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February 2020

Mace ARC Business Park Developer Trying to Omit Details until after Vote

Mac-ARC-map-under-mag-glassThe City’s promise to include full commission review is being broken

 By Roberta Millstein

The developers of the Mace ARC Business Park are avoiding a full analysis of their project proposal and omitting important project details until after citizens have voted on the project.  City staff seems to support them in this, and City Council isn’t asking any questions – even though they had already promised that the proposal would be seen by all of the relevant City commissions. 

Without a full public disclosure of the project and proper impartial commission analysis, citizens will not have the information they need to make an informed decision.

For those who don’t know the legal context, this project will require a city wide vote – because the 200 acres proposed for the ARC business park outside Mace Curve is outside the Davis City limits with an agricultural land use designation, it is subject to a Measure R (formerly Measure J, now Davis Municipal Code Chapter 41) vote.  One of the provisions requires:

Continue reading "Mace ARC Business Park Developer Trying to Omit Details until after Vote " »

Voting information and deadlines

Vote-CAThis is just a friendly, civic reminder that Tuesday February 18th is the last day to register to vote in the California primary coming up soon on March 3. You can do that online here.  Or, you can "conditionally" register to vote after the 15-day voter registration deadline by following these instructions: https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voter-registration/same-day-reg/

If you want to check your registration status, you can do that online here: https://registertovote.ca.gov

Republicans have a closed primary. You must be Republican to vote in it.

However, Democrats have an open primary, so on the day of the primary, any independents or folks registered with a third party can opt to vote in the Democratic contest.

Roughly 1 out of 4 registered votes in California are independents ("no party preference.") That's a lot of people! If you are one of them and want to make sure you get to vote in a presidential primary, here's how:

Continue reading "Voting information and deadlines" »

ARC Business Park Planning Commission Workshop Feb 26.

Planning commission
City of Davis Notice of Planning Commission Workshop for
Aggie Research Campus
Wednesday, February 26, 2020,
Starting at 7:00 PM
Davis City Hall Community Chambers, 23 Russell Blvd., Davis, CA 95616.

The City of Davis Planning Commission will conduct a workshop to hear a presentation on the Aggie Research Campus project and to take comments from the general public on Wednesday, February 26, 2020, starting at 7:00 PM This workshop will be held at the Davis City Hall Community Chambers, 23 Russell Blvd., Davis, CA 95616

The workshop format will include a brief introductory presentation by staff, a detailed presentation of the proposed project by the applicant, an opportunity for the Planning Commission to comment and an opportunity for public comment.  Members of the public may provide written or oral comments at the meeting.  NO DECISIONS WILL BE MADE REGARDING THE PROPOSED PROJECT AT THIS MEETING.  THIS WORKSHOP IS INFORMATIONAL ONLY.

If you have any questions regarding this workshop, please contact Principal Planner, Sherri Metzker at smetzker@cityofdavis.org. Additional information on the project proposal is available through the Department of Community Development and Sustainability, Planning Division, 23 Russell Boulevard, Davis, California, 95616, and is posted at the following City web address: https://www.cityofdavis.org/city-hall/community-development-and-sustainability/development-projects/aggie-research-campus.

Continue reading "ARC Business Park Planning Commission Workshop Feb 26." »

she told me she wasn't going to vote in the upcoming election....

By Kirsten Elise

I was on the phone with a dear friend last night and after I shared that I was considering going canvassing for Bernie this weekend, she told me that she wasn't going to vote in the upcoming election. I imagine that I might have other friends who also may not be planning to vote for various reasons. I don't really know all the reasons that people have for not voting, but I feel called to share why I vote in the hopes it might inspire someone out there.

Its true, our political system is completely corrupt and broken and so I can understand why you might not want to participate in it. AND, the thing is that the only way we can change the system is by participating in it and transforming it from the inside out and that means getting involved in some way.

Continue reading "she told me she wasn't going to vote in the upcoming election...." »

DCD: Yolo County Supervisor Forum, 4th District

This video is from the Davis College Democrats' forum of the Yolo County Supervisor Candidates for the 4th District held on the UC Davis Campus February 11, 2020.

The video is reposted with permission from the DCD.


Provenza: Active community engagement and public safety

Dear Editor,

I am supporting Jim Provenza for re-election to the Board of Supervisors on March 3. I have worked closely with Jim on public safety issues. As a former special assistant district attorney, Jim understands the need for active community engagement and public safety.

Jim is an advocate of smart on crime policies. He supports alternatives to incarceration for those who are suffering from mental illness and other non-violent offenders, while working to assure that that we have the resources we need to address violent and serious crime.

Jim is a strong supporter of our Day Reporting Center, an innovative program that reduces recidivism by delivering education, treatment and job training as an alternative to incarceration in county jail. He is also a supporter of our neighborhood courts and successfully advocated for the establishment of a second mental health court.

While supporting creative approaches, Jim stands with law enforcement in its effort to assure that the public is protected and that consequences are imposed upon those who endanger our community.

Jim Provenza has earned your vote.

Sheriff Tom Lopez

Letter: Deos for positive change and community engagement

Deos-for-supervisorI'm writing in support of positive change and community engagement and thus in support of Linda Deos for the 4th District of the Yolo County Board of Supervisors, which covers most of north (of Covell) and east (of Hwy 113, J and L Streets) in Davis. I've read with interest various letters in support of both Linda and the incumbent, Jim Provenza; both appear to be good people who support their community. Letters in support of Mr. Provenza stress his accomplishments while on the Board and, as one might expect when a person sits on the Board for twelve years, there is a notable list. Board members are paid to accomplish things.

The question one might ask, then, is why make a change? Incumbents traditionally have this advantage in a campaign. To this question, my response is, the making of public policy is strengthened locally by representation on our Board from as many segments of our community as possible. In these troubled times, such inclusivity matters tremendously, not only at the national and state level but also locally—it starts here.

Diversity of representation, however critical, should not be gratuitous, however. Linda Deos—not as part of her job but in her passion for giving back to her community—has volunteered on six area boards and commissions, including the Yolo Basin Foundation, health, cannabis and disability access advisory groups.  All of this effort has been carried out on top of her legal work with members of the community who are facing bankruptcy, or who are overwhelmed by credit and student debt. With this record of contributions in an unofficial capacity, imagine what she can achieve as a County Supervisor! Linda has the capability to meet and to exceed Mr. Provenza's record if she is given the opportunity.

I encourage voters in the 4th District to vote for the future by electing Linda to serve the district and to represent your interests to the County.

Michele van Eyken


Happy Darwin Day!

Why is Darwin so often only shown as an old man with a beard?

By Roberta Millstein

Happy Darwin Day!  It’s been 211 years since Charles Darwin was born.

For your Darwin Day, here is a selection of some of my favorite Darwin quotes, all from On the Origin of Species, First Edition.  I hope you enjoy them!

The beginning of the book:

“WHEN on board H.M.S. 'Beagle,' as naturalist, I was much struck with certain facts in the distribution of the inhabitants of South America, and in the geological relations of the present to the past inhabitants of that continent. These facts seemed to me to throw some light on the origin of species—that mystery of mysteries, as it has been called by one of our greatest philosophers. On my return home, it occurred to me, in 1837, that something might perhaps be made out on this question by patiently accumulating and reflecting on all sorts of facts which could possibly have any bearing on it.”

Continue reading "Happy Darwin Day!" »

Affordable Housing & Community Space: A Renter Forum

For-renter-forumYolo County Supervisor candidate David Abramson will be hosting a ‘Renters Forum’ on Saturday, February 15 from 5:00-7:00PM. It will be held at Davis Coworking’s new downstairs event space, right next to Fluffly's Donuts and Subway.

It will be an opportunity for renters to share their stories and to get together to develop a vision for affordable, healthful, and climate-positive housing in Davis and Yolo County.

We will also envision how we can move forward in creating affordable and accessible cultural spaces to facilitate arts, music, and healthy activities in Yolo County.

All who are interested (renters and homeowners alike) are welcome to join. Light refreshments provided.

Max capacity 40. Please register in advance to ensure your seat! https://www.facebook.com/events/122783449070392/

UC Davis Survey: City Apartment Vacancy Rate Eases Some

UC Davis Press Release

By Julia Ann Easley


The Green at West Village, scheduled to open its first 1,000 beds in fall 2020, leads a list of upcoming projects for student housing at UC Davis. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

While the city of Davis rental market remains tight, a few more apartments are vacant compared to last year, according to a survey commissioned by Student Housing and Dining Services at UC Davis and released today (Feb. 5).


The blended vacancy rate — including apartments leased by the unit and by the bed — is estimated to be 1.0 percent, compared with 0.5 percent in fall 2018. Rents increased by an average of 5.5 percent.

Continue reading "UC Davis Survey: City Apartment Vacancy Rate Eases Some" »

Letter: Beyond foolish to lose such an effective advocate

Jim Provenza-1018
I am writing to encourage a vote for Jim Provenza for Yolo County Supervisor.  There are many good reasons to support Jim, including his efforts on behalf of children, seniors, our schools, and those in need.  But I would like to focus on another important, probably less well known, achievement – his acquired expertise and knowledge of regional water policy and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.  This includes Putah Creek, Cache Creek, both tributaries to the Yolo Bypass, and the Yolo Bypass itself.

Continue reading "Letter: Beyond foolish to lose such an effective advocate" »

Letter: Re-elect Jim Provenza for Yolo County Supervisor!

EnterprisePic (4) - cropI have known Jim Provenza for over 25 years.  Jim is a dedicated advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves.  For most of his life, he has worked tirelessly for equality, social justice, and civil rights. 

In his first jobs after law school, he represented victims of domestic violence, child abuse, civil rights violations, and housing and job discrimination.  As legislative counsel, he was instrumental in the enactment of California’s current hate crimes law.  As legislative advocate, he sponsored legislation that made sexual orientation and disability protected classes.

Continue reading "Letter: Re-elect Jim Provenza for Yolo County Supervisor!" »

So many reasons to vote for Provenza

EnterprisePic (4) - cropI am writing in strong support of Jim Provenza to be re-elected to County Supervisor for many reasons. Jim has been an extremely dedicated and effective Yolo County Supervisor since he was first elected, and we need him to continue his work.

Jim has had a long history of public service. Early on, as an attorney with the Legal Aid Foundation, Jim worked as an attorney to help protect women and children against domestic violence. Later, when he worked at the State Capital, he successfully created legislation to help enforce protection from stalking and against hate crimes as well.

Jim has been an advocate for children, families, seniors and the disadvantaged for decades. He has stepped up to be a leader on committees such as chairing First 5 Yolo for at-risk children under 5. Jim prevented Yolo County Crisis Nursery from being shut down by successfully securing emergency funding.

Jim is also chair of the Yolo Healthy Aging Alliance Non-profit and the Yolo Aging Commission. He is working on getting a new County Adult Day Care Center to help families with aging family members, particularly with dementia.

Jim has been great on land use and environmental issues, including addressing climate change and protecting ag land and habitat. I was impressed to see that Yolo Farm Bureau (who rarely endorse candidates) was happy to endorse Jim.

As an animal lover, I especially have appreciated Jim working on helping to get our County a much needed new animal shelter. Jim currently represents the county on a city-county task force that is working to form a new agency to govern shelter operations and to consider construction of a new state-of-the art shelter. Jim is a strong advocate of a new shelter and is also participating in fundraising efforts to make this goal a reality.

Finally, while I am a feminist, I always base my vote on who I see as the most qualified and effective candidate, not on their gender. After watching the LWV forum of the supervisorial candidates, I knew I would be voting for Jim Provenza, and encourage others to also.

Eileen Samitz

Livingston: A vote for Jim is a vote for a positive voice on the Board of Supervisors

I am writing in support of Jim Provenza's reelection. As a Supervisor Jim has been a consistent supporter of human rights. He has stood in support of minorities especially recent immigrants; He has worked to help disadvantaged and Seniors where and when needed. As a past member of the Davis Board of Education he knows the important educational needs of our community. His consistency in backing many who may often be ignored is an important value and an important reason that he is needed and why I support him. A vote for Jim is a vote for a positive voice on the Board of Supervisors.

Richard and Rachel Livingston

Letter: Deos Leading for Yolo County

Deos-for-supervisorI want a leader on the Yolo County Board of Supervisors, someone who has fresh ideas and solutions for the new decade. I want someone who will not only question the need for a new county jail but will look at ways to reduce the incarceration rate that we have. Eliminating the cash bail system that keeps poor people in jail while awaiting their hearings is one way to accomplish this goal. Because 65% of our jail residents cannot post bail, they must stay there until his or her trial. They are in jail, often for months at a time, despite not having been proven guilty of any crime. It's a modern-day debtor's prison.

It costs as much to house a prisoner in California for a year as it does to send a student to Stanford for the same amount of time. That’s a lot of money that could be used to provide more robust social services programs that lift up our county residents.

I want a leader who will return our foster care program back to one that works for families that are in distress.  We need to stop shipping hundreds of Yolo County children to foster homes far from their families.

I want a leader who understands climate change as the existential threat that it is. Someone who is able to work with other committed supervisors and residents to do the hard work of making significant and urgent changes to our county’s operations model.

You have a choice of leadership for the 4th district Yolo County supervisor race for the first time in many years. The leader that I want for Yolo County Board of Supervisors is Linda Deos. She is the future.

Elizabeth Lasensky


Strong turnout for Davis's "Reject the Coverup" Impeachment Rally

Blue efforts are ongoing

Davis trump impeachment rally 2020 02 05 5th x B  (4) crop

Davis trump impeachment rally 2020 02 05 5th x B  (18)On Wednesday evening, nearly 100 people showed up (on short notice!)  at 5th and B to protest the failure of the U.S. Senate to call witnesses, much less convict, Trump for Abuse of Power or Obstruction of Justice.

Davis trump impeachment rally 2020 02 05 5th x B  (20)People driving by enthusiastically honked in support.

Photos of the Davis crowd made Rachel Maddow show....along with photos of the other 270 rallies across the U.S.

Later that evening, IndivisibleYolo and Sister District CA-3 previewed their new volunteer HQ on Olive Drive near Rocknasium, the first step of Blue Wave 2 campaign to flip the Senate and Presidency red to blue in November 2020.  Arizona races are the target Red to Blue area for Davis.   Over 60 people showed, celebrating that the two groups have together raised over $14,000 to fund this office space.

Last week there was also a Davis House party run by the group “The Verbs” to raise money for Democratic Senate Candidate for Arizona, Mark Kelly. It reportedly netted over $70,000.

- Submitted by a Davisite reader.

Vanguard Publishes Demonstrably False Information

Misinformation persists even after the author and board members are notified

VanguardBy Colin Walsh

On Monday February 3rd the Davis Vanguard published a story titled “Monday Morning Thoughts: Strange Decision on Commissioner Punctuates a Strange Night for Council” by David Greenwald (link). This is not a big groundbreaking story; it mostly focuses on the Council’s decision to suspend a Commissioner for two meetings and takes the opportunity to make fun of people who spoke at public comment. Sadly, it also had the effect of again dragging a hard-working City of Davis volunteer Commissioner’s name through the mud. What is most notable about the Vanguard article is that it has specific false information that distorts what actually happened.

The third paragraph of Greenwald’s article about the January 28th City Council meeting states,

The council then attempted to split the baby so to speak – instead of ousting Mr. Edelman, they suspended him for two meetings, February and March, with some sort of conflict resolution process.  That was not enough for the three commissioners who all resigned, leaving the commission short of a quorum.

The second sentence is demonstrably false. This sentence clearly states that three commissioners resigned after the January 28th Council meeting, but the January 9, 2020, BTSSC agenda had already announced the departure of Commissioners Andrews and Gudz (link). If it was on the January 9 agenda, then the announcement was made at least several days before, possibly as far back as the December BTSSC meeting (link).

Jan 9 BTSSC agenda_highlighting

Continue reading "Vanguard Publishes Demonstrably False Information" »

Letter: County Supervisors Need Diversity

Deos-for-supervisorPlease join me in voting for Linda Deos to represent District 4 on the Yolo County Board of Supervisors.  We can use her lawyerly skills and her demonstrated commitment to children’s issues, social justice and healthcare.

For nearly a decade, we have been represented by five male supervisors.  It’s time for diversity on our board and Linda is the energetic, informed person to start that happening and restore some balance.

Because Linda cares about children, she will question and review new policies supervisors created in 2016. Yolo County out-of-home placements for foster children increased by 68% from 2015 to 2019 while those rates elsewhere in Ca have declined.  Since 2008, Yolo’s rate of out of home placements is higher than 2/3rds of CA Counties and our neighboring counties.  This happened after actions the Board took in 2016 in response to tragic home deaths, but perhaps they have gone too far with their actions. Only 40% of Yolo Count foster care placements are within Yolo County. 

When there is severe and significant adversity, removal from the home is justified but removal too soon or without significant adversity can, in fact, cause more trauma for the child and result in more adverse impacts than keeping the child with their family. Early adversity has been shown to affect a child's brain development and can result in significantly increased health impacts later in life.

I also respect Linda’s stand on creating compassionate justice, emphasizing rehabilitation, education as opposed to locking people up for long periods and then releasing them with no support.

She has acquired the skills as an attorney specializing in consumer protection law, bankruptcy, student loans and debt collection defense and understands the real pressures of so many underserved people with the fewest resources. Please support positive, diverse change for our county supervisors.

Jean Jackman


Letter: Deos for change

Deos-for-supervisorI'm voting for Linda Deos for real change.

I strongly support term limits in California politics and agree with those imposed on our state legislators. I think the longer an elected office-holder is in the same job the more entrenched they become with their same ideology and their same old ways of doing things. That's no longer enough given the huge challenges facing our planet, our country, and our county.

For instance, on a local level, Yolo Co. still has an extremely regressive criminal justice system that disproportionately hammers even non-violent low-income defendants of color and minority youth.

We still have an exploding homeless population that shows no signs of abating. Yet our Supervisors are only using short-term band-aids to try to alleviate this glaring problem and have yet to enact a long-term comprehensive plan to address our homeless and housing crisis.

Yolo Co. is still increasing its carbon footprint every year while the world is burning and the Supervisors have yet to declare a climate emergency or implement policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that have already been adopted by the City of Davis and more progressive communities.

Enough is enough. Jim Provenza is a very nice man and truly believes in what he is doing. But he has had 12 years to make his mark on Yolo Co. and there has barely been a dent in improving the lives of the most vulnerable people in our midst.

It's time we changed the make-up of our staid, male-dominated Board of Supervisors and their same old ways. Endorsed by one of my favorite local progressive heroes, Public Defender and 2018 Yolo Co. District Attorney candidate, Dean Johannson, Linda Deos will work for the little and forgotten people in our county.

Linda Deos gets my vote.

Alan Pryor


Letter: Provenza for preservation of open space and farmland

EnterprisePic (4) - cropSupport Jim Provenza

I am delighted to write in support of Supervisor Jim Provenza. I have known Jim for a long time. He is very accessible to the residents of the county. In several incidents, I reached out to him to solve issues with the county. He contacted the right persons and resolved the issues in no time.

Jim's priorities at Yolo County include the preservation of open space and farmland in Yolo County, the protection of our water supply, and the promotion of services for children, crime victims and senior citizens. He is committed to ensuring that Yolo County delivers essential health care and effective public safety protection.

Supervisor Provenza has 30 years of county and state government experience, and a long career in public interest law. For the 23 years, he has worked as a special assistant district attorney. He is also a past member of our school board. We are fortunate to have him as our supervisor.

Hamza El-Nakhal,