Entries categorized "Education"

Letter: Safely re-opening schools in the near future

The following letter was sent to the Principal of Emerson Junior High School on February 12, 2021

Dear Ms. Kennedy,

I am the parent of a 13 year old boy in Emerson J. High School.

He has been stuck at home or in my law office since March, using Zoom, almost completely isolated from his school and other friends.

I think the DJUSD has done its best to provide some minimal education to its students and to keep them safe during one of the worst pandemic periods in a hundred years. The fact that Davis' infection and death rates are so low is testimony to how the community has handled the emergency. Thank you for your and the teacher and staff and Board's good efforts. Congratulations to all of you.

However, have you seen the new CDC Recommendations that came out today as to re-opening schools?

I think if the DJUSD immediately reviews and adopts those guidelines, our schools can be safely reopened in the very near future, not late spring or even next fall, as it currently looks like the plan is going to be.

May I ask you to refer this email to the Board, Administrator, General Counsel, and President of the DTA for review and comment?

I hope our District will immediately and seriously consider an updated plan for safely re-opening our schools as soon as possible, but not later than the end of spring break.

Thank you,

Michael J. Harrington
michael@mikeharringtonlaw.com


Community Celebrates Longtime Local Columnist

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Bob Dunning writes “The Wary I” column for The Davis Enterprise. Davis Enterprise/Courtesy photo

(From press release) He’s spent the past 51 years chronicling life in Davis, sharing his opinions, prompting us to examine ours and reflecting on all that makes this town the special place it is.

Now, it’s Davis’ turn to show its admiration and respect for Bob Dunning with a springtime celebration in honor of his 51 years at The Davis Enterprise.

Dunning was hired by The Enterprise on Jan. 27, 1970, as a sports writer, and he remembers being terrified of deadlines as he sat down at his typewriter that first day on the job. Now, tens of thousands of deadlines later, he confesses that he never really wanted to be a journalist but admits that he wouldn’t trade his time in newspapers for anything.

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Better main shot cropped_REDCity is blocking bike lanes?

The City of Davis' only response to recent crashes in the vicinity of Pole Line Road and East Covell Blvd has thus far been Enforcement1. Actively, the Davis Police Department has been monitoring some locations in the area.  Passively, the City has placed a
radar speed sign on WB East Covell between Manzanita and Baywood Streets, right about here.

Why is the radar speed sign in the bike lane? The City places similar signs - and they and private contractors place various construction signs - off to the side on streets when there's space to do so, so they clearly understand the advantage of doing so. But when there's no space, they place the signs on the side of the street, and on most collectors and arterial streets in Davis this means it's in a bike lane.

"Putting a radar feedback sign on Covell to invite drivers to slow down: good. Putting a sign in bike lane: not good," says Nicolas Fauchier-Magnan, the President of Bike Davis, who usually goes by Nico.

"Obstructing the bike lane, on a street where drivers routinely go 50 mph or more is simply irresponsible. 

"Come on, City of Davis," continues Nico. "You should know better, and you can do better. Please fix this terrible blunder before someone gets hurt. There is plenty of space on the grass, outside of the bike lane, to safely place this sign."

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Order now for Soroptimist Soup Night and Silent Auction Nov. 19

Pretzel soup salad option
Kabocha squash soup with a giant beer garden pretzel and green salad are one of three dinner options available Nov. 19 for the Soroptimist Soup Night and Silent Auction. Preorders are required by Nov. 15. (Courtesy photo)

(From press release) Every year, Soroptimist International of Davis hosts a Soup Night and Silent Auction one week before Thanksgiving. This year, the (virtual) event is more important than ever, as the service club’s primary fundraiser of 25 years – the beer booth at the Davis Farmers Market – was permanently canceled.

Community members are invited to pre-purchase a meal to pick up at Sudwerk Brewing Co., bid in an online auction, and learn about the club by watching a live YouTube broadcast on Thursday, Nov. 19. The auction and program are open to anyone in the U.S.

Orders are open through Nov. 15 for the meals, available for curbside pickup at Sudwerk, 2001 Second St., between 4 and 7 p.m. on Nov. 19. Selections include kabocha squash soup with a giant beer garden pretzel and green salad; Märzen bratwurst and slaw on a Village Bakery brioche bun with mixed-green and potato salads; and Linguica sausage with grilled peppers and onions, on a bun with mixed-green and potato salads. Each meal has the option to add an apple tartlet from Upper Crust Baking, and/or a selection of Sudwerk beers. Prices are $30 to $32 per meal, without add-ons. For an additional $20 donation, Soroptimists will offer contact-less delivery to Davis addresses.

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Does DJUSD’s Measure A (CFD #1 Special Tax) Have an End Date, or Does It Not Have an End Date?

By Matt Williams

On Friday and Saturday two articles appeared online that covered the work-in process due diligence research that I was in the midst of undertaking regarding DJUSD's Community Facilities District No. 1 (CFD #1) Special Tax, which was originally passed by the voters in Measure A on November 7, 1989. Friday's initial article by me can be read HERE in the Davisite, and Saturday's response article by David Greenwald can be read HERE in the Davis Vanguard.

As part of the Friday article comments, Don Shor posted the following observation and question. Based on his comment, it appeared that Don accepted on face value the words that he quoted and bolded.  I read those words differently than Don did, and my response to him also appears below.  One additional piece of background is that the intent of my initial communication to DJUSD was to bring some additional transparency and clarity to the questions raised by those very same words that Don quoted.  So far the trajectory of the events has been consistent with that intent.

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Public Comment to DJUSD School Board Last Night — Funny Money in Measure B Argument?

Fact-checkBy Matt Williams

The following Public Comment was submitted by e-mail to the DJUSD School Board with copy to DJUSD CFO Amari Watkins.  The Public Comment was read into the record by Superintendent John Bowes.  As noted in the text of the Public Comment, I have been dialoguing with Amari Watkins over the past three weeks.  What came out of the due diligence homework leading up to that dialogue was a complete surprise.

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Members of the DJUSD School Board, over the past three weeks I have been in e-mail communication with your CFO Amari Watkins regarding the current and future status of DJUSD’s Community Facilities District No. 1 (CFD #1).  Amari has provided the 1989 Resolution documents that created and govern CFD #1, which I have reconciled with the numbers from the four most recent DAVIS JOINT UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT MELLO‐ROOS COMMUNITY FACILITIES DISTRICT NO. 1 SPECIAL TAX REPORTs (“the reports”) prepared by DJUSD’s tax administration consultant, SCI Consulting Group.

Bottom-line … subject to Amari’s (DJUSD’s) provision of any additional legal and/or election documents … the numbers from “the reports” say that CFD#1 will have reached the point where the language from the Rate and Method Resolution, “The special tax shall be levied and collected only so long as it is needed to pay the principal and interest on debt incurred …” will reach both its logical and fiscal conclusion during or before DJUSD’s Fiscal Year 2021-2022 … possibly as early as during or before Fiscal Year 2020-21.  Said another way it appears to be clear that CFD #1 will be fully paid off at the end of Fiscal Year 2020-21, or at the latest Fiscal Year 2021-22.

The implications of CFD #1 ending for the DJUSD annual revenue stream are significant.

Continue reading "Public Comment to DJUSD School Board Last Night — Funny Money in Measure B Argument?" »


League of Women Voters to showcase local school board and city council candidates via Zoom

Davis-LWVJoin the League of Women Voters Davis Area and Davis Media Access for a Zoom forum from 3 to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 27 for five candidates vying for three spots on the Davis Joint Unified School District Board of Education.

Zoom forums will also be held on Sunday, Oct. 4 for the nine candidates vying for three seats on the Davis City Council. The District 2 forum will be at 1 p.m., followed by District 3 at 3 p.m. and District 5 at 5 p.m.

This is the first time candidates will compete to represent specific city council districts and school board areas, which are different.

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Darrah Runs Unopposed for Seat on DJUSD Board Area 2

Lea-Darrah2(From press release) Lea Darrah, an advocate for children for more than 20 years, will be representing the Davis School Board as Trustee for Area 2. Under recently adopted policy, the Davis Joint Unified School Board election process established five trustee areas. As Darrah was the only person to file for candidacy in Area 2, she will be appointed to the office and her name will not appear on the Nov. 3 ballot, per CA Elections code 10515.

Darrah's term as the Area 2 representative is scheduled to begin in December. The district's Area 2 map consists of some neighborhoods in north to east Davis. But, as part of the full board, she represents all students in the DJUSD.

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League of Women Voters to showcase local school board and city council candidates via Zoom

Davis-LWVJoin the League of Women Voters Davis Area and Davis Media Access for a Zoom forum from 3 to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 27 for five candidates vying for three spots on the Davis Joint Unified School District Board of Education.

Zoom forums will also be held on Sunday, Oct. 4 for the nine candidates vying for three seats on the Davis City Council. The District 2 forum will be at 1 p.m., followed by District 3 at 3 p.m. and District 5 at 5 p.m.

This is the first time candidates will compete to represent specific city council districts and school board areas, which are different.

Continue reading "League of Women Voters to showcase local school board and city council candidates via Zoom" »


Honu and Moa: Hawaiian Storytime in the Park with Edna Cabcabin Moran

An invitation from Multiculturalism Rocks! and Sol Summer Camp Davis

Image0(From press release)

Date: Friday, July 31, 2020
Time: from 10 am - 1 pm
Location: Central Park, Davis, CA (We will be at the carousel and picnic tables).
Please wear a mask, bring a hand sanitizer (extra will be provided). The 6-feet rule will be enforced.

Be treated this Friday to a Hawaiian Storytelling & Hula Dancing Lesson by author/educator Edna Cabcabin Moran! Edna (https://kidlitedna.com/) is an author, illustrator, educator and climate change activist based in the Bay Area. This Friday she will:

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Over 1,700 Signatures Collected for Petition Calling for DJUSD Special Election

YCDIE(From press release) In the span of 7 days, the Yolo Committee for Diverse and Inclusive Elections (YCDIE) collected over 1,700 signatures (1,472 of which were submitted this morning) for a petition calling for a special election to fill the seat on the Davis Joint Unified School District’s governing board that was vacated when board president, Cindy Pickett, resigned on June 30, 2020. This is in excess of the 1.5% of registered voters needed to qualify for the ballot. The vacated seat was originally filled through a provisional appointment made by the DJUSD Board of Trustees on July 2, 2020. This appointment resulted in an overwhelmingly white board that does not reflect the diversity of Davis. A successful petition will terminate that appointment and allow the voters to decide on who should fill the seat. The petition was submitted to the Yolo County Office of Education on July 14, 2020. The Yolo County Superintendent of Schools, Garth Lewis, now has up to 30 days to verify the signatures and call for a special election.

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Soroptimists working hard for women and girls

SoroptimistInstallation2020
This Zoom screenshot shows Soroptimist International of Davis 2020-2021 officers wearing starry-eyed glasses for their installation. From top left are Heather Carpenter, Lynn Fowler, Wendy Weitzel, Maggie Memmott, Evie Wright, Kacie Woodward, Emily Ziser, Elaine Barratt, Katherine Hess, Karen Westphalen, Lori Hansen and Carol MacDonald.

(From press release) Soroptimist International of Davis isn’t letting the pandemic impede its work to improve the lives of women and girls.

The service club wrapped up its 2020-2021 year with its installation of officers on June 23. Also this spring, members stewarded a City Council resolution on women’s rights, gave grants to single moms, and awarded local scholarships. Below are a few highlights:

Resolution for women’s rights

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Davis Soroptimists present community grants

Communicare
A baby gets a checkup at a Communicare Health Center. A Soroptimist grant will fund a new postpartum group for moms in need. Courtesy photo.

(From press release) This spring, Soroptimist International of Davis awarded $6,500 in funds to like-minded nonprofits through its annual Community Grants program.

The following organizations received awards:

  • Communicare Health Centers received $2,000, to supply a new postpartum group providing moms and babies with the best start possible through education, community support and health care.
  • Thriving Pink earned $1,500 for educational workshops to support local breast cancer survivors.
  • Yolo Diaper Bank received $1,000 to purchase the supplies needed to wrap and deliver 100,000 diapers over the year to agencies that distribute diapers to families that would otherwise not have enough.
  • Yolo Children’s Fund was awarded $1,000 to meet the needs of girls and teens who are abused or disadvantaged. It funds special projects, needs or educational enrichment that would otherwise go unmet.
  • Short-Term Emergency Aid Committee received $1,000 for legal documents to help individuals get housing, employment and aid, especially women who need to support their children or escape violence.

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UCD Grade Strike Starts Thursday

Screen shot 2020-02-26 at 4.35.10 PM(from press release) Dear Davis community,

Tonight at our General Assembly, we agreed to move forward in solidarity with the wildcats in Santa Cruz and see through our demands for a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA). On Thursday, February 27, Davis graduate students will begin a grade strike for the Winter quarter to demand a COLA and to call on the University of California to rescind its threats of retaliation against wildcat strikers at UC Santa Cruz.

A grading strike is the withholding of grades by Teaching Assistants (TAs) designed to disrupt the everyday functioning of the University.

We will be releasing more information, resources, and FAQs in the coming days. Please check out our website and follow our social media for all of that.

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Soroptimists, Girl Scouts collecting diapers

DiaperDriveSIDavis
Soroptimist International of Davis members, from left, Crystal Ross O'Hara, Diana Harvey and Maggie Memmott wrap up diaper packages for Yolo Diaper Bank at a recent club meeting at Three Mile Brewing. The diaper bank, founded in 2017 by the daughter of a Soroptimist member, is keeping Yolo County dry – one bottom at a time. (Wendy Weitzel/Courtesy photo)

(From press release) Soroptimist International of Davis and The Davis Girl Scouts are joining forces to collect diapers for the Yolo Diaper Bank. 

One in three families in Yolo County does not have enough diapers to keep their babies clean, dry and healthy. The Yolo Diaper Bank collects and distributes diapers to local agencies serving families in need. Diapers and checks made out to Yolo Diaper Bank may be dropped off by March 15 at any of these locations: Avid Reader Active (605 Second St.), Woodstock’s Pizza (219 G St.), Strelitzia Flower Company (4614 Second St. #1), or any Girl Scout Cookie booth (www.girlscoutcookies.org).

Diapers sizes 1 and 2 are most needed. Opened packages are accepted, as well as pull-ups and baby wipes. For more information, email Lmhansengs@gmail.com or info@yolodiaperbank.org.

Soroptimist is a global volunteer organization that provides women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment. For more information on the club, visit sidavis.org or like its Facebook or Instagram pages: @SoroptimistDavis.


Apply now for a Soroptimist grant

Sia-logo-horizontalSoroptimist International of Davis is accepting applications from local nonprofit organizations for grant funding for 2020.

The club welcomes submissions from organizations that support economic empowerment and access to education for women and girls in our community. Applications will be assessed based on their alignment with the Soroptimist mission, community impact and feasibility. Any organization, including previous recipients, is encouraged to apply.

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A Case for Bernie Sanders

The times have finally caught up with his vision

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Picture taken by R. Millstein at Bernie's rally at UC Davis in 2016

By Roberta Millstein

With the California primaries upon us in less than two months, it’s time to turn our attention to the presidential primaries, which will be held on March 3, 2020.  Since we have an earlier primary than in past years, California can make a big difference in who will stand for election in November.  Check your voter registration status here and make sure that you are registered for the party whose primary you want to vote in.  (Yes, you can register “No Party Preference”[1] and that will let you vote in some parties’ primaries, but most agree that it is more trouble than it is worth.  You can always change your party to something else later).

As important, of course, is the decision about who to vote for.  Here is how I came to support Bernie Sanders. Perhaps you will find my reasoning persuasive.

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Isao Fujimoto Exhibition & Opening Event 1/25

(From press release) Isao-Fujimoto-EventAn event honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Isao Fujimotowill will take place on Saturday January 25th, 2020, from 9:30AM to 5:30PM at the International House.

Dr. Isao Fujimoto was one of the founding faculty members of the UC Davis Asian American Studies Department. Dr. Fujimoto's life's work has been to lift up the voices of the marginalized. He has pursued this through community-engaged research on indigenous peoples in the Philippines, and farmworkers and immigrants in the California's Central Valley.

 

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Why dropping SAT/ACT admission requirements isn’t a “dumbing down”

The tests do, in fact, discriminate against low-income students

Bubble-sheetBy Roberta Millstein

A recent letter to the editor in the Davis Enterprise decried the move to drop the SAT and ACT as part of the college application process.  The letter writer states that to get rid of these standardized tests would be to “dumb down” the educational process, suggesting that people need to accept that not everyone’s abilities are the same and that some students just need to work harder.  The letter writer rejects out of hand the suggestion that the tests “discriminate against minorities and the poor.”

Letters like this remind me that there are a number of facts about these standardized tests that are not well known.  So, in the interests of education (yes, a double meaning here), I thought it would be helpful to rehearse some of them.  I will focus on the SAT because that is the test I am more familiar with.

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WHO WAS MAX BENSON?

CandleAN INTERVIEW WITH HIS MOTHER, STACIA

#SHINEONMAX

 

On Sunday, November 17, 2019, people around the world lit candles in honor and remembrance of Max Benson.  The local vigil was powerful, but worldwide, the hashtag #ShineOnMax became a unifying and powerful movement to bring the world together in solidarity of valuing autistic lives.

Max was killed after being placed in an illegal prone restraint for nearly two hours at his school.  Soon, The Aspergian will cover this story in more detail, but right now the world needs to know Max outside of “the boy who was killed.”

Max was a boy who lived, a bright, vibrant, loving, curious, hilarious, creative, outgoing soul whose life had purpose and value.

I talked to Stacia Langley, Max’s mom, to get to know Max outside of the sparse, often-dehumanizing soundbytes that have punctuated the news stories about his last days.

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