Entries by Davisite

Canadate Anouncements

City Council ellection

The Davisite has explicitly extended invitations to every city council candidate in the November 2022 election to send announcements press releases and other written material to us for publication on the blog. We publish these as received with no commentary or alteration.

Since Davisite started in 2018 and through several election cycles, Davisite has published all campaign announcements and other article related to Davis as received. In that time our readership has grown significantly both in daily page hits and email subscribers.

Some candidates choose to send announcements and some supporters send letters about candidates. Some candidates completely ignore the Davisite and the Davisite audience.
 
The all-volunteer staff at Davisite want to make it clear to our readers that we are not selectively blocking candidates announcements, rather certain candidates are choosing not to connect with Davisite readers.
 
And no matter who sends an announcement, Davisite will always stick by our comment rule - no personal attacks are allowed on the Davisite.
 
 

City Seeks Public Comment on Davis Climate Action and Adaptaion Plan (CAAP)

Davis CAAPCommunity Review Period Now Open for City's 2020-2040 Climate Action and Adaptation Plan

From City of Davis Press Release:

Post Date:August 08, 2022 4:06 pm

The City of Davis announced today that the community review period for the City’s draft 2020-2040 Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP) is now open to the public for an extended 60-day period that will close on October 10, 2022. 

The CAAP establishes a roadmap for carbon reduction policies that will allow the City of Davis to achieve its carbon neutrality goal by 2040, five years ahead of the State’s 2045 timeline. This accelerated goal stems from a 2019 City Council resolution declaring a climate emergency in response to current and expected future climate impacts, including increases in extreme heat, drought, tree mortality, wildfire and flooding. In addition, the CAAP complies with California legislation to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, address climate adaptation and incorporate environmental justice enacted since 2010, including Senate Bills 379 (2015) and 1000 (2018); Executive Order B-55-18; California Air Resources Board 2017 Scoping Plan; and Office of Planning and Research General Plan Guidelines.

“We all have a responsibility to take care of our environment as stewards for future generations,” said Mayor Lucas Frerichs. “Toward this goal, the CAAP will further develop and elevate the City’s commitment, advocacy and leadership to climate action and sustainability.”

Started in January 2021, the process for the CAAP is nearing the final stages of completion with this draft document community review period, to be followed by a finalized adopted CAAP and environmental review targeted for December 2022. Community engagement continues to be an integral component of developing and implementing the CAAP actions and have included multiple community workshops, presentations to community partners, ‘pop-up’ meetings downtown, online surveys, an online community forum, a dedicated City website and monthly progress reports to City Commissions. Additionally, an external Technical Advisory Committee met eight times over the last year to provide input and expertise on the process and content of the CAAP. Through these efforts, the CAAP’s project management team was able to be responsive to local experts, community suggestions, information requests and adjust products and schedules in response to public input, all indicative of the importance of the community-based approach in developing the CAAP update. 

The CAAP describes achievable, measurable GHG emissions reduction and climate change adaptation actions that align with the City’s goals and priorities. When implemented, these actions will reduce GHG emissions by 42% below 2016 levels by 2030 and set the community on a trajectory toward its 2040 carbon neutrality goal. The CAAP actions will also prepare the community for climate change impacts, improve public safety, address environmental justice and enhance the quality of life for residents.

To submit a comment for the community review period, visit: https://cityofdavis.org/davis-CAAP-survey. To read the CAAP, visit:  https://www.cityofdavis.org/sustainability/2020-climate-action-and-adaptation-plan-caap. Contact the Sustainability Coordinator Kerry Loux at: caap@cityofdavis.org.



CONCERT ON THE LAWN

Greg Erba_wide
FRIDAY JULY 29 at 6:45pm
at Lutheran Church of the Incarnation:
1701 Russell Blvd. Davis, 95616

Join us for a Concert on the West Lawn of Lutheran Church of the Incarnation on Friday, July 29 at 6:45pm! The concert will feature Greg Erba, a native of Woodland, and alum of the Davis High Jazz Band, who is now a professional country rock musician in L.A. Greg will play some of his own music, and be joined by a cadre of musicians from LCI and Davis Lutheran, who will play some old favorites and bring a bit of summer joy into our community. Blankets, lawn chairs and/or picnic food is welcome - as are friends and neighbors. See you Friday!


Kelsey Fortune Announces Her Candidacy for Davis City Council in District 1

Fortune_smaler

>>from press release<<

I am honored to announce my candidacy for Davis City Council in District 1.

I was raised in small town Wisconsin to believe everyone should play an active role in shaping their community. I moved to Davis nine years ago to pursue my PhD in economics, determined to live in accordance with my values for respect, inclusion, and sustainability. I use my bicycle as my main form of transportation and have woven close relationships with a wide variety of people through my involvement in our community. I volunteer my time as the Associate Director of Purple Tree Cafe and on the Boards of Bike Davis and Cool Davis.

Faced with a climate emergency that threatens to exacerbate already unacceptable levels of inequality and is currently degrading our environment, I believe our diverse and compassionate community is our greatest strength. I see untapped potential for progress and action in the City of Davis. The people and elected leaders who came before us laid the groundwork for a vibrant, sustainable community, and our city government and citizenry can again become an example of an equitable and effective response.

The city is also faced with an unsustainable budget, a public safety and justice system that does not best serve the people, an extreme dearth of both affordable and dedicated low-income housing, and lack of transparency, effective communication, and action from our City Council. Our children’s future depends on our ability to act now to address these problems.

That’s why I’m running for Davis City Council in District 1.

______________________________________________________

For more information, contact FortuneForDavis@gmail.com,  530-220-2001


City Hid Data to Justify New Locations for Arroyo Park Sky Track

 Quote 2by: Janet and Joe Krovoza

Regarding Arroyo Park’s Sky Track, here’s the latest reveal: data omitted from a March 1, 2022 noise report shows that for the three years of the Sky Track’s use, the apparatus has been in constant violation of the city’s noise standard of 55/50 dBA (day/night). This same data shows that alternative locations in Arroyo Park will violate the noise ordinance – day and night.

Last December, the city’s Acoustic Group, Inc. (AGI) consultants collected, but then buried, the relevant maximum (Lmax) noise data from the new March 1 report. With the Lmax data conveniently missing from its 40 pages, the AGI report continued the city’s bizarre use of average noise (measured in Leq) and the equally necessary policy assertion that “Maximum Noise Level (dBA)” explicitly stated in the ordinance really meant “average.” This theoretically allowed for a potential new Sky Track location in Arroyo Park to squeak by within .5 dBA of compliance.

Confronted again on its use of Leq and their it-says-maximum-but-means-average trick, staff refuses to own their mistaken decision and they are now asking the Rec and Park Commission to clean up their mess by endorsing a reinterpretation of the noise ordinance that will increase every noise maximum in the city by 20 dBA – huge increases on a logarithmic scale, with citywide implications. This 20 dBA increase would apply to residential, commercial/industrial, and high traffic corridor noise – all in the name of placing an amusement park caliber apparatus close to homes. We lay this out further below.  

Continue reading "City Hid Data to Justify New Locations for Arroyo Park Sky Track" »


Tired of False Promises

Untitled drawing(1)If you’ve been paying attention, you might be wondering just exactly what to believe these days – are we dealing with fact or fiction? Disinformation? Marketing or just good-old-fashioned propaganda?

There is no better season to witness this phenomena than an election season. By the time you have read this letter (submitted, but not printed in the Enterprise), you will have already casted your vote but the feeling is likely still present.

Case in point: Measure H

Will it be a traffic-easer or clustermess of epic proportions? Planet-savior or climate nightmare? The future of Green Development(™) or the latest corporate ‘Greenwash’? Will I get a free pony?

The Yes campaign says that it will ‘advance environmental sustainability’, ‘combat climate change’, and be a ‘carbon-free development’. The only concrete information on their website about this is a 100% renewable energy commitment (for the shell buildings).

The No campaign cites an estimated 12,000 extra cars on the road, a net 5% INCREASE in carbon emissions in Davis, and that ‘carbon neutrality’ can only happen via purchasing of offsets, instead of...you know, actually figuring out how to do sustainable development.

Dan Carson, a member of the City Council in Davis, took it upon himself (with legal fees from Measure H campaign funders) to sue members of the No on H team and lost badly in court. To me, this is a totally inappropriate, unethical, and undemocratic behavior by an official elected to serve the people.

Yolo County and the City of Davis have both passed Climate Emergency Resolutions, boldly setting goals to be fossil-free and climate-positive by 2030 and 2040, respectively. In reality, we’ve seen close to 2 years go by without significant progress towards climate drawdown or ecological restoration. Even with everything going on in the present moment, it still makes me wonder me how an emergency response can be put on the back-burner like that.

The recent 4-1 approval by the Yolo County Board of Supervisors of a new 30 year extractive gravel-mining project in the Cache Creek Watershed, the lifeblood of Yolo County, makes me wonder if we are being handed more false promises and rose colored sunglasses.

Thank G-d for Juliette Beck running for Yolo County Supervisor, who does not just put in lip service, but is present in addressing the urgency of this moment and helping to steer us into meaningful ACTION. She was the only candidate in her race to vocally oppose the mining project. I have the upmost confidence in her leadership ability, experience, and drive as a mother to include us in a viable way forward.

The time for action is now and it requires our participation and critical thinking.

Thank you -David Abramson


Misrepresentations of the Yes on H/Yes on DiSC campaign

Yes-on-H-mailer-cropped-annotatedBy Colin Walsh

The Vanguard published a guest commentary by Jackson Mills, “Debunking Deceptive Descriptions of DiSC in No on H Campaign Messaging,” on Tuesday morning. But it’s the commentary itself that is deceptive.

Ironically Mr. Mills himself chooses to mislead people in his selection of an outdated illustration to lead the article. It is notable that the illustration used with this article is from the previous DISC proposal and is certainly not an accurate picture of the current DiSC proposal. The water feature in this picture is an idealized version of the drainage ditch that ran through the middle of the previous project (it also shows far more water than there ever would have been). The drainage ditch does not run through the project in the current iteration. And the drainage ditch certainly doesn’t support paddle boarding as depicted on the Yes on H mailers.

The Vanguard has done nothing to address the Misrepresentations of the Yes on H campaign. Those claims have included such outrageous exaggerations and misinformation such as:

Measure H “helps our community fight the housing crisis” – DiSC will have over 2,400 employees, and by the City’s own documents only 187 will live in the onsite housing. That adds over 2,200 additional people looking for housing in Davis, adding pressure to our already incredibly tight Davis housing market.

Continue reading "Misrepresentations of the Yes on H/Yes on DiSC campaign" »


Sunday Jams

IMG_5703_smlr"Sunday Jams” at Lutheran Church of the Incarnation (LCI)

On Sunday, May 1 at 11:30 am, nine people came together to make some folk music at Lutheran Church of the Incarnation (LCI) shortly after its 9:30am worship service and 10:30 education and coffee hour.  Many brought instruments: guitars and ukuleles could be seen, there was a piano and many voices.  Each brought their own favorite folk songs to share with the others, and the group quickly caught on, singing Irish folk tunes, classics like “Shenandoah”, “This Land is your Land”, “Blowin’ in the Wind”, “If I had a Hammer” and many others.  
 
It was a moment to share something deeply needed among this fellowship of friends, and perhaps in our world today: unity through the healing power of the arts.  “Sunday Jams” is a tradition that will continue at LCI: the next jam session will be Sunday May 22 at 12:00 noon, playing the music of the Beatles.  All are welcome!  LCI is at 1701 Russell Blvd. Davis, 95616 (corner of Russell & Arthur, just west of 113).  
 

Continue reading "Sunday Jams" »


Earth Fashion

IMG_3923

Earth Day at The Wardrobe

By Colin Walsh

A large crowd gathered on D street as the lilting flutes of Paddy on the Binge and the melodic voice of Skyler Blakeslee floated over Downtown Davis. Earth Day in downtown Davis drew a respectable crowd of earth stewards, well-wishers and fashionistas.  A blend that makes absolute sense when you come to know the values and practices of The Wardrobe and its proprietor Heather Caswell.

“Slow Fashion” that ranges from elegant to beautiful and is sensibly sourced with much of the to die for clothing coming from local artisans and companies with sustainable practices.

The gathering was punctuated with thoughtful speakers from the local community including, Larry Gunther, Nancy Price, Delaine Eastin, Juliette Beck, Jonathan Greenberg and Eliot Larson. All speakers were excellent, but keynote speaker Elliot Larson stole the show.

Continue reading "Earth Fashion" »


Carson goes after citizens in court -- again

AppleFor Immediate Release  - April 19, 2022

From No on Davis Innovation and Sustainability Campus – No on Measure H

Re: Carson lawyers file motion seeking to deny legal fees to opponents of the Davis Innovation and Sustainability Campus (DiSC) after his lawsuit failed to substantively change the No on Measure H ballot statement

_____________

Councilmember Dan Carson revealed this week that he intends to go after Davis residents in court again.

In court documents filed late Monday, Carson said he wants the six residents who signed the ballot statement against Measure H to pay his attorney's fees even though his lawsuit seeking to water down their No on H ballot argument was largely unsuccessful.  Carson is demanding fees despite the fact that Dan Ramos, the developer behind the Measure H DiSC project, has already admitted publicly that he footed the bill for Carson's lawsuit.

The Attorney for the No on Measure H campaign Beverly Grossman Palmer stated, “As I previously indicated, it is very unusual for a sitting councilmember to sue over a ballot argument.  To seek fees against his own constituents for defending their right to present their views to the voters would be even more shocking, should Councilmember Carson file this threatened motion for attorney's fees.”

 Roberta Millstein, one of the authors of the ballot statement challenged in Carson’s lawsuit stated, “Carson’s developer backed lawsuit will have the effect of stifling Davis’s long tradition of engaged citizen participation. Who will want to sign a ballot statement in the future if a developer can fund a punitive lawsuit against them? Carson's lawsuit sets a terrible precedent.”

Alan Pryor, Principal Officer of the No on H campaign and one of the authors of the ballot statement stated, “Fortunately, Carson’s opposition brief is unlikely to be successful because it is clearly in the public interest for Davis voters to be able to write truthful ballot statements advocating against developments.” A judge is scheduled to hear the arguments from both sides on April 29th at Yolo County Superior Court.

The DiSC project is an outdated freeway offramp project that will put 12,000 additional cars on Mace Blvd. every day and increase greenhouse gas emissions by the City of Davis by 5%. The citizens of Davis already voted down the first iteration of this project less than 2 years ago.

Carson sought to have more than 80 words of the 300-word ballot statement against Measure H stricken. On March 30, 2022 Yolo County Superior Court Judge McGuire overwhelmingly ruled against Carson, making only 2 small changes suggested by the No on H campaign itself. One change simply modified the type of unit used to express the amount of greenhouse gases that would be produced by the project – similar to expressing a value in dollars rather than cents. The other change involved the following paragraph, which Carson had asked to be deleted:

“The Developer has made almost no binding commitments and has no viable ways to improve this traffic mess. Their only promise is to develop a Traffic Demand Management Plan if the project is approved. But figuring this traffic mess out later is not a plan!”

 The judge let the first and third sentences of that paragraph stand as they were; the second sentence changed the word only and it now reads, "They promise to develop a Traffic Demand Management Plan if the project is approved" – at best a slight change in meaning from the original.

 In dismissing Carson’s claims the judge also found the following arguments against DiSC were neither false or misleading:

“Rejected only 19 months ago by voters, DiSC is back. But it is still an autocentric, freeway-oriented, downtown-threatening project. It still has overwhelming traffic and environmental problems, and it is still non-compliant with the City of Davis General Plan.”

 Indeed, during the hearing, Carson's lawyer admitted that DiSC 2022 would not be compliant with the City of Davis's General Plan as it exists today.

The judge also let the heading, "Unmitigated Greenhouse Gas Emissions" stand, as well as the statements, “Locally we are reeling from the debilitating impacts of drought and terrifying wildfires caused by dramatically increasing carbon emissions” and “DiSC alone will increase the City’s carbon footprint by almost 5%, completely derailing the City’s ability to meet its carbon-neutral goal by 2040.”

The No on H Campaign believes Councilmember Dan Carson has grossly overstepped his role and blurred the lines between his elected office and his personal advocacy for a development project.


A Treeless DiSC?

Trees2Developer Proposes Baseline of Zero Trees Planted in New DiSC Development

The below letter was sent to the Davis City Council regarding a lack of commitment to planting trees in the massive new development. The Davis City Council takes up DiSC 2022 at the Feb. 1 meeting. You can find the agenda here. The agenda contains information for how to view the meeting and offer public comment. The DiSC proposal can be found here.

________________

Dear Davis City Council,

The below letter is informed by my work on the Tree Commission and on the Tree Commission subcommittee on DiSC 2022, but represents my own point of view, though others on the Tree Commission may share it.

Initially I was encouraged to hear the DiSC project was adopting a goal of planting 1,500 trees as the Tree Commission recommended. Then I read the actual language of the proposed baseline feature,
"The Project will add no less than 1,500 new trees to the City’s urban forest to sequester carbon, improve mental health, deter the heat island effect, and provide shading. If less than 1,500 trees are planted onsite, Developer will ensure that the remainder will be planted elsewhere in Davis."
 
This baseline feature actually commits to planting zero trees in the project itself. The Baseline has no baseline. The language is carefully crafted to commit to only adding trees to "the City's urban forest." The language allows for every single tree to be "planted elsewhere in Davis." The baseline features make no commitment to any number of trees in the project itself. That is totally and completely unacceptable. The vast majority of these 1,500 trees, if not all of these trees, need to be planted in the DiSC project itself.
 
The ground for planting a tree is the hardest part to come by for planting a new tree, if the developer doesn't commit to planting these trees in the project itself, there is little prospect of planting 1,500 trees elsewhere in the City of Davis anytime soon. The DiSC Baseline Features and Development Agreement provide no mechanism for planting trees "elsewhere in Davis" and no enforcement for assuring trees are planted and maintained elsewhere. That is a further reason why committing to zero trees actually planted in the project is entirely unacceptable.

Continue reading "A Treeless DiSC?" »


1/6 Vigil in remembrance of those who defended our Democracy

LWVFrom the League of Women Voters:

Dear Friends,

Welcome all to a New Year and best wishes for a healthy and peaceful 2022.  

Regrettably, what first comes to our mind this month might be the remembrance of last year and the January 6th terrorist attack on our National Capital. Our Democracy survives, but the actions on that day remind us that we all need to actively protect our Republic and our voting rights. With that in mind, LWVDA leadership joins the National League of Women Voters (LWVUS) by asking our membership to urge Congress and the President to pass federal legislation protecting our right to vote and our democracy.  

January 6th Day of Remembrance and Action: This Thursday Jan 6th at 5:15 pm in Davis Central Park, the Davis League will host a local vigil in remembrance of those who defended our Democracy last year and in support of the League’s 101-year position on voting rights advocacy and representative democracy. In this we join other LWV state and local leagues who will host in-person and virtual events to commemorate the remembrance. We invite you to join this show of unity at the public remembrance event. Register here: https://www.mobilize.us/mobilize/event/434619/

Take Action: As League members, we believe a January 6th remembrance also offers an opportunity for us to take action. We encourage your action this month in supporting passage of 2 federal bills currently stalled in the Senate: the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.  

Please take the time this week and join your fellow League members by going to this Action Link to learn more about this legislation and take individual action. By contacting Senators Feinstein and Padilla to push for passage of this important legislation we can truly recognize the heroism of the men and women that protected the Capital and legislators of all political parties in defense of Democracy on January 6th, 2021. 

…..

Happy New Year,
Mary Jo Bryan
President
LWV Davis Area


Credit Where Credit is Due

People PowerBy Larry Guenther

At Tuesday's meeting, (10/19/2021) City Council acted on recommendations made by a Council subcommittee, one of two subcommittees to look at the issue of "Reimagining Public Safety." Most of the discussion and credit for these changes was focused on the work the City Council subcommittee did. While the Council Subcommittee did do real work on producing these recommendations, there was a mere mention of the work done by a Joint Subcommittee of the Human Relations, Police Accountability, and Social Services Commission. Councilmembers and staff made almost no mention at all of the contribution from the rest of the Community.

The Joint Subcommittee did an enormous amount of work and research to make Nine Recommendations to City Council for changes that would create a more effective and just Public Safety system. Members of the Joint Subcommittee included: Cecilia Escamilla-Greenwald, Dillan Horton, Judith MacBrine, Don Sherman, Susan Perez, Bapu Vaitla, Matthew Wise, Sheila Allen, Emma O’Rourke-Powell, and Judith Plank.

Additionally, many community members put in countless hours of work, research, and thought that laid the ground work for the Nine Recommendations and, in fact, created the roadmap for the path the City is taking. Yolo People Power and the Yolo Democratic Socialists of America were two community groups that took the lead on this issue. Julea Shaw, Jordan Varney, Morgan Poindexter, and Francesca Wright of Yolo People Power stand out. These women were instrumental in analyzing Police Data, researching non-traditional and successful Public Safety programs in other municipalities, and educating and organizing community members. 

If you see any of the people mentioned in this letter, please thank them. Their work has been instrumental in moving Davis Public Safety to a more effective and just system.

Innovation and change comes from the Community.


Criticism of failure to restore strong affordable housing policy draws attack from Carson

Sterlingby Colin Walsh

I delivered this comment to the Davis City Council on 10/19/21 and received a very unprofessional attack from Council Member Carson in return. The comment was given in relation to the "Affordable Housing Ordinance – Extension of Alternative Rental Housing Requirements and Preliminary Scope of Work for an Update of Affordable Rental Housing Requirements" agenda item in which the Council voted to extend the weak interim inclusionary affordable housing ordinance.

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On February 6 of 2018 the Davis City Council approved the 2nd attempt at the Nishi project. This project had what has proven to be an unworkable exclusionary affordable housing that forces people accepted into the affordable housing to sharing a room. What’s worse is the combined cost of the two people who share the room is higher than that of market rate single room.  Worse there are only 264 affordable beds out of 2200 beds. Beds not units. Most of the market rate is not shared.

Continue reading "Criticism of failure to restore strong affordable housing policy draws attack from Carson" »


Hiding the DISC 2022 EIR update

DISC2022 Secret2 Comments to City Council on 9/22/2021 regarding the DISC 2020 EIR process

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Dear members of the Davis City Council,

I would like to object to the way the City is doing business in relation to the DISC EIR.

On the consent calendar of tonight’s agenda is a staff report detailing the actions taken by the City Manager while the council was in recess. Buried on the last page is a single line item disclosing that the City Manager approved almost $100,000 for an addendum to the EIR for the DISC project.

Previously, approval of this type of contract was done by council and the staff report revealed important information to the public about the EIR process. Several of us objected at that time that it was not enough information, and this time around we have even less information. The City should not advance the EIR of a major project like this - in secretive ways.

Further an addendum is not appropriate because there are significant new factors that have not been considered by the previous EIR.

  1. There are changed circumstances due to COVID and how office space is used. This must be analyzed in the new EIR.
  2. The new project has a much Higher proportion of the project dedicated to freeway adjacent retail. This is likely to have larger impacts on the downtown and must be studied. 
  3. The previous biological surveys are now outdated and need to be redone.
  4. Further revelations about the severity of climate change and how that will affect the project both in terms of adaptation and mitigation should also be considered in an update to the EIR.

Therefore, I also call on the Council to set a public scoping meeting for the new EIR immediately.

Please  ask that this item be pulled from the consent calendar and instruct the City Manager to immediately make the contract with Raney and outline of work be made public.

Thank you for your Consideration,

Colin Walsh

 

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Roberta Millstein, Consent calendar, item 4 D

Buried in this item is a line of a spreadsheet showing that the City manager approved payment to Raney Planning & Management to prepare a CEQA addendum for the new DISC 2022.

Two years ago, this approval was its own consent item, with documentation supporting the recommendation, and it had to be pulled from consent at the request of citizens.  Two years ago, staff originally thought an addendum to the previous EIR would be sufficient.  Then they said a supplement would be required – a higher level of analysis.  Some of us objected this still wasn’t enough.  Then they ended up needed to do hundreds of pages of a more detailed Subsequent EIR. 

It seems like the same mistakes keeping being repeated – at the last meeting, I and others highlighted the rushed process for DISC 2022 with not enough commission input, and now again with both old and new DISC we have a truncated EIR process without enough justification and transparency for the proposal to do just an addendum.

We still haven’t been given much information about this project, yet we are being told again that an addendum to the EIR will be enough.  The pandemic makes everything uncertain, particularly traffic and office occupancy.  They will need to figure out a way to project for that.  Downtown businesses are even more financially precarious and so the impact to them needs to be reconsidered.  And of course the biological surveys need to be redone, particularly for sensitive species such as the burrowing owl and various bat species.  Finally, the impacts of drought, fire, and smoke in our area due to climate change have become evident; these must be re-evaluated as well, especially in light of the loss of potentially mitigating agricultural land and increased traffic.

I request that this item be pulled from the consent and that the City manager be instructed to immediately make public the contract with Raney and outline of work to be performed.

I further request a public scoping period, including a public scoping meeting, on the updated EIR.

Thank you.


Sutter Tree Removal Sets Terrible Precedent

Sutter lotA letter to the Davis City Council from Don Shor

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To the members of the Davis City Council,

This letter is in support of the appeal by Alan Hirsch of the tree removal permit, issued for Sutter Health, for the removal of 63 trees in order to make room for the installation of solar panels in their parking lot.

My concerns are about the process, the city’s overall policy for tree conservation, the efficacy of the mitigation proposed, failure to account for the value and many intangible benefits of trees, and the disturbing precedent of valuing solar panels over trees.

We need a discussion of the city’s commitment to an adequate and sustained urban tree canopy, clarity about which commissions would be best for actual oversight on an advisory basis, and how the process of removing large numbers of trees should be evaluated by staff, commissions, and the council.

Process.

I do not fault the city staff for this. These are policy issues that have been brought to the fore by the sheer number of trees being removed via a single application. There should be some threshold at which a removal that affects the city’s urban forest to this extent is not simply done by administrative review.

Mitigation.

The proposed mitigation needs to be evaluated by tree professionals. The recommendation by the NRC that the mature trees be moved reflects this lack of expert input. It is unlikely to succeed and would be a misdirection of resources.

Better planting of their entire parking area would be a better use of funds if it were done correctly. That includes new trees to shade as much asphalt as possible, with consideration given to the reduced options due to the presence of solar panels and shading issues. More open soil areas are needed to improve infiltration of natural rainfall and allow successful root development. Climate-ready landscaping should be installed wherever trees can’t be planted.

In fact, the city’s overall tree removal mitigation strategy needs to be evaluated with a particular emphasis on parking lots, both because they are especially important for urban heat island effect and because few, if any, of the parking lots in Davis meet the city’s 50% shading requirement.

Continue reading "Sutter Tree Removal Sets Terrible Precedent" »


New Petition to fix Mace Mess reaches 700 Signatures

Mace mess2

A new petition to restore Mace Blvd south of I-80 has been circulating recently. This week it reached 700 signatures.

You can see and sign the petition here:

http://chng.it/Ry7fQx96

 

text of the petition follows

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The petition summarizes our problems and requirements for Mace restoration.  Since this is a summary of the responses to a survey I recently sent out, it of course doesn't include each individual's favorite fix, but I hope it is close enough so that you-all would be willing to sign. 

As two years’ experience has demonstrated, if we don't tell the City what we want, heaven only knows what they'll do.   If you are a south Davis resident and want the Davis City Council to fix Mace, please sign.     

Thanks!

Char  

PETITION TEXT 

Introduction 

The City of Davis’ initial rationale for the Mace Project was incorrect.  This social engineering experiment on an established neighborhood to constrict the major traffic artery between north and south Davis and “force residents out of their cars” failed to recognize that all the neighborhoods affected have a high percentage of retirees and commuters who cannot lead their daily lives on bicycles even if they might wish they could, no matter how much pressure the City applies.  The result is an intrinsically flawed design. 

South Davis residents have been living with the safety issues and problems caused by the current Mace Boulevard configuration for the last two years, and the problems, especially gridlock, are returning as people return to offices to work post COVID.  Regarding the Mace Mess, as of 5/27/21, the City’s webpage states “the County and City representatives will follow up in a few weeks to review any questions or clarifications from the County. A community meeting will follow with date and time to be announced. Further updates will be posted once the City and County representatives are able to meet again.”  

I have advised the City that south Davis residents require adequate lead time before this meeting, that is, at least a week advance notice.  It is not reasonable to expect residents to study and understand a cryptic road diagram during a 2-hour in-person or Zoom meeting, then comment on it in two minutes.  In addition to posting on Nextdoor and the City webpage, the City should email people from the email addresses on the sign-in sheets from public meetings from the last two years.  The City must post copies of the plans to be presented on the City webpage, on Nextdoor, on Facebook, and attach them to the emails sent out to the mailing list at least a week before meetings, so people will have time to understand what is proposed.

Survey 

Recently south Davis residents were surveyed about what they want to see done with Mace Boulevard.  Most of the features in the current Mace configuration are designed to take up roadway in an attempt to turn Mace into a residential street. 

The City has approximately 80 acres of infill property in central Davis on the north side of the freeway that would be perfect for the sort of residential/shopping/bicycling urban design the City has unsuccessfully attempted to force on south Davis residents.  The City needs to fix Mace and then focus on applying this design to Davis proper, where it would be more feasible and appropriate. 

Following is a summary of the survey results. What needs to be done is really very simple.

Summary 

Required Design Changes in Order of Importance to Respondents (MOST IMPORTANT FIRST)

  1. Remove all bike lane curbs, the concrete maze on the west side of Mace from Cowell to Redbud, and all rock pile islands.
  2. Restore both NB and SB second vehicle lanes on Mace from Cowell to Redbud.  Remove the suicide lane and use the roadway real estate to restore the second lanes.
  3. Restore sweeping right turns at Mace and Cowell; provide adequate turn pockets at other intersections. 
  4. Elevate bike lanes (providing sloped  curbs) and merge with pedestrian walkways
  5. Design considerations:
  6. Bi-directional bike lane on West side of Mace from Redbud to Cowell; no bike lane on East side of Mace, or
  7. One-directional bike lanes on West and East sides of Mace from Redbud to Cowell; travel direction aligned with vehicle traffic. 
  8. Reduce the width of all crosswalks and move them closer to the corners so that drivers have a clear line of sight when attempting to turn.
  9.   San Marino Lights:
  10. Design considerations: 
  11. Remove massive San Marino light poles and refit San Marino lights with standard poles with RYG lights;  program them so that they do not signal when there is no cross traffic, or
  12. Retain triple pairs of lights, but fit light poles with sensors so that they only flash when there is cross traffic. 

                                 iii.    Install pedestrian/bicyclist crossing buttons. 

  1. When the second NB and SB lanes are restored to Mace, south Davis residents who are actual traffic engineers recommend that the City not plan on installing additional lights and high-tech sensors to the south until the results of the above changes are tested.  The expensive technology might not be necessary. 
  2. Taper lanes from 2 SB lanes from San Marino to Montgomery to 1 lane; increase NB Mace lanes from 1 lane at Montgomery to 2 lanes by South El Macero Dr.
  3. Add merged bike lane/sidewalk on the east side of Mace from Cowell to Chiles.  
  4. Whoever owns the oleanders on both sides of Mace should keep them trimmed up over head height or remove them. 

RESIDENTS' COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS   

  1. Most respondents liked the County’s innovative idea of elevated/merged bike/pedestrian lanes, although there were some questions:

       o   Some (not all) bicyclists felt that bi-directional bike lanes were more likely to cause accidents than one-way bike lanes.

       o   Some residents asked whether bike traffic should be required to travel in the same direction as vehicle traffic, regardless of bike lane design. 

  1. Some residents asked if bike lanes would be necessary on both sides of Mace, especially if a bi-directional bike lane is built on the west side from Redbud through to Cowell.  
  2. All residents (and especially residents facing Mace in the El Macero/N. El Macero to Redbud area) find the bike curbs and maze in this area dangerous and dysfunctional and want them removed.  This would also restore ADA access and residents’ on-street parking, as well as provide passage for agricultural equipment. 

Petition on “ CANNERY TRAFFIC SAFETY MEASURES” circulates

67417B2B-838E-48ED-8289-0539B771DC52An online petition is being circulated regarding traffic safety in the Cannery development. As of this post it has garnered 133 signatures in just a few days.

You can view or sign the petition here.

The petition reads as follows:

The current traffic conditions in the Cannery are dangerous, and we need increased traffic safety measures implemented as soon as possible. We have many children and elderly residents who do not currently feel safe in their own neighborhood, and there have been recent accidents and near-misses due to the lack of adequate traffic safety measures currently in place. 


Areas of special concern we would like to see:

  • Stop signs at Blanchard & Vine (currently a four-way intersection with no stop signs)
  • Stop signs at Spring & Kaneko (currently a four-way intersection with no stop signs)
  • Cannery Loop: Speed limit signs, stop signs, and/or speed bumps (currently no safety measures in place)
  • Pedestrian crosswalks: increased safety measures (e.g., flashing lights)
  • Engineering and traffic survey throughout the Cannery, as there are numerous other safety concerns throughout the neighborhood that the City needs to evaluate

Thank you for your consideration and prompt attention to this matter.


Gary Lee Yoder Remembered

Northern California 60s legend Gary Lee Yoder, of The Oxford Circle, Kak and Blue Cheer, passed away this weekend from numerous health complications. His friend Alec Palao remembers one of the coolest rockers around.

It’s not easy to explain why Gary Yoder was, and is, important. As nonchalant as the man could be, he had that intangible quality that is the sign of true artistry. Gary wrote simple but effective songs and delivered them with disarming confidence and a most soulful set of pipes. A Yoder tune could wistfully ponder ‘I’ve Got Time’, vent full-on hormonal rage in ‘Foolish Woman’, or play the psychedelic nudge-and-wink in ‘Lemonaide Kid.’ His vocal personae could snarl like Burdon or Morrison, extrude vowels like Dylan, or mimic the gentle cadence of Donovan. But these were influences, not imitations: Gary Yoder had very much his own style, and he remains one of those talents whom for whatever reason never made the transition to the big time. Instead, his legacy centres around his role as founder member of two legendary and distinctly different cult acts, time spent resuscitating a San Francisco rock institution, and a subsequent career that saw four decades of solid work as a much respected solo act and bandleader in his hometown of Davis, California.

An army brat who had spent his youngest years in Germany, Japan and various parts of the United States, Yoder ended up in Davis in 1961 when his father got a job at UC Davis. As a musician, he started with the expected folk music, but having always loved rock, he formulated a band together after graduating high school with pals Jim Keylor, Dehner Patten and Paul Whaley. This was The Hide-Aways, who soon shifted from small Davis gigs to take on the much more competitive group scene in nearby Sacramento, where surf was king. “We never did any Beach Boys or any of that kind of crap,” Gary told me. “We played Chuck Berry!” The quartet was equally fired by the British Invasion, and especially the rough soul of groups like the Animals, Yardbirds and Them. By the beginning of 1966 they had become The Oxford Circle, named for the girls’ dorm on the UC campus, and an appellation more than appropriate for the unit’s Anglophilic predilections.

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A cautionary tale about commenting on the Vanguard

DoxxingBy Ron Oertel

I've recently learned that the “Davis Vanguard” is not a safe place in which to comment, unless you don’t mind experiencing doxing in violation of the Vanguard’s own policies, which are further discussed below.

When I first started commenting (several years ago), “real” names were not even required.  Some suspected that more than one fake name/account was used, by some individual commenters.  I have always used my real name, and added my last name when the Vanguard changed its policy to require full names.

However, no one “signed-up” for doxing as a result of that change in commenting requirements.  Perhaps this result is predictable on a political blog in which moderation occurs “after” posting of comments – if at all.

In any case, the Vanguard is also a place to avoid if you don’t like having your comments labeled as racist by those intending to discredit others (which I’ve learned to laugh about).  You can see a recent example of the latter responded to herefrom the same commenter who is being defended by the Vanguard in regard to violating their own policies.  So, if the doxing doesn’t discourage you from challenging the Vanguard, perhaps having your comments labeled as “racist” will.

Perhaps it’s not a “coincidence” that the commenter whose name-calling and doxing attempts (also) repeatedly attacks me in regard to development issues that the Vanguard supports.  But this article isn’t primarily about having comments called “racist”, and the example above occurred after I decided to write this article.  Nor is it actually about the commenter himself – it’s about how the Vanguard administers its own policies, especially when its views are challenged.

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