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May 2018

Charging 12 months rent for nine months occupancy

Photo source: KRCA

By John Troidl

The majority of off campus and some of the on-campus housing targeting UC Davis students requires applicants for residence to sign a 12 month lease.  When I first came to Davis and some students told me about this practice, I was astonished and asked them if they were sure this was true:  Maybe they misunderstood the terms of the standard lease because after all these were young people without a lot of experiences with real estate and leasing. 

They were correct, it turns out, and they told me about the "Summer Scramble" of trying to sublet their places (with/without landlord permission) to recoup at least some of the lost cash they spent for rent on apartments that they did not need for the Summer.  Unbelievable!

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Promised Nishi Mitigation Features May Never Materialize


Proponents of Nishi have made much of the promised mitigation features: the tree screen and the air filters. One has to ask, of course, why mitigation is even necessary, and the EIR for the project makes that clear: the location between I-80 and the train tracks brings with it poor air quality and "significant and unavoidable" health impacts. There is no controversy on that point, although some "merchants of doubt" have tried to turn it into one.

Questions have also been raised about whether the promised mitigation will do what it is supposed to do; for example, Dr. Thomas Cahill has pointed out that the tree screen will be much less effective because the freeway is elevated adjacent to Nishi, and the supposed 95% efficiency of the air filters has never actually been demonstrated in a real-life situation (with filters operating at a much lower efficiency in real-life situations).

But the situation is even worse than that. The promised mitigation measures might not even be implemented.

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Flatlander In the Mail Today and Tomorrow

UnnamedBy Robert Milbrodt

The Flatlander is now distributing its election issue.  For the first time in 20 years we are delivering it by US Post. If you live in Davis, please expect it in your mailbox today or tomorrow. Bruce Mackenzie who used to walk so many routs to deliver the paper used to say, "Hey, that was a real Flat-lander" as the paper landed in Driveways all over town. This one is for you Bruce, we miss you.

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Davis Vanguard Continues to Deny Nishi Traffic Problem and Attempts to Pour Cold Water on John Troidl's Article

Nishi-OldDavisRdBy Dan Cornford

In response to John Troidl's article of yesterday in the Davisite the DV published an article or "commentator" today entitled "Commentary: Nonsensical Argument that Nishi Project Will Make Downtown Traffic Worse."

Below I will paste in my response to David Gs arguments and his failure to address any of John's. But I urge others to post their comments on the DV today as soon as possible as the traffic issue, IMHO resonates like no other when it comes to Nishi.

It will be interesting to see if the DV allows my short post not because I briefly argue against DG's position, but because in his article DG studiously avoids making any mention of the fact that this article appeared on the Davisite (Now what could possibly be the reason for that? A prize for the right answer.), but instead says he found it on his Facebook feed.


Here is is my attempted short post on the DV:

Most unsurprisingly, David makes no effort whatsoever to summarize let alone do justice to John Troidl's article and argument. This is unlike with some of his previous adversaries who he summarizes at length. Perhaps he fears the weight and substance of John's argument. It is worth pointing out also that with Nishi 1.0, when access by Olive Drive to Nishi was permitted, David parroted exactly the same argument (and the very flawed EIR traffic study supporting such an assertion) yet now he, and most Nishi 2.0 advocates, argue that the presumed lack of access (No-one knows how long this agreement with UCD will hold up!) totally negate the real traffic problems created by Nishi. And he thus further shreds his credibility. If you want to read John's article in full and read comments on it go to:


Edit added 5/23/18 at 11:50 AM: Having originally included the link to the Davisite with my comment, they have now deleted the link that link or "edited" it which proves my point and shows that they see the Davisite as a threat.

Why Settle for Mediocre?

UnnamedBy Larry Guenther

“Perfection is the enemy of the good.”  We often hear this said, and often what I believe people are saying is, “You’re being too picky,” or, “You’re being unrealistic,” or, “It’s good enough.”  But when it comes to Davis, I want to be picky and I don’t believe I am being unrealistic.  My experience is that “good enough” is settling for something that is mediocre.  It is a hesitancy or unwillingness to do the extra work or take the extra time to make a project extraordinary.

As a remodel contractor, I take pride in my work and am personally accountable for all I do. It is distressing to me that some are willing to settle for what I think of as ‘good enough.’  Do we want Davis to be ‘good enough,’ or do we want Davis to be extraordinary?

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Yolo County Progressives endorses Linda Deos and Ezra Beeman for City Council

YoloCountyProgressives(Press release) Yolo County Progressives endorses Linda Deos and Ezra Beeman for City Council.

These two candidates garnered a plurality of the votes of our membership, understandably reflecting positions most closely aligned with our progressive objectives.

They both are well prepared, business & financially experienced, and they align with
community interests.

M E Gladis, Chair

The Nishi Project Will Make Downtown Traffic Worse

By John Troidl

I don't get it: If I read the YES ON J (pro-Nishi) material, it seems like they are saying that there will be essentially no ("limited") traffic impact if the Nishi development is approved and actually built.

 How can that possibly be?

There are 700 parking spots planned for the Nishi property. One for each housing unit, right there fronting the highway. Wait, that's just one parking space for each apartment.... 1/3 of a car for each bed located at Nishi.

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City Considers Mobile Home Closure Ordinance

Rancho yoloby Colin Walsh

The City of Davis Social Services Commission will be considering a new "Proposed Mobile Home Park Closure, Cessation, or Conversion Ordinance" at 7pm this evening in the Community Chambers. 

Preserving mobile home parks is a strategy to continue to provide cost effective housing that is not currently covered by local, state or federal Affordable Housing programs. It is difficult if not impossible to offer the mobile home park residents anything comparable if a park closes.

The 4 Mobile home Parks in Davis, Rancho Yolo, Slater's Court, Davis Mobile Estates and 1502 Olive Drive all provide low cost housing. Together they represent over 400 homes. 

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A Response to the Flatlander Concerning City Council Candidate Linda Deos

Linda Deos

By M E Gladis

Alert to Voters for Davis City Council:

The Flatlander May 2018 issue, page 23 “Davis City Council Campaign” chart regarding Linda Deos is wrong. Just this side of suing for slander, so far, I am enraged that Robert Milbrodt would stoop to such a heinous depiction of any opponent of the candidate, Ezra Beeman, that he is promoting. Let me say that Ezra Beeman has strengths.

My issue is with the blatant misrepresentation of Linda Deos that Robert Milbrodt published and disseminated on the page 23 chart that Linda Deos favors developers, does not explain her values or vision, is not prepared, is not consistent.


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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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