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March 2019

Paid Parking Resolution

ABCCEBC4-CBA7-4001-BC8A-562EAE12AB69The Davis City Council passed a resolution on Monday 3/25/2019 with detailed instructions to staff regarding parking downtown. The Davisite received the specifics of the resolution from the City Clerk on 3/29/2019. The specifics exactly as delivered to the Davisite are as follows: 

 

 

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Petition to Restore Mace

PetitionThe below petition is being circulated at change.org. It was started within the last 2 days - after the recent neighborhood meetings. At the time of this posting it already has 270+ signatures.

The petition can be signed here: **sign**

CITY OF DAVIS TO RESTORE MACE BOULEVARD TO TWO LANES (BOTH WAYS)

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On the WAVE/Astound Proposal: Who Benefits the Most from Granting Exclusive Access to One Corporation?

Fiber-optics-internetThis comments were presented at Wednesday's Broadband Advisory Task Force meeting.

Please be wary of granting any private enterprise exclusive use of city facilities.

Regarding wifi and cellular service, around 40-years ago, when the technology was new to most of us, Davis and many other US cities were seduced by carriers into granting exclusives in exchange for a few public access channels. Few would have imagined that these carriers would merge into what is now a handful of enormous corporations controlling distribution of data, communications, and information.

The channels “given” cities have proven to be essentially worthless as they exist only as long as mostly unpaid volunteers are willing or available to maintain them. In what has developed as a world of hundreds of choices and the ease with which live or recorded video can now be transmitted to managed or unlimited audiences, viewing through their pocketable phones, tablets or their computers, there is little evidence of measurable viewing of of the so-called “public” cable channels, Davis’ among them.

Please examine who benefits the most from that historical decision to grant exclusive access to one corporation.

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The Astound Fiber Contract Would Create a Citizen-Gouging Monopoly

Fiber-optics-internetAt the Broadband Advisory Task Force (BATF) meeting last night, the BATF recommended that the City Council defer action on Staff’s proposed Astound Fiber Contract.  If approved, the Astound Fiber Contract would grant one fiber company, Astoud/Wave, exclusivity on building out fiber in Davis, precluding a community-owned alternative.  The following letter was submitted to the Davis City Council in opposition to Staff's proposal.

It’s my understanding that the purpose of city government is to act as both the elected and the paid representatives advocating for the needs and welfare of the entire city, including all its citizens, schools, small and large businesses, police, fire, infrastructure, etc. What I heard last night at the task force meeting is that our city government is considering taking care of only itself by accepting a free service from a large for-profit corporation in exchange for throwing the entire rest of the city under the bus. While city government gets free high-speed fiber connectivity to many of its facilities for 30 years, Astound is going to be given free rein to reap huge profits by charging whatever it wants to everyone else in Davis. There will be no competition to control prices, no incentive to innovate, no guarantees of net neutrality or customer privacy, and no requirement that harder-to-reach areas of our city will receive any service at all. Davis will be at the mercy of one more utility monopoly.

This is just wrong on so many levels, it’s disgusting.

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Mace Mess

MaceMess1PETITION TO CITY OF DAVIS TO RESTORE MACE BOULEVARD TO TWO LANES (BOTH WAYS)

The “Traffic Calming” project on Mace Boulevard was unnecessary, was not properly presented to the residents of South Davis (especially the current residents), was obsolete and ill-conceived when the plan was completed in 2013, and since its installation has created massive congestion, dangerous traffic issues, more safety issues for the bicyclists and pedestrians it was purported to protect, rampant road rage, and in short has seriously disrupted the lives of all Davis residents and especially South Davis residents, as demonstrated by our daily experiences. 

Despite city planners’ insistence to the contrary, the changes to Mace have resulted in a situation where emergency vehicles will be unable to access neighborhoods and evacuations will be impossible to carry out.  No matter how many lights are flashing and how loudly the sirens wail, there is no place for gridlocked traffic to go to get out of first responders’ way.  When the area is gridlocked, side streets are also blocked, so there are no alternate routes for first responders either.  In some neighborhoods, the “improvements” have created issues for ADA access to vehicles, another safety concern.

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Update on Pesticide Use in the City of Davis

Central ParkFollowing is a copy of a letter sent by Alan Pryor, a Natural Resources Commission member, concerning pesticide use in Davis and the qualifications required for consideration for the IPM Specialist position for which the City is now seeking a replacement. The letter was sent to Stan Gryzco (Public Works Assistant Director), Richard Tsai (Environmental Resources Manager), and John McNearny (Wildlife Resource Specialist) as the top 3 City officials overseeing the as-yet-to-be-replaced Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Specialist.

Readers may recall that the previous beloved IPM Specialist, Martin Guerena left the position under unusual circumstances and was subsequently awarded the City's Environmental Recognition Award last year in the Individual Category for his decade of service to the City.

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Did the Council Listen to Citizens on Parking? Process and Outcome

G-street-and-amtrakYesterday, I wrote an article wondering whether the City Council would listen to citizen’s objections to the downtown parking proposal, drawing attention to a pattern of problematic communication between Davisites and Council.  Last night, they unanimously approved what is being billed as a “compromise” between the proposal and what Davisites wanted (which was, for the most part, no change to what we have currently). 

How did the Council do? 

This being winter grading season at the University, I’ve got grades on my mind.  I give the Council a ‘C+’ for process and a ‘C’ for outcome.

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City Council Out of Step on Parking, Roads, Housing, and the Claw: Will it Impact the 2020 Council Race?

Checking-pulseTonight, the City Council will decide whether or not to convert approximately 32% of downtown parking to metered parking spaces, 7 days a week, 10 AM-10 PM.  The opposition to the City’s proposal from citizens and business owners has been vocal and voluminous. 

Will the City Council nonetheless vote to proceed with the plan?  And if they do, will voters next spring remember and think twice about re-electing incumbents?

This is not the first indication that the Council isn’t communicating well with its citizens. 

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Cool Cuisine Burger Battle Brings Magnificent Medley of Flavors

BurgerbattleWith just a little over a week left of the March Cool Cuisine vegan Burger Battle, I thought now would be a good time to share the burgers that I’ve tried so far.  I hope to try at least one or two more before the end of the month.  (Full disclosure: I’m not actually vegan, more like a flexitarian).

My partner and I have tried four of the entries, focusing not on the burgers-trying-to-be-like-meat, but rather on the more unusual offerings.  Our burgers have come from the Davis Food Co-op, Yeti Restaurant, Redrum, and Zumapoke & Lush Ice (with the Upper Crust Bakery providing vegan buns for the Co-op and Zumapoke).  All were creative, flavorful, and, most importantly, delicious.  Of the four, the one from the Co-op is probably my favorite… but not by much.  Each was outstanding in its own way.

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Failings of the Downtown Paid Parking Proposal

E-St-Graph-2By Dan Urazandi

The history of paid parking in Davis has unfolded outside my store window. From here, the center of downtown and the maelstrom of the debate on paid parking, I can see the cause of parking problems and effect of supposed solutions. I can see close to 40 spaces that have been removed over the years—the E st plaza cost 25, three more for the walkway through the lot, three given away to zipcar and uber, two to the crosswalk, at least two to bulb outs, some to bicycle parking in the street, two to the bus stops. This is just on one block. Throughout downtown nearly 100 spaces have been whittled away over the last 20+ years. I use hand count estimates since the city refuses to release hard numbers that would prove they caused the parking shortage. All these losses entailed removing a practical necessity, parking spaces that were being used many times every day, for aesthetic gains that are used far less often by far less people or serve no purpose at all. Now the city wants to tax every space because each is a valuable commodity, but they placed no value on them before wanting to monetize them.

This is the sort of firsthand evidence the Council needs to hear and heed. There are solid reasons why 90% of downtown businesses, customers and employees are opposed to the city's paid parking plan. The 70 businesses that entreated council to stop implementation represent generations of knowledge of how best to serve downtown Davis. The Chamber of Commerce, the vast majority of DDBA members and downtowndavis.org are all against the plan. Business is against metered parking because it deters people from coming and staying downtown, which is bad for business.

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Bob Dunning Doesn’t Understand that the City’s Declaration of a Climate Emergency Is No Laughing Matter

ClimateChangeComicWe are indeed in a climate emergency, and I am glad that the City Council has officially recognized it; big kudos also to the citizen activists who urged them to. I look forward to seeing the concrete actions that will be made in light of the recent Declaration.

Yet apparently not everyone feels this way.  In a pair of recent columns (here and here), Bob Dunning made fun of the Declaration with a series of obviously ridiculous proposals that, he suggests (tongue firmly in cheek) the City could implement.

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Students and Workers United Will Never be Defeated!

The following letter was sent by UAW 2865 Davis Unit.  See previous article for more context.

 

Davis

Dear members,

Solidarity forever! On Wednesday, March 20th, thousands of campus workers will go on strike across the UC system to demand a living wage while maintaining and expanding essential benefits and protections like good, affordable healthcare; a dignified retirement plan; and job security. Despite the university’s attempts to trick students and workers into blaming each other for our hardships, we know that our interests are intrinsically connected while the real blame falls on the university’s (and the state’s) priorities.

We recognize that March 20 is the middle of finals week when many students are busy but there are a variety of ways you can support the strike which vary in their level of commitment. First, we’d like to remind you that the contract between UAW 2865 and the UC guarantees Academic Student Employees (ASEs; TAs, AIs, Readers, and Paid Tutors) the right to not cross picket lines. If any ASE chooses to exercise this right and not work on March 20 due to the strike, the UC isn't allowed to impose any consequences on them beyond docking their pay for the hours that they otherwise would have worked. Let us know if you face any sort of retaliation for acting in solidarity with fellow UC workers.

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UC Davis workers on strike, Wednesday, March 20

UpteUPTE will strike on March 20th. Pickets will run at College Park and Russell Blvd (Davis campus) and 2315 Stockton Blvd (Sacramento medical center) from 7 AM to 6 PM on Wednesday March 20th. All UPTE members will be on strike for 24 hours, beginning at 4am on March 20th. UPTE Research and Technical (RX/TX) members are striking for a fair contract and Healthcare (HX) members will be striking in solidarity.

UTPE (University Professional and Technical Employees), CWA 9119, is the union of technical and professional employees at the University of California. It includes Staff Research Associates, Computer Resource Specialists,  Clinical Lab Techs, Editors, Student Affairs Officers, Social Workers, Writers, Museum Scientists, Lab Assistants, and many other titles.

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Regarding Chiles Road Apartments / Loss of Commercial Site

Chiles-Project-2WThe following letter was submitted to the Davis City Council yesterday (March 15) and is reprinted here with permission of the author.  For background information on the proposed Chiles project, see this Davis Enterprise article. The Council will consider the project at its upcoming meeting on Tuesday, March 19.

To Davis City Council:

In reference to the Chiles Road apartment proposal, some seem to be claiming that there's a "shortage" of available commercial space (while simultaneously advocating for conversion of existing commercial space to accommodate residential development). If there is an actual shortage of commercial space, then the proposed conversion of the Chiles Road site (from commercial to residential zoning) is difficult to logically explain. One might think that (at a minimum), a mixed-use proposal might be appropriate and in-demand - assuming that one truly believes that there's a shortage of commercial space. (Also assuming that the city believes that commercial development is needed, to fill its coffers.)

In any case, this latest missed opportunity is surely something I'll remember, if/when the MRIC proposal arises again.

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HELP SAVE MUSIC IN PARADISE, CALIFORNIA!

ParadiseHELP SAVE MUSIC IN PARADISE, CALIFORNIA! Musicians, parents and relatives of musicians, music lovers, educators, people with empathy and compassion, people affected by the fires, people who know people affected by the fire . . . . . . . so yes, EVERYONE please support musicians from the Davis schools who will come together at:

Brunelle Hall on
Saturday March, 16th from
9 am - 6pm

Raise funds to help rebuild the Music Programs in the Paradise schools.

There will be performances all day!

Local, musician and music educator extraordinaire, Joe Craven, will kick off the final concert, with a few inspired words at 5 pm.

This "Festival Ensemble" led by Robert Schofield, is composed of junior and high school band students from Paradise and Davis. Admission is free! All donations will go directly to the Paradise school music programs to help rebuild facilities, replace burned instruments and music and replace lost equipment. If you can't attend, please donate using the link below. And whether you can attend or not, please share this post with other friends who may support the cause!

Donate $25 and receive a $5 discount at ChickPeas!
Donate $50 and receive a $10 discount at ChickPeas!
Donate $100 and receive a $20 discount at ChickPeas!
(*vouchers will be emailed within 48 hrs of donation)

*******The ChickPeas Food Truck will be at the event and will be collecting donations for the Paradise Schools! So come hungry and ready to donate for this worthy cause!

you can also donate at the GoFundMe Site


YCTA Votes to Oppose Davis Paid Parking Proposal

Taxpayer meterby Colin Walsh

Yesterday March 14th the Yolo County Taxpayers Association (YCTA) weighed in on the Downtown Davis Parking Meter Issue with a resounding no thanks.

In Norton hall in the North West corner of Woodland, YCTA members from around the county weighed in on this hot Davis issue. Alzada Knickerbocker, owner of the Avid Reader, and Daniel Urazandi, owner of Bizarro World, made the case against the City of Davis’s proposal to convert a large part of downtown parking to meters.

The presenters noted the long hours 7 days a week Davis will require Downtown visitors to pay to park. The plan’s requiring payment from 10am to 10pm everyday including Sunday was highlighted as well outside the norm for most downtown paid parking schemes.

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Art aficionados appreciating Deirdre Sullivan-Beeman's “Anima Mundi” Exhibit

A previous Davisite article announced Deirdre Sullivan-Beeman's Exhibit “Anima Mundi,” a Solo Show Featuring Limited Edition Prints.  The exhibit is open through the end of March.

Visitors appreciating Sullivan-Beeman's art:

P-1

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Opposition to Paid Parking

AceI respect and support our local businesses

By Colin Walsh

Now is not the time to put the retail that has managed to survive in Downtown Davis in jeopardy by instituting parking fees.

CNBC reported today that nationally, “Already, 4,810 store closures have been announced by retailers in 2019, according to Coresight Research.” Only 5,524 store closing were tracked by Coresight in 2018. 2019 thus far is proving to be a fatal year for retail. (https://www.cnbc.com/2019/03/08/these-retailers-have-announced-store-closures-in-2019.html)

It is clearly a challenging climate for physical stores, and the City of Davis should be careful not to make it any more difficult locally.

In Davis we are very fortunate to have a vibrant downtown that includes several independent and locally owned retailers. In Davis we still have the choice to shop at locally owned hardware stores, bookstores, and more. These stores have disappeared from the landscape in most cities. Locally owned stores like this do more for the local economy by keeping more money locally. Large chains and online stores literally siphon money out of the community to pay CEOs and investors and offer only a few low paying local jobs in return.

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Is JUMP bike’s minimum age limit a violation of Federal law?

JUMP image smallThe following is a modified version of a letter I sent on February 11 to Ryan Rzepecki, CEO/Founder of JUMP, the electric bike share brand owned by Uber that is the sole provider of bike share in Davis (as well as Sacramento, UC Davis and West Sacramento). I have not yet received a reply.

The Bicycling, Transportation and Street Safety Commission (BTSSC) holds its next monthly meeting this Thursday, March 14, at 5:30 pm at the Davis Senior Center, A St. entrance. An evaluation of Sacramento JUMP is on the agenda. I have created a series of “Commissioner’s Reports” which address the age limits, weight limits, speed limit settings, parking capabilities and other aspects of the system.  This is available here as a Google Doc or as a PDF at the agenda link for this meeting.

In my view Jump’s minimum age limit of 18 and maximum weight limit of 210 lbs and the City and/or region’s required  speed assistance limit of 15 mph of the bike and restriction on parking flexibility are contrary to our city’s culture, goals and traditions, and do not respect the balance of safety and convenience created in State law. They reduce the capability of the JUMP bike in general and minimize the advantages of a moderate electric boost. While addressing these issues, I will do something more specific: I will make a motion to ask Council to determine if the minimum age limit may be against Federal law -- it is the age issue which I focus on in this letter… - T. Edelman

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