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October 2019

Davis Post Carbon Association

DPCAGreetings Residents of Davis!

Let us introduce you to the Davis Post Carbon Association, a grassroots organization bringing together the community to address climate issues both locally and globally. We want to transition out of a carbon-based economy to a post-carbon economy by 2040. Post-carbon means (1) sequestering more carbon than we are emitting (also called being carbon negative), (2) designing our communities so that we regenerate natural resources, eliminate waste, and live in alignment with the needs of nature. We have six core goals to help the community fulfill this intention before it may be too late for our planet.

  1. Include everybody in our community so we can transition together instead of having to figure it out on our own
  2. Educate each other about the science of sustainability and how to apply it to our lives as individuals and members of a community
  3. Work with homeowners and businesses to help private organizations transition. 
  4. Work with government to help public infrastructure transition
  5. Support labor unions, activist groups, faith-based groups, and other organizations in their efforts to transition
  6. Raise funds to support the efforts of community organizers, educators, project facilitators, and to finance modifications of private and public infrastructure, lands, and operational systems (transportation, waste-management, energy utilities, etc)

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As the fires rage and the blackouts continue, Newsom ducks

The guv sounds tough -- but he has no plan. And he's ignoring the only (obvious) solution to the current and future crisis.

Gav talks tough about PG&E — until it comes to solutions.

By Tim Redmond

Gov. Gavin Newsom is sounding all harsh and tough toward PG&E as Northern California burns out of control again and the blackouts continue.

At a press event that he promoted on Twitter, Newsom said that PG&E’s “years of greed, years of mismanagement, years and years of putting shareholders over people are over.”

Watch the video: It’s classic Newsom. “We will hold them to account,” he says. “We will restructure” the company when it gets out of bankruptcy.

And then … what?

How is that “restructuring” going to work if PG&E remains a privately owned utility that sets up its own corporate structure? How are we going to “hold to account” a company when it’s already in total collapse – and Newsom has no plan to address that except to ask Warren Buffett to buy it?

Continue reading "As the fires rage and the blackouts continue, Newsom ducks" »

Soroptimists offer cash grants to women to boost their education and training

Live Your Dream 2019 updated(From press release) Women who serve as the primary wage earners for their families and seek financial assistance to further their education or training are urged to apply for the Soroptimist Live Your Dream: Education and Training Awards for Women.

Applications are available at bit.ly/LYDA-apply, or by emailing Soroptimist International of Davis at sidavis@soroptimist.net.

The application deadline is Nov. 15. This year, the Davis club has $6,500 for grants, which will be awarded in amounts between $500 and $3,000. The top recipient’s application will advance to the Soroptimist Sierra Nevada Region level, where recipients could receive thousands more. The program culminates with three $10,000 awards. Recipients can use the Live Your Dream Award to offset any costs associated with their efforts to attain higher education or additional skills and training. This includes tuition, books, childcare, transportation or any other education-related expense.

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VCE Pays Back Startup Loans Early

Pictured left to right: VCE Board member and Yolo County Supervisor  Don Saylor, VCE Chair and Woodland City Council member Tom Stallard, VCE Board member and Davis City Council member Lucas Frerichs, and VCE Interim General Manager Mitch Sears

(From press release) Valley Clean Energy’s board of directors has announced that the local community choice energy agency is repaying its start-up loans early, years ahead of schedule.

VCE was formed in 2016 as a joint powers agency comprising the city of Davis and the unincorporated area of Yolo County. The city of Woodland joined later, in 2017. Each agency lent VCE $500,000 to cover program implementation costs with a requirement that the loans would be repaid with interest.

“Now, after less than 1½ years in operation, we are repaying the loans — far ahead of schedule,” said Tom Stallard, a member of the Woodland City Council who chairs the VCE board of directors. “The agency’s firm financial footing allows us to do so.”

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Sipping Nectar

Hummingbird 2
By Carey Ann Hunt

Quickly out of nowhere it hovered in the air

Not more than 3-4 feet away.

Me? I just sat there sipping tea.

The bird sipped too, though English Breakfast was not his flavor. 

Nectar for him as he lingered there.

Sipping the red abutilon flowers,

The hummingbird vibrated, stirring the air.

The whirr of those wings

I could tangibly feel it.

My heart was pounding,



I sat there beaming perched on my chair

I waited, stretching the moment as long as I could.

He chest was dipped in emerald

Ruby throated with opalescent wings.

His wings were see-through they fluttered so fast.

Grateful I was to him so close.

I was enamored of every part of that moment.

The morning, the sun, and sweet nectar. 

The breeze in my hair,

The last of the sweet smell of Jasmine until next year.

He finished his mission,

But, before he left

He flew in right close and looked at me

Startling me and causing me to splash my tea.

My heart was racing but my mind was still.

My body felt like it was vibrating just like those wings.

That little body, with that much power



The moment grew larger,

As did my smile.

His shiny bright eyes

Gazing right there at mine.

No more than my arm’s length away.

I was left stunned as his lifted off,

His wings left an impression as I closed my eyes.

Sipping the moment and hovering there.

Grateful to you little bird for your courage to look me in the eye.

Hummingbird 1



Mercer Clinic Pet Costume Fundraiser

Sweet little Ezra in his dinosaur costumeLast chance to get a pet costume from fundraising effort by Mercer Clinic for the Pets of the Homeless at this Saturday’s Farmer’s Market, Oct. 26th

There will be a Halloween themed fundraising effort for donations to be held at Farmer's Market this Saturday, Oct. 26th by Mercer Clinic for the Pets of the Homeless. They will have a variety of dog Halloween costumes along with toys for cats and dogs. For more information on Mercer Clinic see our website at mercerclinic.org or call (530) 756-5165.


UCD teaches sustainable planning, but does not practice it

If UC Irvine can produce affordable on-campus student housing, so can UCD

Mesa Towers, UC Irvine: three 6-story buildings, opened Fall 2016, houses 800+ students

By Eileen Samitz

As a follow up to the recent excellent article by Roberta Millstein on the need for UCD to build far more on- campus student housing, I wanted to add to this subject and a few more points which were raised at the Oct. 22 City Council meeting regarding the UC finance overview presentation.

To begin with, I completely agree with Roberta’s key message that our community needs to keep pressing UCD to build far more on-campus housing than the City-UCD MOU is trying to get away with, 2) much higher density housing on campus needs to be built than UCD is building, and 3) the projects need to be built sooner than later and not dragged out until 2033 as the MOU allows for at least 3,000 of the 6,000 beds to be provided by UCD.

With UCD having 5,300 acres with a 900-acre campus. UCD is the largest UC in the system. However, UCD is unwilling to provide at least 50% on-campus housing like the other UCs have committed to. Why not?

Further, UCD had its second biggest fundraising ever this past year, raising $234 million dollars. Yet, why isn’t any of it going towards helping to building far more, and higher density housing on-campus as it is fully capable of?

Continue reading " UCD teaches sustainable planning, but does not practice it" »

If We Treated Humans like Dogs.

HoneyBy Maria Usacheva

In view of concerns raised about a proposed homeless shelter in Davis I’d like to share this piece that I wrote a while ago but never shared with anyone. I think it’s time. The issue of homelessness is much more complex than what I could ever depict in this extremely oversimplified essay. I also believe that all feelings and attitudes toward the homeless are valid, as they are culturally- and experience-based. So, the only reason I’m sharing this essay is to offer another perspective.

Continue reading "If We Treated Humans like Dogs." »

Will the City press UCD for more, and more affordable, on-campus housing?

By Roberta Millstein

Middle earth. 2
Middle Earth Tower, UC Irvine: Opened Fall 2019, one 7-story building, houses 490 students

As Colin Walsh documented in his article on last week’s “town hall” meeting between UC Davis, the City of Davis, and Yolo Country, the meeting was unfortunate in a number of respects and failed to fully engage housing issues on UCD’s campus.  The event was followed by a pat-ourselves-on-the-back-for-a-job-well-done op-ed from Chancellor May, Mayor Lee, and Supervisor Saylor.

Last night’s Council meeting gave Councilmembers “another bite at the apple” – another chance to ask about on-campus housing – with a UCD Financial Overview agenda item.

What happened?

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Homeless "Respite Center" Proposed by School Bike Route Receives Pushback

Picture3By Colin Walsh

An ad hoc group of Davis residents have started a Change.org petition opposing the location of the Homeless Respite Center. The new Homeless center is proposed for adjacent to the Dave Pelz Overpass near second street. Those opposing the location seem to clearly state that they support services for the homeless like this project, but not next to a thoroughfare for school children on bikes.

This Item was moved forward by the Davis City Council on July 30, 2019. The project would contain “tough shed” type buildings and likely a designated camping area. It is unclear if there will be water or sewer services or what staffing might be provided by the City.

In the staff report, "staff estimates that the day shelter could accommodate up to 40 individuals at one time and the overnight shelter could sleep up to 15 individuals" but with the addition of a camping area as suggested by council member Frerichs the site may be able to accommodate more.

When the Council addressed this issue on July 30th 2019, the staff omitted from their report and presentation to council that the Dave Pelz overcrossing was a safe route to school. There is no part of the staff report that addresses the impact of a homeless encampment on the bike and pedestrian through-way.

This is the table of advantages and disadvantages from the July 30, 2019 Davis City staff report:
Respite-Center-FTable 4.pdf
This very expensive overcrossing was built to better connect South Davis and East Davis, especially to provide a bikeable route to school for South Davis Junior High Kids.

The petition can be signed at  https://www.change.org/p/davis-city-council-no-homeless-shelter-for-schoolchildren-s-safety

The petition reads as follows:

Continue reading "Homeless "Respite Center" Proposed by School Bike Route Receives Pushback" »

Districting Process Could Undermine Public Confidence in Council

Council Members,

Unfortunately, the city council district mapping process is backwards. The boundaries are merely being drawn by a mapper based on the mapper’s own unguided sense of what constitutes a “neighborhood.”  The criteria for defining a neighborhood and determining how to draw the boundaries for those neighborhoods should have been defined by the city council in advance of drawing any maps.

By selecting the rules first, we simplify the decision process, streamline any future updates (next year?), and minimize political mischief.

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5 Davis Districts, not 7

Picture1By Jon Li

When Davis was forced to “district elections” in July, it changed all the rules of the political game for the 1% who pay attention to everything, and the 5% who are involved in an ongoing basis.

Brett Lee and Lucas Frerichs were gearing up for their third terms.  They have had to pull back and be in the middle of the decision about the district boundaries.

The only argument I can see for 7 districts is that it guarantees Lucas a seat in a district independent of Brett.  (In some of the 5 seat maps, Lucas and Brett would be in the same district and have to run against each other.)

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Important Council meeting tonight Including UCD issues, RHNA, and District Elections

Student housingUCD needs far more on-campus housing

Rare opportunity to testify at today's Tuesday City Council Oct. 22, at 6pm meeting to testify for the need for far more UCD on-campus student housing at Community Chambers at 23 Russell Blvd

By Eileen Samitz

For the vast majority of the community who were not informed in time to attend the community “Town Hall” 2X2X2 City Council-County Supervisor-UCD meeting this past Thursday, here is a rare opportunity to testify directly to UCD.

Unfortunately, the “Town Hall” meeting to address the UCD housing was held, not in town, but at a remote and inconvenient location on the UCD campus at 6:30 until only 8pm. As a result few community members were able to attend. The meeting was ended early by Vice Chancellor Ratliff and no questions were allowed, although an attendee requested a questions section.

So today, Tuesday Oct. 22nd is a rare opportunity to address UCD on this issue at the City Council meeting. Usually, you are allowed 3 minutes (sometimes less) to testify on an item when it comes up on the agenda.

Continue reading "Important Council meeting tonight Including UCD issues, RHNA, and District Elections" »

10 things you need to know about the UCD-City-County "Town Hall" that are not being reported in other places.

QuestionsBy Colin Walsh

On Thursday 10/17 UCD, the City of Davis, and the Yolo County Board of Supervisors held a public meeting to discuss housing. Both the Enterprise and the Vanguard blog have written about it, but here is a list of 10 significant or interesting points that have been left out of those articles.

1) This was not a “Town Hall” style meeting despite being characterized as such (see May, Lee and Saylor’s oped ). This meeting was held in a traditional public meeting format, with limited public comments in the beginning, then speeches made by the panelists from UCD, City of Davis and Yolo County Supervisors. The last speakers final slide said "Questions?" in bold letters, but was quickly taken off the screen. At the end of the meeting Vice Chancellor Ratcliff noted the meeting was ending early. At that point I very politely asked if the panel would be willing to take questions. VC Ratcliff stated that no questions would be taken. By comparison the October 14 Congressman Garamendi Town Hall had over 1½ hours of Q & A.

Continue reading "10 things you need to know about the UCD-City-County "Town Hall" that are not being reported in other places." »

Candidate runs for Yolo County Supervisor on a Local Green New Deal platform

IMG_4955My name is David Abramson and I am running for District 4 Yolo County Supervisor on the platform of a Local Green New Deal. A Local Green New Deal lays out a plan for local infrastructure, planning, and policy that will help us address the climate crisis we are in. It also aims to transform our economic system into one that supports ecological healing and true community wealth-building.

Growing up in Davis and living here most of my life, I know that Yolo County residents care about their communities. We care about each other, we care about our families, our neighbors, our schools, about the health and well-being of our workers, our youth, and our elders. We care about the health of our planet, and about the future we want for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

We hear the calls from the youth saying, "We want a future! We want our political leaders to step up to the challenge, to transition from fossil fuels, and to take the challenges that humanity faces seriously and fearlessly, and to spring forward into action!"

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VCE takes steps toward creation of a locally owned and operated public utility

VCE(From press release) The board of Yolo County’s clean power agency has submitted a $300 million bid to purchase Pacific Gas & Electric’s lines, poles and other electricity distribution assets within Yolo County.

The purchase would enable the creation of a locally owned and operated public utility that the board has concluded would result in a more successful, efficient and safe electricity system.

Following the announcement this summer of its intent to examine the purchase of local PG&E assets, and after months of study and review with expert consultants, the Valley Clean Energy board of directors submitted a non-binding offer Friday, Oct. 18, to purchase PG&E’s assets.

Valley Clean Energy’s offer would ultimately be subject to approval by the federal court handling the PG&E bankruptcy case.

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Pay to Détour(nement)

Can Davis Pioneer a Toll for Waze?

Map2By Todd Edelman

At the most recent public meeting about the “Mace Mess” - on a summer evening at Pioneer Elementary - we were told that City attorneys were going to look into a legal way to keep traffic guided by apps like Waze from diverting from I-80 between just west of town and the Yolo Bypass, not only via Tremont and Mace but also via 113 and Covell, etc.

I’ve not heard anything about this since then, which might mean nothing. 


So, imagine a system that records the license plates and FasTrak transponders of vehicles that exit and enter I-80 and CA-113 at various points in the City and nearby to the west (see the map). How to determine if the driver is “just passing through”?:  If the transit time is e.g. + or - 20% of what's predicted by Waze and similar for the same journey, the driver is charged a reasonable fee. (Using Waze, etc. against itself is the détournement mentioned, and a great pun if I might say so!). 

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Rhythm with Rhyme, Perhaps


By Carey Ann Hunt

Notes with words.

Rhythm inviting rhyme with or without reason.

Pausing in anticipation.

Awaiting the next pluck of a low C.

Deep. Accompanying. Notes mingling in the air.

Sharing space. Breathing. Becoming.

Growing in intensity. Building and strengthening.

Filling the air. Sound pounding walls and bodies.

Carving into the chilly Davis night.

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Heads up on more City housing discussions

By Roberta Millstein

This is just a brief post to let Davisites know about some upcoming housing-related discussions.  At 6 PM on Tuesday (Oct 22) just prior to the regular Council meeting in the Community Chambers, there will be a City Council and Planning Commission Joint Discussion.  The two planned topics of discussion are:

  • Should there be policy preference for work force housing over student-oriented housing?
  • What is the future direction for affordable housing in Davis, including at risk housing, and with the nature of the interim housing policy, what should be enforced?

Other housing-related items will be covered during the regular Council meeting.

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30 years of beer: Sudwerk celebrates community on Oct. 26

EventPoster(From press release) One of California's pioneering breweries will celebrate a major milestone on Oct. 26. Sudwerk Brewing Co. marks 30 years in business, with a free community celebration that includes live music and art, and supports two local charities.

The celebration is from noon to 9:30 p.m. at Sudwerk, 2001 Second St. The event supports the Davis Live Music Collective and Davis Schools Foundation, and includes a live mural competition, community mural wall, food by Tommy J’s Grill & Catering, face painting, new beer releases, a sour beer garden and more.

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