Entries categorized "Environment"

Article 4 of 4: Sierra Club Yolano Group Questionnaire for Yolo County District 4 Supervisor

Three-for-supervisor
by Alan Pryor, Chair – Sierra Club Yolano Group

Introduction

This article is the 4th and final in a 4-part series on questions presented by the Sierra Club Yolano Group to candidates in the Yolo County District 4 Supervisor race on the March 2020 ballot and the candidates' responses. This article covers questions and responses in the areas of Transportation Management, Environmental-Social Justice, Other Environmental-Related Issues, and Community Support. The order of the candidate responses are changed with each article. 

See article 1 of 4 here, which gives a "Table of Contents" for all four articles, an introduction explaining the article series, announces that the Yolano Group is not making an endorsement in this race, and covers questions and responses in the areas of Reductions in Carbon-Based Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions

See article 2 of 4 here, which covers questions and responses in the areas of Solid Waste Management, Water Management and Conservation, and Toxics in the Environment.

See article 3 of 4 here, which covers questions and responses in the areas of Land Use and Development.

Part 6 – Questions Related to Transportation Management

Issue 6-1 - Transportation-Related GHG Emissions

Continue reading "Article 4 of 4: Sierra Club Yolano Group Questionnaire for Yolo County District 4 Supervisor" »


Article 3 of 4: Sierra Club Yolano Group Questionnaire for Yolo County District 4 Supervisor

Three-for-supervisor
by Alan Pryor, Chair – Sierra Club Yolano Group

Introduction

This article is the 3rd in a 4-part series on questions presented by the Sierra Club Yolano Group to candidates in the Yolo County District 4 Supervisor race on the March 2020 ballot and the candidates' responses. This article covers questions and responses in the areas of Land Use and Development. The order of the candidate responses are changed with each article. 

See article 1 of 4 here, which gives a "Table of Contents" for all four articles, an introduction explaining the article series, announces that the Yolano Group is not making an endorsement in this race, and covers questions and responses in the areas of Reductions in Carbon-Based Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions

See article 2 of 4 here, which covers questions and responses in the areas of Solid Waste Management, Water Management and Conservation, and Toxics in the Environment.

 ____________________________________________________________________

Issue 5-1 - Agricultural Land Preservation

Continue reading " Article 3 of 4: Sierra Club Yolano Group Questionnaire for Yolo County District 4 Supervisor " »


Aritcle 2 of 4: Sierra Club Yolano Group Questionnaire for Yolo County District 4 Supervisor

Solid waste management, water management and conservation, and toxics in the environment

See article 1 of 4 here, which gives a "table of contents" for all four articles, announces that the Yolano Group is not making an endorsement in this race, and covers Reductions in Carbon-Based Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions.  The order of the candidate responses are changed with each article. 

Three-for-supervisor
By Alan Pryor, Chair – Sierra Club Yolano Group

Part 2 – Questions Relating to Solid Waste Management

Issue 2-1 - Reusable, Recyclable, &  Compostable In-Restaurant and Take-Out Food & Drink Containers & Tableware

Continue reading "Aritcle 2 of 4: Sierra Club Yolano Group Questionnaire for Yolo County District 4 Supervisor " »


Sierra Club Yolano Group Questionnaire for Yolo County District 4 Supervisor

November 2020 Election– 1st of 4 Articles

Three-for-supervisor
by Alan Pryor, Chair – Sierra Club Yolano Group

Introduction

In the ballot for March 2020, three candidates are vying for the office of Yolo County District 4 Supervisor - Jim Provenza, Linda Deos, and David Abramson. This District represents the southern and more eastern portions of the City of Davis and rural residents of Yolo County in the area extending south of Davis to the Solano County line and east of Davis to the Yolo Bypass. 

The Sierra Club Yolano Group prepares questionnaires for candidates in local races we deem to be seriously contested and/or where there are clear differences between the candidates. We ask questions on a wide range of environmentally-related issues of importance to the electorate and/or our local Sierra Club members and the candidates provide written responses to allow them to directly express their views and opinions in their own words. All candidates provided responses to all of of our questions in this questionnaire.

The Sierra Club Yolano Group Takes “No Endorsement Position” in the 2020 Yolo County District 4 Supervisor Race

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A Case for Bernie Sanders

The times have finally caught up with his vision

IMG_2372
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.

Continue reading "A Case for Bernie Sanders" »


Imagine A More Beautiful World

82076180_162915525116337_572473841536729088_o
Jessica Perlstein Art, https://jessicaperlstein.com/

Davis residents are invited to help imagine "A More Beautiful World" at an art happening on Saturday, January 11 between 1 and 3:30 pm at the Dos Pinos Community Room, 2550 Sycamore Lane. Through music, art, and conversation, attendees will play together to develop the vision for a community-driven Local Green New Deal.

The event will hosted by artist Danielle Fodor and David Abramson for Yolo County Supervisor.

Organizers ask, "Imagine that we are in the year 2040. We have achieved a vision of climate-positive and equitable society in Yolo County. What will we see? What will we hear? What will we smell, taste, and feel as we walk around our neighborhoods and as we visit other parts of Yolo County?"

Help envision a county transformed, as artists turn words into drawings, a visual representation of a vision for a More Beautiful World.

For more information, please contact Danielle Fodor at daniellefodor@gmail.com.


Bats Ignored in Environmental Review for Mace Business Park

2019-12-23_17-43-09Will new ARC SEIR do better?

This letter was sent to Assistant City Manager Ash Feeney on December 23, 2019.


Dear Mr. Feeney,

I am writing to draw your attention to a significant omission in the Mace Ranch Innovation Center Project Final Environmental Impact Report dated January 2016. At no place in the FEIR is there any consideration for Mexican free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis), or for Hoary bats (Lasiurus cinereus).

Just over 2 miles from the MRIC/ARC site is “One of the largest seasonal Mexican free-tailed bat (Tadarida brasiliensis) colonies in California. An estimated 250,000 individuals strong.” (https://baynature.org/2013/07/25/yolo-bats/). This colony roosts under the Yolo Causeway bridge and has been well documented in the Davis Enterprise and the Sacramento Bee (https://www.davisenterprise.com/community/see-bats-at-the-causeway/, https://www.sacbee.com/news/local/environment/article31141712.html).

I have personally observed bats flying over the MRIC/ARC site during summer months, but there is no mention of bats in the FEIR, or any of the underlying documentation.

Continue reading "Bats Ignored in Environmental Review for Mace Business Park " »


Reflecting back on VCE's year

What a year it's been!

VCEBy Tom Stallard

The end of each calendar year offers an opportunity to sit back and reflect on the goals reached over the past 12 months and to look forward to a new year of possibilities and challenges.

At Valley Clean Energy — your local not-for-profit electricity provider— we’re working hard to fulfill our mission to deliver clean electricity, energy product choice and greenhouse gas emission reductions, all with local control at competitive prices.

Since June 2018, we’ve been serving 55,000 customers in the cities of Woodland and Davis plus the unincorporated area of Yolo County. That number will grow when customers in Winters are enrolled after the city became an official member of VCE this month.

Thanks to the creativity and dedication of our professional staff, and the visionary leadership of my colleagues on the board, the past year has been jam-packed with accomplishments. Here’s a brief review:

Continue reading "Reflecting back on VCE's year" »


Valley Clean Energy Welcomes Legacy Solar Customers

VCEThe Valley Clean Energy board of directors has adopted a policy governing how legacy solar customers — those who installed solar systems prior to VCE’s launch in June 2018 — are enrolled with the local electricity service provider.

“We’re thrilled to begin enrolling solar customers, also known as Net Energy Metered customers, beginning in January,” said Tom Stallard, VCE board chair and a member of the Woodland City Council.

“Solar customers have already demonstrated a financial commitment to renewable energy, and it will be great to have them in the fold, helping all of us take a big leap toward a more sustainable future for our communities.”

Beginning in January and continuing through December 2020, PG&E solar customers will be automatically enrolled in VCE service during their existing PG&E true-up month. As with all VCE customers, these solar customers will have the choice to opt out and stay with PG&E.

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ARC Project Recommended Sustainability Features

Recommended Project Alternatives for the Supplemental Environmental Impact Report

Rough-ARCmap-corrected-sustainabilityThe following comments were submitted to the City by The Aggie Research Center Working Group, an ad hoc committee of interested Davis environmentalists with experience in evaluating land use and planning issues in Davis, on December 7. The Group has collaboratively developed this set of recommended sustainability features for the project and submitted them to the developer in November, 2019. With his knowledge, these recommendations are now formally submitted as scoping comments to the supplemental EIR for the purposes of evaluating desirable sustainability alternatives for the project

Others who wish to submit their own written scoping comments can do so via the City of Davis Community Development and Sustainability Department, 23 Russell Boulevard, Suite 2 Davis, CA 95616 Attn: Sherri Metzker, Principal Planner or via electronic mail to smetzker@cityofdavis.org up until Monday, December 9, 2019 at 5:00 PM.

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I. SUSTAINABILITY PLAN

Functional Goal: Develop and implement a comprehensive Sustainability Plan and ensure sustainability commitments made in the Plan are embodied in the subsequent Development Agreement and implemented and maintained for life of project.

  1. Mandatory, measurable and enforceable.

  2. Equivalent in scope and detail to Nishi.

Continue reading "ARC Project Recommended Sustainability Features" »


Business park outside of Mace curve: More environmental review

Questions about traffic, area impacts, climate change

Rough-ARCmap-corrected-traffic-climateThe following comments were submitted by Roberta Millstein to the City of Davis. This is part 2 of 2; other comments submitted by Millstein and posted earlier addressed land use, parks/greenways and open space.  These comments serve as recommendations as to the scope and content of the supplemental environmental impact report (EIR) for the "Aggie Research Campus," a proposed massive ~200 acre business park on prime farmland outside the Mace curve, focusing on the changes in project and conditions from the previous Mace Ranch Innovation Center (MRIC) proposal.

Others who wish to submit their own written scoping comments can do so via the City of Davis Community Development and Sustainability Department, 23 Russell Boulevard, Suite 2 Davis, CA 95616 Attn: Sherri Metzker, Principal Planner or via electronic mail to smetzker@cityofdavis.org up until Monday, December 9, 2019 at 5:00 PM.

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The following questions need to be addressed by the Supplemental EIR for the “Aggie Research Campus” (please note that wherever I say “impacts” I mean “environmental impacts”):

Continue reading "Business park outside of Mace curve: More environmental review " »


Business park outside of Mace curve: environmental review

Rough-ARCmap-corrected-landuseQuestions about land use, parks/greenways and open space

The following comments were submitted by Roberta Millstein to the City of Davis today. This is part 1 of 2; other comments submitted by Millstein to be posted later [edit: see here] will address traffic/transportation, area impacts, and climate change impacts/interactions.  These comments serve as recommendations as to the scope and content of the supplemental environmental impact report (EIR) for the "Aggie Research Campus," a proposed massive ~200 acre business park on prime farmland outside the Mace curve, focusing on the changes in project and conditions from the previous Mace Ranch Innovation Center (MRIC) proposal.

Others who wish to submit their own written scoping comments can do so via the City of Davis Community Development and Sustainability Department, 23 Russell Boulevard, Suite 2 Davis, CA 95616 Attn: Sherri Metzker, Principal Planner or via electronic mail to smetzker@cityofdavis.org up until Monday, December 9, 2019 at 5:00 PM.

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The following questions need to be addressed by the Supplemental EIR for the “Aggie Research Campus” (please note that wherever I say “impacts” I mean “environmental impacts”):

Continue reading "Business park outside of Mace curve: environmental review " »


Business Park Developer Accused of Providing Misinformation

Lawyer
Attorney representing the business park defends a questionable table at the EIR scoping meeting.

Last minute release questioned

Attorney's for the Massive Mace Business Park dubbed "ARC" provided the City of Davis with a letter and tables in preparation for the EIR scoping yesterday. The City posted these documents to the City Website and emailed them to select individuals. Unfortunately these documents have come under scrutiny for possibly containing misinformation.

The City of Davis did not vet the information before releasing it to the public and injecting it into the EIR process. In the words of City Manager Mike Webb, "These documents were submitted by the applicant and therefore are appropriate to posted to the city web site as such."

When asked if the "City has opened itself up to litigation by sending false and misleading information out in advance of tonight’s meeting," Webb stated, "The City, as you know, does not edit documents that are submitted by the applicant. "

The letter below details some of the problems with the applicant's last minute release:

Continue reading "Business Park Developer Accused of Providing Misinformation" »


University Commons: Public Meeting and Environmental Review

Public comments on Draft Environmental Impact Report accepted through Dec 20

University-commons-site-plan
Brixmor Property Group, University Commons Illustrative Site Plan

(From press release) The City of Davis Planning Commission will conduct a public meeting on the University Commons Project Draft EIR, as described below, at a meeting beginning at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 11, 2019 in the Community Chambers, City Offices, 23 Russell Boulevard, Davis, California. Please contact the Department of Community Development and Sustainability for the approximate time this item will be heard.

Project Description:

The Planning Commission is scheduled to review the Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) that has been prepared for the University Commons Project located at 737-885 Russell Boulevard, known as University Mall. The proposed project would demolish approximately 90,653 square feet of the existing University Mall building to create a new mixed-use development. Buildout of the proposed project would result in the addition of 264 new multi-family residential units and approximately 136,800 square feet of retail space, not including the existing Trader Joe’s building, which would be retained as-is. The proposed 264 multi-family residential units would include a mix of unit types with a total of 622 bedrooms and 894 beds. The ARCO gas station is not part of the proposed project or project site and would also remain unchanged.

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Post-Carbon Potluck & Mace business park environmental review

Rough-ARCmap-corrected copyTwo important events at almost identical times, but synergy possible

By Roberta Millstein

Attend a climate crisis potluck or give comment on the scope of an environmental review?  Both?

The first event: the Davis Post-Carbon Association (DPCA) is having a potluck this Monday, Dec 2 in the Davis Library: Blanchard Room 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. You can meet fellow residents who are taking action and learn how you can join the effort!

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VCE Integrated Resource Plan Workshop

Information / Questions / Customer Input

VCE(From Press release)  – Valley Clean Energy will host a public workshop in early December to discuss and seek input to their Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). The workshop is open to all VCE customers and interested parties, and will offer information and answer questions, while gathering input from customers.

VCE’s IRP outlines our planned power supply for the next 3 years and provides a forecast for expected electric demand and resource supply until 2030. The IRP also details our commitment to renewable and low carbon energy procurements. The IRP is a VCE planning document that is updated every 2 years and is also governed by regulatory requirements. Our final plan will be submitted to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for consideration in May 2020.

The workshop agenda will include:

Continue reading "VCE Integrated Resource Plan Workshop" »


Mace Mess: 11 Broken Promises

Mace mess2Squandered Trust

Comments given to the Davis City Council by Mimi McMahon

Trust is an important element when citizens elect officials to act on their behalf.  There is no room for special interests or personal gain.  A promise is a contract. The City has squandered the trust of Davis citizens and those affected by the Mace Mess you and your staff have created.  You have wasted millions of dollars of our hard-earned taxes. 

Broken and Unfulfilled Promises

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Thursday's Caltrans Workshop Key to Davis Growth and Climate Future

IMG_6919By Alan Hirsch

On Thursday Caltrans will hold a workshop on the future of the I-80 corridor, Davis’s Connection to the rest of the World.  It will be in the Blanchard room of the Library at 6:30pm.

Caltrans will be considering different options to deal with transportation demand in this corridor.

Will they just address only thru traffic, i.e. Tahoe Snowbirds...or real needs of people who live in the corridor, for example transit needs that can’t be met by slow, limited stop and expensive Capitol Corridor Train service or the anemic and unreliable Yolobus service?

If you care about traffic on Mace Blvd...or how we can have accommodate economic growth in Davis -- like the proposed 12,000 (!!!)  trip a day Aggie business park on Mace curve  -- this is the meeting to go to.

Continue reading "Thursday's Caltrans Workshop Key to Davis Growth and Climate Future" »


Business park outside of Mace curve takes another step

Notice of Scoping Meeting and Preparation of a Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR)

RoughtARCmap-corrected
Rough map showing approximate outline of proposed business park - Corrected from earlier image, which did not show full scale of project

What follows is the official notice of a meeting that you can attend to give input on the Supplemental EIR on the so-called "Aggie Research Campus," formerly named "Mace Ranch Innovation Center."  The project would include not only offices and R&D space, but also housing and a hotel, with ~4300 parking spaces total.

Information on the project can be found on the City of Davis's website, here.

Continue reading "Business park outside of Mace curve takes another step" »


Winters Votes to Join Valley Clean Energy

VCE(From press release) The city of Winters is the fourth local jurisdiction to join Valley Clean Energy, Yolo County’s not-for-profit public clean power electricity agency. The cities of Woodland and Davis as well as the unincorporated area of Yolo County are already members, having launched the agency in June 2018.

At its Oct. 15 meeting, the Winters City Council passed a resolution approving the terms of membership in VCE as well as the first reading of an ordinance authorizing implementation of the community choice aggregation program for all electricity customers in Winters. The second reading and adoption of the ordinance occurred at the Nov. 5 council meeting.

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