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November 2019

Post-Carbon Potluck & Mace business park environmental review

Rough-ARCmap-corrected copyTwo important events at almost identical times, but synergy possible

By Roberta Millstein

Attend a climate crisis potluck or give comment on the scope of an environmental review?  Both?

The first event: the Davis Post-Carbon Association (DPCA) is having a potluck this Monday, Dec 2 in the Davis Library: Blanchard Room 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. You can meet fellow residents who are taking action and learn how you can join the effort!

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Artists share news on holiday events, art venues

Dylan Wright of Third Space waves his hand in reaction to a student’s artwork based on a prompt to 3- to 5-year-olds: “What does your world look like?” Wright was among the Arts Alliance Davis participants who toured Peregrine School on Nov. 21. (Wendy Weitzel/Courtesy photo)

By Wendy Weitzel

Davis artists and arts allies met Nov. 21 to collaborate about their holiday events and programs, and learn about an unlikely arts event space in town.

Arts Alliance Davis meets every other month, at rotating venues. It unites artists, civic and arts organizations, businesses, patrons and other community arts supporters. The meetings are open to anyone.

This gathering of nearly 30 members of the local creative community was at Peregrine School, 2650 Lillard Drive. School Director Lorie Hammond led a tour, offering information about its potential as a performance and meeting space. The 1-acre campus near Cowell Drive in South Davis has an outdoor stage, garden and grassy area.

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Free-Leonard-Peltier-768x431BY LEVI RICKERT 

Republished with permission  from Native News Online.net

Published November 23, 2019

COLEMAN, FLORIDA – Leonard Peltier, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, who is incarcerated at the U.S. Penitentiary in Coleman, Florida, for his 1977 conviction in connection with a shootout with U.S. government forces, where two FBI agents and one young American Indian lost their lives.

Peltier, who is considered a political prisoner of war by many, released this statement on Thanksgiving through the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee:

The year of 2019 is coming to a close and with it, comes the day most Americans set aside as a day for Thanksgiving. As I let my mind wander beyond the steel bars and concrete walls, I try to imagine what the people who live outside the prison gates are doing, and what they are thinking. Do they ever think of the Indigenous people who were forced from their homelands? Do they understand that with every step they take, no matter the direction, that they are walking on stolen land? Can they imagine, even for one minute, what it was like to watch the suffering of the women, the children and babies and yes, the sick and elderly, as they were made to keep pushing west in freezing temperatures, with little or no food? These were my people and this was our land. There was a time when we enjoyed freedom and were able to hunt buffalo and gather the foods and sacred medicines. We were able to fish and we enjoyed the clean clear water! My people were generous, we shared everything we had, including the knowledge of how to survive the long harsh winters or the hot humid summers. We were appreciative of the gifts from our Creator and remembered to give thanks on a daily basis. We had ceremonies and special dances that were a celebration of life.


Massive Mace business park comment period extended

Scope of environmental review is in play.

Buow-says-hunhBy Roberta Millstein, Colin Walsh, and Rik Keller

The period for commenting on the scope of the environmental review of the Mace business park, dubbed “Aggie Research Campus” (formerly Mace Ranch Innovation Center, or MRIC), a proposal to build a ~200 acre project on prime farmland outside the Mace curve, has been extended until December 9.  

Edit added Wed, 9 AM: We have learned from Ashley Feeney, Assistant City manager, that there is another change to the previously scheduled meeting Monday Dec 2 meeting, discussed below.  Instead of being a pure open house, "the planning consultant will be making a brief presentation at the beginning [of the] meeting on Monday further explaining the supplemental EIR scope and process. They will be available to explain process and answer questions throughout the meeting as well. The applicant will also have representatives there to answer questions about the project."

Here is some of the backstory and explanation about the comment process.

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On Sunday, November 17, 2019, people around the world lit candles in honor and remembrance of Max Benson.  The local vigil was powerful, but worldwide, the hashtag #ShineOnMax became a unifying and powerful movement to bring the world together in solidarity of valuing autistic lives.

Max was killed after being placed in an illegal prone restraint for nearly two hours at his school.  Soon, The Aspergian will cover this story in more detail, but right now the world needs to know Max outside of “the boy who was killed.”

Max was a boy who lived, a bright, vibrant, loving, curious, hilarious, creative, outgoing soul whose life had purpose and value.

I talked to Stacia Langley, Max’s mom, to get to know Max outside of the sparse, often-dehumanizing soundbytes that have punctuated the news stories about his last days.

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Freedom to Park Downtown: Questions Answered

FreeparkingFrom The Freedom to Park committee, FreedomToPark.org

While tabling for free parking at the Farmers Market, we have encountered very few advocates of “paid parking.” We find that many casual paid parking supporters, upon consideration of all facts, will reconsider or at least support putting the issue to public vote. There are some extremists who assert there should be no vehicles or vehicle parking in the downtown, not even for frail, elderly or handicapped individuals. But most people accept the existence of automobiles and realize that even electric cars must park.

This space is too brief to answer every question or assertion that we have heard, but we will address the most common.  For additional examples, we refer you to our website:  freedomtopark.org

First, the initiative prohibits the charging of a fee for the public parking that is already provided by our tax dollars. It does not change standard parking regulations; it does not change the parking time limits; it does not change the city parking permit program.  Second, the initiative requires the replacement of the 120 parking spaces that the City has already removed from the downtown.  These spaces can easily be replaced by turning parallel spaces into perpendicular or slant parking spaces, for example.

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Everything but the turkey at Pre-Thanksgiving market

The Davis Farmers Market extends its hours on Wednesday, Nov. 27 for its annual Pre-Thanksgiving Market.

PreThanksgivingPosterLtrSz2019(From press release) The market will open from noon to 6 p.m., with a bounty of seasonal produce, table décor, meats, cheeses, olive oil, honey and wine. Fresh-baked items include pumpkin and apple pies, breads, stuffing mixes and cookies.

Regular winter hours for the market, at Third and C streets, are 3 to 6 p.m. on Wednesdays, and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. For more information, visit davisfarmersmarket.org or the Davis Farmers Market Facebook page.

Upper Crust Bakery pies are popular at the Pre-Thanksgiving edition of the Davis Farmers Market


The Home Wood-Burning Season of the 2019–2020 Winter is HERE!

Please take care to reduce wood-smoke emissions from your fireplace or wood stove.

Wood-stove(From press release) As the weather cools, home fireplaces and stoves are starting to heat up. But while a wood-burning fireplace or stove is cozy indoors, smoke from poorly managed home burning can be harmful for those living nearby.

Smoke is dangerous and can affect air quality indoors as well as outside.

Wood smoke contains a variety of harmful gases as well as very small particles that can damage the lungs, blood vessels, and heart. When too many people operate wood-burning fireplaces and stoves at once (or when wood-burning fireplaces and stoves are operated under poor conditions), locally high concentrations of wood smoke can result.

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VCE Integrated Resource Plan Workshop

Information / Questions / Customer Input

VCE(From Press release)  – Valley Clean Energy will host a public workshop in early December to discuss and seek input to their Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). The workshop is open to all VCE customers and interested parties, and will offer information and answer questions, while gathering input from customers.

VCE’s IRP outlines our planned power supply for the next 3 years and provides a forecast for expected electric demand and resource supply until 2030. The IRP also details our commitment to renewable and low carbon energy procurements. The IRP is a VCE planning document that is updated every 2 years and is also governed by regulatory requirements. Our final plan will be submitted to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for consideration in May 2020.

The workshop agenda will include:

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Mace Mess: 11 Broken Promises

Mace mess2Squandered Trust

Comments given to the Davis City Council by Mimi McMahon

Trust is an important element when citizens elect officials to act on their behalf.  There is no room for special interests or personal gain.  A promise is a contract. The City has squandered the trust of Davis citizens and those affected by the Mace Mess you and your staff have created.  You have wasted millions of dollars of our hard-earned taxes. 

Broken and Unfulfilled Promises

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Unprofessional behavior from City staff and Councilmember Arnold

Poor communication continues; irregularities confirmed

Appl-received-aug-2019By Roberta Millstein

At Tuesday’s Council meeting, several Davisites and I showed up to give public comment about an item on the Consent Calendar, scheduled to be approved without discussion. The item concerned the environmental review for a new housing project proposal for Olive Drive.

We raised concerns such as: the fact that this was the first time the project was disclosed to Davisites, preventing any input from citizens prior to review; the failure of City staff to provide the project application and description, only providing them when Colin Walsh noticed that they were missing and requested them, with the result that Davisites had less than the required 72 hours to review (see article from Colin Walsh); and the likelihood that the project is not realistic as proposed, which would make the environmental review pointless at best.

This was the third time in recent days that we have had to raise concerns about items being on the Consent Calendar that should not have been, the other two times having to do with a proposed ~200 acre business park on prime farmland outside of Mace curve.

Last time, Councilmember Will Arnold yelled at us.  This time, he compared us to Flat Earthers.

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Thursday's Caltrans Workshop Key to Davis Growth and Climate Future

IMG_6919By Alan Hirsch

On Thursday Caltrans will hold a workshop on the future of the I-80 corridor, Davis’s Connection to the rest of the World.  It will be in the Blanchard room of the Library at 6:30pm.

Caltrans will be considering different options to deal with transportation demand in this corridor.

Will they just address only thru traffic, i.e. Tahoe Snowbirds...or real needs of people who live in the corridor, for example transit needs that can’t be met by slow, limited stop and expensive Capitol Corridor Train service or the anemic and unreliable Yolobus service?

If you care about traffic on Mace Blvd...or how we can have accommodate economic growth in Davis -- like the proposed 12,000 (!!!)  trip a day Aggie business park on Mace curve  -- this is the meeting to go to.

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Major Olive Drive Mixed Use Project App. Only Disclosed After Questions Raised

Another example of big development lacking public disclosure is on tonight's City Council Agenda

By Colin Walsh

The City of Davis failed to disclose a significant new 76 unit project proposal on Olive Drive (addresses 1031, 1037, 1041, 1047, and 1055), just down from the corner of Richards and Olive, until a contract for environmental review was placed on the consent calendar for the Nov. 19 meeting. Even then the City failed to disclose ANY of the application information until citizens asked for it. With the documents only released on mid Friday afternoon before a council meeting Davis citizens are left with little opportunity to review the pages of material.

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Linda Deos responds to anti-Provenza op-ed

Supervisor race kerfuffle

Linda Deos, candidate for Yolo County Supervisor

By Linda Deos

Last week, the United States House of Representatives began impeachment hearings, focused on the President’s decision to withhold Congressionally approved military aide from Ukraine in exchange for dirt on his political opponent. This same week, the conservative majority on the Supreme Court indicated it might take away DACA, President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, threatening millions of young immigrants with potential deportation. These actions highlight the vast powers of the state, and the ways they can be wielded against innocent people.

We live in the City of Davis, often referred to with a bit of pride by longtime, liberal residents (and consternation by more conservative ones) as ‘The People’s Republic of Davis.’ But we are also the city that made national news a few years ago when protesting students were pepper sprayed by campus police. And now we are a city where a longtime Enterprise columnist casually referred to a group of Davis residents as “Trumpian” for writing an op-ed in the paper.

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Business park outside of Mace curve takes another step

Notice of Scoping Meeting and Preparation of a Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR)

Rough map showing approximate outline of proposed business park - Corrected from earlier image, which did not show full scale of project

What follows is the official notice of a meeting that you can attend to give input on the Supplemental EIR on the so-called "Aggie Research Campus," formerly named "Mace Ranch Innovation Center."  The project would include not only offices and R&D space, but also housing and a hotel, with ~4300 parking spaces total.

Information on the project can be found on the City of Davis's website, here.

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The Flag on My Porch

FlagBy Colin Walsh

So my dear neighbors I want to tell you about the flag I just hung on my porch. You probably recognize it. It has been increasingly popular in recent years as more people display it. It has come to be a symbol of pride for many, but others find it surprisingly controversial. I want to tell you why I put it out.

It all started over the last few years. Increasingly there are kids at my house who view gender very differently than my friends and I did growing up. There is really a whole range of ideas that have been represented among the young people that come and go from my house and that is just what I know about.

Sadly, as I have talked with these young people, I have learned that many of their parents are unaccepting of their self-perception. For example, I know one young man coming of age who identifies male, but their father insists on calling them by their very feminine birth name. There are others who, I have learned, struggle with their parents over whether or not it is OK to love or desire the gender they have realized they do. It makes me sad to think of the pain not being accepted by their parents causes them, so I started thinking I might fly a flag in front of my house, so they know they are welcome here.

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It is all on schedule

BoardsBy Tom Owczarzak

I’ve been replacing a rotten deck this week. It is a pretty standard task in my world. Replacing rotten things. The fact of the matter is that nature wants to break down non-living things and return them to their cellular state. Once something stops growing, like wood, nature brings a variety of tools to bear to break it apart. Sun, rain, insects – all in the toolbox.

It provides a pretty serious level of job security.

So, when I am working on these projects, I think of myself as part of the toolbox as well. Although I have tools of destruction on my side that speed it up considerably. And like the other natural elements that work toward deterioration, I try to return the material to some form that can be re-used by nature.

I have taken almost every part of a house and re-purposed it into another part of another house a multitude of times. My last house was built almost entirely out of three other houses. Wood, tile, stone, even leftover paint have all been used with impunity.

And it usually makes me think about the cycle of things. How one thing turns into another which turns into another.

When I was teaching in college, I used to tell students that reincarnation was nothing more than composting. The various parts of us eventually become the parts of other things. And in that way, we are reborn thousands of times.

And these days I have been looking around the world at all the things that people are despairing about and thinking the same thing.

There is nothing in this universe that lasts forever. Nothing. Eventually, they will rot and deteriorate or just be worn down and need to be replaced. It is not a tragedy. It is life.

The Buddhists say that most of the grief in life comes from trying to hold on to these impermanent things. And when we can accept the impermanence then we can be freed from this endless cycle of sadness.

I kinda buy into the idea even if I still get attached to things. Not holding on to the people I love is a near impossible task. And their passing brings about tremendous suffering. But I do believe that everything passes and our relationship to that is life defining.

Sometimes I find myself wanting to broadcast some grand message to the world. To try to get a couple things across to everyone. And I mean everyone. Lately it has been this message. That there is nothing permanent in this world. And change is not a tragedy. It is natural.

That we can live our lives without the impending sense of doom or panic. That we can accept the change as it comes – even if we are attached to the things that are changing.

Basically, that all things, good or bad, pass. And, if we have faith, these things will come around again. Not in the exact same way but in some manner.

And, most importantly, that it all works out in the end. I believe that.

Happy Wednesday everyone. I hope you can find some acceptance for the things that change in your life today. Maybe it is something small or maybe it is ground-shaking. But it is all on schedule and part of the glorious ride called life. And if you are having trouble accepting it – that’s cool too. There’s room for that as well. It will all work out in the end either way.

United Methodist Alternative Giving Fair Benefits Non-Profits

(From press release) Benefit the greater good while shopping for the holidays at the Davis United Methodist Church Alternative Giving Fair, Sunday morning, November 24, from 9:30 to 1 pm. 

The fair will include homemade items, handicrafts from around the world, calendars, cards and other seasonal items.  All proceeds benefit non-profits, such as Heifer International, Sierra Club, Grace Garden, Sahaya International, and United Methodist service projects.  The church is located at 1620 Anderson Road in Davis. 

Davis United Methodist Church is a reconciling and an inclusive community of faith.  Church services are Sundays at 8:30 and 11:00.  For more information, visit www.davisumc.org or contact the church office at davisumc@davisumc.org or 530-756-2170.

Winters Votes to Join Valley Clean Energy

VCE(From press release) The city of Winters is the fourth local jurisdiction to join Valley Clean Energy, Yolo County’s not-for-profit public clean power electricity agency. The cities of Woodland and Davis as well as the unincorporated area of Yolo County are already members, having launched the agency in June 2018.

At its Oct. 15 meeting, the Winters City Council passed a resolution approving the terms of membership in VCE as well as the first reading of an ordinance authorizing implementation of the community choice aggregation program for all electricity customers in Winters. The second reading and adoption of the ordinance occurred at the Nov. 5 council meeting.

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