Davis Farm to School awards $11,000 in garden grants

Students at Pioneer Elementary School plant lettuce in the fall that was harvested in winter and made into salads. (Meghan Covert Russell/Courtesy photo)

(From press release) Davis Farm to School recently awarded 22 garden grants ­– totaling more than $11,000 – to local schools.

The grants, announced on Jan. 23, promote student learning about plants, insects, soil, composting and growing fresh and tasty food. Students plant in mosaic planters, raised beds, landscaped areas and more. The school gardens support California’s academic standards and provide important hands-on learning experiences.

Funds for the grants were raised through its annual fundraiser, The Village Feast, which was in October at Great Bear Vineyards. The money enabled garden grants for every school in the Davis Joint Unified School District, as well as to private schools including Peregrine and Davis Waldorf.

Max Russell examines strawberries at the Harper Junior High School garden. His mom, Meghan, leads the Davis Farm to School program, part of the Davis Farmers Market Alliance. (Meghan Covert Russell/Courtesy photo)

Meghan Covert Russell, executive director of Davis Farm to School, said, “This is the first year that we have been able to provide garden grants to every DJUSD campus, a step to helping all school gardens achieve equity in their maintenance and ability to serve students.”

In addition to garden grants, Davis Farm to School offers farm field trips to DJUSD second graders, in cooperation with Fiery Ginger Farm; and Little Chefs Field Trips to third graders, in conjunction with The Davis Food Co-op.

DJUSD Superintendent Matt Best said, “We are incredibly thankful for our close partnership with Davis Farm to School. Their support continues to provide our students with incredible hands-on learning experiences at our schools, as well as opportunities to explore our area’s farms, and learn about the ways to help preserve our planet.”

Davis Farm to School supports garden-based education, farm visits for students, farm-fresh foods in school meals, and recycling and composting programs at all Davis schools, in partnership with DJUSD. DF2S is a project of the nonprofit Davis Farmers Market Alliance. For more information, visit https://www.davisfarmtoschool.org/.

Global Day of Climate Action: March 3

Copy of 2023 03 GCS US - Instagram Post(5)(From press release) The global day of climate action is just one week away! We cannot wait to see everyone on Friday, March 3rd at E 14th and B Street at NOON! Our march will step off at 12:30 and we will march to Central Park for a demonstration and community discussion. 

In one week, all of Davis is invited to join in this Global Climate Strike that will put pressure on our world leaders to end fossil finance. We need to make sure they know that tomorrow is too late to take action, they must act now. Fridays For Future Davis youth activists will be walking out of school with other youth around the world, and we need your support. We need you to join us in showing up and demanding action.

Please visit our event page for all of the information on how Davis will be participating in this worldwide action for climate justice: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wlvIupioT0hwQwjsCRXwsEsAfW3w8o6buoFhllHF1EA/edit?usp=sharing

Pre-Strike fun! On Tuesday, February 28th from 3-5 at the Central Park Solidarity Space we will be making signs for the Global Climate Strike on Friday. Please join us for some fun sign making time and to learn all about how you can help our Earth survive climate change.

Updated theater gets the spotlight

Joseph Fletcher, manager at the Veterans Memorial Theatre leads members of the arts community on a tour of the upgraded facility at the Feb. 16 Arts Alliance Davis meeting. (Wendy Weitzel/Courtesy photo)


By Wendy Weitzel

More than 20 members of the arts community gathered Feb. 16 to see the newly improved Veterans Memorial Theatre and collaborate about their work.

The occasion was the Arts Alliance Davis meeting, open to anyone interested in or involved with local arts.

Joseph Fletcher, manager at the city’s Veterans Memorial Theatre, explained the recent upgrades to the city’s aging theater technology in the 1974-built facility. They include updated computer, video, lighting, and other electronics systems and technology.

Fletcher was hired in October 2019 – shortly before the pandemic mandated closure of theater operations for nearly two years – and led the improvements at the facility. Rachel Hartsough, the city of Davis’ arts and culture manager, said, “Fletcher was incredible about using this down time that we unfortunately had from COVID to apply for and receive multiple grants. Nearly $100,000 of upgrades to the theater came from Shuttered Venue Operators grants, and it’s really transformed the usability of the theater.”

That grant money went almost all into materials. Fletcher said he and his staff did much of the setup, saving the city what would have cost an additional 25 to 50 percent. Separately, the theater will get a much-needed new roof starting in March.

Continue reading "Updated theater gets the spotlight" »

Will City Council stop broadcasting and recording commission meetings?

Dear City Council Members,

I am writing in regard to agenda item 3F “Terminate COVID Local Emergency.” Please pull this item from the consent calendar so you can discuss how this will change commission meetings and consider directing staff to propose methods for continuing to broadcast and record commission meetings.

While COVID had many negative impacts on our community an unexpected benefit was forcing us to rethink how we held our public meetings. Though the first City Council meeting was some what rocky with the “Zoom Bombers” in the end Zoom meetings created a great benefit for commissions and the public. Thanks to holding Zoom meetings it was easier for the public to attend commission meetings in real time and once the City began making the recordings available on the City website, it meant the public was able to watch meetings after the fact too. This created a excellent example of open government.

Further, Staff reported that having the recordings from the meetings aided greatly in writing accurate minutes for Commission meetings. Considering at times in the past the city website has lacked minutes for past meetings even over several years times, having the video of meetings raised the bar for public access to public meetings in Davis.

Now with the local emergency order ending I have learned from staff that there is no plan to continue broadcasting or recording many commission meetings. Letting this opportunity for public access fall to the wayside would be a mistake.      

I believe the City of Davis can continue to broadcast commission meetings and archive recordings at relatively moderate costs. For several commissions the meetings can take place in conference rooms and standard conference room teleconferencing systems are sufficient to allow staff to continue to broadcast commission meetings over zoom. This would also allow staff to continue to use zoom to record these meetings.

One question you may ask is does this mean remote commenters must be supported in the future? Using zoom to broadcast and record meetings does not necessitate making remote public comments available, but the council could decide to continue to allow this. There certainly is merit to allowing remote public comment for commission meetings in order to increase public opportunities to comment for people who cannot come to a meeting in person. Whether the council chooses to allow for public comment or not is certainly worthy of council discussion and a good reason to pull this item from the consent calendar for Council consideration.

In closing let me again ask the council to pull item 3F and direct staff to provide options for continuing to broadcast and record City of Davis Commission meetings. Continuing the enhanced public access discovered under the emergency order is certainly worth council and staff consideration.

Best Regards,

Colin Walsh

Vice-chair of the Tree Commission speaking for myself.

Davis Responds to Climate Change

Public Forum on CAAP Feb. 26

Floods, droughts, wildfires, hurricanes….we all know that climate change is an existential threat, so what can we do?  The City of Davis declared a climate emergency and has drafted an updated Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP) that has aroused public concerns.  Are these concerns valid?  What does CAAP include and how might it impact you personally?  And what actions and regulations is the state proposing that will impact CAAP as well as you personally?  Come hear Kerry Daane Loux explain it all and answer your questions Sunday February 26 at 11:15 at Davis United Methodist Church, 1620 Anderson Road.  Kerry is Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Davis and project manager for CAAP.

The Final Draft CAAP document and other information is available at:


Of special note, the Overview and Context for the CAAP on pages 11-12 are useful information in advance of our discussion.

FINAL DRAFT 2020-2040 Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP)  PDF

Shared by Helen Roland Cramer

Happy Darwin Day!

Why is Darwin so often only shown as an old man with a beard?

By Roberta Millstein

Happy Darwin Day!  It’s been 211 214 years since Charles Darwin was born.

For your Darwin Day, here is a selection of some of my favorite Darwin quotes, all from On the Origin of Species, First Edition.  I hope you enjoy them!

The beginning of the book:

“WHEN on board H.M.S. 'Beagle,' as naturalist, I was much struck with certain facts in the distribution of the inhabitants of South America, and in the geological relations of the present to the past inhabitants of that continent. These facts seemed to me to throw some light on the origin of species—that mystery of mysteries, as it has been called by one of our greatest philosophers. On my return home, it occurred to me, in 1837, that something might perhaps be made out on this question by patiently accumulating and reflecting on all sorts of facts which could possibly have any bearing on it.”

Continue reading "Happy Darwin Day!" »

March 3rd Global Climate Strike

Copy of 2023 03 GCS US - Cover)(2)

Action Alert - Global Climate Strike, March 3rd. E14th and B Street, Davis at NOON - step-off at 12:30 march to Central Park for guest speakers and strike demonstration.

Dear Davis Community,

On March 3rd, Fridays For Future is staging the next Global Climate Strike. We will be striking to send a message to our world leaders telling them to end fossil finance and save our future from the climate crisis. 

Fridays For Future Davis members have been striking for the climate every Friday for almost three years, pressuring leaders in Davis as well as world leaders to start taking big enough steps to stop the Earth’s plummet into climate chaos. This Global Climate Strike is a time for the Davis community to join us and  Fridays For Future groups around the world in demanding climate action from our leaders both local and global. 

Copy of 2023 03 GCS US - Cover)(3)To everyone reading this who feels the pressure of climate anxiety and feels like there is nothing you can do, you are not alone in that feeling. We all know what it feels like to wake up to news of another 100,000 acres of California on fire. We all know what it feels like to see orange skies filled with ash and toxins. We know what it feels like to be living through a severe drought not knowing when California will run out of water. We all feel what is happening in the world and we understand the feeling of wanting to help but not knowing how. This Global Strike is a way for you to help and be heard!

We can stand together, strong and united, demanding our right for a life in the future be honored and protected. Please join us at 12pm on March 3rd at E14th and B Street, Davis for a march to Central Park with guest speakers and a strike demonstration. For questions and more information please reach out to our coordinators on instagram @fridaysforfuture_davis or through email davis@fridaysforfutureusa.org

Those 'pesky' City Commissions

Scooby-gang-1969By Roberta Millstein

As a Gen-Xer, I grew up watching a lot of fairly silly cartoons, Scooby-Doo among them.  The plot of Scooby-Doo was pretty much always the same.  The main characters would ask a lot of hard questions, and always end up unmasking the “bad guy,” who would utter a phrase along the lines of “if it weren’t for those pesky kids!”

Reading Item 5 of tonight’s City Council agenda makes me feel like I am in an episode of Scooby-Doo.  Commission meetings are too long, the staff report suggests.  They duplicate efforts, staff implies.

Yet it was the commissions who asked hard questions about DISC.  They asked, for example, about the carbon emissions from the project and better ways to mitigate them.  They asked about the percentage of affordable housing.  They asked about the number of trees and protection for burrowing owls.  They asked about the effect of the project on our downtown.

These were hard questions that were not asked by staff and not asked by the City Council.   They all ended up being issues in the campaign that resulted in voters rejecting the DISC project.

Now, it seems, staff would like to reduce the power of those “pesky” commissions with all of their questions.

Are the commission meetings really too long?  One easy way to make them shorter would be to put a time limit on presentations by developers and others; we can expect that commissioners have read the provided written materials.

Are the commissions really duplicating effort?  As evidence, staff provides a table where different commissions weigh in on the same topic.  What staff fails to mention is that they are looking at different aspects of the same topic.  For example, when Open Space & Habitat looks at a park, it considers habitat values. Rec & Park considers recreational values. Tree Commission looks at the number and species of trees.  Yes, these can overlap, but they are distinctive issues that require distinctive expertise. There is no duplication.

Commissions are treated as pesky by those who have to answer their hard questions, but commissions keep the democratic process in Davis strong.  If we want to revisit the commissions, let’s at least involve them – something that was not done for this meeting.  Our past and present commissioners can provide needed insight into this process.

ChatGPT is Woke

Two articles today in the Davis Vanguard about ChatGPT. 

But ChatGPT is woke:

ChatGPT goes woke!


One quote:

"Developing anything, software or not, requires compromise and making choices, political choices, about who a system will work for and whose values it will represent."

I certainly don't agree with some of the political views used as examples in the article, but clearly a political bias is shown when the machine calls out writing about subjects as being 'inappropriate'.  If you can't see how this could so easily be manipulated by whomever is in power, you aren't being real about the concerns.

Pay attention to your food

By Susan Pelican

from James Corbett (check him out!):via Organic Consumers Association...

"As consumers of heavily processed, chemically treated, GMO-infested gunk, we in the modern, developed world have "solved" the problem of hunger that plagued our forebears since time immemorial by handing our food sovereignty over to a handful of corporate conglomerates.

The result of this handover has been the creation of a factory farming system in which genetically engineered crops are doused in glyphosate and livestock are herded into tiny pens where they live their entire lives in fetid squalor, pumped up with antibiotics and growth hormones until they are slaughtered and shipped off to the supermarkets and fast food chains....

But as bad as things may be, they're about to get even worse. As crisis after crisis disrupts the food supply, the "solution" to these problems has already been prepared. New technologies are coming online that threaten to upend our understanding of food altogether. Technologies that could, ultimately, begin altering the human species itself.”

Many of these are rolling in from Universities, including UC Davis (see the Sac Business Journal edition on new startups in the Sacramento Region) and include technological "advances" like Davis' Gotham Greens, (sold at Nugget in Davis)... -a high rise greenhouse which purports to save water (hydroponic) and land (??) AND is in PARTNERSHIP WITH UC DAVIS).

Know about this and invest your $ and your health in farmers markets, organic produce, eggs, milk, meat and bread.

Davis Enterprise should promote better discourse

The following was sent to the Davis Enterprise to be published as a letter to the editor, but as of the time of this posting they have declined to publish it.

Edit: The letter finally appeared in the 12 February 2023 print edition, but I don't believe that it ever appeared online.

By Roberta Millstein

The recent article, "Planning Commission OKs R&D facility for Second Street" elicited a number of comments on the Davis Enterprise's Facebook page where the article was posted. Of these comments, the one that was picked as the "Editors' choice for the web comment of the week" stated "In a town that's absolutely jam-packed with know-it-alls somebody will come up with an objection."

Why did the Editors pick this comment out of all the others?

Surely the 2nd Street project is exactly the sort of infill project that most Davisites preferred when they voted overwhelmingly to defeat the sprawling peripheral DISC project. I for one have no objection to it.

Will someone object? No doubt. Name me one issue that all Davisites agree on. I am guessing that there is no such issue.

But that isn't really the point of the "Editors choice" comment, is it? The point is to denigrate Davisites who dare to raise objections to developer's projects. Or maybe it's just to denigrate Davisites more generally.

So, I ask again, why would the Editors choose to reprint this comment in the newspaper? Is this the sort of discourse that the Davis Enterprise wants to promote? And if so, why?

We can do better and so can the Davis Enterprise.

Welcome to Al's Corner - "Pouring Gasoline on the Dumpster Fire of Davis Politics" - February 2023

image from www.sparkysonestop.com

February starts early at Al's Corner !  To kick off the month, here are some ground rules:  at Al's Corner, you are welcome to make (judged by some others to be) glib comments that you think are humorous in regard to articles pertaining to tragic situations !   See below:

Continue reading "Welcome to Al's Corner - "Pouring Gasoline on the Dumpster Fire of Davis Politics" - February 2023" »

Gavvy's Delusions

Regarding Mass Shootings:

Gavvy Newsom: <i> "What the hell is wrong with us? Society becomes how we behave. We’ve allowed this to happen. It doesn’t have to be this way. It wasn’t always this way. Decades ago it wasn’t this way. We’ve allowed this to happen.” </i>

Us who? We who?

Continue reading "Gavvy's Delusions" »

Comments on Inclusionary Multifamily Rental Housing Ordinance Review

Rik Keller, Housing Consultant and Affordable Housing Advocate


Davis City Council comments 1/17/2023

Item 5: Inclusionary Multifamily Rental Housing Ordinance Review 


I have comments on the product and process:


1) It is an overly simplistic, opaque study with bad assumptions.

  • The pro forma analysis has a lot of “black box” qualities: Doesn’t show the calculations used or major assumptions, so it is not possible to adequately vet, double-check, and critique the methodology, assumptions, and calculations.

    • The study doesn’t use a sophisticated pro forma analysis: it is very crude and basic and doesn't allow changes in parameters of things like number of stories, unit sizes, and parking construction types and configurations.

    • Because of this simplistic and opaque approach, it doesn’t offer flexibility in analysis or running different scenarios beyond the very limited canned ones shown.

  • One terrible assumption: it considers one major parameter as given---the underlying land price. 

    • If even the 100% market units don’t reach the 12% IRR threshold in the pro forma, then that tells me that the land price assumption is too high because we have had recent development proposals for multifamily development

    • The fact is that land value varies by its scarcity and demand.

    • This is a massive flaw as the City’s own density, parking, and inclusionary requirements have large effects on this parameter and hence development feasibility.

    • If you increase affordable housing requirements, you reduce the bidding demand price for land

    • In reality, land costs are not fixed and are influenced by the IRR that projects can achieve. If you make more affordable units required, that should actually lower land costs because the rate of return is now lower.

  • Another issue: bringing up reducing/eliminating development/impact fees as the only feasible way to make projects work. If projects don’t cover their own impact costs, you are increasing City debt and subsiding developer profits. I’m shocked that this is the only solution put on the table by the consultants.

  • There is also a statement on page 39 that “No incentives are needed in a policy that requires 15% - 25% of small, workforce units.” However, there is no data or analysis provided for this assertion. 

    • In actuality, small units don’t usually end up providing affordability. The most expensive components of units are the kitchens and HVAC systems. Small units have much higher per square foot costs.

    • The City of Davis has seen this inefficiency in the exorbitant proposed rents for the Olive Drive Mixed Use Project even after eliminating parking requirements.


2) Ironically, one good thing about the study is that it shows the City’s planning failure in targeting densities and incentives to get maximum production of affordable units.

  • It states “Downtown’s new form based code does a great job at removing barriers to development. Unfortunately, this limits our options to offer development incentives as part of the policy.” and the “Residential high density zone encourages development that is denser than what is typically seen in areas outside of Downtown Davis and already removes commonly known barriers to multifamily development.”

  • But a terrible assumption of the report is that the City can’t modify its density and parking requirements so that they can be used as incentives for increased affordable housing requirements.

    • If you allow too much default density and reduce parking requirements in a given zoning district up front, you have given away for nothing incentives that you could offer for affordable housing production.


3) There is a failure in City’s process with the Housing Element Update lead to this.

  • It has now been almost 5 years since the City scrapped its Affordable Housing Ordinance (AHO) for its interim ordinance that drastically weekend Inclusionary requirements.

  • After breaking deadlines multiple times, back in May 2021, staff stated that it would finally provide a “comprehensive update” to the AHO as part of the HEU. But the HE just ended up kicking the can down the road further.

  • The very limited nature of the report under review right now demonstrates the need to comprehensively address housing policy, not do it piecemeal like this.

  • We must think holistically:

    • The City lost an opportunity with the HEU, and needs to to re-group with actual affordable housing advocates leading policy rather than an advisory group stacked with development interests that pushed failed free-market trickle-down approaches.

    • A proper approach is to carefully craft incentives such as increased density and reduced parking requirements that offset affordability requirements. Simply having large allowable densities and allowing by-right development without strengthening affordability requirements is bypassing half of the equation. Density does not necessarily (and usually doesn’t) equal affordability. Providing half of the equation in terms of incentives without receiving the other half in terms of actual commitments to affordability is missing the point.


Conclusion: This study is a poor excuse for a comprehensive analysis of the City’s actual policy option for increasing affordable housing production. The analysis put its thumb firmly on the scale to try to justify a weakening of the City’s inclusionary housing requirements. They claim that the requirements eat into developer profit margins and make it so projects won’t “pencil out,” In contrast, actual economic analysis of  the results of implementing inclusionary programs does not bear this out:

  •  “The most highly regarded empirical evidence suggests that inclusionary housing programs can produce affordable housing and do not lead to significant declines in overall housing production or to increases in market-rate prices” (National Housing Conference’s (NHC) Center for Housing Policy: “Separating Fact from Fiction to Design Effective Inclusionary Housing Programs.” https://nhc.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Separating-Fact-from-Fiction-to-Design.pdf


The City should use evidence-based local policy solutions that further goals for inclusive, equitable, and affordable housing solutions.This process and product is not adequate.

Is this one block on G St. the best choice?

Screen Shot 2023-01-16 at 8.50.05 AMBy Diana

Is the one block on G St. the only area in downtown Davis suitable for a community gathering spot?  Don’t we have the accessible E St. plaza that was converted from parking spaces to a community gathering area, complete with staging for entertainment and communal activities, that would better serve the downtown and the public?  Public funds were used to make this happen in 2000.  Did I see an announcement a year or so ago, either from The Davis Enterprise or from the Davis downtown business association, of plans for a remake of E St. plaza at considerable cost paid for with federal funds?  Wouldn’t that project and space make better sense, financially and economically, for redevelopment by the city with the very same goals in mind for making a safe and comfortable gathering spot for the community in downtown Davis?

Another possible area for the city of Davis to consider in their quest to develop community friendly space is to enhance an area of Central Park with user friendly spaces that would promote community.  Wait!  There’s already something there: Davisphere! “What is The Davisphere? It is a vibrant, eclectic & electric communal atmosphere where there is entertainment for all ages. The idea was based on the simple premise that positive energy builds when people get together and enjoy themselves. The Davisphere symbolizes community encompassment, vibrancy, the Earth we share, and a place of belonging.”  It’s located right here in downtown Davis thanks to the efforts of DDBA.

Screen Shot 2023-01-16 at 8.53.10 AMWhat about having the city work alongside the property owners of Davis Commons on 1st and Richards Blvd. to create the kind of open air community space the city is striving for?  The one-acre, semicircular park bordering the businesses located in the heart of downtown Davis could be a spectacular gathering spot.  This could happen without hampering local business with undemocratically government enforced street closures.

I’m thankful to Davis for providing the 63 miles of bike paths and 102 miles of bike lanes throughout the entire city so that cyclists are able to navigate our town safely. Do we really need to take one more block for bicycles if it means damaging local businesses to the point of endangering the entire downtown? The time and expense it takes to operate a business is huge and when it all goes south the independent owner is devastated!  Are you aware of how many businesses have closed in the last 2 ½ years in downtown Davis? At last count there were multiple dozens! How many more before the lights go out in downtown Davis?

Reopen G St. and look for a better alternative that make sense.

A pedestrian-only area would be neat…let's reactivate G Street!

G Street GuideBelow is a recent letter, shared with the Davisite, to our council members to provide input on the upcoming January 17th meeting, addressing Item 4: G Street Closure Update.

Sent by email on January 14, 2023 

Good day to you council members,

It has been two years and six months since we closed G Street between 2nd and 3rd Streets to vehicular traffic. I helped plan for this closure, as I was staff at the Davis Downtown Business Association (DDBA) at the time. The DDBA worked closely with City staff Ash Feeney and Sarah Worley. I talked to business owners, created infographics (such as the one attached), and monitored this pedestrian-only area frequently when it was considered a part of the City and DDBA's Open Air Davis initiative.

We were all very satisfied with our efforts to support downtown businesses, especially restaurants, and keep them open during COVID-19 shutdowns.

Ever since we converted a portion G Street to a pedestrian-only area, there have been pleas from the business community for one of two things to happen:

1) Open this area of G Street again for parking, or

2) Beautify and activate this area of G Street and take advantage of a rare pedestrian-only conversion

I personally have always been a strong advocate for the latter option; however, I do understand the point of view of those who prefer the former option. In the following sections, I will expand upon these two options; describe the mounting pressure for action; and explain how we can make Davisites happier.

Continue reading "A pedestrian-only area would be neat…let's reactivate G Street!" »

Caring for Our Earth, Caring for Each Other

Celebration-of-abraham-logo(From press release) The Celebration of Abraham, a long-time interfaith organization in Yolo County, extends an invitation to the whole community to join us for our 20th annual community conversation:  “Caring for Our Earth, Caring for Each Other.” Helen Roland, President of Celebration of Abraham explained, “It seemed fitting that our 20th anniversary community conversation theme revisits one of our earlier events of caring for creation, and at the same time expands to reflect a common thread in the Abrahamic faiths recognizing a relationship between stewardship for our earth and for humankind.” The topic was arrived at by a multi-faith group of Celebration of Abraham members who gather monthly to plan for the event.

Regardless of spiritual traditions, all are welcome to join in the virtual ZOOM gathering from 3 pm to 5 pm on Sunday, February 5. Please register here: https://bit.ly/CeleAbraham20.

Continue reading "Caring for Our Earth, Caring for Each Other" »

The City's Failure to Plan for Emergencies

Fixing power pole
PG&E crew working into the night to fix a leaning power pole near Cesar Chavez Elementary

By Roberta Millstein

The recent storms have made it amply clear that the City lacks any sort of coherent plan for dealing with storms (and presumably other sorts of emergencies).  Every action taken in response to the recent storm was late, and in some cases, inadequate. 

Yet these storms were comparable to other big storms that Davis has experienced in past years.  And even if they weren’t, the storm that occurred over New Year’s Eve and into New Year’s Day ought to have been a warm up, with lessons learned for the storms Jan 4-8, all of which were well-predicted by weather forecasters. 

The City seemed to make things up as they go.  To be clear, I am not faulting rank-and-file staff, who clearly were working hard under difficult circumstances.  It has also been reported that the City did a good job finding shelter for people lacking housing.  I am grateful for these efforts.  I am faulting the City Council  and the City Manager for failure to provide leadership.  There should have been plans in place for these kind of events long ago.

Here are the areas that need to improve.  I have broken them into short-term, medium-term, and long term, in the sense that the things in the short term can and should be fixed right away.  The others will take a little longer.

Continue reading "The City's Failure to Plan for Emergencies" »

"The Fun Habit" Author at Avid Reader

!!RuckerAvid Reader Bookstore to host Mike Rucker (who grew up in Davis) author of "The Fun Habit" Thursday January 12, 2023 at 6pm. Avid Reader is located at 617 2nd Street Davis, CA.

<<From Press Release>>

“Far from being just a feel-good exhortation or collection of fun activities to embark upon, this title brings an in-depth, science-backed exploration of happiness, through the lens of having fun.” — Library Journal

"This cheerful debut trumpeting the importance of joy…is a fittingly entertaining guide."
 Publishers Weekly

"Psychologist and fun lover Mike Rucker has written an enjoyable treatise on the art of bringing more play and joy to life." — Shelf Awareness

“Rucker’s book is full of sound, sensible, and sometimes surprising suggestions for creating space for renewal, connection, and joy.” —Psychology Today

It’s hard to deny the fact that most people want to be happy. But doesn’t it feel like the harder we try to find happiness, the more elusive it becomes?

Until recently, Dr. Mike Rucker had spent most of his life engaged in the pursuit of happiness. Yet even when all his happiness “boxes” were checked—he was married with kids and a successful career, well-traveled, physically fit— he didn’t feel all that happy. It wasn’t until Mike suffered two back-to-back personal losses that it began to dawn on him how much energy he had been expending grasping for an ideal life and criticizing himself when it seemingly always fell out of reach. In focusing on a lofty, abstract concept, he had discounted day-to-day pleasures—in particular, he had neglected to have fun.

Continue reading ""The Fun Habit" Author at Avid Reader" »

Nonprofits: Apply for a Soroptimist grant

(From press release) Soroptimist International of Davis is accepting applications from local nonprofit organizations for its annual Community Grant funding. The deadline is March 7.

For 2023, the club has $3,000 budgeted for Community Grants, which give a boost to local projects that improve the lives of women and girls. Nonprofit organizations whose work supports the Soroptimist mission are encouraged to apply for up to $3,000. Awards will be distributed in late spring. Applicants will receive notice of their application’s status by May 1.

Grant applications are evaluated for their alignment with the Soroptimist mission, vision, core values, community impact and feasibility. Any nonprofit, including previous recipients, can apply. Applicants are asked how the requested funds would address the needs of women and girls in Yolo County, and support Soroptimist core values of gender equality, empowerment, education and diversity.

To apply, visit https://www.sidavis.org/grants. Questions may be emailed to Grants Chair Mary Chapman, Community at marechap29@gmail.com.

Soroptimist is a global volunteer organization that provides women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment. Soroptimist International of Davis has several fundraisers a year, and reinvests all of its profits in its programs and projects. Signature programs include Live Your Dream: Education and Training Awards for Women, and Dream It, Be It: Career Support for high school girls. It also funds high school scholarships, anti-trafficking efforts, and these Community Grants to area nonprofits.

The international service club was founded in Oakland in October 1921. SI Davis was chartered in 1954. A second club, SI Greater Davis, chartered in 1985. 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. For more information on the club, visit https://sidavis.org or like its Facebook or Instagram pages: @SoroptimistDavis.