Entries categorized "Environment"

Arborealis legalis persona

IMG_20210406_193259
An earlier illegal dump of yard waste on East Covell. Imagine being on a bike at this location...

That's Latin for "Legal personhood of trees".

Part One:

So that was fun. I was working and came across a huge mother f****** pile of yard waste in the bike lane on westbound Arlington in front of Harding Terrace. This is, of course, strictly illegal. I went to three of the homes here and one guy was nice the other two said they didn't know anything about it.

No surprises so far.

I called the Davis Police Dept non-emergency line and they said they can't do anything about it until the morning and I could be connected to code enforcement or whatever. The lack of surprises continue. 

Still no surprises.

I asked what if it was yard waste blocking a traffic lane they said no they wouldn't come until tomorrow morning because it doesn't constitute an emergency.

The lack of surprises continue.

Then I asked t if it was a tree branch that fell into the traffic lane or the bike lane. They said that would be an emergency and they would have to dispatch a crew to deal with it immediately.

So in other words... if you want to block a traffic lane or a bike lane, be sure to use the right part of a tree!!

* Pretty much the only time I contact the police or CHP is when there's a potential of traffic violence, such as assault using intentionally-placed yard waste in bike lanes.

Fakeplastictrees

Part Two: There is no "Holiday Tree" in Davis. 

I am Jewish. Christmas is a fine and a lovely tradition. I am happy to celebrate it with friends who do. 

There is no "Holiday Tree" in Davis. It's a Christmas Tree. 

All the activities at the City's "Candlelight Parade and Tree Lighting Ceremony" refer to Christmas or the northern Winter. 

Why is it called a "Holiday Tree"? It's because some years back various parties sued various entities across the country to remove mentions of "Christmas" in government activities. 

I am fine with the City co-organizing and co-sponsoring this, because most people in the City celebrate Christmas in one form or another. It's certainly a vital issue that a truly enlightened city council should address if other holidays that residents celebrate are not observed in equal proportion in terms of e.g. staff time and finances, all year round. While I am not sure if there's an e.g. Kwaanza or Hanukkah song etc in the choir program, it would just be tokenism. (These are just examples -- there are other holidays around this time celebrated by many in the region, including the Eastern Xmas in early January). 

Calling the Christmas Tree a "Holiday Tree" is like referring to the Hanukkiah (the eight-candle menorah used for Hanukkah) as a "Holiday Candlebra" or Dia de los Muertos as "Mexican Halloween". It's a well-intentioned but very sloppy bit of false-inclusivity. As such, and because we're paying for part of it, it's a lie. Because is it's a lie about cultural and sometimes religious traditions, it's discriminatory. It has no place in any city, especially one whose leaders wave the flag of equity every chance they get. Keep the Christmas Tree, but please start calling it that. (There's an obvious argument some could make that "Holiday" refers also to New Year's, but the transition period from December 31st to January 1st is only the Gregorian New Year -- again, representative of a large proportion of the population, but far from nearly everyone).

The above repeated and Next Door discussion in this Google Doc copy. (For Next Door users from certain neighborhoods in Davis, here is a direct link)

Allen-michael-geneta-lotr-ent-fixa
Two members of Tree Commission searching for Entwives with Street Tree Defenders. Source: https://allentotingski.artstation.com/projects/rRPVQ2

Tree Davis Welcomes New Executive Director

Torin DunnavantBy Torin Dunnavant and Greg McPherson

In this interview Torin Dunnavant, Tree Davis’ new Executive Director is interviewed by Tree Davis Board President Greg McPherson.

Greg: Torin, it’s great to have you at the helm of Tree Davis. You spent the last five years as Director of Education and Engagement with the Sacramento Tree Foundation. Prior to that you were Director of Engagement and Partnerships with TreePeople in Los Angeles. How will you be applying your experience with Tree Davis?

Torin: Thank you Greg, I am so excited to be a part of the Tree Davis team. It’s a fantastic organization and I am humbled to step into this role. I have been a part of the urban forestry world for fourteen years now – and a big part of my focus has been canopy equity. One of the greatest predictors of the health of a community is its urban forest - healthy trees means healthy people. Some neighborhoods have greater obstacles than others to plant trees, but that doesn’t mean that we should wait for the obstacles to remove themselves, it means the opposite - that we need to work harder to plant trees in places where there are less, so that more folks can be supported by the many benefits that trees bring. I look forward to connecting with the groups that partner with Tree Davis and learning from community leaders throughout the area to understand how Tree Davis can support them.

Davis is in the process of developing a new Urban Forest Management Plan and is hosting feedback sessions (the first virtual public meeting was on Nov. 10). Why and how should Davis residents get involved?

Continue reading "Tree Davis Welcomes New Executive Director" »


Kelsey Fortune: The Climate Expert We Need to On City Council

31CACCAD-90BF-4FE7-80B9-88FBy Juliette Beck

With the existential threat of climate breakdown looming, this is quite possibly the most important election in human history.  We need to elect leaders at all levels that will help navigate our sinking ship to safer shores. The City of Davis has the potential to lead a just transition to ecologically sustainable, socially just and climate-resilient communities, but we need to elect the right leaders and make some significant changes in how this city operates.

I've watched with great interest as the city council election has unfolded with two progressive candidates in West Davis running on a climate platform - Kelsey Fortune and Bapu Vaitla. There are differences between these two candidates and I'm supporting Kelsey Fortune because I believe she has the right combination of skills, knowledge, experience and the dogged determination to help our city chart a course to safety through these troubled times. 

Kelsey Fortune came to Davis nine years ago to pursue a PhD in Economics with a focus on transportation, energy and climate policies that drive equitable outcomes to ensure that all community members are included in a just transition to a green economy.  Over the past decade, as an active community member and a city council candidate, Fortune has stepped up to offer her pragmatic, evidence-based solutions to guide our community. During her first campaign for city council two years ago, I was impressed with Fortune’s knowledge of our city - who owns property and who doesn’t, our transportation system, zoning laws, the needs and rights of renters, etc. Fortune has consistently advocated for infill development and affordable housing for working families and low-income individuals. Her expertise in designing climate-friendly communities are at the heart of a just transition.

Continue reading "Kelsey Fortune: The Climate Expert We Need to On City Council " »


Letter: Shout-out to Kelsey Fortune

KelseyI'm not endorsing any candidates this election but I just wanted to give a long overdue shout-out to Kelsey Fortune for re-purposing No on H Signs for her campaign by covering them with her compostable campaign signs. You can see the "downside" of the ecological option, but to me the action speaks louder than the durability of the compostable signs ;)

When I ran for Yolo County Supervisor in 2018, I advocated for a "great lawn sign truce of Davis" where all candidates would agree to stop printing lawn signs that end up in the landfill and are made with toxic materials that can take up to a century to break down but alas, the allure of advertising won the day for many candidates.

In this City Council race where each candidate has expressed their hard-fought advocacy for the environment (very trendy in election season, less trendy when it comes to taking meaningful action while in office), nothing speaks more clearly than principled actions they are taking to proverbially speaking, put their money where their mouth is.

And if you were still looking for a clear signal of where the candidates stand on Measure H, and how they might engage in future development proposals, look no further than what's right in front of our eyes.

David Abramson


Why DiSC matters for the City Council election

Some of DiSC’s proponents called it a tiny city. That suggests it is a microcosm of Davis as a whole and all of the issues it faces.

DCC with DiSC in background-2By Roberta Millstein

In a recent interview with the Davis Enterprise, Gloria Partida said that “I know that people right now are very focused on what happened with Measure H” but that being a member of Council is “not a one-issue job.”

However, Measure H represents a large number of central and key issues that future Davis City Councils will have to weigh in on.  It would have been bad for Davis in variety of ways, as Davis citizens widely recognized when they rejected the project by an almost 2-1 margin. 

Thus, a candidate’s stance on Measure H speaks volumes about their values and how they would govern.  Gloria Partida (District 4), Dan Carson (District 1), and Bapu Vaitla (District 1)  were strongly in favor of Measure H.  In contrast, Kelsey Fortune (District 1) and Adam Morrill (District 4) strongly opposed Measure H.

As the No on Measure H campaign emphasized in its ballot arguments and campaign literature, each of the following issues was relevant to the proposed project. In no particular order:

Continue reading "Why DiSC matters for the City Council election" »


Davis youth strike to protest lack of climate emergency planning by city

(From press release) Youth leaders from Yolo County led a colorful all-ages march today in central Davis to protest the city’s failure to address the climate emergency. The marchers made their way from the library to central park and the city hall, mirroring thousands of actions across the world on September 23 organized by the #FridaysforFuture movement.

The young marchers denounced the city council and administration for their failure to listen to the demands of young people and for not giving them a seat at the table in the planning and delivery of the city’s new Climate Action and Adaptation Plan.

“We young people are the most impacted by climate change and yet our demands for action and change have consistently fallen on deaf ears in the City of Davis,” said Eliot Larson, coordinator of Fridays for Future Davis.

Protect-our-earth

Continue reading "Davis youth strike to protest lack of climate emergency planning by city" »


Letter: Fortune is the only progressive-environmentalist running for Council in District 1

Fortune-for-davis
Kelsey Fortune

There is only one progressive and environmentalist running for Davis City Council in District 1.  That person is Kelsey Fortune. I had the opportunity to speak privately with Kelsey for more than an hour on a Zoom call. I was impressed with her intellect and her planned approach to city-wide issues. Kelsey believes in diversity, honesty and transparency, the last of which has been missing in our current council. Kelsey will also be a strong advocate for affordable housing and in-fill development projects.

But let’s look at the other two candidates. Dan Carson and Bapu Vaitla supported the Davis Innovation Sustainability Campus, Measure H.  Davis citizens disapproved this project 64% to 36%, which political scientists define as a landslide defeat. Carson was the honorary chair of the Measure H campaign which had lawn signs that implausibly read “combat climate change” – for a project that predicted 12,000 daily vehicle trips. What do these facts tell us? Carson and Vaitla are out of touch with the Davis electorate.

In a recent Sierra Club questionnaire to city council candidates, Bapu Vaitla stated that he would consider overturning the City’s phase-out of glyphosate, which is the primary ingredient in Roundup, an herbicide made by Monsanto and now Bayer. Here’s Vaitla’s quote: “If no effective organic herbicides exist for our context, we should reconsider the glyphosate question.” None of the other four candidates made this risky claim. In 2020, Bayer agreed to settle over 100,000 Roundup lawsuits, agreeing to pay $8.8 to $9.6 billion to settle those claims.

If elected, Kelsey Fortune will focus on our climate emergency, work on the city’s budget to make it sustainable and will help ensure that every decision the city makes is fiscally responsible.

For decades, the Davis City Council has had a progressive-environmental majority. Unfortunately, the current council has swung to the center-right. We need to get back on track. Please join me on November 8, or earlier, and vote for Kelsey Fortune for Davis City Council, District 1.

David L. Johnson


Not Just Rain Falling - Campaign Signs Too!

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>>from press release<<

You may have seen some No on H signs popping up around town over the past few days. The No on H campaign, rather than throw away or recycle their campaign signs, provided those signs for Kelsey Fortune’s reuse, since she was the only candidate in District 1 to oppose Measure H. This is a candidate who is walking the walk with her campaign. Her care for the environment isn’t just a talking point, but actually influences her choices during the process. Instead of creating additional plastic waste, this campaign for city council is simply covering old signs with compostable posters. The much appreciated rain has hastened the breakdown process and revealed the signs beneath. Please excuse the surprise change in signage!

We’ll be replacing signs this week. If your sign didn’t stand up to the rain or otherwise needs replacing, please reach Kelsey by text at 530-220-2001 or email at fortunefordavis@gmail.com, and we’ll make sure to bring you a new one! You can also contact her if you don’t yet have a sign and would like one, and further information is available at www.fortunefordavis.com!


Call For Action on Sept. 23rd Global Climate Strike

Resized_Copia_de_GCS_Announcement_Graphics_-_1_400960667076094(From press release)

Dear Community Members. 

Three years ago, in September of 2019, Davis participated in the first Global Climate Strike with nearly 2000 youth and adults alike demanding climate action. This year, Fridays For Future Davis is inviting you to join us again to fight for all of our future. On September 23rd 2022 at 11am we will march from E 14th and B Street down to Central Park. We are asking students across Davis to walk out of school and adults to walk out of work and join this international movement to demand we have a livable future. 

At the 2019 school strike for climate action we delivered a letter of climate action demands to the Davis City Council and DJUSD, and since then not one of our demands for climate action have been met. We, the youth and Davis community, will not stand for this. 

Elected officials are holding our future in their hands and it is up to them whether we will have a livable planet or not. But it is up to us to tell them when it is time to act, and it is past that time. The Earth’s clock is ticking. We cannot and will not wait until 2035 or 2030 or even 2025 for change to come. We will not wait any longer. 

This September you can be part of this international school walkout and strike to show the world that we will not give up on our future and we will not back down.

Continue reading "Call For Action on Sept. 23rd Global Climate Strike" »


Rally for Youth Transit

DE5BE5F2-5F64-4317-BEF2-CA2CA8E231FA(From press release) Youth for Climate Action Justice is holding a rally at the Capitol 1-4pm on Friday, September 16th. Bill AB1919 creates the Youth Transit Pass Pilot Program, a program that will help young students access free public transportation. It also establishes a report requirement to show how effective public transit is at reducing carbon emissions. Join Youth for Climate Action Justice at the Capitol on September 16th and tell Governor Newsom to sign this important bill!

Register here: https://forms.gle/MBBNiYygXJdbMRUS8

55A1FE56-FFF7-40E4-A3FC-3F2AB3C44970EVENT: Rally for Youth Transit
WHERE: West side of the Capitol building
1201-1231 10th Street, Sacramento CA 95814
WHEN: September 16th 2022
TIME: 1-4pm


Taormino Response to Staff Report Open Space and Habitat Commission Hearing

On Friday, Sept 9, David Taormino sent the following email concerning wildlife tunnels at Bretton Woods to the Open Space and Habit Commission in advance of their meeting yesterday.

Dear Commissioners,

Below is my response to the Staff Report Recommendations.

Response to Staff Report Recommendations, Background and Analysis:

I am not appealing the original Tentative Map Conditions. nor your original commission recommendations, nor the Development Agreement. I was ready to design according to these conditions when Public Works staff said, essentially: We want to eliminate the “natural creek bottoms” and substitute stamped concrete and “multiple ledges”.

From development agreement

I am willing to support certain staff-initiated changes set forth in the Staff Report, but these changes result in different infrastructure requirements that were not contemplated when the DA and map conditions were agreed on with the City Council and Planning Commission.

Discussion and my alternatives to staff requested changes:

  1. Concrete lined bottom of all four tunnels: two tunnels along Covell Blvd and two at the north Bretton Woods channel connecting to the new John Jones Detention Pond. I am agreeable. It contributes to good maintenance practices and minimization of clogging.
  2. I am in agreement that all four tunnels are to be built without custom stamped concrete as initially required by staff as a replacement for natural creek bottom. This also eliminates the need for oversizing the tunnels.
  3. Ledges in all four tunnels: I am not entirely agreeable as explained below.

My Recommended Alternative and Explanation:

Culvert ledge example 2
Culvert ledge example 2

The original ostensible and practical purpose of ledge(s) was to provide a “dry” walkway under Spirit Street somewhat akin to the current ledges on the foundations of the two corrugated steel tunnels under Risling. (see John McNerney’s example photo attached: Culvert Wildlife Ledge example 2)

Typical 4 X 8 culvert
Typical tunnel

I agreed to the concept of ledge(s) because the ledge(s) were an integral part of the foundation for tunnels with natural creek bottoms as specified in the Tentative Map Conditions. Those foundations with ledge(s) are necessary to build such tunnels. When changing to four-sided concrete tunnels without a natural creek bottom. no foundation is needed. The four sides of the concrete tunnels are smooth (see photo of typical tunnel attached), thus any ledge needs to be hand made and hand installed in a space that has only four feet of height to work in. It is time and labor intensive.

Drainage Tunnel ExhibitMy alternative: Install a 2 X 8 redwood board ledge along the length of the tunnel and attached to the wall of the tunnel closest to the North edge of the Covell Channel, located furthest from Covell Blvd. Anchor the redwood ledge to the side/top of the Covell Channel for ease of animal access. This redwood ledge provides animals a safe below-grade route (below Spirit Drive). It would be located away from Covell Blvd and closer to the landscaping on top of the channel. One 2 X 8 board inside the length of the tunnel will not likely impede water flow in heavy rains and would require little city maintenance. This location is the safest connection point to where animals are likely to walk. (See attached drawing of the tunnels originally proposed by Staff for a visual.) Having one conveniently located ledge with above ground access is ample considering the overall likely use is by smaller critters like possums, skunks, racoons, etc. that will use the side or bottom of the Covell Channel and landscaping for cover. In John McNerney’s report he states:

“I recommend that the City uphold the agreed upon wildlife conservation measures for the project including the installation of culvert wildlife undercrossings. It is my opinion that while the Covell and John Jones Road drainage channels are not significant migratory corridors for wildlife. they do provide cover and movement habitat for small to medium sized urban wildlife. Installing new roads across these channels will indeed create a barrier to wildlife movement and increase the risk of vehicle strike mortality. Installing the wildlife ledges, as proposed, is a relatively cheap and effective method to provide safe passage for wildlife.” (Emphasis mine)

Conclusion on Covell Channel Tunnel: One ledge closest to the landscaping meets the intent of providing a safe alterative below ground path under Spirit Street for animals to avoid cars and is consistent with expected use.

North Bretton Woods channel tunnels (2).

My Recommendation: No ledges necessary.

Explanation: Unlike the Covell Channel, there is no street crossing that impedes the animals from moving safely from the Bretton Woods Channel to the John Jones Detention Pond and vice versa. The two north Bretton Woods Channel tunnels go from one “open space” area to another. Any animal prevented by drainage water from using the underground tunnels below the levee can simply walk over the top of the levee from one side to the other. A ledge is unnecessary since there is no street to cross nor other impediment for a safe crossing. The overland route is no different than going up one side and down the other side of the dirt channel.

Respectfully Submitted, Dave Taormino

Bretton Woods


Great Tree Search Bike Tour

Image1(From press release) Tree Davis will kick-off its 2022-23 tree planting season with a bike tour. Beginning at 8:30am on Saturday, September 24, coffee and donuts will be served under the shade of a 22-year old Texas red oak and thornless mesquite at 1009 Kent Dr. At 9am Dr. Greg McPherson will lead a 6-mile tour with stops at 9 Great Trees. The tour will finish at the Farmer’s Market at 11:00am.

This will also be a fun opportunity to participate in the City of Davis’ Urban Forest Management Plan Photo Contest. Snap photos of your favorite trees along the biking route! Submission for the photo contest can be shared here: https://www.treedavis.org/city-of-davis-urban-forest-management-plan-photo-contest/

Tree Davis has asked residents to nominate Great Trees and 33 specimens have been recorded in one of four categories: Unusual Size, Species, Form and History. The Great Tree Search is helping residents better understand and appreciate the educational, environmental, and cultural contributions of our trees.

This annual community event is fun for the whole family. We hope you will join us in celebrating our great trees!

Sign up for the Great Tree Search Bike Tour at https://tinyurl.com/GTSBikeTour


Vaitla Suggests Return to RoundUp Use in Davis Parks.

Spray picBy Nancy Price

I was stunned to read that Bapu Vaitla, who is a candidate for Davis City Council in District 1, is considering overturning the City's phase out of glyphosate (manufactured and commonly sold as RoundUp by Monsanto) instead of improving and strengthening the City's Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program. (see Question #2 at  https://www.davisite.org/2022/09/part-5-candidate-responses-to-the-sierra-club-yolano-group-questionnaire-for-the-2022-davis-city-cou.html#more). None of the other candidates made this audacious proposal.

Here is some background. The City decided to phase out glyphosate in 2017; finally discontinuing its use in 2020.  The process involved three City citizen-advisory commissions: Natural Resources, Recreation and Parks, and Open Space & Habitat. It took over a year and a half and involved a widely attended public citizens forum, a city-wide citizen survey, many individual Commission meetings, and a 3-way joint Commission meeting. Despite considerable stonewalling from staff, who attempted to derail and water down THIS [the] citizen-based effort, the measure was finally unanimously approved by the City Council. What passed in 2017 wasn’t perfect, but it was well-received by citizens. (For more details, see https://www.davisite.org/2018/07/bad-process-leads-to-mediocre-decision-on-pesticide-use-in-davis-and-not-without-wasted-time-and-eff.html). 

Around the same time, the city forced out its popular and highly respected IPM specialist (see https://www.davisite.org/2018/05/martin-guerenas-statement-city-of-davis-environmental-recognition-award-2018.html). Regrettably, that position still hasn’t been filled. But given the clear desire expressed by many staff to continue using non-organic pesticides over other less toxic weed management strategies, it is hard to see the ongoing long-term failure to fill the position as an unintended accident. 

Instead of advocating for hiring an IPM Specialist, Vaitla thinks we should go back to glyphosate because, he says, — “we cannot reasonably resort to mechanical weed management.

There are several problems here. One is Vaitla offering an opinion that either ignores or is ignorant of this recent controversial history of pesticide use by the City. A second problem is his complete dismissal and disregard of the work of the public and three citizen-advisory commissions which collectively devoted many hundreds of hours of work to this effort, most of which occurred prior to Mr. Vaitla's most recent move to Davis. 

A third problem is that, although Mr. Vaitla gives lip service to the Precautionary Principle, he doesn’t follow it. Notably, just this past June, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected EPA's analysis for determining that glyphosate is likely not carcinogenic to people and ordered EPA to conduct "further analysis and explanation." The science is far from settled, and since there are valid reasons to think that glyphosate is a human carcinogen supported by respected international authorities and agencies, we should avoid using it especially since we have other methods at our disposal. 

Vaitla's position is hasty, overlooks a long City history and the latest Court rulings, and lacks respect for the citizen and commissions-led process in Davis. And, most importantly, it fails to protect our health. This attitude generally does not bode well for the sort of Councilmember he would make. 


Part 6 Candidate Responses to the Sierra Club Yolano Group Questionnaire for the 2022 Davis City Council Election

Sierra-club-yolano

Waste Management and Financial Contributors

Introduction - As has been our custom for over 20 years, the Sierra Club Yolano Group prepares a wide-ranging questionnaire and presents it to candidates in races of interest to our local membership. The questionnaire for the 2022 Davis City Council race received answers from all 5 candidates in the 2 of the 5 City Council Districts for which an election is held in November, 2022.

The candidates, listed in alphabetical order by their first name, are:

District 1 (West Davis): - Bapu Vaitla, Dan Carson, and Kelsey Fortune

District 4 (East Davis ) - Adam Morrill, Gloria Partida

Questions were asked in the following general categories :

Part 1 - Land Use and Housing Development – Peripheral Development

Part 2-- Land Use and Housing Development – Downtown Core and Student Housing

Part 3 - Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Part 4 - Transportation Management

Part 5 - Toxics in the Environment and Other Environmental Issues

Part 6 - Waste Management and Financial Contibutors

Parts 1 through 5 in this series can be viewed by clicking on that article's title above which is linked to the earlier publication.

This is the 6th in the series of articles and focuses on Waste Management and provides candidate responses to the following questions:

Question #1 - Recyclable or Compostable Take-out & In-Restaurant Food and Drink Containers

Davis has adopted a Zero Waste Resolution striving to achieve zero waste by 2025. As part of this program, all food service industry tableware and drink containers must be reusable, recyclable or compostable including a ban on all Styrofoam containers. All waste must also be segregated by organics, recyclable, or landfill but few fast food or other restaurants are currently doing so.

What should the City do to enforce this Ordinance?

Question #2 - Proposed Commercial and Multi-Family Recycling and Food Waste Collection

The City of Davis waste management plan also now requires mandatory commercial and multi-family segregated recycling and segregated food scrap collection but this City has yet to roll-out these mandatory programs on a widespread basis?

 

Do you support these measures and why or why not. If yes, how should the City go about rolling them out and enforcing them?

 

Question #3 – Financial Contributors

 

How much money have you collected overall to date and from which unions, developer or real estate interests, or other entities doing business with the City of Davis? Will you accept all contributions from any of these interests?

Continue reading "Part 6 Candidate Responses to the Sierra Club Yolano Group Questionnaire for the 2022 Davis City Council Election" »


Part 3 Candidate Responses to the Sierra Club Yolano Group Questionnaire for the 2022 Davis City Council Election

Sierra-club-yolano

Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions

Introduction - As has been our custom for over 20 years, the Sierra Club Yolano Group prepares a wide-ranging questionnaire and presents it to candidates in races of interest to our local membership. The questionnaire for the 2022 Davis City Council race received answers from all 5 candidates in the 2 of the 5 City Council Districts for which an election is held in November, 2022.

The candidates, listed in alphabetical order by their first name, are:

District 1 (West Davis): - Bapu Vaitla, Dan Carson, and Kelsey Fortune

District 4 (East Davis ) - Adam Morrill, Gloria Partida

Questions were asked in the following general categories :

Part 1 - Land Use and Housing Development – Peripheral Development

Part 2-- Land Use and Housing Development – Downtown Core and Student Housing

Part 3 - Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Part 4 - Transportation Management

Part 5 - Toxics in the Environment and Other Environmental Issues

Part 6 - Waste Management and Financial Contributors

Parts 1 and 2 in this series can be viewed by clicking on that article's title above which is linked to the earlier publication.

This is the 3rd in the series of articles and focuses on Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions and provides candidate responses to the following questions:

Question #1 - Greenhouse Gas Mitigation for New Development

Davis has declared a Climate Emergency and mandated carbon neutrality by 2040. Often 70% or more of a new project's GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions are due to transportation-related impacts which are not addressed in increasingly stringent building standards. Some have proposed that developers pay for mitigation of these GHGs because they cause public harm just as sellers of tobacco pay a tax for their associated public harm.

Do you support in principal a GHG mitigation fee on new developments in Davis and why or why not?  If yes, do you have any ideas how such a fee might be assessed or used by the City?

Question #2 - Commercial / Multi-Family Solar PV Ordinance

There currently is a mandatory solar PV requirement for new single-family home and low-rise apartment construction in Davis. However, there are currently no similar requirements for new multi-family housing projects greater than 3 stories or for commercial construction.

 

Do you support a proposed ordinance mandating solar photovoltaic systems on new multi-family housing, or commercial construction in Davis if not otherwise planned for a net-zero energy use?

Question #3 – Other Energy Conservation Measures

What additional steps could be taken by the City, its businesses, and residents that you believe would be most effective in reducing overall energy use and GHG emissions in Davis to meet our climate action and adaptation goals?

Subsequent articles in the series in the coming days will focus on each of the general categories in Parts 4-6.

Continue reading "Part 3 Candidate Responses to the Sierra Club Yolano Group Questionnaire for the 2022 Davis City Council Election" »


Part 1 Candidate Responses to the Sierra Club Yolano Group Questionnaire for the 2022 Davis City Council Election

Sierra-club-yolano
 
Land Use and Housing Development – Peripheral Development

______________________________________________

Introduction - As has been our custom for over 20 years, the local Sierra Club Yolano Group has prepared candidate questionnaires for some local elections in Yolo County.  The questionnaire for the 2022 Davis City Council race asked for candidates' views and opinions on a wide-range of environmental issues of interest to our local membership.

The questionnaire received answers from all 5 candidates in the 2 City Council Districts for which an election is held this November. Listed in alphabetical order by their first name, the candidates are:

District 1 (West Davis): - Bapu Vaitla, Dan Carson, and Kelsey Fortune

District 4 (East Davis) - Adam Morrill, Gloria Partida

Questions were asked in the following general categories:

Part 1 - Land Use and Housing Development – Peripheral Development

Part 2-- Land Use and Housing Development – Downtown Core and Student Housing

Part 3 - Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Part 4 - Transportation Management

Part 5 - Waste Management

Part 6 - Toxics in the Environment and Other Environmental Issues

The article below reports the candidates' responses to the questions posed to them in the first category, Part 1 - Land Use and Housing Development – Peripheral Development. The following 3 questions were asked of each of the candidates in this category:

Question #1 - Measure HDavis Innovation and Sustainability Campus

Did you support or oppose the development of the Davis Innovation and Sustainability Campus mixed use business park in Davis on the June ballot as Measure H and why?

Question #2 - New Proposed Peripheral Housing - Projects on Covell and Mace

There are 3 new proposed large housing projects on prime farmland in east Davis for which pre-applications have been submitted to the City - Palomino Place, Shriners, and On-the-Curve. All will require General Plan amendments and Measure J/R/D votes by the citizens. Do you support these projects and, if so, would you require any changes from their pre-application? If you do not support these projects, why not?

Question  #3 – Measure D (Measure J/R) Modification

Do you support any modifications to the recently renewed (2020) Measure D (formerly Measure J/R)?  Why or why not?

Subsequent articles with candidate responses to questions asked in the 5 other general categories will be reported in the coming days.

Continue reading "Part 1 Candidate Responses to the Sierra Club Yolano Group Questionnaire for the 2022 Davis City Council Election" »


Valley Clean Energy (VCE) Appoints Executive Officer

Mitch Sears
Mitch Sears

(From press release) The Valley Clean Energy Board of Directors is very pleased to announce the appointment of Mitch Sears as VCE’s full-time Executive Officer. Sears has served as the agency’s Interim General Manager since its launch in 2018.

Sears has contributed his depth of experience to VCE gained through nearly 28 years with the City of Davis serving in various staff and management roles. Most recently he served as the City’s Sustainability Manager for over a decade, leading comprehensive efforts to address climate change, including implementation of community energy projects. Prior to that, he oversaw Davis’ Agricultural Land Conservation Program, helping permanently preserve over a thousand acres of Yolo County farmland.

“We couldn’t be happier to have Mitch accept this permanent appointment,” said Jesse Loren, VCE Board Chair and Winters City Council member. “His leadership and vision during VCE’s formation and launch have carried the agency through many complexities and have positioned VCE well as we step into the future.”

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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/

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Tree Davis Leader To Move On

Erin(From press release) Tree Davis is gearing up for a new season of events and activities that will bring community members together to enhance the living landscapes of our urban environment. With this change of seasons, the Tree Davis team has a bittersweet announcement that after five years of planting trees and growing community Executive Director Erin Donley Marineau’s tenure is coming to a close as she moves on to a statewide role in a Western-region conservation organization.

Erin and Board President, Greg McPherson, sat down for a conversation as the organization manages this transition and seeks recommendations for a new Executive Director:

Greg: Over the past five years, Tree Davis has overseen major tree planting projects in Davis, West Sacramento and Woodland. During your tenure, Erin, over 3,000 trees were planted and thousands of volunteers were engaged in stewardship activities. You forged new partnerships with the City of Davis, Woodland Tree Foundation, UC Davis, Sutter Davis, DJUSD and numerous other organizations that have enhanced appreciation and investment in our urban forest. Looking ahead, what important work do you see for Tree Davis?

Erin: First, it has been an immense privilege to serve in this role and to work with a passionate and engaged Board, stellar staff, and active volunteer community. Our tree community and the greater communities of Davis and Yolo County are so special in their willingness to search and reach for community and environmental betterment. I want to extend my personal thanks to Tree Davis’ founders, Board members, staff, donors, community partners, and volunteers for pulling together to do incredible work over the past 5 years.

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Urban Forest Management Plan Photo Contest

Urban-forest-photo-contest(From press release) Did you know that the City of Davis is undertaking an effort to plan for the next 40 years of urban forestry in our community? This is a time for all community members to deepen their understanding and awareness of our town's urban tree canopy. Tree Davis is partnering with the City to help bring awareness to the value of the urban forest and the opportunities for engagement on the Urban Forest Management Plan creation process through a photo contest:

Tree Davis invites all amateur photographers to enter the City of Davis Urban Forest Management Plan Photo Contest! Photos will be judged by a panel of Tree Davis staff, board members, and a representative from the City of Davis. Judging will be based on originality, educational value, and relevance to the Urban Forest Management Plan, a 40-year plan that will guide the management of the City's urban forest.

Desired photo types:

  • Tree portraits
  • People with trees
  • Wildlife with trees
  • Streetscapes

1st place will receive their choice of a free shade tree or gift certificate to Redwood Barn Nursery

2nd and 3rd places will have a choice of a variety of Tree Davis swag 

Submissions for the contest will be accepted from 𝗝𝘂𝗻𝗲 𝟯𝗿𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗢𝗰𝘁𝗼𝗯𝗲𝗿 𝟳𝘁𝗵. Selected entries will be published in the City of Davis' Urban Forest Management Plan, to be published in Spring/Summer 2023, and used on Tree Davis and City of Davis websites and social media. By entering this contest, you give Tree Davis and the City of Davis the right to post your photo and use it in the Urban Forest Management Plan. Photographers will be credited where applicable.

Maximum 10 entries per person.

For more information visit www.treedavis.org, (530) 758-7337, or contact info@treedavis.org


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

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

From City of Davis Press Release:

Post Date:August 08, 2022 4:06 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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