If you look at most downtowns...

Bw-bicyclestatueBy Jon Li

Most downtowns have lots of jobs, and lots of people living downtown. Davis has neither.

The economic and business problems with Davis are outside the General Plan, which only deals in land use terms with housing and traffic. The Downtown Plan process is about how to make Davis “look” more appealing, as though that will work.

The merchants’ answer is a new parking structure so that people can drive their cars. But that is 20th century suburbia. What about re-thinking the downtown as an urban center, with six to ten story buildings, as high as UCD’s Sproul Hall which is 9 stories.

The problems with Davis have to do with the non-existent economy. Davis city staff with their grand salaries want to keep Davis just the way it is, as though the state hasn’t killed the Redevelopment Agency almost a decade ago. Amazon is transforming the world economy, and Davis needs to figure out how to respond.

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Dr. Thomas Cahill Responds to Bob Dunning

In a recent Enterprise column, "Pollution Doesn't Magically End at Olive Drive," Bob Dunning  asks:

...if this is truly all about ultra-fine metals from brakes on trains, why aren’t these same folks sounding the alarm about all the other areas in town that are similarly at risk?

In response, Dr. Thomas Cahill, UC Davis Professor of Physics and Atmospheric Sciences and founder of the DELTA Group (Detection and Evaluation of Long-range Transport of Aerosols), sent us the following information and asked us to publish it.

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The Buy Nothing Project Davis (East) and (West) groups


Did you know we have two Facebook groups of the international Buy Nothing Project right here in Davis? One covering 95616 (West) and one for 95618 (East).

We offer members a way to give and receive, share, lend, and express gratitude through a worldwide network of hyper-local gift economies in which the true wealth is the web of connections formed between people who are real-life neighbors. You can post anything you'd like to give away, lend, or share in our Buy Nothing community groups. You can ask for anything you'd like to receive for free or borrow. Keep it legal. Keep it civil.

If you live in Davis, we'd love to have you join us! You can join one group only, the group where you live so you can literally "give where you live." This is what builds community.

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Martin Guerena’s Statement: City of Davis Environmental Recognition Award 2018

Martinguerena_headshotcBy Martin Guerena

I would like to thank the citizens of Davis and the Natural Resources Commission for this environmental recognition award. I would also like to thank all the citizen volunteers, some who I worked with, who have participated with the various environmental groups around town and campus. Your work is important and an integral component of the community’s sustainability effort.

I find it ironic that the institution that basically drove me and the former Integrated Pest Management program out, was now sponsoring an award for my efforts.

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Transform with Clay

Clay_smlrEarthen silk-like velvety slipperiness of cool clay in hands. Warm palms meet cool clay in celebration of contrast. Warm and cool. Soft yet firm. Its suppleness invites touch and kneading. Shapeshifting stirred by strength, will and desire to create.  Palms, fingers and thumbs eagerly begin the magic of play, creation and manipulation of transforming material from one form to another. Hands pleasure in the fresh feel of clay in the moist form, perfect malleable state to create. The softness of skin meets the gentle quality of earth and water. Blending elements and combining forces. Earth and water. Now the fiery warmth of hands from the power of each heart. Fire.

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Grieving Mother of 5 Seeks Answers After Son's Suicide; Says Son Needed Mental Health Services Instead of Felony Prosecution by Yolo D.A.

(Press release) Patti Pape – mother of recently-deceased UC Davis student Eric Pape – wants answers about why the Yolo County D.A.’s office pressed serious felony charges against her late son for an incident that occurred when he was having a panic attack while receiving treatment in a hospital.

“The D.A.’s office should have realized that this was a mental health case and should never have charged my son. I believe that the stress of his felony trial contributed to his eventual suicide,” she said.

Ms. Pape and a few others will make brief comments at rally this Thursday, May 17 at Noon at the UC Davis MU Patio.

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Davisite Runs for Governor: Josh Jones

IMG_2850[1]Davis’s own Josh Jones is running for governor as a green. That makes 2 Davisites in the gubernatorial race.

And Josh is not like the other candidates. His campaign is corporate-free and people powered and that people power has already taken him up, down and all across the state in his quest for votes and to ignite the Green Party.

Josh's platform is based on two principles: "Maximize equality of opportunity, and minimize harm. We will take no money from corporations."

Much like 3 City Council candidates have pledged not to take developer money (Deos, Beeman and Gunther), Josh has made a pledge to "take absolutely no coal, oil, or fracking money."

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Davis Councilmember Lucas Frerichs Endorses Dean Johansson for District Attorney — citing ‘values’ and ‘leadership’

B3299730-8163-40E3-ACE5-8313E0EC8D91(Press release)

Davis City Councilmember Lucas Frerichs has announced his endorsement of Dean Johansson for Yolo County District Attorney. Frerichs, who has served on Davis’ City Council since 2012, emphasized that Johansson represents the values of community members in Davis and in Yolo County more broadly.

Frerichs said, “Citizens of Davis and Yolo County have consistently and overwhelmingly voted for statewide criminal justice reforms, such as Three Strikes Law Reform (Prop. 36), Sentencing Reform (Prop. 47), Reducing Mass Incarceration (Prop. 57), and most recently, Legalization of Adult Use of Cannabis (Prop. 64). These measures represent progressive change in California, and it is time that we are represented by a District Attorney who shares these types of values of our community.”

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Getting the Nishi Discussion Out of the Rabbit Hole: Part 2 of 2 (Red herrings? No, bad planning)


By Colin Walsh and Matt Williams

In Part 1, we detailed the three main reasons to vote against Nishi 2.0/Measure J that we gave at the CivEnergy forum on May 6: 1) bad air quality, 2) costs, and 3) lack of integrity in the process. If the City and the developer could rectify these three concerns by demonstrating that the air quality was acceptable for housing with an onsite study, by fixing the budget shortfall, and by returning integrity to the process, then housing could be built at Nishi – but then the project should be far larger than it is.  The current proposal is too small and does not make proper use of the site.

Instead of addressing these three serious concerns, the Vanguard spends the entirety of its May 9, 2018 article addressing the so-called “Red Herrings,” all of which were points of discussion stemming from audience questions. Here in Part 2, we show how each of the points the Vanguard raised are examples of bad planning on the part of the city, possibly due to the rush to put this matter on the June ballot at the request of the developer. Each of these concerns are real problems with the ordinance the City Council voted to put on the ballot. Clearly this ordinance should have been better vetted before going to Council. 

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Please support – and push even further – City staff's recommendations on housing in UCD's Long Range Development Plan

Watertower-ucdavisBy Greg Rowe

Item 4.L. on next Tuesday’s City Council consent agenda is a report on the draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the UC Davis Long Range Development Plan.  The report recommends that the City Council authorize the City Manager or his designee to finalize and submit a comment letter on the DEIR to UCD by the May 29 deadline.   The draft comment letter is attached to the staff report.  

The link to next Tuesday’s City Council report and draft comment letter is below. Although the report is on the Council’s consent agenda, readers are encouraged to support the draft comment letter during the Council meeting’s public comment period.  Due to ceremonial presentations, the regular agenda is not scheduled to start until 7:10 PM.


The proposed draft comment letter prepared by City staff is right on target, hitting all of the shortcomings of the draft LRDP and DEIR. In January of last year the City transmitted a detailed 9-page comment letter to UCD on the letterhead of the City Attorney’s law firm, Best Best & Krieger.  That letter, which responded to the DEIR Notice of Preparation (NOP) issued early last year by UCD, provided excellent critical analysis, comments and suggestions.  It was, in fact, one of the best NOP comment letters I’ve seen in more than 30 years working with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). It is now unfortunate that UCD decided once again to completely ignore the City’s concerns. I developed a similarly detailed comment letter, which it now appears was likewise ignored by UCD in developing both the draft LRDP and the recently released DEIR.

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Brody for Beeman for Davis City Council

EzraGreetings fellow residents of Davis, I hope this message resonates with all of you. The City Council race in Davis will be such an important choice for this City going forward. I myself have lived in Davis for only 2 years as a current student. However, contrary to popular belief, I do not wish to leave abruptly after my academic tenure here at UC Davis. This is such a great place to live, and that’s why it’s imperative that the City elect a leader that will speak for all Davis residents, young and old, student and non-student alike. That’s why I’m backing Beeman.

Shortly after I left the race several months ago, Ezra was the first candidate to reach out in solidarity, in an effort to hear what my concerns and platform issues were in this highly contested race. After our conversation, and several to follow, I concluded that Ezra Beeman would suit the city's needs and speak for all of its residents. In a field full of diverse and qualified candidates, I think Ezra has the perfect amount of salt and pepper in his hair to get the job done. Although Ezra was not the only candidate to reach out to me, he was the only one I felt that could truly resonate a tangible connection with my cohort of young students and professionals.

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Getting the Nishi Discussion Out of the Rabbit Hole: Part 1 of 2 (air quality, finances, lack of integrity)

By Colin Walsh and Matt Williams

The Davis Vanguard’s article of May 9, 2018 (“Commentary: Enough with the Weird Red Herrings”) is a disservice to the Davis Community. Instead of addressing the main body of the CivEnergy Measure J Forum (held on May 6), the article goes down a rabbit hole of answers given in response to audience questions.

Let’s start with the basics. As we stated at the CivEnergy forum, there are three main reasons to vote against this project: 1) bad air quality, 2) costs, and 3) lack of integrity in the process.

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Davis Police Making Latinas Feel Unwelcome in Davis

Photo credit: Davis Wiki
As a Latina mother of two. my incident with a Davis police officer is hard for me to retell due to how degrading it feels to remember. Yet such stories are crucial to share with community, so we all are aware of Davis Police improper behavior

One sunny afternoon at the end of January, 2018, I with my daughter and her friend decided to take Ragsy, our pet rabbit, out for a walk in Willowcreek Park. We were excited to try out his new leash on a walk outside after much indoor time during the rainy season.

As we arrived in the park it was immediately clear that the two unleashed dogs would pose a risk to our rabbit. I asked the owners of the dogs to please leash their dogs because I had two young kids and a leashed rabbit with me. The middle-aged white man seemed to agree and said he understood. He would tell his friend, a white woman, who had a teenager and elementary-school-aged kid with her. And they would both leash their dogs. I thanked him and walked away smiling.

Sadly, they refused to comply. He casually walked over to the woman; they both laughed; they did not leash their poodle or lab.


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You Can’t Compare Davis with San Francisco

By Jon Li

Roberta Millstein recently wrote in the Davisite that if six to ten story buildings were allowed in the Davis Downtown area, then there would be all kinds of urban problems, citing an article in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Wait a minute.  You can’t compare suburban Davis with world famous celebrity magnet City By The Bay with over ten times the population of 750,000.  There are villages, nooks, streets that have more economy, more society, more culture than all of Davis put together.   I get that some people came to Davis to escape that rat race, but many people who work in Davis commute from SF.

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Fact Checking Claims by Opponents of Measure H – Parks Tax

Photo credit: Davis Wiki

By Alan Pryor

Measure H is a 20-year parcel tax for Parks Maintenance at $49 per year per residential parcel (or per apartment for multifamily dwellings) increasing at 2% per annum.

The signers of the Argument Against the Measure and the Rebuttal to the Argument For the Measure are all the same, as follow;

Michael Nolan, Acting President of Yolo County Taxpayers Association,

John Munn, Former Member of the Board of Education of the Davis Joint Unified School District,

Don Price, Emeritus Professor of History, University of California Davis,

Pam Nieberg, Former Co-Chair, Yes on Measure O (City of Davis Open Space Ordinance)

These signers are a disparate group of individuals representing fiscal conservatives and social progressives in Davis.

In their Arguments Against Measure H and their Rebuttal to the Argument in Favor of Measure H, these signers made some serious claims and allegations against the City as a fiscally responsible agent and the trustworthiness of the statements made by the Measure’s proponents in fairly assessing the Measures’ impacts and honestly reporting them to the electorate.

This article investigates these claims and attempts to quantitatively verify their accuracy. In doing so, some independent investigations and fact-checking were done and some of the information was obtained in response to direct inquiries to the campaign.

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Davis Police Officers PAC Pours Money into Reisig's DA Campaign

Pileofmoney-croppedBy Gilbert Coville and Roberta Millstein

The Davis Enterprise has reported that the "Davis Police Officers PAC” donated $500 to Jeff Reisig’s campaign for Yolo County District Attorney.  Jeff Reisig, the incumbent, is being challenged by Deputy Public Defender Dean Johannson. However, the article only covers contributions up through April 21, 2018. 

Since then, the PAC (officially called “Davis Police Officers’ Association Political Activities Committee”) donated $2000 on April 27 and another $14,000 on May 3, according to two Form 497 24-hour contribution reports filed with the Davis City Clerk.  Such forms must be filed when a PAC donates more than $1000 to a candidate’s campaign.

In total, then, the Davis Police Officers PAC has donated $16,500 to Reisig’s re-election campaign so far.

Readers may draw whatever conclusions from this information that they wish.

Former Mayor Joe Krovoza Endorses Larry Guenther and Ezra Beeman


Joe Krovoza (Davis City Council 2010-2014, Mayor of Davis 2011-2014) has given the Davisite permission to publish the following letter, distributed to his friends via email.

Hello, Friends.  I hope and trust this note finds you well.  I am being asked who I support for City Council in 2018 -- for the two open seats and it's Larry Guenther and Ezra Beeman.  Larry and Ezra will work tirelessly for Davis.  They understand and will advance what makes Davis unique: school-city connections; supporting seniors; parks; partnerships with UC Davis; a vibrant downtown; and so much more.

Feel free to forward this on.

My view is Larry and Ezra will be the best match for the leadership our new mayor Brett Lee will provide.  Brett will be outstanding; he has all the right values for Davis and the conviction to do what's best for Davis long-term; I want Brett to have a strong council that will contribute to his visionary and his pragmatic approaches. 

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Why the Nishi Site is Worse than Other Sites

Nishi-overall-satelliteSouthwest-nishi-satellite Northeeast-nishi-satelliteIn a recent letter to the editor in the Enterprise, Bill Wagman asks, "What is the difference [between Nishi and Olive Drive] and why do there seem to be no concerns voiced about Olive Drive. Or are there concerns which have not been made public?"

The answer is: It is possible that there are health concerns at other near–freeway sites such as Olive Drive. Peer-reviewed studies have found elevated health risks at many near-freeway sites. But the Nishi is of particular concern because it is adjacent to where the freeway goes from six lanes to three lanes, and so there are often backups on that portion of I-80, especially during weekend Tahoe traffic. More backups mean more car and truck braking. Braking releases ultrafine particulate matter into the air, and that causes health risks such as an increased risk of ischemic heart disease, an increased risk of lung damage, an increased risk of cancer, and an increased risk of developmental problems.

Also, Nishi is of particular concern because the freeway is elevated next to Nishi, so the pollutants travel further, as peer-reviewed studies of similar sites have shown.

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Update - Carson campaign posts Partida signs

BRIAN hOSTFIELDDan Carson's City Council campaign Facebook page posted a picture of Brian Horsfield the campaign's " Lawn Sign Guy" posting Carson and Partida signs. Note the Partida sign laying on the lawn in the background of the photo. 

This comes after Carson made a point of not endorsing any other candidate at the Chamber of Commerce PAC Forum on April 2nd. Partida also declined to endorse any other candidate at the Chamber forum.

The Carson campaign photo corroborates the Davisite Story run yesterday Partida and Carson City Council Campaign Working Together?

Follow the link to see pictures Mr. Horsfield posting Carson and Partida signs at several local apartment complexes.