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November 2022

Arborealis legalis persona

An earlier illegal dump of yard waste on East Covell. Imagine being on a bike at this location...

That's Latin for "Legal personhood of trees".

Part One:

So that was fun. I was working and came across a huge mother f****** pile of yard waste in the bike lane on westbound Arlington in front of Harding Terrace. This is, of course, strictly illegal. I went to three of the homes here and one guy was nice the other two said they didn't know anything about it.

No surprises so far.

I called the Davis Police Dept non-emergency line and they said they can't do anything about it until the morning and I could be connected to code enforcement or whatever. The lack of surprises continue. 

Still no surprises.

I asked what if it was yard waste blocking a traffic lane they said no they wouldn't come until tomorrow morning because it doesn't constitute an emergency.

The lack of surprises continue.

Then I asked t if it was a tree branch that fell into the traffic lane or the bike lane. They said that would be an emergency and they would have to dispatch a crew to deal with it immediately.

So in other words... if you want to block a traffic lane or a bike lane, be sure to use the right part of a tree!!

* Pretty much the only time I contact the police or CHP is when there's a potential of traffic violence, such as assault using intentionally-placed yard waste in bike lanes.


Part Two: There is no "Holiday Tree" in Davis. 

I am Jewish. Christmas is a fine and a lovely tradition. I am happy to celebrate it with friends who do. 

There is no "Holiday Tree" in Davis. It's a Christmas Tree. 

All the activities at the City's "Candlelight Parade and Tree Lighting Ceremony" refer to Christmas or the northern Winter. 

Why is it called a "Holiday Tree"? It's because some years back various parties sued various entities across the country to remove mentions of "Christmas" in government activities. 

I am fine with the City co-organizing and co-sponsoring this, because most people in the City celebrate Christmas in one form or another. It's certainly a vital issue that a truly enlightened city council should address if other holidays that residents celebrate are not observed in equal proportion in terms of e.g. staff time and finances, all year round. While I am not sure if there's an e.g. Kwaanza or Hanukkah song etc in the choir program, it would just be tokenism. (These are just examples -- there are other holidays around this time celebrated by many in the region, including the Eastern Xmas in early January). 

Calling the Christmas Tree a "Holiday Tree" is like referring to the Hanukkiah (the eight-candle menorah used for Hanukkah) as a "Holiday Candlebra" or Dia de los Muertos as "Mexican Halloween". It's a well-intentioned but very sloppy bit of false-inclusivity. As such, and because we're paying for part of it, it's a lie. Because is it's a lie about cultural and sometimes religious traditions, it's discriminatory. It has no place in any city, especially one whose leaders wave the flag of equity every chance they get. Keep the Christmas Tree, but please start calling it that. (There's an obvious argument some could make that "Holiday" refers also to New Year's, but the transition period from December 31st to January 1st is only the Gregorian New Year -- again, representative of a large proportion of the population, but far from nearly everyone).

The above repeated and Next Door discussion in this Google Doc copy. (For Next Door users from certain neighborhoods in Davis, here is a direct link)

Two members of Tree Commission searching for Entwives with Street Tree Defenders. Source: https://allentotingski.artstation.com/projects/rRPVQ2

Welcome to Al's Corner - "Pouring Gasoline on the Dumpster Fire of Davis Politics" - Volume #15 [Thanksgiving Edition]

image from www.sparkysonestop.com

Let's all gather around the Al's Corner Thanksgiving table and give thanks that Al's Corner provides a place to moan & complain about what is stupid in Davis.

Let the complaining begin!

   [See "Pages" --> "Al's Corner - What It Is" for Rulez.]

Tree Davis Welcomes New Executive Director

Torin DunnavantBy Torin Dunnavant and Greg McPherson

In this interview Torin Dunnavant, Tree Davis’ new Executive Director is interviewed by Tree Davis Board President Greg McPherson.

Greg: Torin, it’s great to have you at the helm of Tree Davis. You spent the last five years as Director of Education and Engagement with the Sacramento Tree Foundation. Prior to that you were Director of Engagement and Partnerships with TreePeople in Los Angeles. How will you be applying your experience with Tree Davis?

Torin: Thank you Greg, I am so excited to be a part of the Tree Davis team. It’s a fantastic organization and I am humbled to step into this role. I have been a part of the urban forestry world for fourteen years now – and a big part of my focus has been canopy equity. One of the greatest predictors of the health of a community is its urban forest - healthy trees means healthy people. Some neighborhoods have greater obstacles than others to plant trees, but that doesn’t mean that we should wait for the obstacles to remove themselves, it means the opposite - that we need to work harder to plant trees in places where there are less, so that more folks can be supported by the many benefits that trees bring. I look forward to connecting with the groups that partner with Tree Davis and learning from community leaders throughout the area to understand how Tree Davis can support them.

Davis is in the process of developing a new Urban Forest Management Plan and is hosting feedback sessions (the first virtual public meeting was on Nov. 10). Why and how should Davis residents get involved?

Continue reading "Tree Davis Welcomes New Executive Director" »

Tree Davis announces 2022 Tree Stewardship Awards

By Greg McPherson, Luke Vitanza, and Don Shor

Tree Davis Stewardship Awards honor individuals and groups who have worked to enhance our urban forest. Just by helping to water young trees, pull weeds and spread mulch, organize school plantings, caring for older trees in neighborhoods and commercial parking lots, this year’s award recipients help to establish and sustain our city’s canopy and the landscapes beneath.

Award for individual(s): Ann Trump Daniel and Judy Hecomovich

During the hottest days of a sizzling summer, Judy and Ann were diligently watering and weeding recently planted trees and other plants in the Memorial Grove.  Every other week they would tend to the needs of over five hundred groundcovers and shrubs, as well as a dozen trees in the Wolk and Generations’ Groves. Their efforts helped to keep these demonstrations of Climate-Ready Landscapes alive and well. We wish we had more folks like them to help keep Davis clean, green, and cool. 

Location: Tree Davis Memorial Grove, 1549 Shasta Dr., Davis, CA

Continue reading "Tree Davis announces 2022 Tree Stewardship Awards" »

This Election Is In The Books


By Colin Walsh

Today is the last day, and the final votes are being cast today in what has proven to be a very nasty down and dirty slime fest. What follows are my reflections on the campaigns in the form of vintage children’s book covers.




More after the jump. Click to continue.

Continue reading "This Election Is In The Books" »

Kelsey Fortune: The Climate Expert We Need to On City Council

31CACCAD-90BF-4FE7-80B9-88FBy Juliette Beck

With the existential threat of climate breakdown looming, this is quite possibly the most important election in human history.  We need to elect leaders at all levels that will help navigate our sinking ship to safer shores. The City of Davis has the potential to lead a just transition to ecologically sustainable, socially just and climate-resilient communities, but we need to elect the right leaders and make some significant changes in how this city operates.

I've watched with great interest as the city council election has unfolded with two progressive candidates in West Davis running on a climate platform - Kelsey Fortune and Bapu Vaitla. There are differences between these two candidates and I'm supporting Kelsey Fortune because I believe she has the right combination of skills, knowledge, experience and the dogged determination to help our city chart a course to safety through these troubled times. 

Kelsey Fortune came to Davis nine years ago to pursue a PhD in Economics with a focus on transportation, energy and climate policies that drive equitable outcomes to ensure that all community members are included in a just transition to a green economy.  Over the past decade, as an active community member and a city council candidate, Fortune has stepped up to offer her pragmatic, evidence-based solutions to guide our community. During her first campaign for city council two years ago, I was impressed with Fortune’s knowledge of our city - who owns property and who doesn’t, our transportation system, zoning laws, the needs and rights of renters, etc. Fortune has consistently advocated for infill development and affordable housing for working families and low-income individuals. Her expertise in designing climate-friendly communities are at the heart of a just transition.

Continue reading "Kelsey Fortune: The Climate Expert We Need to On City Council " »

Maureen Carson's Role as a Nextdoor Reviewer

Nextdoorby Janet and Joe Krovoza
We have reason to believe that Maureen Carson, Dan Carson's wife, is involved in halting discussion on Nextdoor posts deemed damaging to her husband. Twice now, a piece that Joe has posted on Nextdoor politely and factually discussing city staff and city council actions (and well within Nextdoor's guidelines for community discourse) has had its comments section closed suddenly and without any explanation within hours of its posting.
Both of Joe's recent posts addressed the corrupt process leading to the purchase and installation of playground equipment at Arroyo Park and the city and council's lack of response to what appears to be illegal and certainly irregular acts by staff and vendors. Joe's first posting, which begins "Some may be interested in our posts...," includes links to our related articles in both The Davisite and Davis Vanguard. It was posted September 30 and closed to discussion less than 24 hours later, after it had attracted 23 reactions and two comments. Joe's second posting, dated November 3, begins "Since the information below was just published..." and includes a pasted-in version of our Davis Enterprise opinion piece. Over the next several hours it received 19 reactions and 20 comments but shortly after the comments brought up Dan Carson explicitly, it, too, saw its discussion closed.

Continue reading "Maureen Carson's Role as a Nextdoor Reviewer" »

Letter: Shout-out to Kelsey Fortune

KelseyI'm not endorsing any candidates this election but I just wanted to give a long overdue shout-out to Kelsey Fortune for re-purposing No on H Signs for her campaign by covering them with her compostable campaign signs. You can see the "downside" of the ecological option, but to me the action speaks louder than the durability of the compostable signs ;)

When I ran for Yolo County Supervisor in 2018, I advocated for a "great lawn sign truce of Davis" where all candidates would agree to stop printing lawn signs that end up in the landfill and are made with toxic materials that can take up to a century to break down but alas, the allure of advertising won the day for many candidates.

In this City Council race where each candidate has expressed their hard-fought advocacy for the environment (very trendy in election season, less trendy when it comes to taking meaningful action while in office), nothing speaks more clearly than principled actions they are taking to proverbially speaking, put their money where their mouth is.

And if you were still looking for a clear signal of where the candidates stand on Measure H, and how they might engage in future development proposals, look no further than what's right in front of our eyes.

David Abramson

Soup, shopping are stars of Soroptimist event

(From press release) Soroptimist International of Davis invites community members to join its annual Soup Night and Silent Auction, Nov. 17 at Davis Odd Fellows Hall.

Soroptimist International of Davis traditionally hosts the event a week before Thanksgiving. The service club provides free soups, desserts, lively conversation and pre-holiday shopping opportunities. Members are excited to bring the event back to an in-person gathering, in the upstairs hall of Odd Fellows Lodge, 415 Second St. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. The silent auction begins at 6 and closes at 7:30 p.m.

Fill up on members’ best soups, breads and desserts while getting a jump start on holiday gifts. There will be themed gift baskets, experiences, gift certificates to local stores and eateries, and more. Beer and wine will be available for purchase, along with non-alcoholic beverages. Cash, checks and credit cards will be accepted.

The evening’s proceeds benefit SI Davis programs and projects. Soroptimist is a global volunteer organization that provides women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment. Soroptimist was founded in 1921 in Alameda County. Soroptimist International of Davis was chartered in 1954. Local members join some 75,000 Soroptimists in 122 countries and territories to contribute time and financial support to community-based projects benefiting women and girls. Its core values are gender equality, empowerment, education, diversity and fellowship.

It recently swore in new board members, including Lisa Adda, president; Phyllis Himmel, secretary; Lori Hansen, treasurer; Meredith Sweet Silberstein, coordinator of calendar; Nancy Mathews, director of membership; and Mary Chapman, director of programs. Katherine Hess is immediate past president.

SI Davis offers cash Live Your Dream Awards to female heads of household seeking education or training (applications due Nov. 15), and assists King High students through its Dream It, Be It: Career Support for Girls program. It also funds high school scholarships, grants to nonprofits that align with the Soroptimist mission, and anti-trafficking efforts.

SI Davis members meet twice a month on Wednesdays in downtown Davis – once at lunchtime and once in the evening – and connect for other fun activities and service. Learn more at https://www.sidavis.org/.