Entries categorized "Environment"

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

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

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

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

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.



Yolo County Upgrades to 100% Renewable Ultragreen Electricity From Valley Clean Energy (VCE)

VCE(From press release) The Yolo County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously this week to upgrade to Valley Clean Energy’s 100% renewable, 100% carbon-free UltraGreen service. This action will include all County VCE business accounts that are not already covered by existing solar/renewable projects.

Taken as a whole, this decision is an important step toward ensuring that 100% of Yolo County’s electricity for its operations will be sourced from renewables, further decreasing the County’s dependence on fossil fuels and decreasing carbon emissions.

“We know that the power sector is one of the largest sources of carbon emissions,” said Yolo County Board of Supervisors Chair, Angel Barajas. “Moving toward 100% renewable, 100% carbon-free electricity for County facilities is a powerful step we can take to fight climate change. It’s directly aligned with our 2011 Climate Action Plan. And at only 1.5 cents more per kilowatt-hour, we find it provides a great cost/benefit ratio for our local communities.”

Yolo County’s goal is to transition all remaining accounts to 100% renewable electricity in the upcoming billing cycle. Funding will be included in the 2023-24 County budget for that purpose.

“As the local not-for-profit public energy provider, VCE strives to provide simple, cost-effective ways for our customers and communities to take action on climate change,” said VCE Executive Officer Mitch Sears.  “With this move the County becomes our largest UltraGreen customer and helps drive the clean energy economy forward.” 

Valley Clean Energy is a not-for-profit public agency formed in June 2018 to provide electrical generation service to customers in Woodland, Davis, Winters, and the unincorporated areas of Yolo County. VCE’s mission is to source cost-competitive clean electricity while providing product choice, price stability, energy efficiency, greenhouse gas emission reductions and reinvestment in the communities we serve.


Please Donate to Help Us Stop Indiscriminate Open Pit Mining in Yolo County

Imagecdn.mightycause
Photo of Prime Farmland Set to be Destroyed by Proposed Open Pit Mine

The Sierra Club Yolano Group, together with its local partner, Yolo Land and Water Defense, is desperately trying to stop a massive new sand and gravel open-pit mining operation. This proposed project will forever destroy 300 acres of productive prime farmland just off of Cache Creek a few miles west of Woodland. Almost in the city's backyard, this huge new surface mine will leave behind a wasteland of methyl mercury contaminated impoundment ponds, no guarantees of successful farmland reclamation, potentially serious decreases in local groundwater levels, and greenhouse gas and priority pollutant emissions far greater than estimated (see below for more detailed information about the project's environmental shortcomings).

Our lawsuit challenges improper mining project approvals. Over vigorous objections about the lack of appropriate environmental protections as required under California law, this project was recently approved by the Yolo County Supervisors when they certified a defective Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and awarded lucrative 30-year sweetheart mining rights to Teichert Mining. The company is a subsidiary of a billion-dollar mining and construction behemoth. To stop this ill-advised and destructive project unless necessary protections are put in place, the Sierra Club with our partners recently sued Yolo County and Teichert Mining to rescind certification of the EIR and project approvals.

The Sierra Club and a number of members of both organizations have already made very substantial contributions, but we urgently need to raise $12,000 more to continue this lawsuit all the way through trial. Please help us force Teichert Mining to act responsibly so that our children and future Yolo County generations can enjoy unpolluted habitat, productive agricultural land, safe and reliable access to good quality water, and clean, breathable air.

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation of any amount.

1) By Credit Card or Paypal - Click on the online donation link here (https://www.mightycause.com/story/Yolanogroupsc)

2) By Check - Send your check payable to Sierra Club Foundation, c/o Yolano Group, 2736 Brentwood Pl in Davis CA 95618.

Continue reading "Please Donate to Help Us Stop Indiscriminate Open Pit Mining in Yolo County" »


Community Canopy - Free Shade Trees!

Free-shade-trees(From press release) Tree Davis is committed to enhancing and expanding Davis’s urban forest. As part of our mission, Tree Davis’s Community Canopy Program, in partnership with the City of Davis, offers free trees to homeowners in Davis. 

This is the last season for homeowners to take advantage of this grant program! Now is the time to bring cooling shade, beauty, and improved public health to your home and neighborhood. Supplies are limited so please contact Tree Davis today: https://www.treedavis.org/city-of-davis-community-canopy/ . Our trained staff will visit you at your residence this summer to help you select the right tree for your front yard.

Plantings begin in October and we can either work with you to plant your tree if you wish, or we will plant the tree for you.

This is your last chance to request a tree for fall plantings. Please share this information with your friends and neighbors! Spread the word and contact us today to line up a consultation.

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

 


Post-election statement from No on H campaign

No on H 2022_Sign Design_Final w SC Endorse Seal(From press release) We are pleased by the overwhelming defeat of Measure H, which we believe would have resulted in a development that was harmful to Davis.

It was a true grassroots effort of many volunteers over many months, who poured countless hours of their personal time into the campaign. It was also the result of many passionate supporters who donated to the campaign, displayed lawn signs, wrote letters to the editor, and participated on social media.  We thank everyone who was involved in the effort.

We hope the resounding defeat of Measure H  leads to more collaborative community discussions that engage Davisites in creating future projects which will be truly sustainable and environmentally progressive.


Davis still needs a new vision

Back in December 2020, some members of the successful 2020 No on DISC campaign got together and articulated what they felt was a new and better vision for Davis.  With the apparent defeat of DiSC 2022 as Measure H, currently showing a 63.52% "No" vote, I thought I would pull it out again.  I think our vision and much of what we wrote here remains pertinent , including an all-too-prescient prediction that:

"the developers will try to bring back DISC with minor changes and spend another quarter of a million dollars in the hopes of gaining just enough new votes to change the outcome of the election.  What the election vote shows is that such an attempt would be a mistake.  The project proposal was fundamentally flawed and a few more bells and whistles wouldn’t change that."

We did not, however, expect that the developer would spend significantly more than half a million dollars, and still lose.  It is to Davisites' credit that we still saw that this was a bad project delivered through a bad process (including an inappropriate developer-funded lawsuit, spearheaded by a sitting Councilmember).

I hope our op-ed stimulates you to think about an alternative path for Davis.

-RLM

The Failure of Measure B Suggests a New Vision Is Needed
Originally posted December 12, 2020
https://www.davisite.org/2020/12/the-failure-of-measure-b-suggests-a-new-vision-is-needed-.html

West from Rd 30B - Sac skylineBy Roberta Millstein, Pam Gunnell, Nancy Price, Alan Pryor, and Colin Walsh

Measure B – the measure that proposed a 200-acre business park and housing development outside of the Mace Curve – failed at the polls.  The defeat comes with official Yolo County returns showing that 16,458 people, or 52% of voters, said “no” to the project.  In Mace Ranch and Wildhorse, 60% of voters opposed the project.

This is a remarkable result considering that the No on B campaign was outspent by over 14 to 1.  As of October 28, Yes on B had spent $258,919 between when B was put on the ballot in July and the election in November, while No on B had spent $18,149.  The No on B campaign, composed solely of volunteer Davis citizens, created its own literature, designed its own sign and other graphics, was active on social media, and, to the extent possible during COVID, pounded the pavement distributing flyers to let Davisites know about the negative impacts that this project would bring.  It was a true grassroots effort.  There were no paid designers, no paid consultants, no multiple glossy mailers, and no push-polls to gather information on what messages would sell.  Opponents also could not table at the Farmers Market due to COVID restrictions, normally the bread and butter of a campaign lacking deep pocket donors to finance getting its message out.

By comparison, Yes on B hired a PR Firm and other consultants more than a year in advance of the vote to help contrive and package its message and run the campaign.

The fact that Measure B was nonetheless defeated in the face of long odds and unusual circumstances shows that DISC was a bad project for Davis from the outset.  It was too big, chewing up prime farmland and habitat.   The promise of on-site housing for DISC employees could not be guaranteed, making the development car-and commuter- oriented with extensive parking areas. Poor public transportation options exacerbated this problem. The DISC development would have massively increased Davis greenhouse gas emissions and made it impossible for Davis to meet its carbon neutrality goals. We are in a climate emergency, as Yolo County and other counties have recognized; Davis needs to shoulder its share of responsibility for climate impacts, including but not limited to wildfire impacts and extreme weather events locally and globally.

Continue reading "Davis still needs a new vision" »


Community Leaders Urge – Vote "No" on Measure H

(From press release) Here are six of the many respected and well-known community leaders who urge you to vote No on Measure H against the DiSC project, together with a brief statement of their concerns.

Evans "Previous City Councils required 25-35% affordable housing per each new project. DISC is providing many fewer low income units under a weakened ordinance that does not apply to land outside the city. This project is designed to deliver less units of affordable low income housing."
Ann Evans
Former Mayor of Davis; Founder of the Davis Food Co-op; Author, Davis Farmer’s Market Cookbook
w/ David Thompson
Affordable Housing Developer


Jolly“If these developments were about providing needed and affordable housing and not speculation, the developers would have broken ground on already approved projects. No on Measure H.”
Desmond Jolly
Former Long Range Planning Commission Member
Director Emeritus, UC Statewide Small Farm Program
w/ Julia Jolly



Krovoza“Long-term fiscal sustainability of projects for Davis is paramount. This means projects that pay for their impact and don't further burden city resources. The tax sharing deal with the county was done after the city announced the supposed financial returns. That's completely backwards. I firmly believe the 50/50 split with the county is low, and there's no evidence it’s based on which jurisdiction would pay the most for negative impacts. No on H, for sure.”
Joe Krovoza, Former Mayor of Davis
w/ Janet Krovoza



Dickey“A sustainable project needs to be sited and connected to the community it serves; it needs to favor walking and bike-riding. The location of DiSC 2022, the promise of minimal connectivity for active transportation, and a decidedly car-optimized design will ensure thousands of additional motor vehicle trips through town and onto the freeway each day.”
Darell Dickey
Former Commissioner, City of Davis Bicycle Advisory Commission
Living Streets Activist
Advisor, Bike Davis



Corbett“There are better options for Davis than DiSC. It will not do what they say it will do. With a new general plan Davis can maintain its compact size on existing land and actually provide a better transportation design, more affordable housing, desirable jobs, and improved City financing.”
Mike Corbett
Former Mayor of Davis
Developer of Village Homes
Affordable Housing Developer
w/ Grandson



Caswell“The worst, most deceptive, and disgraceful greenwash campaign in Davis’ history.
Measure H is bad for Downtown, bad for climate, bad for traffic, bad for Davis! Please vote for the Davis you Love, vote no on H”
Heather Caswell
Owner of The Wardrobe
Founder Davis Community Vision Alliance

 

 


Letter: Where’s the Water? NO on H!

Measure H is a rare opportunity for us, as individuals, to choose what is good for the many over what is good for the few.  The NO on H arguments focus on verifiable negative impacts of the proposed DISC development such as increased traffic and paving over of prime agricultural land, while the Yes side claims that, if all goes as advertised, the city will benefit financially.

No matter which arguments you believe or favor, there is one overarching reason to vote NO on H – WATER.  The City of Davis, indeed the entire state, is in the throes of a severe, worsening drought.   Davis receives surface water from the Sacramento River and well(or ground-)water pumped from aquifers beneath the city.  Our surface water supply is limited by finite, maximum water “rights,” which in turn are dependent on upstream reservoir levels and snowpack, both of which are far below normal, and pumping huge volumes of water, especially from the deep aquifers, is unsustainable. 

The agricultural land on which DISC would be built currently receives NO water from the city of Davis – NONE.  And, as ag land, it can be fallowed if necessary.  BUT, if Measure H passes, that 100-plus acres of land will be annexed into the City and connected – permanently - to our city water infrastructure, thus creating a new drain on our already-limited water supply.  And, if water is like any other commodity, even as we conserve more as a community, the demands of DISC and already-approved projects will lead to increased water rates.

But fear not, our city leaders have not forgotten us.  Even as they are campaigning for Measure H, they are planning to educate us with a new “messaging” slogan: “No doubt, We’re in a Drought!”  

Seriously folks, a few people could make a pile of money if H passes, and the City might benefit financially, but I believe we need to help the many by voting NO on Measure H.

Rick Entrikin
Davis


Letter: Not buying DiSC

I knew this Yes on H campaign was off to an ignominious start when I started receiving phone calls.  A lot of phone calls. All seeking my opinion.  Developers care about my thoughts? Not likely.  When you get THAT many phone calls, you know the pockets pushing a project are deep, aggressive, and expect to make a lot of money. They don’t like anyone getting in their way.  Then a sitting city Davis city council member, who heads the Yes on H campaign, sued the opposition with the apparent intent of snuffing out dissenting voices.  This lawsuit against the No on H folks felt Trump inspired: sic lawyers on any opposition and financially drain them into submission. That’ll teach ’em to speak up!

The Yes on H folks are trying to create the illusion that this enormous industrial development will attract people seeking nature.  This project is simultaneously being billed as helping solve the housing crisis in Davis (it won’t), helping endangered species (by paving almost 100 of acres of land, I guess) and solving climate change (because some people may take the bus or bike out there). Their “transit plaza” is …a bus stop. See how easy solving world climate change was! All solved with a single development!  Wow.  I guess mentioning “world peace” was too much of a stretch, even for them. Maybe next time, after they’ve had their way with Davis, they’ll say that their NEXT mega development will solve the Middle East Crisis.

When they expect over 2,500 employees working at site, yet only 460 housing units (with no guarantee that residents in the development are actually working at the site) … then … well, it’s not going to be an environmental utopia, no matter the grand the promises.  No solving the Climate Crisis.  No world peace either, I guess.

Davis needs to vote no on this project before the project leaders shut down any more voices that they don’t like with their lawyers.

Liz Reay 

Davis


Opposition to Measure H from Davis's Environmental Recognition Award Recipient

Eliot Larson, Climate Strike Leader
Eliot Larson, Climate Strike Leader

Dear City Council members, Mayor Partida and other local leaders,

Last month (April of 2022) you presented me with a special environmental recognition award to which I had very mixed feelings about. On the one hand, it felt good to be recognized for the work I do as a youth climate activist but on the other hand it felt like all of you were just trying to cover up our inactions.

Today, I got a pamphlet in the mail for yes on Measure H. I wanted to be open minded and see the points that yes on H stated. As I looked over the pamphlet I was horrified to see the seemingly endless list of people who have signed onto this measure, most of whom I know; the mayor of Davis, as well as many former mayors, Dan Carson, Lucus Frerichs; the list went on. I saw only half truths and mostly lies about what this project will bring to the community.

I know a lot of people here in Davis feel very strongly about this measure and I admit that I am one of those people. I cannot stand to think of another part of our beautiful Mother Earth being paved over and hundreds of wild animals losing more of their land. We need to remember that this is not our land and we have no right to destroy it. I will not stand for more agricultural land being taken and Davis becoming an even bigger and more politicized city.

I did not want this letter to be all about measure H. No, I want it to be about how disappointed I am in the leaders of my community who claim they want to save the Earth and make Davis a more affordable and safe community. Davis will not be affordable or safe if humans build on every bit of the land they can and climate change destroys the rest.

Now, to the leaders of this community who have signed onto this destructive project, I am disappointed in you. Is that what you wanted? Did you really want a 15 year old queer kid to have fight the rest of their life for climate justice because you didn’t step up and do the right thing? You have no right to be leading this community unless you are capable of caring for its children and that includes fighting for their futures. Think about that for a moment. And maybe, if any of you have any conscience, you will reach out to me about how we can start taking steps towards a livable future.

Eliot Larson


It is all there in the Numbers … Traffic, Traffic, Traffic!!!

Traffic-on-maceBy Matt Williams

With apologies in advance to those people who find my articles and/or comments too detailed, I’m going to clearly show David Greenwald of the Davis Vanguard the numbers, so that he, and hopefully everyone, understands the traffic study contents. 

For those of you who want to skip the detail and just read the summary, it appears at the bottom of the article alongside the very tall Google Earth image of Mace and its current lane configuration.

With the caveat that the readers of yesterday’s article don’t know what steps might have happened behind the scenes that weren’t described in the article, it appears that yesterday, David Greenwald forgot to follow his own advice.  Several times in the recent past David has complained bitterly that one of the Vanguard’s guest writers published their article without taking the time to check with an information source prior to publishing an article that criticizes one or more aspects of our community’s decisions and/or decision processes.  I believe, but could be wrong if there is information I don’t know about, David would have done well for himself and for the Yes On Measure H campaign team if he had checked with the information source he criticized in yesterday’s article.  If he did do so, I’m sure he will clarify in a comment.

Traffic studies are arcane beasts.  They follow a set of clearly set out rules that a lay person like David and me has to work hard to understand. It is easy for a lay person to make mistakes when trying to understand “WHY?” a traffic finding in the traffic study is what it is.  In late 2020 when formally submitting questions  about the traffic study in the Draft EIR, I learned that lesson the hard way.  To their credit Fehr & Peers responded very clearly, logically, understandably, and professionally to my questions … pointing out where I had gone wrong in my calculations.  They were good teachers.  I thank them for that educational lesson.

So, when the updated traffic study for DiSC 2022 was published I was able to much better understand the data … and also carry forward the intersection by intersection graphics that had accompanied the 2020 traffic study.  However, before I finalized any conclusions based on the new data, I reviewed those tentative conclusions with a retired City traffic engineer and two engineering professionals who have considerable experience dealing with traffic.  Their collective and individual counsel was very valuable.  Their advice would have been very helpful to David if he had sought that advice prior to publishing yesterday.

Continue reading "It is all there in the Numbers … Traffic, Traffic, Traffic!!!" »


Sierra Club Endorses Juliette Beck for Yolo County Supervisor District 2

Beck(From press release) After an extensive evaluation process by the Management Committee of the local Sierra Club Yolano Group, the Sierra Club Mother Lode Chapter Political and Executive Committees, and the Sierra Club Northern California Political Review Committee, the Sierra Club Yolano Group is pleased to announce the Sierra Club's official endorsement of Juliette Beck for Yolo County Supervisor District 2.

We were convinced of our choice based on Ms. Beck's extensive and demonstrable commitment to environmental and social justice and her unwavering support for a just transition when addressing the impacts of climate change on the least fortunate of our citizens. Ms. Beck's  platform embraces a progressive, humane, and evidence-based approach which gives voice to historically marginalized citizens which aligns with the core beliefs of the Sierra Club.

Why we are endorsing Juliette Beck for Yolo County District 2 Supervisor

Juliette Beck is running to be the first woman elected to the Yolo County Board of Supervisors since 2006. Beck believes that with transformative climate leadership, youth empowerment, and a laser focus on health and community well-being, the county can build an inclusive economy and truly sustainable communities.

As a mother, raising a fifth-generation Central Valley family with her husband Nick, Beck believes we can not simply hope that things will get better. She is running for Supervisor to create systemic change with opportunities for all Yolo County residents – especially children – to thrive.

Her platform is based on the indigenous concept of “buen vivir” - to live well is to live in harmony with all of life.

Climate Leadership

Continue reading "Sierra Club Endorses Juliette Beck for Yolo County Supervisor District 2" »


Misrepresentations of the Yes on H/Yes on DiSC campaign

Yes-on-H-mailer-cropped-annotatedBy Colin Walsh

The Vanguard published a guest commentary by Jackson Mills, “Debunking Deceptive Descriptions of DiSC in No on H Campaign Messaging,” on Tuesday morning. But it’s the commentary itself that is deceptive.

Ironically Mr. Mills himself chooses to mislead people in his selection of an outdated illustration to lead the article. It is notable that the illustration used with this article is from the previous DISC proposal and is certainly not an accurate picture of the current DiSC proposal. The water feature in this picture is an idealized version of the drainage ditch that ran through the middle of the previous project (it also shows far more water than there ever would have been). The drainage ditch does not run through the project in the current iteration. And the drainage ditch certainly doesn’t support paddle boarding as depicted on the Yes on H mailers.

The Vanguard has done nothing to address the Misrepresentations of the Yes on H campaign. Those claims have included such outrageous exaggerations and misinformation such as:

Measure H “helps our community fight the housing crisis” – DiSC will have over 2,400 employees, and by the City’s own documents only 187 will live in the onsite housing. That adds over 2,200 additional people looking for housing in Davis, adding pressure to our already incredibly tight Davis housing market.

Continue reading "Misrepresentations of the Yes on H/Yes on DiSC campaign" »


Don't tax the sun

Solarpanels(from press release) Despite clear public opposition to a Solar Tax and to making solar unaffordable, the CPUC announced last week that they are still considering a Solar Tax of between $300 to $600 per year for the average solar user, while also slashing the credit for the solar energy sent back to the grid.

Because we were so successful at stopping their first Solar Tax, the CPUC is now trying to hide the ball by calling the tax by a different name. Their latest idea is to tax the solar energy you produce and use at home. The less energy you buy from the utility because of your solar, the higher the tax.

This is like taxing people who hang-dry their clothing instead of running the dryer. It's absurd, it's intrusive, and it violates every principle of conservation and responsible citizenship. It contradicts everything the Newsom Administration says it is for: solving climate change, promoting clean energy, making solar more equitable, and keeping the lights on. We are also quite sure it is illegal.

But, unless we speak out forcefully against this new Solar Tax proposal, it may very well become the new reality in California. Earlier this year, your voice helped to defeat the CPUC's first Solar Tax. We need your voice again, as loud as ever:

Continue reading "Don't tax the sun" »


Letter: Who wants DiSC?

DISC overview shotWho wants 12,000 more daily car trips on Mace Blvd? 

Who wants to annex and pave over 102 acres of prime farmland and environmental habitat OUTSIDE the City of Davis boundary?

Who wants to violate every principle of effective city planning by developing 80,000 square feet of retail businesses beyond the city’s downtown?

Who wants an additional 460 housing units that would deplete scarce water resources and distress our already fragile infrastructure, including roads, schools and downtown parking?

Who wants a project that may violate air quality standards and add a 4.5 percent increase to Davis’s carbon footprint?

Who wants a project that proponents say will “Combat Climate Change”? (Been to Mar-a-Lago lately guys?)

Who wants a project that will develop 1.34 million square feet of office space when most businesses are transitioning to remote work-at-home employees? (Seen those massive empty development projects in China?)

Vote “NO” on H.

Here’s what Joni Mitchell said:

“They paved paradise and put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique, and a swinging hot spot
Don’t it always seem to go that
You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.”

David L. Johnson
Davis


Hold your pets! Hold your breath! FIREWORKS are back!

Dog-fireworksAt this Tuesday's City Council meeting, May 10th, at 630pm, less than one month ahead of Celebrate Davis and less two months ahead of the 4th of July, the City Council is planning to authorize pyrotechnic displays at these events.

For the past two years due to COVID and/or wildfire smoke issues, spring and summertime fireworks have been suspended for the most part. Wiith all the other stresses on our families, it's been a literal lifesaver for dozens or more pets typically killed, injured or traumatized by fireworks, and a small measure to keep the air clean as many took their last breaths due to the pandemic. It's likely that wild animals also suffer. Some may also have supported the cancellation in solidarity with communities nearby that burnt in recent years.

We breathed in the smoke from fires in Paradise, so why are we allowing toxic combustibles to be launched into the sky, also as many of us do all we can to help people attacked by larger pyrotechnics in Ukraine?

Sadly, it's claimed that pyrotechnic displays fulfill the Council Goal to "Support an array of festivals and celebrations that will culturally enhance and engage our community [and] promote equity..."

Cultural? Engagement? EQUITY?

We can have fun and safe events that promote community and patriotism without fireworks!

What can we do about it? Many cities around the country have replaced fireworks displays with lazer light shows. The Council - or at least Mayor Partida - and a representative of the Davis Chamber of Commerce - organizer of Celebrate Davis - are aware of this and have engaged with citizens in past years. So it's unclear why this is only on the Consent Calendar, presumably to be passed without comment.

We need to comment immediately, in advance of the Council meeting! By email - before 3pm on Tuesday - to or by calling in starting at noon that day at 530-757-5693 and leaving a message of up to two minutes in length. Please voice your opposition (and why), ask for a light show instead of fireworks, and for the item to be pulled from the Consent Calendar so that it can be discussed.

It may also be useful to contact the Natural Resources Commission which is having a special meeting on Monday at 630pm about the City's climate actions (CAAP), by email to by10am Monday and/or by calling in live at 530-757-5693 as a general comment at the beginning of the meeting, or you can probably relate this issue to climate change and alternatively can call in during public comment for the CAAP item.

Please copy emails to the Davis Chamber of Commerce: and or call them at 530-902-7699 or contact them separately with the same message as above.

City Council links: https://documents.cityofdavis.org/Media/Default/Documents/PDF/CityCouncil/CouncilMeetings/Agendas/2022/2022-05-10/03N-Fireworks-Display-Authorization.pdf + https://documents.cityofdavis.org/Media/Default/Documents/PDF/CityCouncil/CouncilMeetings/Agendas/2022/2022-05-10/City-Council-Agenda-05-10-22.pdf

NRC link: https://documents.cityofdavis.org/Media/CityCouncil/Documents/PDF/CityCouncil/Natural-Resources-Commission/Agendas/20220506/2%20Agenda%20Natural%20Resources%20Commission%20Special%20Meeting%20Agenda%20May%209,%202022.pdf

Davis Chamber of Commerce links: https://www.davischamber.com/celebrate-davis.html + https://www.davischamber.com/

Finally, Nugget Markets is the Title Sponsor of Celebrate Davis. They and other sponsors such as Dignity Health and Kaiser Permanente would probably not want to be associated with a potentially great event that is toxic and worse for families. Contact them, too!


Letter: Growth and Gridlock in Davis

Isn’t there a better way to provide funding for city services than paving over prime agricultural land with an industrial park? We have an internationally recognized agricultural research university and the city is proposing to despoil the very essence of that educational field: the land. The university hasn’t asked for this project or even endorsed it.

I’ve lived in Davis for 37 years and have watched leaders plead again and again for sprawl on our periphery, touting the need for often-delusive revenue to cover unchecked city spending. Like many, I put roots down in Davis because it offered what I desired most, excellent, innovative city planning, strong schools, and a strong city spirit. In the past, Davis was known nationally as a charming small college town with abundant bike paths and lanes, surrounded by farm land and open space.  I left southern California specifically because of regional gridlock and air quality. Why are Davis leaders trying to replicate those problems here?

Are we in a race with other communities to build the most car-centric, traffic-choked developments: Is there something inherently wrong with maintaining  a small community that values its neighborhoods and agricultural roots?  Why don’t city leaders demonstrate some  economic creativity and re-imagine a  government that can sustain itself without gobbling up all the open space that surrounds it.  Or shall we let regional developers dictate our future?

The commuter gridlock that has already invaded East and South Davis is spreading throughout the city. Is this to be our future?  Besides death and taxes, it’s the one sure thing that will happen if the proposed development, Measure H, passes. Yes, ‘more cars are coming anyway’ as a result of the ‘Waze’ traffic app. Why make that worse by adding another 12,000 car trips to the mix?

 Please help maintain the current quality of our city and vote No on Measure H.

C.H. Pickett
Davis


Letter: Time to say "No" to DiSC

ClockOne of the few benefits of COVID has been people’s heightened awareness around the climate crisis. For me personally I have made significant lifestyle changes regarding my transportation choices and frequency of travel, started purchasing second hand clothing, and committed to eating sustainably produced foods.

I would like to think that our City Council would also have learned and grown more conscious of their leadership’s impact on Davis during this urgent time when we need to reduce our carbon footprint. Look no further than the DISC development (Measure H on the ballot) to see how they have failed to grow.

The new 2022 iteration of DiSC will, according to the Sierra Club, create “excessive traffic, greenhouse gas emissions, and poor land-use and planning.” DiSC will “increase the city’s carbon footprint by 5%.” It is frightening to see the City Council push so hard for this massive development of office space, a big hotel, and fancy condos on the outskirts of town near an area of Davis already burdened by poor planning decisions (e.g., Mace Mess).

Meanwhile one council member, the notorious Dan Carson, took the time and small- minded perspective of suing the citizens of Davis themselves who operate the No On DISC campaign. What an incredibly unconscious and egocentric move! Is this the government we have to help us create radical change to address climate crisis issues?

As an average citizen who works from home for a non profit, is married to a Davis school teacher, and believes a better world is possible if we all contribute, I would kindly ask you to open your minds to voting No on Measure H in the June ballot. Learn more at VoteNoOnDisc.com campaign site.

Nikki Martin
Davis


Letter: Measure H misrepresents itself

Greenwashed-trafficDavis voters rejected DISC in 2020. We didn’t want environmental and quality of life costs for all in exchange for economic gain for few. So the developers hired a PR firm to reframe the issue as Measure H, or to lie so blatantly as to make Loki swoon.

They say paving 102 acres will “preserve agricultural land,” that DISCs 12,000 more cars daily will “make driving easier” and “speed up commutes” (quotes direct from Yes on H). They think a population that is in favor of downtown, open space, clean air and minimal traffic will vote for a project that is the antithesis of these because they put a bicycle on their lawn signs.

They hope Davisites are too stupid to see through greenwashing newspeak and they need the councilpeople they own to maintain a pretense of environmentalism while vigorously campaigning for a freeway sprawl development that’s as carbon neutral as Charles Koch’s vacations. In future I suggest the developers save the corporate PR money and I can suggest equally believable slogans like “Trees Favor Axes,” “Snails For Salt” and “Turkeys Love Thanksgiving.”

Dan Urazandi
Davis