Entries categorized "Ethics"

Arborealis legalis persona

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

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

Part One:

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

No surprises so far.

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

Still no surprises.

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

The lack of surprises continue.

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

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

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

Fakeplastictrees

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Welcome to Al's Corner - "Pouring Gasoline on the Dumpster Fire of Davis Politics" - Volume #15 [Thanksgiving Edition]

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Let's all gather around the Al's Corner Thanksgiving table and give thanks that Al's Corner provides a place to moan & complain about what is stupid in Davis.

Let the complaining begin!

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

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

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

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

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

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


Welcome to Al's Corner - "Pouring Gasoline on the Dumpster Fire of Davis Politics" - Volume #14

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A place for YOU to make comments about stuff because why not.  Special election edition for no particular reason nor content.
Election Voting Happening People - Vote if you can rub two brain cells together!  AND  if you vote similar to me.  If not, please stay home and forget to turn in the envelope. Thank you.
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Miller Protests the Davis Vanguard -- for Sucking

ACM
Alan C. Miller’s One-Man Protest of the Davis Vanguard, for Sucking. – Photo Credit: Alan C. Miller (also available as a poster or as a t-shirt!)

An Al’s Corner Special Report. Dateline Sacramento. Alan C. Miller Reporting on Alan C. Miller.

The Davis Vanguard (DV) held an event last Thursday night in Sacramento. The event honored some people for doing stuff. Entry into the event was $100 to $5000.   Why?   Do those contributing not realize that giving money to something perpetuates its existence?

As of last Thursday morning, there were 167 $100 tickets ‘available’. But one shouldn’t draw any conclusions as people often wait until the last minute on events. As one person did. As of 6:00pm last Thursday there were 166 $100 dollar tickets available. Not sure how many $5000 tickets were still available.

The entrance had no obvious signs of the event, though some A-frames advertised a food establishment within the becolumned ex-bank. I arrived at 5:45pm and found a spot near the A-frames across from the door where I could be seen but be out of the way of anyone who showed up. I held up my 11x17 protest sign which read, “The Davis Vanguard Sucks Donkey Balls” on one side and “$100 - $5000 WHY?” on the other.

Continue reading "Miller Protests the Davis Vanguard -- for Sucking" »


Newly Released City Documents Reveal More Problems with Carson’s City Emails

Carson - emailCouncilman Carson Violated Two City Policies Using City Resources for Campaign Emails

By David L. Johnson and Colin Walsh

New documents obtained through a Public Records Act request reveal that City of Davis Councilman Dan Carson violated two City of Davis policies when he sent numerous campaign emails from his publicly-funded city email account concerning Measure H, a ballot measure to approve the DiSC development project.

New documents from the city also reveal that all emails Carson sent in 2022 regarding measure H appear to have been deleted from his city account.

Continue reading "Newly Released City Documents Reveal More Problems with Carson’s City Emails" »


Partida Statement On Old Fraud Conviction

20200707-partida-gloria-700x395Statement By Gloria Partida

There has been discussion on social media over the past week concerning whether I was truthful in answering a question that was asked by an audience member during a candidate forum sponsored by Yolo People Power on September 26, 2022. I was asked whether I had ever been arrested or convicted of a crime.

I responded by giving examples of police encounters I had had while driving. I also affirmed in my response that I had the experience of being arrested.

Have I ever been convicted of a crime? Yes. Do I currently have a conviction? No.

Answering this question in a way that doesn’t create misunderstanding, takes more than the brief response time allowed in the forum. Moreover, I have received legal advice that I am under no obligation to disclose this prior conviction, given that it was reduced to a misdemeanor and set aside.

QuoteThe events around this occurred in 1996, and resulted in charges being filed against me. The details of this incident involve my extended family and the circumstances are deeply personal and painful. The bottom line is that I followed all legally authorized processes to resolve the matter, including what was needed to obtain court orders to render the incident a misdemeanor for all purposes and obtain an expungement of my record. When I filed for a new term on the City Council and declared that I met the eligibility criteria, I did so in good faith and in accordance with the law. I have been assured by my legal counsel and the District Attorney’s office that my response was in full compliance with the law.

In response to Alan Pryor’s statements regarding my background, I do not have a criminal conviction. I did have a prior conviction from 22 years ago. That conviction was dismissed and set aside by the Yolo County Superior Court in 2005, based on my “continued law-abiding lifestyle, education and involvement in family and community.”  Simple fact: I do not currently have a conviction.

Seventeen years ago, my court case file should have been updated to correctly show a “dismissal” of the charges. I learned only recently that, due to a record-keeping error, the Court website was not properly updated to show this dismissal until I notified them several days ago that the court website contained incorrect information. Contrary to Mr. Pryor’s assertion that the court website was “scrubbed” the Court Clerk’s Office acknowledged that the website had not been properly updated.  The Court Clerk then sealed the record, as required by Senate Bill 731, which took effect on July 1 of this year. No scrubbing involved, just compliance with applicable legal requirements.

I did not have any legal obligation to disclose this when I filed my papers for candidacy.  At that point, I was asked if I had a felony conviction, and I did not have one. The prior conviction had by then been reduced to a misdemeanor and dismissed. You have a right to hold me to a high standard, and my sincere hope in sharing this information with you is that you will take into account my long history of commitment to our community. I sincerely hope that all of my work in the community will allow you to put this issue into the proper context.

-----------------

link to Alan Pryor's previous article "Does Gloria Partida’s Conviction for a Felony in 2000 Disallow Her from Holding an Elected Public Office in California?"

 

link to answer Gloria's Answer at forum


Does Gloria Partida’s Conviction for a Felony in 2000 Disallow Her from Holding an Elected Public Office in California?

And did Gloria Partida sign a false statement and wrongfully fail to disclose the conviction as required by law in her Statement of Candidacy in 2022?

Attestation

By Alan Pryor

The Alleged Felony Crimes, the Conviction, and the Sentencing

Based on official court records, Gloria Partida, current at-large Davis City Councilmember who is running for reelection in the newly created District 4 (East Davis and Wildhorse), was apparently charged in 1999 with four felony counts of “Forgery, Statute 470(A)” and one felony count of “Fraud to Obtain Aid, Statute 10980(C)(2)” for offenses committed in 1995 and 1996.

The following screenshot of the initial charges filed in Yolo County Superior Court was obtained from the Court’s document retrieval system (see https://portal-cayolo.tylertech.cloud/Portal/Home/WorkspaceMode?p=0, using “Partida, Gloria Jean” to search). Note that as of the evening of 10/10/2022, the records appear to have been scrubbed from the Court’s website although they were available earlier in the day:

Filed Charges

The initial complaint against Ms. Partida was filed on 3/12/1999 and she was arraigned on all of the charges on 3/30/1999.

At the Preliminary Hearing on 2/2/2000, Ms. Partida entered a conditional plea of “guilty/Nolo” to the Fraud to Obtain Aid felony charge with the stipulation that no time in a State Prison would be imposed upon sentencing on the assigned date of 3/20/2000.

Continue reading "Does Gloria Partida’s Conviction for a Felony in 2000 Disallow Her from Holding an Elected Public Office in California?" »


Soroptimists offer cash grants to women

(From press release) Women who serve as the primary wage earners for their families and seek financial assistance to further their education or training are urged to apply for the Soroptimist Live Your Dream: Education and Training Awards for Women.

The application deadline is Tuesday, Nov. 15. This year, Soroptimist International of Davis will present awards ranging from $1,000 to $4,000. The top recipient’s application will advance to regional and possibly the international level, where she could receive up to $15,000 more. Recipients may use the Live Your Dream Award to offset any costs associated with their efforts to attain higher education or additional skills and training. This includes tuition, books, childcare, transportation or other related expense.

Applications are available at https://bit.ly/LYDA-apply.

The Live Your Dream Award provides more than $2.8 million in cash awards to head-of-household women in need each year. Since the program’s inception in 1972, more than $35 million has helped tens of thousands of women achieve their dreams of a better life for themselves and their families. This past year, Soroptimist International of Davis awarded $20,000 in Live Your Dream Awards.

A study conducted by The Fels Institute of Government, a research and consulting organization based at the University of Pennsylvania, confirmed the efficacy and impact of this program. It improves the recipients’ quality of life; builds their confidence; strengthens their self-determination and makes them want to, in turn, help others. Helping women in this way has the demonstrated effect of leading to stronger communities, nations, and the world.

Besides the Live Your Dream Award, Soroptimist International of Davis provides local girls with tools to achieve their education and career goals through its Dream It, Be It: Career Support for Girls program at King High School. It also funds high school scholarships, annual grants to nonprofits that align with the Soroptimist mission, and anti-trafficking efforts.

Local members join some 75,000 Soroptimists in 122 countries and territories to contribute time and financial support to community-based projects benefiting women and girls. Its core values are gender equality, empowerment, education, diversity and fellowship.

Soroptimist International of Davis welcomes new members. Learn more at https://www.sidavis.org/

 


Carson Used City Resources for Measure H Campaign

Carson picPublicly-Funded City of Davis Email Account

Councilmember Carson Sent Numerous Messages on Measure H and Private Lawsuit Over Three Months

By David L. Johnson and Colin Walsh

In a series of 15 emails improperly sent over several months from his publicly-funded City of Davis email account, Councilmember Dan Carson:

  • Campaigned for the Yes on H 2022 ballot measure to approve the Davis Innovation Sustainability Campus (DiSC) development project,
  • Sent an invitation to multiple persons for a Yes on H campaign kick-off event to be held at his home,
  • Sent emails defending his private lawsuit against Davis residents who wrote ballot arguments against Measure H, even though his lawsuit had nothing to do with city business,
  • Provided information to DiSC developer Dan Ramos and Ramos’s campaign associates and attorneys about No on H advocates sending campaign information to city commissions,
  • Invited Congressman Mike Thompson for a Yes on H briefing about “this important project,”
  • Denigrated a No on H campaign leader about living with his mother.

Carson’s emails were obtained based on a Public Records Act request to the City of Davis.  Carson sent these emails from his City of Davis account between March and May 2022 either advocating for Measure H or defending his private lawsuit.

It is a violation of Government Code Section 8314 for any elected local officer to use public resources for a campaign activity or personal purposes, except for incidental and minimal use of those public resources.

Continue reading "Carson Used City Resources for Measure H Campaign" »


Welcome to Al's Corner - "Pouring Gasoline on the Dumpster Fire of Davis Politics" - Volume #13

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Lucky #13: comment on stuff and burn in hell.  But wear a mask while in hell.
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Biberstein Social Action Fund Grants Available

20th Annual Request for Proposals; proposals due October 28, 2022

(From press release) Nonprofit organizations are invited to submit applications to the Biberstein Social Action Fund for grants in support of projects addressing poverty, discrimination, abuse and neglect issues in Yolo County.

The Biberstein Social Action Fund was established in 2002 by the Board of Directors of Congregation Bet Haverim to honor Ernie and Hannah Biberstein, who are among the founding members of CBH, and who devoted much of their lives to community service and social justice. Hannah passed away in April 2011. 2022 marks the 20th Anniversary of the Fund, and, even more importantly, Ernie’s 100th birthday in November.

The goal of the annual awards made from the Biberstein Social Action Fund is to help Yolo County organizations in their efforts to meet unfulfilled needs. “In light of all the budget cuts in social services, we hope that grants like ours can make a difference,” Hannah Biberstein had said. “It means a lot to us that real individuals benefit from our grants.” Special consideration is given to new and/or innovative projects.

An annual Request for Proposals is released in the fall every year. Grants ranging from $500 to $2,000 are awarded each November. A committee of Bet Haverim congregants reviews grant applications.  Current Biberstein Fund committee members are congregants Ernie Biberstein, Anne Gieseke, Amy Abramson, Sandy Jones, Joan Sublett, and Shoshana Zatz.

Information about the Biberstein Award, including a link to the application, is available on the CBH website: https://www.bethaverim.org/engage/committees/biberstein-social-action-fund/

Grant proposals must be submitted no later than October 28, 2022. Questions may be directed to the Biberstein Social Action Fund at: cbhbibersteinfund@gmail.com. Awards will be announced in December, 2022.

Continue reading "Biberstein Social Action Fund Grants Available" »


Donate to the Biberstein Social Action Fund

In Honor of its 20th Anniversary and Ernie’s 100th Birthday!

Biberstein donations(From press release) The Biberstein Social Action Fund was established in 2002 by the Board of Directors of Congregation Bet Haverim to honor Ernie and Hannah Biberstein, who are among the founding members of CBH, and who devoted much of their lives to community service and social justice. The goal of the Biberstein Fund is to recognize and support the work of organizations dedicated to the alleviation of poverty, discrimination, abuse and neglect in our local area (Yolo County). An annual Call for Proposals is released each September*. Grants ranging from $500 to $2,000 are awarded in December. Since 2002, the Biberstein Social Action Fund has contributed close to $200,000 to local social action organizations. (https://www.bethaverim.org/engage/committees/biberstein-social-action-fund/)

2022 marks the 20th Anniversary of the Fund, and, even more importantly, Ernie’s 100th birthday in November. In honor of this momentous occasion, we invite special contributions to be made to the Fund. Using the link below, please check the “Donations to Specialized Funds” box and make a contribution in any amount to the “Biberstein Social Action Fund”. (https://www.bethaverim.org/donate/).

If you prefer to mail a check, pay by cash or use a credit card over the phone, please contact the CBH office for further instructions at office@bethaverim.org or 530-758-0842.

Join us in wishing Ernie a very happy 100th Birthday and in celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Fund created to support the Bibersteins’ lifetime dedication to Tikkun Olam.

*A group of Bet Haverim Partners reviews grant applications.  Current Biberstein Fund members are congregants Ernie Biberstein, Amy Abramson, Anne Gieseke, Sandy Jones, Joan Sublett, and Shoshana Zatz. Ex-officio: Rabbi Bess Wohlner and Rabbi Jeremy Simons.


Why DiSC matters for the City Council election

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

DCC with DiSC in background-2By Roberta Millstein

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

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

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

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

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


Davis Deserves Better than Carson

Carson-doesnt-work-for-DavisBy Scott Steward

I hope District 1 voters agree that Dan Carson has not earned a second term on the City Council.

If you were for a Davis Innovation and Sustainability Center (Measure H), then you should know Dan Carson's lawsuit, against fellow Davis residents opposed to Measure H, (a lawsuit which Carson technically lost), was such an obvious attack on Davis civil engagement that the lawsuit alone sunk Measure H.

If you were for Davis energy independence, then you should know that Dan Carson led the closed door effort to allow BrightNight to control Davis land rights for $50,000 dollars a year, when the solar project lifetime electricity value for the site was estimated to be $120 million. No one, including Dan Carson, Brett Lee or any city employee examining deal had commercial solar development experience.

The Davis Utility Commission voted (5 to 2) to have the City walk away from the BrightNight deal. Davis solar and energy experts condemned the decision. Public pleas to rescind were ignored and publicly rebuked by Dan Carson. (Davis Enterprise April 21, 2020)

The solar BrightNight fiasco and the Measure H lawsuit have caused much spilled ink, lawyer fees, and lost opportunity. Dan Carson's actions invoked the unprecedented condemnation of seven former Mayors: Krovoza, Davis, Corbett, Greenwald, Wagstaff, Evans, and Kopper. (Davis Enterprise April 27, 2020 and May 18, 2022)

Carson continues to insist that his experience, as a former Budget Analyst for the State of California, should pave the way for all to accept his good judgement. Except the record shows, Dan Carson does not have good judgement and does not respect shared decision making.

It's time for District 1 to have a different representative. Candidates Kelsey Fortune and Bapu Vaitla are excellent candidates. Please don't vote for Carson.


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

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

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

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

Protect-our-earth

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


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

Fortune-for-davis
Kelsey Fortune

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

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

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

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

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

David L. Johnson


Welcome to Al's Corner - "Pouring Gasoline on the Dumpster Fire of Davis Politics" - Volume #12

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Al's Corner is a space for YOU to comment on local issues.  What is stopping you?  Huh?
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Call For Action on Sept. 23rd Global Climate Strike

Resized_Copia_de_GCS_Announcement_Graphics_-_1_400960667076094(From press release)

Dear Community Members. 

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

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

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

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

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


Rally for Youth Transit

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

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

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


Taormino Response to Staff Report Open Space and Habitat Commission Hearing

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

Dear Commissioners,

Below is my response to the Staff Report Recommendations.

Response to Staff Report Recommendations, Background and Analysis:

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

From development agreement

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

Discussion and my alternatives to staff requested changes:

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

My Recommended Alternative and Explanation:

Culvert ledge example 2
Culvert ledge example 2

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

Typical 4 X 8 culvert
Typical tunnel

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

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

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

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

North Bretton Woods channel tunnels (2).

My Recommendation: No ledges necessary.

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

Respectfully Submitted, Dave Taormino

Bretton Woods