sludge, also called biosolids, spread across more ranch land as a fertilizer in 2007 than the previous year.

About 14,698 tons of biosolids were spread, a 26 percent increase, a county report stated. The treated sludge was spread across 2,408 acres, a 35 percent increase.

This is just some of the information included in an annual biosolids report received Tuesday by the Solano County Board of Supervisors.

Biosolids proved a controversial issue in 2003 when the county tightened its laws on spreading the material. People packed the board chambers to talk about odors and possible pathogens that might blow from the sludge to neighboring properties and cities.

The National Academies has stated there are no known health hazards posed by biosolids that are handled correctly, although it has also said more research is needed. Also, some ranchers say they are aided by receiving a free source of fertilizer.

For the complete story see the Daily Republic Online.

Travis Commander Shares Deployment Experiences With Business Leaders

Travis Commander Shares Deployment Experiences With Business Leaders
By Ian Thompson | DAILY REPUBLIC | March 12, 2008

VACAVILLE - The war on terror, wind turbines, the arrival of Travis Air Force Base's last two C-17s and expansions to David Grant Medical Center's services were subjects Wednesday during base commander Col. Steven Arquiette's speech to local business leaders.

Arquiette has just returned from a four-month deployment in Southwest Asia, where he helped coordinate the Air Force's air mobility, air drop, aeromedical evacuation and air refueling assets.

The commander told members of the Solano Economic Development Corp. he was glad 'to be back where everything is green.'

For the complete story see the Daily Republic Online.

Travis Commander Back From Mideast

Travis Commander Back From Mideast
By Danny Bernardini
Article Launched: 03/13/2008

Col. Steven Arquiette

Col. Steven Arquiette Fresh off a four-month stint in the Middle East, Travis Air Force Base's commander met with local business leaders Wednesday to let them know about the important role the base is playing in the war on terrorism and to stress the importance of the base's relationship with the local community.

Col. Steven Arquiette's speech, part of a luncheon sponsored by the Solano Economic Development Corporation in Vacaville, wasn't heavy with statistics and figures about the base, but he did mention that in 2006-07 the strategic weapon drops to troops increased 400 percent and all other air drops increased 200 percent.

"We've promised soldiers that they can go 100 or 200 miles in and we will get them supplies," he said. "We're not slowing down."

Many topics surrounding the base, both literally and figuratively, have made headlines recently. While Arquiette didn't address the controversy of revamping C-5 aircraft or replacing them with C-17s, he did say Travis would be receiving a new C-17 in April.

What he did discuss are the wind turbines near the base that are being proposed and the planned Wal-Mart Supercenter in Suisun City. He said, in both instances, that the appropriate agencies are handling the issues and he is confident that any encroachment or radar issues will be avoided.

Some concern had been expressed in the past about the potential for the projects to interfere with Travis operations, those issues have been dealt with, he said.

As for his time overseas, Arquiette said he is happy to be back at Travis.

"To come back from the desert to Solano County, where everything is green, it was great to get back out there," Arquiette said. "My hat is off to you that help us day in and day out. I want to continue to reach out. Once you start the dialogue, it's a powerful thing."

Arquiette was asked about being promoted out of that rank after his term as Wing Commander expires in May. He said his future is still undetermined.

In the meantime, he said, continuing to grow healthy relationships and ongoing communication are key in assisting in the war and must continue if America is to come out victorious.

"If we don't get it right now, we will be fighting when my son is of age," Arquiette said. "It's not over until we win."

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

SMUD: New Wind Turbines Can Power Homes

SMUD: New Wind Turbines Can Power Homes
Turbines Are Largest In North America
POSTED: March 11, 2008

RIO VISTA, Calif. -- The Sacramento Municipal Utility District is moving ahead with its plan to harness the power of wind for its power customers.

Twenty-nine wind turbines were unveiled Tuesday in Rio Vista. At 412 feet tall, they are the largest in North America and can power 1,000 homes without producing any greenhouse gases.

SMUD picked this area because of the constant flow of the Delta breezes during the summer, which also becomes the peak season for power demand.

"We're very hopeful that our customers are supportive of this. One of our goals is to produce 23 percent of our energy from renewable resources by the year 2011," Jon Bertolino from SMUD said.

The district is working on getting another 30 or 40 wind turbines up and running within the next two years.

Forlorn Hope's Suisun Valley wines receive high praise from Wine Enthusiast

Forlorn Hope's Suisun Valley wines receive high praise from Wine Enthusiast

91 points 2005 Les Deux Matieux

90 points 2005 Gascony Cadets

What has long been "terra incognita" in the wine world -- despite being the second AVA created in the country -- Suisun Valley is boldly emerging into the consciousness of the cognoscenti as a prime viticultural site. In growers such as Roger King, who farms the Petit Verdot that becomes our Gascony Cadets, and Steve and Linda Tenbrink, whose Mr. T's Vineyard produces the Petite Sirah for the Les Deux Matieux, the Suisun Valley has nearly boundless potential. We look forward to continuing to explore the terroir of this unique valley and to producing stellar wines from its fruit for many vintages to come.

Click here to read more about the 2005 Les Deux Matieux,

Or on this link to hear tell of the 2005 Gascony Cadets

Developer Has Big Plans For Marina Shopping Center

Developer Has Big Plans For Marina Shopping Center
By Ian Thompson | DAILY REPUBLIC | March 12, 2008

SUISUN CITY - The Marina Shopping Center, Suisun City's oldest shopping center, may soon undergo a rebirth that involves extensive renovation and construction.

Redwood City-based Pellarin Enterprises unveiled what it would like to do with the aging, half-vacant shopping center to the Suisun City Planning Commission Tuesday night.

Claude Pellarin and Suisun City Community Development Director Heather McCollister stressed the proposed layout and artist's renderings shown to the commission were conceptual designs.

The extent of the renovation will depend on what tenants he can attract to fill the center, Pellarin said. He and his brother, Aaron Pellarin, plan to do the work in phases so they can work with and move existing tenants as the project develops.

For the complete story go to the Daily Republic Online.

Vallejo Group Earns 4-Star Chamber Accreditation

Vallejo Group Earns 4-Star Chamber Accreditation
By RACHEL RASKIN-ZRIHEN/Times-Herald staff writer
Article Launched: 03/12/2008

The United States Chamber of Commerce on Monday named the Vallejo chamber one of only 10 in California to receive a 4-Star Accreditation.

The Vallejo Chamber of Commerce was recognized for its sound policies, effective organizational procedures and positive impact on the community, said Rick Wells, Vallejo chamber president and CEO.

To receive accreditation, a chamber must meet minimum standards in its operations and programs, including areas of governance, government affairs and technology, Wells said. The required extensive self-review can take up to six months, he said.

"We are extremely proud," Wells said. "This designation is a tribute to our outstanding staff team, and to the commitment and dedication of our volunteer leadership to build an effective and productive organization."

The Vallejo chamber is one of only four Northern California chambers to ever receive the U.S. Chamber's 4-Star rating, Wells said

The Vallejo Chamber of Commerce has more than 600 members, representing almost 12,000 employees, and works to strengthen Vallejo's economy and improve the quality of life for the entire community, he added.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Solano County gives Affiliated Computer Services $4M call center contract

Solano County gives Affiliated Computer Services $4M call center contract

Solano County has awarded an amended $4 million, 3-1/2-year contract to Affiliated Computer Services Inc. to establish and operate a 311 customer service center.

ACS (NYSE: ACS), which has headquarters in Dallas, said the deal builds on its existing IT services contract with the county.

ACS will deploy the system including developing a database and service-request workflow, and ACS employees will manage and staff the non-emergency call center.

ACS said it operates more than 70 such centers for governments and commercial clients, handling 750,000 calls daily.

The company has provided IT services for Solano County since 1989.

Honeywell and Solano County in solar deal

Honeywell and Solano County in solar deal
East Bay Business Times

Solano County boosted its commitment to solar energy with a 20-year solar power purchase agreement with Honeywell International Inc., the Morristown, N.J. technology and manufacturing company.

Under the agreement, Honeywell will install a 746-kilowatt solar array near the Claybank Adult Detention Facility in Fairfield and sell the electricity produced to the county to help power the jail. Honeywell plans to install the solar panels on bus ports it will build at a parking lot for local school buses near the facility.

The county expects it will save more than $1 million a year in energy costs over the next 20 years, at which time it will have the option to purchase the solar array or continue to purchase the electricity.

The solar project is expected to generate nearly 1.2 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, or enough to power more than 100 homes a year. It will supply more than 60 percent of the facility's electricity needs, and will cut carbon dioxide emissions by more than 14,500 metric tons over the course of the contract.

It is the third solar electric facility in Solano County, and brings the county's renewable energy power generation to more than one megawatt.

Vacaville Police Chief Honored

Vacaville Police Chief Honored
By Reporter Staff
Article Launched: 03/07/2008

Vacaville Police Chief Richard Word was honored Tuesday in Fresno with a service award recognizing his commitment to youth and youth outreach.

The presentation was made at the annual California Police Chiefs' conference, where Word received a commemorative plaque from the Fight Crime: Invest in Kids California organization.

Word, a member of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids since 2000, is wrapping up his one-year term as president of the California Police Chiefs' Association.

The group is a bipartisan, non-profit, anti-crime organization led by more than 350 sheriffs, police chiefs, district attorneys and victims of violence. Its mission is to take a critical look at the research about what really works to keep kids from becoming criminals. Among the strategies proven to be effective are preschool, after-school programs, child abuse and neglect prevention programs and intensive interventions for juvenile offenders.

"Chief Word has demonstrated his commitment to kids by participating in outreach to policymakers and the media and spreading the word about effective crime prevention strategies," said Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Director Barrie Becker, in a prepared statement.

"Prevention and intervention are critical components of what my department does," said Word. "Investing early in supportive services for kids and families and getting kids engaged in healthy alternatives to crime is a proven way of preventing crime before it ever happens."


University of California, Davis
March 11, 2008


[Editor's note: Photos from previous years' competitions are available. Contact Andy Fell (info below) for details.]

The Davis/Sacramento FIRST Robotics Regional Competition returns to the Pavilion at the UC Davis Activities and Recreation Center March 20-22. Thursday is a practice day, and competition rounds will run all day Friday and Saturday. The event will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, and admission is free.

Thirty-seven teams including more than 1,000 high-school students from across Northern California will take part, competing for a range of honors and prizes, college scholarships, and a shot at the national championships in Atlanta later in the year. Local teams taking part include Davis Senior High School; Hiram Johnson High School; Elk Grove High, St. Francis High and Jim Elliot Christian High, Lodi; and a joint team from Woodland and Pioneer high schools in Woodland.

The Woodland schools' team is mentored by UC Davis engineering students from the Chicano and Latino Engineers and Scientists Society
(CALESS) and the Society of Mexican American Engineers and Scientists (MAES).

In the bleachers at this year's competition will be groups from nine local schools that take part in MESA (Math, Engineering, Science Achievement), a statewide program that helps disadvantaged students excel in math and science from school to college graduation. The Sacramento State/UC Davis MESA program, the largest in the state, is based at CSU Sacramento.

"The opportunity for educationally disadvantaged students to participate in what will be part of their future is immeasurable,"
said Jean Crowder, director of the local MESA program. "It is the goal of the Sac State/UC Davis MESA program to continue to provide the academic support these students need to engage in the FIRST Robotics program and competitions."

Two years ago, a similar group from Hiram Johnson High School attended the competition at UC Davis. That inspired the students to take part in the 2007 competition -- where they took home honors as the best rookie team.

"We hope we can get the kids and their teachers excited about FIRST, and get them back as competitors next year," said Renee Maldonado, director of student development and recruitment for the UC Davis College of Engineering and also one of the volunteers who make FIRST happen.

FIRST ("For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology") was created in 1989 by Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway scooter, as a unique "varsity sport" for the mind, combining the excitement of sport with science and technology. Through FIRST, high-school students discover the rewarding and engaging process of innovation and engineering, and become curious and interested in science and mathematics.

Beginning with a synchronized national kickoff event held Jan. 5, the teams have had just six weeks to design, build and test a robot to take part in this year's competition, based on a "starter kit" of sensors, wheels and other hardware. They work with professional engineers who volunteer as mentors.

Every year, FIRST organizers unveil a new game to challenge participants. In this year's game, "Overdrive," robots have to race around a track while shepherding a 10-pound, 40" ball and lifting it over a bridge.

Teams at regional competitions are judged on the effectiveness of their robots, their power of collaboration and partnerships, and the spirit and determination of their students. Teams are then rewarded for excellence in robot design, demonstrated team spirit, community involvement, gracious professionalism and ability to overcome obstacles. Successful teams from regional competitions go on to the national championships in Atlanta later in the season.

Based in Manchester, N.H., the nonprofit FIRST organization designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge and life skills while motivating young people to pursue academic opportunities in math, science, engineering and computer technology.

"The FIRST Robotics Competition is not just about the design and building of sophisticated robots. These students also develop maturity, professionalism, teamwork and mentoring skills that enrich their lives," said Kamen. "Many of our students develop an affinity for their science and math courses, go on to study engineering, technology or science in college, and also to pursue employment opportunities with sponsoring organizations."

Major sponsors of the Davis/Sacramento regional competition are Abbot Labs Diabetic Division, Chevron Inc., the Bay Area chapter of the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering and UC Davis.
Individual teams also are expected to find their own sponsors.

Additional information:
* Davis/Sacramento Regional FIRST Competition
* Main FIRST Web site

Media contact(s):
* Andy Fell, UC Davis News Service, (530) 752-4533,

Reputation Of Travis Solid In D.C.

Reputation Of Travis Solid In D.C.
By Danny Bernardini/Staff Writer
Article Launched: 03/05/2008

Fairfield government officials spent Tuesday rubbing elbows with Air Force generals in Washington, D.C., discussing Travis Air Force Base. And, today, they will discuss other issues with congressional members.

Mayor Harry Price, Councilman Chuck Timm and City Manager Sean Quinn all made the trip to discuss future funding for Travis and city projects. The group talked with The Reporter via conference call Tuesday after a long day of meetings.

The consensus among two- and three-star generals was that Travis has built a great reputation and has come through for the Air Force. Timm said Travis was commended on its strategic airlift activities and the fact that encroachment has not been a problem in regard to the base.

"Folks in the Pentagon are very pleased with the way the Travis community has responded to their needs," Price said.

Timm, who is only in his fifth month of serving on the council, said although it is easy to get blown away by the fact the group is talking to high-ranking officials in national landmarks, the job at hand is to bring home some funding.

"This is out of my realm, it's heavy stuff. It's actually exhausting," Timm said. "We have something they want, that's cooperation. We have a list of things we want. We try and stress the importance and hope they see that.

"We're here two days going from sun-up to sun-down," Timm added.

Quinn said one advantage Fairfield has is that officials have been heading to Washington, D.C., for lobbying. He said the familiarity helps while discussing issues.

"One comment we heard is that they appreciate it that we come back every year," he said. "They recognize that and commented on that. We have a history there."

He said the group has several specific issues on their list, rather than just discussing broad topics.

"This isn't a shotgun approach, it's a rifle approach," Quinn said. "We targeted several things we wanted to discuss and met with the right people."

Some of those items outside Travis' gates include the following:

• $3 million for Fairfield/Solano Radio Interoperability;

• $2 million for the design and construction for a new parking garage for the Fairfield Transportation Center;

• And, $350,000 to improve after-school programs for middle school students.

Danny Bernardini can be reached at

Paper Turns 125

Paper Turns 125
Reporter celebrates its storied past
By Jennifer Gentile
Article Launched: 03/10/2008

Museum Director Shawn Lum reads over archived editions of The Reporter. (Rick Roach/The Reporter)

When he founded the Reporter in 1883, publisher James D. McClain made his mission plain with his inaugural editorial.

"So far as the Reporter is concerned," he wrote, "We hope to make it a welcome visitor to every voter in Solano County. To the best of the publisher's ability, it shall be made newsy, discuss live questions and criticise whomsoever lay themselves liable to criticism."

The first edition of Vacaville's hometown paper, which celebrates its 125th anniversary today, is preserved in a collection by Richard Rico, who would himself take the helm of the newspaper in 1972. Reflecting on his journalism career in a 2004 editorial, Rico wrote, "this newspaper has been more effective in positive aspects of Vacaville than anyone will ever know."

"Decision makers by the score have come and gone ... and many have been positively effective," he continued. "But since 1883, The Reporter has always had the advantage of perspective and history. It drafted it, and it helped make it."

The Reporter's Beginnings

The Reporter's story began with McClain, who was formerly a newsman with the St. Helena Times. In the book "Vacaville, The Heritage of a California Community," he is described as a "Missouri democrat with a hot temper" who soon became "the community's most vocal booster."

McClain's weekly paper rolled off the Main Street presses on Saturdays, and some of the earliest editions are stored alongside other local artifacts on the Vacaville Museum's second floor. The front pages lacked photos but featured ads for undertakers and blacksmiths, train and church schedules, property transfers and even an occasional poem.

A March 1884 edition shows that traffic accidents have always made the news. A team of horses "took fright," according to one story, "and after running a quarter of a mile, threw the occupants of the wagon out."

Less than two years after starting his paper, McClain sold it to Raleigh Barcar - a New England-educated attorney and faculty member of the California Normal and Scientific School.

Barcar gave the publication a new name: the Judicion. McCain resurrected The Reporter shortly after, which competed with the Judicion for two years.

Yet another local paper came on the scene in 1889, when Henry Fisher and Albert Sears launched the Vaca Valley Enterprise. The papers co-existed only until the early 1890s, when Barcar bought out the competition and consolidated all under the title of the Vacaville Reporter.

The Rico Family Legacy

Clayborn Adsit and Edward C. Andrews, both of Oakland, each bought half-shares of the paper around the turn of the century. Asdit's resume included the St. Helena Star and the Oakland Enquirer.

The Rico family entered the picture in the 1920s when the owners of the paper hired Louis Rico, one of seven children of a local fruit rancher, Costanzo Rico, and his wife, Filomena. While the work didn't suit Louis, his 15-year-old brother, Johnny, proved a perfect fit.

Johnny Rico started out as a printer's devil before moving on to typesetting, writing and selling advertising. His wife, Grace, ran a stationery shop in the business office, and the couple welcomed their only child, Richard, in 1934.

"My mother and father worked shoulder-to-shoulder," Richard Rico said. "It's basically all I've ever known; I was a newspaper kid raised in the back shop of a newspaper." In school, he took photography classes with the "express intent" of applying his skills to the family business.

Adsit died in 1932, and his share of the paper was sold to Johnny Rico. Andrews also sold his interests to Rico when he retired in 1942.

Like his father, Richard Rico worked his way up through the organization, becoming assistant publisher in the 1960s. It was also in the '60s, Richard said, that "we felt the community had become big enough" to warrant a semi-weekly paper. With the addition of Fridays in 1977, it began publishing three days a week.

On the occasion of its centennial anniversary in 1983, The Reporter became a five-day daily. Its frequency bumped up to six days a week in 1985 and then to seven in 1986 .

All the while, Richard said, his paper was entering various competitions and winning "hand over fist." He was named publisher of the year in 1981 by the California Press Association, and organizations including the California Newspaper Association and the National Newspaper Association routinely recognized The Reporter.

Like the community it served, the paper continued to grow, Richard said, and "we realized we needed more space." In 1992, the Reporter moved from the downtown site it had occupied for more than a century to a new Cotting Lane plant, where it remains today.

The Reporter reached another milestone in 2002, Richard said, "when it became more and more obvious that we didn't have the resources to make The Reporter grow any more than it already had." He announced that year that he would sell the family business to Denver-based MediaNews Group, which at the time owned approximately 50 daily newspapers.

The former publisher said the decision was "impossibly hard" and "a painfully difficult thing to do."

"I'll never get over it ..." he said. "I never knew where the paper ended and I began."

Richard Rico was succeeded as publisher by Steve Huddleston, who accepted a position as NorthBay Healthcare's vice president for public affairs this year. With his departure, Gregg McConnell became only the eighth publisher in the history of The Reporter.

Looking to the Future

According to Richard Rico, the best part of his Reporter life was "just being a part of the community and watching the community grow."

"I'd like to think we had a part in its growth and stabilization," he said, "being there in the front lines of watching Vacaville grow from a small town to a small city." As for the future, he said he hopes that "we get through this rough patch, all newspapers are in it together."

"And I hope print never goes away," he added. "I really believe there is a sense of touching ink on newsprint that gives you more of an intimacy with the day's news."

Vacaville Museum Director Shawn Lum seemed to agree, referring to newspapers as "one of the richest sources of primary evidence."

"One of the things that's so impressive about newspapers is that its something that's meant to be temporary, but its one of the best resources we have," she said, adding with a laugh, "We even know the hair color of some of those young bachelors in 1884."

The Reporter's impact on Vacaville through the past 125 years, she continued, could only be described as "huge."

"Vacaville, like so many California towns, has really grown with its own self-image ...," she said, "and we rely on The Reporter to help us understand who we are."

The story behind the roots of Reporter's beloved rooster

This story, reprinted from the 1983 centennial edition of The Reporter, explains the proud tradition of the Reporter's esteemed mascot. - Editor.

The proud rooster, the cock-of-the-walk that perches atop Page 1 with each Reporter edition, just isn't there by chance, you know. He's not just another pretty face that works where all others have failed.

No sir.

The more conventional, albeit plucky, rooster was used regularly on Reporter pages starting in 1884 when publisher Raleigh Barcar first placed him atop an editorial. It was a November edition of his Vacaville Judicion, the local newspaper that came on the scene after Barcar purchased The Reporter from its founder, James D. McClain (and later changed Judicion back to Reporter in the 1890s).

The rooster was the symbol of something new (a new administration for one thing), something to crow about in the new Judicion. Then he was sent to the barnyard for a few months. But on March 7, 1885, the beginning of the third year of publication for the Judicion, Barcar called on the fowl again. It graced the top of an editorial that read:

"We resurrect our rooster from the dusty shelf he has occupied since last November and today his clarion crow is as clear as when in the autumn days of doubt he proclaimed his faith in the ascendance of the democratic Sirius. And now while the young administration is taking its first steps, we invoke the cheering inspiration of Sir Chanticleer in the struggle toward Reform. We find reason for joy, too, in the closing of our second volume and the pleasant prospects greeting us on the threshold of our new journalistic year. Crow, you cuss, and may you never weary in well-doing."

After that, the rooster was used whenever Reporter editors wanted to emphasize news of import, such as the date in 1892 when the township voted to incorporate.

The rooster emblem was not used as a front-page "flag" log until he was reincarnated by Vacaville and Nut Tree graphic designer Don Birrell.

City Leaders Lobby in D.C.

City Leaders Lobby in D.C.
By Ben Antonius | Daily Republic | March 04, 2008

FAIRFIELD - Keeping Travis Air Force Base robust was the theme of the day during the city's annual lobbying day in Washington, D.C.

Mayor Harry Price, Councilman Chuck Timm and City Manager Sean Quinn made the rounds with the nation's top military officials at the Pentagon on Tuesday, discussing the future of the C-5 Galaxy and C-17 Globemaster III programs among other Travis concerns.

The three are in the nation's capital this week to push Fairfield's issues with state and federal leaders. The delegation will meet with congressional leaders today.

'We are the messenger,' Timm said. 'The Air Force officials were very circumspect in what they want. They know the monetary issues, they're facing a deficit just like we are.'

Atop the lobbying priority list was the continuation of the C-5 Galaxy and C-17 Globemaster III military transports, both of which operate out of Travis.

For the complete story check out the Daily Republic Online

Airport Commission Takes Look At Wind Farm Project

Airport Commission Takes Look At Wind Farm Project
By Danny Bernardini
Article Launched: 03/11/2008

For the first time in more than a year, a group other than the Solano County Planning Commission will be discussing a proposal to install up to 88 wind turbines in the Montezuma Hills.

The Solano County Airport Land Use Commission will hear the issue Thursday night, a year after voting against the issue the first time around for fear of the turbines affecting the radar system at Travis Air Force Base.

The difference this time is that officials at Travis are no longer objecting to the proposal, as stated in a letter written by Wing Commander Col. Steven Arquiette earlier this month. A previous letter written by Arquiette - asking the planning commission to delay the project until a new radar system was installed at the base in October - had postponed decisions at several meetings for months.

The latest Arquiette letter, indicating the base will no longer object to the project, came after the Air Force Flight Standards Agency concluded that the radar and turbines could co-exist.

There are currently more than 700 wind turbines in the Montezuma Hills. Travis officials have said the newest batch potentially would cause a problem since the blades of the turbines may make it seem like smaller planes drop off the radar screens while images of others appear when they aren't actually there. The latest endeavor, titled Shiloh II Wind Project, proposes to build up to 88 turbines.

The company proposing the project, enXco, has offered Travis a gift of up to $1 million that the base may use anyway it wishes. Greg Blue, regional manager of external affairs, said that offer has yet to be claimed. "We have an unsolicited offer," he said. "The offer is still on the table. Whether they choose to accept it or not is their choice."

Blue said there is a specific process Travis must go through to accept a gift to the Air Force. He said that process could take up to four months. He added that there has been no established timeline or expiration date for the gift and that his firm is waiting for a response.

The Solano County Airport Land Use Commission meets Thursday at 7 p.m. in the multipurpose room of the Solano County Government Center in downtown Fairfield.

Governor Tours Fairfield Plant

Governor Tours Fairfield Plant
Cites Trained Workforce as a Key Rebuilding Tool
By Reporter Staff
Article Launched: 03/11/2008

A staff member at the Northern California Carpenters Training Facility in Fairfield explains a process to the governor on Monday. (Courtesy photo)

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger toured a carpenter training facility in Fairfield on Monday morning and then held a press conference to announce the launch of a new campaign designed to recruit construction apprentices to help build future public works projects included in his Strategic Growth Plan for the state.

The governor visited classrooms and spoke with participants at the Northern California Carpenters Training Facility on Chadbourne Road before formally announcing the launch of his "I Built It!" campaign.

"There is really no job out there more satisfying than working to make California even greater than it is today," he said. "These apprentices will be actually building a better California, with their own hands and skills. I know each of them will take pride in helping repair and rebuild our state for future generations."

Schwarzenegger visited a classroom in which trainees were learning math, saying that it was "great to see the enthusiasm" of the trainees.

The governor said he hopes to see the state recruit some 200,000 apprentices in the next few decades. They will be needed, he said, for the projects that will be funded by the 2006 voter-approved infrastructure bonds that authorized $42 billion for education, housing, levee repair, flood control, parks and transportation projects.

Under California law, one apprentice for every five journeymen is required to be employed on all public works jobs. In addition, the state is projected to have a major labor shortage in many of the building trades due to the retirements of highly-skilled baby boomers over the next 10 to 12 years when many of the infrastructure projects will be in full swing.

According to the governor's office, it is estimated that within the next six years the state will need more than 73,000 carpenters who will earn a median hourly wage of $23.20; 25,000 plumbers, pipefitters, steamfitters and electricians who will be paid a median wage of $22-$23 per hour and 15,000 operating engineers who will earn a median wage of more than $27 per hour. Similarly, there is an equally critical need for laborers, cement masons and concrete finishers and ironworkers to build the bridges, highways, schools, levees and housing the state will need over the next 10 to 12 years.

For more information about apprenticeship programs in California, visit

SMUD Plants More Turbines At Wind Farm

SMUD Plants More Turbines At Wind Farm
By Barry Eberling | DAILY REPUBLIC | March 10, 2008

FAIRFIELD - Twenty-one new turbines that stand taller than the Statue of Liberty are poised in the Montezuma Hills to provide enough electricity for 21,000 homes.

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District erected the turbines to join 31 turbines it already owns in the area near Rio Vista. It plans to add still more turbines by 2011.

How future SMUD wind farm expansions will deal with radar issues recently raised at Travis Air Force Base remains to be seen.

In a series of letters last year, base commander Col. Steven Arquiette expressed concerns about other proposed wind energy projects. The giant turbines cause such problems as planes dropping off the Travis radar, he wrote.

Those letters went to Solano County in regards to turbine projects by private companies. Since SMUD is a government agency, it does not need county approval to install turbines on the 6,265 acres it owns in the Montezuma Hills.

SMUD officials have already met with Travis officials. The radar issue will be included in an environmental impact report on the future turbines, utility spokeswoman Dace Udris said Monday.

The SMUD Board of Directors would approve whether to put more turbines in the Montezuma Hills on utility property and under what conditions.

Radar issues don't necessarily mean the death knell for wind projects. Arquiette this month wrote that 75 more turbines proposed by Escondido-based enXco are unlikely to pose any additional risks to civilian and military aviation.

There are already about 700 turbines in the Montezuma Hills.

But Arquiette also wrote that his comments applied to the enXco project only and that the Air Force will continue to express concerns about cumulative effects of other wind turbine projects.

The base is getting a new radar system that should be operating by year's end. Then it will determine whether turbines cause any problems with the new radar.

Solano County has for more than a decade promoted the Montezuma Hills as a location for non-polluting wind energy. SMUD uses electricity generated from the turbines during the summer, when power demand in the Sacramento area increases and winds typically sweep through the Montezuma Hills.

The utility started its Montezuma Hills wind energy project in 1994, although it has since replaced the original turbines with newer models.

Reach Barry Eberling at 425-4646, Ext. 232, or at

Governor Touts Apprentice Training

Governor Touts Apprentice Training
By Ben Antonius | Daily Republic | March 10, 2008

FAIRFIELD - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger paid Fairfield a visit Monday to promote a state effort to recruit construction apprentices for public works projects.

Schwarzenegger visited the Carpenters Training Center for Northern California on Chadbourne Road, a facility that trains apprentice-level carpenters. The event coincided with the launch of the 'I Built It!' program, which aims to get more young people into apprenticeships.

The governor was joined by state Labor Secretary Victoria Bradshaw and John Duncan, director of the state Department of Industrial Relations. Before the press conference, Schwarzenegger toured the facility, visiting a classroom in which apprentices were getting a refresher in construction-related mathematics.

'We want to reach out and find as many apprentices as possible,' Schwarzenegger told the class. 'I think we're looking for 200,000, so tell your friends about it.'

Under California law, public works projects require one apprentice for every five journeymen on the job. California has more than 65,000 apprentices, and the need is expected to grow in coming years.

Thousands of craftsmen are expected to retire over the next several years, creating a shortage of workers in skilled trades. On top of that, California is poised to embark on $42 billion in infrastructure improvements, ranging from roads to schools and jails.

'This is a really, really great time for people to get really great jobs,' Schwarzenegger said.

The carpentry center offers classes and gives students the opportunity to hone their building skills. A typical apprenticeship takes four years, and once each quarter an apprentice will come to the center for a week of classes and shop work.

Fairfield resident Geoffrey Eccles has been an apprentice for about 10 months and had only praise for the program. Eccles said he had been working at a local burger restaurant when he decided to pursue a different career.

'I love this,' he said. 'I'll be doing this for the rest of my life.'

Throughout the morning visit, Schwarzenegger tried to reinforce the concept behind the 'I Built It!' program, that workers would carry the accomplishment of having built major parts of California's infrastructure. The governor at one point likened the effort to President Dwight Eisenhower's 1956 push to build the Interstate Highway System.

'It's a historic thing,' Schwarzenegger said. 'You'll be able to say to the kids, 'I was a part of rebuilding California.''

Reach Ben Antonius at 427-6977 or

County Hires Solano EDC For Studies

County Hires Solano EDC For Studies
The Reporter
Article Launched: 03/10/2008

Solano County has awarded a three-year contract to the Solano Economic Development Corporation to create and annually update the first Solano County Index of Economic and Community Progress as well as conduct the in-depth profiles of five Key Industry Clusters.

The Index and Clusters, which target innovation and opportunities, will create a foundation of baseline information that better positions Solano County communities to attract new growth businesses and industries.

"This is a tremendous step forward in Solano County's collaborative effort to assist local communities and businesses in creating a baseline of data that will make future economic development decision making easier," said Scott Reynolds, Solano EDC chairman.

Solano EDC will be working under contract with Doug Henton, president and co-founder of Collaborative Economics. The firm is the originator of the Index of Silicon Valley, which measures the economic strength and health of that community by highlighting challenges and providing an analytical foundation for leadership and decision making.

In the last 15 years, Collaborative Economics has worked with leaders in more than 40 regions to help their communities break from traditions that hold them back and put them on a new pathway to success.

Henton is also a consultant to the California Economic Strategy Panel, California's state economic strategy process linked to innovation, industry clusters and regions.

The three-year $484,500 Solano EDC contract includes the follow components:

• The annual Index includes a unique set of economic, workforce, housing, education, transportation and related indicators that together tell the story of the county and its seven communities' growing role as a regional hub of innovation and opportunity.

• A Land Inventory and Absorption Study will identify all undeveloped parcels in the county that are zoned commercial and industrial. This study will identify the parcel's readiness for development.

• Five key industry profiles will be created over the next three years. Each cluster will provide a focus for meeting the twin challenges of economic growth and workforce investment. A target of opportunity, such as biotechnology industry, can be export-oriented, population-driven, or represent an opportunity with career potential for local residents. This portfolio of clusters will enable the Solano EDC and local economic developers to more successfully target companies for expansion and growth.

Supervisor Michael Reagan, immediate past chairman, said "the commissioning of these reports demonstrates the county's commitment to attracting more quality jobs ... . These tools will be a tremendous asset to the cities in their economic development efforts."

Last year Reagan was the driving force behind the county hosting a series of three summits to formulate a collaborative Solano County economic development vision and find a new role for the county in supporting existing countywide economic development efforts.

Summit participants included local and state government, transportation and water resources, local economic development professionals, business and industry, education, nonprofit groups, and the labor and trades.

"The collaborative leadership of the county cannot be stressed enough," said Michael Ammann, Solano EDC president. "Their support just makes it all come together between local governments and the private sector."

"The Index and Cluster Studies will go a long way toward providing the sorts of information necessary to keep Solano on track with future growth opportunities while keeping Northern California high-growth companies informed about Solano County and opportunities for their future expansion," Ammann added.

Economic Group To Get Travis Status

Economic Group To Get Travis Status
Article Launched: 03/05/2008

A "State of the Base" speech featuring Col. Steven J. Arquiette, commander of the 60th Air Mobility Wing at Travis Air Force Base, will be presented March 12 to members of the Solano Economic Development Corporation.

The meeting is sponsored by Travis Credit Union, and will be held at the firm's corporate headquarters at One Travis Way, Vacaville. Registration begins at 11 a.m. and the program and luncheon begins at 11:30 a.m. Cost is $25 for members, and $35 for non-members.

Arquiette is responsible for 24,000 active duty, re- serve and civilian personnel who are stationed at the base.

Col. Arquiette's Air Force wing supports a worldwide air mobility mission. The Travis wing has C-5, KC-10 and C-17 aircraft, responding to combat operations and humanitarian relief efforts.

Reservations may be made by contacting Solano EDC, 864-1855.

Monday, March 10, 2008

$21.6 million UC Davis new recital hall to be located near the corner of First and A streets to open in 2011

University of California, Davis
March 10, 2008


[Editor's note: Photos of the Noda family, images of the planned recital hall available on request.]

A Davis family with a long history of supporting music, science, Japanese-American civil rights and other humanitarian causes has donated $1 million to the UC Davis Department of Music to help build a major new music recital hall. The gift, the largest in the music department's history, will support construction of a modern, 400-seat performing arts facility on the edge of campus near downtown Davis.

Due to open in 2011, the new recital hall near the corner of First and A streets is expected to become one of the most active concert venues in the Sacramento region.

The gift from Grace and Grant Noda and their adult daughters, Kathy Miura and Tanya Yan, was announced Sunday at the annual performance of the combined UC Davis Symphony Orchestra, Chorus and Alumni Chorus. In appreciation, the campus plans to name a courtyard on the west side of the new recital hall in honor of the Nodas. The Noda Family Courtyard will be an outdoor site for lectures, informal performances and artist receptions.

"We are tremendously grateful to the Noda family," said Jessie Ann Owens, dean of the Division of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies.
"In musical performances, space is a true partner in the performance.
It is impossible to make music of the highest quality without having a performance space with good acoustics. What a well-equipped lab is to science, a superb recital hall is to music. We have excellent
students: They need a good space in order to reach their potential."

In addition to the recital hall, the new facility will include four new teaching studios, recording controls, an ethnomusicology studio, artist and audience amenities, and production and teaching offices.
The Noda Family Courtyard will connect the recital hall to the existing music building.

The $21.6 million project will be financed by a combination of public and private support: $16.1 million from a bond issue proposed for the November 2008 ballot and $5.5 million in private contributions. With the Noda's gift and others, $4.4 million in private funding remains to be raised.

The recital hall is expected to accommodate more than 100 concerts annually, including such music department presentations as chamber festivals, the free noon concert series and performances by student and professional resident ensembles and artists in residence. The new space will also provide additional programming options for the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts.

The new facility will represent a critical addition to teaching space for the Department of Music. For example, enrollment in Music 10, a large basic survey course that will be taught in the new recital hall, has grown from 50 to 750 since 1966, when the present Music Building was constructed. The number of undergraduate music majors has increased more than 13-fold during the same period, from 11 to 150, and the number of faculty has ballooned from six to 39.

The Nodas are both second-generation Japanese-Americans. Grace Imamoto was born in 1920 in Berkeley and raised in Orange County.
Grant Noda was born in 1922 in Turlock. Neither family had much money
-- Grant's father, a farmer, often struggled to feed nine children, while Grace's father earned a modest living as secretary of the Farmers Association of Norwalk and principal of the local Japanese language school, where her mother also worked as a teacher.

Nevertheless, Grace and Grant both grew up with pianos in their homes. Grace studied piano and cello as a child and went to Los Angeles with her father to hear performances by Rachmaninoff and other world-class musicians. Her youngest sister, Alice, referred to as a "musical genius" in a 1935 Los Angeles Times story and photo, played piano for Polish Prime Minister Ignacy Paderewski and U.S.
Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas. Grace's other two sisters also learned instruments as children.

"Nisei Memories: My Parents Talk About the War Years," a 2006 book written by Grace's nephew, Paul Takemoto, tells the story of her family's separation, internment and loss in the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Given time to grab only a toothbrush and her Bible, Grace's mother was arrested and jailed at Terminal Island for three months. Her father was imprisoned first in Tujunga then in Santa Fe, N.M.

It fell to Grace, then a senior at UC Berkeley, to return home to care for her younger sisters until "relocation" orders arrived, instructing the rest of the family to report to an "assembly center"

at the Santa Anita racetrack. The Imamoto girls, joined by their mother after her release from Terminal Island, shared a stable there for 10 months. The next stop was an internment camp in Jerome, Ark.

After 11 months in prison, Grace's father was reunited with his family at the camp. Grace was able to leave after his return, when Quaker benefactors arranged a live-in job for her with a family in Minnesota. Her parents remained at the camp until it closed, in March 1946. The couple had $41 between them when they were released.
Because Grace's father now had a criminal record, the only work he could find was as a housecleaner. Her mother took a job as a cook.

Grant's story was similar. He was detained with his mother (his father had died) and siblings, first at an "assembly center" in Merced, then at a relocation camp in Amache, Colo.

Grant and Grace met after the war when he was working as a research scientist at UC Berkeley and she was teaching elementary school in Richmond. The couple moved to Davis in 1958 when Grant accepted a position in the UC Davis Department of Botany (now the Department of Plant Sciences). While Grant managed the department's laboratory by day and studied real estate at night, Grace raised the couple's two daughters, volunteered for many community organizations and was active in the peace movement, from protesting nuclear weapons (she was arrested at a Nevada test site in the early 1990s) to marching against the Vietnam War. She has also been engaged in local politics, recently working to name the Davis Joint Unified School District's newest elementary school after Fred Korematsu, a San Leandro man whose arrest and conviction for refusing to report to a relocation camp during World War II was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. The court's decision was explored in a 2001 documentary, "Of Civil Wrongs and Rights."

After his 1985 retirement from the university, Grant devoted himself full time to the real estate business he had been building for more than two decades.

"That guy works as hard as any human being I've ever known," said Takemoto, the nephew. "He's done very well, and they've basically devoted their lives to helping other people."

The family supported the creation of a mural at Earlham College in Richmond, Ind. -- Grant's alma mater -- that memorializes the Japanese American internment experience. The Nodas have also given to an opera program for young people in San Francisco, donated to the Hurricane Katrina relief effort, contributed to local Democratic candidates and, before their gift to the recital hall, had donated more than $100,000 to UC Davis over the years in support of the arts, ethical studies and the sciences.

Music has been central to their lives. For Grace, it was a bright spot during the war years, when she taught rote singing to children in the internment camp. Since the war, she has been a loyal patron of the San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Symphony and local performing arts.

"Music has been my life," she said in a recent interview, "so I wanted to leave something when I am gone."

Tanya says her mother sees "something very generous about music. Rich or poor, everyone has access to it. It transcends race, social status. It is apolitical. It has been a constant in my mother's life, through everything."

Although the Nodas make philanthropic decisions as a family, the latest major gift to the music department was especially important to Grace, Tanya added.

Anna Maria Busse Berger, professor and chair of the Department of Music, said the Noda Family Courtyard "will be a wonderful place for student and patron gatherings, and will long honor the Noda family's generosity."

Berger also said she hopes that the Nodas' gift will inspire others to contribute to the recital hall. "A music performance building is the primary need for the continued success of the music program," she said. "It is very much needed to accommodate the expansive growth in the quality and size of the program."

The University of California Regents approved the project last November and authorized the plan to seek $16.1 million in bond financing for its construction. The regents are expected to approve the plan for supplemental private funding when they vote later this year on the final design.

Media contact(s):
* Claudia Morain, UC Davis News Service, (530) 752-9841,

Our full UC Davis directory of media services and 24-hour contact information is available at .
Need information from campus news archives? The UC Davis News Service database contains past (and current) UC Davis news stories dating to 1991. Go to .
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Tuesday, March 04, 2008



FAIRFIELD, Calif., January 22, 2008 — From beverage packaging solutions to glass container manufacturing companies, the city of Fairfield, CA is home to a myriad of companies that support Northern California’s wine industry. Located halfway between San Francisco and Sacramento, at the gateway to the Napa Valley, Fairfield offers a strategic location and value-priced real estate opportunities.
Wine-industry related businesses located in Fairfield include Saint-Gobain Containers, Owens-Brockway, ACI Cork USA, Biagi Brothers, Demptos Glass, Diablo Valley Packaging, Saury USA, and the Grateful Palate.

Reasons for Choosing Fairfield
Reasons for locating in Fairfield include: an accessible location with easy access to the heart of wine country in Napa and Sonoma, proximity to ports, freeways, airports, and rail lines, available land with room to expand, and an accessible and responsive city government.

Accessibility to Transportation
Fairfield is located halfway between San Francisco and Sacramento, approximately 15 miles from Napa and 27 from Sonoma County. It has easy access to four ports (Benicia, Oakland, San Francisco and West Sacramento), three international airports (San Francisco, Oakland, and Sacramento), passenger rail lines, rapid transit, and freight lines.

Three years ago Diablo Valley Packaging,, a family-owned packaging company, outgrew its facilities in Benicia, and moved its headquarters to a 100,000-square foot facility at 2373 North Watney Way in Fairfield. The company provides a wide range of packaging solutions for the food, beverage, and wine industries, from customized packaging programs to low-cost, commodity-grade-container options. One-third of the company’s business is related to the wine industry. Its products specific to the wine industry are glass packaging, wine bottles, the capsule, and in some cases, corks.

Easy access to the heart of California’s wine industry— Napa and Sonoma--was one of the main reasons the company chose to locate in Fairfield. Other factors included good warehousing capacity at a reasonable price and accessibility to transportation with good trucking rates into and out of the area.

“Fairfield has good geographics and demographics,” says Pete Reno, president of Diablo Valley Packaging. “Its freeway access is well-suited to receiving in-bound shipments as well as sending shipments out to our customers. Its location also benefits us because it provides access to a solid workforce from throughout the Bay Area and Sacramento.”

Saury USA,, represents a French barrel manufacturer in business since 1993. It sells and markets French oak wine barrels to the wine industry and has its main office in Napa Valley’s Oakville, CA. The company is leasing a 25,875-square foot Fairfield warehouse located at 2345 South Watney Way. Future plans are being considered to house an American-Oak-production facility at the site, but no timeline has been established.

“Our reasons for opening a location in Fairfield were due to the fact that Fairfield is strategically located close to the Interstate,” says Bayard Fox, general manager of Saury USA.

Available and Responsive City Government

Saint-Gobain Containers is the second-largest glass container manufacturer in the nation. In 2006, the company relocated its wine-sector headquarters, warehouse, distribution facilities and operations in Fairfield from two buildings that had been in the city since 1995 into one new facility approximately 10 miles from the previous location. This new location provides a centralized office for the company’s wine-sector sales, operations management, and customer service.
The new facility, which has more than one million square feet of storage and warehouse space, located at 2600 Stanford Court, was built to serve the glass container distribution needs of California’s wine and food industry. It operates 24-hours a day, five days a week with a staff of approximately 80 people.
"The city of Fairfield worked diligently to support our vision of a state-of-the-art distribution center that we all could be proud of," said Peter Walters, Vice President, Purchasing and Distribution for Saint-Gobain Containers.

Access to Wine Country

Grateful Palate Imports,, a wine importer and distributor, headquartered in Oxnard, CA since 1997, imports Australian wines and sells them through a distributor network. It also sells online, shipping to states that allow direct shipment of wine. The company has opened a warehouse and offices in a 60,000-square-foot space at 2449 South Watney Way in Fairfield.

“The Fairfield location provides us with accessibility to our distributors in Northern California’s wine regions,” says Ben DeSantis, controller of Grateful Palate Imports.

Since 2003, ACI Cork USA has been in Fairfield in a 30,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art processing plant at 2870 Cordelia Road. It imports and wholesales natural wine corks from Portugal where its parent company, Alvaro Coelho, Irmaos, S.A. is located. The Fairfield site, which has nine employees, provides the American wine market with top-quality natural and technical cork closures. Approximately 65 million corks are processed annually by the company, who sells them to wineries throughout North America.

“We chose Fairfield as our location because it is centrally located between two important wine regions—Napa and Sonoma counties and the Central Valley and the price was right,” says Armando Andrade, ACI Cork’s General Manager.

Fairfield Offers Important Business Benefits

There are many reasons Fairfield continues to appeal to manufacturing and commercial entities seeking to grow their businesses: an accessible Bay Area location, abundant space, value-priced real estate, a diverse workforce, and a unique set of regional amenities. For additional information on the city of Fairfield, visit

For Media Information, contact:
Miriam Schaffer
The Placemaking Group
510-835-7900 ext. 207

Planners Get 500-Megawatt Rower Project

Planners Get 500-Megawatt Rower Project
By Jennifer Gentile/Staff Writer
Article Launched: 03/04/2008

The Planning Commission could recommend changes to city code tonight that would allow a 500-megawatt power facility to be built in Vacaville.

The changes, which would be made to the city's Land Use and Development Code, must be completed before a proposed natural gas-powered peaker plant could be built on 25 acres of the site of the Easterly Wastewater Treatment Plant. In December, the City Council granted Washington, D.C.-based Competitive Power Ventures, Inc., a three-year-option to lease the acreage.

"In order to proceed with the proposed project, the proposed use must be consistent with the city's zoning for the site," city planner Fred Buderi explained in a written staff report. The existing zoning, he added, "does not list thermal power plants as either a permitted or a conditionally permitted use."

The site is zoned for community facilities, Buderi pointed out, accommodating utility buildings, hospitals, libraries and other uses that provide a community benefit. Staff is recommending that thermal power plants be added to the list.

"A power-generating facility, under the authority of state approval, would be consistent with the purpose of the (community facilities) zone, the staff report said.

If the amendment is approved, the report continued, "the type of power-generating facility allowed ... would be only those that are regulated by the state of California." The state's oversight is very rigorous, Buderi said, and "wouldn't really allow these things to pop up anywhere."

Another requirement under the amendment, according to the report, is that proposed sites must be within "a reasonable distance" from the infrastructure needed for a plant to operate. Staff has said that natural gas, water and power lines all are readily accessible at the Easterly site.

Even with the city's support, the plant has a number of hurdles to clear and has an estimated completion date of 2012. Competitive Power Ventures intends to compete for a contract with PG&E, which is expected to issue a request for proposals in the coming months.

The commission's vote serves as a recommendation to the City Council. The panel meets at 7 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall.

Jennifer Gentile can be reached at

Discovery Kingdom To Open 40th Season

Discovery Kingdom To Open 40th Season
Times-Herald staff report
Article Launched: 03/04/2008

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom begins its 40th year when it opens to the public on Saturday, park officials said.

This season also marks the park's second year with its Land, Sea and Sky areas. Last year's park transformation included a name change that better reflects the park's unique offerings as a wildlife, oceanarium and theme park, officials said.

Plans for the 2008 season include:

• The opening of Tony Hawk's Big Spin, a roller coaster based on professional skateboarder Tony Hawk. • A new bounty-themed sea lion show, "Pinnipeds of the Caribbean." • A new bird show, "Bird Drop Inn." • A "digital revolution" parkwide, with mounted plasma TVs airing Six Flags-related content, advertisements and highlights from some of Dick Clark Productions' shows; Six Flags Radio plays music and content throughout the park, along with ambient Land, Sea and Sky-themed music; cell phone charging stations throughout the park, and for the second year, a Nintendo Wii Station. • Johnny Rockets, a franchise restaurant offers classic American food and a special Six Flags-branded milkshake. • Odin, the white Bengal tiger, starring in Odin's Tiger Splash Show. • A revamped killer whale show and a Caribbean-themed showcase for the park's Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. • Thomas Town, a kids' area devoted to the characters from the Thomas the Tank Engine series. For more information call 643-6722 or visit

Travis Backs Wind Farm

Travis Backs Wind Farm
By Danny Bernardini/Staff Writer
Article Launched: 03/04/2008

Officials at Travis Air Force Base have withdrawn their objections to a proposal to install up to 88 additional wind turbines in the Montezuma Hills - turbines, that some believe may affect radar systems at the base.

A letter to Solano County, written Monday by Travis Wing Commander Col. Steven Arquiette, states that Travis no longer would stand in the way of the project after being informed by superiors that there were no "reasonable expectations" of problems with a new radar system currently being installed at the base.

There are currently more than 700 wind turbines in the Montezuma Hills. Travis officials have said the newest batch potentially would cause a problem since the blades of the turbines may make it seem like smaller planes drop off the radar screens while images of others appear when they aren't actually there.

The latest project, titled Shiloh II Wind Project, proposes to build up to 88 turbines, but has been delayed for more than a year after Arquiette informed the county that the base was concerned about the project. The issue now will head to the Solano County Airport Land Use Commission on March 13 and to the Solano County Planning Commission on March 20.

Another letter, written by Gen. Arthur J. Lichte - Commander of the Air Mobility Command at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois - was sent to the turbine's producers, enXco last month.

It stated that the Air Force Flight Standards Agency had concluded the proposed turbines would not be an issue with Travis' new radar system. The letter also informed enXco that Travis would be telling the county of this revelation.

"Although the wind turbines currently operating in the wind resource area do adversely impact our radar coverage, we believe opportunities will soon arise both to improve overall radar performance and to work with enXco to mitigate that impact," the Lichte letter read.

Neither the Air Force nor enXco could say whether that mitigation effort will include a gift to Travis of up to $1 million that was offered by enXco at a Feb. 21 Solano County Planning Commission meeting. That money was offered to improve the radar system anyway Travis chose.

Sgt. Matt McGovern, with Travis public affairs, said Monday that the base had no comment on the money offer. Gregory Blue, regional manager of external affairs for enXco, said he was aware the situation had been resolved, but didn't know if the gift would be accepted.

Blue did say that the two sides are setting up a joint committee to study any possible effects and come up with a way to solve those issues.

"We were trying to help them enhance their radar and we're doing it in the form of a gift," Blue said from his San Ramon office. "It's all about enhancing the radar so we can co-exist. We are continuing to work together as good neighbors."

Blue said that if the project gains approval by the county's planning commission, his company likely would apply for permits the next day and hopefully be done with construction by the end of the year.

Danny Bernardini can be reached at

PG&E Begins Work To Meet Growing Needs

PG&E Begins Work To Meet Growing Needs
By Ben Antonius | Daily Republic | March 03, 2008

The PG&E substation at Union Avenue and Ohio Street will be getting equipment upgrades over the next two weeks. Photo by Brad Zweerink

FAIRFIELD - To keep pace with a booming population, PG&E plans to launch an overhaul of its Fairfield substation today.

The three-month, $2.9 million project is part of a larger effort to improve the company's infrastructure statewide, PG&E officials said.

'As our communities grow, we constantly grow,' PG&E spokeswoman Jennifer Ramp said.

The project is expected to be completed by the beginning of June and will likely involve occasional outages for residents in certain areas. The outages will be planned and announced in advance, but no plans were available Monday.

The project itself will involve replacing approximately 750 feet of underground high-voltage cable exiting the substation at Broadway and Ohio streets and crossing under Union Street to Jefferson Street.

The company will also be replacing the transformer bank at the facility. The new giant transformer bank will be delivered to the substation March 17, at which point outages are likely.

The additional capacity is necessary to meet the continued increase of electrical demand in the area, especially during the hot summer months when electric consumption is at its highest, the company stated.

The new equipment will provide an additional 13.4 megawatts of capacity, enough to serve 2,680 residential customers in the Fairfield area.

Ramp said the company typically projects what its capacity needs will be 10 years in advance.

'This project was approved a few years ago and construction's now getting started,' she said.

The Fairfield project is one part of an approximately $2.8 billion effort by PG&E to improve the reliability and capacity of its infrastructure across Northern California, Ramp said.

Reach Ben Antonius at 427-6977 or

Travis Commander To Speak At Solano EDC Luncheon

Travis Commander To Speak At Solano EDC Luncheon
Daily Republic Staff | | March 03, 2008

FAIRFIELD - Col. Steven Arquiette, commander of Travis Air Force Base, will be the keynote speaker at the Solano Economic Development Corp. luncheon March 12.

The luncheon will be 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Travis Credit Union, One Travis Way in Vacaville. Tickets are $25 for Solano EDC members and $35 for non-members.

To purchase tickets or for more information, call 864-1855 or send an e-mail to

Monday, March 03, 2008

Energy Measures Could Bring Business

Energy measures could bring business to San Joaquin County
By Hank Shaw
February 29, 2008
Capitol Bureau Chief

SACRAMENTO - Lawmakers in Washington, D.C., and Sacramento are setting the stage for a renewable energy boom that will reach into San Joaquin County.

The House of Representatives passed a measure 236-182 Wednesday that would extend a tax credit for renewable energy companies focusing on solar, wind or biofuels.

On Thursday in Sacramento, Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez and Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata unveiled a series of state measures to boost renewable energy research and development, including a $3 billion bond proposal intended to expand solar and wind energy in California.

Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, was a wind energy expert before he came to Congress in 2006, and he helped craft the congressional bill, which was also supported by Rep. Dennis Cardoza, D-Atwater. The Mother Lode's congressman, Dan Lungren, did not vote on the measure.

McNerney hailed the measure as a key step in developing a critical mass of renewable energy companies in and around San Joaquin County. His goal is to make the region a clean-energy hub.

"If we can get a few more of these companies to set down roots here, it will build synergy and attract other companies," McNerney said. "We're beating the bushes to make something happen.

McNerney said he's been approached by four clean-energy firms that want to relocate to San Joaquin County. He says they could decide as early as this summer.

If San Joaquin County is to be a hub of a renewable energy boom, the Port of Stockton will be its center.

Jim Walker, vice chairman of the board of the wind energy firm enXco - which has an office in Tracy and operates wind turbines throughout the area - said the Port of Stockton is one of the few places where the massive turbines and towers can be shipped in by sea. Stockton specializes in bulk cargo, not the boxcar containers that dominate most other California ports.

Indeed, Sacramento-based Pacific Ethanol is planning to build a refinery at the port, as is USBioDiesel Group LLC. Another firm, Community Fuels, is planning to install biodiesel production equipment at the port.

In addition, Akeena Solar has an office in Manteca.

Walker said enXco plans to build about 100 new wind turbines around Rio Vista that would generate enough power to supply more than 36,000 homes. Without the tax credit passed by Congress, that would not have happened.

Both Walker and McNerney said that the relatively young solar and wind industries live - or die - on federal and state research and development tax credits. But those credits are subject to the whim of Congress.

"It's a long-term industry supported by a short-term policy," Walker said.

McNerney said he's uncertain of the measure's fate in the Senate.

"It's going to be close," he said. "They're going to do what they're going to do. We have to do what we think is right."

Many Republicans don't like the proposal because Democrats would pay for it by ending an existing tax break for oil and gas companies.

Contact Capitol Bureau Chief Hank Shaw at (916) 441-4078 or

Wines Are Winners

Wines Are Winners

Ledgewood Creek Winery in the Suisun Valley received three silver medals for its locally produced wines recently.

The recognition adds to a long list of awards received by the winery since its first vintage in 2001.

The series of silver awards were received in the 2008 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and awards went to the winery's 2005 Estate Syrah, 2006 PicNique Red Cuvee, and its 2006 PicNique Chardonnay.

Ledgewood Creek is located just off Interstate 80 at 4589 Abernathy Road. For more information, call 426-4424.

Environmental Studies

Environmental Studies
Park to add Nature Center complex
By Danny Bernardini/Staff Writer
Article Launched: 03/03/2008

Mel Hargis, of Rio Linda, walks his dog along a trail Saturday at Lake Solano park, which is getting a $3 million nature center. (Ryan Chalk/The Reporter)

Plans are in motion to build the Lake Solano Nature Center, which county officials hope will become a hub of activity for the area.

A call for bids for the project will go out in March and construction hopefully will start in the summer, said Dan Sykes, Solano County Parks Services manager. Plans are to have the center opened by February 2009.

The 5,000-square-foot building, estimated to cost $3 million, is pegged to be built near the entrance of the campground and would house 4,000 square feet of exhibit space, along with offices for the park rangers and storage space, Sykes said.

Sykes and others hope the center will become an anchor for the area, including Lake Berryessa, and will attract many to the park that is often overlooked.

"It's a project that has been dreamed about at least the last 10 years," Sykes said. "It's a really good moment for Solano County parks."

The center will offer a wide variety of educational components, Sykes said, including an aquarium featuring native species and even help toward water safety. Sykes said he also hopes the center will become a meeting place for volunteers, park stewards and field trips to the area. He said they may also may be able to rent out the area to make some money for the parks.

The collaborative effort between the county, the Bureau of Reclamation and community groups like the Putah Creek Discovery Corridor Collaborative did take some time, but after construction and design questions have been worked out, Sykes said it's all starting to come together.

"We're ready to get this project done. Part of it was getting a consensus on design - that took several years," he said. "It really will raise the profile of Lake Solano Park."

Just because plans are moving forward, it hasn't stopped the county from seeking more funds. Tuesday's county supervisors meeting featured the board going ahead with applying for a $150,000 grant to go toward educational aspects of the center.

Besides the educational portion, Sykes said he was excited for the rangers at the park to finally have a top-of-the-line facility.

"The rangers are really working out of a sub-standard space," he said. "We want to give them a new home."

The Lake Solano Nature Center will become a meeting place for volunteers, park stewards and school field trips. (Artist's rendering/Courtesy image)

Danny Bernardini can be reached at

Solano's Got It!

Solano's Got It!
The Best That Northern California Has To Offer.

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