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June 2018

UCLA School of Public Health conducting a smoke free housing (apartments) evaluation for the City of Los Angeles

This is a link from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research...... where this study is described.  Seems like a good piece of applied public health research.  https://healthpolicy.ucla.edu/newsroom/press-releases/pages/details.aspx?NewsID=297

The City of Los Angeles wants its residents to be healthy.  Imagine that!

John

PS  I am wondering if the developers at NISHI would consider making that development "smoke free"?  The UC Davis campus is.... how about off campus student housing?


Davis Flow

IMG_7140
Photo by Iggie Walsh 

By Michelle Jillian Bailey

As I sit here, in my air-conditioned home, the high will reach 106* today. I am reminded of other hot summer Saturdays of my youth. My summers, ages 10- 12 (that’s too many years ago to attempt the math!), consisted of lessons at Happy Horse Riding School. Happy Horse was located on Road 96 and was the idyllic camp for young horse lovers. It consisted of riding lessons in a covered arena, vaulting lessons (gymnastics on horseback) and even written horse education.

If you are familiar with Davis, you know that Road 96 is way out there. Even today, on Google maps, there is Davis, and then there is a lot of blank lines before you reach Road 96. In fact, it is just shy of six miles from my childhood home. Six miles. In 106*. For a 10-year-old. On a bike. Let that sink in for a minute.

Continue reading "Davis Flow" »


Child Separation: CUCFA Demands End to UC Relationship with General Dynamics

UC General DynamicsThe Council of University of California Faculty Associations, an umbrella organization for the Faculty Associations (FAs) at each UC campus,  Joins the Call for University of California to end relationship with General Dynamics over GD's role in immigrant minor separation camps. 

Continue reading "Child Separation: CUCFA Demands End to UC Relationship with General Dynamics" »


On building new pools for DHS and the City

DAM-poolAs was probably obvious from my earlier article, I’m pretty pro-swimming.  The science backs me up, with numerous documented health benefits from swimming, especially cardiovascular benefits but also muscular and psychological benefits.  It’s a sport that people often take up after they have been injured from some other sport, and it’s a true lifelong sport, with active participants into their 90s and beyond.

In light of that, with various proposals on the table for building new pools in Davis, you might think I am also pro-pool.  And generally speaking, I am – but I also recognize that any proposals for new pools must be weighed against other priorities, and those are complicated conversations.  So, what I’d like to do here is much more minimal, namely, to just point out the extent of the need for pools in Davis, because I think there has been some confusion as to how many “private” swim group workouts there are and whether those groups could make use of a high school pool.

Continue reading "On building new pools for DHS and the City" »


The June 5th election vote continues!

By M E Gladis

On Friday of the week after election night an interim report was made of about 10,000 VBM scanned ballots. Let me inform you that one or two pairs of processors set up in the scan area at tables for duplication of the ballots that cause certain trouble for the scanners. The scanned ballots go vertically into clear plastic bags with labels of batch and initialing by two staff, usually a scanner and a support staff.

Then there are voters who mark two spots on a one choice office, over voting. That results in no vote because no one in the office can say what the voters true intention was on that office. There are undervotes when two or more choices are available for the office and only one vote is marked. That vote is qualified and counted. There are stray marks that interrupt the scanning process. All these issues must all be reconciled.

Next there is the Write-in. News to me: a valid write-in candidate must register with the Secretary of State (SOS) office and list the name(s) by which the candidate is known. In order to write in a candidate a voter must fill in the write- in box and clearly enter the validated candidate’s name. No random non- registered name is counted.

Continue reading "The June 5th election vote continues!" »


Why it takes so long to count the vote!

By M E Gladis

Well, first let’s congratulate the Yolo County Election staff! Yolo County was the first of 58 counties to certify the voting outcome. That distinction is due to the office staff and recurring temporary election staff being experienced, professional, and dedicated to counting every vote. These busy staff also courteously greeted and answered numerous questions from the public observers.

In my daily attendance as an observer, including the Tuesday of the week before election when the testing of the scanners was performed I learned why it takes so long to count the vote. I was there on election night to observe the dock where incoming poll materials were delivered. The dock staff stayed until 3:00 a.m. Supervisors stayed later, and all back to work by 8:00 a.m. They intentionally wait another day to process anything that requires astute attention. Staff save and label all items from the Jun 5th election; every ballot, tally sheet, every envelope, every ballot is labeled and saved for 22 months. Also each and every item received by mail or delivery service in the election department is recorded in a log by a front office staff. So the number of Vote By Mail (VBM) ballots that arrive by postal delivery are recorded each day.

Election night after staff processed the poll ballots to inspect the barcodes, the IT staff scanned the poll ballots along with the white VBM envelopes that were received by the election department enough ahead of election night that staff could process and have those VBM ballots ready for scanning, waiting in clear plastic see-through bags with their designation on a large sticker. The few ballots the scanners rejected election night were placed in a tray labeled for later duplication.

Continue reading "Why it takes so long to count the vote!" »


Envision Downtown Davis

Virtual Community Workshop Flyer FinalThe City of Davis is asking for your help in planning for the future of downtown. By participating in the Virtual Community Workshop, your input will help with the creation of the Specific Plan. The workshop is currently live through June 28.

Join the conversation and participate in the Virtual Community Workshop at www.cityofdavis.org/EnvisionDowntownDavis

Additionally, the Downtown Davis Plan Team will be hosting the second Participatory Design Workshop from July 10 through July 14 at the Davis Community Church Fellowship Hall, located at 421 D Street. They will be reaching out with a flyer and additional information shortly.


Child Separation: End UC Contracts with General Dynamics

UC General DynamicsUC-AFT Demands End to UC Contract with General Dynamics Over Role in Child Separation

 

As contingent faculty and librarians represented by UC-AFT, we work with undocumented students at the University of California on a daily basis. Your initiative to support the UC’s undocumented students and your lawsuit against the Trump administration’s rescission of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) have been powerful advocacy for some of our most vulnerable community members.

Today, we ask that you extend that leadership to immediately canceling the UC’s contract with General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT), a defense contractor. The UC currently contracts out the management and administration of the Analytical Writing Placement Examination (AWPE) to GDIT. Many UC faculty, including a number of our members, score more than 16,000 AWPE exams taken by admitted first-year students every year. During that process, we are in regular communication with GDIT employees. GDIT is also a contractor for the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement and employs staff who support and facilitate the forced separation of children and parents seeking asylum at the U.S. border.

Contracting out an educational process is a questionable practice for a university to begin with. Contracting out to a defense contractor forces faculty to be complicit with war profiteering. Contracting out to a defense contractor that enables the U.S. government to rip children away from their parents and place them in concentration camps is an unconscionable moral failing.

In the strongest possible terms, we urge you to halt the UC’s participation in these abuses by immediately withdrawing from any and all agreements between the UC and GDIT.

Sincerely,

UC-AFT Executive Board
Mia L. McIver, UCLA
Axel Borg, UC Davis
Ben Harder, UC Riverside
Roxi Power, UC Santa Cruz
Miki Goral, UCLA

 

https://ucaft.org/content/uc-aft-demands-end-uc-contract-general-dynamics-over-gd-role-child-separation

 


"How do you deal with the political propaganda?"

That's the question I asked one of my classmates from China when I was in grad school at Berkeley.  You know, the huge, pervasive portraits of Chairman Mao and other political leaders over the years... just popping up everywhere I understood.

She smiled and said, "Well, probably the same way you deal with the commercial propaganda here in the United States".  Good answer!  Quite insightful.

As a card carrying capitalist I know the purpose of marketing is to ask the customer what they want and communicate to them that you are going to give it to them.  But "sales" sometimes deviates from true marketing and ventures into persuasion and dare I say it, manipulation.  

Continue reading ""How do you deal with the political propaganda?"" »


Democracy and general public comment: A reply to Jon Li

Brett_LeeI want to thank Jon Li for his thoughtful response to my earlier article, an article that objected to the recent proposal to limit the time for general public comment at the beginning of Council meetings, shunting the rest of general public comment to the end of the meetings.  His remarks provide the opportunity for me to reflect more on the nature of democracy as it pertains to our humble town.

 Jon asks us to think about the real purpose of public comment and about the nature of a representative democracy, and rightly so.  It is my view that recent events, both regionally and nationally, have shown us that just showing up to the polls and voting during elections is not enough.  Citizens can and should be more engaged than that.  Of course, ultimately we do rely on our elected representatives to make decisions.  But it is incumbent on us to let them know where we stand on issues, to raise concerns that they may not have thought of, to give them the information that they need in order to be able to properly represent us.

Continue reading "Democracy and general public comment: A reply to Jon Li" »


DTA Questions Raise for Highest Paid Admin

DTA LogoBy Dianna Huculak, President of the Davis Teachers Association

At the end of the school year, educators in our district received an email from Director of secondary education Troy Allen, which among other things, told us that our students would not be able to have new textbooks next year because of increased compensation for teachers.   Based on this email, many teachers expressed to me that they felt guilty that their salary increase hurt their students.   To me, and others who have worked in Davis for a period of time, this rhetoric from district office is all too familiar- a district message frame-repeated to the community that unfortunately pits nurses, counselors, teachers, psychologist, and all support staff against the children that we protect, nurture and serve.  It creates a false dichotomy which says anything that goes to the support the livelihood of the people in our school community, must take something away from children.   It disrespects and minimizes the role of our school communities to create healthy spaces for children to grow and to learn.   Moreover, it’s not enough that teachers had to picket, write letters, show up at multiple school board meetings, for what basically amounted to a cost of living adjustment- we are also supposed to feel guilty about it.   What I didn’t realize at the time, was that apparently, this logic only applies to teachers.

Continue reading "DTA Questions Raise for Highest Paid Admin" »


Chancellor May, Leidos, and the Border Regime

 

May Leidos
Image From Leidos website and Chancellor May 

By Nick Buxton

I’m glad to hear the university administration read my piece, although I wish it had led to some self-reflection about the ethics of education leaders holding corporate board positions – even more so when they are in the defense industry. Instead they have deployed a PR defense tactic of mis-characterizing my argument rather than addressing its core concerns. The fact that a university administration also spends public money defending a private corporation shows the costs of universities becoming ever more corporatized in recent years.

My article did not argue that Leidos was responsible for the latest Trump policy of separating children from their families, nor did I say that Chancellor May was responsible for this. However it is clear that Leidos is part of the border regime, and that May as a Board representative therefore naturally bears some responsibility and accountability for its activities.

Continue reading "Chancellor May, Leidos, and the Border Regime" »


Sad and Mad About Superintendent Pay

DJUSD Money2Dear Davis School Board Members, (boe@djusd.net)

I am so very disappointed in your leadership and continued support of the Superintendent’s agenda and request for additional salary for top administrators. You have been saying all year that teacher salaries are a priority yet your actions speak otherwise. Stop adding admin positions and stop increasing their pay!

This year I had an amazing student teacher, the kind that only comes around once every few years, and we lost her to a school 15 miles away. Although she loved being at Pioneer - she could not turn down $1,000 more take home pay per month plus a much better benefit package. After all - she has student loans to pay back!

Although I have worked for this district for 21 years and have maxed out on academic units, my pay is so low it requires me to hold a second job in order to support my family. In addition, I am unable to afford to live in the community in which I dedicate most my time and resources teaching and caring for its young people.

I am sad, mad, and very disappointed!

Culien Anderson
Pioneer Elementary


Council public comment

Brett_LeeBy Jon Li

The Mayor Pro Tem is proposing that city council meeting public comment be limited to a half hour at the beginning of the meeting, and time given at the end of the meeting for public comment. That is the way it is done at most city councils around the country.

The Davis community activists have demanded the right to longer time for public comment. I believe that recent city council meeting experience is that a few activists have tried to take over the agenda of the meeting during public comment, and on many occasions attempted to derail the council from its meeting agenda purpose.

What is public comment for? Roberta Millstein claimed "Let's recall what general public comment is for: 1) it's for members of the community who want to speak to items on the agenda, but can't stay late, and 2) it's for members of the community to speak to items that are not on the agenda. "

I think you forgot what the purpose of public comment is. Then we can talk about what it is for, and then we can talk about the more effective approaches to setting ground rules to achieve identified goals.

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UC Davis Statement On "Chancellor May, Leidos Corp., and “heart-wrenching political tactics” for refugees"

May72502_0UC Davis Statement On "Chancellor May, Leidos Corp., and “heart-wrenching political tactics” for refugees" Published on the Davisite.org

On behalf of Chancellor Gary S. May and UC Davis, I must address the accusations and incorrect information made by Nick Buxton in his June 20 article, “Chancellor May, Leidos Corp, and ‘heart-wrenching political tactics’ for refugees.” In addition to the inflammatory and wildly inappropriate placement of Chancellor’s May’s picture with that of children detained by ICE, Buxton made false statements related to May’s Leidos Board seat and how that position impacts his role here at UC Davis. 

For starters, Chancellor May has been transparent about his board service from the very beginning. He disclosed his board service and salary candidly with the search committee that ultimately recommended unanimously to select him as the next UC Davis Chancellor. The UC Office of the President and UC Regents were also informed about his board leadership prior to selecting him. He has discussed this topic with the campus community and during many media interviews. He continues to make himself available to anyone who wants to discuss this with him in person. 

Continue reading "UC Davis Statement On "Chancellor May, Leidos Corp., and “heart-wrenching political tactics” for refugees"" »


Problematic changes proposed for Davis City Council meeting comments

Brett_LeeThe City Council is considering some changes to its meeting format, according to the Davis Enterprise:

One suggestion was to limit general public comment at the beginning of the meeting — requiring that it end at a specific time — and continuing it for those who still wish to speak after all other agenda items have been dealt with.

The reason for the possible change?

“The idea is that as we start with a new council in July, that we find a way to make the meetings more accessible for the public and make them function more smoothly,” [Brett] Lee said.

So, meetings will be more accessible for the public if we force some members of the public to wait until the very end of the meeting to make general comments?  No. That would make meetings less accessible.

Continue reading "Problematic changes proposed for Davis City Council meeting comments" »


Chancellor May, Leidos Corp., and “heart-wrenching political tactics” for refugees

May detention centerBy Nick Buxton

UC Davis Chancellor Gary May has joined the chorus of voices rightly condemning the separation of children from parents seeking asylum in the US. In a public statement on June 19, he condemned the “heart-wrenching political tactics” affecting refugees and voiced his support for DACA students. These are important statements, but they would be even more powerful if he took action to back up those values, which in this case he could easily do by stepping down from his position on the board of one of the leading corporations involved in the inhumane border regime.

According to Sacramento Bee, May earned $288,280 in cash and stock in 2015 as a member of the board of Leidos, a Virginia-based defense and technology company. Leidos is an important supplier of surveillance equipment to the Department for Homeland Security Border guards, boasting of supplying 70 programs worth $200 million in the last five years. The company has expanded significantly in recent years and its CEO has boasted to investors of how it is benefiting from Trump’s agenda.

Continue reading "Chancellor May, Leidos Corp., and “heart-wrenching political tactics” for refugees" »


Davis is a DAM fine town (for swimming in particular)

Main_250hWhen I first came to Davis for my job interview (the one that would result in my addition to the Philosophy Department at UCD), one of my future colleagues said, with a bit of a sarcastic snort, “Too bad Paul couldn’t be here.  He’s been telling all of the candidates about Davis’s masters swimming group.”  My head whipped around:  “Davis has a masters swimming group??”

A good masters swimming group is hard to find.

Continue reading "Davis is a DAM fine town (for swimming in particular)" »


Fact checking can be so very, very illuminating!

By now you must have heard of the big issue of children being separated from parents at our boarder with Mexico ....... this is highly controversial and within the past 24 hours five current and former First Ladies have weighed in on this situation.... express concern and at times outrage at how this situation is being managed by the current administration.

Part of the management of the situation is a considerable amount of communication "spin".  Here is a link to an article from the Washington Post which does a great job of sorting out the spin from the truth.  

In these modern times it is important to be able to separate fact from fiction or even more critically fact from near fact or semi-fact.  And we need to be prepared to sort through these claims as we go about making decisions that affect us and/or others.  For example, "More cars means less traffic".  You might have heard that one lately.  Still makes my head shake.

Anyway, here is the link to the Post:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2018/06/19/the-facts-about-trumps-policy-of-separating-families-at-the-border/?utm_term=.54b235edb54f&wpisrc=nl_most&wpmm=1

I subscribe to the online version..... you might want to, too.

John