IRS Investigation: Vanguard Offers No Comment

Envelope pic)_pic 2The below email was twice sent to David Greenwald and several board members of the Davis Vanguard to follow up on the IRS Complaint filed against the organization. Neither Greenwald nor any current board member replied. One individual who is listed on the Vanguard website as a board member did reply, but only to say they are no longer on the board and have no knowledge of the situation.

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Downtown Plan Needs To Listen To Davis

Dear Downtown Plan Advisory Committee, 
 
I would like share with you a video presentation I created outlining an alternative vision for public space in downtown Davis. 
 
 
I am submitting this video as comments on the previous workshop summary documents and in preparation for the workshops this week. I understand that the comment period is closed, but I was unable to summarize my comments in format provided. 
 
The presentation is extremely critical of the consultants’ “Plan A” to create an eventual square on third street. I outline a large number of intrinsic problems with this plan, including feasibility, cost, the selling off of viable public spaces to developers, poor design, lack of support for existing businesses among other obvious problems. 
 

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Preserve our right to be heard at City Council meetings

GaggedIf you want to preserve your right to speak in general public comment at City Council meetings, come to the City Council meeting today (Tuesday, July 10) at 7:15 PM and express your concerns about the proposal to shunt some of general public comment to the very end of the meeting.  Maybe you’ve never spoken at a Council meeting.  Maybe you don’t think you would. But it’s exactly when our concerns are the greatest that we find ourselves doing things that we didn’t expect we’d do and when we most need to preserve our right to speak.

Although I’ve spoken at Council meetings a number of times, I don’t believe I’ve ever spoken at general public comment at the beginning of the meeting (exception: my first time when I didn’t understand how things worked).  But I have heard others give general public comment.  They speak of issues that the Council might not yet know about or has yet to take up and place on the agenda.  Or they speak to items that are on the agenda, but for which they cannot stay to speak. They speak with passion and conviction.  Maybe the issues aren’t important to me.  But they are important to the speaker.  In a democracy, all voices should be heard, even those we disagree with or those who speak about things that we ourselves do not care about, because when it’s our turn, we will want to be heard.

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Who Is In Charge in Davis?

Mike
Mike Webb, City Manager


For the past few years, the City of Davis staff has completely manipulated the Davis City Council.

By Jon Li

The worst current example is the Downtown Plan “participatory workshop” process, where the expensive outside consultants DICTATE the new city policy as previously agreed to with city staff.  City staff is determined to lock the future of the Davis Downtown on one particular course, and nothing else is to be considered, let alone discussed and evaluated.  All the discussion is between the expensive outside consultants and city staff.


In the first Downtown Plan “participatory workshop,” the expensive outside consultants and city staff allowed 10 minutes of public discussion.   While the public kept making points of difference from what the economic consultant defined as Davis economic reality, there was no time for discussion, because the “historic preservation” LECTURE was scheduled, and that is so important that the 20 people who wanted to discuss economic development were cut off.

Last October 16th, when Mike Webb laid out this absurd plan, I asked what if the public discussion isn’t good enough?  Mike Webb was shocked that anyone would dare question a claim by the city manager.   You, Mike Webb are a product of the Downtown Plan Process, which is all you know.  Davis talks about design, even sustainability, as the traffic builds up at Richards, and the relationship with UCD remains at an all time low.

The city staff is trying to get away with what UCD is doing: pretend like you are going through a public engagement process so that it is approved without public evaluation.

The participation has been a reflection of the hideous excuse for outreach by the special consultant whose claim included that she went to Chico State so she knows Davis.  The outreach postcard has print so small that you need a magnifying glass to find out what time the LECTURES on new Davis policy are.  As far as the outside consultants and the city staff are concerned, it doesn’t matter if anybody comes to the events, they just need to claim to the state that there was a public process.

The city needs to talk about economic development.  Not one person on city staff has a clue about economic development.  Rather than hire someone, the city invented the title of business policy communicator, gossip.  No one in the city staff could lead a discussion about economic development, which is what Davis needs.

The downtown is a product of the entire city economy.  The problem is that the general plan only wants housing, so Davis is suburban, and only does housing design.  There is nothing about economic development in the second Downtown Plan “participatory workshop” – it is all fantasyland design stuff that will never happen.  A million dollars and a year wasted.

You should go to the second Downtown Plan “participatory workshop” Tuesday evening.  Because the outside consultants are so important, the only time they have available to do the workshop opening presentation is the same time as the first meeting of the new Davis City Council.

Will ANY city staff be at the opening “participatory workshop” LECTURE?  Will any member of the Davis City Council be there, even Lucas Frerichs who is the one who provided the political cover for this little adventure?  The publicity was pathetic, and with UCD summer vacation and the college students mostly gone, no one is in town anyway.  But it is even better to staff the fewer members of the public who even know the Downtown Plan process is happening. 

Staff sold the city council a year ago on this Downtown Plan when the opponents to Trackside wanted the city to live within the design guidelines.  This will override the guidelines, and then the city staff can go back to telling the city council what to do.  There will be no other changes in the plan for the future of Davis.

The city staff prohibits public dialogue because they will lose what little domination they have over the city council’s agenda.  Innovation and buy-in can only happen with public dialogue.

City Staff does what it wants to do, and it tells the City Council that is reality and they have to live with it, and then city staff parades around and if you question then they put “THE CITY COUNCIL” in your face and they do what they were going to do anyway.  The City Council should figure out “policy governance.”


New Police Surveillance Technology Needs More Disclosure and Specificity

CameraDear Mayor Lee and Davis City Council Members,

We are pleased to see our new city surveillance ordinance being implemented. Last Thursday night we saw the first staff reports on surveillance technologies being used in the city. As our first attempt as a city to lead the way in public disclosure of use of surveillance technologies, we want all parties to contribute to fully meeting the spirit and requirements of the ordinance. To that end, we offer both questions and suggestions regarding the Police Department staff reports.

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Did Council Member Frerichs Violate the Brown Act?

LucasShort answer, he may have. Long answer, if he did he probably violated it in more than one way.

By Colin Walsh

Yesterday Council Member Lucas Frerichs made an enthusiastic endorsement of an upcoming development project on his Facebook page and tagged every other member of City Council and several members of the Planning Commission. It was covered on the Davisite here.


Council Member Lucas Frerichs’s post declared the new project is “Coming soon!! Welcoming the new corporate headquarters…”

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Has the City Council already made up its mind concerning the proposed Mace Ranch business park?

Coming-soon-screenshotWill the new City Council listen to its commissions and its citizens?

This morning, I learned of a new proposed Mace Ranch business park from a Facebook post from Councilmember Lucas Frerichs, a post that tagged the soon-to-be other four members of the Davis City Council (among other people).  The proposal seems reasonable to me on its face in terms of its size, purpose, and location, although I reserve judgement until I have heard more about it.  What shocked me, however, was Councilmember Frerichs’s proclamation that the project was “Coming soon!!” with “approval expected,” as captured in the screenshot at the beginning of this post.

I find this shocking because the proposal hasn’t even gone to the Planning Commission yet (as Councilmember Frerichs notes), nor has the City Council had an opportunity to hear from citizens. Will any concerns be raised that make the City Council think twice about the proposal?  It would seem that Councilmember Frerichs, at least, does not think so. 

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Habeas Data: Privacy Vs. the Rise of Surveillance Tech

 Habeas DataThe Yolo County Chapter of the ACLU invites you to:

 "Habeas Data: Privacy Vs. the Rise of Surveillance Tech" – A Book talk by Author, Cyrus Farivar

This talk is part of the Yolo ACLU's ongoing exploration of how communications technologies also become surveillance technologies that can affect us all.  

Join us on July 18th, from 7-8:30 pm at the Davis Branch of the Yolo County Library in the Blanchard room.  

This event is free, refreshments will be served, and the book will be available for purchase. 

Show me the data!  Until the 21st century, nearly all our activities were private by default, and public only through effort; today anything in digital space has the potential (and likelihood) to remain somewhere online forever.  That means all the technologies that have made our lives easier, faster, better, more efficient have also simultaneously made it easier for others to keep an eye on our activities as well.  In 10 crucial legal cases, "Habeas Data" explores the tools of surveillance that exist today, how they work, and what the implications are for the future of privacy.

The Yolo County ACLU has addressed this issue with its proposed city ordinance to make purchases and use of surveillance technologies by the Davis Police Department both public and transparent.  That proposed ordinance is still being considered by the Davis City Council.  

Cyrus Farivar is a Senior Tech Policy Reporter at Ars Technica, as well as an author and radio producer.

His second book, Habeas Data, about the legal cases over the last 50 years that have had an outsized impact on surveillance and privacy law in America, was published May 8, 2018 from Melville House.  

In 2017, Cyrus Farivar and Joe Mullin won the Technology Reporting award from the Society of Professional Journalists, Northern California Chapter for their August 2016 story: “Stealing bitcoins with badges: How Silk Road’s dirty cops got caught.”  Cyrus’ first book, The Internet of Elsewhere—about the history and effects of the Internet on different countries around the world, including Senegal, Iran, Estonia and South Korea—was published in April 2011.  From 2010 until 2012, Cyrus was the Sci-Tech Editor and host of “Spectrum” at Deutsche Welle English, Germany’s international broadcaster. He has also reported for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, National Public Radio, Public Radio International, The Economist, Wired, The New York Times and many others.  He is based in Oakland, California.


Wikipedia link about the phrase "Habeas Data": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habeas_data .


City of Davis Participatory Design Workshop #2

Refining a Preferred Alternative 

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July 10th–14th, 2018
Davis Community Church, 421 D Street
The Fellowship Hall


The workshop is a four day opportunity for Davis community members to collaborate with a multidisciplinary team to craft a vision for
Downtown Davis.

The ideas and vision developed during the workshop along with other community input will guide the creation of the Downtown Davis Specific Plan document. The Downtown Davis Specific Plan will then implement these ideas through policies and design standards.

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Vanguard IRS Complaint Evidence

Donload graphicThe Anonymous IRS 13909 complaint against the Vanguard Non-profit was given to the Davisite by the Flatlander. The Flatlander received them anonymously through the US Post.  The IRS submission contained 14 pages of supporting evidence as referenced in the cover letter. and the postings contained on the pages seem to generally support the allegations on the 13909 form. All 14 pages are available for download below.

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Scott Pruitt exits the swamp.......

Good news today..... Scott Pruitt is out as head of the Environmental Protection Agency.  Not only were his/Trump's policies harmful to the environment, but he basically is a crook.  Guess he is getting out of town shortly before an indictment.

It is good riddance and now time to clean up the mess he has made and put the EPA back on the smart bi-partisan path of the past.  Don't forget, the EPA was started by a Republican president... Richard Nixon.  And a lot of important environmental legislation was signed by that same President after lead ins by others.

A healthy environment helps create a healthy population...... and although that seems obvious, to some people it is not.

John


IRS Complaint Against Vanguard

Envelope pic)_pic 2The Davisite received the below IRS form 13909 Complaints against the Davis Vanguard. They were given to the Davisite  by The Flatlander who received an anonymous envelope in its PO box containing the forms and other documents which appear to have been filled with the IRS. 

The anonymous complaint and cover letter are below.

 

 

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Refugee Kids Behind Bars: My Tour of the Juvenile Detention Center in Woodland

SignBy Sadie Fulton

The most memorable moment of the entire tour was looking at the child’s eyes through the glass. He looked nervous, curious and resentful all at once.

We weren’t allowed to meet the children, so this is all the contact I had with them. One young teenage boy staring out at me from his bedroom. All the kids were locked in their rooms, presumably, to allow us to tour what was basically their living room.

This teen boy that had presumably traveled thousands of miles to be locked away in Yolo County was in a cell in what the warden referred to as a “pod,” which is really a somewhat nice cell block. We were shown two of three “pods”, on the tour of the Yolo County Juvenile Detention Facility, which is under contract with the controversial Federal Office of  Refugee Resettlement (ORR). Each “pod” had a seating area, some colorful chairs that looked like a plush sofa except that it was made of plastic and had no cushions. They had a huge mural on the wall.

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Complaint Filed Against Vanguard Non-Profit

Envelope pic)_croppedThe Davis Vanguard is alleged to have participated in a political campaign in violation of it's non-profit status. A form 13909 Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service Complaint against the Davis Vanguard was given to the Davisite by The Flatlander. The Flatlander received an anonymous envelope in its PO box containing the forms and other documents which appear to have been filled with the IRS.

The complaint is anonymously filed and the cover letter CC's The Sacramento Bee, The Davis Enterprise, The Daily Democrat, and The Flatlander.

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Happy 4th of July Annoying Uncle and Everyone Else

FlagBy Tom Owczarzak

I woke up this morning to fireworks.

And it got me thinking about my complicated relationship with my country. Big national holiday and all that.

I have never been able to fully understand how I feel about it all. Partly because I just learned too much in college that I was not able to ignore. When the image got cracked by knowledge but was never really replaced.

And that made me think of my equally complicated relationship to religion – which feels the same.

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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

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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