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January 2019

Thinking about the Thin Blue Line imagery

Bluelinebadge OfficerCoronaI had originally intended my previous post, “Processing the events surrounding the tragic killing of Officer Corona,” to be my only published thoughts on the subject. But recent discussion of the Thin Blue Line imagery on social media and in a recent Enterprise article have convinced me that more needs to be said, if only to try to help people to see what the concerns are, even if they ultimately still disagree with those concerns.

But before doing that, let me again reiterate, because it’s important, my deepest condolences for the family, friends, and colleagues of Officer Natalie Corona as well as my thanks for all the public safety professionals who risked their lives to keep everyone else safe on the tragic night that she was killed.

As is pretty widely known by now, some UCD students and others have objected to the Thin Blue Line imagery, both in the American flag and in the Davis Police Badge.  They equate the imagery not only with the Blue Lives Matter movement, which they see as deeply problematic, but also with white supremacism.  Again, this article in The Public, dated June 26, 2018, sums up the association better than I can, and also shows that this isn’t something that local activists made up.

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Fresh energy to start an exciting new year

By Tom Stallard and Don Saylor

A new year offers a clean slate — a chance to celebrate achievements, assess the challenges of the past and start the new year with fresh energy.

Our biggest achievement in 2018 was the launch of Valley Clean Energy (VCE), our local public electricity program. With years of planning and lots of community support, we officially started serving the cities of Woodland and Davis and unincorporated Yolo County last June. Over the past six months, VCE has been providing greener energy, customer choice, local control and reinvestment in the community.

VCE’s standard portfolio of electricity includes 42 percent renewable energy, compared to 33 percent provided by PG&E. This allows VCE customers to help our region and our state take a big step toward changing our fossil fuel-based economy.

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VCE customers: No interruption of service from PG&E's bankruptcy filing

VCE(From press release). Customers of Valley Clean Energy — the local green energy provider that partners with PG&E for delivery of electricity to customers in Davis, Woodland, and unincorporated Yolo County — need not fear an interruption in service following PG&E’s announcement Monday that it intends to seek bankruptcy protection.

“We’re watching these developments very closely,” said Mitch Sears, VCE’s interim general manager. “But PG&E has said it does not expect any impact to electric or natural gas service for its customers as a result of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process. That is good news for our customers.”

VCE, a not-for-profit public agency, delivers cost-competitive clean electricity, product choice, price stability, and energy efficiency. The local agency’s power portfolio provides higher levels of renewable energy than PG&E does, reducing greenhouse-gas emissions and providing reinvestment in the community.

For more about VCE, visit ValleyCleanEnergy.org.


Processing the events surrounding the tragic killing of Officer Corona

SacBee photo
From the SacBee

The events of the last few days have been difficult and emotional ones, with news coming at us at a fast pace as the story has unfolded, with more surely to come.   It’s hard to process, hard to know how to think about.

First and foremost, I want to express my deepest condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Officer Natalie Corona.  By all accounts, she was a kind person who was dedicated to serving her community.  Her senseless and tragic death is a reminder that even in seemingly mundane situations, a police officer is always putting their life on the line, a target for those who have a grudge against the police (if that is indeed what has happened here, as suggested by the letter from the shooter).  We all need to be grateful for those who are willing to serve on a police force.  (Full disclosure: my grandfather was a NYC street cop).

It is understandable that so much of our focus would be on the loss and sacrifice of Officer Corona.  But I want to highlight something else we’ve heard a lot less about: the officers who were working the night of her death.  They surrounded the house where the shooter lived for hours.  According to the accounts I’ve read, the shooter emerged from the house twice, at least once with a gun.  That could have gone very badly for the police. The situation was unpredictable and the lives of those police officers were under a direct threat. 

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Davis Parks Functionally Went Pesticide-Free in 2018

PesticideapplicationBy Alan Pryor

Following are comments I delivered to the Davis City Council at their last December meeting.

My name is Alan Pryor and I am on the City's Natural Resources Commission and their Hazardous Materials Subcommittee. But I am speaking tonight as a private citizen. I am here to speak about the City's pesticide management policies and deliver some bad news but also some very good news.

First the bad news - You may recall the current Integrated Pest Management Policy was approved by Council in November of 2017. This policy was recommended by Staff over the written objections of many citizens and 3 of the City's own Commissions who urged the Council not to rubber stamp Staff's proposal because they felt it did not go nearly far enough to reduce pesticides exposure – particularly in our Parks where the majority of exposure to children occurred.

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