Entries categorized "Environment"

15 mph DESIGN SPEED in Davis!

SD15
 
My strong feeling is that all local streets - including Downtown - should have a 15 mph design speed. This is already a number most are familiar with, as it's used alongside e.g. speed tables on school routes and even the sharp turn from 2nd St to L St.

The design speed is a speed that most people feel comfortable moving at in motor vehicles. People on bikes can also feel a design speed, but they are nearly infinitely more inherently safe than motor vehicles to others in the public ROW. 15 is also a bit faster than most cycling speeds.Traveling by bike on most greenbelt paths in Davis at 15 mph feels too fast - the paths are under-built - and perhaps the biggest design flaw in post 1970's Davis, sadly and ironically complemented by the clinically-insane wideness of many streets in West Davis, Mace Ranch and South Davis... but also much older streets in Old North, etc.
 
Does it seem slow? Perhaps. However, consider that for most journeys by motor vehicle a relatively short distance is on local streets. So any journey lengthening will be minimal.
 
Or can it even be shorter? Yes! 15 mph speed design is best complemented by elimination of existing mandatory stops; to be replaced by yields. It's these often unnecessary stops that lengthen journey time the most. Getting rid of them also decreases pollution (gas, particles and noise) and makes people less likely to feel the need to speed to the next stop sign.
 
So it can be both safer and faster!

Continue reading "15 mph DESIGN SPEED in Davis!" »


2020 Sierra Club Yolano Group Questionnaire and Responses from Davis City Council Candidates

by Alan Pryor 

Introduction - Every 2 years 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 on matters of interest to the public and/or our local Sierra Club members. We use questionnaires with written responses to allow the candidates to directly express their views and opinions in their own words. We report these in a series of articles on a range of environmentally-related topics. This is Part 1 of the series in which we report candidates' responses to a series of questions regarding energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in the City. The candidates responses are initially in alphabetical order based on their first name.

Part 1  - Energy Use and Greenhouse Gases (GHGs)

1st Question re Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Preamble - Davis has declared a Climate Emergency and mandated carbon neutrality by 2040. Often 60% or more of a new project's GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions are due to transportation-related impacts. 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.  

Question - 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?

Continue reading "2020 Sierra Club Yolano Group Questionnaire and Responses from Davis City Council Candidates" »


Ormat Technologies Expands Energy Storage Footprint in California

Signs Agreements with Two California Community Choice Aggregators

(From press release) Ormat Technologies Inc. (NYSE: ORA) announced today that it has signed two resource adequacy agreements, each for 50% of its 5 MW / 20 MWh Tierra Buena battery energy storage project currently under development in Sutter County in Northern California.

Two community choice aggregators — Valley Clean Energy in Yolo County and Redwood Coast Energy Authority in Humboldt County — each signed an agreement for 2.5 MW of resource adequacy from Ormat’s Tierra Buena energy storage project. Under the 10-year agreements, the project is expected to begin commercial operation no later than June 2022.

These are the first energy storage deals for the two CCAs, sought in order to comply with a multi-year statewide mandate to add 3.3 GW of incremental resource adequacy to the California grid by 2023.

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 DISC will be an Environmental Disaster

DISC is an Unmitigated Environmental Disaster - Vo 00001 DISC is an Unmitigated Environmental Disaster - Vo 00001(From press release)

Our world is burning up and melting around us. This year we have seen the largest fires ever in the Pacific Northwest, Siberia, the Amazon, and Australia along with record-breaking ice-melts in Greenland and Antarctica.

Yet DISC will increase Davis' annual carbon footprint by over 8% - over 83 million pounds per year!...What are they thinking?

Friday, October 2           Davis, CA

 What is Measure B and the DISC Industrial Park 

Measure B is on the November 3 ballot in Davis asking to annex 200 acres of Prime farmland into the City and pave it over to build a sprawling car-centric industrial center and 850 housing units.

This land-use dinosaur would be located on the northeast corner of 2nd St and Mace Blvd just across the street from Ikeda's Market.      

Read more      

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 DISC will be an Environmental Disaster 

  • The Developer claims the project will be carbon neutral. But according to the project's Environmental Impact Report, "...net emissions in the year 2035 would equal 37,724.31 metric tons of CO2 equivalent per year, the project would NOT meet the City’s target of net carbon neutrality by the year 2040." This is unacceptable!

  • There is no way the vast bulk of the project's carbon emissions can be reduced on-site. Instead the Developer will rely on purchase of cheap off-site carbon credits or mitigation elsewhere in the City to supposedly become carbon neutral. But this does nothing to actually reduce the City's total carbon emissions. This is deceitful!

  • The Developer falsely claims if DISC isn't built in Davis, it will just be built elsewhere with more greenhouse gas emissions. But all new commercial buildings anywhere in California must meet ever-increasing energy efficiency standards. This is misleading!

  • The Developer claims the project's jobs will be "Green" jobs. But because almost 80% of the greenhouse gases generated from DISC come from the projected 24,000+ daily car trips, DISC would actually have a smaller carbon footprint if built in other locations with superior public transportation access and much shorter commutes for workers. Commuter jobs are NOT "Green"!

The more we hear about DISC, the more it is clear that Davis will get all of the adverse environmental impacts and the Developers will get all of the profits. It's time to just say "NO"!

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Sierra Club Endorses No on Measure B - No on DISC

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For more information, order a lawn sign, or make a donation -  www.VoteNoOnDISC.com


Supervisor Provenza Votes to Take Action on Climate

JIm-Provenza(From press release) At Tuesday's Yolo County Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Jim Provenza introduced a resolution on behalf of the Yolo Climate Emergency Coalition, declaring a climate crisis in Yolo County and setting a countywide goal of achieving a carbon negative footprint by 2030.

The motion was approved, with support of Chair Sandy and Supervisors Villegas and Saylor, joining Provenza. Provenza also brought a separate motion to provide funding for a citizen's advisory body to advise the Board on developing and implementing the new Climate Action Plan. The Yolo County District Attorney agreed to use funds from a special account in his office to cover this cost. It is anticipated that the District Attorney's consumer and environmental unit will be a future partner in these efforts.

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Sierra Club Endorses Colin Walsh in District 2 and Kelsey Fortune in District 5

Sierra Club endorsedFor Davis City Council in the November 2020 election 

(From press release) This endorsement cites their strong and unequivocal opposition to Measure B which seeks voter approval for the annexation of 200 acres of prime farmland for the proposed DISC mixed use industrial/business park on the outskirts of Davis and their robust positions on a host of other local environmental issues consistent with established Sierra Club policies.

The endorsement of these candidates follows a thorough review of candidate answers to an extensive questionnaire completed by all of the City Council candidates. While the current Sierra Club endorsement is exclusive to Mr. Walsh and Ms. Fortune, we do thank the other City Council candidates for participation in the process and note that many were generally consistent in their overall support of other environmental initiatives in the City that are important to and supported by the Club. These include, among others:

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Pro-DISC letter is misleading

OSHC ARC resolutionBy Roberta Millstein

My fellow Open Space and Habitat Commission (OSHC) member, Patrick Huber, writes to defend the environmental status of the Davis Innovation and Sustainability Campus (DISC) (see Davis Enterprise letter). I respect Patrick; we have worked well together on the commission for a decade. However, although we have agreed on many things, he provides a partial and thus misleading picture of DISC in his letter.

On April 23, 2020, the OSHC voted unanimously on a motion, seconded by Patrick, not to recommend DISC (then called ARC) on the grounds that it would result in a substantial net loss of a noteworthy combination of open space values, including: prime agricultural land, open space on the City’s perimeter, habitat for sensitive species such as burrowing owl and Swainson’s hawk, and views of the Sierra Nevada and Sacramento skyline (see adjacent screenshot).

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As CA Fires Burn, Yolo County Declares Climate Emergency

Yolo County Board of Supervisors commits to justice and mobilization

(From press release) With smoke still rising from one of California's most massive wildfires on record, the Yolo County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to accelerate local climate action and to fund a climate advisory committee tasked with helping the county achieve just and equitable outcomes for marginalized communities and to retool livelihoods.

Yolo County joins over 1,750 local governments in declaring a climate emergency, part of a decentralized global campaign that has engaged local communities in policymaking.

Continue reading " As CA Fires Burn, Yolo County Declares Climate Emergency" »


Yolo County Climate Crisis Resolution

Contact your County supervisor to express your support

DC2E0350-A347-417C-9FF2-F070B04A3233By David Abramson

Tomorrow the Yolo County Board of Supervisors will be voting on a RESOLUTION DECLARING A CLIMATE CRISIS REQUIRING AN URGENT AND INCLUSIVE MOBILIZATION IN YOLO COUNTY.

We have 91 endorsing organizations and individuals from all across Yolo County. Thank you!!

🌟To get a strong resolution passed, we need your help!🌟

🌱Action Item 1: 🌟Write Your County Supervisors🌟

Please email or call the supervisor representing your district, share your story and express support for the Climate Emergency resolution, Item #37.

Continue reading "Yolo County Climate Crisis Resolution" »


Sierra Club Endorses Yes on Measure D

Sierra Club endorses “The Citizens’ Right to Vote on Future Use of Open Space and Agricultural Lands”

Sierra Club endorsed(From press release) Citing grounds of “preservation of agricultural lands and open space, in-fill development and densification and citizen oversight of sound land-use planning ", the Sierra Club announces its endorsement and support of Measure D in Davis CA on the November 2020 municipal ballot.

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Measure D is a ballot measure renewal of an existing City of Davis ordinance, “The Citizens’ Right to Vote on Future Use of Open Space and Agricultural Lands”, which gives the citizens the right to make the final decision on projects proposing to develop open space or agricultural land within or adjacent to the City. It was originally approved by the voters in 2000 as Measure J and overwhelmingly renewed as Measure R in 2010.

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Valley Clean Energy Calls for Support for Local Wildfire Victims

VCEAs wildfires continue to rage throughout California and elsewhere in the West, residents, ranchers and business owners in the greater Winters area are putting their lives back together after seeing their homes and businesses go up in flames.

Valley Clean Energy, the local electric generation service provider, urges locals to join the agency in offering support in the form of donations to the Greater Winters Fire Relief Fund created by the Rotary Club of Winters. VCE contributed $1,500, and so far, nearly $40,000 has been raised toward a goal of $60,000.

Many of the fire victims live outside the Winters city limits and are “our friends, our extended family, business owners, and parents to classmates of our children,” says Winters Councilmember Jesse Loren, a member of the VCE board of directors.

Continue reading "Valley Clean Energy Calls for Support for Local Wildfire Victims" »


Leaf blower ban - contact City Council today

By Todd Edelman

City of Davis people... why has there not been a ban on use of leaf blowers in the nearly month-long wildfire fallout event?

Why do feel the need to remove every leaf and bit of dirt from our landscapes?

Why do we allow ourselves to send dust clouds and noise to our neighbors when we might not even know their names?

Why do some falsely portray a ban as an assault on a largely Latino workforce?

WRITE the City Council NOW!

Agenda - September 15, 2020

Item 6 (8:15)
Natural Resources Commission Recommendation on Updating/Strengthening Leaf Blower Ordinance and Request for City Council Direction (Public Works Utilities & Operations Director Stan Gryczko/Management Analyst Adrienne Heinig)


Recommendation:

Continue reading "Leaf blower ban - contact City Council today" »


Sierra Club Endorses No on Measure B - No on DISC in Davis, CA

Sierra Club endorsedCiting grounds of “excessive traffic, greenhouse gas emissions, and poor land-use and planning”, the Sierra Club announces its opposition to Measure B in Davis CA on the November 2020 municipal ballot.

Measure B is a vote to allow the annexation of approximately 200-acres of Prime farmland on the northeast periphery of the City and the development of a business park along with a 850-unit housing development. The project site is now farmed and serves as foraging habitat for numerous Special Status Species including Burrowing Owls, Swainson’s Hawks, and White-Tailed Kites.

The endorsement of the opposition to this ballot measure follows an extensive evaluation process by the local Sierra Club Yolano Group, the Sierra Club Mother Lode Chapter Political and Executive Committees, and the Sierra Club California Local Measure Review Committee.

The Sierra Club has long-standing official policies designed to minimize urban sprawl onto farmland and habitat and maximize intensive infill development. These include planning policies that further conservation of open space and preservation of natural areas and agricultural lands. The Sierra Club opposes sprawl as a pattern of increasingly inefficient and wasteful land use with devastating environmental and social outcomes.

Continue reading "Sierra Club Endorses No on Measure B - No on DISC in Davis, CA" »


No on DISC signs now available

E538AF89-DD67-40D4-AAE5-84E5FE1BBF5EThe No on DISC - No on Measure B campaign announces that its signs are now available, free, for use on your lawn or street facing window. This creative and attractive sign uses humor to point out three major flaws in the project: increased traffic gridlock, increased greenhouse gases, and loss of burrowing owl habitat. 

You can request your sign at https://www.VoteNoOnDISC.com/, where you can also learn more about the problems with this massive business park proposed on prime farmland outside the Mace Curve. You can also donate to support the cause and volunteer to help by writing a letter to the editor or through other means. 

“Like” the campaign on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/VoteNoOnDISC/


University Commons: Will Council grandfather in another Tree Blighted Parking Lot?

IMG_6229
This is a picture of one of the large "successful" trees the landlord planted years ago when the University Commons development first opened. Note the massive scar as a result of neglect of pruning (lower limbs need to be removed so they are not broken off by trucks driving by),  And again rocks placed around the base of the tree that get hot and both stifle growth. Most trees in this lot have rocks any arborist will tell you hurt trees, but maybe the landlord is based in Tucson.   Why does this happen? What is the solution? The City Arborist is stretch thin and has no time to inspect commercial parking lots to assure landlords are caring for trees, so we get to city's 50% shade requirement. This is why we need to require landlords to reimburse the city the cost of hiring an outside arborist to provide tree maintenance oversight. Council required this for the DISC development,  why not University Commons too?

By Alan Hirsch, City Lorax 

This Tuesday, the city council will address details to permit a 7 story dorm proposed for University Commons/Trader Joe's shopping center.

There is debate about it size, height, affordability, type of units in the build.

But there is one fact everyone agrees on:

IF it follows the current city policy it will end up in the middle of an unshaded parking lot full of stunted trees.

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Letter: Endorsing Walsh for Davis City Council

Roberta-with-Colin-signI write to endorse Colin Walsh for Davis City Council District 2. I first met Colin when he was working on the campaign against Nishi 1.0. I was immediately impressed by his passion and dedication. He often worked late into the night and was concerned to get every detail right. Since then we've worked on a number of initiatives together, including the community blog, Davisite.org, which fosters neighborly dialogue in Davis.

Another example: Since last fall when the MRIC Mace curve business park project resurfaced to become ARC and then DISC, Colin has read thousands of pages of documents, attended Council and Commission meetings, asked hard questions, and made thoughtful suggestions, all on his own time as a citizen committed to good process and careful analysis. He raised concerns about the compressed timeline for community engagement and about the inadequate affordable housing proposed by the developers.

His comments to the Open Space and Habitat Commission on the DISC business park were particularly helpful to me as a commissioner. He pointed out that the bat studies at the site were insufficient, an issue that might otherwise have been overlooked, and urged that the Prime farmland at the site weigh heavily in any decision. I also appreciate his work as a member of the Tree Commission, arguing for a greater number of trees in the project (alas, the recommended number was rejected by the developer, but the number was increased somewhat).

So when Colin says that he will solicit community and commission input, you can believe him. When he says he will analyze thoroughly and ask hard questions, you can believe him. When he says he will foster open and transparent government, you can believe him.

Colin is committed to social justice and the environment and would make an outstanding Councilmember. Whether or not you are in his district, you can support him with an endorsement, lawn sign, letter to the editor, or donation. See his website at walsh4davis.com for details. If you are in District 2, please give him your vote.


Roberta Millstein
Chair, Open Space and Habitat Commission
(speaking for myself alone)


Valley Clean Energy donates face masks to RISE Inc.

Mask donation
Angel Barajas, a member of the Valley Clean Energy board of directors, left; and Tessa Tobar, center, program and community engagement specialist for VCE; present some of the 500 washable face masks to Tico Zendejas, executive director of RISE Inc.

(From press release) Valley Clean Energy (VCE), the local electricity provider for Yolo County and the cities of Woodland and Davis, is doing its part to keep local residents safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

VCE purchased 500 high-quality, washable and U.S.-made face masks and donated them to RISE Inc., a nonprofit organization that serves the Latinx community and has organized the delivery of social services to western Yolo County for more than 30 years.

Woodland City Councilman Angel Barajas, a member of the VCE board of directors, said RISE was chosen to receive the gift because it “does an incredible job servicing residents in the rural Yolo County region.”

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Valley Clean Energy makes new hire

R_Boyles(From press release) Valley Clean Energy is pleased to announce the hiring of Rebecca Boyles as its new director of customer care and marketing. In this position, she is responsible for all customer touch points, including outreach, marketing, programs, key accounts and customer policy development.

Boyles joins Valley Clean Energy after spending four years in progressively responsible positions in customer care and billing operations at MCE (formerly Marin Clean Energy). Her additional leadership experience includes chairing the Billing Operations and Customer Care Committee for CalCCA, the statewide community choice energy association, as well as directing social media for the communications team at the Women's Environmental Network.

Prior to working in the utilities sector, Boyles focused on stakeholder engagement at Future 500, a nonprofit that advises Fortune 500 companies on sustainable business practices and community relations.

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Valley Clean Energy - 2 Years Strong

VCE(From press release) During these trying times, it’s more important than ever to take note of the good news that’s worth celebrating.

“Please join us as we mark the anniversary of Valley Clean Energy,” said Don Saylor, chairman of the board of directors of the not-for-profit public agency and a Yolo County supervisor. “We’re two years strong as of June 1, and it’s all because of you, the VCE customers who support us in taking charge of our clean energy future.”

People who suffer from asthma and other lung-related conditions have been hit especially hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, so cleaning up the air in California has become even more important for everyone.

“That’s just what VCE has been doing these past two years, by offering people cleaner, greener electricity and an option for 100% carbon-free power,” added Dan Carson, VCE’s board vice-chair and a member of the Davis City Council. “And we’ve only just begun.”

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BTSSC's Transportation Baseline Features for ARC/DISC

Sub-Committee will bring draft to full Commission meeting this week

MRICARCDISCfinalProposed Transportation Baseline Features for Davis Innovation Sustainability Campus:

Parking Lots and Internal Streets, Housing, Transportation Demand Management, Site Access and Traffic Mitigation Features and general Mitigation Features

The City of Davis (City) Bicycling, Transportation and Street Safety Commission (BTSSC) met on May 8, 2020 and formed a sub-committee on transportation baseline features for the proposed Davis Innovation Sustainability Campus (DISC; formerly known as the Aggie Research Campus) Project (Project). These draft features will be reviewed with the full BTSSC on June 11, 2020 with any resulting vote submitted to the appropriate city bodies, with a recommendation for the revised features to be included in “Baseline Project Features” submitted for voter approval of the Project pursuant to a Measure R vote. The draft of this sub-committee discussion is below.

Information on the June 11 meeting, including how you can comments, can be found here.

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Not so much “community” in the BrightNight solar deal

47036D8C-C262-42A2-A15A-D4433024F394By Matt Williams


Intentions and goals are only words unless they are accompanied by accomplishments, and when it comes to accomplishments, especially in the realm of renewable power, City Hall is very good at "talking the talk" but not very good at “walking the walk.”

That is a bold statement.  Is it factual?  The answer to that is “Absolutely!” and the evidence of how little actual accomplishment the City has achieved is illuminated by looking at a side-by-side timeline of the City and Yolo County from 2011 to present.

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