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December 2023

Davis Covid Spike Makes National News

Humor by Alan Hirsch

Image0 28Ever since the  success of “Healthy Davis Together” right wing anti-vax crowd has been waiting to strike back.

It happen last week when the below Facebook picture from Central Davis made Fox Cable nightly news under the headline “Is A Covid Spike laying low older men?”

Fox of course was reframing a social media post  of where the administration was claiming to have brought down inflation for Christmas.

But then Newsmax ran the photo. Noting it was taken in Davis a 90% democratic  liberal college town, said it uncovered evidence of the secular “War on Christmas” ™. 

CNN hearing story was about “shots”  ran picture of another mass shooting—this one a Christmas day !

Fox picked that angle up, adding it was evidence of just another crime wave -- in a Democratic city--  after a home invasion.

One America Network then said it was reported they were “made in China“.  So their commentator conjectured they were clever disguises on spy balloons that were shot down.

Sierra Club Yolano Group comments on Village Farms scope of work

The following comments were submitted to the City of Davis by the Sierra Club Yolano Group on December 8. Transmitted via email to <[email protected]>

Biological Resources

1. The Biological Resources should be studied in detail as outlined in the 5 December 2023 letter from Madrone Ecological Consulting, “Subject: Summary of Biological Resources Surveys Planned for the Village Farms Project, Yolo County, California.” but with the following suggestions:

  1. In the Aquatic Resources Delineation study, we recommend the timing of the determination of the extent of wetlands be expanded to include any times in which the area is water-inundated rather than at specifically identified times because inundation can occur during variable periods.

  2. We recommend the then current leasehold farmer not perform any cultural activities resulting in soil disturbances, including planting of cover crops, until the all wetland studies are completed.

  3. In the analysis for rare plants, we recommend all historical records be consulted.

  4. All surveys performed for determination of Biological Resources should be performed by specialists approved or certified to perform such studies under CEQA guidelines and performed in accordance with CDFW protocols.

  5. Environmental evaluation should also be performed considering the Yolo Regional Resource Conservation Investment Strategy/Land Conservation Plan (RCIS/LCP) in addition to the Yolo Habitat Conservation Plan & Natural Community Conservation Plan (HCP/NCCP).


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Davis City Council are FOOLS to Declare a Davis Position on Israel-Palestine (this Tuesday Evening)

The Davis City Council is poised to pass a resolution this Tuesday night (12/12) on Israel-Palestine.

Last Tuesday a couple of dozen people spoke during general public comment regarding this upcoming resolution. About 95% spoke in favor of a ‘cease fire’ by Israel. The speakers appeared to be organized by Jewish Voices for Peace who had “Not in Our Name” t-shirts, along with several persons of Palestinian lineage. One Jewish man, not from Jewish Voices for Peace, spoke of Hamas as a dangerous organization.

Most who spoke asked for the resolution by the City of Davis to include a demand a ‘cease fire’. There were several who spoke of the genocide against the Palestinians. This word is a matter of intense debate and emotional weight. Others argue instead that Hamas had ‘genocidal intentions’ on October 7th but lacked the means to carry it out. While word definitions hold no inherent truth, groups of people define words to hold an agreed-upon meaning, and certain words and phrases invoke intense emotional reactions in regard to this conflict.

I had a clear message for the City Council last week: “Don’t Do It”. As some may know, I stand firm in the belief that cities should only conduct city business and not get involved in national or global issues, no matter how seemingly righteous or important. But the potential repercussions from this resolution goes so far beyond that. This resolution has the potential to damage Davis both within and from without . . . and needlessly. We all remember the long and tortured tale of the Davis Ghandi statue, another dip of the Davis toe into international waters. What could go wrong displaying a depiction of  ‘a man of peace’? What could go wrong with supporting a declaration ‘for peace’?

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Israel Needs to Ceasefire

Jew-for-ceasefireBy Scott Steward

I want to thank the City Council's Mayor Will Arnold and Councilmember Gloria Partida for placing a "Proposed Resolution Calling for Peace in Israel and Gaza" on the December 12 City Council Agenda. 

The current violence, persecution and loss of Palestinian lives is abhorrent. As much as Hamas is rightly condemned and routed for its most recent attack, it is not acceptable that Israel will not ceasefire and instead finds reason to continue to disproportionately kill thousands of civilians, mostly women and children, to randomly kill a small number of combatants. 

The continued use of a government's military to kill a functionally incapable combatant, and in so doing kill a vastly disproportionate number of millions of displaced civilians, with munitions and by furthering the conditions of starvation and disease, is a war crime

Israel needs to ceasefire. Thousands in Davis are part of this worldwide plea. 

The Council's ascent to consider a ceasefire resolution was supported by some 15 public speakers and 10 callers, with a hundred people in the gallery in support, at the December 5th City Council meeting.  1 voice of public dissent.  "Ceasefire and Peace in Israel and Gaza" That would be an improved title for the draft resolution.  Why the word ceasefire was so obviously left out of the entire draft resolution, can only be guessed. The public needs to tell our City Council to add back the word ceasefire.  [email protected]

Davis groups for human rights, Palestinian human rights, Jewish Voices for Peace have been organizing around a ceasefire since October 17th, joining vigils and peaceful demonstrations to remind our members of Congress to sign HR 786 a "ceasefire resolution." The UN is trying to pass a "ceasefire resolution."  No one in the City Hall chambers on December 5th, speaking for a City resolution in support of humanity and sincere peace and repair for Palestine and Israel, was speaking to anything other than a ceasefire resolution

I expect that Council members are honest about intending to constructively amend the draft resolution and to vote on the amended version on the 12th. Respectfully, Council, somewhere in the "Peace" resolution needs to be the word ceasefire.

A Critique of Village Farms

In reference to the Village Farms Scoping Session

The City has asked citizens to comment on the Village Farms project. Here are mine…

by David J. Thompson

The project is based on obsolete planning principles which feature the single family home.

Preponderance of SF homes in this era is absurd for a town that thinks it’s green.

Global Warming is guaranteed and increased by this car-centric planning model.

Too few market-rate apartments for a community with such a low vacancy rate for the past 30 years. The lack of market rate apartments means tens of thousands of Students and working people will continue over paying on rent given the continued low vacancy rate.

There should be many more market rate apartments to bring down the excessive rental costs in Davis. Most of the 55.7% of Davis households (the 36,780 renters) are already overpaying rent (more than 30% of income spent on rent is HUD guideline).

Dos Pinos housing co-op has been the most successful home ownership program in Davis. 38 years later it is still providing substantial savings for its moderate income owners. It helps families time and time again rather than a one off bonanza and it’s gone forever. There are 122 households on the waiting list for DP (60 units) and the list has been closed since 2017 (2021 info from DP). There are between 6-10 turnovers per year. Why was another Dos Pinos co-op not included in Village Farms?

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Response to Davis Enterprise Article on December 6, 2023: “City, County, UCD Gather for Annual Meeting.”

By Greg Rowe

A recent Davis Enterprise article described the annual meeting of the Davis City Council, Yolo County District 2 and 4 Supervisors and UC Davis administrators, held on December 5.  UCD’s on-campus student housing construction program since 2018 was glowingly portrayed by the university representatives. The reality is that UCD had for years resisted building an adequate supply of on-campus housing to meet the needs of its continued enrollment growth, and literally had to be dragged kicking and screaming into agreeing to finally address the problem.

Evidently forgotten amid UCD’s self-congratulatory presentation were the herculean exertions between 2015 and 2018 by a small alliance of dedicated citizens who committed countless hours working toward the goal of convincing UCD to address its student housing needs in a meaningful way. Those efforts focused on educating the Davis City Council and the Yolo County Board of Supervisors about UCD’s long-standing failure to provide on-campus student housing on pace with escalating enrollment, and the resulting negative community impacts. The group wrote countless articles, letters and a comprehensive “white paper,” met with UCD planners and elected officials, spoke at meetings of the UC Board of Regents, and documented the superior student housing accomplishments at other UC campuses. 

Early drafts of UCD’s Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) proposed to only marginally increase the percentage of students living in campus residence halls between 2018 and 2030. The university’s initial intent was to simply redevelop existing campus housing rather than aggressively increasing bed capacity with new construction.

It also appeared that UCD intended to dodge its housing responsibilities by continuing to “master lease”  apartment complexes in Davis for exclusive occupancy by UCD students. This “band aid” approach meant fewer apartments were available to workforce families. It also allowed apartment owners to avoid paying property taxes because the lessee, UCD, is tax-exempt.

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Help ‘Stuff the Bus’ With Food, Other Essentials

Flyer_StuffTheBuss(From press release) Unitrans and the Davis Food Co-op invite the community on Dec. 16 to “Stuff the Bus” with food and some of life’s other essentials for The Pantry, which serves UC Davis students in need.

One of Unitrans’ vintage double-deckers from London will be ready to take aboard donations for the seventh annual collection 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. in the parking lot of the Davis Food Co-op, 620 G St.

The first 50 donors will receive a Unitrans pass good for 10 rides on the campus-city transit service and a $10 coupon for the Davis Food Co-op. Everyone is invited to have some fun by climbing to the top deck of the bus.

Nonperishable food items — including easy grab-and-go snacks — dominate the list of needed goods at The Pantry, which is a unit of the Associated Students of UC Davis. Staff said toiletries and hygiene products are also a high priority.

Some of the specific items on The Pantry’s wish list are canned, ready-to-eat meals; cooking utensils; healthy snacks; gluten-free foods; canned soups; peanut butter; jam; fruit juice; and baby formula.

“Pretty much anything that’s reasonably healthy, we’ll take it!” said Sergio Bocardo- Aguilar, director of The Pantry. “Things we’d like to avoid are sugary foods and non- nutritious food.”

Starting in a living room in 1972, the Davis Food Co-op has grown into a full-service grocery store owned and operated by more than 8,000 households. It features natural, organic and local foods but strives to offer a full spectrum of groceries to serve the entire community.

Unitrans has been serving the community for more than 50 years with a fleet of red buses that includes new and vintage double-deckers and, more recently, electric, single-deck buses.

Mom's for Liberty Sues Yolo County Library - Let's Talk About It, Davis! (An Al's Corner Exclusive) Boogity Boogity

Yup.  It's happening!   Mom's for Liberty is suing the Davis Library for violating their first amendment rights.

And what better place to discuss it than on the free Davis bloglet that hasn't banned a bunch of people from its comment section:  Al's Corner!!!

Welp -- Unlike David Greenwald I'm not going to copy most of the article source material and nest that within a few badly-written sentences of my own.  Nope, I'm just gonna give you the link, and you can read it yourself :-|

Moms for Liberty-Yolo County v. Lopez


Mostly I wanted to scoop the Davis Greenwald on a major breaking local story.   And I don't even get the paltry drippings of a salary to do so.

But even More Mostly:  let's talk about it, Davis!   This is major shit.

Experts at Only Pro/Con Teach-in on I-80 widening

Thursday December 7th  at 7pm, Davis Community Church 413 4th street

Image001 1601(From press release) The first (and only) public discussion of the pros and cons of the widening of the I-80 freeway is set for this coming week. The discussion has been organized by the Davis Futures Forum with help from Cool Davis. The public will learn about the Draft Environment Impact Report (DEIR) just released.

The hybrid meeting will include a background by project advocates Yolo Transportation District staff, followed by a keynote from UC Davis Professor Susan Handy, the renowned Director of the National Center for Sustainable Transportation.  This will be followed by a diverse response panel and a Q&A for those in person.

  • Autumn Bernstein YoloTD - history of project.
  • Nailah Pope-Harden, ClimatePlan, (equity issues, transit)
  • Stephen Wheeler, UC Davis Professor – DEIR issues; alternatives
  • Don Mooney, CEQA Attorney -- writing effective DEIR comments.
  • Moderator: Daniel Sperling, formerly of California Air Resources Board

This is a hybrid event.  Sign up at Cool Davis for advance materials and a link to the YouTube live/recording site. Please note that the registration link is in the upper right corner.