Entries categorized "Ethics"

Four Car Washes Near 80 & Mace?

Car wash center sign
Poorly-Photoshop'd modification of "Davis Auto Center" sign on Chiles next to I-80

I have been engaged for a couple of weeks on the subject of the proposed car wash at 480 Mace (at Cowell Blvd.), and have written about it.

I am not sure when the following items appeared on the City's website, but I see now that there's also a plan for a "new service station, a convenience store and carwash, a separate retail building, and related site improvements" at 4810 Chiles AND to "maintain the existing carwash [and] construct a new 2,832 square-foot convenience store" and implement related features at 4480 Chiles, which already has a car wash.

My concerns are:

1) The public notification and project documents for the 480 Mace proposal make no mention of the simultaneous process for 4810 Chiles, for which Mr Njoku says he's aiming a hearing on March 23, 2022, though I believe Sherri Metzger said at the PC meeting tonight that this was not guaranteed - nor for 4480 Chiles, which Mr Lee says will have a hearing "soon". This is two weeks after the re-scheduled Planning Commission hearing for 480 Mace. What's the CEQA comments deadline for 4810 Chiles? The sum of this seems to be that perhaps a week before the re-rescheduled Planning Commission hearing on 480 Mace, the residents of 4735 Cowell Blvd who received the 500 ft notice that proposed car wash will receive another for the second car wash at 4810 Chiles, as will other commercial addresses within the 500 ft radius BUT significantly also the Ellington Apartments, which have their main entrance on El Cemonte, and a small shared border with 4810 Chiles. Is the 4810 Chiles applicant going to be making the same mistake as 480's in regards to a lack of outreach. (The letter about the requested continuance from the 480 Mace applicant which was shown at the PC meeting tonight thanked Staff for circulating the announcement and mentioned they were doing similar on NextDoor. Nothing else.

Car wash plan mapOn the left the two existing car washes; on the right two proposed.
Note that proposed ones are directly adjacent.

2) The Traffic Studies for 480 Mace and 4810 Chiles make no mention of each other. I had already written about my concerns for the overlap for design and signalling changes for 480 Mace proposed mitigations and the Mace Re-Design non-approved plans, and this makes me even more curious.

3) The Traffic Study for 4810 Chiles seems to show egress from NB Mace, but it's not clear if it's open, one-way etc. The Study mentions no mitigations for it.

4) The available documents for 4810 Chiles include maps which marginally at best show El Macero Village and Ellington as "Apartments", not e.g. perhaps 500 people or more within 500 ft.

5) The documentation for 480 refers to the proposed buildings having visual elements similar to those nearby, but this is not inclusive of what's proposed for 4810 Chiles, which looks objectively remarkably different (and subjectively incredibly generic and ugly.)

Circle K
Proposal for 4810 Chiles... yeah, ugh...

6) I understand the current zoning, the district plan already referred to by Staff as "out of date", but don't see how it makes sense to have a total of four car washes in close proximity to each other (three mentioned and the one behind the Chevron station at Mace and 2nd St.) and why it's been encourage or allowed to be pursued. Given the very close timing of 480 Mace and 4810 Chiles including the lack of time and effort for community input for 480 Mace, it also seems like a race. Perhaps the Planning Commission won't approve them but what if it does, because...

7) Two of the proposed car washes are so close that their vacuums - or loud stereos played by customers - may be able to be heard by visitors to the other location, and more critically by the apartment complex that lies partially directly in between them, El Macero Village Apartments, where I live, except during the times that the sound of I-80 is louder, but then this all has at least a subjective cumulative effect.

8) Fehr & Peers has done the Traffic Studies for both 480 Mace and 4810 Chiles, and also the design plans for the Mace Re-Design. For the former two they are working for the applicants and for the latter for the City (and County?). It's not clear if their work for the City for the Re-Design of Mace has been used for 480 - or also 4810 Chiles - but it seems so as in the Study for 480 they suggest mitigations for areas - namely, the intersection of Mace and Cowell - for which they've also proposed concrete design modifications at the direction of the City. Is this all perfectly normal?


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" »


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: 2 reasons for voting No on H: Muzzling citizens & exclusionary housing

Thompson graphic 2Dear Davis Citizens:

Two reasons for voting No on H.

Council Member Carson tried to silence six voices opposed to Measure H. The six Davis citizens incurred a $71,000 bill to defend themselves, and now Carson is suing them for his legal costs of $76,358. Those volunteer voices are potentially paying $147,000+ from their personal savings.

On the other hand Carson has incurred no personal costs because his attempt to muzzle citizen voices opposed to Measure H was financed by the DISC developer.

That has prompted me to raise my own citizen voice … Council member Carson’s developer-funded stealth tactic should not be rewarded!  That alone is reason enough to vote No on Measure H.

However, there is a second reason to vote No on H. There’s Less Affordable Housing than the norm!

I received a Measure H piece, stating,

Measure H enhances and advances more of what we love about Davis, Affordable Housing.

Simply not true. DISC is providing less affordable housing as a % than any site set for a citizen vote.

Prior to 2018 all citizen vote proposals provided at least 25-35% of the housing units as permanently affordable. DISC is applying under the “Interim Affordable Housing Ordinance” which substantially reduced the requirement to 15%.

However, the interim policy with its lowered 15% was written specifically to apply to land already in the city.  Why?  Because land costs in the City are hundreds of thousands of dollars per acre.

The DISC site does not suffer from high land costs.  It resides on agricultural land outside of the city that was purchased for likely less than $10,000 per acre.  Therefore, the affordable housing requirement should remain at 25-35%.

In November 2019 hundreds of Davis residents applauded Richard Rothstein’s talk on the “Color of Law,” which critiqued the role of government in reducing housing for people of color. Many of us want a future Davis to be more inclusive and expansive of housing for low income residents and racial minorities.

DISC does the opposite by providing considerably less housing for low income residents and racial minorities.

Please join me in voting No on H.

David J Thompson
Davis


Six former Davis mayors condemn Councilmember Carson’s actions

D990E760-85E9-4B6F-A119-2D7DC1CCFA89We are concerned that Davis City Councilman Dan Carson’s involvement in the Measure H campaign and his efforts to pass Measure H set a terrible precedent for Davis and harms our citizen-based democratic processes.

Carson is the first elected official in Davis to lead a developer’s campaign committee to annex land to the city for a subdivision. He is also the first member of the city Council to use developer money to file a lawsuit to strike down his fellow citizens’ ballot arguments against annexation.

Councilman Carson’s lawsuit did not produce any meaningful changes to the citizen’s ballot arguments. A judge changed one word and converted a troy measurement to a metric measurement. That’s it. The apparent purpose of the developer-funded lawsuit was to squelch the speech of the opponents to Measure H. Mr. Carson and his deep-pocketed backers probably assumed that the citizens would not be able to afford to litigate the ballot argument.

Special interests like developers already have a financial advantage and regularly outspend citizen campaigns by more than twenty to one. Mr. Carson and the Measure H developer have come up with a new tactic to press their financial advantage even further — file a lawsuit against the citizens. Win or lose, it makes no difference. Citizen defendants will have to pay tens of thousands of dollars for a legal defense, further curtailing their ability to challenge the developer’s project.

Just the possibility of another developer suing the citizen opponents of a project could scare Davis residents from standing up and speaking out. That’s not the Davis way. Winning a political debate shouldn’t depend on the size of your pocketbook. Instead, make your best case and then let the voters decide.

The problem with Carson’s conduct in the Measure H campaign is that he has blurred the line between his role as an elected representative of the people of Davis and his advocacy for a development project. This conflict of interest was on full display at the April 5 City Council meeting, when he took up a Measure H matter that was not on the agenda and gave a lengthy political speech. Even Mayor Gloria Partida admonished Carson this was improper.

As past mayors of the city of Davis, we can assure Davis citizens that Dan Carson is charting new political ground and that it is not good. We would ask that Councilman Carson carefully reconsider what he is doing with respect to Measure H.

Joe Krovoza, Sue Greenwald, Mike Corbett, Ken Wagstaff, Ann M. Evans, and Bill Kopper (former mayors of Davis)


Letter: Why was the Yes on H campaign chair involved in the City-County negotiations?

The City's staff report for the tax sharing MOU says the "discussions . . . have included the City Council subcommittee of Mayor Partida and Councilmember Carson, along with city staff, and the City Attorney."

The staff report goes on to say "The Bradley-Burns sales taxes generated from points of sale on the project site will be shared 50% County and 50% City. This share applies to Bradley Burns only and not to the Davis local 1% sales tax as approved under Measure Q"

The involvement in this process of Councilmember Carson needs to be emphasized, because in the City's financial analysis of DiSC presented to the Finance and Budget Commission in December, the City's financial consultant EPS projected the City would get 100% of all annual sales tax revenues and the County would get 0%.  The negotiated terms of the MOU reported by both the City and the County reduce the City's projected net tax revenue by over $350,000 per year, and reduce the City's "best case" projection from $3.88 million to $3.53 million.

Since $3.88 million is no longer accurate, City should explicitly direct the Yes on Measure H campaign team to cease-and-desist any further use of the $3.88 million figure in its messaging or materials.  Given Dan Carson's dual role as a member of City Council and as the Honorary Chair of the Yes on Measure H campaign team quickly and efficiently conveying that cease-and-desist statement should be easy to accomplish. 

With all the above said, "Why was the Yes on H campaign chair involved in the City-County negotiations?" – negotiations that produced such an unfavorable result for the City?

Don C. Price
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


Should Measure H be renamed to Measure M – with "M" for Misleading?

By Matt Williams

Over the last few weeks there has been a lot of discussion about Dan Carson's lawsuit over ballot statements that were alleged to be “objectively and verifiably false and/or misleading.  Honorary Campaign Chair Carson and the Yes on Measure H campaign team have had their day in court (pun intended), but it turns out that the language in the Ballot Arguments is just the tip of the “objectively and verifiably false and/or misleading” iceberg in the ongoing consideration by the voters of the DiSC 2022 proposal.

So, grab your Titanic deck chairs, and we will navigate some icy waters as the communications from the Yes On Measure H campaign team take you over, around and through their own “false and misleading” assertions about the benefit DJUSD will get from the DiSC project.

Our narrative starts in early March when Amy Haug, whose name is prominently featured on their website as a member of the Yes on H campaign team, contacted the leaders of the various PTA/PTO organizations conveying the following message:

I am not trying to bring this to you in a partisan way, just to bring information.  I have already talked to the DHS PTA in the announcements part of their meeting and am scheduled to talk to Emerson, DaVinci and Harper this month.  There is some really important things that parents should be aware of on the upcoming ballot measure.  Here are just some of the benefits of the DISC for parents specifically:

  • The developer has been negotiating with the school district and have agreed to a one-time donation of $2.3 million and a yearly donation of $700,000 every single year thereafter directly to the DJUSD.

To the credit of the leaders of the various DJUSD PTA/PTO organizations, they did some research on Measure H and determined that it does not have direct relevance to the mission and purpose of their respective PTA/PTO.  As a result, they unscheduled the pending Yes On H presentations.

Before jumping forward from early March to early April, I ask you to take note of the words “negotiating” and “donation” in that Yes On Measure H message.  Both the referenced $2.3 million and $700,000 are legally mandated fees/taxes/levies that all homeowners within the DJUSD boundaries pay each year in their Yolo County Tax Bill.  I can not remember when any of those fees/taxes/levies were negotiable for any taxpayer … or could even vaguely be considered to be a “donation” to DJUSD.  In fact, whether it was intentional or not, the use of the terms “negotiating” and “donation” is both false and misleading.

Continue reading "Should Measure H be renamed to Measure M – with "M" for Misleading?" »


Will the supposed $3.9 million net revenue gain to the City ever really come?

By Matt Williams

The City and the Yes on Measure H campaign literature for the DiSC project emphasize that one of the important benefits to the City of Davis General Fund is a claimed “$3.9 million net revenue gain for the City of Davis annually to address the city’s $7 million funding gap and maintain our quality of life without a tax increase.”

Where does that $3.9 million projection come from?

The source is the December 2021 financial analysis prepared by the City’s financial consultant (EPS) and presented to the Finance and Budget Commission (FBC) in December 2021.  In that analysis, Tables B-1 and A-2 provide the specific relevant net revenue data, and both those tables are copied on the other side of this handout. 

At what point in time does the $3.9 million net revenue gain actually happen?

As Table B-1 clearly shows, the $3.9 million Annual General Fund Surplus only happens when DiSC is fully built out (at the end of Phase 2B). 

When does full buildout actually happen?

According to Table A-2 from the same EPS financial analysis, the end of Phase 2B isn’t projected until the end of the 12th year of the project (at the end of 2034). 

What is the net revenue gain in the years prior to full buildout?

Table B-1 shows that the net revenue gain is only $333,000 in Phase 1A, and $1,351,000 in Phase 1B.  Both those numbers are small fractions of $3.9 million.  Only when the project reaches the end of Phase 2A ... projected by EPS to be at the end of the 9th year of the project (the end of 2031) ... does the projected net revenue gain get to 90% of the $3.9 million, with the final 10% not coming until three years later.

How solid is the 12-year projection for achieving Full Buildout? 

Given the fact that the DiSC development team has publicly stated that they will not be doing any marketing until after they achieve a positive result at the ballot box from Davis voters on Election Day, that 12-year projection is highly speculative.  Under those conditions, full buildout could just as easily take 25 years, or not happen at all.  If full buildout never happens, then the $3.9 million net revenue gain never happens.

Continue reading "Will the supposed $3.9 million net revenue gain to the City ever really come? " »


Councilmember Carson wants Davis citizens he sued to be responsible for his developer-paid legal fees

Upside-down-farmland(From press release) Yesterday afternoon, Davis City Councilmember Dan Carson's attorneys filed a brief in Yolo County Superior Court on his behalf, seeking $76,358 from the six named Davis citizens in his failed lawsuit. Councilmember Carson's lawsuit attempted to delete more than 25% of the ballot Argument against Measure H. That would amount to more than $12,700 for each individual named in the lawsuit: Mike Corbett, Stephen Wheeler, Darell Dickey, Juliette Beck, Roberta Millstein, and Alan Pryor, the authors and signers of the ballot argument.

"The individuals who Carson has targeted are not wealthy industrial park developers like Dan Ramos who has paid for Councilmember Carson’s attorneys thus far. “They  are community members, and community members who have integrity and are well respected," stated Pam Gunnell.  Gunnell further stated that “Understanding who these community members are is critical to understanding No On H. Michael Corbett was the developer behind Village Homes who most recently has built a small affordable housing project in South Davis. Dr. Stephen Wheeler is a professor of urban planning and design in the department of human ecology at UC Davis, and author of “Planning for Sustainability, Reimagining Sustainable Cities” and “The Sustainable Urban Development Reader.” Darell Dickey is a former Bicycle Advisory Commissioner, long-time member of the Davis Bike Club, and proponent of safe bicycling in Davis. Juliette Beck is a long -time climate change activist, mother and candidate for Yolo County Supervisor. Dr. Roberta Millstein is Professor Emeritus in the UC Davis Philosophy Department, specializing in environmental ethics and philosophy of biology; she is a former Chair of the Open Space and Habitat Commission. Alan Pryor is retired and serves as the Chair of the Sierra Club Yolano Group and is a former 12-year member of the City of Davis Natural Resources Commission. “

Councilmember Carson and Dan Ramos have both acknowledged previously that Ramos, the developer behind the DiSC project on the June ballot as Measure H, is bankrolling Carson’s attorney's fees. If Carson prevails in his request for award of attorney fees, these individuals would be legally compelled to pay Yes on H's fees. Presumably Developer Ramos would then be reimbursed for his attorney costs to sue the authors and signers of the No on H argument.

Continue reading "Councilmember Carson wants Davis citizens he sued to be responsible for his developer-paid legal fees" »


Despite No on DiSC's success in court, Councilmember Carson still thinks that the citizens he sued with developer money should pay legal fees

Triplepunch(From press release) In a Yolo County Superior Court filing on April 22, the No on Measure H campaign rejected Councilmember Dan Carson’s latest court filing arguing that six Davis residents should not have their legal bills paid as a result of his spurious lawsuit.  The legal bills in question are those incurred by the No on Measure H campaign defending against Carson's lawsuit that attacked the No on H ballot statement. The No on H campaign believes that the lawsuit was a blatant attempt to squelch their free speech rights.

Further, Carson’s latest filing states that Carson himself intends to file to collect attorney fees from the 6 individual Davis citizens he named in his lawsuit! However, while Carson's wants the six Davis residents he sued to be financially responsible for all of Carson's attorney fees, it turns out that all of Carson’s legal costs are actually being bankrolled by the DiSC developer.

In a reply brief filed in Yolo County Superior Court, the No on H campaign called Carson’s actions “a tried and true political tactic to deplete the opposition’s financial resources through whatever means possible, because in politics, money itself is speech.”

“Petitioner Dan Carson, a City Councilmember and representative of the developer-backed Yes on H Committee, initiated litigation that would have prevented Real Parties in Interest Alan Pryor, Michael Corbett, Stephen Wheeler, Darell Dickey, Juliette Beck, and Roberta Millstein (“Real Parties”) from expressing relevant opinions about the Davis Innovation and Sustainability Campus 2022 (DiSC 2022),” the brief says.

Real Parties were forced to obtain counsel to defend their speech rights, depleting campaign resources. Even worse, Petitioner has now threatened to file a fee motion against these six private citizens for payment of Petitioner’s attorney’s fees, even though he did not achieve the results he sought in his Petition for Writ of Mandate,” the brief continues.

The case is a triple punch designed to stifle comment, reduce campaign activity, and financially punish citizens who simply engaged in protected political speech in the ballot pamphlet. Unlike Petitioner, who made the choice to come to court, these six Real Parties were dragged unwillingly into this forum by the filing of this lawsuit. These individuals should be made whole, and the attorneys who took this case on a partially contingent basis should be fully compensated for successfully defending Real Parties’ right to present their ballot argument as they intended,” the brief concludes.

Continue reading "Despite No on DiSC's success in court, Councilmember Carson still thinks that the citizens he sued with developer money should pay legal fees" »


Letter: Beck for supervisor

BeckAs this decade begins, we walk briskly towards utter climate catastrophe. Before 2030 our planet will warm beyond 1.5 degrees and the worst of climate change will no longer be avoidable. Those aged 29 and younger, down to the child born as I write, will suffer the first cataclysmic effects of this disaster. But those over thirty will experience less and leave behind a world plummeting ever faster towards a fate that they hadn't the courage to change.

But all is not yet lost. A new people are rising. Youth in communities across the Earth are standing up for a livable future · not a beautiful one, that has been taken from us. We ask only for a chance at life.

Too often we are told by adults our ideas are impossible. Yet those very adults in power have kept us on the road to disaster. Obviously, what is politically "possible" isn't enough.

But a broken system gives the youth little power of our own. Carrying signs, chanting, protesting, praying are acts of strength but they alone cannot save the world. We need our elders to begin listening and using their power to implement our ideas and solutions. Have they forgotten this was always their job? To follow the will of the people? We must elect adults who fulfill their promises.

Juliette Beck, running for Yolo County Supervisor D2, is a voice of hope in a time of fear. She is dedicated to climate justice and pledges to make the imperative changes now, and to give youth a place in decision making. I'm confident Juliette will be true to her word. She is heartfelt, loving and inclusive. Juliette Beck will invite in every perspective to ensure that decisions which affect us all are made by everyone. She is firm in the belief that this is not a campaign of one, but of all.

I give my strong support to this candidate and strongly urge others to do the same. The time for idle politics is over, the time for immediate action is upon us.

Emma Larson
Davis


The Wardrobe's 2nd Annual Earth Day Celebration, 4/22/22, 4-7 PM

2nd Annual Earth Day Celebration (1)(From press release) Clothing tells us the truth about age. In a world where fast fashion is becoming increasingly wasteful and creating a larger carbon footprint, The Wardrobe has been and continues to be focused on promoting slow fashion that is sustainable and long-lasting.

Owner Heather Caswell has generally carried very small clothing lines in her store, focusing on unique clothing that is often made by local designers. Caswell promotes California Chic fashions which are colorful, comfortable, well made, playful but, more importantly, ethically sourced.

She believes that the boutique is both a reflection of her own attitude and of the Davis community where it has been located and reinvented over the past 34 years.

The Wardrobe is now in its 3rd location and has been a regional leader in carrying locally sourced goods. Eighty percent of their inventory is made in North America and a quarter of it is made right here in California. Each year Caswell makes a choice to have a more environmentally conscious business model and reduce the store's carbon footprint.

Some of the practices they follow include using recycled bags and boxes (since day one), switching to LED lights, maintaining HEPA filters, and using natural non-toxic cleaning methods that are proven to make a difference. Every year they try to take another ecologically responsive step forward: last year they stopped using foil printed labels and logos.

Continue reading "The Wardrobe's 2nd Annual Earth Day Celebration, 4/22/22, 4-7 PM" »


Sierra Club Endorses No on Measure H - No on DISC

DISC overview shot

(From press release) Citing grounds of “excessive traffic, greenhouse gas emissions, and poor land-use and planning”, the Sierra Club announces its opposition to Measure H in Davis CA on the June 7, 2022 municipal ballot.

Measure H is a vote to allow the annexation of approximately 100-acres of Prime farmland on the northeast periphery of the City and the development of a business complex, hotel- conference center, and retail along with a 460-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.

While the Sierra Club is strongly supportive of efforts to stimulate economic development and provide housing, particularly for working families, we do not support the DISC development which will turn over 100-acres of productive Prime farmland into a massive, sprawling, auto- dependent business park", said Alan Pryor, chair of the local Sierra Club Yolano Group. "Although some on-site housing units will be constructed, there is no mechanism to ensure that the housing will be occupied by workers at the development project itself”.

This development is inconsistent with official Sierra Club land use policies encouraging infill development. Instead, the project is reminiscent of peripheral, sprawling, car-centric developments of earlier times that encourage long-range commuting. It is the antithesis of smart urban planning”, added Mr. Pryor.

Of particular concern is the 12,000+ daily auto trips projected to result from the development adding further congestion to an already bottle-necked City thoroughfare, Mace Blvd., and the I-80 freeway. In addition to the wait-times and traffic disruption, this excessive traffic is the primary contributor to the over 22,000 metric tons per year of additional greenhouse gases projected to be produced by the project. This DISC project alone would increase the greenhouse gas footprint of Davis by almost 5% jeopardizing the City's mandate of carbon neutrality by 2040.

Continue reading "Sierra Club Endorses No on Measure H - No on DISC" »


Letter: Beck is a voice of hope

Beck
Juliette Beck

As this decade begins, we walk briskly towards utter climate catastrophe. Before 2030 our planet will warm beyond 1.5 degrees and the worst of climate change will no longer be avoidable. Those twenty-nine years and younger, down to the child born as I write, will suffer the first cataclysmic effects of this disaster. But those over thirty will experience less and leave behind a world plummeting ever faster towards a fate that they hadn't the courage to change.

But all is not yet lost. A new people are rising. Youth in communities across the Earth are standing up for a livable future…not a beautiful one, that has been taken from us. We ask only for a chance at life.

Too often we are told by adults our ideas are impossible. Yet those very adults in power have kept us on the road to disaster. Obviously, what is politically 'possible' isn't enough.

But a broken system gives the youth little power of our own. Carrying signs, chanting, protesting, praying are acts of strength but they alone cannot save the world. We need our elders to begin listening and using their power to implement our ideas and solutions. Have they forgotten this was always their job? To follow the will of the people? We must elect adults who fulfill their promises.

Juliette Beck, running for Yolo County Supervisor D2, is a voice of hope in a time of fear. She is dedicated to climate justice and pledges to make the imperative changes now, and to give youth a place in decision making. I'm confident Juliette will be true to her word. She is heartfelt, loving and inclusive. Juliette Beck will invite in every perspective to ensure that decisions which affect us all are made by everyone. She is firm in the belief that this is not a campaign of one, but of all.

I give my strong support to this candidate and strongly urge others to do the same. The time for idle politics is over, the time for immediate action is upon us.

Emma Larson
Davis, CA


Councilmember Carson sued me for signing a ballot statement

6F907AC2-43BA-422A-A5DC-F4974707938FBy Roberta Millstein

Two weeks ago, I was stunned to learn from a Davis Enterprise article that I and other signers of the Argument Against Measure H (Argument Against DiSC) were being sued by none other than Councilmember Dan Carson, who is serving as the “Honorary” Chair of the developer-funded Yes on DiSC campaign. Measure H is on the June 7 ballot; DiSC is a proposed development project on 100 acres of mostly prime farmland outside the City limits, adjacent to I-80 and Mace Blvd.

Apparently, the suit had been filed on the last possible day. I waited to be served papers, but none ever arrived. I did receive a phone call, later learning that Councilmember Carson had obtained my phone number from a Commission Chair. I was extremely surprised to learn that he would do something like that, especially since he apparently did not let on what he wanted my phone number for. It is still unclear whether Councilmember Carson funded this lawsuit himself or if someone else funded it; he has refused to answer several people who have asked him.

With a tight deadline for the ballot to be printed by the County, citizens opposed to DiSC suddenly found themselves having to find a lawyer within a matter of days (like, two days) and the prospect of spending tens of thousands of dollars to retain one — well in excess of the budget for the entire grassroots campaign.

And what was the suit about?  Well, perhaps Councilmember Carson thought that he could pull the wool over a judge's eyes, but the judge found no problems with our contention that DiSC is in violation of the City's General Plan or our contention that there would be unmitigated greenhouse gases from the project or that there were almost no commitments.

Continue reading "Councilmember Carson sued me for signing a ballot statement" »


DISC is anything but ‘sustainable’

Annexation Area DiSC 2022_070721By Stephen M. Wheeler

Davis residents have begun receiving calls and mailings from backers of the so-called Davis Innovation and Sustainability Campus (DiSC 2022) in preparation for the June 7 election, when the project will be on the ballot as Measure H.

Don’t be fooled by the rosy promises and endorsements on the developer’s materials: DiSC represents neither innovation nor sustainability. It is another big piece of suburban sprawl promoted by one of Davis’ most aggressive sprawl-builders, Dan Ramos.

DiSC is essentially a greenwashed business park. Business parks are a traditional, much-discredited economic development approach in which cities designate a large area of land on their periphery for whatever commercial development they can manage to attract. These projects are highly motor-vehicle-dependent and undercut efforts to revitalize more centrally located downtown areas.

DiSC materials talk about bike and pedestrian connections, renewable energy, use of native and drought-tolerant species for landscape design, energy-efficient construction, and shuttle buses to downtown. This is greenwashing. These environmentally oriented details are nice (and many are required by existing regulations).

But they aren’t nearly as important as the fact that 1.34 million square feet of new commercial space would be allowed by a freeway exit far from downtown. Approving huge projects that will build out over 20-plus years — almost certainly in different ways than originally envisioned — is just not a good way for a city to move towards sustainability.

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What should Davis's "Resilience Hub" be?

The City Council approved spending of American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds at its most recent meeting, including $400,000 for "climate resilience hub/climate action needs." This being the only money they allocated related to climate change, it seems especially important to think about what such a hub might look like. Below are relevant documents from the City's Utility Commission.

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From: Resilience Subcommi1ee
To: Utilities Commission
Re: More definitive vision of Resilience Hub Date: October 20, 2021

The Resilience Subcommittee offers the following ideas and questions to the Utilities Commission to help formulate a vision of how a Resilience Hub could be beneficial to Davis and the specific qualities we would like to have in a Davis Resilience Hub.

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Resilience is the ability of people and communities to anticipate, accommodate and positively adapt to and thrive amidst changing climate conditions and emergency events.

Resilience Hub is a local facility to enhance community resilience by providing reliable essential services when emergency events occur and other community benefits under normal conditions. A resilience hub typically:

Continue reading "What should Davis's "Resilience Hub" be?" »