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March 2021

Bretton Woods is Attempting to Pull Another Bait and Switch with its Davis Based Buyers Program

Protections Will Weaken for Prospective Davis Senior Buyers

by Alan Pryor

INTRODUCTION

The Bretton Wood developer, David Taormino, is attempting to pull another bait and switch on Davis seniors by completely gutting the campaign promises he made to Davis voters committing to sell 90% of homes in the new project to Davis-based buyers. The long-promised Davis-Based Buyers Program was intended to ensure that 90% of all new homes sold at the new development were to Davis seniors thereby freeing up their existing large homes for new families to come to Davis.

But make no mistake about it, this newly proposed watered-down plan has so many loopholes in it that it will open the floodgates to advertising and sales to well-heeled Bay Area expatriates flush with cash from sales of their own inflated homes. Indeed, this will probably drive up prices for new homes at the project so high that it will functionally exclude Davis seniors from participating - much like we saw in the Cannery project where the majority of new sales were to buyers from outside Davis.

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Virtual film fest features documentaries by and about women

LUNAFESTsquareSocial 1(From press release) Soroptimist International of Davis is a local host for LUNAFEST, an all-documentary lineup of seven short films by female filmmakers, which begins streaming on April 23.

The gender disparity in film is real. Women are still underrepresented in this medium where, in the last 13 years, 4.8% of directors are female. However, change is happening. Research from the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative reports that 10.6% of the directors of 2019’s top movies were women — the highest in more than a decade.

For 20 years, The LUNA Bar brand has inspired women, championed change, and demanded that equality is a right. These values fueled LUNA to create LUNAFEST, the first all-female traveling film festival, now in its 20th season, and screening virtually in 2021. This year’s films are:

  • “Overexposed: Filming an Arctic Odyssey” by Holly Morris: A behind-the-scenes look at the film team that captured the daring story of the Women’s Euro-Arabian North Pole Expedition.
  • “Knocking Down the Fences” by Meg Shutzer: A.J. Andrews, the first woman to win a Rawlings Gold Glove Award, struggles to make it as one of the best professional softball players in the world.
  • “A Line Birds Cannot See” by Amy Bench: Separated from her mother at the border, a 12-year-old sets out on a harrowing journey to the United States to find her.
  • “The Scientists Versus Dartmouth” by Sharon Shattuck: A young neuroscientist and her colleagues make a life-changing decision to speak up for women in science everywhere.
  • “Until She is Free” By Maria Finitzo: Mixed-media artist Sophia Wallace imagines a culturally literate world, where all people are equal and able to live with rich possibility and purpose.
  • “Connection” by Tracy Nguyen-Chung & Ciara Lacy: A lifelong angler, Autumn Harry had never fished beyond the waters of her reservation – until she picked up a fly rod.
  • “Betye Saar: Taking Care of Business” by Christine Turner: There’s no stopping this legendary artist, even at age 93.

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Cycling to School - Encouragement isn't enough

DJUSDparking
Student parking lot at Davis High School (Google Maps)

Today the other Davis blog ran a guest opinion on cycling to school. The comments are useful. My comment follows:

Walking and cycling should be the primary means of travel to school – and I applaud the earlier comments, especially those that reflect on how the biggest danger to people walking or cycling to school is people driving themselves or being driven by their parents to school.

The school drop-off is actually not permitted in some cities… students can’t be dropped off at or near school. The discussions and planning for the school commute in relation to Chavez Elementary are dominated by the necessity of the infamous drop-off.

Then also we have the new, Federally-funded connector from east Olive Dr. to Pole Line (and South Davis). It’s great and its primary purpose is to connect kids on Olive to school in South Davis, BUT the City has allowed the Ryder (Lincoln40) frontage to be re-constructed in such a way that bike lanes are below Davis minimums. They so far refuse to consider moving parked cars from the south side of Olive, which allow re-striping on both sides to City Standards. While the westbound I-80 exit to Olive will be eventually be shut down, in the process towards that – i.e. while the 80-Richards interchange is being re-constructed – the plan is to detour ALL westbound traffic headed into Davis onto Olive, crossing the path of students headed the other way to South Davis (and also alongside university students headed to campus).

The bus should be a great alternative – especially in DJUSD schools where 20 to 40% of elementary-age students don’t come from areas near them – but unfortunately Unitrans doesn’t really work for students below 4th or 5th grade.  Yet the DJUSD Board has repeatedly refused to consider implementing a return of intra-city school buses… they won’t even consider doing a study. No movement there, even as other schools around the country – including UCD – move towards 100% electric bus fleets.


"urgent safety concern...."? & City Soil

Please write the City of Davis Tree Commission today at <treecommission@cityofdavis.org> in advance of today's early evening meeting, or call during the meeting, and ask them to incorporate elements of my City Soil concept to their draft modifications of Chapter 37 of the municipal code.

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Trinita Terrace & 5th St, entrance to The Cottages at Mace Ranch

City Soil builds roots to support not only trees, but also clean air, quieter neighborhoods,  jobs and sustainable transportation!

In Davis, it's not allowed to place leaves or other yard waste in bike lanes. Never. Never Ever. It's a good regulation.... because it's DANGEROUS!

There's a stretch on 5th St. in Mace Ranch where unknown assailants who live in the neighborhoods east of the police station and west of Alhambra place leaves and/or branches in the bike lane. Per a discussion on NextDoor, at least in The Cottages there's no scheduled yard waste pick-up due to some financial arrangement made when it was established, or  later. It's not clear. Myself and several others have been using the City's notification system to report these transgressions for years... but the only result is that the rest of us pay the City to pick up what these people won't pay for.

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LWVDA Social Justice Forum

Social Justice ForumThe League of Women Voters Davis Area would like to invite  Davis residents and surrounding communities to participate in a dialogue regarding racism, equality and inclusivity initiatives in the Davis Area.

The League of Women Voters Davis Area (LWVDA) is sponsoring a virtual forum on Wednesday, March 17th from 6:30 to 8:00pm for the community. This forum will focus on exploring difficulties and possibilities for people of color in the Davis Area community.

This is the beginning of the League’s efforts to educate the community on Social Justice issues systemic within our Davis community.

Register for this event on: https://rb.gy/t5zjon OR https://lwvsocialjustice.eventbrite.com

We welcome questions and we request that you email your questions for the panel to komalh@lwvdavisarea.org

Best wishes,

Komal Hak, Director of Communications, Strategy & Marketing

komalh@lwvdavisarea.org


BTSSC meeting this evening!

Zuzanawithcargobike
Zuzana Čaputová, the President of Slovakia, is shown a cargo bike, in Trnava, Slovakia. Photo by Matej Kalina, www.pluska.sk.

Foreshadowing: In the spirit and solid of full transparency, I've decided to publish my warnings and suchlike to my former colleagues and replacement on the City of Davis Bicycling, Transportation and Street Safety Commission (BTSSC).

Comments in advance of the March 11, 2021 BTSSC meeting (Tree Commission-related comments are in Regular Agenda Item 6B)

General Comments: 

* The February review of how things work in the transportation department was useful and detailed, It is noted, however, that in the organizational chart there's a vacant Safe to Routes School position, BUT not a vacant Senior Civil Engineer (Transportation) position. This position was filled until 2017, the City tried to hire someone during 2018 and possibly 2019, but then dropped it. I've seen no evidence that it was officially, publicly-dropped. The Staff members with civil engineering degrees currently handling the duties and direction normally exercised by this position simply do not have the experience to do it right. The evidence for this is the proposals - some that have come to the BTSSC - that show a lack of knowledge of regulations (Tulip-Ponteverde), improvised out-of-classification infrastructure (the "low cost safe space" on south-bound Lake at Russell), total discounting of the lack of a pedestrian crossing across Lake at Russell, even as most of the intersection was re-done. That it shows a continued bias towards motor vehicle transportation is likely not a conscious one, but one simply born of lack of experience. People are trying to do their best, and my comment is not personal. The City Manager and City Council need to work harder to hire the right person who can help their colleagues and subordinates, so that they can help our City deserve its Platinum bike-friendly status.

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"Healthy Aging in a Digital World": Wrap up to UC Davis Mini-Medical School..... this coming Saturday....

Dear Friends,

Good afternoon!  I grabbed this information from the eventbrite site that supported my enrollment in the UC Davis 2021 Mini-Medical School.  

The last session, described below, is this coming Saturday

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Saturday, March 13, 2021

Healthy Aging in a Digital World—A co-presentation by Thomas S. Nesbitt, M.D., M.P.H, Emeritus Associate Vice Chancellor and Heather M. Young, PhD, RN, FAAN, Dean Emerita

The Mini Medical School concludes on Saturday morning, 3/13/2021, with a joint presentation on “Healthy Aging in a Digital World” by two esteemed faculty emeriti, Dr. Thomas Nesbitt and Dr. Heather Young. Dr. Nesbitt spent most of his career researching and implementing telehealth programs so that the reach of specialty medical care could be extended into rural and other underserved communities. Dr. Nesbitt is the Founding Director of the Center for Health and Technology, and the Emeritus Associate Vice Chancellor for Strategic Technologies and Alliances at UC Davis. Dr. Young is the Founding Dean of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing and has dedicated her clinical and research career to improving health care for the elderly. Drs. Nesbitt and Young are friends and colleagues who previously delivered a presentation on this topic. I viewed it and it was wonderful! They are delving more deeply into this topic for the Mini Medical School class of 2021, so we can count on an engaging and inspirational closing presentation!

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In case you were wondering, here are the names of the wonderful speakers for the entire series this Winter/Spring:

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Valley Clean Energy Makes Major Solar+Storage Power Deal

PV solar project
A subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources will construct Resurgence Solar, the new photovoltaic (PV) solar project, on the existing site. It will look similar to the project shown in this photo. Courtesy photo

(From press release) With its recent approval of a new power purchase agreement, the Valley Clean Energy (VCE) board of directors took another significant step toward the agency’s goal of providing cost-effective renewable energy — and resilience — to its customers. VCE is the local electric generation provider for Davis, Woodland, Winters and unincorporated Yolo County.

The VCE board approved the 20-year agreement to purchase the output from the Resurgence Solar I project currently under development in San Bernardino County by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC. The total capacity of the solar photovoltaic project is 90 megawatts (MW) of power and 75 MW of battery energy storage. This project supplies enough energy to power two-thirds of the households served by VCE, and the storage delivers power to the electricity grid when it’s needed the most, in the early evening.

“We are very pleased to work with Valley Clean Energy to help meet their renewable energy goals and bring clean, affordable, home-grown solar energy to their customers,” said Matt Handel, senior vice president of development for NextEra Energy Resources.

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Covid-19 study being conducted in elementary schools in California.....

Dear Friends,

Heard this VERY interesting news segment recently which described an 8 week research project in three counties in California regarding transmission of COVID-19 in elementary schools.

The study is funded by a foundation and is located in three counties in California:  Merced, Los Angeles, and San Mateo in the Bay Area.

The idea is to test students and staff twice a week to see if there is an arrival and spread of the coronavirus.  Really good community-based public health!

See more below, including an interview with a prominent physician.

https://abc7news.com/covid-19-coronavirus-testing-schools/10374077/ 

This is the kind of public health work which is done to keep STAFF and students healthy.

Have a great week!

John