DJUSD Accused of Limiting Special Education Enrollment

Special Education System Fundamentally Conflicted

Daisy

By Aaron Wright

I wrote “Daisy Has Autism” to give a voice to those struggling with the state of special education services in Davis. “Daisy” was also a sorrowful goodbye to the town that I loved and called home for nearly 20 years. I felt obligated to shed a light upon the neglect, marginalization, and removal of disabled children from our community. I prepared for a backlash to my book, but I believed our community still capable of driving a legitimate discussion about the treatment of children.

Tragically, as publication neared, that confidence was destroyed. When DJUSD student Max Benson was killed at the school where our administration had placed him, the coverage in Davis was anemic. No discussion regarding the absence of an appropriate education program within the community to which he belonged took place. Had any non-disabled child in Davis been made to take a bus 80 miles a day because of a lack of educational materials or teachers, there would have been a furor.

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5G Health Hazards - FCC Overreach - Global Surveillance

5G BaseballPlanning Commission Meeting Tonight!

City of Davis, California

December 2019

Dear Davis Resident,

You may not have heard our town of Davis is facing an onslaught of new 5G antennas in our city without any public involvement or knowledge.  There has been no public notice given, nor letters sent to any residents living within 500’ of any of these proposed 5G cell sites.  The Davis Enterprise has also refused to publish any of our editorial comments related to 5G, nor do they publish or give comment mentioning any of our group’s multiple appearances at the City Hall giving public testimony during City Council and Planning Commission meetings, even though they were present, each and every time, taking notes.  It is obvious they do not wish to give any publicity on this issue.  They know there is a growing number of people against it and therefore, refuse to create any public stirrings or knowledge that 5G is even being deployed in our town.  I have never seen such stealth treatment by media-based news.

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Gracias, Señora Dopico,

Sra. D 2
            I think of you. The sun is struggling through thick clouds, looking to break free. I heard the news of your passing while I was in the midst of snow in cold upstate New York. I closed my eyes and there against the white of snow, in my mind bloomed the biggest most gorgeous flower with big petals. They were deep brilliant red in hue. The center was golden and bright yellow.  Vibrating in color. Surging in quivering glory. Bright. Giving. Receiving. Held.

            Boundless joy and exuberance bubbling into eternity. Living in the dead of frozen winter, yet flooded in light, love and energy. This is who you have been to this earth. The way you so beautifully dressed and shone your light, gave us permission to express ourselves a little more in a world where unbeneficial patterns have been ironed into generations, denouncing the boundless benefits of healing. Lies holding us captive. Trapped. I trust that you have bright light that you need to shine from a different angle. Your petals needed to continue to unfurl above the cloud cover.

            Thank you endlessly for walking up to me and inviting me to create flowers out of wool with you and our planets’ beautiful children. Each of us who have known you might well find out that a little magic ball fluffy light was placed into our pockets so that when we feel sad we can bring it out. Hey you never know- that ball of light might turn into the most gorgeous flower that you can imagine. Cheering you up from the inside out. It might turn into something else- hey you never know! Each one of us must remember the spirit that we truly are and know to be true to exhibit our fullest form. For now, and forever. Thank you for inviting us to blossom. To stand our ground and take root!!! Being light isn’t easy and we each must be a shoulder for each other to lean on.  As you truly have been, eternally.

Shining light.

Grateful. Forever.

Now.

Beaming.

From the heart.

Thank you,

Carey Ann Hunt

 


Larry Guenther announces candidacy for Davis City Council

Larry-CCAll members of the Davis community are invited to an event to announce Larry Guenther’s intention of running for City Council in the November 2020 election.

Rhonda Reed and Ken Gebhart will host the event at their home, 320 I St. in Davis, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12. The official announcement will occur at 7:30 p.m.

Although he will be running to be the representative for District 3, all members of the community are encouraged to attend. Light refreshments will be served and the event is free to all.


ARC Business Park EIR Comment Deadline Extended Again.

Irregularities Continue with ARC Proposal

1920px-Athene_cunicularia_20110524_02
* see photo credit below

By Colin Walsh

Yesterday afternoon at 3:15 PM, Assistant City Manager Ash Feeney sent emails to several people announcing the deadline would be extended for scoping comments on the ARC supplemental EIR. The new deadline for submitting comments is Dec. 16 at 5pm.

This email came less than 2 hours before the previous, now-superseded 5pm 12/9 deadline.

Feeney pointed toward an announcement on the City website: https://www.cityofdavis.org/city-hall/community-development-and-sustainability/development-projects/aggie-research-campus

This is the second deadline extension for ARC comments.

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Skippy

Skippy
Skippy and family camping 1955

By Robert Pratt

It must have been my 8th birthday, I had been bugging my parents for a dog, a friend of mine had just got a golden retriever puppy and I was smitten.

The day of my birthday Dad, and I got in the truck and drove across town to a farm house with a compound of chicken wire, a crude lean to, and a barking dog, I stayed in the truck, I was beyond excited!

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ARC Project Recommended Sustainability Features

Recommended Project Alternatives for the Supplemental Environmental Impact Report

Rough-ARCmap-corrected-sustainabilityThe following comments were submitted to the City by The Aggie Research Center Working Group, an ad hoc committee of interested Davis environmentalists with experience in evaluating land use and planning issues in Davis, on December 7. The Group has collaboratively developed this set of recommended sustainability features for the project and submitted them to the developer in November, 2019. With his knowledge, these recommendations are now formally submitted as scoping comments to the supplemental EIR for the purposes of evaluating desirable sustainability alternatives for the project

Others who wish to submit their own written scoping comments can do so via the City of Davis Community Development and Sustainability Department, 23 Russell Boulevard, Suite 2 Davis, CA 95616 Attn: Sherri Metzker, Principal Planner or via electronic mail to smetzker@cityofdavis.org up until Monday, December 9, 2019 at 5:00 PM.

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I. SUSTAINABILITY PLAN

Functional Goal: Develop and implement a comprehensive Sustainability Plan and ensure sustainability commitments made in the Plan are embodied in the subsequent Development Agreement and implemented and maintained for life of project.

  1. Mandatory, measurable and enforceable.

  2. Equivalent in scope and detail to Nishi.

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Business park outside of Mace curve: More environmental review

Questions about traffic, area impacts, climate change

Rough-ARCmap-corrected-traffic-climateThe following comments were submitted by Roberta Millstein to the City of Davis. This is part 2 of 2; other comments submitted by Millstein and posted earlier addressed land use, parks/greenways and open space.  These comments serve as recommendations as to the scope and content of the supplemental environmental impact report (EIR) for the "Aggie Research Campus," a proposed massive ~200 acre business park on prime farmland outside the Mace curve, focusing on the changes in project and conditions from the previous Mace Ranch Innovation Center (MRIC) proposal.

Others who wish to submit their own written scoping comments can do so via the City of Davis Community Development and Sustainability Department, 23 Russell Boulevard, Suite 2 Davis, CA 95616 Attn: Sherri Metzker, Principal Planner or via electronic mail to smetzker@cityofdavis.org up until Monday, December 9, 2019 at 5:00 PM.

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The following questions need to be addressed by the Supplemental EIR for the “Aggie Research Campus” (please note that wherever I say “impacts” I mean “environmental impacts”):

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Business park outside of Mace curve: environmental review

Rough-ARCmap-corrected-landuseQuestions about land use, parks/greenways and open space

The following comments were submitted by Roberta Millstein to the City of Davis today. This is part 1 of 2; other comments submitted by Millstein to be posted later [edit: see here] will address traffic/transportation, area impacts, and climate change impacts/interactions.  These comments serve as recommendations as to the scope and content of the supplemental environmental impact report (EIR) for the "Aggie Research Campus," a proposed massive ~200 acre business park on prime farmland outside the Mace curve, focusing on the changes in project and conditions from the previous Mace Ranch Innovation Center (MRIC) proposal.

Others who wish to submit their own written scoping comments can do so via the City of Davis Community Development and Sustainability Department, 23 Russell Boulevard, Suite 2 Davis, CA 95616 Attn: Sherri Metzker, Principal Planner or via electronic mail to smetzker@cityofdavis.org up until Monday, December 9, 2019 at 5:00 PM.

~~~~

The following questions need to be addressed by the Supplemental EIR for the “Aggie Research Campus” (please note that wherever I say “impacts” I mean “environmental impacts”):

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Davis Farmers Market offers free baskets, wrapping on Saturdays

The Davis Farmers Market turns into Gift Basket Central for the first three Saturdays in December, offering free baskets and wrapping of market items.

GBCbooth
The Gift Basket Central event at the Davis Farmers Market is the first three Saturdays in December. The market is open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Central Park, Fourth and C streets in Davis.

(From press release) On Dec. 7, 14 and 21, shoppers can compile items for custom gift baskets, and have them wrapped for free at the market’s Gift Basket Central station, near the large oak tree. The service is available to anyone who purchases three or more items at the Davis Farmers Market.

Looking for ideas? Besides the abundant produce, market sellers offer preserved jams and sauces, lemon curd, honey, balsamic vinegars, olive oils, dried herbs, nuts and nut butters. There are sweets like dried fruit or chocolate-covered almonds, pistachio brittle, and local wines. Other items include handmade soaps and lotions, wreaths, hats and scarves.

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Davis Farmers Market loaded with crafts, gifts

Paintapot stuff
The Paint-a-Pot ceramics station is one of many food and craft booths Dec. 7, 14 and 21 at the Davis Farmers Market.

(From press release) Holiday shopping is a treat at the Davis Farmers Market, where patrons can cross off their gift and grocery lists with one stop. Along with the farm-fresh produce, eggs, meat and baked goods, there are local crafts, free gift baskets and holiday music on Saturdays, Dec. 7, 14 and 21.

During the holidays, the C Street sidewalk is dubbed Crafters’ Lane, with local artists selling custom purses, scarves, hats, sun spinners, aprons, pottery, candles, soap, lotion, wreaths, flowers, art, photography and more. Artist Heidi Bekebrede has a Paint-a-Pot booth, where patrons of any age can decorate a pottery item, such as a cup, bowl or ornament.

On the first three Saturdays in December, shoppers can compile items for custom gift baskets, and have them wrapped for free at the market’s Gift Basket Central station, near the large oak tree. The service is available to anyone who purchases three or more items at the Davis Farmers Market.

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Building a Regenerative Future Should Be Council's Focus

Recycling-4091876_1280I am grateful for the efforts of the Davis City Council in organizing the priority items for the next year in Davis. It’s great to see actions regarding sustainability, resilience, and equity.

I would encourage that climate action be put as item #1 given our very short window of time to act and to create resilient models for dealing with the impacts of climate change. Regarding framing things in terms of “sustainability”, I would like to repeat the words of the visionary Dr. Daniel Christian Wahl, author of the book, Designing Regenerative Cultures:

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Is Davis Council Serious About Sustainability?

City Council pic 2
By Colin Walsh

On Tuesday night (tonight) the Davis City Council will “Provide direction to staff on new Focus Items for the 2020 calendar year.” This is a time to set the general sweeping agenda for the next Council year. This is an opportunity for the Davis City Council to set priorities for 2020.

With City Council elections pushed from March to November, the current Council will be together a little longer than expected, so how will they set their priorities?

The current expressed council goals are:

  • Ensure Fiscal Resilience
  • Drive a Diverse and Resilient Economy
  • Pursue Environmental Sustainability
  • Fund, Maintain, and Improve the Infrastructure
  • Ensure a Safe, Healthy, Equitable Community
  • Build and Promote a Vibrant City
  • Foster Excellence in City Services
  • Cultivate Positive Workplace Dynamics

Every part of the Council’s goals deserve a deeper look, but let’s just look at 2 of the goals: the goal to “Pursue Environmental Sustainability and to “Drive a Diverse and Resilient Economy.

The first stated Objective in pursuing Environmental Sustainability is, “Reduce the community's carbon footprint and achieve measurable GHG emission reductions, including reduction of Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT).” The City goals propose to “Implement the City’s Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, collaborate with organizations promoting sustainable programs/projects, such as Valley Climate Action Center, Cool Davis, UC Davis, etc.”

The City’s climate action and adaptation plan can be found on the City website and is certainly worth a look. https://www.cityofdavis.org/city-hall/community-development-and-sustainability/sustainability-program/climate-change

The plan was put in motion some time ago and one wonders what the outcomes have been. There is no report or update on the City website.

There is however a March 2019 declaration of climate emergency. But no significant changes in the City’s course have been taken since then.

The Open space section of the sustainability plans seem to have nothing to do with protecting more open space at all – they are more focused on making existing open spaces and habitat areas more usable to people.

By comparison, under “Drive a Diverse and Resilient Economy,” the City is considering adding the Aggie Research Campus (ARC) as part of the goal. Because this project is oriented toward freeway commuting and will have parking for over 4,300 cars this clearly does nothing to further the goal of cutting down on car emissions. Worse, the project had 6-9,000 parking space proposed for it at one time, and it is unclear how the project has been able to reduce parking spaces since there is no transportation plan for the city, innovative or otherwise.

The ARC has such a high need for cars because the City of Davis and UCD has such a high jobs to housing ratio. UCD is a major California employer and is already a regional draw bringing commuters in from all over the Sacramento and Bay Area. If the ARC is successful, it too will draw in many of its employees from around Northern CA. That will mean more exhaust from more cars and more green house gases.

The developer will tell you that the project itself will provide housing, but there are real problems with the developers assertions. 

  1. There is no plan for, nor any way to guarantee that people who work in the project would live in the project, though some might.
  2. The project doesn’t come close to providing what the project would need.
  3. Previously the developer said they were exempt from providing any affordable housing. 

Not to mention all of these additional cars will mean more traffic on Mace and on the freeway.

Furthermore, the Aggie Research center is proposed for prime farm land – and that is becoming increasingly scarce as 40 acres of farmland is paved over an hour in the US.

Is the City really serious about reducing emissions if it is prepared to support a freeway business park like ARC? How does the Council reconcile the disconnect between its sustainability and climate goals with a retrograde car focused project like ARC?

 


Business Park Developer Accused of Providing Misinformation

Lawyer
Attorney representing the business park defends a questionable table at the EIR scoping meeting.

Last minute release questioned

Attorney's for the Massive Mace Business Park dubbed "ARC" provided the City of Davis with a letter and tables in preparation for the EIR scoping yesterday. The City posted these documents to the City Website and emailed them to select individuals. Unfortunately these documents have come under scrutiny for possibly containing misinformation.

The City of Davis did not vet the information before releasing it to the public and injecting it into the EIR process. In the words of City Manager Mike Webb, "These documents were submitted by the applicant and therefore are appropriate to posted to the city web site as such."

When asked if the "City has opened itself up to litigation by sending false and misleading information out in advance of tonight’s meeting," Webb stated, "The City, as you know, does not edit documents that are submitted by the applicant. "

The letter below details some of the problems with the applicant's last minute release:

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University Commons: Public Meeting and Environmental Review

Public comments on Draft Environmental Impact Report accepted through Dec 20

University-commons-site-plan
Brixmor Property Group, University Commons Illustrative Site Plan

(From press release) The City of Davis Planning Commission will conduct a public meeting on the University Commons Project Draft EIR, as described below, at a meeting beginning at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 11, 2019 in the Community Chambers, City Offices, 23 Russell Boulevard, Davis, California. Please contact the Department of Community Development and Sustainability for the approximate time this item will be heard.

Project Description:

The Planning Commission is scheduled to review the Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) that has been prepared for the University Commons Project located at 737-885 Russell Boulevard, known as University Mall. The proposed project would demolish approximately 90,653 square feet of the existing University Mall building to create a new mixed-use development. Buildout of the proposed project would result in the addition of 264 new multi-family residential units and approximately 136,800 square feet of retail space, not including the existing Trader Joe’s building, which would be retained as-is. The proposed 264 multi-family residential units would include a mix of unit types with a total of 622 bedrooms and 894 beds. The ARCO gas station is not part of the proposed project or project site and would also remain unchanged.

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Unitrans and the Davis Food Co-op Give Back to the Community

“Stuff the Bus” Food Drive on Saturday, Dec. 7

Uni_stuff_the_bus_flyer

(From press release) Unitrans and the Davis Food Co-op are proud to host the “Stuff the Bus” holiday food drive to support The Pantry, the University of California, Davis, an Associated Students of UC Davis (ASUCD) led organization that provides nonperishable, high-protein food for UC Davis students struggling to pay for meals.

A vintage Unitrans London double-decker will be on display at the Davis Food Co-op and volunteers will be receiving food donations from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Davis Food Co-op, 620 G St.

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Post-Carbon Potluck & Mace business park environmental review

Rough-ARCmap-corrected copyTwo important events at almost identical times, but synergy possible

By Roberta Millstein

Attend a climate crisis potluck or give comment on the scope of an environmental review?  Both?

The first event: the Davis Post-Carbon Association (DPCA) is having a potluck this Monday, Dec 2 in the Davis Library: Blanchard Room 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. You can meet fellow residents who are taking action and learn how you can join the effort!

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Artists share news on holiday events, art venues

AADperegrine
Dylan Wright of Third Space waves his hand in reaction to a student’s artwork based on a prompt to 3- to 5-year-olds: “What does your world look like?” Wright was among the Arts Alliance Davis participants who toured Peregrine School on Nov. 21. (Wendy Weitzel/Courtesy photo)

By Wendy Weitzel

Davis artists and arts allies met Nov. 21 to collaborate about their holiday events and programs, and learn about an unlikely arts event space in town.

Arts Alliance Davis meets every other month, at rotating venues. It unites artists, civic and arts organizations, businesses, patrons and other community arts supporters. The meetings are open to anyone.

This gathering of nearly 30 members of the local creative community was at Peregrine School, 2650 Lillard Drive. School Director Lorie Hammond led a tour, offering information about its potential as a performance and meeting space. The 1-acre campus near Cowell Drive in South Davis has an outdoor stage, garden and grassy area.

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LEONARD PELTIER’S 2019 THANKSGIVING MESSAGE: “WALKING ON STOLEN LAND”

Free-Leonard-Peltier-768x431BY LEVI RICKERT 

Republished with permission  from Native News Online.net

Published November 23, 2019

COLEMAN, FLORIDA – Leonard Peltier, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, who is incarcerated at the U.S. Penitentiary in Coleman, Florida, for his 1977 conviction in connection with a shootout with U.S. government forces, where two FBI agents and one young American Indian lost their lives.

Peltier, who is considered a political prisoner of war by many, released this statement on Thanksgiving through the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee:

The year of 2019 is coming to a close and with it, comes the day most Americans set aside as a day for Thanksgiving. As I let my mind wander beyond the steel bars and concrete walls, I try to imagine what the people who live outside the prison gates are doing, and what they are thinking. Do they ever think of the Indigenous people who were forced from their homelands? Do they understand that with every step they take, no matter the direction, that they are walking on stolen land? Can they imagine, even for one minute, what it was like to watch the suffering of the women, the children and babies and yes, the sick and elderly, as they were made to keep pushing west in freezing temperatures, with little or no food? These were my people and this was our land. There was a time when we enjoyed freedom and were able to hunt buffalo and gather the foods and sacred medicines. We were able to fish and we enjoyed the clean clear water! My people were generous, we shared everything we had, including the knowledge of how to survive the long harsh winters or the hot humid summers. We were appreciative of the gifts from our Creator and remembered to give thanks on a daily basis. We had ceremonies and special dances that were a celebration of life.

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Massive Mace business park comment period extended

Scope of environmental review is in play.

Buow-says-hunhBy Roberta Millstein, Colin Walsh, and Rik Keller

The period for commenting on the scope of the environmental review of the Mace business park, dubbed “Aggie Research Campus” (formerly Mace Ranch Innovation Center, or MRIC), a proposal to build a ~200 acre project on prime farmland outside the Mace curve, has been extended until December 9.  

Edit added Wed, 9 AM: We have learned from Ashley Feeney, Assistant City manager, that there is another change to the previously scheduled meeting Monday Dec 2 meeting, discussed below.  Instead of being a pure open house, "the planning consultant will be making a brief presentation at the beginning [of the] meeting on Monday further explaining the supplemental EIR scope and process. They will be available to explain process and answer questions throughout the meeting as well. The applicant will also have representatives there to answer questions about the project."

Here is some of the backstory and explanation about the comment process.

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