Entries categorized "Education"

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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Soroptimists offer cash grants to women to boost their education and training

Live Your Dream 2019 updated(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 urged to apply for the Soroptimist Live Your Dream: Education and Training Awards for Women.

Applications are available at bit.ly/LYDA-apply, or by emailing Soroptimist International of Davis at sidavis@soroptimist.net.

The application deadline is Nov. 15. This year, the Davis club has $6,500 for grants, which will be awarded in amounts between $500 and $3,000. The top recipient’s application will advance to the Soroptimist Sierra Nevada Region level, where recipients could receive thousands more. The program culminates with three $10,000 awards. Recipients can use the Live Your Dream Award to offset any costs associated with their efforts to attain higher education or additional skills and training. This includes tuition, books, childcare, transportation or any other education-related expense.

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Will the City press UCD for more, and more affordable, on-campus housing?

By Roberta Millstein

Middle earth. 2
Middle Earth Tower, UC Irvine: Opened Fall 2019, one 7-story building, houses 490 students

As Colin Walsh documented in his article on last week’s “town hall” meeting between UC Davis, the City of Davis, and Yolo Country, the meeting was unfortunate in a number of respects and failed to fully engage housing issues on UCD’s campus.  The event was followed by a pat-ourselves-on-the-back-for-a-job-well-done op-ed from Chancellor May, Mayor Lee, and Supervisor Saylor.

Last night’s Council meeting gave Councilmembers “another bite at the apple” – another chance to ask about on-campus housing – with a UCD Financial Overview agenda item.

What happened?

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Homeless "Respite Center" Proposed by School Bike Route Receives Pushback

Picture3By Colin Walsh

An ad hoc group of Davis residents have started a Change.org petition opposing the location of the Homeless Respite Center. The new Homeless center is proposed for adjacent to the Dave Pelz Overpass near second street. Those opposing the location seem to clearly state that they support services for the homeless like this project, but not next to a thoroughfare for school children on bikes.

This Item was moved forward by the Davis City Council on July 30, 2019. The project would contain “tough shed” type buildings and likely a designated camping area. It is unclear if there will be water or sewer services or what staffing might be provided by the City.

In the staff report, "staff estimates that the day shelter could accommodate up to 40 individuals at one time and the overnight shelter could sleep up to 15 individuals" but with the addition of a camping area as suggested by council member Frerichs the site may be able to accommodate more.

When the Council addressed this issue on July 30th 2019, the staff omitted from their report and presentation to council that the Dave Pelz overcrossing was a safe route to school. There is no part of the staff report that addresses the impact of a homeless encampment on the bike and pedestrian through-way.

This is the table of advantages and disadvantages from the July 30, 2019 Davis City staff report:
Respite-Center-FTable 4.pdf
This very expensive overcrossing was built to better connect South Davis and East Davis, especially to provide a bikeable route to school for South Davis Junior High Kids.

The petition can be signed at  https://www.change.org/p/davis-city-council-no-homeless-shelter-for-schoolchildren-s-safety

The petition reads as follows:

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Village Feast funds education and grants about farm-fresh food

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Guests sit at long tables under the sycamore trees at Davis' Central Park at the 2019 Village Feast.
Photo by Ashley Bruhn

(From press release) More than 350 attended The Village Feast on Sept. 28, raising more than $38,000 to support early and continued education about food and agriculture.

Davis Farm to School and Les Dames d’Escoffier International, Sacramento paired up for the event, splitting the proceeds. The community meal, served in le grand aïoli tradition in Davis’ Central Park, will return next year, on Saturday, Sept. 12.

A project of the Davis Farmers Market Alliance, Davis Farm to School provides garden grants, farm field trips and support for farm-fresh food in Davis-area schools. Les Dames d’Escoffier, a philanthropic organization of female leaders in food, fine beverage and hospitality, gives scholarships to area women in food and agriculture.

Davis Farm to School will use its funds to support garden-based education for Davis students, including grants and field trips. It continues to offer matching Garden Grants of up to $500 to all interested school sites in Davis. These may be used to purchase supplies, as stipends for garden coordinators, to fund professional development, and to enhance connections between the school garden and the classroom, cafeteria, or waste-reduction program.

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United Methodists Host Program on Students with Disabilities

(From press release) Large numbers of K-12 and college students have disabilities and, although schools are legally required to accommodate the special needs of students with disabilities, often they do not. 

On Sunday morning, October 27, from 9:45 to 10:50, the Davis United Methodist Church will host a presentation on Disabilities, Students, and Schools with Joyceanne Beachem and Austin Tam, members of the Disability Task Force of the California-Nevada Conference of the United Methodist Church.   The church is located at 1620 Anderson Road in Davis. 

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Student Debt Town Hall, Wed Oct 9

Cancel-student-debt(From press release)

WHAT:

Student debt in the U.S. has now reached $ 1.5 trillion and is currently the second biggest source of debt in the country. In 2017, 65% of students graduating from college had taken out loans, graduating with an average debt of $ 28,650 . In this country alone, 44.7 million people are living with student debt.

This is no small matter. Student debt can prevent people from getting a mortgage on a house, starting a family, saving for retirement, leaving a stable yet unfulfilling job to find a position in their field of study, leaving a job to live with their loved ones in another city – the list goes on. Just the thought, and fear, of accumulating debt prevents many from pursuing higher education, affecting their chances at social mobility. And this fear is quite justified. Student loan delinquency or default rates are 11.4 %, with black college graduates defaulting at rates five times higher than those of their white classmates. Defaulting on a loan can have serious consequences. It can prevent an individual from getting an apartment or a job and take away a section of someone’s paycheck, tax refunds, or Social Security payments. Some states even cancel professional licenses for individuals who hold student loan debt.

This is why student, community, and labor organizers will be hosting a student debt town hall on October 9th, 7pm-8:30pm in Davis, CA to discuss our communities’ experiences with student debt, as well as existing legislative and political solutions like the Student Debt Cancellation Act , proposed by Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, and Sen. Bernie Sanders.

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Tickets still available for The Village Feast

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Guests sit at long tables under the sycamore trees at Davis' Central Park at the 2018 Village Feast. Photo credit: Hanna Schoenberger

(From press release) A few tickets remain for The Village Feast, a culinary event Sept. 28 that celebrates Farm to Table month in the Sacramento region.

The event, from 1 to 4 p.m., immediately follows the Davis Farmers Market in Central Park, 401 C St., Davis. It is presented by Davis Farm to School and the Les Dames d’Escoffier International, Sacramento.

The Village Feast follows Le Grand Aïoli tradition of late-summer feasts of Provence, France, where aïoli — golden garlic-mayonnaise — unites people and food for a gastronomic celebration. Guests bring their own best dinnerware, flatware and cloth napkins, setting the scene for a long, leisurely meal under the shade of the sycamore trees. Wine glasses are provided.

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STATEMENT OF CONCERN RE: RE-PURPOSING OF THE JUVENILE DETENTION FACILITY (JDF)

JuviPEOPLE POWER of DAVIS

STATEMENT OF CONCERN RE: RE-PURPOSING OF THE JUVENILE DETENTION FACILITY (JDF)

  • We acknowledge the happy problem that the capacity of the JDF far exceeds the demand for secure detention of Yolo County juveniles, and that the county’s ongoing operational costs for the facility are high.
  • We know detained youth benefit from personal connections and support from family and community, and therefore access and proximity to these resources is fundamental to their continued well-being.­
  • The current situation places all genders of youth together, which has its risks, but also offers significant benefits, most notably:
    • proximity to family and a very engaged community; and
    • reduced exposure of our Yolo youth to influences, likely found in the Sacramento facility, of other incarcerated youth whose knowledge, experiences, and affiliations may encourage harmful impacts;
    • no contact with adult
  • The current construction to expand and renovate the Yolo County adult jail facilities requires temporary relocation of the adult booking facility, during a construction period of an estimated 18-24 months.
  • The current expansion and renovation will increase adult jail capacity to over 450 beds and improve medical and mental health services at the adult
  • During the past five years youth from under-resourced neighborhoods in Woodland, Knight’s Landing, and West Sacramento have been disproportionately represented among JDF admissions. Most impacted is the Broderick neighborhood of West Sacramento, which has suffered years under a gang injunction, lacks youth programs, and locks its school yards to the public when school is not in session;

THEREFORE, we respectfully request the board act to:

  • Ensure any agreements to place Yolo youth in the Sacramento County JDF are restricted to not more than the time required to complete the Yolo County Jail
  • Provide transportation funding to family and encourage, through economic incentives, community support for visitation at Sacramento JDF during the construction
  • Forgo additional expansion of Yolo County adult incarceration by transferring authority for use of the JDF to the Sheriff. Rather than expand jail capacity, we should seek alternatives to pre-adjudication detention, which currently accounts for a majority of the jail
  • Preserve funding for Reinvest cost savings into meaningful community engagement and youth development resources.
  • Use this time-limited construction period to engage youth, their families, and the impacted communities to work with the Chief Probation Officer to develop recommendations for youth development and alternatives to juvenile detention options in Yolo County and to guide the community engagement

What Rich Rifkin Doesn’t Understand about Ethnic Studies

Rifkin-ethnic-studiesIn arguing against ethnic studies, he inadvertently demonstrates the need for it.

By Roberta Millstein

When I was in college, I saw little need for Women’s Studies courses.  My thinking was that discussion of important contributions from women should be included throughout the curriculum. 

Some thirty-five years later, they still aren’t.  Neither are the contributions of racial minorities.  Yet some people still sing the same song that I song in college.  They have failed to learn what I  learned the hard way – that change doesn’t just happen on its own, and that sometimes you need what might seem like an imperfect solution in the interim in order to get to the point where you can implement a better solution. 

We need ethnic studies now.  We’re not at the point where we can just integrate the work of racial minorities into the curriculum.  I wish we were there yet, but we’re not.

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Davis Soroptimists give moms a boost

LYD2019
On June 5, Soroptimists Meredith Sweet, left, and Eda Chen present Terecita Lopez with a $2,500 grant to help her finish her training to become a licensed vocational nurse. Three other women received grants as well.
Wendy Weitzel/Courtesy photo

Soroptimist International of Davis gave a boost to four local moms on June 5, when it presented $5,000 in Live Your Dream Awards.

(From Press Release)

At a luncheon at Odd Fellows Hall, the service organization presented a $2,500 grant to Terecita Lopez, a $1,000 grant to Brenee Spears, and $500 grants to Samantha Morales and Ngozi Nwoko.

The Live Your Dream Award is a cash grant given to women who are financial heads of their household and pursuing an undergraduate degree or vocational training. The award is a resource for motivated women to improve their education, skills and employment prospects, leading to better lives for themselves and their family.

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Great Tree Search Update

Scarlett-oak
This scarlet oak on Antioch is a car magnet because of the cooling shade it produces all summer.

By Greg McPherson

Nineteen trees were awarded Great Tree status in Tree Davis’s Great Tree Search. Great Trees were designated because of their unusual size, species, form, or history. Awardees ranged from 12 to 380 years old, 11 to 129 feet tall and 1 to 20 feet girth. Fascinating stories on what made each tree special were captured in a series of Davis Enterprise articles this spring and can be found online at the Tree Davis website http://www.treedavis.org/programs/great-tree-search/.

Great-tree-necklace
Each Great Tree has a Necklace with species name, fun fact, and a QR code that points one to more information on the website.

Also on the website is a map with locations and fun facts on each Great Tree. A graphic design class at Sacramento City College produced unique Tree Necklaces that adorn each tree with species name, fun fact, and a QR code that points one to more information on the website.

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City Council needs forward thinking on broadband internet

My understanding is that the major question in front of the Council is whether to continue to pursue a municipally-owned broadband network.  The Broadband Advisory Task Force (BATF) says yes; staff says no.  I am here to support the BATF recommendation.

I was astonished to see Dan Carson's editorial in the Davis Enterprise. It would seem that he has already decided, in advance of today's staff presentation and  without hearing comment from the community and fellow Councilmembers that Davis should not control its own broadband network. I hope that he and other Councilmembers have an open mind on this. 

Everyone seems to agree that having municipally owned broadband would bring great benefits to the City, spurring economic development and small business, bringing in needed revenue, and provide fast internet to schools and low income households. Given that, you would think that this would be a no brainer. 

Yet Carson, following the staff report, worries about the costs. This seems to miss the point in multiple ways. To quote a recent article on the topic: 

“Cities invest in many facilities that are not designed to make a profit, from sports stadiums and convention centers to airports and museums. Cities are not indifferent to the economics of such projects, but the bottom line is not strictly enterprise solvency. Especially for infrastructure like broadband, the network effects and spillovers should contribute to the economic and social life of the community.” https://www.vice.com/amp/en_us/article/a3np4a/new-municipal-broadband-map

Furthermore, as things stand now we are at the mercy of a monopoly. As coincidence would have it, Comcast raised its prices just this month. My household is now paying almost $80 for high speed internet. Our only “alternative” is to “pay less by paying more,” that is, by getting our internet bundled with other services we don’t want and wouldn’t use. We live in Central Davis, yet AT&T cannot provide high speed bandwidth to our household. We are at Comcast's mercy. This is not forward thinking. 

Carson compared City owned broadband to the bullet train. A more accurate comparison would be SMUD, a lost opportunity for Davis to control its own electricity. 

Let’s not make that same mistake again. Let’s do what over 750 communities have done <https://www.brookings.edu/blog/the-avenue/2017/06/29/new-report-swings-and-misses-on-communities-and-next-generation-broadband/amp/> and control our own broadband network.  

Let’s be bold and act for the greater good of the community. 

Davisites, please come to City Council this evening and let the Council know that this issue is important to you. 

 


A response to Dan Carson's op-ed opposing a city-owned broadband network

There are significant economic reasons to have a municipal fiber project

Published by Matt Williams in the Davis Enterprise, reprinted with permission of the author

I respectfully disagree with Dan Carson.

As a member of the BATF I would like to share with the public the following list of reasons that explain why BATF came to the official conclusion in writing that “the emotion and passion around the concept of a municipal fiber project could not be any more intensified."

BATF officially chose not to include the detailed list in the current recommendation memo because the focus of the memo was limited to the two additional tasks Council gave the BATF in 2018. These reasons cover what was learned during the whole BATF duration from 2016 to 2019. It is important to note that there are some BATF members who might not personally agree with some of the listed reasons; however ALL of the reasons were actively discussed by the BATF. 

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