Entries categorized "Education"

A Failure of Equity - Racist and Ableist Bike Share Returns to Davis

E6a0ce4fef1b41a4a3839f8c0e6cd132At the city council meeting tonight a pilot for e-bike and e-scooter share will likely be approved - and will start by September. 

Bike share and scooter share are great things, despite all sorts of issues. Electric assist makes these "micromobility" devices even more of a joy. More and more bike share systems offer e-bikes, sometimes exclusively. Scooter share was always electric.

But as with Jump bike share - which ended in Davis a little over two years ago - the minimum age limit for use for bikes will be 18. Once again this age limit makes it racist.
 
Why is it racist?
 
It's simple: Youth have fewer mobility choices, even more so if they're members of economically-vulnerable households. Brown and Black people are over-represented in these households. There's no minimum age for using the type of bikes supplied by Lime. There's no formal impossibility for parents and guardians to take legal responsibility for necessary contracts. Therefore... it's arbitrary... and this means it's racist. It's doesn't mean that the City Council is racist. It means that unless we change their minds they are making a racist decision tonight.
 
Once again the speed is limited to 15 mph assistance without any evidence that this has any benefits for safety. Nor only does this make the bikes less competitive with automobiles, the speed assistance limit below what state law allows is biased against less strong people who might find it harder to get their bikes over 15 mph. This is probably ableism, yes?, or something else which City documents and various statements of the current City Council would naturally disavow.
 
Many other cities have much less racist and ableist systems
 
There's no minimum age for the use of type 1 e-bikes, which will be the type supplied by Lime. The minimum required for use of an e-scooter in California is possession of a learner's permit, and being 16. However the Lime-supplied pilot requires a minimum age 18 for that as well. That's two years when kids can drive a car most of that by themselves before they can use bike share or scooter share in Davis. Bike share systems all over California and the USA allow users under age 18 (For example the system in Philadelphia allows 16 year-olds to use their e-bikes and 14 year-olds their "acoustic" bikes.) But we're the USA cycling capital! (Perhaps it's time to change our official City logo - to purge this anachronistic and anti-egalitarian high-wheeler bicycle from our community imagery?).
 
A major innovation that Davis can make here is by replacing the age cut-off with one based on peers. This is because the majority of youth have friends that are in the same grade. Not everyone in the same grade is the same age: We see this manifested when some high school students can get licensed before their friends. 14 would work - nearly everyone that age is tall enough to ride the Lime bikes - but connecting it with entrance to high school would still be much better than the current situation. See details below - this will get many on bikes at age 15.  And then on e-scooters at age 16! Voila! Bikequity!! Fairscooterism!
 
Another good - and perhaps still innovative - new feature is that the park in the street like a motorcycle thing is a clear part of the rules. (This was done spontaneously by many Jump users and almost went forward officially before the bike share system was removed from Davis and UC Davis due to COVID.) However there's still a huge amount of the contract and rules based on the idea that the bikes will need to be moved within 90 minutes if there are badly parked. (In the pilot it's allowed to park like this in Downtown, but it's not even clear that there will be a sticker on the bikes to advise people of this. It's not really intuitive.)
 
The City Council has known about this issue for years
 
In March 2019 - when I was a member of the Bicycling, Transportation and Street Safety (BTSSC) -  I created a lengthy report on the one year anniversary of bike share in Davis and UC Davis. I was able to initiate what became a unanimous vote to ask the City Council to ask its partners at SACOG - and the previous operator Uber/Jump - to consider lowering the age (and raising the weight limit). This sat on the long-range calendar until shortly after Uber removed the bike share system from Davis and UC Davis.
 
The other day I confirmed with Lime and that neither the e-bikes nor the e-scooters will have a maximum weight limit. That's good - the newer e-scooters are generally considered to be more robust than those available just a couple of years ago.
 
Oh, last time the DJUSD Board of Education was asked to support an under-18 age limit.. they were not interested. This may have been in 2019 - a partly-different board.
 
What to do?
 
Thank the City of Davis City Council for bringing back bike share and introducing scooter share, BUT:
* Demand that they allow the use of Lime e-bikes from the first day of 10th grade, or even better the first day of summer before 10th grade.
* Demand that - per state law - everyone 16 years old with a learner's permit be allowed to use Lime e-scooters.

Learning from the anti-Semitic incident on 113 overpass

Anti-Semitic bannersBy Roberta Millstein

As most Davisites have learned by now, at least twice over the past two weekends, masked men displayed antisemitic banners from a highway overpass in Davis (see Davis Enterprise article for details).

The banners said, “Communism is Jewish” and “The Holocaust is an anti-white lie.”

Several local leaders issued responses.  These responses, although all were well-meaning, miss the mark a bit.  I want to try to explain why.

Chancellor Gary May said: “We are sickened that anyone would invest any time in such cowardly acts of hate and intimidation. They have no place here. We encourage our community to stand against antisemitism and racism.”

This isn’t false per se, but it’s incomplete.  This isn’t just an act of hate.  As I will explain further below, the banners replicate common tropes (repeatedly told stories) about Jewish people.  Without calling out those tropes, many will not understand, or fully understand, what the issues are.

Chancellor May is correct that anti-Semitism and racism are connected, but he doesn’t say how.  Again, more on this below.

Continue reading "Learning from the anti-Semitic incident on 113 overpass" »


Seeds of Justice Speaker Series

Flyer Seeds of Justice 2022(From press release) The Episcopal Church of St. Martin is pleased to announce the second season of its Seeds of Justice speaker series, which explores the racialized history of the land on which Yolo County residents live and work. It asks: What is our responsibility as community members to the original inhabitants of this land, the ancestral homeland of the Patwin-Wintun people, and to those who have worked the land and stewarded it? What is the legacy of environmental racism, exploitation, and ecological degradation? How can we heal and repair the harm?  

BethRose Middleton (1)
Professor Beth Rose Middleton Manning

Professor Beth Rose Middleton Manning from the Department of Native American Studies, UC Davis, is our first presenter. Prof. Middleton Manning’s talk is titled:

In Relation to Water: Indigenous Leadership in Restoring and Re-Envisioning Watershed Stewardship,”

and will be held on 18 September, 4:00pm, in person and online at the Episcopal Church of St Martin, 640 Hawthorn Lane, Davis CA 95616. To attend, please register at the following website:

https://churchofstmartin.org/2022/08/03/save-the-date-seeds-of-justice-continues/

Continue reading "Seeds of Justice Speaker Series" »


Soroptimists award grants to three nonprofits

ThrivingPinkGrant2022
Yolo County teens Bella and Abby participate in Thriving Pink’s comfort bag making at its Volunteer Day. The bags contain breast cancer-specific wellness and support items to be given to patients at local infusion centers and healthcare offices. The nonprofit received a Soroptimist grant for its Youth Education and Support outreach project directed at teen girls. (Courtesy photo)

(From press release) Soroptimist International of Davis recently awarded grants to three local nonprofits: Thriving Pink, CommuniCare Mobile Medicine and Mutual Housing of California.

The club distributed $5,000 in Community Grants between the three organizations. “Our committee received high quality grant applications that aligned with the Soroptimist mission, vision and values,” said Lisa Adda, SI Davis president and chair of its Community Grants Committee. “Our core values are gender equality, empowerment, education, and diversity/fellowship, and our committee prioritized those in awarding these funds.”

Adda said this year’s grants help women and girls “with education as it relates to breast cancer, empowerment through emergency shelter, and diversity ­by reaching an important audience.”

Continue reading "Soroptimists award grants to three nonprofits" »


Where have all the babies gone?

Screen Shot 2022-07-09 at 10.22.28 AMBy Dave Taormino

Davis has been gradually losing its innate college town character. The level of civility in civic discourse continues its decline as demonstrated in the recent Measure H campaign. The 1960 – 70s mid-western ethos that prospered when Davis and UCD set out on their mutually aligned growth paths has deteriorated with urban-like political fighting. The midwestern neighborly values that were once well established have given way to a divisive approach to community engagement. In housing development discussions, the person you disagree with is characterized as evil, dishonest, a liar, etc. Why? In part because Davis’s 40 years of restrictive housing and growth policies has spawned and feeds unintended and unnecessary discord with little visible, offsetting benefits.

Here are some of the impacts:

  1. Less than 40% of our TOP City management live in Davis. Nearly all the major City decision makers and their families live elsewhere. Their family life and personal civic involvement is not here.
  2. The percentage of Davis Police and Fire Department personnel who live in Davis is much lower than the TOP management. In essence, their family and hearts reside elsewhere.
  3. The vast majority of North, North Davis homeowners are individuals employed at UCD or a Davis business. They cannot afford to live here. A sizable number have children commuting daily with their parents to attend Davis schools, a good outcome for us.
  4. In the Cannery, roughly 80% of the buyers had no relationship to Davis or UCD, although some had grown children living here. Most came from the Bay Area and Marin County, exactly where the Cannery developers heavily advertised. It was an intentional strategy not intended to attract local UCD faculty, staff, and other Davis workers. In the 546 homes, an unbelievably low number of school age children actually live there. Something like 26 new students resulted from Cannery’s 546 homes plus apartments. In the 80’s and early 90’s a “Cannery-type neighborhood” would have generated 300 - 400 new students. Where have all the families with or capable of having babies gone?
  5. Approximately 1,000 Elementary through High School students commute daily to our schools. Without these commuting students some neighborhood schools would close. Imagine the rancor and anger that would result should neighborhood school closures be considered. The civic anger, neighborhood vs neighborhood would likely be greater than the recent Measure H arguments. The School District has done a masterful entrepreneurial job in “recruiting” out of Davis parents/children to attend our neighborhood schools. For how long can those creative efforts be sufficient? A university-oriented community NEEDS GREAT schools. Great schools require children from childbearing age parents living here and as a result contributing to a wholesome, family friendly, inclusive community. That was “the 1960’s and 1970’s Davis civic perspective” when UCD embarked on its original and now continuing growth plan.

The list could continue, but you get the point.

Continue reading "Where have all the babies gone?" »


Davis Pride Festival set for June

RobinFadtkeFest2021
Festival goers enjoy the Davis Pride Festival on June 13, 2021. (Robin Fadtke/Courtesy photo)

(From press release) The rainbows return to Davis’ Central Park in June for the Davis Pride Festival. Events include skating, a fun run, live music, drag queens, vendors and more – June 11 and 12.

The weekend of events, produced by the Davis Phoenix Coalition, begins with the Diva Disco Skate Night, starting at 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 11 under the Davis Farmers Market Pavilion. The night will include music, lights and food trucks.

Sunday, June 12 begins at 8 a.m. with the Run for Equality, a 5K run or walk from Central Park, and a 1K Rainbow Run for children. At 11 a.m., the Davis Pride Festival begins at the park and pavilion, with local and international bands, a drag queen revue, educational booths, food, drink, and vendors in partnership with the Davis Craft and Vintage Market.

Other events include the rainbow painting of the crosswalks around Central Park early on May 29; a Drink with Pride Night at Sudwerk Brewing Company (date to be determined); and possibly a Bike Party Davis Ride with Pride.

June is International LGBTQ+ Month. Davis Pride is produced by Davis Phoenix Coalition, a nonprofit that works to foster diversity, eliminate intolerance, prevent hate-motivated violence and support LGBTQ+ youths. The coalition was founded in the aftermath of a 2013 anti-gay attack on Davis resident “Mikey” Partida. Proceeds from Davis Pride support the coalition’s anti-racism and anti-bullying campaigns, support to LGBTQ+ youths and their families, and outreach with area police departments, churches and schools. To donate, go to https://davisphoenixco.org/donate.

To support the event, be a vendor, volunteer, visit https://www.davispride.org/. To learn more details as they unfold, follow Davis Pride on Facebook and Instagram.


Unitrans Turns 54

Campus and City Bus System Celebrating 54 Years in the Community

54thAnniversaryFlyer00001 54thAnniversaryFlyer00002(From press release) ASUCD Unitrans, the City of Davis and UC Davis local bus service, is turning 54 on Friday, March 4! To celebrate, Unitrans is running one of our vintage London double decker buses on a special, free campus to downtown lunch shuttle from 11 AM to 1 PM. In addition, Unitrans will host refreshments and giveaway items outside at the Memorial Union Bus Terminal from 11 AM to 1 PM. At noon, to celebrate our community's transit legacy, all three functioning vintage London double decker buses and two new modern double deckers will "parade" through downtown on 2nd and 3rd Streets from the Memorial Union Bus Terminal. The vintage buses have not been in service since March 2020 and Unitrans has used the last two years to refurbish and repaint the buses. Unitrans hopes to reintroduce the vintage buses into limited service in spring 2022.

https://unitrans.ucdavis.edu/news/2022-02-22/unitrans-turns-54-celebrate-with-us-on-friday-marc/


Local Mom and Climate Activist Juliette Beck Considers Run for Yolo County Supervisor

BeckJuliette Beck, a lifelong social and environmental justice advocate, mother and caregiver, filed over 200 signatures on Wednesday with the Yolo County Elections office to stand as a candidate for District 2 County Supervisor.

“I am testing the waters to see if there is community support for a strong progressive, woman candidate and climate champion in Davis and Winters,” said Beck.

Beck moved to Davis with her husband Nick Buxton in 2008 when she was pregnant with their first daughter to be close to her sister and brother-in-law who had moved to Davis a few years earlier. She loves Davis and is grateful to the community for nurturing their young family over the last thirteen years.

Beck has been an active parent volunteer at Cesar Chavez Elementary and a strong advocate of outdoor learning during the COVID pandemic. Over the years, she has enjoyed coaching soccer, biking as a way of life, working in the school gardens, supporting the local youth climate strike movement, and raising her family including her two daughters and energetic dog, an “Aussiedor,”  Luna.

“I want to thank the dozen volunteers that pitched in to collect over 200 petition signatures in less than a week. Juggling family, work and personal well-being is not easy during the ongoing pandemic, but clearly people are concerned about climate change and want to help do all we can to make a difference to our children’s future,” said Beck.

Continue reading "Local Mom and Climate Activist Juliette Beck Considers Run for Yolo County Supervisor" »


Odd Fellows Continue Natalie Corona Scholarship

Nat-cor-gradThe Davis Odd Fellows will continue to award the 'Officer Natalie Corona Odd Fellows Memorial Scholarship' this year.

This scholarship was created after the murder of Officer Natalie Corona on January 10, 2019, to honor her service and commitment to our community.  Our goal is to help remove barriers for like-minded individuals who wish to pursue careers in related fields.

High School Seniors from Davis Senior High, King High School, Da Vinci Charter School, and Pierce High School in Arbuckle who plan to major in Law Enforcement, Criminal Justice, or in a First Responder field, and are going on to either a 2-year or a 4-year institution, are eligible to apply.  Students in standard or independent study programs are welcome to apply.  Scholarships from $1,000-$1,500 will be awarded.  The application deadline is April 1, 2022.

Applications should be completed on the Odd Fellows Lodge website at davislodge.org.  Go to the 'Lodge Programs' tab and click on 'Officer Natalie Corona Odd Fellows Memorial Scholarship.'  A separate letter of recommendation from an un-related adult, teacher, or coach, should be sent no later than April 1, 2022, directly to Rick Gonzales at etgonzales@sbcglobal.net


Toward a Fossil Free UCD

Fossil free UCD

UC Davis, long recognized as a leader in environmental sustainability, is taking a bold first step to confront the sizable carbon emissions that result from its own daily operations and contribute to the climate crisis. The campus has officially announced that it is drawing up concrete plans to electrify both of its campuses with the goal to eliminate the use of fossil fuels.

In October 2020, an informal group of UCD students, faculty, staff, and alumni met with Chancellor Gary May and other campus officials to press for a commitment to go fossil-fuel free, eventually resulting in the creation of a new Campus Advisory Committee on Sustainability. Branding itself Fossil Free UCD, the group met with Chancellor May again in December 2021 and presented a petition signed by over 1300 UCD affiliates, including more than 260 faculty, 795 students, and 135 alumni. The petition called for the Chancellor and other UC Davis leaders to commit to ending the use of fossil fuels as a source of energy for UCD’s campuses by 2030, and to develop a plan for doing so in 2022. 

 As members of this group, we are motivated by three ideas: 1) the urgency of acting now to try to avert the worst local and global consequences of global heating, including wildfires, extreme rainfall, extreme heat, hurricanes, drought, flooding, sea level rise, damaged ecosystems, species extinction, and changed disease vectors, 2) UCD’s core missions of education, research, and service to local and global communities and its longstanding commitment to environmental sustainability, and 3) UCD’s power and obligation to lead and inspire others to decarbonize rapidly.  Other universities are also taking steps to eliminate fossil fuels in this way, including Stanford, Oberlin, and Ball State.

Continue reading "Toward a Fossil Free UCD" »


Nonprofits: Apply for a Soroptimist grant

(From press release) Soroptimist International of Davis is accepting applications from local nonprofit organizations for Community Grant funding for 2022.

In 2022, the club has $5,000 budgeted for Community Grants of up to $2,500 each. Nonprofit organizations that align with the Soroptimist mission are encouraged to apply. The deadline is March 8. Awards will be distributed in late spring. 

Grant applications are evaluated for their alignment with the Soroptimist mission, vision, core values, community impact and feasibility. Any organization, including previous recipients, is encouraged to apply. Soroptimist is a global volunteer organization that provides women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment. Applicants are asked how the requested funds would address the needs of women and girls in Yolo County, and support Soroptimist core values of gender equality, empowerment, education and diversity.

SI Davis has several fundraisers a year, and reinvests all of its profits in its programs and projects. These include Live Your Dream: Education and Training Awards for Women, and Dream It, Be It: Career Support for high school girls. It also funds high school scholarships, anti-trafficking efforts, and these Community Grants to nonprofits.

Applicants will receive notice by May 1 of their application’s status. To apply, visit https://www.sidavis.org/grants. Questions may be directed to Lisa Adda, Community Grants chair, at lm_adda@yahoo.com.

Continue reading "Nonprofits: Apply for a Soroptimist grant" »


DISC 2022 Transportation - Planning Commission falls for Developer's Trick

TrapBacThe trap was set likely shortly after "DISC  2020" was defeated by voters.  When the developers of this peripheral sprawl - or I'll be nice and call it West West Sacramento - were planning to re-introduce it last year for a vote this year - they realized that a key demand was a grade-separated crossing of Mace. So they removed it from the Baseline Features... fully-intending to agree to do it as a concession.

Back story

The City Council-approved Street Standards (2016) don't mention e-bikes at all. What this means is that the width, curvature, and proper siting of infrastructure that would optimize the use of e-bikes - in particular the Type 3 variant that has assistance up to 28 mph - is totally missing in Davis, or more immediately in concepts, plans as well as development agreements and baseline features in current and near-future projects.

To address this, over two-and-a-half years ago when I was on the Bicycling, Transportation and Street Commission (BTSSC) I got support for adding an item to the long range calendar which would address it; this first appeared on the LRC in September 2019, with a possible date of December 2019 for the agenda. (It is abbreviated somewhat erroneously as "intersection design guidelines / standards"). It has been pushed back repeatedly since then, and the BTSSC did not support forming a sub-committee about it during 2020.

What this means is that significant concepts and projects which could alleviate transportation problems, such as Reimagine Russell, the new-ish Class I multi-user path on the south side of Russell (chronically and clinically-referred to as a "bike path) or smaller projects all over the city are not future-proofed for the increase of modal share for cycling we desperately need to improve everything from climate impacts to conviviality to fitness to transportation crashes. Our city is simply too large now in size to have a significant modal share with "acoustic" bicycles. Not convinced? Look at the low bike modal share from peripheral areas of town in the UCD Campus Travel Survey, which shows low share even for people with campus destinations where car parking is not always convenient, and not fare-free. It's not hard to extrapolate - necessary, as the City has essentially refused to do its own counts for years - that almost no one regularly rides from Mace Ranch or some other peripheral areas to Downtown for a coffee or beer - sort of the most normal thing in the Universe in a bicycle-branded cycling city.

SurveyCycling
UCD Campus Travel Survey 2019-2020 (pg. 30) - By bike, DISC is just over four miles from ARC, a central point on campus when considering agricultural facilities. This distance has about a 10% modal share for cycling, and includes mostly students, many who don't have their own cars.



However, as we can see from the example above, the faster type of e-bikes are quite expensive. I've seen nothing lower than just over $3,000. Though important - or all - major arteries in Davis - should be optimized for this type of bike - the idea is not only to optimize for them but make safe for all users, including on acoustic bikes - it cannot mean that this type of bike should be essentially required to live here and enjoy the purported high quality of life. Infrastructure optimized for fast bikes is also a significant improvement for all bikes, as it's direct, requires a minimum of stops, is not shared with motor vehicles... or pedestrians and dogs.

To be more precise, the goal should be the 15-Minute City. This is a relatively new standard or classification of a very, very old sometimes organic strategy to make key locations in a city within 15 min from anywhere else, for all means of transportation. This seems to also serve as a kind of proof of the bicycle modal share results in the Campus Travel Survey. It's definitely something that should be part of our new General Plan, or even worked on earlier by a joint Commission process (BTSSC, Planning... perhaps Natural Resources and Social Services...). I would argue that it should also be about effort, so a 5 or perhaps 7-minute walk is the equivalent of a 15 min bike ride. I've said that if kids can't walk unaccompanied 5-minutes from where they live to buy ice cream cones, it's a failure (and that's just one example, a single ice cream place or a truck at DISC doesn't make it sustainable.)

It's also quite important to be reminded that the City of Davis has for over four years not had a senior civil engineer with a transportation focus. Many projects have gone forward - sometimes to completion, often with significant flaws - without the benefit of this experienced and wise counsel.

 

Last Night

At the Planning Commission review of Disc 2022 last night - and early this morning - I was actually quite impressed by the comments from multiple Commissioners regarding negative transportation issues of the planned project, and even the general discussion about its unavoidable impacts and uncertainly of benefits from transportation demand management... well, at least earlier in the discussion. Commissioner Shandy was particularly right on with her criticism of planned widening of Mace - presented by the developer as a kind of unquestioned religious observance - contradicts claimed benefits for people cycling and walking. There were other positive and thoughtful comments by a majority of Commissioners.

I knew that the grade-separated crossing of Mace was a kind of sneakily-hidden prize and tried to point out in my sort of sloppy recorded comment that that a safer crossing of Mace would not on its own make DISC 2020 excellent for cycling (this is better than "cycle-friendly"), because of distance from Downtown and places further west, and besides that, safe crossings directly to the south along Mace across 80 would cost many millions and be very complicated (and at least in my head I know that Caltrans District 3 and the Yolo County Transportation District have withdrawn the earlier plan - it was supposed to be built first! - of a new bike and ped bridge across the Bypass as part of the I-80 Managed Lanes Project.)

Screenshot from 2022-01-13 02-14-21
Just an aside about the bandied about "globally-known sustainability of Davis": This was the air quality last night shortly after the meeting was over (via Purple Air)

 

 

The Trap is Sprung

Though it was fully-intended to be a positive thing and I will give credit to Commissioner Shandy, the discussion and lead-up to a vote turned sour when she proposed that a grade-separated crossing of Mace and a Class I trail across the undeveloped land south of Harper Junior High would make her feel better about the planned Mace widening and other traffic impacts. She suggested nothing about safe cycling and walking connections to other places, such as the Nugget and popular restaurants across 80. But the problem is that, for example, the area planned for housing at DISC 2022, on the north and eastern side of the project area, is more than 15 minutes away by bike from Downtown and at leat 20 to 25 minutes away from the UC Davis campus that is the raison d'être for DISC 2022! Moreover, the route has almost no optimized cycling infrastructure the whole way (varied from local streets to arteries, no protected bike paths, lack of priority at stops, etc... there is no proposal for any of this in any proposed development agreement or baseline features). But mainly it's too far by bike... never mind walking! Most of the time people - with free or with un-bundled parking - will take I-80 between campus and DISC, even more so to many facilities etc on the west side of campus related to agriculture. I-80 is such a fantastic route much of the day that nothing can compete with it, including shuttles and express buses, which I am sure will at best have a tiny modal share.  This creates huge challenges for any development more than 15 min away from key locations, and it means simply that they should not even be considered. (Oh, wouldn't it have been great if staff were directed to work on the General Plan and told the developers that there was no capacity to work on stuff that would very likely be in violation of a progressive outcome for it?)

So the Planning Commission has recommended the two elements mentioned above that are supposed to address problems on Mace to the City Council. My conclusion is that the developers will signal their intention to accept them - perhaps with a little drama - and the Council will praise them for doing so. But again, even with everything promised (e.g. shuttles, TDM) and not promised (e.g. e-bike-optimized infrastructure) there's still no place for DISC. Still no way to successfully do something better than I-80 via private vehicle for anything but a minority. There's really nowhere to walk to from DISC. Hopefully the voters will see through this ruse and others and reject DISC 2020.

Galadrieltempted
In the ALTERNATIVE timeline, Lady Galadriel was tempted by but in the end did not succumb to the Power of the Grade-Separation ring

 

Denethor
In the REAL timeline, Lord Denethor, Steward of Gondor, was consumed by the Grade Separation Ring and driven mad.

 

 

Question

Last night I was quite surprised when the developer said with much conviction that baseline features were not necessary to enforce the creation of certain designs and programs at DISC 2022, as these would be required by CEQA. Then why have baseline features as a solution for any of these things, in all the discussion for years up until now? If a reader could enlighten me I would truly appreciate it.

Afterword

I am all for more housing - for all income levels, but with a significant proportion below market and lower income - and workplace and related development in Davis. I have never said I was against these things in any local discussions, for example in the Davis Vanguard. But they have to be infill, they have to be on greyfields such as parking lots, industrial areas along 5th St - not only the PG&E yard - and in the eastern side of South Davis and other areas much closer to Downtown and especially for what DISC 2022 purports to be about much closer also to campus. With electric shuttles on fixed routes, optimized cycling infrastructure, a new connection across 80 around L St., mixed-use above (existing) parking lots and so on many if not close to all of the actual benefits of a project like DISC 2022 can be realized. It's not impossible, it's not rocket science, it simply requires conviction, creativity and less b.s. and false claims about sustainability. Hopefully Council, Commissions... local media... and organizations such as Bike Davis and Cool Davis re-direct the citizenry towards an alternative to DISC or a truly sustainable version of it... closer to and integrated with the City of Davis and the UC Davis campus.


Soroptimists offer cash grants to women

LYD Flyer 2021(From press release) Women who serve as the primary wage earners for their families and seek financial assistance to further their education or training are encouraged to apply for the Soroptimist Live Your Dream: Education and Training Awards for Women.

The application deadline is Monday, Nov. 15. This year, Soroptimist International of Davis will present several awards, ranging from $1,000 to $4,000. The top recipient’s application will advance to regional and possibly the international level, where she could receive up to $15,000 more. Recipients may use the Live Your Dream Award to offset any costs associated with their efforts to attain higher education or additional skills and training. This may include tuition, books, childcare, transportation or other education-related expenses.

Applications are available at https://bit.ly/LYDA-apply.

The Live Your Dream Award provides more than $2.8 million in cash awards to head-of-household women in need each year. Since the program’s inception in 1972, more than $35 million has helped tens of thousands of women achieve their dreams of a better life for themselves and their families.

A study conducted by The Fels Institute of Government, a research and consulting organization based at the University of Pennsylvania, confirmed the efficacy and impact of this program. It improves the recipients’ quality of life; builds their confidence; strengthens their self-determination and makes them want to, in turn, help others. Helping women in this way has the demonstrated effect of leading to stronger communities, nations, and the world.

Besides the Live Your Dream Award, Soroptimist International of Davis provides local girls with tools to achieve their education and career goals through its Dream It, Be It: Career Support for Girls program at King High School. It also funds high school scholarships, annual grants to nonprofits that align with the Soroptimist mission, and anti-trafficking efforts.

Soroptimist is a global volunteer organization that provides women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment. It was founded in Oakland in 1921, and is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Soroptimist International of Davis was chartered in 1954. Local members join some 75,000 Soroptimists in 122 countries and territories to contribute time and financial support to community-based projects benefiting women and girls. Its core values are gender equality, empowerment, education, diversity and fellowship.

SI Davis members are meeting virtually. Learn more at https://www.sidavis.org/.


Save KDVS

(From press release) The University is placing KDVS in a space 1/3 of its current size in a windowless bunker behind the row of ATM's next to the East Entrance of the MU. There is no access to the MU during the late night hours, weekends or holidays...and this means that the programmers at those times, and late night trainees, will have no toilet access. Clearly this is NOT a well-thought out plan. Indeed the University has provided no statements as to what rooms/services and materials will have to be eliminated at KDVS.

In addition several studios, staff office space, KDVS volunteer work space, a public reception area, listening rooms, and a substantial portion of the legendary ~300,000 record/CD/recording tape library will have to be warehoused. A solution to save space through a crank-style archiving system is not practical for DJ's with a limited amount of time to prepare a show (as they are students and/or workers on a schedule) and when several people are in the same space. In addition it is unlikely to be ADA compliant.

The major slashing of space is necessitated by the UC Davis' decision to raze Freeborn Hall and place an "exemplary product" there. This plan was in place during the Katehi era and has been disclosed publicly only recently. Since they have not suggested a referendum paced before the students to raise registration fees to pay for the bond debt, it is clear that this will NOT be a building that will replace the Student space lost in Lower Freeborn.

To read more...and how UC Davis has failed to follow the procedures and policies that constituted due diligence go to www.Savekdvs.org


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

Dunning column logo
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.

Continue reading "Community Celebrates Longtime Local Columnist" »


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."

Continue reading "" »


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.

Continue reading "Order now for Soroptimist Soup Night and Silent Auction Nov. 19" »


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.

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


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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