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Suisun pipeline study authors call on PUC, PG&E for more info
July 06, 2011 | Posted by Ian Thompson

SUISUN CITY — A city resident is asking the state’s Public Utilities Commission and Pacific Gas & Electric Company to come across with information on the natural gas pipelines running through Suisun City that will show whether those lines are safe.

Anthony Moscarelli, with the support of the California Healthy Communities Network, is expanding on a study of the two PG&E natural gas pipelines and aviation fuel pipeline that supplies Travis Air Force Base. He went to the press Wednesday trying to break loose a refusal by the PUC to provide information about recent pipeline inspections, classifications and what pressures the pipelines operate under.

So far, a PG&E spokesman’s reply to the press conference was that the information that Moscarelli and the Healthy Communities Network wants is only available to public safety and government officials for security reasons.

Click here for the rest of the story


Suisun City Residents Ask PG&E For Pipeline Records SUISIN CITY: Residents Fear Pipelines Near Homes Aren't Safe
Posted: 1:09 pm PDT July 6, 2011Updated: 6:16 pm PDT July 6, 2011

SUISUN CITY -- A group of neighbors in Suisun City has banded together in hopes of forcing PG&E to open up its records about pipelines in their neighborhood.

Residents said they are worried about a new development plan that could affect two major PG&E transmission pipelines, one 32-inches and the other 16-inches long.

Residents said they have no documentation on whether the pipeline has been inspected and if it's up to safety standards. They said they fear a repeat of the San Bruno explosion.

Anthony Moscarelli of Healthy Community Research of Suisun City said the blast radius of the pipeline would be 575-feet, almost three football fields long. If the pipeline blew up it would take out all the homes 575-feet back.

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Sound Clip from Press Conference
Starts at 39:29 (after a lead-in about San Bruno) Ends 41:42

The Pacifica Evening News, Weekdays - July 6, 2011 at 6:00pm

Click to listen (or download)


Group worried over Solano County gas pipelines

July 6, 2011

SUISUN CITY, Calif. (KGO) -- A watchdog group in Solano County is worried a pipeline explosion similar to the one in San Bruno last year could happen there.

The group Healthy Community Research says PG&E is ignoring heavy development around major gas transmission lines.

On Wednesday, members stood on a street in Suisun City where a new Wal-Mart is expected to be built.

The group says heavy trucks will cause constant vibrations no a street with a major gas transmission line running underneath it. The group also claims PG&E has not produced safety records for that line, adding to what they call a "recipe for disaster."

"If it blew up right here, it would take out all the homes," said Anthony Moscarelli, adding that 575 homes would be gone.

Click here for the rest of the story

Suisun Wal-Mart hits snag
By Melissa Murphy/


Plans to build a Wal-Mart in Suisun City hit another obstacle -- the state's water board.

The State of California Regional Water Control Board announced that it has rejected an application for a proposed 227,000-square-foot Wal- Mart SuperCenter in Suisun City.

In a letter addressed to Wal-Mart, the board explains that there are several questions left unanswered and notes that the application, among other things, "does not appropriately consider off- or on-site alternatives."

The plans to build a Wal-Mart in Suisun City near the intersection of Highway 12 and Walters Road have been riddled with controversy for more than a year, including a recall effort of the City Council that voted in favor of the project and a failed attempt to put the issue on a ballot for voters to decide.

Nevertheless, opponents of the Wal-Mart believe the water board pointed out the problems that they said were there from the outset.

"They still have questions to answer," said Anthony Moscarelli, spokesperson for Save Our Suisun, the group opposed to the project. "They can't ignore the EIR anymore."

He added that the group isn't anti-Wal-Mart, but that it is opposed to a mega-store being built amid wetlands.

He explained that last year, the state notified Wal-Mart and the city three times that their application was unacceptable and that Wal-Mart and the city both knew the land that was purchased by the store in 2006 was protected delta wetlands and all development on it was conditional.

Moscarelli as well as the water board pointed out that there are seven other Wal-Marts within 20 miles of Suisun City.

In fact another store is set to open shortly in Fairfield, just five miles away.

"Why do we need two stores that close," he asked. "It's not necessary."

The water board also wondered why Wal-Mart does not consider renovating existing stores instead.

Moscarelli explained that the area the Bentonville, Ark., corporation, the world's largest retailer, wants to take over is covered in wetlands and that the proposed 227,000 square-foot store would cover a natural canal.

"We want the least-damaging proposal," he said. "Why not build a smaller building that won't cover the creek?"

"The State Water Board read the same Environment Impact Report that we did and they also found the environment documents deficient and lacking in detail sufficient to protect the delta wetlands and its water quality," he added in a press release. "They bought that property knowing the obstacles."

The water board added that it is unclear how the company came up with the ideal size of the store and how it will meet the unmet needs of the area.

The water board's decision did not surprise Moscarelli.

What will happen next?

Moscarelli is unsure what Wal-Mart will do, adding, "The ball is in Wal-Mart's court."

Representatives of Wal-Mart and city officials could not be reached by press time Wednesday.

Breaking: Jet Fuel Spill in Suisun Near Controversial Wal-Mart -=- A jet fuel pipeline that supplies mammoth Travis Air Force Base - and is near a controversial proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter - has apparently ruptured along Highway 12.

You can read the full story at this URL:

Suit against Suisun City leaves Walmart in legal limbo By Ian Thompson
Daily Republic
January 02, 2009 12:41

Walmart is awaiting the final ruling on a lawsuit against its proposed supercenter in eastern Suisun City before deciding what to do next.

'The project is still in litigation and we do not have a timetable at this point for moving forward,' said Kevin Loscotoff, a Walmart spokesman.

The Suisun Alliance, which opposed the supercenter, sued Suisun City over the project's environmental impact report, contending it inadequately addressed the project's impact on the community and environment.

The alliance was handed a reverse in November when a Solano County Superior Court judge issued a tentative ruling in Suisun City's favor, upholding the EIR. A final ruling is expected in mid-February.

Save Our Suisun, another group opposing the supercenter, continues to keep a close eye on the project and has been critical of the project's potential impact on wetlands and watercourses in and around the site.

The proposed supercenter at Walters Road and Highway 12 still needs the blessing of the California Regional Water Quality Control Board.

The board turned down the retail giant's application without prejudice on Nov. 21, stating it was still incomplete by the time it reached as one-year approval deadline.

As of Friday, Walmart has not reapplied to the board for permits, according to Bruce Wolfe, executive officer for the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Board.

Having to submit the application again means more work for Walmart, which will have to re-evaluate the design of the supercenter to minimize its impact on wetlands and devise a comprehensive storm water runoff plan.

Walmart wants to build a supercenter, gas station, car wash and restaurant on the 21-acre site.

With the exception of the board, all other agencies have stated publicly that they have no problem with the project. Suisun City unanimously certified the EIR.

Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or at

Raley's Denied Civil Rights of Residents in Wal-Mart Controversy
December 11, 2008

West-Sacramento-based Raley's wrongfully denied the civil rights to residents in Suisun because it doesn't even own the property it has banned petitioners from, charged a Sacramento civil rights firm here this week in a motion to dismiss the controversial case in Solano Superior Court. If the court agrees, residents would regain their civil rights.

Click here for more details


Backers of a movement to recall Suisun CITY Mayor Pete Sanchez and two council members will be allowed to collect petition signatures at two locations of the Heritage Shopping Center, a Solano County Superior Court judge ruled today.

Mark Merin, attorney for the recall group Save Our Suisun, said Judge Paul Beeman agreed the shopping center is a quasi-public forum for the expression of free speech and ruled the petitioners can collect signatures in the monument area of the mall and at the Ace Hardware store.

"Both sides will agree to a stipulated order," Merin said. Save Our Suisun is still appealing the judge's earlier decision prohibiting the petitioners from collecting signatures in front of the Raley's supermarket, Merin said.

Merin called the judge's ruling "a limited victory" because the judge recognized the shopping center as a quasi-public forum. Petitioners, however, will not be able to freely roam through the shopping center gathering petitions, Merin said.

Petitioners will be able to collect signatures at the two locations six hours a day, six days a week, Merin said. Another hearing on the issue is scheduled for Aug. 1, Merin said.

Linda Ward, the attorney for the shopping center was not immediately available for comment.

The Heritage Shopping Center's owner asked the court for a temporary restraining order prohibiting the group from gathering the signatures on private property.
The Save Our Suisun group wants to recall Sanchez and council members Jane Day and Michael Hudson.

The group claims they have risked the public's safety by approving a 227,000-square-foot Wal-Mart SuperCenter on 21 acres at state Highway 12 and Walters Road near Travis Air Force Base over the objections of public safety experts, including the county's Airport Land Use Commission and the California Department of Transportation.
Merin said the California Supreme Court ruled in 1979 that the PruneYard shopping center in San Jose was obligated to allow free expressive speech even on its private property and must yield to the public interest.

He said Suisun City has no central downtown and that malls have become the new public market places in many communities.

Save Our Suisun is already appealing the court ruling that prohibited signature gathering outside Rayley's, Merin said.

"This is a very significant question for all free speech activity. This (the mall) is the preferred venue," Merin said.

Save Our Suisun has until Aug. 8 to gather enough signatures to put the recall measure on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Landmark Civil Rights Battle Over Free Speech; started with Wal-Mart

In what could become a landmark case, civil rights lawyers Tuesday will go to court to fight attempts to criminalize free speech at a Solano County shopping center where residents have been threatened with arrest for peaceably petitioning in public places as guaranteed by state and federal law.

A hearing to decide whether a Suisun shopping center owner should be granted a restraining order against residents is set for TUESDAY, 10 a.m., at the Solano County Superior Court (321 Tuolumne St., Vallejo), Judge Paul L. Beeman, Dept. 1.

A PRESS BRIEFING will be held at 9:45 a.m. at the courthouse entrance.

The Law Office of Mark Merin, a major civil rights firm based in Sacramento, will appear on behalf of "Save Our Suisun," an all-volunteer community group gathering signatures to recall Suisun City Mayor Pete Sanchez, and council members Jane Day and Michael Hudson.

Merin - considered an expert on free speech issues involving shopping centers - argues that the Heritage Mall in Suisun is violating the constitutional, free speech rights of residents circulating recall petitions and literature. He calls attempts to ban or restrict peaceful petitioning "unconstitutionally restrictive."

SOS is working to recall the city council members because they have risked the public safety by approving a Wal-Mart SuperCenter near Travis Air Base over the objections of public safety experts, including the County Airport Land Use Commission, and CalTRANS. SOS also charges the council members have lost the public trust by raising their own compensation plans 118 percent, making questionable loans, and other deals with taxpayer monies.

Copyright © 2008, NewsBlaze, Daily News

Police Covered-Up Grandmother's Complaint Against Suisun Councilman

The Suisun City Police Dept. - investigating a complaint that a Suisun City Council member harassed and accosted a grandmother gathering signatures to recall him from office - did not make any real attempt to seriously explore the charges, a spokesperson for a community group said here today.

Police have told civil rights attorney Jeff Kravitz, representing Suisun grandmother Mina Guerrero, that the Solano County District Attorney did not find any reason to pursue the criminal probe - but police also failed to interview any eye witnesses, or even the accused, councilman Michael Hudson.

"We are not at all surprised. The police association has put up billboards announcing its opposition to the Recall Election. Despite their assurances, we knew they would not fully investigate the charges," said Cres Vellucci, a spokesperson for "Save Our Suisun."

"We did, though, expect them to at least interview eye witnesses and Michael Hudson. But, they did not even do that," added Vellucci. He added that an outside agency, possibly the California Attorney General's office, is being contacted to oversee a objective investigation.

Members of "Save Our Suisun" - since they began gathering signatures in April - have been sued, threatened with arrest by the same police who did not probe the Hudson matter and accosted by Hudson, and other Recall opponents. SOS has until August 8 to submit about 2,030 signatures to force an election to recall Hudson, Mayor Pete Sanchez and Vice-Mayor Jane Day.

Sanchez, Hudson and Day are the targets of a recall because, said "Save Our Suisun," they risked public safety by approving a Wal-Mart SuperCenter near Travis Air Force Base, despite the warnings of air safety experts.

The councilmembers also raised their own compensation plans 118 percent and have made a series of questionable city financial decisions. In addition more than $100,000 is missing from the city coffers, according to one tally.

Recall Campaign in Suisun Turns Dirty

City Council member accosts petition gatherer, may have broken law A Suisun City Council member - facing a possible recall on the November ballot - may have broken state election laws and made what could be considered racist remarks when he accosted a recall signature-gatherer at a public event, proponents of the recall said today. 

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Recall effort hit with order
By Danny Bernardini

The group leading the recall effort of three Suisun City council members was hit with a 30-day temporary restraining order Thursday by Raley's and will no longer be able to collect signatures near the two entrances. Ordered by Solano County Superior Court Judge Paul Beeman, the group Save Our Suisun (SOS) must now vacate the doorways of the Raley's supermarket in Suisun City for at least 30 days. They may, however, still collect signatures in the surrounding parking lot and shopping center, said Cres Vellucci, spokesman for SOS.

Click here for rest of the story

Recall bid gains traction Article Launched: 03/09/2008 08:12:59 AM PDT

Opponents of the recently-approved Wal-Mart store in Suisun decided Saturday to move forward with a recall effort against some members of City Council.

More than 40 people reportedly attended the community meeting, which was put on at Grace Baptist Church by a group calling itself Save Our Suisun. Those assembled decided in favor of a recall effort aimed at Suisun City Mayor Pete Sanchez, as well as council members Jane Day and Mike Hudson.

The other two council members, Mike Segala and Sam Derting, are not being included in the recall push because they are up for re-election in November.

Describing the group that came together on Saturday, Suisun Citizens' League member Dwight Acey said, "They were very, very energized."The group's main grievance is the council's unanimous approval of a Wal-Mart Supercenter, which is to be located at Highway 12 and Walters Road.

In a press release this week, opponents claimed that council members "disregarded public safety warnings by aviation experts and other land-use professionals when they approved the controversial project."

Acey said the intent is to file the necessary paperwork in the coming days and to begin gathering signatures "within a week or so." He added that the goal is to collect 3,000 signatures over the next month.

Note from Save Our Suisun: Please go to our website for future news:

No removal of airport panel chair By Danny Bernardini/Staff Writer Article Launched: 02/21/2008 06:16:08 AM PST

A motion to remove John Foster as Solano County Airport Land Use Commission chair died Wednesday night on a 3-3 vote by Solano County's mayors. The issue to remove Foster was discussed during the mayors' Solano County City Selection Committee meeting in Fairfield.

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VACAVILLE REPORTER: Council must be sure of its numbers

(EDITORIAL 2/10/2008) For months, the question of whether a Wal-Mart Supercenter should be built on the northwest corner of Walters Road and Highway 12 has divided Suisun City. But when Suisun's City Council meets Tuesday to resolve the issue, it must consider more than its own municipal matters. The project's potential encroachment on Travis Air Force Base is of countywide concern.

The possible conflict with Travis came to light when the Solano County Airport Land Use Commission rejected the project in November on the grounds that it could draw more people to the 20-acre site than is acceptable under the base's Land Use Compatibility Plan.

That plan restricts development around the air base, mostly for safety reasons. The site in question is inside "Zone C," which limits the number of people at any site to an average of 75 per acre, with no more than 300 within any one acre at any given time. Depending on how they are calculated, estimates for the project in question - which includes a Wal-Mart Supercenter, a sit-down restaurant and a gas station - come out at well below the limits, pushing the limits or over the limits.

There are legitimate differences in the way estimates are made. But as a consequence, those in favor of the project are inclined to use the methods that produce low numbers, while those opposed to the superstore base their calculations on the methods that produces high numbers. It is imperative for the Suisun City Council to base its decisions on realistic calculations, no matter on which side of the limit they fall.

What the council should not do is downplay the Land Use Compatibility Plan's restrictions, as the consultant who prepared the final environmental impact report suggests. That report claims the standards set around Travis are arbitrary and more restrictive than the state of California requires.

If they are more restrictive, it is because the citizens of Solano County years ago agreed to protect Travis Air Force Base so that future Base Realignment and Closure commissions could not use incursion as an excuse to shut down the county's largest employer. Remember, Travis contributes more than $1 billion to the local economy each year.

As the environmental impact report points out, Travis has a decent safety record - only five crashes since the base opened, none in the vicinity of the proposed Wal-Mart - and the store won't lie directly in the flight path. The report also notes that planes flying in and out of Travis are too heavy to be blown off course, but that assumes only the big planes will be flying in and out of there in the future. Plus, should Travis ever be pulled out, the county will almost certainly want to explore the possibility of using the site as a regional airport. Unwise incursions now could affect that decision down the road.

Councilmembers will have tough choices to make on Tuesday. Suisun City certainly needs the tax base a Wal-Mart store would bring. But the entire county needs Travis, and the city must not do anything to jeopardize the air base.

Wal-Mart Gets Planner Ok Despite Huge Public Outcry About 'Safety'

Ignoring safety concerns of scores of residents who fear a new Wal-Mart project here could lead to deaths along adjacent "Blood Alley," or from low-flying planes from Travis Air Base or a buried jet pipeline, the Suisun City Planning Commission recommended Tuesday night the controversial project be approved by the City Council.

The decision to rubber stamp the Environmental Impact Report at a hearing attended by an overflow crowd of 150 residents was not unexpected. The planners made it clear that hoped-for sales taxes were more important than the environment or lives of residents. Speakers even questioned the tax gain, saying stores in Suisun and Fairfield would "cannibalize" each other.

The next step is approval by the Suisun City Council Feb. 12. It will first have to vote, by a four-fifths margin, to override the Solano County Airport Land Use Commission, which refused to approve the 227,000 square foot project because, the ALUC said, the project is too big to be that close to Travis Air Force Base.

The ALUC ruled the project was "unsafe," and would encroach upon the base something that could cause the military to move the base, a major concern for 65,000 military retirees in the county. Travis AFB is the county's largest employer ($1.1 billion a year, 14,000 jobs).

"This is the biggest project in town. It will be the biggest disaster in town," charged Dwight Acey, chair of Suisun Citizens League, one of the community groups opposed to the project. He said the EIR shows there will be as many as 70,000 additional vehicle trips along Highway 12 known as "Blood Alley" because of all the accidents making it even more dangerous.

Resident Anthony Moscarelli citing letters from a national pipeline trust said there are major issues about a buried jet fuel pipeline within feet of the project. "There's not one mention of the fuel pipeline danger," he said, adding the city may be liable for damages, and that an increase in insurance coverage would eat up all of the anticipated sales tax gains.

"I object to my neighbors who will be killed by the project," said Wayne Monger, a geologist who lives near the site, and Paul GreenLee of Suisun Alliance, said "People in the community have said we do not want it. It does not fit our city." Another speaker called the decision a "betrayal" of the people. Another called for a "recall" of elected officials.

Copyright © 2008, NewsBlaze, Daily News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday, February 11, 2008 Contact: Cres Vellucci, spokesperson, Suisun Citizens League, 916.996-9170 (cell)

Attention: Daybook/Assignment Desk

SALES TAX or COMMUNITY SAFETY? Wal-Mart project, deemed 'unsafe' by state agency & airport oversight group, is up for final vote on Tuesday

SUISUN CITY – With the threat of a recall hanging over its head, the Suisun City Council will decide whether to put sales tax revenue over and above the safety of its residents when the Council meets TUESDAY at 5 p.m. at Suisun City Hall (701 Civic Center Blvd) to decide whether to approve a controversial Wal-Mart Superstore project.

There will be a 4:30 p.m. NEWS BRIEFING by neighborhood groups, who have threatened to recall council members if they vote for the project over community concerns.

The independent Solano County Airport Land Use Commission already rejected the Wal-Mart project in November for "safety" reasons because the project interfered with the Travis Air Force Base "compatibility plan." The Cal TRANS Aeronautics Division supports the "safety concern" recommendation.

But, the Suisun City Council is considering overriding the ALUC safety determination because the city wants the tax money from the development. The Council could vote Tuesday with a "super-majority" to take the highly unusual step of overriding the ACLC, which consists of many pilots and other safety members who called the project too "unsafe" to build.

"It's a simple matter of the city and staff believing the hoped-for taxes will offset the risk to us, the residents. That's wrong," said Dwight Acey chair of the Suisun Citizens League.

Acey also said the City will never see those big tax proceeds. A Dixon councilperson Monday said his town is only getting a fraction of what they anticipated from a Wal-Mart Supercenter which opened there in 2005, and warned Suisun City officials to be wary.

Suisun City residents also cite high traffic danger (Wal-Mart will be located just off Highway 12, known as "blood alley" because of the high number of accidents), pollution, threat to nearby wetlands, noise and an underground fuel pipeline located next to the Wal-Mart.

URGENT NEWS ADVISORY Sunday, February 10, 2008 Contact: Cres Vellucci, CIPI Strategies, 916.996-9170 (cell)

More bad economic news; Wal-Mart either failing, or under-reporting sales & robbing city of taxes, Dixon councilmember to charge Monday

DIXON – Wal-Mart is either grossly under-performing , or is cheating the city of Dixon out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes a year, a member of the Dixon City Council will allege at a major news conference here Monday.

Details of the charges will be revealed at Monday, Feb. 11, at 11:45 a.m., at the Dixon Wal-Mart main entrance (235 E. Dorset Drive, off Highway 80).

Councilmember Michael C. Smith, in a letter late last week, warned the mayor and city council of Suisun City to "verify" lofty claims made by Wal-Mart that it would generate as much as $800,000 in sales tax the first year of operation in Suisun.

City officials in Suisun have said they need the projected sales tax revenue from the project, and the taxes would mitigate the safety concerns of residents and the Solano County Airport Land Use Commission that rejected the project for "safety" reasons.

Suisun will vote Tuesday on whether to approve the controversial Wal-Mart project over the objections of numerous neighborhood groups, who have cited safety concerns over the proximity of Travis Air Force Base, a buried jet fuel pipeline and increased traffic on so-called "Blood Alley" on Highway 12 where the project is to be built.

Councilmember Smith said his investigation now shows that rather than hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax revenue, Dixon has seen only a tiny fraction of that since Wal-Mart opened in 2003, and expanded to a Superstore in 2005.

"We received the same rosy picture of hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional sales tax now being floated to the city of Suisun," said Smith, who will make public details of his probe on Monday.

Officials May Fire Commission Pilots Who Rejected Wal-Mart Project

Elected officials here are ignoring warnings about a public safety threat from a Wal-Mart Supercenter project and instead have initiated a plan to oust military pilots sitting on a county airport commission which voted in November to oppose the project because of those same safety concerns.

A news conference will be held TUESDAY, 10 a.m. at the Solano County Board of Supervisors Meeting (675 Texas Street), regarding not-too-secret plans to "decapitate" the Solano County Airport Land Use Commission (SCALUC) leadership for political reasons.

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Wal-Mart Gets Planner Ok Despite Huge Public Outcry About 'Safety'

Ignoring safety concerns of scores of residents who fear a new Wal-Mart project here could lead to deaths along adjacent "Blood Alley," or from low-flying planes from Travis Air Base or a buried jet pipeline, the Suisun City Planning Commission recommended Tuesday night the controversial project be approved by the City Council.

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