Uncivil Discourse at the CivEnergy Forum

Yes-On-LThe Yes on L side did not behave well at Sunday’s CivEnergy forum. 

This inappropriate behavior certainly wasn’t CivEnergy’s fault.  They had picked an excellent moderator in the form of attorney and former City Council candidate Linda Deos, who asked fair and neutral fact-finding-oriented questions about the West Davis Active Adult Community (WDAAC) project.  And along the same lines, CivEnergy’s Bob Fung crafted from audience comment cards two more neutrally worded questions.  Actually, all were framed in terms of discussions rather than questions, a touch that I rather liked.  Deos further warned forum participants to keep their answers focused on the project and not make them personal.  Alas, that was not to be.

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Begin Big Change with Leif in Motion

Clowning Around“Victoria Secret” I blurted.
The room erupted in robust laughter.
My stomach turned as my face went red.

By Carey Ann Hunt

            For years I have shied away from speaking in public or doing anything to put myself out there in a theatrical sense. I clearly recall a particularly awkward moment one evening in eighth grade.  I was invited to a High School Shakespeare play reading event. The 11th grade boy I had a huge crush on was there.  Giddy with nervous enthusiasm, sweaty palms and a constant blush I mistakenly blurted out Victoria Secret instead of Victoria Station, when it was my turn to read and of course the room exploded in fits of laughter. It took a really long time for people to regain composure. Nerves, laughter, and the genuine dislike of audiences made me want to push that button that makes the floor drop down under me, rapidly opening into a hallway leading to an inconspicuous exit route. The button didn’t work.  I not only was still there I had to continue reading my part.

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Melissa Moreno Has Support of Educational Leaders

I am writing to express my strong support of Melissa Moreno for the position of Yolo County Board of Education Trustee. The County Board of Education provides support for programs that serve our most vulnerable youth. Melissa’s combined life experience, community service, academic training, and professional experience make her ideally qualified for this position.

For the past eight years I have served as the Yolo County Board of Education Trustee for Area 2, the position Melissa now seeks. During a portion of this time, I also served on the California School Boards Association Delegate Assembly and the California County Boards of Education Board of Directors. This service has allowed me to see firsthand the requirements, challenges, and opportunities involved in the important work of county offices of education and county boards of education, locally and throughout California.

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Stand Against Anti-Semitism

Celebration of Abraham gathThe Celebration of Abraham will gather at the Statement of Love Mural behind the Odd Fellows Hall, 415 Second St. at 6:30 Pm Wednesday night (October 10) where they will organize a candlelight march to Central Park for a short program denouncing the hateful anti-Semitic propaganda distributed on the UC Davis campus earlier this week.

Moreno best qualified for board of education

As a parent of children who attend Cesar Chavez Elementary School in Davis, I care about quality education for all children in Yolo County.

That’s why I support Dr. Melissa Moreno for Yolo County Board of Education Trustee, Area 2.

Moreno, who has a Ph.D. in Education, has the leadership, education, and community service experience we need on the board. And she has demonstrated a deep commitment to diversity and inclusivity throughout her life and career. Her record of accomplishments in these areas includes founding the Ethnic Studies program at Woodland Community College, where she’s currently a professor and program director.

The board of education is responsible for serving the most vulnerable students and families in our community. No one is more qualified for this job than Dr. Moreno.

Vote for Melissa Moreno on Nov. 6 and visit www.moreno.ycboe.org for more info.

Jerry Jimenez

Downtown Parking

Parking sign picWhat is the cost of paid parking in downtown Davis?

Not how much will it cost an hour to park, but rather, what will the effect be on local businesses?

Local businesses are worried about paid parking and 50-plus of them have founded downtowndavis.org to bring their concerns to the City Council and the Davis public. Again, and again business owners state that paid parking will hurt their business.

Advocates for the paid parking plan state, “Let’s not forget that a car parking spot used for one car — and one shopper — can instead be used by six bikes, and six shoppers.” But, this depends on there being six cyclists demanding a new spot to park. Given the current availability of bike parking downtown I see no evidence that these new replacement shoppers exist. As far as I can tell, no one is deterred from biking downtown for a lack of a place to park. The same is not true for car drivers.

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What to do post-Kavanaugh

Blue-waveTime to act.

I've been so emotionally caught up in this Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination for the last few weeks, and now I find I can't even think about it. Too horrifying.

My way of dealing today is to pick a bunch of Senate and Congressional races and send them money. Ask your friends around the country for suggestions.  Mine were very helpful.  538 is a good source to identify close races. Look at websites to see if candidates support your values. Support women and people of color when you can.

There are, of course, other ways to act. But I think this November election is crucial. If the Senate and House remain red we are truly screwed. So if you can't afford to donate, please volunteer in other ways. Send postcards. Make phone calls or texts. Help get out the vote.  Indivisible Yolo is one local organization that you can join forces with, although there are others. 

You don't even have to be excited about it. I'm not. I'm numb. But I feel slightly better for having supported a bunch of races, and will keep an eye out for more that I can support.

Other suggestions are welcome in the comments.  Let's support and encourage each other.

WDAAC Does Not Meet Real Housing Needs for Davis

by Alan Pryor and Pam Nieberg

Forward - Davis already has by far the oldest average population in the region and this project will compound that population imbalance. Despite the abundance of young University students, according to 2016 US Census Bureau estimates the percentage of people in Davis under the age of 18 is 16.1% compared to 25.5% in West Sacramento and 26% in Woodland. Looking at younger children, the disparity is even greater with 3.8% of the Davis population under the age of 5 compared to 8.1% in West Sacramento and 6.7% in Woodland.

Clearly, because of the age-restrictions imposed on buyers, this project will do little to directly increase the housing stock for young families. And because of this dearth of kids in town, our schools are so starved for young students that we need to import over 650 students per day just to keep school doors from shuttering and moth-balling our existing neighborhood schools. And we pay dearly for schooling those imported students with the highest school-related parcel taxes in the region. We clearly need more young families with children in town to fill our schools and maintain our vibrancy in Davis yet few families can afford to come to Davis because of sky-rocketing home purchase and rental prices.

What Davis really needs is smaller-scale, more dense, and  affordable housing designed for both seniors AND families of modest means. The last thing we need is a sprawling, senior-only Sun City-lite developments like you see in sunbelt states. A development with smaller homes laid out in a curvilinear fashion with different designs (instead of rows and rows of near-identical box-like houses) would attract far more seniors AND the families preferred if the project were designed with a close-knit neighborhood setting in mind.

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Professor Melissa Moreno for Yolo County Board of Education, Area 2

Dear Editor,

As a peace officer, I expected those who serve our communities, including peace officers and elected officials, to possess a deep and abiding desire to help people --all people, without hesitation or reservation. Professor Melissa Moreno possesses this essential quality, along with proven leadership in the field of education.

As an educational leader, Professor Moreno understands the value of cultural inclusivity, and has put this value into practice in her 25 years of educational service to students and families. In her work as a community college professor teaching Ethnic Studies, she excels as a teacher, mentor, and guide for students seeking cultural knowledge. She has lengthy experience as a community advocate, including advocating for community members in Yolo County by acting as a leader in developing the Safe Yolo resolution to protect immigrant families.

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Cumulative impacts of all the developments in Davis

PublichousingBy Dan Cornford

I do not have time to comment extensively right now on Roberta's piece. But I do want to say that I agree 110% with what she says. I am just sick and tired of all the pro-growthers accusing anyone who does not oppose their rampant pro-growth propaganda as being some old white, rich NIMBY, as someone who could not afford to buy his first house until I was 53, despite being a full professor at a CSU, and only then could I buy when I inherited a modest amount of money after my father died.

Roberta is right that no candidate for council had the courage to squarely take on the pro-growthers. I have been saying and writing for two years that the Council, its commissions, and of course the pro-growthers, never stop to consider what the CUMULATIVE IMPACTS of all these developments will be in tandem with the unmandated growth of UCD over the next 5-10 years. What will be the environmental impact on a relatively small city of this growth in all respects (to say nothing of the fiscal impacts and burdens)? The fast expansion of UCD, notwithstanding their LRDP, and their recent MOU with the city, is no cause for comfort. (I mean, to take one example, if UCD does not meet its already inadequate building timetable, they will face a massive fine of $500 per unit. That's really going to force them to meet their timetable isn't it?)

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Growth – The Elephant in the Room

PublichousingNo one in Davis talks about growth.  We talk around growth, sure – the need for specific projects, or the need to preserve farmland.  But we never talk about growth

Consider our most recent City Council election.  Did one of the candidates present themselves as pro-growth or slow-growth?  Not that I can recall.  “Smart-growth,” maybe – an infinitely flexible euphemism if I ever heard one.

I suspect that no one wants to talk about growth because not a moment passes before the conversation-distracting “pro-developer” and “NIMBY” labels (and similar labels) are slung.  But we desperately need to talk about growth.  We’re growing now and we are facing questions about future growth in the immediate future (Measure L and the West Davis Active Adult Community) and beyond.

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Is this really your view on Measure L, Davis Enterprise?

Davis enterpriseIs this really your view on Measure L, Davis Enterprise?  Because I'm having trouble believing the words in front of my eyes. 

Did you really write, "If WDAAC gets built and all the white Davis seniors move into it, then it will give more opportunity for minorities from out of town to move into the single-family houses the seniors vacate"?

In other words, it would be OK if WDAAC were composed completely of white Davis seniors?  And the reason it would be OK is that nonwhite individuals would have the "opportunity" to move into the vacated houses formerly occupied by white individuals – even if the nonwhite individuals didn't have the opportunity to move into WDAAC itself?  Just the bare possibility that "minorities" could move into Davis would be enough to justify an exclusionary program?

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What Are “Internal Housing Needs” in Davis?

“That directive and those words means something!” -- David Taormino on Measure R, 9/19/2018[1]



By Rik Keller

Measure R (the “Citizens’ Right to Vote on Future Use of Open Space and Agricultural Lands Ordinance”) was passed by the voters and adopted by the City of Davis in 2010. Davis Municipal Code Section 41.01.010(a)(1) states that the purpose of the Ordinance is [my emphasis] “...to establish a mechanism for direct citizen participation in land use decisions affecting city policies for compact urban form, agricultural land preservation and an adequate housing supply to meet internal city needs...”

This article will examine what the phrase “adequate housing supply to meet internal city needs” means. First, while the word “need” is used several times, “internal needs” is not further mentioned in the adopted ordinance or in the ballot language that went to the voters (ballot language is purposely streamlined). Is this sui generis language that just appeared out of nowhere? Can it mean that any type of housing is sufficient to meet some sort of undefined “internal need” in Davis and should be allowed to convert agricultural lands? Measure R does state that “continued conversion of agricultural lands to meet urban needs is neither inevitable nor necessary,” so the Ordinance must have some criteria in mind to achieve this goal of not unnecessarily converting ag land, right?

As will be demonstrated in the following, the phrase “internal housing need” as used in City of Davis policy framework, documents, and studies actually refers primarily to low and moderate income workforce housing, and indeed that category is the only one specifically mentioned and for which specific policies have been crafted to meet the need.

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Bob Dunning’s False Equivalency Regarding the Testimony of Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh

Ford-kavanaughAlthough Bob Dunning and I agree on one thing (that Dr. Blasey’s testimony was “compelling and believable without holes or hesitation”), I otherwise find much to disagree with in his recent column in the Davis Enterprise, “Truth gets lost in the crossfire.”  In particular, I object to his casting this as a purely political disagreement, where Republicans are taking Brett Kavanaugh’s side and Democrats are taking Christine Blasey Ford’s side, where “reasonable people can disagree over which person they believe,” and where “if everyone in America believed that Judge Kavanaugh had assaulted Dr. Ford, he would not be confirmed.”

Maybe the debate over Kavanaugh’s nomination started out as a purely political disagreement a month ago, but it stopped being that the moment that Dr. Blasey came forward with her testimony of sexual assault – her testimony that, 36 years ago, Brett Kavanaugh laid on top of her, tried to rip off her clothes, covered her mouth so that she couldn’t scream and couldn’t breathe, and then laughed about it.  And that the only thing that saved her was that he and his buddy, Mark Judge, were too drunk to follow through on what they had begun.

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Will There be No Place in Davis for Low Income Seniors

By Bill Powell and David Thompson

“Each day I get five calls from low income seniors looking to find housing in Davis” says Susan at Shasta Point Retirement Community. “And each day at least one senior arrives at Shasta Point anxious to get housing and hoping by turning up they may have a better chance than just calling.” They don’t.

Every day there are five to 10 emails or phone calls from low-income seniors to the two staff members at Eleanor Roosevelt Circle. At ERC about three seniors per day walk through the door hoping to get a place. They can’t.

In 2018, there is a waiting list of 441 seniors for the four largest Davis affordable senior communities; Davisville (70), Shasta Point (67), Eleanor Roosevelt Circle (59) and Walnut Terrace (30). In 2017 there were a total of 14 turnovers. Only 14 of the 441 waiting in line got in. At that rate it would be 31 years before the last of those seniors get housed. The actual wait for an extremely low-income senior can be from three to five years.

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Santa Clara County secures massive funding from Stanford University

The headline in the Daily Post (#1 in Palo Alto and the Mid-Peninsula) is


..... and then underneath

"$155.8 million for expansion".

Yes,  you read that correctly, Stanford is paying Santa Clara County over $150,000,000 for permission to expand.

This is such good news.  The money goes to affordable housing in the County exchange for expansion of academic buildings associated with Stanford University.

Bravo Santa Clara County!

There is also an additional requirement to build affordable housing on campus.

Gosh, it is so refreshing when a university provides valuable resources (like cash) to the local areas where it is located.  

Way to go Stanford!!


That housing deal among UCD, City of Davis, and Yolo County

To be sure, I am still learning about this "deal".  And I am willing to be enlightened.  So, my comments are preliminary..... but concerned.

It seems like the deal is totally future oriented.  That is, it takes a "go forth and sin no more" form of agreement i.e. it only pertains to the students who come to this area due to the (additional) incremental growth of the University.  That is often a good approach, sometimes makes it easier to come to an agreement.  Particularly if parties are inclined to maintain previously entrenched positions.  *

But how about the 20,000 "temporary occupants" who are already inhabiting Davis and nearby towns? By this I refer to undergraduates who should be housed on campus who currently live in the community and drive rental rates up and availability of housing down. I don't mind if grad students are living in the community, that's fine. It is not unusual for "adult learners" to continue to live in the communities that contain the university where they did their grad work.

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Downtowndavis.org and Downtown Parking

WebsiteLocal businesses want parking.

By Colin Walsh

A new organization is growing in Davis. A group that is feeling shut out of Downtown planning. They are not your typical old Davis activists accused of protesting everything instead they are at the very heart of the downtown economy - Davis business owners. You can find them at downtowndavis.org

The website makes it clear what has this new group rising, "STOP PAID PARKING," and "ACT NOW."

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Davisites' attitudes towards Kavanaugh, Thomas, #metoo, #whyIDidntReport

I posted a link to this Davis Media Access video to the Davisite Facebook page a few days ago, but I can't get it out of my head.

In the video, you see men supporting (now Supreme Court justice) Clarence Thomas, and men supporting Professor Anita Hill.  You see women supporting Thomas, and women supporting Hill.  But most of all, you hear exactly the same arguments on both sides that you are hearing in the media today concerning Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who is now facing three separate sexual assault accusations: one from Prof. Christine Blasey Ford, one from Deborah Ramirez, and one from a number of as-yet-unnamed women who lawyer Michael Avenatti is representing.

If DMA were to redo those interviews in Davis today – in the #metoo #WhyIDidntReport #BelieveSurvivors era – would the results be much different?

I'd like to hope that they would be.  But I fear that they wouldn't.

Planned West Davis Adult Community, if Approved, Would Perpetuate Racial Imbalance in the City of Davis

Complaintimage(Press release) The proposed restrictive West Davis Active Adult Community on the City of Davis’ November 6 ballot which advertises its purpose as a planned community “Taking Care of Our Own,” is being challenged in federal court because it will perpetuate racial imbalance and discriminate against minorities by restricting sales to residents of Davis

In a federal complaint filed Monday, September 24, by Sacramento civil rights attorney Mark E. Merin, plaintiff Samuel Ignacio, a Filipino/Hispanic senior on behalf and all other minorities outside of Davis, seeks to stop the project because it excludes those living outside of Davis from buying most of the 410 planned for-sale units.

Davis, a city whose senior population is disproportionately “white” as a result of historic racially restrictive covenants, red-lining practices, and previous University of California hiring practices, approved the project with 90% of its units restricted to “purchasers with a preexisting connection to the City of Davis.” The result of this “local resident” restriction, as alleged in the civil rights complaint, is the continuation of a racially imbalanced community and the exclusion of minority would-be purchasers in violation of the Federal Fair Housing Act.

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