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September 2023

Al's Whatever Thing (Formerly Al's Corner) - October 2023

image from www.sparkysonestop.com

Not much going on in Davis these days . . . coming up short on starter topics . . . #sigh# . . . anyone?

Continue reading "Al's Whatever Thing (Formerly Al's Corner) - October 2023" »

Yolo Holds Its Breath on Water Policy

By Scott Steward

Yolo County Supervisors placed a temporary pause on new Yolo ag well water permits until the local regional water agency can put the data and analysis together to, more certainly, tell the story about the water under our feet.

WaterThis is the story about the water that we depend on for thriving local ag and the precious remainder of our beleaguered biome in Yolo, and the greater Sacramento valley.   On July 11th farmers and residents testified to the Yolo Board of Supervisors about their experience (Davisite 7/2023) with receding well water and wells going dry.  The principal cause identified as newer/bigger wells drafting water for previously unirrigated land for perennial trees (nuts) and vines.

On September 12th, the Board consider options that included a moratorium on new well applications. Between the July BOS meeting and the 9/12 meeting, staff and the Director of the Yolo Subbasin Groundwater Agency were to help the Board with more Data.  At this last meeting we found out that the data is just not ready and so, in absence of any evidence not to act more conservatively, the Board unanimously chose a 45 day moratorium option. 

Supervisor Frerichs brought the final motion "I have heard from farmers and many many residents who are supportive of this (the moratorium option)." The moratorium is not blanket, specifying Clarksburg and other areas as exempt, but generally placing the restriction on the areas experiencing water table drops.

Continue reading "Yolo Holds Its Breath on Water Policy" »

Biberstein Social Action Fund Grants Available

21st Annual Request for Proposals

Proposals due October 20, 2023

(From press release) Nonprofit organizations are invited to submit applications to the Biberstein Social Action Fund for grants in support of projects addressing poverty, discrimination, abuse and neglect, and the promotion of social justice in Yolo County.

The Biberstein Social Action Fund was established in 2002 by the Board of Directors of Congregation Bet Haverim to honor Ernie and Hannah Biberstein, who are among the founding members of CBH, and who devoted much of their lives to community service and social justice. Hannah passed away in April 2011. This is the 21st Anniversary of the Fund.

The goal of the annual awards made from the Biberstein Social Action Fund is to help Yolo County organizations in their efforts to meet unfulfilled needs. “In light of all the budget cuts in social services, we hope that grants like ours can make a difference,” Hannah Biberstein had said. “It means a lot to us that real individuals benefit from our grants.” Special consideration is given to new and/or innovative projects.

An annual Call for Proposals is released each Fall. Grants ranging from $500 to $2,000 are awarded in December. The Biberstein Fund members review the proposals. Current Biberstein Fund members include Congregation Bet Haverim partners Ernie Biberstein, Amy Abramson, Anne Gieseke, Sandy Jones, Joan Sublett, Shoshana Zatz, and Rabbis Bess Wohlner and Jeremy Simons.

Information about the Biberstein Award, including a link to the application, is available on the CBH website: https://www.bethaverim.org/engage/committees/biberstein-social-action-fund/

Grant proposals must be submitted no later than October 20, 2023. Questions may be directed to the Biberstein Social Action Fund at: [email protected]. Awards will be announced in December 2023.

Continue reading "Biberstein Social Action Fund Grants Available" »

An Al's Corner Exclusive: A.I. Generated Joint Statement From The Davis Joint Unified School District, Davis City, and Yolo County, Regarding The Bomb Threats of September 20, 2023

NOT "REAL" - PLEASE NOTE THAT THE FOLLOWING PRESS RELEASE IS - "NOT REAL"  (It is my "duty" to tell you that ;-) )

This was produced in about 3 seconds by ChatGPT.  The input to ChatGPT to produce this fake press release follows below.  At the Davis Vanguard they give you a real press releases produced by real people using real quotes.  Here at Al's Corner, we give you a false press release produced by artificial intelligence!  Because we care.

[Joint Statement]


A Joint Statement From The Davis Joint Unified School District, Davis City, and Yolo County, Regarding and Condemning The Bomb Threats of September 20, 2023

[Davis, CA, September 21, 2023] - The Davis Joint Unified School District (DJUSD), the City of Davis, and Yolo County stand united in condemning the series of bomb threats that occurred on September 20, 2023, targeting educational institutions and public spaces within our community. Such acts of terror have no place in our society, and we are committed to working collaboratively to ensure the safety and well-being of our residents, especially our students and educators.

This shocking incident has not only disrupted our peaceful community but has also instilled fear and anxiety among our residents. We want to assure everyone that we take these threats seriously, and our law enforcement agencies are actively investigating the matter to identify those responsible. The safety and security of our community remain our utmost priority.

We call upon our community members to remain vigilant, report any suspicious activity promptly, and support one another during these trying times. Together, we will stand strong and resilient against such threats to our cherished community.

Statement by DJUSD Board of Education President Lea Darrah

"As President of the DJUSD Board of Education, I am deeply saddened by the events that unfolded on September 20th. Our schools are meant to be safe havens for learning and growth. We will continue to work tirelessly to ensure the security of our students and staff, and we stand with our community against acts of violence."

Statement by Yolo County Supervisor Jim Provenza

"Yolo County condemns these despicable acts in the strongest possible terms. Our community is founded on principles of peace, unity, and compassion. We are committed to supporting law enforcement in bringing those responsible to justice and will provide resources to help our community heal."

Statement by Yolo County Supervisor Lucas Frerichs

"As a representative of Yolo County, I am appalled by the threat to our community's safety. We must remember that unity and resilience are our strengths. We will emerge from this challenge stronger than ever, determined to protect our residents and maintain the harmony we hold dear."

Statement by City of Davis Mayor Will Arnold

"Davis is a community that values education, inclusivity, and peace. The recent bomb threats are an affront to these principles. Our city stands shoulder to shoulder with DJUSD and Yolo County, committed to ensuring the safety of our citizens and the preservation of our shared values."


INPUT:  "ChatGPT, please write me a one page press release that is A Joint Statement From The Davis Joint Unified School District, Davis City, and Yolo County, Regarding and Condemning The Bomb Threats of September 20, 2023. Include a joint statement for about half the page, and then individual, 2-3 sentence statements from four persons: DJUSD Board of Education President Lea Darrah, Yolo County Supervisor Jim Provenza, Yolo County Supervisor Lucas Frerichs, City of Davis Mayor Will Arnold. Make each individual statement unique and in their style of making statements. Have each individual statement in a paragraph under a title in bold that includes each of the four people’s name and title. Place each of the individual statements within the bounds of quotation marks."

Upstander Carnival teaches anti-bullying tools

UpstanderPost(From press release) Upstander Carnival, a free event for elementary-age children, will return to Davis’ Central Park on Saturday, Oct. 21. As part of National Bullying Prevention Month, the annual fair teaches youngsters to identify and stand up to bullying.

The Davis Phoenix Coalition launched the carnival in 2015. This year, it’s from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the sycamore grove of Davis’ Central Park, Fourth and C streets. The popular event draws hundreds every year.

Participants go through six stations of brief, interactive lessons, where they practice inclusion, deal with cyberbullying and learn helpful skills. After getting a stamp at each station, students get to enter the fun zone, where they may play in a bounce house, get snacks like popcorn or cotton candy, play games, and get their face painted.

Continue reading "Upstander Carnival teaches anti-bullying tools" »

A Better Week for Climate Action

By Scott Steward

It was more than a coincidence that California's Attorney General announced that the State is suing the big 5 oil companies this past Saturday.  Oil companies are being sued for "impairment and destruction" and for a remedy of preventing further misleading statements about the contribution of fossil fuel combustion to climate change." 

Newsom timed the announcement for his appearance at the International Summit on Climate Change in New York going on this week ahead of protests.  The pressure from the climate labor coalition is definitely on.

Sacramento "End the Fossil Fuel Era" banner drop on the Tower Bridge - Photo by Peg Hunter

It is our own and our regions own climate justice advocates, made of youth, educators, racial justice and indigenous, immigrant, blue and white collar labor - the works - that have joined together to make a fearsome coalition locally and nationally. 

Davis Fridays for Future, and allies, take to the streets this past Friday.  Picture by Johan Vernick

The climate strikes and labor strikes coincide and are complementary as the UAW is fighting for fair wages as capital sees ICE (internal combustion engines) demise written on the wall (EV's hit price parity with ICE vehicles).  Labor is finding harmony with climate action as we watch the necessary acceleration away from the fossil fuel economy (and fossil fuel electoral power).

 Sacramento "End the Fossil Fuel Era" Labor Network for Sustainability - Photo by Peg Hunter

Locally, September has been a better month for climate justice and the world is going to need our resilience because climate tragedies, like the one in Libya, and other parts of the world are unrelenting.  It is very clear.... hay hay ho ho Fossil Fuel has got go!  The path forward is locally made, fair wages, locally distributed, locally clothed, soil to skin, locally fed, farm to fork and locally entertained.

Davis joins in Global Climate Strike

Davis Climate Strike march(From press release) This past Friday, September 15, Davis joined groups across the world in the Global Climate Strike. After grabbing signs and getting ready, the defiant group of all ages slowly marched down 14th Street, leading chants to alert the Davis public of the climate emergency. At Central Park, some of the youth activists gave speeches, and held a die-in, where the audience helped embody the severity of our future, and the hopes they have for a better one.

Davis Climate Strike muralThe strikers then painted a mural on the sidewalk, to engrave the message “END FOSSIL FUELS” into the public eye. Nico Novick, in their speech today, said, “…Climate doomism, or the belief that everything is fundamentally hopeless, wastes time, it is giving up without trying, and we must try. We must have hope!”

More information at https://sites.google.com/view/fridaysforfuturedavis/home?authuser=0

Thursdays in The Davisphere canceled for 2023

(From press release) Thursdays in The Davisphere, the concert series launched in 2022 by Davis Downtown, is on hiatus until 2024.

The board of the Davis Downtown Business Association decided this month to cancel the 2023 event, planned for Oct. 26 in Central Park. In 2024, the organization is looking to bring Thursdays in The Davisphere further into the downtown core, to add vibrant energy to its downtown member businesses.

DDBA Executive Director Brett Maresca said several factors led to the difficult decision. The postponement gives the organization time to raise funds and plan for a spectacular 2024 series.

The inaugural season of Thursdays in The Davisphere was weekly in September and October 2022, thanks to funding from a city of Davis grant to revitalize local businesses emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic. A follow-up survey showed a nearly 90% approval rating of the event, citing the energy and vibrancy it brought to the downtown. Davis Downtown provided a designated nonprofit beneficiary to receive a portion of proceeds from beer and wine sales.

Davis Downtown is recruiting sponsors and vendors. Sponsorships would allow the organization to offer multiple Thursdays in The Davisphere events in 2024. For details, email [email protected].

Davis Downtown leads and energizes the downtown as the primary business, entertainment and cultural center of Davis. Alive with activity seven days a week, downtown Davis draws locals and visitors alike to experience fine food and beverages, retail, professional services, arts and entertainment in an extraordinary and sustainable gathering place.

  • For more information on The Davisphere, visit thedavisphere.com.
  • Learn more about Davis Downtown events and programs at davisdowntown.com.
  • To stay abreast of activities, sign up for the Davis Downtown email newsletter at davisdowntown.com/subscribe.
  • Follow Davis Downtown on Facebook at @davisdowntown and on Instagram at @davis.downtown.

Anatomy of an Article: That Wake Up Call was a Wrong Number (Al's Curiousity Corner #4)

SUBJECT: "Commentary: A Wake Up Call"  (Wednesday's Blavis Blansplard)

Only DG could get a robo-call about solar panels from a call center in India and think it was a a wake-up call.  I was rummaging through the trash behind Vanguard Headquarters on Thursday evening at 8:17 p.m. and found the recipe for the article.  As a public service I am posting it here:

Continue reading "Anatomy of an Article: That Wake Up Call was a Wrong Number (Al's Curiousity Corner #4)" »

Be a Climate Upstander: Join Friday’s Climate March

By Alan Hirsch

We are now in a (not so slow moving) crisis of civilization brought on by climate change.  It trumps all other issues as the earth is the stage all other human endeavors play out on.  Marches, protests gatherings for other issue will fall by the wayside due to heat waves, brown outs, hurricanes, wildfire & smoke. Even the infrastructures that support the food security, housing construction and access to health care is threatened.

It also clear many good people- even  in Davis -- are in denial of the crisis: not in theirs word but their actions that signal climate change is a secondary consideration in their decisions. 

Planet Upstander gently question all these nice people-- friends and local politicians -- who mouth words and even pass crisis resolutions, but continue to doing the same old things that are killing our planet: Elected bodies in Yolo county and California are filled with business democrats- the Herbert Hoovers of our era when we need FDR’s and a Green New Deal.

Consider the case of a Davis Democratic Party leader who proudly posted to her hundreds of Facebook she flew to Antarctica and from there took a cruise.   Upstander might post the gentle question: “Did you buy carbon offsets?”  Or a friend or family member who admires a low MPG car?  You could raise a concerning for them question about cost of gasoline  (and BTW GHG) due to  low mileage?  Or at least roll your eyes.   Or how do to you respond to friend who drives to school to when it is  only 1 mile from their home? You might ask what type of bike they own?

The Davis Climate March-part of the international climate strike movement -   a chance to show you are one of the growing number of Upstanders for the Planet, It includes march this weekend  In Sacramento and SF this weekend of you can’t make the Davis event.

Continue reading "Be a Climate Upstander: Join Friday’s Climate March" »

Top reasons to Join the Climate March

By Alan Hirsch

1. The Return of the Urban Firestorm

 What happened in Colorado was something much scarier than a wildfire.

By David Wallace-Wells LIFE AFTER WARMING  https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2022/01/colorado-saw-the-return-of-the-urban-firestorm.html

2. 244 People died heat related causes in Phoenix: Lose your AC, lose your life? And what about homeless?


3. Heat threatens Children: a fall on blacktop playground on can mean severe burns. Forget about walking your dog.
Pavement surfaces 140-160o when air temperature over hundred

4. Farming Deadly to workers as Heat Index Reaches 120 plus in corn fields.


“....120 degree heat index in Iowa? Yes, because corn sweats in the heat, just like humans do. A single acre of corn can pull 4,000 gallons of water each day out of the ground and release it into the air, making Iowa feel like Bangkok.” https://t.co/ep1mcWFBLj

5. Air Quality August 2023: Continent spanning smoke from wildfires again

Continue reading "Top reasons to Join the Climate March" »

Joining - Friday 9/15 march and rally

Thank you for joining with Davis Fridays for Future End the Fossil Fuel Era march and rally.

Those that come to add their voices are joining a movement where it is up to them to make more of it than the protest they attend on Friday.

For 9-15 march

The September 15th End the Fossil Fuel Era Davis Fridays For Future March and Rally

Gather at 14th and B at 12:00 noon (in front of Veterans Memorial)

Student leaders will be organizing intake and ask that adult allies gather as well and have some fun practicing chants around the theme “End the Fossil Fuel Era”.  This is a family friendly event.

At about 12:20 the youth will lead us along B street to Central Park Social Justice Stage for a short rally. Those that can't walk should meet the marchers at Central Park.  The rally will likely start just before, or at, 1:00. At the rally you will hear from 3 of the Davis Fridays for Future members and perhaps one additional speaker. Speakers will be asking you to register your support with an End the Fossil Fuel Era petition (a QR code will be provided) and to participate in a group skit - demonstrating the impact of climate change.

The goals of the Davis climate action is to see and be seen in support of the Global Climate Strike to End the Fossil Fuel Era.  You will be part of thousands of protests worldwide. This sends a message (bring your cell phone to conduct your personal social media campaign).

Continue reading "Joining - Friday 9/15 march and rally" »

I-80 News: Two Projects on Causeway, DEIR Release, Woodland

Traffic Congregation not relevant in EIR

By Alan Hirsch

All the weeks News on I-80, as best I understand it – The Headlines:

  • Draft EIR out Monday(?) – YoloTD Board meeting  comments needed
  • Two projects on causeway at once!  Pavement Rehab is not the Widening!
  • Yolo TD Chair Takes on UC Davis Transportation Experts
  • Does anyone remember NISHI? Will City of Davis ignore full I-80 impact?
  • What to watch For in Draft EIR
  • Is Causeway bike trail maintenance being hostage to road improvements?
  • Does City of Woodland’s New Tech Park  Project turns it back VMT in EIR?
  • Woodland says road Congestion is a “social inconvenience” and not relevant in EIR.

Draft EIR out Monday(?)

YoloTD executive director Autumn Bernstein wrote Friday she expects DED (aka Draft EIR+ other doc) will be released before the September 11 Board Meeting..  YoloTD has had earlier draft(s) for months so they likely will have slide prepared (which are not in Agenda Packet. I note YoloTD staff and board is OK with chair picking early DEIR traffic study to prove we need a wider freeway...seeming to ignore Caltrans long patterns of Understating Induce Demand Effects in its EIR, per UC Davis ITS studies.  The Caltrans website still post a promise the EIR will be out in Winter of 2021.

How to Comment at YoloTD meeting Monday 6pm.

Call or write/ What to say:  express concern the Caltrans may be continuing to understate Induce Demand impact in their models- as UC Davis ITS studies has shown . Express concern not enough priority is not being put on climate change.   Ask YoloTD to hire an independent expert to review and comment on Caltrans EIR VMT studies due to past UC Davis studies that show the agency has underestimate it.  

PLACE:  YoloTD Board Room, 350 Industrial Way, Woodland, CA 95776

ZOOM & Live comments: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/81573305113?pwd=VmFiZWNtSzZleVVGRVpmQ0swWnhpZz09

PHONE to zoom; : (669) 900-6833 Webinar ID:  815 7330 5113 Passcode:  135087

AGENDA  & Packet: https://yolotd.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/2023-09-11_YoloTD-BoardAgendaPacket.pdf

EMAIL  in advance: [email protected]:

Phone comment in advance (will be transcribed/ not read or played):  530 402-2819

Continue reading "I-80 News: Two Projects on Causeway, DEIR Release, Woodland" »

Yolo water up for supervisor vote on Tuesday

9018906362_22fe798eebWater water water

By Scott Steward

The Yolo County staff report from Elisa Sabatini, Manager of Natural Resources, has noticeably left out any specific recommendation for water policy in Yolo County.  This leaves the decision to place a much needed well moratorium entirely up to our Yolo County supervisors.

Yolo residents should be very concerned about Item 35 Groundwater Conditions and Well Permits being heard at Tuesday, September 12th Board of Supervisors Meeting.

On July 11th, ten citizens, comprised of farmers and residents, testified to Yolo County about water table depletion. They were unified in their call for a moratorium on new wells and regulations to rebalance the water pumped from new and existing wells.

Anne Main - farming Good Humus for 47 years "...there is over 6,000 acres of perennial plantings on previously un-irrigated land in Hungry Hollow alone.  ... 60% of Hungry Hollow land is (now) in permanent orchards and vineyards."

Our late Gary Sandy, about a year ago, placed the sole vote against the renewal of the Teichert aggregate mine due to his concerns about our local water quality and quantity.  We need to apply Sandy's resolve now to protect our water.

The water pumping operational efficiencies (borrowing from fracking technology) draws water from hundreds of feet deeper, and draws water from every level of aquifer in between, to bring water to land not previously irrigated, to feed tens of thousands of acres of perennial export crops (trees and vines). Our beloved table crop farms need your help now.

Continue reading "Yolo water up for supervisor vote on Tuesday" »

ChatGPT Asked to Write a Country Song about the Library Incident

I typed a 150 word description of the library incident into ChatGPT.  I then asked ChatGPT to write a country song about the incident.  With no further prompting, and in about five seconds, this is what ChatGPT wrote:

Continue reading "ChatGPT Asked to Write a Country Song about the Library Incident" »

Upcoming, Global Call to End the Fossil Fuel Era

By Scott Steward

As the climate careens towards more severe atmospheric carbon derived weather, the stakes couldn't be higher.  Preserving Yolo County's resilience becomes job number one for any public official. Arable land, access to food, health and safety all need more attention and everyone is required, if we are to create a resilient community for the foreseeable future.  We elders agree and will join the youth led Fridays for Future Climate Strike September 15th at noon at the 14th street side of Veterans Memorial for a march to Central Park. "End the Fossil Fuel Era" signs provided.

Fridays for Future September 15th preparation  - - End the Fossil Fuel Era signs displayed.

Thousands of strikes will be occurring around the globe on September 15th.  Davis Fridays for Future is the local version of this international event.  Here, and across the US, Biden is being asked to Declare a Climate Emergency. In California, Newsom is being asked to follow through on his commitment to stop issuing fossil fuel drilling permits.  Petitions will be available at the march.

We have our own drilling driven extraction climate crises in Yolo County, along with fire and heat, our water table is dropping at an unrestorable rate.  The aquifer that resides in the 1000 ft deep loam soil, our subterranean valley lake, is being sucked dry.  At the current pace, half the farmers that show up at the Davis farmers market will be gone in a few years.

Continue reading "Upcoming, Global Call to End the Fossil Fuel Era" »

Al's Corner - September 2023

image from www.sparkysonestop.com

This volume of Al's Corner is dedicated to the celebration of the Davis Vanguard's National Issues Open Discussion Page.  Of course, this page isn't open to me, or several other banned people.  Nor, in practice, is it a discussion.  Let's do some stats and declare a winner:

Continue reading "Al's Corner - September 2023" »

The Davisphere returns to Central Park on Oct. 26

Crowds gather in Davis’ Central Park on Sept. 29, 2022, for one of the Thursdays in The Davisphere events. The next concert is set for Oct. 26. (Courtesy photo)

(From press release) Thursdays in The Davisphere, the concert series launched in 2022 by Davis Downtown, will return to Central Park on Oct. 26.

The spooky-themed, family-friendly event is from 4 to 9 p.m. in Central Park. 301 C St. It will include food, drink, craft, art, retail and other vendors. Attendees are encouraged to dress in costume. The entertainment lineup will be announced soon.

The inaugural season of Thursdays in The Davisphere was weekly in September and October 2022, thanks to funding from a city of Davis grant to revitalize local businesses emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic. A follow-up survey showed a nearly 90% approval rating of the event, citing the energy and vibrancy it brought to the downtown. Davis Downtown provided a designated nonprofit beneficiary to receive a portion of proceeds from beer and wine sales.

The 2023 event welcomes UC Davis students who are back in town. It will include mobile food and beverage vendors as well as a beer and wine garden. Patrons are also welcome to bring food and nonalcoholic drinks purchased from downtown businesses.

Continue reading "The Davisphere returns to Central Park on Oct. 26" »

Wingnut Advocates for Nuclear Mosquito Control

Screenshot 2023-09-02 071056by David Abramson
Steve, who previously spoke to the City Council advocating that we ban all the leaves from Davis returned this past Tuesday to give public comment in support of the pesticide spraying of the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito Vector District, particularly supporting the aerial spraying over our cities and encouraging them to develop even larger pesticide bombs to eliminate the mosquitos once and for all.
I am personally outraged that Steve and the Sacramento Yolo Mosquito Vector Control District believe that mosquito activity warrants dumping pesticides on our heads several times per weeks.