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February 2020

Picnic in the Park starts April 1

(From press release) Farmers Market goers will have to wait until April 1 for the start of Picnic in the Park.

The popular Wednesday evening event previously coincided with daylight saving time. However, the changing climate in recent years meant some growers’ produce wasn’t ready in mid-March. The Davis Farmers Market Alliance board voted to postpone opening till April, going forward.

Picnic in the Park returns to Central Park, 301 C St, on April 1. Hours are 4:30 p.m. to sunset, every Wednesday through Oct. 28. The sunset closure has vendors packing up as late as 8:35 p.m. during longer summer days. In late September and October, when sun sets before 7, the market will remain open until 7 p.m.

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Valley Clean Energy Makes Major Solar-Power Purchase

VCE(From press release) The Valley Clean Energy Alliance has announced that its board of directors voted Thursday, Feb. 13, to purchase 50 megawatts of renewable power from a new solar park in Kings County.

The power from the park will replace current short-term power contracts allowing VCE to deliver higher levels of renewable power at competitive prices.

VCE’s 15-year contract with Aquamarine Westside, LLC, CIM Group’s solar project, will begin when the project enters commercial operation, anticipated in 2021. The Aquamarine project is in Westlands Solar Park, a 21,000-acre, master-planned clean energy park with more than 2 gigawatts of solar production potential.

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Valley Clean Energy Makes Key New Hire

VCE(From press release) Valley Clean Energy is pleased to announce the hiring of Gordon A. Samuel Jr. as its new assistant general manager and power services director. In this position, he will be responsible for acquiring a diverse supply of clean renewable resources.

Samuel brings more than 27 years of experience in the electric utility industry to his new position, having served most recently as power procurement manager for Marin Clean Energy, California’s first community choice aggregation (CCA) program.

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Blogger receives ARC docs before Commissions and citizens do

Sustainability-ARCBy Colin Walsh

On Thursday morning, a local blog referred to a set of environmental sustainability "guiding principles" released from the developers of the Mace ARC business park. I looked on the City's ARC website but I could find no such document. Puzzled, I emailed City Manager Mike Webb, and received the following response:

Dear Colin,

I am responding to this message on Mike's behalf.

David Greenwald contacted staff on Tuesday afternoon asking if we had received any new materials on Aggie Research Campus from the developer. The only additional item that we had received was their Environmental Sustainability Guiding Principles for the project. Considering a public document was requested, it was provided accordingly. The attached document was received last week from the applicant and will be posted to the City website later today along with the Natural Resources Commission memorandum when it is ready for posting. Our staff is not able to immediately post each document as it is received. We endeavor to post them in a timely fashion and it will be posted later today along with the staff memorandum to the Natural Resources Commission.

The Natural Resources Commission and the Planning Commission will both be receiving the document with their meeting packets consistent with our regular and accepted operating procedures for commissions. Staff will be seeking the Natural Resources Commission feedback on the applicant's proposed Environmental Sustainability Guiding Principles and the Planning Commission workshop is an informational project introduction. The packet for the Natural Resources Commission will be posted on the City website this evening and the Planning Commission packet will be posted tomorrow evening.

Thank you,

Ashley Feeney
Assistant City Manager

Continue reading "Blogger receives ARC docs before Commissions and citizens do" »

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

Mac-ARC-map-under-mag-glassTree, Recreation and Parks Commissions will now review before the vote; still unclear what sort of project detail will be left out

By Roberta Millstein

On Tuesday, I published an article that detailed the fact that despite numerous requests and promises from the City, some key commissions would not be reviewing the Mace ARC Business Park until after the Measure R vote (see article here).  I had also forwarded my article to the Davis City Council.  Early yesterday evening, I received the following email response from Assistant City Manager Ashley Feeney:

Dear Roberta,

The ARC project has applied for a General Plan Amendment, Pre-Zoning, a Sphere of Influence Amendment and an Annexation. These are the land use entitlements that would be the subject of a Measure R vote should they ultimately be approved and referred to the ballot by the City Council. Baseline project features would also be established and memorialized as part of the Measure R vote. These initial entitlements would establish land use for the project area. The project will require future implementing entitlements that have been described on the City's ARC webpage.

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Last Chance for the Claw

By Colin Walsh

If you have a yard, I hope you planned on getting all your spring cleaning done this weekend. Next week is the last time the Claw will be coming by for months. (See the helpful city chart for details). After next week any piles you put in the street will sit and molder until the first week in May.

Or if someone tosses a cigarette into the pile of dry leaves and sticks it may smolder instead.

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Protect UC LGBTQ+ and Reproductive Care

Screen shot 2020-02-19 at 4.34.47 PMThe following was forwarded to me in an email, and I was asked to forward it further.  Everyone is welcome to submit a comment, whether affiliated with the University of California or not. --Roberta Millstein

Dear UC Students, Faculty, Staff, and Community Members, 

Three weeks ago, the University of California (UC) released a report with request for public comments (sample text below) that considers whether UC Health should affiliate with religious hospitals, which prohibit basic reproductive health services for women and LGBTQ+ people.

The report describes OPTION 1, supported by UC Health, in which UC would expand affiliations with restrictive religious hospitals. We endorse OPTION 2, which prohibits UC Health from affiliating with entities that discriminate against women and LGBTQ+ people by prohibiting contraception, abortion, assisted reproductive technology (e.g., IVF), and gender-affirming care for non-binary and transgender people. More details are outlined in this LA Times article and this letter to UC President Janet Napolitano. Also consider UCI Law Prof. Goodwin’s assertion that it is illegal for UC Health to restrict care based on religious directives.

The UC Regents will take up this matter in May, but first they need to hear from you! Please post a public comment by February 21 (sample text below) to tell the Regents that you support OPTION 2. UC doctors, nurses, and patients must not be subject to religious restrictions that deny women and LGBTQ+ people essential care. Share your story and why this issue is important to you.

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I no longer trust Linda Deos

Dcd forumDear Linda,

This is a sad letter to write. I am writing to let you know how disappointed I am.

I have given you the benefit of the doubt many times before, but I can’t do it anymore. This recent time you changed your position on an issue important to me was one time too many.

I remember back before you ran for Davis City Council in 2016, we sat on the patio at the Co-op talking about your potential candidacy. It was a cool evening, but the conversation was warm. We were friends who had worked on a campaign together before. I remember suggesting then that you run for County Board of Supervisors, because I knew that so many of the issues you were interested in were actually dealt with at the county level and not at the City Council. I think I may have been the first to suggest your current campaign.

Continue reading "I no longer trust Linda Deos" »

Letter: Deos has the right priorities

Deos-for-supervisorI am pleased to be supporting Linda Deos for county supervisor. I went to lunch with her last fall, and was very impressed with her willingness and ability to listen, and her passion for uplifting those disenfranchised in Yolo County – her priorities of affordable housing, protecting the environment and alternatives to mass incarceration will be a refreshing and much needed voice on our Board of Supervisors.  

I am thrilled that Linda will advocate passionately for immigrants, people of color, and other marginalized folk. As an immigration defense attorney myself, I often see bias in county agencies resulting in needs in our communities' not being met fairly and accountably.

And finally, we really need a strong, progressive woman on that Board!

Ann Block


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:

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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:

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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