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October 2020

2020 Sierra Club Yolano Group Questionnaire and Responses from Davis City Council Candidates

Part 4  - Transportation Management

by Alan Pryor

Introduction - Every 2 years the Sierra Club Yolano Group prepares questionnaires for candidates in local races we deem to be seriously contested and/or where there are clear differences between the candidates on matters of interest to the public and/or our local Sierra Club members. We use questionnaires with written responses to allow the candidates to directly express their views and opinions in their own words. We report these in a series of articles on a range of environmentally-related topics.

This is Part 4 of the series in which we report candidates' responses to a series of questions regarding transportation management in the City. The candidates responses are in alphabetical order based on their first name.

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1st Question re: Bicycle Use

Preamable: Davis prides itself on being a bicycle-oriented city with miles of bike lanes and paths throughout the community to facilitate bike use as an alternative form of transportation. Yet, the bicycle mode-share in Davis has dropped in recent years.  

Question: What would you propose to make the bicycle a more viable and safe transportation mode in Davis?

Continue reading "2020 Sierra Club Yolano Group Questionnaire and Responses from Davis City Council Candidates" »


Downtown Merchants Revolt Against DDBA's Support of DISC

The following signed petition was sent to the Davis Downtown Business Association (DDBA) by a group of downtown business owners expressing concern that the DDBA issued a statement in support of Measure B and asking that that statement of support be rescinded until the full DDBA membership can be polled in an open, transparent, and democratic manner – Heather Caswell, The Wardrobe

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Be Bold – Be an Agent of Change! - A Petition Opposing Measure B and DISC

We believe the heart and soul of Davis is our downtown core. And we believe we must protect it and nurture it to realize its long term, sustainable potential. We support he Downtown Development Plan as a viable means to rejuvenate and enhance the businesses and livability of the downtown core.

We also believe the development of the Davis Innovation and Sustainability Campus (DISC) on the far east side of Davis, with 2.6 million sq ft of commercial space including 100,000 sq. ft. of retail space and 160,000 sq. ft. of hotel and meeting space, will siphon business tenants and merchant customers away from our downtown coreadversely affecting affecting its viability and vitality. 

We therefore are opposed to Measure B which seeks to approve the annexation of prime farmland into the City and the construction of the massive DISC project.

Continue reading "Downtown Merchants Revolt Against DDBA's Support of DISC" »


Oct. 17 Virtual Townhall With Colin Walsh

Walsh-photo-3Colin Walsh, a candidate for Davis City Council 2020 District 2, is hosting a Zoom Town Hall on Saturday, October 17 at Noon. Members of the community are invited to this opportunity to get to know Colin and share your thoughts on Davis. Details at Walsh4Davis.com.  

Or on Facebook, see https://www.facebook.com/events/362603148220815/


DISC is using Voodoo Economics

Voodoo-economics(From press release) The Developer's promises of economic benefits from DISC want you to believe all you have to do is vote "YES" on Measure B and the City's potholes will be miraculously filled with the gold nuggets tumbling from the DISC bandwagon.

But the DISC project will not be an economic bonanza and may even cost the City money over the long term. This is because extremely optimistic projections of property taxes from the project will probably never materialize.

And with no fiscal guarantees, the Developer will be the only one hauling away wheelbarrels of money!

Continue reading "DISC is using Voodoo Economics" »


2020 Sierra Club Yolano Group Questionnaire and Responses from Davis City Council Candidates

Part 3  - Waste Management and Water Treatment

by Alan Pryor

Introduction - Every 2 years the Sierra Club Yolano Group prepares questionnaires for candidates in local races we deem to be seriously contested and/or where there are clear differences between the candidates on matters of interest to the public and/or our local Sierra Club members. We use questionnaires with written responses to allow the candidates to directly express their views and opinions in their own words. We report these in a series of articles on a range of environmentally-related topics.

This is Part 3 of the series in which we report candidates' responses to a series of questions regarding waste management and water treatment in the City. The candidates responses are in alphabetical order based on their first name.

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1st Question re: Proposed Commercial and Multi-Family Recycling and Food Waste Collection

Preamble: The City of Davis waste management plan also now requires mandatory commercial and multi-family segregated recycling and segregated food scrap collection but this City has yet to roll-out these mandatory programs on a widespread basis.

Questions:  Do you support these measures, why or why not, and how should the City go about rolling them out and enforcing them?

Continue reading "2020 Sierra Club Yolano Group Questionnaire and Responses from Davis City Council Candidates" »


Letter: Vote Walsh for change

Urazandi-for-WalshAs we face a crisis of leadership on the national and local level we need significant change. Colin Walsh is a longtime Davisite who knows what our town has been, is and can become. His policies are based in community outreach and common sense. He has frequently given voice to the people city hall ignores (almost all of us) and I know he will continue to do so on council.

Many voters are confused and disillusioned by the quagmire of lies and deceit that permeates current politics and have been made cynical by those, current council included, who promise one thing as candidates then perform 180s once elected. The solution is not withdrawal from the arena but finding and supporting people like Colin who respect the democratic process, feel the great responsibility of representation and will not sell us out or forget us upon election.

Dan Urazandi
Owner of Bizarro World


2020 Sierra Club Yolano Group Questionnaire and Responses from Davis City Council Candidates

Part 2  - Land Use and Housing

by Alan Pryor

Introduction - Every 2 years the Sierra Club Yolano Group prepares questionnaires for candidates in local races we deem to be seriously contested and/or where there are clear differences between the candidates on matters of interest to the public and/or our local Sierra Club members. We use questionnaires with written responses to allow the candidates to directly express their views and opinions in their own words. We report these in a series of articles on a range of environmentally-related topics. This is Part 2 of the series in which we report candidates' responses to a series of questions regarding land use and housing in the City. All of the candidates supported Measure D so this question is not included for brevity. The candidates responses are in alphabetical order based on their first name.

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1st Question re: Measure B – Davis Innovation and Sustainability Campus Mixed Use Business Park

Question: Do you support the development of the Davis Innovation and Sustainability Campus mixed use business park in Davis as proposed on the November ballot as Measure B and why or why not?

Continue reading "2020 Sierra Club Yolano Group Questionnaire and Responses from Davis City Council Candidates" »


Re-elect Jim Provenza for Yolo County Supervisor

JIm-ProvenzaI’ve known Jim Provenza for over 25 years.  Jim is a dedicated advocate for those who often 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 enacting California’s current hate-crimes law. As legislative advocate, he sponsored legislation making sexual orientation and disability protected classes.

Jim believes a strong community starts by helping our most vulnerable—children, seniors, disabled, the poor. As chair of First 5 Yolo, he helped raise millions to provide health care, safety and early learning for our children. He was a key force in saving the Yolo Crisis Nursery in Davis when it was in danger of closure and has continued to fight for their funding.  He established and chairs the Healthy Aging Alliance, advocating for the needs of seniors. During this pandemic, Jim has helped obtain aid and funding for childcare for families hit hardest by the pandemic— essential workers who help keep our economy running. 

Jim is an advocate for our agricultural heritage and environmental protection. He was instrumental in enacting one of the strongest agricultural land-protection ordinances in California. He supports the Williamson Act and other incentives to keep land in agriculture. He served on the Delta Conservancy, helping obtain millions in funding for water and habitat projects. He supports Yolo Basin Foundation and efforts to promote habitat for migrating birds.

Jim understands the importance of reducing greenhouse gases in our communities.  At a recent Board of Supervisor’s meeting, Jim introduced a resolution on behalf of the Yolo Climate Emergency Coalition, declaring a climate crisis in Yolo County and setting a countywide goal of achieving a carbon-negative footprint by 2030, putting Yolo County on the path to becoming the statewide leader in the fight against global warming.

Jim has earned our continued support.  Please join me in re-electing Jim Provenza for supervisor.

Pam Nieberg
Davis


2020 Sierra Club Yolano Group Questionnaire and Responses from Davis City Council Candidates

by Alan Pryor 

Introduction - Every 2 years the Sierra Club Yolano Group prepares questionnaires for candidates in local races we deem to be seriously contested and/or where there are clear differences between the candidates on matters of interest to the public and/or our local Sierra Club members. We use questionnaires with written responses to allow the candidates to directly express their views and opinions in their own words. We report these in a series of articles on a range of environmentally-related topics. This is Part 1 of the series in which we report candidates' responses to a series of questions regarding energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in the City. The candidates responses are initially in alphabetical order based on their first name.

Part 1  - Energy Use and Greenhouse Gases (GHGs)

1st Question re Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Preamble - Davis has declared a Climate Emergency and mandated carbon neutrality by 2040. Often 60% or more of a new project's GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions are due to transportation-related impacts. Some have proposed that developers pay for mitigation of these GHGs because they cause public harm just as sellers of tobacco pay a tax for their associated public harm.  

Question - Do you support in principal a GHG mitigation fee on new developments in Davis and why or why not?  If yes, do you have any ideas how such a fee might be assessed?

Continue reading "2020 Sierra Club Yolano Group Questionnaire and Responses from Davis City Council Candidates" »


Letter: Provenza cares for our most vulnerable

JIm-ProvenzaI’m honored to write this letter in support of Jim Provenza in his bid to be re-elected as our Yolo County Supervisor, District 4.

For years I’ve witnessed Jim’s passionate service to our community, from his efforts to protect Ag land and preserve the Yolo Bypass, to his work on behalf of those experiencing homelessness or struggling to find mental health resources.

I got to know Jim personally through my volunteer work with the Yolo Crisis Nursery. The Nursery serves some of the most vulnerable in our community – children 0-5 years of age whose families are in crisis. In 2019-20, 99% of the children who walked through our doors were Medi-Cal eligible, 93% came from single parent homes and 94% of those homes were headed by single mothers.

When the Nursery faced with the threat of closure in 2013, Jim was there for us. He was instrumental in keeping our doors open, ensuring that at-risk children and their families continued to receive the resources and wraparound support they needed to thrive.

Continue reading "Letter: Provenza cares for our most vulnerable" »


It's Time for a Complete Change in Davis' City Council

A number of Davisites have reported receiving the following email:

From the Desk of Michael Corbett

Former Davis Mayor

Dear Davis Citizen,

The Davis City Council Members have made some decisions over the the last 8 years that have cost the city taxpayers millions of dollars, and they have shown a lack of good judgment in protecting our quality of life. Three City Council Members responsible for those actions are currently candidates seeking re-election. Their questionable actions should be considered as we mark our ballots.

In 2014 on a 3 to 2 vote, they approved the Cannery without an agreement to provide a grade-separated crossing at F street as was originally envisioned. That crossing would have connected the planned North Davis bike system to allow people living east of F Street to safely travel to schools, the library, downtown, the University and other community facilities. Two of the tree current Council candidates voted for this deficient agreement.

The same two candidates were part of a 3 to 2 vote to allow the Cannery project to reduce the number of much-needed, affordable housing units by allowing the developer to substitute granny-flats without any price controls, a favor not afforded to other developers. They did that by allowing the substitution to be included in the Development Agreement. If either had, instead, joined the 2 no votes, they could have avoided giving up affordable units and other concessions that favored the developers rather than the public. The substitution of granny-flats for affordable units was affirmed and expanded in both the 2016 and 2018 Amendments to the Development Agreement. These two candidates had at least three opportunities to vote "no" on the granny-flat substitution incorporated into the Development Agreement and its amendments, but they did not, they acquiesced.

Continue reading "It's Time for a Complete Change in Davis' City Council" »


Letter: Provenza brings true leadership, experience and commitment

JIm-ProvenzaI am writing a personal letter to endorse Supervisor Jim Provenza’s re-election to the Yolo County Board of Supervisors. First, I want to be clear, I am a loyal supporter of equality and the first to support local and national efforts to serve minority communities and human rights. When it comes to leadership, however, I have always aligned myself with the leader that I believe to exhibit the highest values, integrity and dedication in serving their community. I don’t believe that excellent leadership is represented by one gender over another, and I do believe that diversity brings the right balance.  As you cast your vote, I urge you to consider true leadership, experience and commitment when you vote for Jim Provenza in the upcoming re-election as Yolo County Supervisor.  I assure you, I will be the fist to endorse a female candidate, as well as more diversity and equal representation for the Board of Supervisors, when a candidate with comparable leadership qualities enters the race. Until that time, however, Jim has my vote.

As a long-time Davis resident, now living in Woodland, I have known Jim for more than 10 years and I am uniquely familiar with his track record in serving our community. I have worked side by side with him on matters that address families and children in crisis, and I can assure you that many of the programs Jim has endorsed, as well as the corresponding budget allocations he has voted for, have resulted in contributing to long-term physical and mental health, educational achievements and success of the families served.  I have personally witnessed his unwavering care and commitment to housing insecurities, food insecurity and the needs of the elderly in Yolo County. Jim has been an unwavering champion of diversity.

In addition, a little research will further validate that Jim has supported numerous state laws that have addressed hate crime, permitting guns to be taken away from domestic violence perpetrators, laws preventing early release of persons convicted of repeat violent sex crimes against women and children and many more laws that protect Yolo County’s most vulnerable.

More recently, Jim’s response and hard work to care for those impacted by COVID-19 has been exemplary and his many years as a supervisor have produced a distinguished track record of creating sustainable economic development solutions, more jobs, a farmland protection ordinance, as well as responsible funding allocations.

I urge you to vote for Jim because of his incredible track record as our Yolo County Supervisor, his passion for service to this community, and most of all for his leadership. Thank you.

Becky Heard
Davis


Letter: Walsh values transparency and input from all

Walsh-photo-3I am writing this letter to encourage Davis District 2 voters to vote for Colin Walsh for City Council.

Colin is a longtime Davisite with a deep concern for the quality of life we have in Davis. He grew up in Davis, attended Davis schools from West Davis Elementary through UCD and now his children attend Davis schools. He has impressed me over and over again with his knowledge of local issues and current events. He takes time to study the details, analyzes all aspects and encourages others to join in the civic process.

I have been disappointed with our current city council and decisions that have been made with little or no time to allow the public to learn of the plans or weigh in on decisions. Colin recognizes the importance of transparency in governing and values input from all.

Colin has become extremely knowledgeable about development projects including the DISC and has asked probing questions of our council and identified areas that require further review or clarification. Colin is an advocate for the environment, the preservation of open space and has a deep conviction about the importance of farmland. You can learn about Colin through his walsh4davis.com website, I strongly recommend a vote for Colin for City Council.

John Weeks
Davis


Ormat Technologies Expands Energy Storage Footprint in California

Signs Agreements with Two California Community Choice Aggregators

(From press release) Ormat Technologies Inc. (NYSE: ORA) announced today that it has signed two resource adequacy agreements, each for 50% of its 5 MW / 20 MWh Tierra Buena battery energy storage project currently under development in Sutter County in Northern California.

Two community choice aggregators — Valley Clean Energy in Yolo County and Redwood Coast Energy Authority in Humboldt County — each signed an agreement for 2.5 MW of resource adequacy from Ormat’s Tierra Buena energy storage project. Under the 10-year agreements, the project is expected to begin commercial operation no later than June 2022.

These are the first energy storage deals for the two CCAs, sought in order to comply with a multi-year statewide mandate to add 3.3 GW of incremental resource adequacy to the California grid by 2023.

Continue reading "Ormat Technologies Expands Energy Storage Footprint in California" »


 DISC will be an Environmental Disaster

DISC is an Unmitigated Environmental Disaster - Vo 00001 DISC is an Unmitigated Environmental Disaster - Vo 00001(From press release)

Our world is burning up and melting around us. This year we have seen the largest fires ever in the Pacific Northwest, Siberia, the Amazon, and Australia along with record-breaking ice-melts in Greenland and Antarctica.

Yet DISC will increase Davis' annual carbon footprint by over 8% - over 83 million pounds per year!...What are they thinking?

Friday, October 2           Davis, CA

 What is Measure B and the DISC Industrial Park 

Measure B is on the November 3 ballot in Davis asking to annex 200 acres of Prime farmland into the City and pave it over to build a sprawling car-centric industrial center and 850 housing units.

This land-use dinosaur would be located on the northeast corner of 2nd St and Mace Blvd just across the street from Ikeda's Market.      

Read more      

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 DISC will be an Environmental Disaster 

  • The Developer claims the project will be carbon neutral. But according to the project's Environmental Impact Report, "...net emissions in the year 2035 would equal 37,724.31 metric tons of CO2 equivalent per year, the project would NOT meet the City’s target of net carbon neutrality by the year 2040." This is unacceptable!

  • There is no way the vast bulk of the project's carbon emissions can be reduced on-site. Instead the Developer will rely on purchase of cheap off-site carbon credits or mitigation elsewhere in the City to supposedly become carbon neutral. But this does nothing to actually reduce the City's total carbon emissions. This is deceitful!

  • The Developer falsely claims if DISC isn't built in Davis, it will just be built elsewhere with more greenhouse gas emissions. But all new commercial buildings anywhere in California must meet ever-increasing energy efficiency standards. This is misleading!

  • The Developer claims the project's jobs will be "Green" jobs. But because almost 80% of the greenhouse gases generated from DISC come from the projected 24,000+ daily car trips, DISC would actually have a smaller carbon footprint if built in other locations with superior public transportation access and much shorter commutes for workers. Commuter jobs are NOT "Green"!

The more we hear about DISC, the more it is clear that Davis will get all of the adverse environmental impacts and the Developers will get all of the profits. It's time to just say "NO"!

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Sierra Club Endorses No on Measure B - No on DISC

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For more information, order a lawn sign, or make a donation -  www.VoteNoOnDISC.com


Soroptimists offer cash grants to women

Screen Shot 2020-10-02 at 11.30.15 PM(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 https://bit.ly/LYDA-apply, or by emailing Soroptimist International of Davis at sidavis@soroptimist.net.

The application deadline is Sunday, Nov. 15. This year, the Davis club will present several awards, ranging between $500 and $3,000. The top recipient’s application will advance to regional and international level, where they could receive thousands more (like last year’s winner!). The program culminates with three $10,000 awards. Recipients may 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.

Continue reading "Soroptimists offer cash grants to women" »


Supervisor Provenza Votes to Take Action on Climate

JIm-Provenza(From press release) At Tuesday's Yolo County Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Jim Provenza introduced a resolution on behalf of the Yolo Climate Emergency Coalition, declaring a climate crisis in Yolo County and setting a countywide goal of achieving a carbon negative footprint by 2030.

The motion was approved, with support of Chair Sandy and Supervisors Villegas and Saylor, joining Provenza. Provenza also brought a separate motion to provide funding for a citizen's advisory body to advise the Board on developing and implementing the new Climate Action Plan. The Yolo County District Attorney agreed to use funds from a special account in his office to cover this cost. It is anticipated that the District Attorney's consumer and environmental unit will be a future partner in these efforts.

Continue reading "Supervisor Provenza Votes to Take Action on Climate" »


Beat the crowds: Shop the Davis Farmers Market early

ShopEarly
The Davis Farmers Market is open for shopping as early as 7:30 a.m. on Saturdays. Wendy Weitzel/Courtesy photo 

(From press release) As UC Davis students return, the Davis Farmers Market is busy -- especially on Saturdays. Executive Director Randii MacNear reminds patrons that the best way to beat the crowds is to shop early.

Pro tip: Though Saturday hours are advertised as 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., most sellers are set up and ready by 7:30 a.m. The market is busiest after 9:30 a.m.

Davis is known for its farmers markets, especially its flagship Saturday market in Central Park, 301 C St. Alternatives include:

  • The Wednesday market, from 3 to 6 p.m. in Central Park. (The seasonal Picnic in the Park and UC Davis Farmers Market are on hold during COVID-19).
  • The Sutter Davis Hospital Farmers Market, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursdays through Oct. 29 at the hospital entrance, 2000 Sutter Place, Davis.

Looking ahead, the annual Pre-Thanksgiving Market will be from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., on Wednesday, Nov. 25 in Central Park. For more information on the market, visit http://davisfarmersmarket.org or visit it on Facebook or Instagram.


Sierra Club Endorses Colin Walsh in District 2 and Kelsey Fortune in District 5

Sierra Club endorsedFor Davis City Council in the November 2020 election 

(From press release) This endorsement cites their strong and unequivocal opposition to Measure B which seeks voter approval for the annexation of 200 acres of prime farmland for the proposed DISC mixed use industrial/business park on the outskirts of Davis and their robust positions on a host of other local environmental issues consistent with established Sierra Club policies.

The endorsement of these candidates follows a thorough review of candidate answers to an extensive questionnaire completed by all of the City Council candidates. While the current Sierra Club endorsement is exclusive to Mr. Walsh and Ms. Fortune, we do thank the other City Council candidates for participation in the process and note that many were generally consistent in their overall support of other environmental initiatives in the City that are important to and supported by the Club. These include, among others:

Continue reading "Sierra Club Endorses Colin Walsh in District 2 and Kelsey Fortune in District 5 " »


Letter: Jim Provenza has a lifelong progressive record

JIm-ProvenzaI met Jim Provenza when we were classmates in law school, over 40 years ago. It is noteworthy that he began his career as a legal services lawyer and has been a public interest advocate ever since, regardless of the positions he has held. As a longtime public interest/disability rights attorney myself I particularly appreciate Jim’s career-long commitment to often under-represented and neglected groups, including children, people with disabilities, seniors, and low income individuals.
 
Jim has maintained his progressive values as a productive and effective county supervisor and, based on his lifelong record of accomplishments, I am confident he will continue to do so. I urge fellow residents of the Fourth District to vote on November 3rd (or, better yet, earlier) and join me in re-electing Jim Provenza as our representative to the Board of Supervisors.

Eric Gelber
Davis