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October 2019

40th Anniversary Celebration of the Blue Mango Cooperative Restaurant & Coffeehouse

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A 40th Anniversary Celebration of the Blue Mango Cooperative Restaurant & Coffeehouse will take place at the Davis Odd Fellows Hall, 415 Second Street, on Saturday, October 19, 2019, from 6pm until 10pm. A group of founding members are hosting a Vegetarian Potluck and Live Music to accompany a reunion of workers, musicians, artists and community members commemorating the Blue Mango (1979-1994). For information or to RSVP contact mango40th@gmail.com. *

The Blue Mango Cooperative was incorporated as a workers cooperative on August 24, 1979, by a group of Davis residents associated with the Fly By Night Dance & Music Troupe (1978-1980). The Blue Mango Restaurant & Coffeehouse opened on October 19, 1979, and became a cultural institution over the next fifteen years, employing hundreds of worker-owners, serving nutritious vegetarian cuisine (mostly organic when organic food was a novelty), and providing a lively venue for hundreds of musicians, artists and activists. The collective defined its purpose as promoting nourishment, consciousness and creativity.

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City-County-UCD 2X2X2 “Town Hall” meeting Thursday Oct. 17th 6:30pm -8pm at Genome Center on UCD campus

This important semi-annual meeting is for updates from the City, County and UCD regarding UCD housing needs and impacts.

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(Click to enlarge)

By Eileen Samitz

In case you are one of many who are not aware of this important semi-annual “Town Hall” meeting, there will be a City-County-UCD 2X2X2 meeting tomorrow Thursday, Oct. 17th at the Genome Center on the UCD campus in the first-floor auditorium. One wonders why this community meeting is not more conveniently located in the City as was publicly requested early on; the map attached explains where the Genome Center is. To get to it take Hutchinson Drive and turn south on Health Sciences Drive which will lead to a parking lot (see map above).

Since UCD is imposing enormous housing needs on Davis these meetings for updates are only twice a year so this is an important meeting to attend to give input particularly about the slow progress of any additional on-campus housing being produced and the overall deficiency of how much on-campus housing is being planned. For citizens concerned about the impacts on Davis due to UCD’s lack of on-campus housing for its rapidly growing student population, please attend. Anyone wishing to testify will be given 3 minutes to testify. The agenda can be viewed at:

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Village Feast funds education and grants about farm-fresh food

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Guests sit at long tables under the sycamore trees at Davis' Central Park at the 2019 Village Feast.
Photo by Ashley Bruhn

(From press release) More than 350 attended The Village Feast on Sept. 28, raising more than $38,000 to support early and continued education about food and agriculture.

Davis Farm to School and Les Dames d’Escoffier International, Sacramento paired up for the event, splitting the proceeds. The community meal, served in le grand aïoli tradition in Davis’ Central Park, will return next year, on Saturday, Sept. 12.

A project of the Davis Farmers Market Alliance, Davis Farm to School provides garden grants, farm field trips and support for farm-fresh food in Davis-area schools. Les Dames d’Escoffier, a philanthropic organization of female leaders in food, fine beverage and hospitality, gives scholarships to area women in food and agriculture.

Davis Farm to School will use its funds to support garden-based education for Davis students, including grants and field trips. It continues to offer matching Garden Grants of up to $500 to all interested school sites in Davis. These may be used to purchase supplies, as stipends for garden coordinators, to fund professional development, and to enhance connections between the school garden and the classroom, cafeteria, or waste-reduction program.

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The current Davis General Plan opposes Sustainable Response to Climate Change

Note: Wednesday, the Davis League of Women Voters will host a presentation by Davis Deputy City Manager Kelly Stachowicz on The General Plan "What Is It and Why Do We Care!", 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM, 3300 Cowell Blvd

By Jon Li

Davis’ General Plan expired in 2015, like old milk in the back of the refrigerator.

The current 2002 Davis General Plan (Housing element update 2010-15) is an update of the 1974 Plan.  That plan was once ecologically innovative but the California Building Code superseded Davis’ code in 1990.

            The 1987 General Plan had so little public participation that it was quickly out of date.   In 1993-4, 16 Davis committees worked on policies for a new general plan in such areas as youth, seniors, art, social services, community computer networks and economic development, as well as the state mandated plan elements like housing, transportation infrastructure, public safety and open space.

            Any innovation died there.  A group of anti-growth activists prolonged the process several years, and buried the innovation in the back of the plan.  The only thing that matters about the current Davis General Plan is kill any economic development because it might cause change.

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Davis Joins Hundreds of U.S. Cities in Marking Indigenous Peoples’ Day

2019-10-14 11_18_30-City CouncilDavis Native Family Network

On Monday October 14, Davis California marks Indigenous Peoples Day for the first time, replacing Columbus Day. Davis’ Native Family Network welcomed the decision by the City of Davis to celebrate and honor Native American and indigenous nations and the rich cultural history which represent the foundation of today’s society. 

In celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day, Davis will join a growing number of cities and communities marking the day across the U.S. including Washington D.C., Seattle, San Francisco and Denver. Over 100 cities across the U.S. have moved to replace Columbus Day on the second Monday of October.

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Sudwerk earns gold in most competitive beer contest in U.S.

Award Winning Pils Marzen SM(From press release) Sudwerk Brewing Co. of Davis won two medals at the 2019 Great American Beer Festival, more than any other brewery in the Sacramento region.

Put on by the Brewers Association, the 33rd GABF, which concluded Saturday, Oct. 5 in Denver, is the most competitive and coveted beer festival in the nation. The competition included 9,497 entries from 2,295 breweries representing all 50 states plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

Sudwerk was the only brewery in the Sacramento region to take home a gold medal, for its Märzen Amber Lager. It won the American-Style Amber Lager category, which included 101 entries. This was the second year in a row the beer has medaled; it earned a silver in 2018.

Sudwerk also won bronze for The People’s Pilsner, in the Bohemian-Style Pilsener category, out of 123 entries.

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League of Women Voters/Civ Energy meeting. Topic: Housing

(From press release) The League of Women Voters Davis Area and CivEnergy are holding an educational meeting on the General Planning process in Davis. It is the first in a series of free, educational forums on housing that are open to the public. The meeting will be held at the New Harmony Mutual Housing Community, 3030 Cowell Boulevard in the Community Room from 6pm to 7:30pm on Wednesday October 16.

This series hopes to begin the discussion on a major community issue: Housing. This includes housing policy, affordability, homelessness and such issues. These events also give the City of Davis residents the opportunity to educate themselves and provide input on the issues above and help steer the housing element of the development of the General Plan update process.

Sign up for a free ticket at Eventbrite.

The League of Women Voters Davis Area was recently restarted in May 2019. They will be accepting donations at this event to offset costs for future educational meetings and forums.


Aggie Research Campus (ARC) Planning Considerations

ARC-map-Oct2019The following memo was sent yesterday to the newly-formed City Council Aggie Research Campus (ARC) subcommittee, composed of Mayor Pro Tem Gloria Partida and Councilmember Dan Carson, with cc's to City Manager Mike Webb, Assistant City Manager Ash Feeney, and Principal Planner Sherri Metzker.

By Greg Rowe

The following comments and suggestions are respectfully offered for your consideration, in the spirit of facilitating a comprehensive evaluation of the proposed ARC project.  The subjects are not arranged in order of priority or importance.  I full acknowledge and recognize, as stated on page 2 of the October 8 City Council report (agenda item 5E), that the project will be scheduled for future commission meetings.  I also concur that, as noted on page 9 of the same report, “In sum, there will be a series of subsequent entitlements at which time more definitive detail will be proposed,” and there is “…the potential for building locations or other features to shift during the final planned development process.”

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Interfaith Feast of Fellowship in Central Park on October 14

Feast 10.14(From press release) The Celebration of Abraham is hosting an interfaith Feast of Fellowship in Central Park on October 14 from 5 to 7 pm. All are welcome: those who follow any religious tradition, those who are not religious, those who are agnostic or atheist.

The formal program will be VERY short—maybe five minutes. We hope folks with sit with folks whom they do not know well. Abraham will provide some potential topics for folks to discuss as well as some information on how to have conversations with folks who are different from ourselves on topics that might be uncomfortable. Abraham will also provide some resources on children’s books that can help folks begin discussions with young people on diversity.  The main goal is to enjoy our Davis neighbors and to build community across different groups!!

Abraham will provide paper products and silverware. Please bring a vegetarian potluck dish to share. Also please bring a blanket to share.

For more information contact Helen Roland hroland2@gmail.com


City Council makes promises about proposal for business park outside of Mace Curve

ARC-location-overviewGood outcomes in spite of bad process at Council meeting

By Roberta Millstein

As I and others had requested, at Tuesday’s meeting the Council pulled the items concerning the Mace Ranch Innovation Center (MRIC)/Aggie Research Center (ARC) from the Consent Calendar, meaning that there could be a brief presentation, public comment, and discussion and vote from the Council.  Unfortunately, it got personal and unpleasant at times (more on that below).  But there were a number of good outcomes from the meeting.

My main reasons for wanting the items pulled was to let more Davisites know that the City was moving forward with the ARC, to inform people that there was a project description available on the City’s website, and to get more information about what was going to happen moving forward.  Those goals were achieved on Tuesday.

In particular:

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United Methodists Host Program on Students with Disabilities

(From press release) Large numbers of K-12 and college students have disabilities and, although schools are legally required to accommodate the special needs of students with disabilities, often they do not. 

On Sunday morning, October 27, from 9:45 to 10:50, the Davis United Methodist Church will host a presentation on Disabilities, Students, and Schools with Joyceanne Beachem and Austin Tam, members of the Disability Task Force of the California-Nevada Conference of the United Methodist Church.   The church is located at 1620 Anderson Road in Davis. 

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Farmers Market turns into a Pumpkin Patch on Oct. 26

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Soroptimists give away pumpkins, paint faces and help kids play games and paint pumpkins at the Davis Farmers Market Pumpkin Patch, coming up on Oct. 26. Enterprise file photo.

(From press release) Pumpkins, plants, face painting and a petting farm. Those are just a few of the highlights at the annual Pumpkin Patch, Saturday, Oct. 26, at the Davis Farmers Market.

The event, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., has all of the usual Saturday market vendors, with fruit, veggies, nuts, bread, breakfast, lunch and coffee. But this annual event has lots of extras that celebrate the fall harvest and mark the transition to a Winter Market schedule on Wednesdays. Come in costume and enjoy the many activities in Central Park, 301 C St.

Soroptimist International of Davis will have free pumpkins for youngsters, as well as face painting, pumpkin painting and games. Soroptimists work to educate and empower women and girls, and give out free pumpkins once a year to thank the community for supporting their beer and wine booth at Picnic in the Park. All profits from beer and wine sales go into Soroptimist programs like monthly mentorship at King High, grants for single moms, and their work to end human trafficking. The service organization is also a key supporter of Davis Farm to School.

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Open Letter to City Council on Jump's Age Discrimination

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Uber photo modified by T. Edelman

Todd Edelman sent the following email to the City Council today for tonight's Council meeting. For reference, please see yesterday’s article by the same author.

Dear City Council,

1 -  I feel it is important to note that when modifications to the bike share ordinance related to bike share were initially adopted, the BTSSC was bypassed, and that one element which Staff pushed hard for - locking bikes TO racks - resulted in a lot of the problems we had with bikes parked where they were not supposed to. Though Sacramento's unofficial policy permitted flexible parking in 2018, the Staff resisted a change until the spring of this year. Thankfully, the current Staff Report recommends e.g. "parking in the street like a motorcycle".

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City of Winters set to join VCE in special meeting, Thurs, Oct 10

VCE(From press release) The Valley Clean Energy board of directors has scheduled a special meeting for 3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, in the Woodland Council Chambers, 300 First St. in Woodland.

The board is scheduled to accept the city of Winters’ request to join Valley Clean Energy, a community choice energy agency that has been providing electricity service to customers in Davis, Woodland and unincorporated Yolo County since June 2018.

The Winters City Council is set to execute a joint powers agreement with VCE on Oct. 15 and authorize enrollment of Winters’ municipal, commercial, agricultural and residential accounts.

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Tell City Council it’s time to lower the age limit for Jump bike share

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Credit: SWNS

By Todd Edelman

If Greta Thunberg had visited Davis last month for the Climate Strike, she wouldn’t have been able to use Jump bike share. Perhaps before arriving, she would have learnt that kids of all ages in Davis are the national champions of cycling for transportation: To school, to the park, to the homes of their friends, to the library, to the movies, to places they’re not supposed to go…. In the USA, they use bikes more than anyone else in their age group.

Greta is only 16. Perhaps she would have forcefully asked why Jump bike in Davis (and the region) has a minimum age limit of 18.

 

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City moving forward on 200 acre business park outside of Mace Curve

Aggie Research Center (formerly, Mace Ranch Innovation Center) on Tuesday’s Council Consent Calendar

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Location of proposed ARC, with sunflowers and corn. Picture taken by R. Millstein 9/2019

By Roberta Millstein

Back in June, I noted that developers had asked the City to resume processing their application for a massive ~200 acre business park on prime farmland outside of (i.e., to the east of) the Mace Curve.  Things were mostly quiet over the summer.  Now, with a pair of items on the Tuesday City Council Consent Calendar, the City is moving forward on this application before the project has even been presented publicly. 

The Council agenda notes, “All matters listed under the Consent Calendar are considered routine and non-controversial, require no discussion and are expected to have unanimous Council support and may be enacted by the Council in one motion in the form listed below” (emphasis added).

Item A on the Calendar concerning the so-called “Aggie Research Center” (or ARC; formerly Mace Ranch Innovation Center, or MRIC) authorizes “the City Manager to enter into a contract with Economic and Planning Services (EPS) to prepare an updated study of the market demand assumptions, the economic impact analysis, the fiscal impact analysis, and the financial feasibility analysis and public financing evaluation for the Aggie Research Campus.”  Item E on the Calendar appoints a City Council subcommittee for the project (Partida/Carson).

Yet ARC proposal has not been presented to City (at least not publicly), its Commissions, or its citizens.  The ARC proposal has been modified from the previous one – which was also not fully vetted (see link at the beginning of this article).  Why is the City planning on moving forward with the proposal without discussion and public input?

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Student Debt Town Hall, Wed Oct 9

Cancel-student-debt(From press release)

WHAT:

Student debt in the U.S. has now reached $ 1.5 trillion and is currently the second biggest source of debt in the country. In 2017, 65% of students graduating from college had taken out loans, graduating with an average debt of $ 28,650 . In this country alone, 44.7 million people are living with student debt.

This is no small matter. Student debt can prevent people from getting a mortgage on a house, starting a family, saving for retirement, leaving a stable yet unfulfilling job to find a position in their field of study, leaving a job to live with their loved ones in another city – the list goes on. Just the thought, and fear, of accumulating debt prevents many from pursuing higher education, affecting their chances at social mobility. And this fear is quite justified. Student loan delinquency or default rates are 11.4 %, with black college graduates defaulting at rates five times higher than those of their white classmates. Defaulting on a loan can have serious consequences. It can prevent an individual from getting an apartment or a job and take away a section of someone’s paycheck, tax refunds, or Social Security payments. Some states even cancel professional licenses for individuals who hold student loan debt.

This is why student, community, and labor organizers will be hosting a student debt town hall on October 9th, 7pm-8:30pm in Davis, CA to discuss our communities’ experiences with student debt, as well as existing legislative and political solutions like the Student Debt Cancellation Act , proposed by Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, and Sen. Bernie Sanders.

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Fine food and fun at the StrEatery

Can this be a quarterly event?

By Roberta Millstein

On Thursday evening, the Davis Food Co-op and Land & Ladle, in partnership with COOL Cuisine Davis, put on an event dubbed the StrEatery, held adjacent to the Co-op on 6th St. About a dozen food trucks were there, offering cuisines ranging from Mexican to Filipino to Hawaiian and more. Beer and wine were also available.

What follows are some photos and my idiosyncratic impressions from the event. I'm sure others had different experiences, and I encourage them to share those in the comments.

But my main question is, when do we do this again?  There were too many good choices and only so much room in my stomach!  Maybe this should be a quarterly event?

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City releases election district draft maps

Maps available here. Public input needed!

By Roberta Millstein

Today, the City of Davis released five draft maps for proposed districts for future City Council elections: three 5-district maps and two 7-district maps.  Recall from my previous post that it may be difficult to change the number of districts once the City decides, so that decision itself is as important, if not more important, than the maps themselves.

The maps are below, with their relevant data.  You can click on any image to enlarge it.

Important deadlines are coming soon for the City’s District Election process:

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Freedom to Park Initiative Seeks Signatures

FreedomtoparkComplaints about parking availability and the battle over paid parking have been going on in Davis for decades. We are entering the final stage.

By Daniel Urazandi

Some local businesspersons and concerned citizens have drafted and filed an initiative that does what should have been done long ago-- sets a baseline for parking downtown that expands both bike and auto parking, and bans parking meters throughout Davis. Once 4,200 Davisites sign the petition the initiative will go on the ballot and we can vote on it  ourselves. Council has already voted several times, each time choosing to erode and restrict parking while charging for it. We are certain the vast majority of folks want the opposite—free parking and more spaces—so that is exactly what our initiative provides.

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