Al's Whatever Thing (Formerly Al's Corner) - October 2023
Police Department Statement Uses Davis-Vanguard-Like Illogic to Conflate Doxxing and Bomb Threats

Council to Remove Downtown Tree Protections

Wrap banding
Trees damaged by light strings

City Staff Ask City Council to Remove Protections for Downtown Trees Tonight

by Colin Walsh

Please let City Council know Davis wants its downtown trees protected. Email  [email protected], or call and leave a comment between noon and 4pm today (530) 757-5693. You can also attend the City council meeting tonight – it is expected to be heard at 8pm.

For 20 years Davis staff have put lights in Downtown Davis Trees, often damaging the trees, even though it is a violation of Davis City Code.  Over the summer the City went to do regular trimming and maintenance for downtown trees and had to remove all of the lights because the situation had gotten so bad, damaging trees and causing unsafe conditions with exposed electrical outlets and wires. Now the City wants to put the lights back up and are proposing to change the law to do so – but are including no protections for the trees to assure no more trees are damaged by the lights.

It is possible to have a tree lights program for downtown trees, but there needs to be best practices for how to install them and funding to maintain them or take them down before they harm trees. The proposed Davis plan does not include any of that. They are just changing city law to eliminate tree protections.

Many other cities ban tree lights completely. Some cities limit lights to 1 or 2 month a year because wires wrapped around trees inevitably interfere with three growth and can even kill trees. Still other cities have permit processes that assure inspection and a revenue stream for maintenance. Davis is opting for none of those, and just eliminating the law that protects trees.

Please let council know hurting Davis trees is not OK!

For more information the City staff report is available here:


Ron (the Grinch) O

How about some nice artificial trees with built-in lights, like they have at CostCo? (Which started showing up a few weeks ago.)

No problems with leaves and branches dropping, root damage, trimming/maintenance, etc.

Alan C. Miller

The way things are going in Davis these days, we will soon see a serious of "chainsaw threats", threatening to cut down any trees that have lights placed in them for the holidays, causing repeated evacuation of downtown businesses, and resulting in huge losses to retail sales and people choosing to shop at Target and in Woodland and Vacaville.

The emails will originate in the Congo.

Alan C. Miller

(To the tune of Rush's "The Trees")

There is unrest in the city, Davis streets in disarray,
They hung lights on the trees, oh what a price to pay.
The downtown trees were weeping, their branches burdened down,
Christmas lights in every bough, they wore a twinkling frown.

The people rose in protest, said, "Save the trees, no more!"
City council took a stand, declared the lights a bore.
A victory for the greenery, the trees could breathe once more,
But then an exemption came along, a decision to explore.

"Balancing competing goals," they said with a sly smile,
The lights returned to haunt the trees, it felt like such a trial.
Downtown streets in festive cheer, but the trees were in distress,
A compromise, they claimed, but the trees were not impressed.

In the city of Davis, where decisions sway like leaves,
The trees stand tall, their silent protest, each one believes.
Christmas lights or nature's rights, a tale of twists and turns,
In the city's quest for balance, the downtown trees still yearn.

Alan C. Miller

Note: The above was written by ChapGPT with a couple of sentences of input from Alan C. Miller. To see Alan C. Miller sing the first two stanzas of the song, go to public comment on The Trees item at last night's City Council meeting. Or, you can chew on paste for a similar experience. Note, I didn't have time to match any more of the song to the lyrics, as I literally typed in this request to ChatGPT seconds before singing.

Now that PowerPoint presentations have been banned from Council meetings, I'm sure the use of ChatGPT is next.

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