Managing the mismanagement

Should Mayor Will Arnold recuse himself tonight from an I-80 project discussion because he's Media Affairs Manager at Caltrans?

ArnoldArnoldImage left: Councilmember Arnold's official Facebook Page & Caltrans / Image right: City of Davis

Tonight's City Council Agenda item on the 80 Yolo Managed Project was already covered critically and nearly exhaustively last weekend in the Davis Enterprise and yesterday here in the Davisite and in the Davis Vanguard.

It’s no secret that Mayor Will Arnold is the Media Relations Manager for Caltrans.  Should he recuse himself from the discussion for ethical reasons?  Should he be signing a letter to support a project he would then have to (continue to) work on at Caltrans? I don’t think he can recuse himself from the communications hierarchy there. Based on the linked articles above, consider how Caltrans communicates things about the project: The spin, the lack of backstory, obfuscations to the point of dishonesty... disrespect. (At a public presentation hosted by Cool Davis a couple of months ago, Autumn Bernstein of Yolo Transportation District - who is co-presenting this evening at City Council - said that her agency had convinced Caltrans to do the managed lanes variant with VMT mitigation. The linked articles tell me Caltrans had already decided to do this some time ago, and I would not be totally surprised if they try to re-include the new bike-ped crossing of the Yolo Bypass as a carrot.) 

Arnold’s job description at
LinkedIn is:  “Caltrans Headquarters Public Affairs, Office of the Director – Duties include managing media inquiries and press relations, designing and executing effective communications strategy, and writing/editing communication plans, press releases, talking points and social media content.”

A Tale of Two Crossings: Nothin' from nothin' leaves nothin'

* If Nishi can't be built, there's nothing to trade as a mitigation
* Dedicated bike-ped crossing of the Yolo Bypass was quietly cancelled after years of promises.



Tonight's City Council Agenda item on the 80 Yolo Managed Project was already covered critically and nearly exhaustively last weekend in the Davis Enterprise and yesterday here in the Davisite and in the Davis Vanguard.


A Bridge That Can't Be Built...

I arrived in town after Nishi 1.0 (retroactively supported a concept that would involve a complete redesign of the 80-Richards interchange inclusive of a parking structure and Park & Ride for regional buses which would have minimal impacts on Richards) and was against Nishi 2.0 because I don’t think that there should be housing (buildings with windows people open!) so close to the noisy and arguably otherwise-polluting interstate, but it’s not why I am suggesting that the proposed “multi-modal” mitigation is a fallacy. I agree with others that no VMT mitigations should happen with this project, and am trying to make clear that the plan of Caltrans and its erstwhile partners are also a mess from a technical point of view. (There's also the sheer ironic delight of trying to facilitate the construction of a project using these VMT credits - as it were - to make the Nishi space noisier and more polluted next to a widened interstate.)

The 80-railway corridor is a wall for people on bikes, but so is the railway on its own.  See Pole Line over 80 at lower right in the illustration above. It’s incredibly long because it has to go very high over the railway tracks, more so than to get over 80 itself (to better understand this, picture the crossings over 113 which are much lower as they only need to accommodate trucks.) First of all, this – and all the over-crossings of 80 in town – are simply not comfortable and suitable for people on normal bicycles, especially carrying children, and especially if they can make the journey by private motor vehicle or e-bike.   The over-crossings have around a 6 to 7% grade, nearly twice as high as the Dutch standard: So to make it comfortable for hundreds of people to go from Nishi to campus it would have to be nearly twice as long. Look again at the view of 80 at Pole Line: There’s no space for this unless it’s very circuitous and indirect and lands behind the Shrem Museum or just by the entrance to Solano Park from Old Davis Rd. (The red line in the top of the image is only as long as Pole Line, and it needs to be much longer.) And that’s just for cycling. Imagine walking this at least twice a day. Motor vehicles including buses can obviously do this, but that's no one's definition of "multi-modal".

I feel confident in saying that since a motor vehicle, bus, bicycle and walking connection is part of the agreement for Nishi, and as Union Pacific forbids an under-crossing, there’s no way to build Nishi unless it’s returned to the voters. There’s nothing to mitigate here as nothing can be built for mitigation.


A Cancelled Crossing...

For years a dedicated and new bicycle-pedestrian bridge across the ‘Bypass was promised in the project. In 2020 – when I was still on the Bicycling, Transportation and Street Safety Commission (BTSSC) – the notification that it was dropped some months earlier was only indirectly mentioned in a summary for a BTSSC meeting by the primary liaison for the City of Davis at the time, Brian Abbanat (former City of Davis Senior Planner; now he’s in a similar role for Yolo County and co-presenting Tuesday evening.) A couple of years later when this was mentioned to the other co-presenter, YCTD head Autumn Bernstein, she said it was not funded: I believe that the aggregate truth – to be precise as possible – is that Caltrans dropped it, never told any of the local interested groups about it (e.g. Bike Davis, Davis Bike Club) through their liaison Abbanat and that it wasn’t part of the initial, funded proposal to the Federal Government. Our City, County and State government representatives were silent about this betrayal in our so-called "USA cycling capitol".

Development Planning Priorities for Davis

Note: As part of item 8 on Tuesday's City Council agenda, the City will consider an evaluation rubric as a possible tool for consideration of review of peripheral proposals. The following is an alternative rubric proposal.

Proposed by Judy Corbett, Alan Hirsch, Roberta Millstein, Alan Pryor, Bob Schneider, David J. Thompson, Colin Walsh, Stephen Wheeler, James Zanetto, and Sierra Club Yolano Group

1. Develop infill opportunities first

  • City to hire consultant or add staff to actively pursue and encourage implementation of the Downtown Plan and other infill opportunities.
  • Council action to initiate redevelopment of city-owned parcels on Fifth Street and communicate with potential nonprofit partners.
  • Council to approach school district regarding redevelopment of 5th Street properties.
  • Upzone parcels along arterial corridors and in shopping centers to a minimum height for mixed-use development so as to use land efficiently in central locations.
  • 100% affordable housing overlay zoning like the Cambridge model to create new affordable housing redevelopment opportunities in already developed areas. By focusing zoning changes only for affordable housing it gives affordable housing developers the opportunity to initiate redevelopment projects without competing against more lucrative for profit market rate developments for development sites.
  • Reduce parking requirements for these sites, including considering car-free housing on certain sites, along with low parking maximums, to encourage redevelopment & affordability; a package of policies to reduce motor vehicle use such as on-site car-shares, market pricing, good bike parking, transit improvements, etc.

2. Initiate and complete General Plan or Specific Plans updates.  This will provide a comprehensive look at the future and ensure consideration of cumulative impacts including traffic, water, wastewater and other infrastructure. A General Plan is preferred but an option might be a Specific Plan for the Northeast and /or Northwest areas. Any new planning process should be kept short and efficient so as to avoid the lengthy and expensive experiences of many past plans.

3. Peripheral development standards

Continue reading "Development Planning Priorities for Davis" »

Make transit & walkable communities a priority, not just a mitigation for freeway widening

I-80TO Mayor Will Arnold and Members
Davis City Council

From: Judy Corbett, Professor Steven Wheeler, Alan Pryor, Professor Mark Huising, Professor Roberta Millstein, Jim Zanetto, Colin Walsh, Alan Hirsch, Robert Thayer

Our group supports walkable, bikeable, compact infill development near transit, shopping, community amenities, and jobs. Building a wider freeway to increase the auto capacity is contrary to our over-arching goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

It is well established science that wider freeways do not fix congestion but do increase driving and greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), as noted in the well researched Davis Enterprise article of June 3th. The travel forecast model developed by the UC Davis Institute for Transportation Studies (and accepted by Caltrans and the Yolo County Transit District) estimates that the I-80 freeway widening will generate enough car travel (178 million miles a year !) to  equal the GHG emissions that would be generated by adding a new auto centric city the size of Winters.

Will Davis Decide to Ignore Climate Emergency?

On Tuesday June 6 Caltrans will ask the Davis City Council to make use of our GHG-reducing projects to justify the additional GHG that would be caused by the I-80 widening.

Continue reading "Make transit & walkable communities a priority, not just a mitigation for freeway widening" »

No deal on cuts except military. Tax the corporations and the wealthy.

Neither happened in the debt ceiling deal that is now through the Senate.

Screenshot-2023-05-23-at-2.By Scott Steward

Representatives take a sober oath of office to serve the people and what we get are plutocrats. Replutocrats and Deplutocrats, choose their Parties of Grievance or Complicity, controlled by plutocrats in succession to be the Pelosis and the McConnells of their time - McCarthy and Jeffries.

There is no good scenario where irresponsible military spending, grossly fattened tax benefits (for the already ultra-wealthy) and withholding aid to the hungry is the plan.

The 20 year wars in Iraq and Afghanistan cost us $21 trillion. Whatever we've been doing in the middle east, now Ukraine, and around the world has cost us trillions. When crying for a balanced budget, why aren't we ending sixty years of US led forever war policy?

Corporate profits have increased 14 times since 1980 to $2.8 trillion a quarter. In the same years, most wages have just kept up. Tax law has increased owner, executive, and trust babies purchasing power a 100 times. They can afford the cost cost of health care, housing and education.  For these essentials, the rest of us have less purchasing power than we did 60 years ago. That is what our budget policy should fix.

Continue reading "No deal on cuts except military. Tax the corporations and the wealthy." »

Letter: Hibbert’s 224 Apartment Proposal Will Have NO Parking and NO Poor

This Loophole Must Be Removed

Hibbert’s SB 330 development avoids the Builder’s Remedy which at least requires 20% of the units for Low Income (LI) so on the face of it for 224 units projected there should be 44 units for low income households.

So by adding a measly 8,000 sq. ft. retail to a four story project, Hibbert’s avoids providing 33 low income units. Under SB 330 only 11 low income units are proposed which is 5%. None of units will serve very low income (VLI) households which is the city’ biggest gap in meeting the RHNA numbers of 580 VLI.

The project is exclusionary by design.

For the Hibbert’s site proposal under SB330 there will be no parking requirements. Think of the impact on G street neighbors and the Co-op in particular. Where will 250-300 vehicles park in the neighborhood?

David J Thompson

Welcome to Al's Corner - "Pouring Gasoline on the Dumpster Fire of Davis Politics" - June 2023

image from

There MAY not have been a May version of Al's Corner.  People got by.  They posted May stuff in April.  We all lived.

June's Al's Corner will feature ketchup and mustard on top.  Peace.  Over & Out.

Sutter Davis Hospital Farmers Market opens for the season

(From press release) The Sutter Davis Hospital Farmers Market is back for the season, celebrating its 13th year bringing farm-fresh produce and local foods to employees and visitors. The market is open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursdays through Sept. 28.

Since 2010, the Sutter Davis Hospital Farmers Market has brought regional foods and produce to the hospital’s main entrance, 2000 Sutter Place in West Davis. Its soft opening was May 4.

Tammy Powers, chief administrative officer for Sutter Davis Hospital, said, “We know how greater access to nutritious foods can improve one’s overall health. Having fresh and wholesome options available right here on our campus makes healthy choices even easier and more convenient for the community.”

Continue reading "Sutter Davis Hospital Farmers Market opens for the season" »

2023 Davis Pride events starting soon

(From press release) Here is a reminder of some upcoming 2023 Davis Pride events:

  • Saturday, June 3: The free Skate with Pride, 7 to 9 p.m. in Central Park, Fourth and C streets.

  • Sunday, June 4: The annual Run for Equality begins at 8 a.m.

  • Sunday, June 4: The ninth annual Davis Pride Festival kicks off after the run, with a community fair from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Central Park, and live music – including a drag revue – from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free to this family-friendly event.

  • Friday, June 23: A Ride with Pride bike party excursion meeting at Central Park at 6 p.m.

Learn more at

Davis Downtown launches new eGift Card

EGift Card Design 2023(From press release) Davis Downtown today launched a new eGift Card, encouraging people to shop locally.

The virtual card program allows shoppers to spend them at any participating Davis Downtown merchant or restaurant, and offers the gift-giver the peace of mind that their money is supporting local businesses.

Brett Maresca, executive director of the Davis Downtown Business Association, said the organization frequently gets requests from the city, UC Davis, sporting leagues, schools, PTAs and others for this kind of card.

“By providing this opportunity, we can keep dollars local that often end up going to Amazon or other large chains outside our community,” Maresca said.

These cards are made available through Yiftee, a company that started in 2012 to “Keep Local Dollars Local,” as its motto states. It has more than 450 community cards across the nation, generating millions of dollars for small businesses. These eGift cards work like a credit card when a customer redeems them. There’s even a platform for companies, nonprofits, schools and other entities to buy them at a discount for quantities of $1,000 or more. Email [email protected] for bulk purchase inquiries.

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Housing SB423 and SB4 California Senate

By David J. Thompson

Passage of SB 423 will make “Builders Remedy” permanent for cities not having an approved housing element. Bill neglects building housing for very low income households.

Two bills relating to housing and requirements affordable housing have been sent to the Senate Floor. Because Davis has not had its housing element approved by the State of California, our city is now open to “Builders Remedy”. SB 423 makes permanent that any housing can be built as long as it has 20% of the units for low income households. Under SB 423 most city oversight is removed.

My critique of these two bills (SB423 and SB4 Weiner) is that they do nothing (as far as I can tell) to provide housing for the most in need group of very low income households (VLI) in our city. They do however; push for units for low income households (LI) and that might be as much as the housing advocates could lobby for in these two bills.

If these low income units are the only ones built then a city will continue to not meet its VLI targets. Does that mean therefore most housing elements will be found out of compliance? And therefore, the builders remedy will be the only law of the land? I have a call into the Senate to pose this question. (This paragraph added today)

Continue reading "Housing SB423 and SB4 California Senate" »

Soroptimists award grants to two area nonprofits

UC Davis Guardian Scholar Evelyn Aguilar received lots of housewares in 2021 from Make It Happen in Yolo County. (Courtesy photo)

(From press release) Soroptimist International of Davis recently awarded grants to two nonprofits, to improve the lives of women and girls in Yolo County.

The club distributed $3,000 in Community Grants between the two organizations. Make it Happen for Yolo County received $1,900, and Grace in Action received $1,100.

Make it Happen will use its Soroptimist funds to provide at least four young women in the UC Davis Guardian Scholars program with the furniture and appliances they need to furnish their apartments at the start of the school year. Guardian Scholars are students who have experienced foster care.

Grace in Action will use its Soroptimist grant money to provide stop-gap services for very low income individuals, and those without safe shelter. It will pay for motel rooms, hearty lunches, laundry vouchers, transportation passes and haircuts.

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Continued concerns regarding the Village Farms site including toxics, traffic, floodplain, unaffordable housing, unsafe bike/pedestrian access, and infrastructure costs issues

By Eileen M. Samitz and Pamela S. Nieberg

There can be no assumption that the Village Farms site is safe for development. It is surprising and disappointing to see a recent article attempting to dismiss the significant concerns that have been raised in the past and recently regarding toxics contamination from the former City landfill site and the former City sewage treatment plant which are immediately adjacent (north-east) to the Village Farms property.


Continue reading "Continued concerns regarding the Village Farms site including toxics, traffic, floodplain, unaffordable housing, unsafe bike/pedestrian access, and infrastructure costs issues" »

City Council is Jeopardizing their Proposed Tax Measure on the November 2024 Ballot by Withholding a Vote on New Peripheral Residential Development

By Alan Pryor

The Davis City Council recently decided at their April 4, 2023 meeting that they would explore all options for putting a new general tax measure on the November 2024 ballot while declining to place a peripheral housing project on the same ballot. The Council’s stated reasons are that they did not believe Staff had the “bandwidth” to process both ballot measures simultaneously and that they feared the controversy of placing a peripheral ballot measure on the same ballot as their preferred general tax measure ballot may harm the tax measure’s chances of success.

And at last Tuesday night's Council meeting they agreed to relegate all future peripheral Measure J/R/D housing ballot measure to special elections over at least the next few years. I believe this decision was shortsighted and made without a complete understanding of what motivates Davis voters to approve or disapprove of tax measures in Davis.

Aside from the obvious charge that the City is favoring adding new revenue to their coffers over providing needed housing in the community (after standing on their soap boxes and proclaiming the dire need for housing over and over again in the past), this decision displays a misunderstanding of the realities of Davis electoral politics and this lack of awareness may presage the failure of both the expected November 2024 general tax measure AND any new peripheral housing ballot measure on later special election ballots.

Let me explain.

Continue reading "City Council is Jeopardizing their Proposed Tax Measure on the November 2024 Ballot by Withholding a Vote on New Peripheral Residential Development" »

Recommendation to the Social Services Commission for Changes in Davis’ Affordable Housing Ordinance

The following was emailed as an attachment to the Social Services Commission yesterday for their meeting this evening (7 PM, Monday May 15) where they will be taking up proposed changes to Davis's Affordable Housing Ordinance.

by Roberta Millstein and Alan Pryor



The Davis Affordable Housing Ordinance (available at is now implemented on a temporary basis to account for changes in state law requiring economic justification if minimum affordable housing requirements for new projects exceed 15% of total housing units.  The current temporary ordinance is scheduled to expire on June 30, 2023, with proposed changes under consideration by the Social Services Commission at its May 13, 2023 meeting.

However, even with these proposed changes, the existing Affordable Housing Ordinance has provisions which we believe do not provide social justice, equity, and fairness in terms of meeting the needs of the City’s low-income population because it is biased toward the financial benefit of developers rather than maximizing the availability of affordable income housing in Davis.

We recommend the following changes to the temporary ordinance if it is renewed by the sunset date of June 30, 2023 and to a revised permanent ordinance.

  1. Eliminate ADUs as an acceptable alternative to provide on-site Affordable Housing - We recommend that Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) be completely eliminated as a way for developers to avoid constructing real Affordable Housing.

  2. Substantially increase in-lieu fees if chosen by a developer as an acceptable alternative to provide on-site Affordable Housing - We recommend that in-lieu fees be substantially increased so that it is no longer a financially preferable option for developers to pursue. 

We elaborate on each of these recommendations further below.

Continue reading "Recommendation to the Social Services Commission for Changes in Davis’ Affordable Housing Ordinance" »

Pride sentiment stronger than ever this year

Davis festival is June 4 in Central Park

Mercury Rising will return to the 2023 Davis Pride Festival, leading the popular drag queen revue. (Photo credit: Wendy Weitzel)

By Wendy Weitzel

Members of the Davis Phoenix Coalition work to eliminate hate. That’s been a heavy lift this year, as organized groups have threatened trans youths, protested drag shows and boosted white supremacy. And that was all before the community was terrorized by what police say was a serial stabber who killed two and injured one in a six-day period this spring.

So the nonprofit’s team is more determined than ever to bring a positive message to their biggest event of the year: the Davis Pride Festival. It’s all part of a weekend of activities in downtown Davis that celebrate June as International LGBTQ+ Month. After three years of COVID and the trauma of the stabbings, they want to offer positive ways for the community to come together for healing and joy – and to celebrate diversity.

Davis Pride is an all-inclusive celebration for members and supporters of the LGBTQ community. The community-focused, family-friendly weekend includes a skate night, fun run, music festival, drag queens, vendors and more – June 3 and 4. Proceeds from Davis Pride events support the coalition’s anti-racism and anti-bullying campaigns, support to LGBTQ+ youths and their families, and outreach with area police departments, churches and schools.

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Will local electeds ignore UCD and buy into Caltrans’ Science Denial on VMT & GHG?

Inconvenient truth

Open letter to Davis BTSSC (Transportation Commission)

To: Chair Jessica Jacobs and members, Davis BTSSC

From: Alan ‘the Lorax’ Hirsch

RE: Potential Endorsement of I-80 Yolo widening before Draft EIR released

BTSSC will be asked tonight (item 6b) to endorse a letter to partner with Caltrans to endorse I-80 widening by supporting a new and untested program of mitigation that could negate local cities’ greenhouse gas reduction programs (CAAP/CAP).[i]

You will be asked to sign before even seeing the draft Environment Study (DEIR) or the mitigation plans. This is not due out for 30 days.

I urge caution based on the study by Professor Susan Handy’s group at UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies. (ITS)

The below bar chart from that UCD ITS study[ii] compares induced travel projections by Caltrans to the forecast by the National Center for Sustainable Transportation model. Caltrans’ lower forecasts in the EIRs were used to justify spending hundreds of millions of dollars on these five projects. The study shows Caltrans consistently understates the amount of travel & GHG to be mitigated. And in two projects Caltrans assumed no induced demand.

Induced demand has been accepted science in the transportation world for over thirty years now. The science was upheld in the 1990 California case Citizens for a Better Environment vs Deukmejian, et al. [iii]  It was an inconvenient truth Caltrans has worked three decades to get around. It was not until the beginning of 2020 after the 2013 passage of Bill SB 743[iv] that EIRs had to focus on reducing Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT).

Caltrans has been in denial of the science on traffic, which has been confirmed by hundreds of studies out of UC Davis, UC Berkeley, and the Texas Transportation Institute, among many other places worldwide.[v]

Continue reading "Will local electeds ignore UCD and buy into Caltrans’ Science Denial on VMT & GHG? " »

Come check out the Whole Earth Festival this weekend

2023 WEF East Quad-Main St

By Scott Steward

The 54th Whole Earth Festival held on the UCD Quad, and sponsored by ASUCD, is a beautiful sunny event that everyone can enjoy.  This year’s theme is "Sell Out to Love" at this alcohol and smoke free event.

I recommend getting there early to enjoy the vibrant green brought on by all that rain! Bring a soft frisbee but expect to share space with spike ball, a game where young people furiously throw a malleable ball object downward into a small trampoline and then alternately palm the ball up in the air before hurling it again.

There are 130 stalls of goods for sale neatly organized around the perimeter of the Quad. The quality of the merchandise is high and higher still than I remember at the 50th. The Festival has always crept towards being more mercantile, but the education corner is poignant and the Kids Space well supplied and staffed. There are few lectures about counter culture and alternative living (that proliferated in the early years of WEF), but the legacy of that ground work is woven into the comfortably open green grass and open sky of this healthy pubic common.

There are 18 food booths and entertainment a plenty. Bring your own personal shade and something to carry water. It is up to those of us, who have seen decades of Whole Earth Festivals, to share our WEF stories. It is particularly important to make the connection from past to present to mend the pandemic multi-year gap in the continuum of this youth led event.  Find yourself starting a conversation in the shade of a tree on the west Quad.

For 54 years WEF goes on with the lightness and importance of being born of and remaining youth led. Children of all ages come celebrate mother earth.

The Proposed Village Farms Davis Development Project is NOT Threatened by Groundwater Contamination from the Former Davis Landfill Site

By Alan Pryor

Executive Summary and Conclusions

This article reports on potential groundwater contamination beneath the former Davis Landfill site north of the City of Davis on Poleline Rd. and the adjacent site proposed for the Village Farms Davis development project immediately south and southeast of the old landfill site.

During the contentious Measure X election in November, 2005 in which the proposed Covell Village project (on the same site as the current proposed development, Village Farms Davis) was rejected by voters, allegations were made that the site’s groundwater was contaminated by leaching of pollutants from the former Davis landfill site just north of the project. In particular, it was alleged that a carcinogen, vinyl chloride, was in the groundwater beneath the project site rendering the project unsuitable for development in as much as a deep well was proposed for the site to add to the City of Davis potable water supply.

In a recent City Council meeting (April 4, 2023) in which the possible timing of bringing peripheral projects before the voters were discussed, one public comment again stated that vinyl chloride was in the groundwater beneath the old Davis landfill and the proposed site for the Village Farms Davis project.

The parcel itself has so many problems. It has toxics in the north end from the land fill site. The old land fill site was not lined so there is vinyl chloride leakage from the old land fill and it’s substantial. Vinyl chloride does not go away.

These claims of vinyl chloride and other toxic compounds in the groundwater were based on data from the early 1990s though 2005 which showed some intermittent groundwater contamination (including some tests showing the presence of vinyl chloride) in shallow groundwater test wells beneath the old landfill and immediately to the south beneath the then proposed Covell Village project. These earlier monitoring well test results were reported in the EIR issued in the Covell Village EIR issued in 2005 and are further discussed below in the section entitled Summary of Well Monitoring Findings.

These reported findings were considered important at the time because, as stated above, the Covell Village project proposal included a new deep well on the project site to provide drinking water capacity for the proposed project and connecting into the City’s potable water supply network. Concerns were expressed that the shallow water contamination could worsen and impact the deep aquifer from which potable water would be drawn. Potentially compounding the problem was the discovery that the groundwater plume was migrating from the landfill toward the south and southwest in the direction of the proposed Covell Village project.

Annual testing of the monitoring wells subsequently occurred in the period since the Covell Village EIR from 2012 – 2019. These later tests showed a substantial reduction in groundwater contamination in the intervening years and the report from consulting engineers engaged by the City to evaluate the groundwater contamination showed the following results;

  1. NO Vinyl Chloride was found at all in any sampled groundwater from 2012 – 2019 nor were there ANY other VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) or metals found in any of the test well samples above the EPA's Primary Maximum Concentration Levels (MCLs) for drinking water.
  1. There were some measurements of nitrate (probably from past agricultural fertilization on the site) in the monitored wells that were in excess of Primary MCLs and some other naturally occurring minerals (selenium, manganese, and sulfate) that were intermittently in excess of Secondary MCLs but not hugely in excess of other well waters in the area.

    However, these are NOT a human health concern because the groundwater beneath the Village Farms Davis project site will NOT be pumped and used for drinking water purposes. Instead, the project will rely on City of Davis municipal drinking water supplies as delivered to the rest of the City.
  1. The plume of groundwater beneath the former landfill site and the proposed development project site was most recently determined to be moving toward the northeast away from the Village Farms Davis project site as a result in changes in groundwater extraction rates in the area. Thus, even if there was very unlikely leaching from the landfill site future in the future it would NOT migrate in the direction of the proposed development project.
  1. Based on the sampling results from 2012 - 2019 indicating no detectable amounts of vinyl chloride and no amounts of volatile organic hydrocarbons (VOCs) or heavy metals in excess of established EPA MCLs, it was recommended that the City discontinue annual testing and request a No Further Action letter from the Regional Water Board thus confirming the area is no longer considered a threat to groundwater contamination.

These later test monitoring results from 2012 – 2019 are also further discussed below in the section entitled Summary of Well Monitoring Findings.

Continue reading "The Proposed Village Farms Davis Development Project is NOT Threatened by Groundwater Contamination from the Former Davis Landfill Site" »

Four women earn Soroptimist cash awards

(From press release) Soroptimist International of Davis awarded $12,000 in grants this spring through its signature Live Your Dream program, which offers cash and mentorship to women seeking education and training.

Women are encouraged each year to apply for the awards if they are the primary wage earners for their families, and need financial assistance to further their education or training. Recipients often persevere through hardships or challenging circumstances.

This year, SI Davis gave a boost to four women, with cash awards ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. These unrestricted grants may be used to offset costs that a scholarship would not cover, such as child care, transportation or other financial obligations that hinder a woman’s ability to reach her goals. Soroptimist International of Davis members remain in contact with the recipients, offering them mentorship and support.

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