Bias in jury selection in Yolo County Court
Open Letter to City Council on CC Agenda Item 4: Update on Healthy Davis Together

Welcome to Al's Corner - "Pouring Gasoline on the Dumpster Fire of Davis Politics" - Volume #5

image from www.sparkysonestop.comAl's Corner is a place to comment on local issues and articles/comments in other local forums that you may or may not have been banned from.  For the few Rule-ez at Al's Corner, see "Pages" --> "Al's Corner - What It Is".


Alan C. Miller

SUBJECT: Sunday Commentary: Is Council Out of Touch with the Davis Community? [Davis Vanguard 6/12/22]

Reisig won; H Lost; Chesa lost

QUESTION: Al's Commentary: Is Vanguard Out of Touch with the Davis/Yolo/State Community?

Colin Walsh

DG asked to interview me for the article on the council being out of touch - I declined.
My short answer is - yes, the City council is out of sync with Davis voters on several important issues.

My long answer will have to come later when I have time to write an essay on the widening gap between davis voters and the city council.

I will offer this. If the council believes in democracy, and thinks they are in sync with Davis voters, the. They will put the district 3 seat Lucas is vacating on the ballot rather than just appointing some crony.


"QUESTION: Al's Commentary: Is Vanguard Out of Touch with the Davis/Yolo/State Community?"

If you go by the last election in which many of the issues and candidates lost that the Vanguard was in favor of I would say that the Vanguard is out of touch.

And if you cite the Davis city survey on the "Usefulness of Local News Sources" that was conducted a few years ago had the Vanguard rated the lowest with a -16 net useful rating also contributes to the notion that the Vanguard is out of touch.

Alan C. Miller

"DG asked to interview me for the article on the council being out of touch - I declined."

Thank you for disrespecting the Davis Vanguard and rejecting it, as I do, as a legitimate, decent or desireable community entity. More people need to just walk away and let it rot.

"If the council believes in democracy, and thinks they are in sync with Davis voters [#snip#] they will put the district 3 seat Lucas is vacating on the ballot rather than just appointing some crony."

Amen, brother Walsh, amen! Speaking from District 3, this is a hot topic here. Can you imagine we have the City Council simply pick someone "for" us? That almost could be legitimized when all seats were "at large". With Districts? No f*cking way can Districts 1,2,4 and 5 pick District 3's replacement. No f*cking way!


"No f*cking way can Districts 1,2,4 and 5 pick District 3's replacement. No f*cking way!"

With Davis now being divided up by districts you make a great point Alan. I agree, no way should reps from other districts pick your district's rep.

Roberta L. Millstein

We have seen time and time again how much an advantage it is to be an incumbent. They should put the District 3 seat on the ballot and let the voters choose, not let them choose someone who then becomes the incumbent in the subsequent election. Colin has this right. This is another chance for them to show us that they really are in favor of democracy.

Todd Edelman

Colin, about the "widening gap", I assume you'll reflect on both recent and not so recent history and how the Commissions are treated... but the structural issues are also important: Things like the change to districts, remote vs in-person meetings, the semi-voluntary nature that I've heard described as a "rich person's club" and perhaps even a comparison to other cities.

Alan C. Miller

SUBJECT: "Planning Commission Rejects Extension for Chiles Ranch, Key Question: Why Can’t Chiles Ranch Get Built?" (Davis Vanguard 6/13/22)

ANSWER: The place is being held in stasis (cursed) by a woman named Mary Bado Simmons, and rightfully so:

"Mary Bado Simmons, the mother of Sonia McFarland and grandmother of Michael, Kenneth and Nina, won the ability to not bury their remains with "the murderer." She also won full legal rights to the property . . . Mary Bado Simmons kept the entire property in an undeveloped state as a memorial to her grandchildren, son-in-law and daughter until her death in 2006 at the age of 98."

The spirit and will of Mary Bado Simmons remains strong. If anyone reading this thinks I'm joking, you don't know me. When M.B.S. feels the memory of her grandchildren, son-in-law and daughter are respectfully honored, the development will be built.

Ron O

I've asked about the Chiles Ranch property at least a half-dozen times on the Vanguard, over the years. Not once has anyone responded regarding the reason for the delay in developing the property. (For that matter, the reason is not provided in today's article, either - other than the developer's focus on "other" properties that they owned.)

I'm surprised that no one on the Vanguard (or the commenters who think like them) have found some convoluted way to "blame Measure J" for the delay. They're a creative bunch, but perhaps it would simply require too much "creativity" to do so - even for them. (I might nevertheless suggest a contest, to see if there's some way to do so.)

As far as Chiles Mansion goes, I've never been able to find a photo of the original mansion, or an article written right after the fire (pre-Internet). I'd love to see what it looked like.

Truth be told, the developer is not going to be able to shy-away from what happened there, nor should he try (as it's already well-known). People will buy the houses, anyway. (Hell, the property is already adjacent to graveyard, where I believe some of the previous family are now located.)

I hope that they rebuild the barn as sort of a community gathering center - as the developer proposed (description on page 2 in the attachment, below). And frankly, it would be a fitting memorial, as well.

Ron O

Updated evidence (as of 3:31 p.m. today) that the council (and the Vanguard) are not aligned with the voters of Davis. (No significant change regarding Measure H.)

Ron O

I also find the link below interesting - it shows that Measure H lost in all areas across the entire city.

Don't let the council (let alone Dan Carson) pick the replacement for Lucas Frerichs. This wasn't allowed for the school board, why should it be for the more-important council?

Alan C. Miller

SUBJECT: Student Housing CEQA Streamlining Legislation Moves Forward (Davis Vanguard 6/15/22)

A related article on the rise of the YIMBY movement:

YIMBY: The making of a movement

COMMENT: Yeah a bowel movement :-|


I ran across this article today on Yahoo,

"The simple solution to California's water shortage"

"Just stop building

I have such a simple solution to our water shortage. I can't believe someone on the planning commissions hasn't thought of it.

Stop building. Easy, isn't it?

I went by the new proposed Disney resort, Cotino, in Rancho Mirage and couldn't believe the size of it. Do we really have the water to support this? Do we really have the water to support all the new housing being built in Palm Springs?

Just because there is an inch of undeveloped land and the possibility of another dollar in the pockets of the city, it doesn't mean it has to be built on. Too many people, too much traffic, too much pollution, not enough water. Stop building now!"

Ron O

Keith: What they'll do (instead) is to demand that existing residents conserve more, so that they can continue building.

And they'll disguise it with claims of environmentalism (greenwashing), equity, and whatever else they can come up with.

Or maybe that tried-and-true "reason" - "if they don't build it here, they'll build it somewhere else (and it will be even "worse")". That type of argument could also be be used to justify an open-pit gravel mine in Davis.

They'll also continue building (and rebuilding) in fire (and other high-risk) zones, as long as those living there don't bear the full financial brunt of that choice. Instead, the state makes everyone pay for it, one way or another. (Of course, some of those living in those high-risk zones end up paying with their lives, as do some of the responders.)

Getting back to the YIMBYs (and state leaders), they're pushing for more housing even in places that are experiencing a significant decline in population (such as San Francisco).

The system is corrupted, and it will continue to be that way. (The sheer amount of lobbyists in Sacramento puts Washington to shame, given their relative sizes.) I've looked at lists of Sacramento lobbyists before, and was astonished by the number of them.

"Corporate YIMBYs have repeatedly tried to frame themselves as housing justice activists, but that’s far from the truth. In fact, a new book titled Selling Off California: The Untold Story reveals that Corporate YIMBYs have deep ties to Big Real Estate and Big Tech, pushing forward their pro-gentrification, trickle-down housing agendas at the expense of working-class communities, especially those of color."

Alan C. Miller

SUBJECT: Comment of the Year by Todd Edelman (Davis Vanguard, Doesn't Matter What Article)

" . . . Cats love to sit inside small boxes and there will be homes in the Asteroid Belt if there are minerals there that we need."

Ron O

Yeah, I liked Todd's comment as well.

And it sounds accurate, to boot!

Not sure how those two observations/conclusions fit-together, but they seem to, somehow.

I'm thinking there's some kind of poetry, in there. :-)

Alan C. Miller

SUBJECT: Commentary: This Columnist Got It Right and Democrats (and More Broadly the Left) Better Wake Up… Soon (D. Vanguard 6/17/2022)

More if the same. Crime isn't really up. DA's don't cause crime. Stats show . . . blah blah blah blah blah

None of this matters. It isn't Democrats that need to wake up, it's the woke progressives who need to wake up. Democrats killed Chesa. And . . .

"The left better wake up. This was a shot across their bow. LA is next."

There is no reason to wake up. You're already dead. If you saw the two cops killed and one of the cop's mother blaming Gascon for letting the perp out of prison and allowing him to be killed -- political grief porn, but none the less the stake through Gascon's career heart.

Progressive woke do need to wake up. Many of us are for reform. But when you talk about defunding the police and not enforcing laws and letting murderers out of prison . . . you kill your own movement.


If you saw the two cops killed and one of the cop's mother blaming Gascon for letting the perp out of prison and allowing him to be killed -- political grief porn, but none the less the stake through Gascon's career heart.

Alan, the Gascon case you refer to here has another aspect to it that I just happened to have read a few minutes ago. Due to a directive from Gascon LA County will have to pay for the funeral of the two cop's killer.

"Los Angeles County will pay for the funeral of a gang member who died in a police shootout after killing two officers, according to a mandate issued by beleaguered District Attorney George Gascon."

"Gascon, who has been sued by his own prosecutors and blasted by law enforcement due to policies seen as anti-victim, issued a directive on Dec. 7, 2020, that funds funerals, burials, and mental health services for “individuals killed by police” and others."

Gascon will be recalled, no question to it.

Alan C. Miller



"Say WHAT?"

Yup, it's something that would never be brought up by the Vanguard unless a commenter happened to mention it and even then it might not make it past the censor.

Ron O

Latest DiSC results - no significant change.

Approximately 64% opposed.

R Keller

David Greenwald has already started campaigning for the next MRIC/ARC/DISC/whatever in the Vanguard today. He opens with this bizarre mish-mash in which he explains that is is problematic that problems are problems: ""Because the same problems that existed before still exist. All “no” did was close off a path to solving the problem, it did not solve the problem. That’s the real problem here. The problems that this community face...."

But don't worry: he then explains that the solution is the "Studio 30" report from 2012. He apparently doesn't realize that the Studio 30 report was written by a small group of UCD students for a class and that the methodology was incredibly thin. They came up with the idea at Davis "needed" 200 acres for a business park pretty much out of thin air. They also didn't conduct an adequate potential sites inventory.

The City of Davis General Plan Chapter 5. Economic and Business Development Economic Development Element states under Action “f” under Policy ED 3.2 [my emphasis]:

Study opportunities to designate lands for “green” technology, high technology and University related research uses within or adjacent to the City. Work closely with the local business community, community leaders and U.C. Davis officials in determining when and where such uses can best be accommodated in addition to the 25-acre enterprise site planned on the UC Davis campus. Preference should be given to sites that are viable economically and consistent with compact City form principles. As part of this study:

• Consider re-designating or rezoning land(s) within the City limits (as of January 1, 2001) from Industrial, Business Park or General Commercial to research-oriented Business Park uses (that is, uses which allow a wider range of high technology, research and development uses than a URRP and which are complementary to UC Davis);

• Encourage second floor and underground building construction to maximize the space available to accommodate URRP needs within the City limits;

• Key considerations in such re-designation or rezoning shall include the timing of these potential development(s) and impacts and demands caused by these potential developments on the City and the Davis community. Impacts to address include, but are not limited to: traffic, water, housing (for example, growth demand), schools, effects on neighborhoods, and economics (for example, cost benefits and cost generation to the City); and

• Designation of a peripherally sited URRP shall only occur after:
a) It is determined that lands within the City limits would not meet the needs for “research-oriented” Business Park uses.
b) Specific guidelines for development projects on the periphery of the City are adopted.

In the intervening years, the City has never conducted the studies to make the determinations of required by (a) under General Plan Economic Development Element under Policy ED 3.2, Action “f” ; nor has it produced policy to fulfill (b).

In January 2019, the City of Davis released an updated commercial land inventory. This inventory does not address city owned property, commercially viable property outside of the city limits, or those properties that may be zoned commercially but underutilized and therefore pose potential redevelopment opportunities like the PG&E corporation yard for example. The City stated that this initial inventory was “the starting point for preparing analysis of what vacant commercially designated lands offer in potential commercial square footage available for economic development. Staff would like to return to Council with an in-depth discussion of this vacant commercial land inventory in the context of the City and the region, the potential uses and theoretic commercial square footage capacity of the undeveloped land, and recommendations for next steps on using this and other key information to build an economic development strategy that aligns with the goals of the Council.”

Well, guess what? The City never did this either. Instead, a massive amount of staff resources have been tied up in advocating for two failed DISC proposals. If the City Council was doing their job to properly vet these projects, they would have rejected them and instead focused staff resources on the analysis required to support an infill development strategy that the General Plan calls for.

Ron O

Quote from "R Keller" above (aka - my favorite "local Keller"): "He apparently doesn't realize that the Studio 30 report was written by a small group of UCD students for a class and that the methodology was incredibly thin."

My response: Thanks for pointing this out, as well as the other information in your comment. I hadn't actually realized this, as I personally didn't care enough about what the "Studio 54" report said to do anything other than glance at it, a long time ago.

You obviously put more thought and energy into your response, than I did with my comment below (which appeared to briefly posted on the Vanguard - before it was deleted.)
Ron O June 18, 2022 at 9:54 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

DiSC didn’t simply “lose”.

It got its booty-kicked (approximately 64% opposed as of now), with a significant turnout as well.

The majority of voters in all areas of the city voted against it. (Nothing but “purple”, here):

I’m proud of you, Davis! Thank you!

From my perspective, the most positive result of this is preservation of highly-visible prime farmland, beyond a logical boundary for the city.

Thus endeth the misguided, decades-long “innovation center” chapter, in the city’s history. (With the rest of them failing on their own accord.)

Dan Ramos, current and future farmer. (Maybe sell the land to someone who actually wants to do so?)


Today's top article on the Vanguard:

"Sunday Commentary: January 6 Hearings Prove Trump Really Was Trying to Overturn an Election"

My comment that's awaiting moderation:

I would comment on this but why? Anything I write wouldn’t have much of a chance of getting posted because my views don’t align with the censors that run this blog or someone might feel offended by alternate thoughts. So why waste my time?


Pelosi's hand picked Jan. 6 committee is nothing more than a partisan witch hunt Kangaroo Court:

" Can a congressional committee neither duly authorized nor properly constituted issue legal and enforceable subpoenas? In this case, it’s not just that the kangaroo committee features the wrong number of members (9 not 13), a packed 7-2 Democrat-Republican supermajority, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s refusal to seat any Republicans proposed by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Most egregiously, the committee lacks a ranking minority member for the Committee Chair Bennie Thompson to consult with before issuing any subpoenas."

"Constitution rules out the simultaneous pursuit of a “judicial function” in which a congressional committee seeks to act as judge, jury and executioner behind the mask of a putatively legitimate legislative function. That is a clear violation of the separation of powers — punishment is reserved for the judicial branch — as well as the constitutional proscription against bills of attainder."

Alan C. Miller

"DiSC Failed, Now What?"

SUBJECT: "My View: DiSC Failed, Now What?" (D. Vanguard 06-18-2022)

Farming. For the next several decades.

”no” is not a long-term viable strategy.

It works for two year olds.


"Why" is not a long-term viable strategy either.

Because the same problems that existed before still exist.

Deep. And one of the those problems that exists: The Davis Vanguard, existing.

All “no” did was close off a path to solving the problem, it did not solve the problem.

It solved the problem for 64% of voters.

One way to solve the problem is to stop listening to people who say there is a problem. Stop reading the Davis Vanguard: No problem!

—but just because we have survived, it does not mean we are currently prospering.

Tell everyone who voted for measure J.

I think what we are going to see is more student enrollment in Davis and more investment in Sacramento—the worst of both worlds if you are Davis

A doomsday scenario any way you look at it. Zombies.

because we will have to contend with the impacts of enrollment growth without a lot of the benefits.

And Zombies.

From Davis’ perspective, what is the alternative to DiSC?

Get rid of Measure J?

Or Zombies.

I also don’t see a viable strategy to infill our way out of our lack of innovation space.

We could decide we don't need 'innovation space'. Problem solved.

All we have to do is read the Studio 30 report from a decade ago to realize why an internal strategy does not work.

Or we could stop reading reports from a decade ago. Problem solved.

Some have been recommending we undertake a new economic development plan.

Some have been recommending that we move I-80 out of town and put at cover on 113.

I have been extremely skeptical of that approach.

It is hard to find 113 covers at Home Depot.

Look how long it has taken for us to do and approve the downtown plan.

Maybe if it hadn't become a proxy war over the east side of the tracks 3rd to 5th (Trackside) and if the panel hadn't published and had a public hearing on a policy when they had already gone ahead with a different one and not told anyone, Whoo Hooo!

As much as a certain councilmember has been and will face blame for the demise of DiSC 2022.

As we were asked several times in the last couple of years, "Say His Name!"

So what happens? In the short term, nothing.

Nothing? I'm so excited. And I just can't hide it.

This is still a pot of boiling water that is being slowly heated.

Is there a frog in the pot? Is the pot calling the kettle anything? A color perhaps?

It’s a bit like climate change.

It's nothing like climate change.

The changes are at first imperceptible.

Like the giant cracks in our roads (the kettle is black too, the frog gets boiled)

We have a population of voters who are largely homeowners from decades ago who didn’t have to purchase their homes for $800,000 and whose families are long since grown.

Like most everywheres.

The next generation is more precarious.

Whipper snappers, all of 'em!

Younger families do not have housing and cannot afford to move here.

True that those who can't afford to live here, can't afford to live here. :-|

Schools have declining enrollment.

Tragic. Hide your kids. Hide your wife.

The local economy other than the university lacks jobs and spinoff jobs are increasingly going elsewhere, not to Davis.

Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was.

Our ability to pay for infrastructure is stretched thin.

Our ability to fill a pothole is stretched thin.

The core of this community therefore is losing something, but slowly enough that people do not see the alarm.

I see the alarm, it's on my headboard.

We all like our small town, lack of traffic, lack of social problems,

"A place called Willoughby, a little town I manufactured in a dream. It was summer, very warm. Kids were barefooted. One of them had a fishing pole. It all looked like a Currier and Ives painting. Bandstand, bicycles, wagons. I've never seen such serenity. It was the way people must have lived a hundred years ago. Crazy dream."

but that has changed dramatically even in the 25 years I have lived here,

So DG's solution to yhe dramatic change is 'let's accelerate the change' !!! That will bring back the bandstand, the bicycles, the wagons, the barefoot kids, the fishing poles. :-|

Ron O

Alan M: "A place called Willoughby, . . ."

Whatever you do, don't step off that train.

(Your entire 10:10 a.m. comment is a gain for the Davisite, and a loss for the Vanguard. You do have a knack for that type of writing.)

What is a "knack", anyway? And what purpose is the first "k" serving?

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