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A look at Vallejo, Calif.

A look at Vallejo, a California city that filed for bankruptcy in 2008 By The Associated Press

VALLEJO, Calif. (AP) The California city of Vallejo, at a glance:

POPULATION: 115,942. While other San Francisco Bay-area towns grew, Vallejo's population shrank by 0.7 percent between 2010 and 2000.

LOCATION: A working class port city on the north shore of the San Pablo Bay, Vallejo lies about an hour from San Francisco, Sacramento and Santa Rosa. Some residents joke that the city is "about an hour from anywhere." A ferry runs to San Francisco and serves cocktails to returning commuters and tourists bound for wine country.



ECONOMY: Vallejo was a Navy town until its base on Mare Island, a peninsula that lies to the west of the city, was deactivated in 1995. Wal-Mart decamped in 2007. Major employers now include Kaiser Permanente Medical Center and Six Flags amusement park.

CLAIM TO FAME: Vallejo briefly served as the state capital, but the facilities were found to be "unsuitable." The Legislature met here for one week in 1852 and again for a month in 1853. The "Zodiac Killer," who terrorized the region in the 1960s, chose some of his victims in Vallejo and the city makes an appearance in the 2007 film "Zodiac." Mayor Osby Davis made headlines in 2009 when he told the New York Times that gay people are committing a sin that will keep them out of heaven. He apologized. In the 1930s, Chicago gangster "Baby Face" Nelson hid out from federal agents in a Vallejo hospital.

NOTABLE RESIDENTS: Vallejo played a key role in the development of Bay Area gangsta rap in the 1990s and produced several regional stars, including E-40 and Mac Dre. Other famous locals include Sly Stone, frontman for Sly and the Family Stone, Republican pundit Ed Rollins, and rhythm and blues musician Johnny Otis.

TITLES: Vallejo's motto is "City of Opportunity." Inc. Magazine included the town in a list of the "Top 25 Cities for Doing Business in America" in 2004. In 2008, Vallejo became the largest U.S city to file for bankruptcy.

SIGNS OF THE TIMES: Many traffic signals in Vallejo are set to permanently blink. The half-empty city hall now has "please ring bell" signs in place of receptionists. The town's symphony, which used to perform six shows a year, now performs two.


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