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


The Whole Story about DiSC’s Claim of $3.88 Million Net Revenue to the City

Seven ways in which the City and the Yes on Measure H campaign make DiSC 2022 appear economically far rosier than is likely

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 “$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.”

The net annual revenues projected to accrue to the City that have been presented to the voting public use the most optimistic “best case scenario” to make their pitch … but other less rosy scenarios exist.  During the December meeting of the Davis Finance and Budget Commission (FBC), Commissioner Jacobs suggested multiple times that it would be helpful to City Council if the consultant were to run the analysis using a worst-case and best-case scenario.  Unfortunately, that suggestion was not implemented by the City.

Scenario analyses are particularly valuable here in Davis because, for a variety of reasons, past development projects in the City have rarely yielded the revenues the City expected to them to produce. The $3.88 million surplus projected for this Measure H project may be the theoretical best case, but it does not recognize potential adverse impacts on this rosy projection. As shown below, if all of the seven impacts quantified in this document are considered, net annual revenues to the City could actually result in a deficit of $770,000.

Continue reading "The Whole Story about DiSC’s Claim of $3.88 Million Net Revenue to the City" »


Democracy Isn’t Just for Countries

By Miranda Duncan

We champion democracy as the ideal system of governance, where freedom can flourish.  All voices are equal and have a right to be heard.  When it comes to the workplace, though, we’re reluctant to embrace democracy.  In the business sector, we expect there will be one person at the top making all the decisions for others to follow.  Why do we demand democratic rule for our country and reject it in the workplace? 

Nowhere is rejection more obvious than from the U.S. Small Business Administration.  May 1st heralds International Workers Day, and during the first week of May, the SBA will acknowledge small businesses across the county for their resilience, ingenuity and creativity.  No cooperatives, however, will be featured during Small Business Week.

Let’s give credit where credit is due.  Small businesses strengthen our economy by employing 60.6 million people, accounting for 47.1 percent of the workforce.  Small businesses have added 10.5 million net new jobs over the past 20 years, and in 2014, a study showed small business contributed $5.9 trillion to the GDP (U. S. Small Business Administration, October 2020). 

Not included in those numbers, though, are the 465 worker cooperatives in the United States today, employing approximately 7,000 people, and generating over $550 million in annual revenues (Democracy at Work Institute, U.S. Federation of Worker Co-ops, January 2020).  “Why,” you might again ask?   

Continue reading "Democracy Isn’t Just for Countries " »


PBE welcomes No on DiSC to public forum

(From press release) The Davis Progressive Business Exchange will meet from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 4, at Lamppost Pizza, 1260 Lake Blvd. in West Davis.

The topic will be DiSC, the Davis Innovation Sustainability Campus. After supporters spoke last month, Matt Williams will speak on May 4, representing the No on DiSC campaign. Davis voters will be asked to vote on this issue on June 7 as Measure H.

The public is invited to these free open forum events. Contact Bob Bockwinkel at 530-219-1896 or e-mail G Richard Yamagata at yamagata@dcn.org for  information.


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


League of Women Voters hosts forum on county supervisor race

Juliette-cropped lucas-cropped(From press release) The League of Women Voters Davis Area will sponsor a nonpartisan election forum Saturday, May 7 on the District 2 race for Yolo County Supervisor.

The event will be run from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in the Community Chambers at 23 Russell Blvd. in Davis. Free tickets are available on Eventbrite at  yolosupervisorforum.eventbrite.com.

Davis Media Access will record the event and make the video available to voters.

Davis City Councilmember Lucas Frerichs and local climate activist Juliette Beck are competing to replace incumbent Supervisor Don Saylor, who is not running for re-election. His term expires at the end of 2022.

District 2 covers southwest Yolo County, including Winters, West Davis, parts of central Davis and the area between Winters and Davis. Jim Provenza represents District 4 on the Yolo County Board of Supervisors, which also includes parts of Davis. His term does not expire until Dec. 31, 2024.

Frerichs has served on the Davis City Council since 2012. A long-time former staffer in the California State Assembly, he currently works as associate director of state policy for The Nature Conservancy and serves on the boards of the Sacramento Area Council of Governments, Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority, the Yolo County Transportation District, Valley Clean Energy, and the Yolo Habitat Conservancy.

An ecologist, Beck helped initiate a Climate Strike advocacy movement in 2018 that gathers in Davis Central Park every Friday at noon. In 2020, she helped establish a Yolo County Climate Action Commission to address climate change. When schools closed for the pandemic, she worked with educators, parents, and UC Davis students to fund a free youth summer camp that focuses on ecology and community activism. 

Davis resident Donna Neville will moderate the forum. A semi-retired lawyer, she currently chairs the City of Davis Finance and Budget Committee. She worked as an attorney for the Office of the Legislative Counsel early in her career and later was chief legal counsel to two state agencies: the California State Auditor’s Office and the State Board of Education.


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? " »


Earth Fashion

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Earth Day at The Wardrobe

By Colin Walsh

A large crowd gathered on D street as the lilting flutes of Paddy on the Binge and the melodic voice of Skyler Blakeslee floated over Downtown Davis. Earth Day in downtown Davis drew a respectable crowd of earth stewards, well-wishers and fashionistas.  A blend that makes absolute sense when you come to know the values and practices of The Wardrobe and its proprietor Heather Caswell.

“Slow Fashion” that ranges from elegant to beautiful and is sensibly sourced with much of the to die for clothing coming from local artisans and companies with sustainable practices.

The gathering was punctuated with thoughtful speakers from the local community including, Larry Gunther, Nancy Price, Delaine Eastin, Juliette Beck, Jonathan Greenberg and Eliot Larson. All speakers were excellent, but keynote speaker Elliot Larson stole the show.

Continue reading "Earth Fashion" »


City Planning Documents have No Teeth

Mandala-oednaBy Larry Guenther

The Old East Davis Neighborhood Association (OEDNA) requested that the Trackside Appellate court decision be reviewed by the California State Supreme Court. Some were critical of our decision due to the long odds. We were quite aware of the odds, and thus the decision not to review the decision comes as no surprise. We believed, however, that enforceability of City planning documents was a battle worth fighting.

This was a fight for public awareness and enforceability of city planning documents - Statewide. For people to believe in the law, it must be enforceable. With the publication of the Trackside decision, the current City Council can interpret planning documents, approved by previous City Councils, to mean whatever they want them to mean – with no repercussions.

We make plans to create certainty. OEDNA participated robustly in creating the Davis Downtown and Traditional Neighborhood Guidelines to gain certainty for developers and for residents. This decision negates that certainty. So what, then, is the purpose of moving forward with any city planning documents? The Downtown Plan, the General Plan, the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, or any other plan? The details of those plans – those things we fight for and that we believe have teeth – have no teeth.

Who loses out? The residents of our City, and of every City in California. Because with this decision, all California city planning documents have become uncertain.

Larry Guenther is President of the Board of the Old East Davis Neighborhood Association.


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" »


Six women earn Soroptimist cash awards

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Amanda Long and her daughter (Courtesy photo)

(From press release) Soroptimist International of Davis awarded a record $20,000 in funds in 2022 through its signature Live Your Dream: Education and Training Awards for Women.

Women are encouraged each year to apply for the awards if they are the primary wage earners for their families, and need financial assistance to further their education or training. Recipients have often faced hardships or challenging circumstances.

This year, SI Davis gave a boost to six women, with cash awards ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. These unrestricted grants may be used to offset costs that a scholarship wouldn’t, such as child care, transportation or other financial obligations that hinder a woman’s ability to reach her goals. Soroptimist International of Davis members remain in contact with the recipients, offering them mentorship and support.

The top 2022 recipient is Amanda Long, a UC Davis microbiology student who commutes from Citrus Heights so her 9-year-old daughter’s school and day care won’t be disrupted.

Long is a first-generation college student but hopes not to be the last. As she nears graduation, the single mom told Soroptimist members that she’s “becoming someone who my younger self would never had thought possible. … I can see the effects that my education has on my young daughter.”

Long is looking for work as a clinical lab scientist, and plans to eventually apply to graduate school. She’s been studying antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and hopes to continue in that area. The award is being used to pay for transportation costs.

Continue reading "Six women earn Soroptimist cash awards" »


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" »


Yolo County Farm Bureau says vote "NO" on DiSC

DISC overview shot

(From press release) A goal of Yolo County Farm Bureau (“YCFB”) is to preserve and protect prime farmland that is fundamental to the ability of Yolo County farmers and ranchers to provide a safe, reliable supply of food and fiber.

Pursuant to that objective we have evaluated the DiSC 2022 102- acre development, proposed on the east side of Mace Blvd, north of Interstate 80. This proposed project is pending decision by the City of Davis electorate at the June 7 election.

This development would convert prime farmland into business and residential uses. YCFB has carefully considered the City of Davis project file, including submittals and the letter filed by Yolo County (12/6/21). YCFB board members have driven to the project area, looked at the project perimeters and current uses of adjacent lands.

We comment at the outset that County correspondence emphasizes that the DiSC 2022 developers here have sought to annex and develop farmland that is completely outside the City of Davis “Sphere of Influence.” This area has not been included in a relevant LAFCo area suitability review. Thus, necessary studies have not taken place: the bottom line is that appropriateness of this use on this property has not been independently, publicly evaluated. This project does not deserve public support because it is an “opportunistic” conversion of farmland. It is not a carefully planned transition that we define as: Urban growth is considered but impacts on the agricultural lands and economy are included from the inception of the process, and are part of the equation.

For our purposes, we are looking at the direct loss of 102 acres of very prime land and the impacts of the urban use on adjacent farming. This acreage is an important part of the necessary farming base that supports our equally critical agricultural infrastructure—the vendors and manufacturers of supplies, inventories and equipment. The more farmland that is lost—Yolo County is less able to keep its farmers and ranchers operating.

Many interested in farmland preservation focus on “Mitigation” and what ratio—ag land turned into urban uses—to land that must be “preserved” for agriculture is appropriate. The various concerned and interested groups speak in terms of 3-1 or 2-1. We point out that every acre of prime farmland lost to urbanization is permanently lost. There is a loss of farmland no matter what ratio is used. Thus, we oppose this project because 102 prime acres are permanently lost.

Continue reading "Yolo County Farm Bureau says vote "NO" on DiSC" »


Carson goes after citizens in court -- again

AppleFor Immediate Release  - April 19, 2022

From No on Davis Innovation and Sustainability Campus – No on Measure H

Re: Carson lawyers file motion seeking to deny legal fees to opponents of the Davis Innovation and Sustainability Campus (DiSC) after his lawsuit failed to substantively change the No on Measure H ballot statement

_____________

Councilmember Dan Carson revealed this week that he intends to go after Davis residents in court again.

In court documents filed late Monday, Carson said he wants the six residents who signed the ballot statement against Measure H to pay his attorney's fees even though his lawsuit seeking to water down their No on H ballot argument was largely unsuccessful.  Carson is demanding fees despite the fact that Dan Ramos, the developer behind the Measure H DiSC project, has already admitted publicly that he footed the bill for Carson's lawsuit.

The Attorney for the No on Measure H campaign Beverly Grossman Palmer stated, “As I previously indicated, it is very unusual for a sitting councilmember to sue over a ballot argument.  To seek fees against his own constituents for defending their right to present their views to the voters would be even more shocking, should Councilmember Carson file this threatened motion for attorney's fees.”

 Roberta Millstein, one of the authors of the ballot statement challenged in Carson’s lawsuit stated, “Carson’s developer backed lawsuit will have the effect of stifling Davis’s long tradition of engaged citizen participation. Who will want to sign a ballot statement in the future if a developer can fund a punitive lawsuit against them? Carson's lawsuit sets a terrible precedent.”

Alan Pryor, Principal Officer of the No on H campaign and one of the authors of the ballot statement stated, “Fortunately, Carson’s opposition brief is unlikely to be successful because it is clearly in the public interest for Davis voters to be able to write truthful ballot statements advocating against developments.” A judge is scheduled to hear the arguments from both sides on April 29th at Yolo County Superior Court.

The DiSC project is an outdated freeway offramp project that will put 12,000 additional cars on Mace Blvd. every day and increase greenhouse gas emissions by the City of Davis by 5%. The citizens of Davis already voted down the first iteration of this project less than 2 years ago.

Carson sought to have more than 80 words of the 300-word ballot statement against Measure H stricken. On March 30, 2022 Yolo County Superior Court Judge McGuire overwhelmingly ruled against Carson, making only 2 small changes suggested by the No on H campaign itself. One change simply modified the type of unit used to express the amount of greenhouse gases that would be produced by the project – similar to expressing a value in dollars rather than cents. The other change involved the following paragraph, which Carson had asked to be deleted:

“The Developer has made almost no binding commitments and has no viable ways to improve this traffic mess. Their only promise is to develop a Traffic Demand Management Plan if the project is approved. But figuring this traffic mess out later is not a plan!”

 The judge let the first and third sentences of that paragraph stand as they were; the second sentence changed the word only and it now reads, "They promise to develop a Traffic Demand Management Plan if the project is approved" – at best a slight change in meaning from the original.

 In dismissing Carson’s claims the judge also found the following arguments against DiSC were neither false or misleading:

“Rejected only 19 months ago by voters, DiSC is back. But it is still an autocentric, freeway-oriented, downtown-threatening project. It still has overwhelming traffic and environmental problems, and it is still non-compliant with the City of Davis General Plan.”

 Indeed, during the hearing, Carson's lawyer admitted that DiSC 2022 would not be compliant with the City of Davis's General Plan as it exists today.

The judge also let the heading, "Unmitigated Greenhouse Gas Emissions" stand, as well as the statements, “Locally we are reeling from the debilitating impacts of drought and terrifying wildfires caused by dramatically increasing carbon emissions” and “DiSC alone will increase the City’s carbon footprint by almost 5%, completely derailing the City’s ability to meet its carbon-neutral goal by 2040.”

The No on H Campaign believes Councilmember Dan Carson has grossly overstepped his role and blurred the lines between his elected office and his personal advocacy for a development project.


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.

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