Ed. Note: There is a meeting tonight on the Vallejo Marine Terminal and Orcem Cement Plant at the Joseph Room next to the Library at 7PM for public information and questions. Vallejo Community & Economic Development Director Andrea Ouse will be there to present and answer questions.

The name Wharf Rat is a obviously a pseudonym, but the author is well known to VIB and is an expert in Marine Services and Nautical Industrial Technology with many decades working professionally in the field even if he does write in a RAT RANT! stylistic mode!


By Wharf Rat
Here we go again , another proposed prostitution of our waterfront that we hold stewardship over for generations to come! and a very valuable asset that Vallejo City Administration has no concept or even an ability to manage as evidenced by existing Development deals and a poorly functioning Municipal Marina (that would be the envy of many Communities) yet has so many unusable berths that it is an embarrassment , it was once an enterprise department (it made a profit) now half of it is a mudflat, while priorities such as Administrative positions and submerged parking structures are sucking our infrastructure dollars as do bloated compensation packages we can ill afford . Add to this Staffs latest bedfellow the Vallejo Marine Terminal proposed development  DEIR
Vallejo Marine Terminal/ORCEM EIR – City of Vallejo

This document should go down in history as one of the most inept and poorly executed EIR’s in history ! it deserves a place in a Museum of municipal malfeasance as a part of a Vallejo exhibit featuring the decades of bloated management , past to present . The cost to defend this EIR in court should only be bourne by Dan Keen and his Managers as a dirrect salary deduction to cover the legal expenses anticipated .

The applicant VMT wants to fence off the shoreline , this is contrary to the bay plan and the regulatory mandate of BCDC , it will constitute a major blockage of the bay trail as well as restrict shoreline access to the public.These costs go beyond just mitigation costs , we stand to loose bigtime political capitol with many Government agencies who perform regulatory oversite over these types of projects , lost credibility has no real $ amount but can cost us a lot in the future .

VMT is proposing to mitigate their impacts by constructing a Kayak launch ramp at the Vallejo Marina and removing old piling from the north end (A dock) area of the Municipal Marina . Restricting public access to a wide swath of Vallejo shoreline is contrary and non-compliant to state law ,considering that this swath of shoreline is under the jurisdiction of the State lands commission , ”public trust issues need to be addressed” as well as projected City costs both $ and political as future funding for bay trail and shoreline access projects will be given a low priority due to Cities involvement in this project . the filling of ”protected” wetlands on parcel A at the Marina  cost us over $800,000 and still remains contentious with other Agencies .

The proposed ”mitigation” is inadequate to compensate the public for a major interruption of the bay trail and loss of shoreline access . It seems to be a cheap and quick fix by the VMT to try to move their project foreword at the expense of the public who will be impacted in so many ways by their proposed Marine terminal operation such as by 100 car trains traversing the City and truck trips every six minutes , air quality issues are almost incomprehensible due to their sheer magnitude as are site storm water impacts (that are not adequately addressed in the DEIR).

A Kayak launch ramp will only serve a very small group , while the shoreline loss will be in perpetuity ,a loss to the public who will not be able to enjoy a walk on our scenic shoreline without going around the VMT (this would require using surface streets) as this proposed project is analysed the vast impacts become evident while any public benefit is elusive at best.

An examination of the DEIR suggests that in fact the negative impacts far outweigh any benefits (at least tenfold) notwithstanding our loss of public shoreline the cumulative effects on property values and quality of life alone justify a ”no project decision” as there are so many alternative uses for the land that are viable and have few negative impacts while actually improving local economic outlooks including property values and sustainable employment to name a few .

The fact that Vallejo has no formal Port structure or organizational document within our general plan is a 20+ year over site that needed to be addressed upon the closure of Mare Island ! currently we have no vehicle to extract revenue from our very valuable waterfront other than hollow Developer promises for far in the future (mitigation) that has little to no public benefit and often flies in the face of the ”public trust doctrine”(a main component of the State Lands Commission mandate) and the BCDC mission both buttressed by State Law . Municipal Ports collect fees for ”tipping”and other functions that in turn fund port costs and or fatten up the general fund , this covers costs , with no such vehicle we will bear the impact costs of VMT with no formal vehicle to recover them .

Vallejo needs to address the lack of policy and responsibility a waterfront Community has to both it’s Citizens and the region , no major waterfront development should even be considered until we ”have a plan” one that factors the many miles of shoreline / waterfrontage we are blessed to be Stewards of . All deals should be off until a well thought public policy document is crafted and included in our general plan that addresses the entire waterfront, (duhhh) is just no longer acceptable and frankly will not hold up in court , piecemeal planning has not done well in the courts, the Judiciary has not been kind to ineptitude by public Agencies when they had every means to do otherwise ! once again the public trust comes into play a foundational and major area of our Law going back to old English Law .(see Bell Ca) Judges threw the bench at the many who violated this doctrine .

The two bit mitigation proposed by the project proponent is an insult to this Community and possibly an indicator of ”things to come” if this project reaches fruition . This piecemeal approach to developing Vallejo’s waterfront assets is contrary to the wisdom within both CEQA and NEPA legislation not to mention the 14 + regulatory Authorities who have over site and or an ability do deny this project due to it’s non compliance with so many Laws and regulations . Once again Vallejo makes a shabby appearance on the Bay Area stage , the potential applause being replaced by a pissed off public hurling rotten tomatoes at seemingly myopic public servant’s and another Developer dumping their garbage on our waterfront such as proposed by bad Actors like Callahan .

Speaking of garbage , the VMT would have the needed infrastructure to transship municipal solid waste (garbage) or for that matter just about anything they wish to handle , we have no restrictions on type or hazards associated with whatever cargo they transport through our City ”in a nutshell anything goes” , even dirty crude and right through residential neighborhoods ! and near schools and Hospitals . Do you get that Dan Keen and company ? I mean ”really” a Kayak launch ramp as mitigation ! this would be laughable if it was in another town ”but hey it’s just Vallejo” .


  1. September 14, 2015 @ 12:41 pm curious

    rant on, wharf rat. the people should be outraged. they should be storming city hall and forcing the powers that be, weak as they are, to stop this further attempt to steal OUR waterfront. unfortunately, i fear that this time they will succeed. there is no waterfront coalition to organize a cohesive and strategic fight against this disasterous project. only lone voices here and there. thank you for raising yours, loud and clear, in protest.


    • September 20, 2015 @ 6:44 pm Cement Pond

      Everyone who opposes this project PLEASE write an email regarding your views and send it to every city council member, city attorney, city manager, economic development, planning division. Encourage your friends and colleagues to do the same. Your letters and emails will become part of the official report. It doesn’t have to be a long, involved statement, just say what you think, DONT DELAY!!!!!!!!


    • September 20, 2015 @ 7:39 pm CEMENT POND

      City Hall is required to answer questions (not comments) about a cement factory on our waterfront. Send your questions to Community & Economic Development Director Andrea Ouse, 555 Santa Clara Street, Vallejo, CA 94590, by email at, or on the City’s Open City Hall topic at


      • September 21, 2015 @ 11:00 am Cement Pond

        A few questions residents could put in writing to city hall:
        “How will air quality be monitored? Who is going to be doing the air quality monitoring? Will residents be part of the supervising body? What is the percentage of residents representatives in this supervising body? Who is going to pay for the monitoring of air quality? What will happen if monitored result is less than acceptable?”


      • September 23, 2015 @ 9:46 am Cement Pond

        The November 7, 2014 Fiscal and Economic Impact Study covering the VMT and Orcem projects has been posted to the City’s website, on the Vallejo Marine Terminal/Orcem EIR page:


    • September 26, 2015 @ 3:06 pm Cement Pond

      How many signatures are required to recall a mayor or city council member?


      • October 1, 2015 @ 7:52 pm Bryan

        Visit and learn all about the already certified petitions for recall. We can do this, enough is enough!


        • October 2, 2015 @ 7:59 am tramky

          Recall is NOT used because you disagree with policy or program decisions, it is used to respond to actual crimes and demonstrated malfeasance. If recall was used to deal with officials one disagrees with, there would be recall petitions to remove from office every Democrat ever elected to any office.

          ELECTIONS are when you put in place people who you think may do a better job–according to you and your fellow voters.

          By the way, when an official is recalled in this town, they are replaced by the last LOSER in the previous election. That’s a great way to run a town.


  2. September 14, 2015 @ 12:46 pm decentamerican

    while readers contemplate on the above, how about wondering at last weekend’s amazing celeb rations in Vallejo ? The Greek Festival, The Unity Day Festival in the Park, Meditation Garden/Mobile Garden Van on Mare Island ??

    Dear Mayor & Council Members, City of Vallejo, CA

    Please share and enjoy ! Please post this on your FB, twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

    Most importantly, we would appreciate City Staff & Managers to drive out during their lunch time and enjoy/Meditate on how they could do a better job and help more people and make Vallejo BETTER.

    We are grateful to Vice-Mayor Malgapo for his time and commitment to attend and declare the garden dedicated and open to the community. The Garden Mobile Van is so amazing.

    thank you.

    VPG Board & Volunteers
    Vallejo-PB & Sister Cities Association



  3. September 14, 2015 @ 1:58 pm tramky

    You gotta love it when the rant-and-ravers tell us about all the alternative uses that land in Vallejo could be used for, but not one peep about alternative USERS. What other enterprises are waiting for this deal to be killed so they can take over this site? Oh, that’s what we thought. Nada.

    This kind of hysterical opposition to economic development in this town has been going on too long, and is responsible for the dereliction and stagnation that are so evident. For this crowd the only good money is taxpayer money used to fund their pet interests.


    • September 15, 2015 @ 8:41 am decentamerican

      yes, suggest a practical, realistic fair alternative project/plan … then citizens may mobilize to push the city for action.

      till then, it is all criticism because people including myself can say things easily.

      come on people, bring problem solving alternatives ! thanks.


      • October 4, 2015 @ 10:38 am Water Way

        How about developing Vallejo into a tourist and residential area along with industry that does not trample our health, natural beauty and chance for a cleaner, brighter future? Anyone can see that Vallejo is endowed with the location, climate, geography and history and citizens to accommodate positive change.


      • October 16, 2015 @ 11:11 am Cement Plan

        Our GENERAL PLAN UPDATE and PARTICIPATORY BUDGET address general community’s ideas about the Waterfront.


    • September 27, 2015 @ 6:53 pm Charles

      Tramky… I see you one of the “hat in hand” business development folks. Suggesting that Vallejo should take every deal that comes it’s way because, they won’t be any left in the future!

      As if…


      • October 2, 2015 @ 8:04 am tramky

        Charles sees nothing. Give us the long list, Charles, of the businesses lining up to take over the old grain mill site, and all the empty buildings and empty fields on Mare Island. We want names and numbers. Don’t have such a list? Oh. We understand.


        • October 4, 2015 @ 10:31 am waterway

          Well, we won’t have to scratch our heads about any other use for 62 years!


        • October 4, 2015 @ 11:26 am Water Way

          List of opportunities lost:
          Smaller scale light industry
          Expansion of local universities
          Industrial Museum
          Recreational destination
          International Youth hostel
          restaurants, shopping
          Other creative reuse


          • October 6, 2015 @ 10:03 am anon

            1. an appropriate or favorable time or occasion.
            2. a situation or condition favorable for attainment of a goal.
            3. a good chance or prospect, as for success.

            Your “list” is not ‘opportunities lost’ but it is wishful thinking. There was never a “prospect” or “good chance” for success for anything you mentioned. NONE!

          • October 6, 2015 @ 4:55 pm Water Way

            I just don’t consider a cement plant importing and grinding slag from China 24 hours a day, running trucks through Vallejo, perhaps causing environmental damage to our water and air and health problems for surrounding residents to be in any way favorable for attainment of a goal or a good chance for success(whose?) We need even 20 more jobs in Vallejo, but how about an industry without severe downsides.

          • October 6, 2015 @ 7:24 pm anon

            The old Sperry Mills was a forgotten, abandoned piece of shoreline that was doing nothing for any “goals” as it stood. When in operation as a flour mill it ran 24 hours a day, running trucks through Vallejo, perhaps causing environmental damage to our water and air and health problems for surrounding residents and no one noticed. A grain dust explosion was possibly more of a hazard than anything cement dust can produce. In any event, the state and federal controls have only gotten better.

            The proposed industrial plan will be safer than the previous tenant.

          • October 6, 2015 @ 8:40 pm wharf rat

            Flour is edible slag is not .

          • October 6, 2015 @ 11:43 pm Anon

            and your point is? My point was to water way. His/her problems with the cement plant are the same problems that exited when the Mill was operating, as a flour mill it ran “24 hours a day, running trucks through Vallejo, perhaps causing environmental damage to our water and air and health problems for surrounding residents” and no one noticed.

  4. September 14, 2015 @ 2:54 pm AnonymousToo

    WHAT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, TRAMKY?? Vallejo gets $360,000, PERIOD. No guarantee of jobs for Vallejoans (remember the State Farm PROMISE of 75 jobs that NEVER happened?) We get 24/7 tanker trucks rolling down Lemon Street. Maybe you like the great SF garbage deal? Garbage landing on the waterfront to be railed north from the marine terminal? We get guaranteed pollution, increased asthma, cancer and garbage; Solano County gets the cash. VMT is a deal the assistant city manager made for his career advancement. He lives in Orinda while we pay the price of “economic development” on his resume!


    • September 21, 2015 @ 10:41 pm tramky

      Guarantee of jobs for Vallejoans? No job can be guaranteed, and I think it’s been judged unconstitutional to restrict employment to people living with some geographic area. That’s why most Vallejo police officers and firefighters do not live in this town–the highest-paid jobs in the City. Almost all the department heads at Vallejo City Hall do not live in Vallejo, including the City Manager.
      It is interesting to see how many citizens have no clue about the law or the way the world really works–it’s all wishful thinking and self-centered whining.


    • October 21, 2015 @ 8:17 pm BeachBlanket

      Re: “Sperry Mills running trucks”: not true–milled flour only went out by rail & ditto for grain coming in to be ground into flour.


  5. September 14, 2015 @ 3:12 pm Port Parrot

    30 Forty foot containers filled with Wine from Napa are moved by truck every day down Highway 29 on there way to the Port of Oakland where they are loaed on container ships bound for Asia. I have never heard anyone rise up in opposition to the wine industry and how they move product, let alone insist that those containers be moved by rail. Where is the opposition to the quarry above Blue Rock Springs and the heavy trucks on Lake Herman Road? Let’s not leave out the Marine Terminal at the C&H factory in Crocket. How dare they ship sugar beets from Hawaii to be processed into sugar. Lest we forget that General Mills was a working flour mill until 2004, and was taking delivery of 100 car trains almost on a daily basis. Also, something to consider about job creation: apparently there is only going to be 30 jobs at VMT/Orcem, but aren’t the 300 indenpently-owned truckers who will be rolling their rigs out of the plant every 6 minutes counted as jobs?


    • September 21, 2015 @ 10:52 pm tramky

      Ha! No, people who do REAL work do not count. Truck drivers?! Nah, they are just transient road bums. Crewmembers on ships?! Just water rats. There are plenty of people around this town who complain about industrial work of any kind–some guy was whining about pile-drivers at Mare Island. Trucks and their drivers are just awful to these twits–more traffic, big vehicles, diesel fumes (not so much any more), and general lack of aesthetics. They’re not real jobs, like programming software (as for programming, that is the ditchdigging of the 21st century). The whining is endless and absurd.


    • October 9, 2015 @ 2:05 pm Water Way

      Did you say 300 independently owned trucks, one every 6 minutes??


  6. September 14, 2015 @ 4:20 pm wharf rat

    The site is I think currently zoned (employment) this must be changed to a more intensive use designation in order for this proposed project to move foreward , the site is 39.1 acres @ the projected 50 jobs (stated to be variable due to market forces) that pencils out at 1.28 jobs per acre , this is a horrible employment ratio for a City that desperatly needs sustainable employment for it’s residents . From an employment perspective , possibly the worst case ”land use” scenario there could be . 1.28 jobs per acre = another negative impact imho .


    • September 23, 2015 @ 10:12 pm Water Way

      After the port is built, who will manage and operate?
      Who will monitor environmental and safety issues?
      Who says what materials can be unloaded and/or stored?
      Are our present city officials capable of making these decisions?
      Our city officials were not able to build a functioning parking lot!


  7. September 14, 2015 @ 4:43 pm curious

    @tramky – why do you assume that because a person has questions/concerns about a specific project, in a specific location, that makes that person anti-business?
    @port parrot – you’re talking apples and oranges. rocks/gravel from a quarry on the east side and wine being trucked from napa are a COMPLETELY different issue. one doesn’t justify or negate the other.


  8. September 14, 2015 @ 4:55 pm Port Parrot

    The suggest that no waterfront development should be considered until “we have a plan” is ridiculous. In fact we are working on a plan under the guise of “Propel Vallejo.” It is a colossal waste of $3.1 million dollars. The plan foresees three possible scenarios for Vallejo: River and Bay City, New Town Center and Urban Villages. The three sensations are so weak and “pie-in-the-sky” that it is beyond laughable. The River and Bay City would take advantage of the fact that Vallejo is bounded by water on three sides. (Duh) It calls for making Vallejo more water friendly. You know, make Vallejo more “kayak-friendly”. The plan also calls for more water-based commerce i.e. the VMT/Orcem project. Since the Propel Vallejo plan won’t be completed for quite sometime. I suppose your recommendation is to tell the developer to come back in a few years when we are ready to talk and we have finished the Propel Vallejo plan.

    A far as I can tell from the Bay Trail website, the part that connects the Carquinez bridge with the part of the trail starting at Brinksmans Marina runs along Sonoma Boulevard. That part of Somona from CMA to Magizine doesn’t even have sidewalks. I would very much like to see the hiking /biking trail extend from the Carquinez bridge along the water front to Brinkmans. It probably won’t work along the water at CMA because they close the gate to the campus at night. It could probably be made to work along Sandy Beach Road. The homeless and fishermen essentially have a goat path that gets them to General Mills from the bottom of Sandy Beach Road. I am sure the Propel Vallejo Plan talks extensively about the Bay Trail (not). I do know that the DEIR takes about security for the project. Since it is a port, the DHS requires a TWIC card for entry. But I do think there is probably a way to cut a trail into the hillside behind the project to complete that part of the trail. What I don’t know is how or why you would want a trail north of GM along the water that abuts all those vehicle storage yards and Water Treatment Plant. But I think that if the developer is made to understand how important that is to they community, they might find it in their interest to help achieve this goal. Or to show its community involvement by working to that goal.

    As to your remark that a port district should be established, I seem to remember someone running for council who promoted that very idea. That candidate was pummeled for being a one issue guy. Now look, a success shipyard using two of the dry docks on MI and this VMT/Orcem proposal. Go figure?
    As for the public Marina and the high vacancy rate of slips. Let’s see: 1) had the City not stratled the Marina with a $14 million loan when the new Marina was built (the City slipped some non-Marina related projects into that loan) they would not be operating at a deficit. 70 percent of the 700 slips in the Marina are vacant. With out that debt service that Marina, even at that vacancy rate, would be profitable. The city subsidies the Marina to the tune of $200,000/year. How much could you lower your slip fees to attract approximately 150 new boats. The person doing that math would be operating that Marina as an enterprise department. The current slip rate is about $3/foot. If you dropped yor rate to $1.50/ft you probably would fill all the slips and possibly have a waiting list.


  9. September 14, 2015 @ 6:50 pm wharf rat

    Without getting microscopic re: the bay trail and floundering marina (good topics for a future waterfront discourse) my point was that we do not have the pieces in place to properly administer/manage these assets so ”how in the hell can we expect to handle a port facility and one with predominatly negative impacts ? the answer is we can’t ! the premise being that to build a house one must have a PLAN , ”visioning is worthless without a blueprint”that said I do agree re the waste of $3.1
    Million , much of wich could have been spent on concrete projects (no pun intended) even some brick and mortor ! .

    My point was we take grant money to develop a portion of the bay trail and borrowed millions for the Marina then participate in crappy development plans the ultimatley destroy these assets at the public’s expence leading to a reputation of being a disfunctional Municipality , such as will be furthered if we inherit a failed port project . The reliance on the construction industry is of concern for the Orcem proposal while the VMT
    markets are realy not defined , combined with an at times ”hostile” regulatory community and extreme regional environmental awareness this project could be problematic or not viable in this geography .

    The risk of another ”abandoned” industrial facility at this site could impede quality waterfront evolutions and community economic development with more ”avoidable” blight ! and on a waterfront, with stellar potential for the community to enjoy ! we must move away from developer centric cop outs and do a PLAN for our ENTIRE waterfront and if port facilities are to be then do them right the first time ! … This cant be done by throwing $$$ at staff .

    the southern waterfront has been bantered about as a University site , this has wisdom as Education is our #1 employer in Vallejo , the site has potential for a Maritime oriented Campus (duuhh) possibly Oceanographic and Marine Sciences with a research component and connection or as a part of a CMA expantion
    with even a UCD field station for Estuary studies and research !! . It also has potential as a ferry construction facility (they are now being built out of State) , wetland propogation and aquaculture would be a good fit too.

    So unless WE do intelligent planning developers will continue to prostitute this asset of ours and we will only have ourselves to blame , we gave MI away to lennar , let’s not repeate that mistake again .


    • September 15, 2015 @ 1:52 pm Anon

      “we gave MI away to lennar , let’s not repeate that mistake again .”

      The mistake was letting a Schiveley (VIB patron) supported CM (Barkley) negotiate the MI give away


    • September 17, 2015 @ 5:50 pm Chris

      Why is the City turning over much of Mare Island to Lennar as a master developer viewed as a bad thing? If that had not been done, ALL of Mare Island would look like north Mare Island–derelict, grafitti-ridden, burned down and stripped of electrical service by copper thieves. The situation on Mare Island has a long history and is somewhat complex, but most roads cross at City Hall.


  10. September 17, 2015 @ 8:02 am wharf rat

    This tome has landed on the Vallejo shore , I highly recomend folks to read this it lays out foreward thinking policy and intelligent planning , some done by Cities right in our backyard ! .
    Vallejo deserves no less than our neighbours ! public participation was key to many of these great projects , the Maritime industry need not be excluded from well thought waterfront evolutions , however it must be a good fit and compliment a waterfront community that is a source of local pride while being a viable and sustainable community asset . This book alone makes the case for putting the brakes on waterfront development untill a proper and legal process has been effected (a must read for community members and especially Council members and City staff) . A sucsessful waterfront plan can only evolve when everyone is on the same boat !.
    The piecemeal prostitution must stop ! our waterfront is not for sale , it is simply on loan and should be cherished by generations to come .

    Here is a snippet for consideration ..

    Today’s urban riverfronts are changing. The decline of river commerce and riverside industry has made riverfront land once used for warehouses, factories, and loading docks available for open space, parks, housing, and nonindustrial uses. Urban rivers, which once functioned as open sewers for cities, are now seen as part of larger watershed ecosystems. Rivertown examines urban river restoration efforts across the United States, presenting case studies from Los Angeles; Washington, D.C.; Portland, Oregon; Chicago; Salt Lake City; and San Jose. It also analyzes the roles of the federal government (in particular, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) and citizen activism in urban river politics. A postscript places New Orleans’s experience with Hurricane Katrina in the broader context of the national riverside land-use debate. Each case study in Rivertown considers the critical questions of who makes decisions about our urban rivers, who pays to implement these decisions, and who ultimately benefits or suffers from these decisions. In Los Angeles, for example, local nonprofit and academic research groups played crucial roles, whereas Chicago relied on a series of engineering interventions. Some cases–such as the innovative cooperative framework adopted to address problems in the Guadalupe River watershed–offer models for other areas. In each case, authors evaluate the ecological issues and consider urban river restoration projects in relation to other urban economic and environmental initiatives in the region. Rivertown is a valuable resource for urban planners and citizen groups as well as for scholars.Paul Stanton Kibel is Director of Policy West, a public policy consultancy, and an environmental and water rights attorney with Fitzgerald Abbott & Beardsley. He is Adjunct Professor at Golden Gate University School of Law, where he also directs the City Parks Project, and teaches water policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of The Earth on Trial: Environmental Law on the International Stage.


    • September 17, 2015 @ 9:55 am Diana Hamid

      Thanks for the book review. I am going to see if I can find ir. vallejo has a besutiful river flowing along one border – I din’t want to see developers come in & destroy its beauty.


    • September 23, 2015 @ 9:42 am tramky

      What, exactly, is ‘local pride’? Pride for what, exactly? That means quite a number of different things to different people. Some people would be proud to know that they stopped any industry from being planted in Vallejo; I know because I have chatted with people in this town who have told me this directly.

      Who is proud of the dental office sitting on the most prime & central location on the Vallejo waterfront? Keep in mind that there is nothing wrong with dentistry, but that place is literally a black hole every night, closed for business and everything else, and will be forever. It is an obstacle to waterfront development because it is OUT OF PLACE. But too late now; among the many wrong decisions made by City Hall years ago, but it was a big one. Not the only one.

      As for those who want only businesses that fit some particular vision that they have in mind for a location or site in Vallejo, that’s all fine and dandy, but it’s just wishful thinking. There may be NO business that meets your criteria that is willing or able to locate at that specific place. NO ONE is lining up to fulfill your wishes; in fact, it is just pie-in-the-sky. If you have something in mind AND can find a business to fulfill that wish, go get ’em and bring ’em here. If not, then you’re just blowing smoke and creating an obstacle.


    • October 24, 2015 @ 10:15 pm BeachBlanket

      The library doesn’t own this book, but it’s available on Amazon starting @5.01 for used copies–published in 2007, so not BRAND new, but still fairly current with relevant info for our community.


  11. September 17, 2015 @ 10:52 am wharf rat

    Your welcome , remember knowledge is power !


  12. September 17, 2015 @ 5:52 pm Carol Pearlman

    thanks, wharf rat. i’m going to buy it too; i like to be informed. but the people who need to read & learn from that book are not going to read it, and people like me can’t make a dent in this tragedy-in-the-making.


  13. September 28, 2015 @ 8:02 am Anon

    ” while the shoreline loss will be in perpetuity ,a loss to the public who will not be able to enjoy a walk on our scenic shoreline without going around the VMT”.

    Rat, you cannot walk on that stretch of not-so-scenic shoreline now. That “shoreline” is a slimy ooze of smelly mud washed down from the Napa river. A mixture of Napa Valley agricultural fertilizers and decayed primordial marine life. Stand in now and you will sink to your knees! Take off your rose colored glasses. The Sandy Beach resident (next door) don’t even walk on the shoreline. They have asphalt and a boardwalk to protect themselves from the “jewel” of a shoreline.


  14. September 28, 2015 @ 11:25 am wharf rat

    ”decayed primordial marine life” (well descibes certian pollitical affiliates and administrative enclaves) IE: fossils


  15. September 29, 2015 @ 4:47 am tramky

    anon, having ‘questions’ regarding some development proposal is just fine. What has gotten quite tiresome in this town is the whining about ANY business development at or near the waterfront as opposed to one form of park space or other. The one thing that park space, trails of various types, and other no-impact uses have in common is the taxpayer funding, because all such uses are to be ‘free of charge’ to the users of such spaces. As is the case with many things done by governments at all levels, it may be free but is not without cost. The proponents of such facilities very often assume–even demand–that it will be free to the public, AND that the cost will be paid for by someone else. Specifically the taxpayer.

    With this kind of view of development, combined with NIMBYism, commercial and industrial development is relegated to a few odd sites, or is eliminated completely. In the meantime, the City government, cut off from the self-generating tax funding produced by commercial and industrial development is forced to seek other sources of funds. So it seeks the Federal tit of HUD, the state and county tit offered in exchange for parolee centers, and participates in taxpayer-funded loan guarantee schemes like Temple Lofts that put a low cap on income of tenants, making it clear that if you have money you are not welcome in Vallejo.

    Vallejo is the way it is because THIS is the way it is. The largest projects in this town are ALL designed to facilitate getting Vallejoans OUT of town to their jobs in other cities of the Bay Area where the real economic engines are located, economic engines that are NOT wanted or permitted here-actual employers. So those largest projects create parking lots–the parking structure and parking lots surrounding it, and the park-and-ride parking lot on Curtola near I-80, vast economic deadzones in prime locations. Parking lots that support mass transit are NOT engines of economic development for this town, they are simply parking lots.


  16. September 29, 2015 @ 8:51 am wharf rat

    Quite to the contrary Tramky , what We are seeing right now is a ”Vallejo uprising” ! It has been coined YIMBYISM and frankly it is sweeping the Country . Vallejo has plenty of revenue flow to do great things , and will now that the Citezens are taking back their
    City . Private industry knows business ,City Staff knows how to spend tax money (how many Staff have tangible business backrounds?)
    We spend 100’s of thousands of $ on a community center without even breaking ground ! and on and on , City Government is inefficient and poorly managed , We continue to load up on administrative Staff while potholes procreate and special interests get fat , Staff plays footsie with high priced consultants who create ”visions” all while the vortex of inefficiency continues to spin it’s revenue vacuum .
    So no it’s not a NIMBY thing at all Folks are just tired of seeing great potential continualy going down the drain , well knowing what we could realy do ! You are right re: the HUD/FED at the teat – welfare, however equally sucking is our administrative and special interest welfare systems that consume a disproportion of revenue to services ratio . The recent attempt by our City Manager to build his geo-political empire by subsuming our legislative authority is a prime example of miss-guided management , we should in fact reduce administrative overhead and use some of the savings to hire REAL lobbyists at a fixed rate with no future liabilities just like the private sector does . Sucsesfull businesses employ or contract strong CFO’s Vallejo needs this guidance more than an adventuresome City Manager building his empire ! in fact our management structure is due for a major overhaul that dovetails with a general plan update that realy should be a REFORM PLAN that learns from past indiscretions and poor performance . Term limits for Management positions is an interesting concept , in light of recent events probably a good one . Proposed form based code is another red flag ! as is the dismantling of Citezen Commissions (what are they afraid of transparency?) canceled public meetings and the numerous closed sessions are yet another red flag as well , our Council majority seems happy to have Staff think for them while they drink Staff’s Koolaid . The only fix for these problems is an engauged Citezenry and that is in the works currently!. The outcry over the VMT Orcem project is not NIMBYISM at all rather it is a wholesale distrust of business as usual and a SCREAM for the transparency lacking for years that ends up costing us so much . The discontent of West Vallejo residents is so palpable that a tax witholding revolt has been table’d as well as splitting the City ! when projects like this VMT Orcem one are decided behind closed doors while West Vallejo is expected to embrace the negative impacts while being called NIMBYS for asking too many questions or expressing their desire for a higher quality land use , well it’s no wonder desperate measures are being bantered about . No Citezenry in the region would do less ”why should we”?.


    • September 29, 2015 @ 12:07 pm Anon

      “Vallejo has plenty of revenue flow to do great things”

      You are either completely clueless or completely full of horse/cow patties? Gomes and Brown predicted V-town would be back in bankruptcy with the current
      Council. That does not sound like “plenty of revenue”. They were wrong but so are you.


    • September 30, 2015 @ 6:11 am tramky

      The City has very little money, and none to do ‘great things’, whatever those might be. The City is getting a multi-million dollar loan to demolish buildings on Mare Island, with years of taxpayer-funded debt service to follow. That will pay for building-free but empty lots–in other words, nothing.

      True enough, the City has thin exertise and knowledge in and about development. City Council and Mayor are part-time positions; those people ARE led around by City Staff and the City Manager, but do inject themselves into issues and projects when subjected to prodding by special interests, a prime example being the badge and pass building demolition, done after a huge, quick push on Council by the good ol’ girls on the hill with NO funding to complete the job. So the Council stole street paving funds to pay for hauling the rubble away. We now have a huge empty lot with no future in sight and more terrible streets than might otherwise have been the case. This is also a great insight into how little money this city has.


      • September 30, 2015 @ 1:25 pm wharf rat

        A look at compensation packages will reveal the massive revenue leakage ! the badge and pass was mismanagement going back 20 + years , the demolition and disposal was 3 times market costs , start adding it all up and yes we are not as poor as some think , we are poorly managed at a high cost , all while the CM is paied 24 K + per month .


        • September 30, 2015 @ 6:51 pm anon

          24k a month? That is chicken feed! SF Gate wrote: “Tanner had been a lightning rod for criticism because of his salary – $341,000 annually”. That is 28,400 k+ per month and Stephanie Gomes was quoted as saying; “I think getting rid of a competent, qualified city manager in the middle of a crisis unseen in this city or the state is reckless and irresponsible,” said Councilwoman Stephanie Gomes.

          CM salaries were never an issue when we we chose to go into bk, why worry about a guys salary now that is (15% less) actually making more revenue for the city?

          You are a loon? Or was Stephanie wrong?


        • October 1, 2015 @ 9:31 am anon

          Stephanie Gomes from her online blog re: Dan Keen: ” We have a City Manager who is professional, ethical, strong and determined to turn this ship around.”

          and Warf Rat re: Dan Keen: “we are poorly managed at a high cost , all while the CM is paied 24 K + per month .”

          Confusing. Is one right and one wrong? Truth in both views? What to believe?


        • October 1, 2015 @ 9:39 am anon

          from Stepahanies blog on Dan Keen: “To the City Council:
          (1) Let your city manager manage the city — he’s the best city manager we’ve likely ever had. He has the education, the skills and the drive to manage this city well. You now have a luxury I didn’t have — a city manager you can trust so you can focus on setting policy.”

          however Warf Rat surmises about Dan Keen: ” we are poorly managed at a high cost”

          Again so confusing, especially when you consider Warf Rat was/is such a strong supporter of former Councilperson Gomes.


  17. October 13, 2015 @ 11:04 pm TheTruthIsOutThere

    Ecocem wins big with Next Generation Cement at the prestigious Green Awards

    Ecocem wins big with Next Generation Cement at the prestigious Green Awards
    Posted in the Vallejo Forum
    Track Replies

    11 hrs ago

    Ecocem is the parent company of Orcem (pronounced or-sem)

    Ecocem Next Generation Cement is manufactured in Dublin. The combination of its superior strength and durability, coupled with the lowest carbon footprint (as much as a 60% reduction) led the impressive panel of domestic and international judges to present the award to Ecocem. Ecocem faced off impressive competition from the likes of Thornton Recycling and Tan Organic.

    Conor O’Riain, MD of Ecocem Ireland commented: “Sustainability and strong environmental credentials are of the upmost importance when choosing products of any nature. We are delighted to win this award, as it represents a strong independent endorsement of our environmental credentials, allowing users to cut through the greenwashing and make the right choice for the environment, whilst benefiting from an increase in performance”

    The Green Awards are in their 5th year and going from strength to strength. This year featured submissions from some of the world’s biggest companies including Diageo, Coca Cola and IKEA.


    • October 21, 2015 @ 8:48 pm BeachBlanket

      BTW, the “Prestigious Green Awards” are bestowed under the aegis of Irish industrial consortia -& are awarded
      IN IRELAND~not the U.S.


  18. October 14, 2015 @ 7:49 am TheTruthIsOutThere

    Debunking Peter Brooks
    First of all, I have to hand it to Peter. He is charismatic and can whip up a frenzied crowd of otherwise reasonable people. This is one highly intelligent man.
    He has a public relations background and he has used these skills to make negative claims against Orçem (Note: I am using the French cedilla to denote the correct pronunciation). Orçem submitted their application in June 2014 to propose the replacement of the old Sperry flour mill with a cement mill and reconstruction of the Vallejo Marine Terminal. He started these claims in a small way by submitting a letter that is in the record of the comments received after the initial announcement of the project in June 2014.
    Peter has already been instructed to retract falsehoods. One of his early falsehoods was claiming suspicions of mercury. He did this on the NBC newscast in September. He then retracted that on the Ozcat radio interview. Peter has met with Steve Bryan, the president of Orçem America and has had the name of the product pronounced for him, continues pronouncing it incorrectly (or-kem, similar to chemical).
    On the NextDoor social media site, he posted a picture from Google earth of white stuff claiming that it was leaking from the Ecocem (Orçem’s parent company). After he was told and shown where the “white stuff” is coming from (a different plant further upstream) he had promised to take the picture off of NextDoor. He has not done so. Instead, he edited his post to read, “ORCEM has notified me by email that the “white stuff” in the water is not coming from their plant. Thank you ORCEM for your prompt reply. ORCEM, can you please identify the mountain of other white material that appears to be stored on your site?”
    At the Ozcat interview he changed his earlier claim that the steel was coming from China, but instead coming from Japan. The DEIR states that materials to be milled will be coming from Asia via ship; from California, Nevada and Arizona via truck; and California and Nevada via railroad.
    During the interview he continued to repeat his claim of 300 trucks a day. On page 495 the scenarios for transportation are described. Even if all material was transported by trucks there would only be 2000 trucks per month or approximately 93 per day. Later in the interview, he then raises the number of trucks to 350 per day.
    He also claims there will only be 20 jobs. He goes on to state that somebody unnamed said they won’t find qualified candidates for jobs in Vallejo. He further paints a bleak scenario and states that these are the “wrong kinds of jobs.” Let’s take a look again at the Fiscal Economic Report. On page 5 it shows the following:
    Total Full Time Equivalent Jobs 2015-122
    Total Full Time Equivalent Jobs 2016-67
    Total Full Time Equivalent Jobs 2017-103
    Total Full Time Equivalent Jobs 2018-113
    Total Full Time Equivalent Jobs 2019-153
    Total Full Time Equivalent Jobs 2020-193
    Total Full Time Equivalent Jobs 2021-189

    He then further calls the milled product a toxic powder and describes the appearance as a “deathly shade of grey.” I am certain that as a young student, Peter must have earned an A in creative writing. He also describes the following toxicities in the Orçem product that might be harmful to workers: arsenic (which we find in wine grapes and sometimes in cheap wine because it comes from the soil), lead, cadmium (comes from the Earth’s crust), Zinc (I actually take this to ward off a cold), Copper (don’t let the thieves know!), and Chromium (which many find beneficial). However, I don’t think anyone is going to eat this stuff. But wait! That’s not what’s in the Orçem product. Check it out yourself on
    The rest of the interview went on to explore lots of what ifs, but no actual exploration of facts.
    Peter is right. There is much to be concerned about. I’m particularly concerned of the cult he has built and the poisoning of our citizens’ minds.


    • October 21, 2015 @ 9:42 pm BeachBlanket

      ..Touché! Kudos for use of the çedilla to denote correct pronunciation of the word “Orcem”. Similarly, the use of the accent aigu avoids confusion as to correct pronunciation of the word “Touche”…as in”too-shay” rather than “too-shee” or “toosh”…I would be interested in finding out more about Peter Brooks and his dangerous cult, so please share whatever info you have. Also, what about the Fiscal Economic Report on page 5? Any word on who prepared that report and what type of full time jobs will be available? My son will be graduating soon & hopes to land a position in the construction industry.


      • October 23, 2015 @ 3:06 pm TheTruthIsOutThere

        The Fiscal and Economic Report was prepared by Chris Seals, President, Field Guide Consulting

        Field Guide Consulting 71332403510 121S. Goliad Suite 4, Amarillo, TX, 79106 USA
        Canadian Office: Suite 400 7015 MacLeod Trail South Calgary AB T2H2K6 Canada

        The Draft EIR and Fiscal report discusses well-paying stevedore jobs. We are not talking about the man behind Apple here. A stevedore is defined by Merriam Webster as, “a person whose job is to load and unload ships at a port.” From the Fiscal and Economic report:

        “Together, the two projects will support a total of 189 permanent jobs by 2021, including direct, indirect, and induced jobs. Temporary jobs will also be created in the earlier years of the project during the construction phases…

        Among these jobs are high-paying stevedore jobs for loading and unloading cargo from vessels. In the future, when rail connection is extended, stevedore employment is expected to increase. The operations of the facility are also likely to more local employment through consumption of locally- provided services such as security, landscaping, and other services…

        In addition to the direct, indirect, and induced jobs that are estimated in this report, the project also has additional employment and job creation potential. At full capacity, over 200 trucks will likely move through the terminal per day, creating additional opportunity for transportation jobs. These trucks will also generate employment through gas fill-ups at Vallejo gas stations (average tank sizes can be 100 to 200 gallons)…

        The average wages for direct employees for the two projects will be approximately $80,445 per year by 2021. The average wage for indirect jobs created at suppliers will be approximately $64,275 and the average wages for induced jobs will be approximately $50,659 per year…

        Impacts from the operations: The VMT Project will operate the Vallejo Marine Terminal. VMT will earn taxable income on the property through rental income on leased property, wharfage income (fees for use of the wharf for movement of goods), and stevedore income (fees paid to move goods through the wharf)…

        Stevedore Income: The stevedore services will be subcontracted to a terminal operator, however, for simplicity, the impacts associated with stevedore operations of the terminal are presented as part of the total VMT Project. Stevedore expenses are estimated and are additional to wharfage income…
        There is also an unknown component to VMT’s stevedoring/wharfage business since clients can bring in different commodities for loading/unloading via ships. Depending on the goods moved, the stevedore labor requirements may be higher than estimated.”


  19. October 22, 2015 @ 9:22 am wharf rat

    The economic projections are ”fantasy” , a larger plant in the Sacramento area employes two operators per shift , the Ship unloading is done on an as needed basis by Longshoremen, and since cement is a construction material it is site and project specific , if this plant did not exist it would have almost no impact on availability of cement in this region . The income (actual) our City recieves is a net negative when the impacts are factored , a huge portion of this site (leased by the City) has had a rent abatement in effect for years , we are givingthem $ 15,000 per year of free rent while the property value skyrockets by millions . Wonder who is realy making out on this ?.


  20. October 22, 2015 @ 10:39 am Publicus

    Please don’t complain about Peter Brook’s “creative writing”. Didn’t you see the masterpiece of obfuscation, misinformation and redirection in ORCEM’s DEIR? Wow! The EIR consultant gets extra points for their skills in circumventing CEQA. If ORCEM wants to play that way, they deserve citizen attempts to offset their spin with a little of our own. It is just politics. You guys play that way; don’t whine when we do.


    • October 23, 2015 @ 2:54 pm TheTruthIsOutThere

      Here’s the thing. I wouldn’t complain about the creative writing if it was received as the fiction it is. I am just a regular citizen. After I heard Peter going on about the awfulness of the Draft EIR I went and read it looking for all of the horror he outlined. I thought Peter was a friend and a concerned citizen like myself and now I feel betrayed. I see a lot of my friends fooled by him and I am saddened by that. I spoke up and they turned their anger on me. No more of that, thank you. So here I am, under a pseudonym. I don’t work for Orcem, I’m not a jumper and I wouldn’t consider myself a VIBer either. It is my duty to stay informed as I am a veteran teacher.
      Normally I side with the bleeding hearts…but I can’t on this issue. This is a great opportunity for Vallejo. I’ve lived in other cities where an industry came into town and WHAM! A nothing town became a highly desirable place to be within 5 years of the gateway industry.

      I totally get that the Draft EIR is complicated, especially if one does not read technical documents regularly. I understand the document but then, I read a lot of technical information just for fun. That being said, the issue I have with the Draft EIR is the NOX2 emissions. Even so, that is not directly related to the cement mill. I have to wonder if there is an effective way to mitigate, though nothing was offered. The report discusses to vehicles needing to be modernized to 2010 models and later by 2023; that is a state requirement. What about insisting that trucks entering Vallejo must be modernized even sooner? Diesel trucks are the biggest culprit of NOX2 emissions. I’m rereading that part of the report and researching if there are solutions.


      • October 23, 2015 @ 9:47 pm Water Way

        A chart exhibited at the Orcem open house showed the ships transporting materials for the cement plant would generate 50% of the NOX2.


  21. October 24, 2015 @ 2:12 pm wharf rat

    BREAKING MUSE : Resident – Homeowner – Native – and now Radio Personality Anne Carr ”calls it as She sees it’
    Anne speaks truth to lies on the Vallejo Marine Termial and Orcem ”proposed projects”.


    • October 29, 2015 @ 9:55 am TheTruthIsOutThere

      I’ve been bothered by this roundtable interview for several days and I finally figured out why. It certainly wasn’t the often repeated fears and misinformation that has been floating around St. Vincent’s Hill and the Vallejo Heritage neighborhoods for weeks. That’s old business. Here’s what offended me: I listened to Anne Carr continually pronounce “green” with an approximation of an Irish Brogue. I felt it was very disrespectful and a microaggression towards Irish people in general. Even worse, the DJs picked it up and complimented her on her pronunciation. Another thing I cannot figure out is why ships from China or Japan are a problem. Anne Carr and the DJs discussed that possibility and indicated that it was dangerous, making a blanket statement about Chinese and Japanese in general. Are Asians and their products no longer welcome in this city of diversity? That’s how that conversation came off. What’s next? Will you now be suspicious of the Filipino people? Vallejo, are we a city of racists under the guise of protecting “poor South Vallejo”? No Irish (or Chinese or Japanese or Filipino) need apply? I’ve personally experienced racism through microaggression, and it makes me angry to hear my fellow citizens speak this way and for Ozcat to promote it. Vallejo, we are better than this.


      • October 29, 2015 @ 8:19 pm wharf rat

        Popycock ! the interview was factual and informative , to date more so than any other effort, far beyond the local media and extremely well researched, it was a valuable community service and appreciated by many . The tongue and cheek humor was appropriate considering just how ridiculous this proposal is , your attempt to spin this with ”microaggression” re: Irish and Chinese cultural bias and then tossing in the Filipino culture ”for good measure”? seems a tad ”micromental” had you paid attention and followed the news you would know that many toxic imports come from those Countries , this was their reference ”nothing else”. What offends me is this ”killing the messenger attitude” when a giving soul speaks truth to lies they should be commended not condemned . This green (with brogue) foreign national corporation wishes to import a hazardous waste product to our community ”while greenwashing the crap outa it” I am privileged to have the facts made available and salute Anne (who just might be Irish) for sharing with Her community what others try to conceal . ”Fellow citizens” might be a stretch , ”for fellows without a sense of humor are poor fellows indeed”, re: ”poor south Vallejo” that is in it’s self classicist and disrespctfull to that area of our City, they have a wealth that seems to elude you , valuable more than gold, thanks to Anne they now have the TRUTH .


        • October 30, 2015 @ 6:30 am John_K

          Checking my listing of pros and cons, I may have reasons to oppose the project, but toxicity is not one of them. Having read the Draft EIR, and researching the raw materials to be imported, I’m puzzled by the idea of “toxic imports” and that a “foreign national corporation wishes to import a hazardous waste product to our community”.

          Can you elaborate on the toxic or hazardous nature of the imported material?


          • October 30, 2015 @ 9:02 am wharf rat

            Time to peel back the green wrapper a bit and explore the proposed materials real risks (those omitted from the DEIR) of particular concern is the propensity
            for this material to contain hexavalent chromium a known and listed ”agressive carcinogen” (pls google) the proposed open stock piles are not an acceptable method of storage when the real constituants in this material are considered . This is just the GGBFS (green cement) info , the project proposes to process many other hazardous waste and materials for cement production .


            Safety and Health Topics | Hexavalent Chromium – Health Effects
            note: these are the actual industry (required documents) from which worker safety / exposure is refrenced , they are certianly not biased , rather by law representative .

      • October 29, 2015 @ 8:51 pm Doug

        Anne a racist, tehehe, giggle, giggle, HahaHahaHahaHahaHahaHahaHaha,. “Wharf Rat” was too humble with you! Ships from Japan and China Suck. They pollute our lands and our waterways. Do you understand now or should I use megaaggression and spell it out a little clearer for you? So what if she used an Irish Brogue, if your offended by it, that’s your baggage, not hers. The sooner VMT/Orcem packs their green bags and leaves town, (I said that with an Irish Borgue, by the way) the sooner you can quit whining and race-baiting!
        “Will you now be suspicions of the Filipino people?” Really?:(
        But hey, its a free country right? Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Accent, Freedom for Ships, Freedom to Spin, Freedom to Bait and all that Freedom shidt…
        Good for Anne and good for Ozcat (85.9 FM) for stepping up and helping to inform this community about the damages to our health and our environment this project could bring upon us!!!
        You have a Bait-day now, ya hear…


        • October 30, 2015 @ 10:54 am John_K

          WHARF RAT, that’s a mighty spooky revelation… hexavalent chromium… but how much of it will be hidden beneth the green wrapper? The Ash Grove MSDS shows it not as an ingredient, but as a trace amount detected during chemical analysis. Can you put this in perspective? I don’t want to greenwash this, but as I read google, the stuff is everywhere, occurring naturally in the environment from the erosion of natural chromium deposits, it’s in our drinking water, and industrial uses of hexavalent chromium compounds include chromate pigments in dyes, paints, inks, and plastics; chromates added as anticorrosive agents to paints, primers, and other surface coatings, as well as on metal parts providing a decorative or protective coating. You can google for more, but I think it may not be confined to imported blast furnace slag.

          I appreciate the information you have presented, and I am including it in my DEIR comments and questions, which are due this coming Monday. But I don’t think there are any industrial processes where there is no risk of this stuff being present, whether intentionally or in trace amounts.


          • October 30, 2015 @ 7:36 pm wharf rat

            Yes chromium is a natural element and needed for good human health
            (hexavelent cromium) is a whole ”nother’ animal , high concentrations are found in portland cement and GGBFS (slag) from iron smelting . The levels of these two and many other ”constituents of concern”will only be known if each shipment is tested , there is no provision for this in the DEIR . Blind faith in an off shore corporation to ensure these toxins do not contaminate Vallejo is a tough cookie , the slag orgions keep changing , China , Asia , now central America ? and no radiological screening ! it’s nuts . The scope of this project changes with the tide . Hexavalent cromium is a class A carcinogen and mutagenic see love canal fiasco – cancer and birth defects . They want to store huge piles on the ground outside with no cover , nuts !.

          • October 31, 2015 @ 5:44 am John_K

            WHARF RAT, your own ref source says “trace amounts”… where do you get “high concentrations” in GGBFS and portland cement?

          • October 31, 2015 @ 8:13 am tramky

            Hexavalent chromium was the centerpoint of the fiasco in southern California depicted in the real life ‘Erin Brockovich’ story, made famous by the movie of that title.

            That involved the chemical in groundwater contaminated by leaking, seeping basins that were part of a PG&E plant, that got into household water wells over years, causing a variety of cancers and other medical problems in and around the nearby small town.

            But that was quite a different thing than what is proposed here. We all must keep an open mind on this and other questions and demand solid answers. But dismissing the whole project because of the mere presence of some some amount of a particular substance is not the proper response. Get the facts–all of ’em.

  22. October 25, 2015 @ 2:12 pm wharf rat

    URGENT !
    Public Hearing 4pm Sunday Oct 25 – No! Deep water terminal / cement plant in South Vallejo!
    today at 4:00pm
    King Norman C Community Center.
    Online event: Twitter Reply @OrcemAmericas Needed!


  23. October 30, 2015 @ 7:45 am Anonymous

    Interesting idea. Solano County has for some unknown reason been left out of a lot of things. That’s why Vallejo has the dubious distinction of being called the armpit of the Bay Area. Vallejo is in a strategic location between San Francisco and Sacramento along I-80 corridor. Vallejo should be the i-Hub of the Carquinez Strait cities of Vallejo, Benicia, Martinez. I would include American Canyon and Crockett as well. This could become a joint Solano-Contra Costa economic engine if her i-Hub idea is presented to ALL 5 city councils. Go for it.


  24. December 4, 2015 @ 3:24 pm wharf rat

    Vallejo’s Shadow Government: an article from Voices of Vallejo!shadow/c1cv8

    Back in March and April of 2014, the city of Vallejo asked residents to talk about their values and vision for the future as part of a community-wide effort to develop Guiding Principles. According to the city web site: “The Guiding Principles define the kind of community Vallejoans want, describing our shared values and our vision for our city. Working together, Vallejo residents, businesses, and community groups have developed this short list of statements that will guide the General Plan Update, the Sonoma Boulevard Specific Plan, and the Zoning Code Update over the next three years.”

    But while this public process played out, another group began meeting behind closed doors to share their own values and vision for the future of our city, out of the public eye and without the knowledge of some of our elected officials. This shadowy group includes select city officials and staff, county level political operatives, and private big money interests. Their vision for the future of Vallejo looks very different from the vision developed with public input through the general plan process.

    The Mare Island Straits Economic Development Committee (MISEDC) was formed in April of 2014, and organized by councilmember Jesus Malgapo who serves as its chair. MISEDC explicitly states it is not a formal City Commission but rather defines itself as: “an ad hoc Citizens Committee of the City of Vallejo.” It is nothing of the sort. A look at the committee roster confirms that these are not the kind of ordinary city residents and business owners that participated in the public planning process:

    Mare Island Straits Economic Development Committee Members –

    Jess Malgapo, Vallejo City Councilmember
    Pippin Dew-Costa, Vallejo City Councilmember
    Rozzana Verder-Aliga; Vallejo City Councilmember
    Mel Orpilla, District Representative for Mike Thompson
    Tom Bartee, District Director for Assembymember Bill Dodd
    Alex Pader, District Representative for Senator Wolk
    Belinda Smith, District Representative for Supervisor Seifert
    Michael Wilson, District Representative for Supervisor Hannigan
    Steve Bryan, President, ORCEM America
    Matt Fettig, Vallejo Marine Terminal (VMT)
    Blaise Fettig, Vallejo Marine Terminal (VMT)
    Steve Dileo, President, Mare Island Dry Dock LLC
    Christina Snyder, Vice President, Mare Island Dry Dock LLC
    Anthony Intintoli – San Francisco Bay Water Emergency Transportation Authority
    Tom Sheaff, Vice President Lennar Mare Island
    Phil DuPuis, Senior Business Development Manager, Kiewit
    Danny Bernardini – Napa Solano Building Trades
    City Staff: Mark Sawicki, Kathleen Diohep, Fiona Stryker, Roland Rojas
    David Kleinschmidt – City of Vallejo Public Works Director
    Erin Hanford; Project Manager, Mare Island, City of Vallejo
    Mark O’Brien; City of Vallejo Consultant

    A citizen’s committee? Hardly. Propel Vallejo, the general plan update process that drafted the Guiding Principles, is the true citizen’s committee. Mare Island Straits Economic Development Committee represents a group of self-appointed elites doing what works best for them in secret, secure in the knowledge that voters in Vallejo are too disengaged, disorganized, and uninformed to do anything about it. The involvement of the three Jump Start city councilmembers and city staff makes this look like much more than some run-of-the-mill ad hoc citizen’s committee.

    The public and private priorities stand in stark contrast. The city web site emphasizes the broad base of support for its official sanctioned planning vision: “Collaborating successfully with local community organizations, we also took extra steps to include students at Vallejo High School, residents of South Vallejo, and members of local community groups in the conversation to make sure they had a voice in the process.” In July of 2014 the city council officially approved the Guiding Principles developed with community participation. They include:

    5. Collaborative Civic Engagement
    Vallejo identifies its challenges and takes constructive actions to address them. It is a place with strong, collaborative partnerships between government, residents, and local businesses and where challenges are addressed proactively, drawing on lessons learned from their own experience and from other communities.

    6. Active, Participatory Community
    Vallejo supports and depends on active community participation. Vallejo provides timely and understandable information on planning issues and projects, and community members participate directly in shaping plans and policies for the city’s future.

    How does the Mare Island Straits Economic Development Committee process, already months old at the time the above language was approved by the city council, fit with the process described by these Guiding Principles? Not even close, it’s the polar opposite. Not only was the public not informed of the activities of this group, three of our elected councilmembers were cut completely out of the loop and were not even aware of the existence of MISEDC until very recently.

    And how does the vision for the future of Vallejo favored by these would-be power brokers match up with the vision created by the citizens who participated in the city planning process? Again, they are entirely different things. Residents want a healthy livable city that treasures and preserves the beauty of its waterfront. The Guiding Principals include the following:

    7. Healthy Community
    Vallejo promotes the health of its residents and recognizes the value of a proactive, preventative approach to health. All Vallejo neighborhoods have easy access to healthy food, including organic food and locally grown food from school and community gardens.

    8. Beautiful City
    Vallejo values and showcases the City’s beauty, historic character, compatible architecture, abundant trees, and local ecology. Gateways into the community make positive, welcoming impressions, and Vallejo’s pride is displayed on every block in the way people care for their homes, gardens, businesses, and neighborhoods.

    9. A Place People Want To Be
    Vallejo’s vibrant downtown, attractive waterfront and open spaces, livable neighborhoods, and varied destinations draw people from the Bay Area and beyond. Vallejo is a place where people of all ages want to be, day and night — to live, work, shop, and recreate.

    10. Iconic Waterfront
    Vallejo treasures its waterfront as a centerpiece of the community, with a promenade, multi-use trails, natural open space, and access to water activities. It is a place for community gathering, exercising, socializing, shopping, dining out and having fun.

    11. Environmental Stewardship
    Vallejo pursues and promotes environmental education; protects and manages its watersheds, wetlands, and wildlife habitats; and embraces businesses and industries that are sensitive to the environment. It is a community where environmental stewardship is an asset that attracts people and businesses.

    That is what ordinary residents of Vallejo want for their future. So what is the purpose and vision of this ad hoc self-styled “citizens” committee running a parallel secret planning process? How does it fit with the vision expressed in the official approved Guiding Principles? According to committee agendas, obtained by public records request from the city, MISEDC has two stated goals:

    1. Conduct research and take action necessary to secure federal funding for the long term and sustained dredging of Mare Island Straits for public, private, commercial use.

    2. Explore how Mare Island Straits could be transformed into an economic driver for the City of Vallejo and Solano County.”

    In order to make the first goal happen, they have been informed by the Army Corps that they would have to demonstrate a revival of commercial activity. The need to reintroduce the kinds of commercial activity that require regular dredging of the Napa River mouth explains the presence of the VMT/Orcem principals on this “citizens” committee. Their proposed project would locate a deep water port and cement milling plant on the waterfront in south Vallejo. (See Green Cement or Green City?)

    The proposed Orcem cement plant/VMT port project flies in the face of the Guiding Principals. Cynically marketed as ‘green’ technology, the project would dump ozone, dust, and soot into south Vallejo neighborhoods already suffering the highest levels of respiratory disease in the state. Truck traffic and a reactivated rail line would tie up traffic all across Vallejo. While returning very little to the city in terms of revenue or jobs in compensation, it would undoubtedly provide some financial benefits to the region as a whole. A willingness to sacrifice the well being of city residents to benefit private and regional interests is on display in this note from the September 2015 MISEDC agenda:

    “You will recall that we have two goals; one is to search for dredging funds but our second goal is to explore how Mare Island Straits could be transformed into an economic driver for the City of Vallejo and Solano County. In this regard, let us congratulate our committee members, “Vallejo Marine Terminal / ORCEM” as they reached a key milestone with their project. Their EIR was released very recently on September 3, 2015. This document took many months to complete. The 45 day public comment period is now underway. Here’s the link to the EIR. Let us all wish them all the best and a successful public review.”

    But the public review of the draft environmental impact report and economic analysis revealed a terrible project proposal for the city, and an even worse precedent for future development of the Vallejo waterfront. This is a far cry from the vision expressed by residents of the city when given a voice in the planning process. The secret plan to extend the Carquinez industrial corridor up the Mare Island Strait with polluting noisy industry is not what citizens of Vallejo have in mind for the future of their waterfront. The three Jump Start councilmembers serving on this committee and Mayor Davis, who has appeared on their agenda as a speaker, will be voting to approve this project within a year unless the real citizens of Vallejo act to reassert democratic control of city government.

    It’s gut check time, Vallejo. Do those Guiding Principles mean anything, really? Does our vote at the ballot box mean anything? Not if we allow our elected officials to defy voter approved ballot measures as they did with Measure C. Not if we allow a handful of elected and self-appointed elites to decide the future character of our waterfront in secret. What about the voters who cast their ballots for the three elected councilmembers that have been cut out of the process entirely? Aren’t we entitled to any representation at all in determining the future direction of the city? Why should our interests be trumped by all these county level officials who we find right smack in the middle of this secret planning process?

    This year and this election cycle will be pivotal in determining the character of Vallejo in the decades to come. There’s no room here for timidity or half measures. The members of the Mare Island Straits Economic Development Committee are organized and committed. They know what they want and are well on their way to getting it. We have a clear choice in front of us – either we organize and commit ourselves to changing the political culture in Vallejo, or we acquiesce and live with the consequences.


    • silasbarnabe

      December 5, 2015 @ 6:18 am silasbarnabe

      The list of self serving politicians on that list is long and distinguished. The worst sort of self entitled “what can Vallejo do for me” group since the old Vallejo players. I see Tony is still involved as a liaison to the old money makers along with the hope that the jumpers votes will propel their pocketbooks to new heights. Very sad indeed for Vallejo.


    • December 5, 2015 @ 9:20 am John_K

      If the meetings of this shadow gov’t were as secretive as suggested, then might one inquire about any violation of the Brown Act? At the least, this should be run up the flag pole for comments as a main stream article instead of a comment.


      • December 5, 2015 @ 12:35 pm wharf rat

        When I read this article on VV it was clear that it needed to be shared with as broad an audience
        as possible, I posted it here to combine this exellent article with the many intelligent comments
        to my previous article to further fact sharing . Keep in mind this info might not exist to the public had not Mr Hallet navigated the labyrinthe of City hall and kept his powder dry while staff attempted to divert and conceal the public records he was due by law . Also many hats off to Mr Carleson for his dogged determination to share the facts in his great article with our community .

        Last but certainly not least are the incredible comments submitted to the DEIR by so many community members , reading them made me proud to be a Vallejoian (citezen) , these were not an act by a bunch of complacent bumpkins in a poor City as some might percieve us to be , rather they were a shot across the bow of anyone who thinks we can be bulldozed by a corporate interest and a corrupt council majority ! . As for a more formal article ? I doubt folks will be denied , keeping in mind this is probably the tip of the ice burg , much research has been done and is underway by citezens city wide , what is known to date suggests sweeping political and policy reform is needed asap in bullet proof form within a new General plan, a ”by the people plan” .


  25. December 5, 2015 @ 10:15 am Publicus

    Of course it is a violation of the Brown Act. What is despicable is that City of Vallejo staff members are in on it. The same City of Vallejo staff that is chastising some commissioners for being outspoken in opposition to the Orcem/VMT Project (when they have no purview over the Project) to make them shut up by invoking that same Brown Act that they are complicit in violating. All this for some “pork” dredging contracts. The USArmy Corps should know all about the Napa River Project to restore a geomorphically stable living river. When the historic tidal wetlands are restored, the amount of water flowing through the Napa River Straits will keep it scoured and navigable. Mother Nature will do the dredging for free. No “pork” contracts required.


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