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May 2022

Mural helps neighborhood branch out, connect

A drone image shows volunteers finishing the Elmwood Street Mural on May 1. (Brian Bennett/Courtesy photo)

By Wendy Weitzel

In 2017, Joy Klineberg thought it would be fun to help another Davis neighborhood paint a street mural. Once she did, she was hooked.

She remembered thinking, “This is so cool, Elmwood should do it too,” referring to her Central Davis neighborhood near the Church of Latter-day Saints. “Little did I understand what an undertaking it is to do such a large and public project.”

She and Judy Catambay, one of the artists who was involved in the 2017 East Davis pavement painting, got to work. In 2018, they applied for and received a $5,000 City Arts Grant. Through many setbacks and delays ­– including COVID – the project was finally completed on May 1.

The Elmwood Street Mural was designed with neighbors’ input in mind and included their labor, and $3,000 in cash and supply donations. The Grant funded the lead artist. The painting features an elm tree surrounded by a hexagon shape. It pays homage to Elmwood Drive’s zelkova trees, which are in the same family as the elm.

The hexagon shape evokes a stop sign. “Our street is very wide at the entry because it was originally planned as a high school site. … We often have people turn onto it speeding, thinking they are going down a throughfare, so the neighbors wanted a mural that would both welcome people into our community but also get them to stop,” Klineberg said.

They also have lots of pedestrian and bike traffic, and “we wanted to give people both a destination and a pause in their journey.”

Continue reading "Mural helps neighborhood branch out, connect" »

Letter: Why was the Yes on H campaign chair involved in the City-County negotiations?

The City's staff report for the tax sharing MOU says the "discussions . . . have included the City Council subcommittee of Mayor Partida and Councilmember Carson, along with city staff, and the City Attorney."

The staff report goes on to say "The Bradley-Burns sales taxes generated from points of sale on the project site will be shared 50% County and 50% City. This share applies to Bradley Burns only and not to the Davis local 1% sales tax as approved under Measure Q"

The involvement in this process of Councilmember Carson needs to be emphasized, because in the City's financial analysis of DiSC presented to the Finance and Budget Commission in December, the City's financial consultant EPS projected the City would get 100% of all annual sales tax revenues and the County would get 0%.  The negotiated terms of the MOU reported by both the City and the County reduce the City's projected net tax revenue by over $350,000 per year, and reduce the City's "best case" projection from $3.88 million to $3.53 million.

Since $3.88 million is no longer accurate, City should explicitly direct the Yes on Measure H campaign team to cease-and-desist any further use of the $3.88 million figure in its messaging or materials.  Given Dan Carson's dual role as a member of City Council and as the Honorary Chair of the Yes on Measure H campaign team quickly and efficiently conveying that cease-and-desist statement should be easy to accomplish. 

With all the above said, "Why was the Yes on H campaign chair involved in the City-County negotiations?" – negotiations that produced such an unfavorable result for the City?

Don C. Price

Hold your pets! Hold your breath! FIREWORKS are back!

Dog-fireworksAt this Tuesday's City Council meeting, May 10th, at 630pm, less than one month ahead of Celebrate Davis and less two months ahead of the 4th of July, the City Council is planning to authorize pyrotechnic displays at these events.

For the past two years due to COVID and/or wildfire smoke issues, spring and summertime fireworks have been suspended for the most part. Wiith all the other stresses on our families, it's been a literal lifesaver for dozens or more pets typically killed, injured or traumatized by fireworks, and a small measure to keep the air clean as many took their last breaths due to the pandemic. It's likely that wild animals also suffer. Some may also have supported the cancellation in solidarity with communities nearby that burnt in recent years.

We breathed in the smoke from fires in Paradise, so why are we allowing toxic combustibles to be launched into the sky, also as many of us do all we can to help people attacked by larger pyrotechnics in Ukraine?

Sadly, it's claimed that pyrotechnic displays fulfill the Council Goal to "Support an array of festivals and celebrations that will culturally enhance and engage our community [and] promote equity..."

Cultural? Engagement? EQUITY?

We can have fun and safe events that promote community and patriotism without fireworks!

What can we do about it? Many cities around the country have replaced fireworks displays with lazer light shows. The Council - or at least Mayor Partida - and a representative of the Davis Chamber of Commerce - organizer of Celebrate Davis - are aware of this and have engaged with citizens in past years. So it's unclear why this is only on the Consent Calendar, presumably to be passed without comment.

We need to comment immediately, in advance of the Council meeting! By email - before 3pm on Tuesday - to or by calling in starting at noon that day at 530-757-5693 and leaving a message of up to two minutes in length. Please voice your opposition (and why), ask for a light show instead of fireworks, and for the item to be pulled from the Consent Calendar so that it can be discussed.

It may also be useful to contact the Natural Resources Commission which is having a special meeting on Monday at 630pm about the City's climate actions (CAAP), by email to by10am Monday and/or by calling in live at 530-757-5693 as a general comment at the beginning of the meeting, or you can probably relate this issue to climate change and alternatively can call in during public comment for the CAAP item.

Please copy emails to the Davis Chamber of Commerce: and or call them at 530-902-7699 or contact them separately with the same message as above.

City Council links: https://documents.cityofdavis.org/Media/Default/Documents/PDF/CityCouncil/CouncilMeetings/Agendas/2022/2022-05-10/03N-Fireworks-Display-Authorization.pdf + https://documents.cityofdavis.org/Media/Default/Documents/PDF/CityCouncil/CouncilMeetings/Agendas/2022/2022-05-10/City-Council-Agenda-05-10-22.pdf

NRC link: https://documents.cityofdavis.org/Media/CityCouncil/Documents/PDF/CityCouncil/Natural-Resources-Commission/Agendas/20220506/2%20Agenda%20Natural%20Resources%20Commission%20Special%20Meeting%20Agenda%20May%209,%202022.pdf

Davis Chamber of Commerce links: https://www.davischamber.com/celebrate-davis.html + https://www.davischamber.com/

Finally, Nugget Markets is the Title Sponsor of Celebrate Davis. They and other sponsors such as Dignity Health and Kaiser Permanente would probably not want to be associated with a potentially great event that is toxic and worse for families. Contact them, too!

Letter: Growth and Gridlock in Davis

Isn’t there a better way to provide funding for city services than paving over prime agricultural land with an industrial park? We have an internationally recognized agricultural research university and the city is proposing to despoil the very essence of that educational field: the land. The university hasn’t asked for this project or even endorsed it.

I’ve lived in Davis for 37 years and have watched leaders plead again and again for sprawl on our periphery, touting the need for often-delusive revenue to cover unchecked city spending. Like many, I put roots down in Davis because it offered what I desired most, excellent, innovative city planning, strong schools, and a strong city spirit. In the past, Davis was known nationally as a charming small college town with abundant bike paths and lanes, surrounded by farm land and open space.  I left southern California specifically because of regional gridlock and air quality. Why are Davis leaders trying to replicate those problems here?

Are we in a race with other communities to build the most car-centric, traffic-choked developments: Is there something inherently wrong with maintaining  a small community that values its neighborhoods and agricultural roots?  Why don’t city leaders demonstrate some  economic creativity and re-imagine a  government that can sustain itself without gobbling up all the open space that surrounds it.  Or shall we let regional developers dictate our future?

The commuter gridlock that has already invaded East and South Davis is spreading throughout the city. Is this to be our future?  Besides death and taxes, it’s the one sure thing that will happen if the proposed development, Measure H, passes. Yes, ‘more cars are coming anyway’ as a result of the ‘Waze’ traffic app. Why make that worse by adding another 12,000 car trips to the mix?

 Please help maintain the current quality of our city and vote No on Measure H.

C.H. Pickett

The Whole Story about DiSC’s Claim of $3.88 Million Net Revenue to the City

Seven ways in which the City and the Yes on Measure H campaign make DiSC 2022 appear economically far rosier than is likely

By Matt Williams

The City and the Yes on Measure H campaign literature for the DiSC project emphasize that one of the important benefits to the City of Davis General Fund is a “$3.9 million net revenue gain for the City of Davis annually to address the city’s $7 million funding gap and maintain our quality of life without a tax increase.”

The net annual revenues projected to accrue to the City that have been presented to the voting public use the most optimistic “best case scenario” to make their pitch … but other less rosy scenarios exist.  During the December meeting of the Davis Finance and Budget Commission (FBC), Commissioner Jacobs suggested multiple times that it would be helpful to City Council if the consultant were to run the analysis using a worst-case and best-case scenario.  Unfortunately, that suggestion was not implemented by the City.

Scenario analyses are particularly valuable here in Davis because, for a variety of reasons, past development projects in the City have rarely yielded the revenues the City expected to them to produce. The $3.88 million surplus projected for this Measure H project may be the theoretical best case, but it does not recognize potential adverse impacts on this rosy projection. As shown below, if all of the seven impacts quantified in this document are considered, net annual revenues to the City could actually result in a deficit of $770,000.

Continue reading "The Whole Story about DiSC’s Claim of $3.88 Million Net Revenue to the City" »

Democracy Isn’t Just for Countries

By Miranda Duncan

We champion democracy as the ideal system of governance, where freedom can flourish.  All voices are equal and have a right to be heard.  When it comes to the workplace, though, we’re reluctant to embrace democracy.  In the business sector, we expect there will be one person at the top making all the decisions for others to follow.  Why do we demand democratic rule for our country and reject it in the workplace? 

Nowhere is rejection more obvious than from the U.S. Small Business Administration.  May 1st heralds International Workers Day, and during the first week of May, the SBA will acknowledge small businesses across the county for their resilience, ingenuity and creativity.  No cooperatives, however, will be featured during Small Business Week.

Let’s give credit where credit is due.  Small businesses strengthen our economy by employing 60.6 million people, accounting for 47.1 percent of the workforce.  Small businesses have added 10.5 million net new jobs over the past 20 years, and in 2014, a study showed small business contributed $5.9 trillion to the GDP (U. S. Small Business Administration, October 2020). 

Not included in those numbers, though, are the 465 worker cooperatives in the United States today, employing approximately 7,000 people, and generating over $550 million in annual revenues (Democracy at Work Institute, U.S. Federation of Worker Co-ops, January 2020).  “Why,” you might again ask?   

Continue reading "Democracy Isn’t Just for Countries " »

PBE welcomes No on DiSC to public forum

(From press release) The Davis Progressive Business Exchange will meet from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 4, at Lamppost Pizza, 1260 Lake Blvd. in West Davis.

The topic will be DiSC, the Davis Innovation Sustainability Campus. After supporters spoke last month, Matt Williams will speak on May 4, representing the No on DiSC campaign. Davis voters will be asked to vote on this issue on June 7 as Measure H.

The public is invited to these free open forum events. Contact Bob Bockwinkel at 530-219-1896 or e-mail G Richard Yamagata at yamagata@dcn.org for  information.

Letter: Time to say "No" to DiSC

ClockOne of the few benefits of COVID has been people’s heightened awareness around the climate crisis. For me personally I have made significant lifestyle changes regarding my transportation choices and frequency of travel, started purchasing second hand clothing, and committed to eating sustainably produced foods.

I would like to think that our City Council would also have learned and grown more conscious of their leadership’s impact on Davis during this urgent time when we need to reduce our carbon footprint. Look no further than the DISC development (Measure H on the ballot) to see how they have failed to grow.

The new 2022 iteration of DiSC will, according to the Sierra Club, create “excessive traffic, greenhouse gas emissions, and poor land-use and planning.” DiSC will “increase the city’s carbon footprint by 5%.” It is frightening to see the City Council push so hard for this massive development of office space, a big hotel, and fancy condos on the outskirts of town near an area of Davis already burdened by poor planning decisions (e.g., Mace Mess).

Meanwhile one council member, the notorious Dan Carson, took the time and small- minded perspective of suing the citizens of Davis themselves who operate the No On DISC campaign. What an incredibly unconscious and egocentric move! Is this the government we have to help us create radical change to address climate crisis issues?

As an average citizen who works from home for a non profit, is married to a Davis school teacher, and believes a better world is possible if we all contribute, I would kindly ask you to open your minds to voting No on Measure H in the June ballot. Learn more at VoteNoOnDisc.com campaign site.

Nikki Martin

League of Women Voters hosts forum on county supervisor race

Juliette-cropped lucas-cropped(From press release) The League of Women Voters Davis Area will sponsor a nonpartisan election forum Saturday, May 7 on the District 2 race for Yolo County Supervisor.

The event will be run from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in the Community Chambers at 23 Russell Blvd. in Davis. Free tickets are available on Eventbrite at  yolosupervisorforum.eventbrite.com.

Davis Media Access will record the event and make the video available to voters.

Davis City Councilmember Lucas Frerichs and local climate activist Juliette Beck are competing to replace incumbent Supervisor Don Saylor, who is not running for re-election. His term expires at the end of 2022.

District 2 covers southwest Yolo County, including Winters, West Davis, parts of central Davis and the area between Winters and Davis. Jim Provenza represents District 4 on the Yolo County Board of Supervisors, which also includes parts of Davis. His term does not expire until Dec. 31, 2024.

Frerichs has served on the Davis City Council since 2012. A long-time former staffer in the California State Assembly, he currently works as associate director of state policy for The Nature Conservancy and serves on the boards of the Sacramento Area Council of Governments, Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority, the Yolo County Transportation District, Valley Clean Energy, and the Yolo Habitat Conservancy.

An ecologist, Beck helped initiate a Climate Strike advocacy movement in 2018 that gathers in Davis Central Park every Friday at noon. In 2020, she helped establish a Yolo County Climate Action Commission to address climate change. When schools closed for the pandemic, she worked with educators, parents, and UC Davis students to fund a free youth summer camp that focuses on ecology and community activism. 

Davis resident Donna Neville will moderate the forum. A semi-retired lawyer, she currently chairs the City of Davis Finance and Budget Committee. She worked as an attorney for the Office of the Legislative Counsel early in her career and later was chief legal counsel to two state agencies: the California State Auditor’s Office and the State Board of Education.