Entries categorized "Politics"

Davis City Staff Wants Council to Approve Two Fire Station Kitchen Remodel Projects for a Minimum of $422,000

Over $200,000 each for Kitchen Remodels During these Disastrous Times? - You Have Got to be Kidding Me !!!

Fire-dept-kitchenBy Alan Pryor

Davis and the entire world are in the midst of an economic meltdown for which nobody has a clue when it will end. Locally, Davis will be hardest hit by the huge loss of the transient occupancy tax (TOT) collected by our now near empty hotels and motels and the plummeting sales tax caused by the collapse of retail and auto sales. This will cost the City many millions in lost tax revenue just as the City's revenue needs will likely surge due to humanitarian costs.

Yet in the midst of this obvious economic calamity and according to a Consent Calendar item on this coming Tuesday's Council meeting agenda, Staff is asking Council for approval to spend another $43,000 on local architects Indigo | Hammond + Playle Architects (Indigo Hammond) for design/engineering of heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC) system upgrades and disability access improvements as part of the planned complete remodels of two kitchens in Fire Stations 31 and 32 in Davis. The two kitchen remodels are expected to cost over $422,000 for the remodels and this may not even include the additional costs for HVAC system upgrades and disability access improvements at one of the fire stations.

But get this, the kitchens are reportedly working fine right now!

If true, this is a foolhardy discretionary spending decision that the City is considering in light of the public health and economic perils we currently face. And this is from a City management that promised us that they were laser-focused on cost-containment when they asked us to renew the existing 1% sales tax on the recent March ballot less than 3 weeks ago.

Let me explain.

Continue reading "Davis City Staff Wants Council to Approve Two Fire Station Kitchen Remodel Projects for a Minimum of $422,000" »

Need to focus on essentials for City's COVID-19 Emergency

Covid19Dear Davis City Council,

Thank you for considering declaring a local emergency.  I am fully in support of that.  I am writing to strongly urge that you add (something like) the following to the “Proclamation of a Local Emergency in Response to COVID-19”: 

“The City will not take action on any major development projects during the emergency, including but not limited to the Aggie Research Campus (ARC).”

My reasons are as follows:

Continue reading "Need to focus on essentials for City's COVID-19 Emergency" »

Information & Questions about the ARC

The following comments were submitted by Greg Rowe, member of the Planning Commission, for the February 26 Planning Commission workshop on the Aggie Research Campus (ARC).  They are addressed to the Chair and staff liaison to the Commission, respectively.

Matt Keasling speaks to the Planning Commission, 2/26

Cheryl and Sherri:

As you know, I'll be out of town for the Feb 26 Planning Commission meeting; I’ll be leaving early Thursday AM. 

I met on January 7 for over 2 hours with Dan Ramos and attorney Matt Keasling (Taylor & Wiley).  Below are a few of the questions I asked, and their responses.  This information may be relevant to next week's workshop.

Continue reading "Information & Questions about the ARC" »

A crushing victory against Biden

MapBernie wins big in California

By Josh Jones

Bernie's big  California win keeps his delegate lead, but the press isn't reporting it.

When the general news outlets finally admit this, the ridiculous idea that Biden is ahead in delegates will go right out the window. 415 delegates come from California, almost double that of Texas, huge compared to any other state.

From the analysis I have been doing, Bernie must actually ahead in delegates overall, despite the pundits seemingly being unable to predict results for California, and only unable to do so for California.

Continue reading "A crushing victory against Biden" »

Provenza leads BOS motion for approval of new animal shelter JPA

Shelter pic
By Eileen Samitz

Like so many people in Davis, I am an avid animal lover.  I worked at UCD VMTH until I retired 5 years ago. I loved my work there and was privileged to help many animals during that time, but since retiring, I decided to volunteer with the local Yolo County SPCA which has helped backfill some of the gratification I got from my work. I also have coordinated the holiday pet basket charity annually for Mercer Clinic for the Pets of the Homeless for 25 years, but now one of my biggest concerns is the need for a new Yolo County animal shelter.

The good news is that there is a path now open to get there now thanks to the work of a number of people working with Supervisor Jim Provenza who serves with Supervisor Gary Sandy on the County committee working making a new animal shelter a reality. The first thing needed is the Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) which a number of entities have worked on to draft including Jim, Supervisor Gary Sandy, UCD’s Koret Animal Shelter program and the Yolo County SPCA.

This Joint Powers agreement which would change the structure of management for a Yolo Animal Shelter to be a shared responsibility, with shared input. This has been needed and the good news is that this JPA moved forward this past Tuesday at the Board of Supervisors meeting. The motion was led by Jim Provenza which, with his impassioned statement, passed unanimously by the entire Board of Supervisors. Jim has cared about this need deeply and even has a video posted making the appeal for a new Yolo animal shelter needed which you can view here:

I was present at the Board of Supervisors February 25hth meeting with several other animal lovers and advocates who testified and we were thrilled to see how Jim spoke so passionately about the need for this JPA to move forward and to help us to move forward on efforts for a new animal shelter. A non-profit was started a while ago thanks to a number of dedicated animals lovers called “Unleashing Yolo” to help fundraise for a new Yolo animal shelter. To learn more about it and to help by donating, the website is www.unleashingyolo.org 

In addition, there is another non-profit supporting this goal named “Friends of Yolo County Animal Services” which has a website at www.friendsofycas.org and are dedicated to helping improve the lives of animals and support adoption within Yolo County.

In short, I wanted to share this wonderful news, and to reach out to others who may want to help in this much needed effort and also, to urge people to please vote For Jim Provenza to be re-elected for Yolo County Supervisor, so we can move forward to make a new animal shelter a reality.

Green challenger for Dodd in State Senate District 3 race

NyhusWrite-in campaign is on the rise

(From press release) Karen Nyhus, a Green from Sonoma County, is challenging Bill Dodd (D-Napa) as a write-in to the California State Senate’s Top 2 spot on next week’s primary ballot.

Nyhus, a Stanford grad with a work history in government, education and nonprofits, is challenging Dodd’s status as a self-described “fiscal conservative” for a district that spans her native Sonoma County through Napa, Solano, and Contra Costa, to here in Davis. Nyhus calls Dodd a “blue dog” (conservative Democrat) and points out that he was a registered Republican as recently as 2013.

Running as a Green, she accepts no corporate donations, and think that’s a weak spot for Dodd. “He has taken money from the wine industry and PG&E, and it shows in his actions,” she wrote.

Continue reading "Green challenger for Dodd in State Senate District 3 race" »

Mace: The Voice of Experience

Comments regarding the ARC Business Park  delivered to the City of Davis Planning Commission on February, 26 by Charlene Henwood


12/26/19 – 4:26 PM South El Macero to Chiles 35 minutes plus can't get through intersection at Cowell on green light

My name is Charlene Henwood and I am a South Davis resident speaking with the voice of experience from over a year watching the Mace Mess unfold.

First, let’s set the record straight – despite the use of the word "Aggie" in the project name, the Aggie Research Campus (ARC) project has nothing to do with UCD.  It is not sponsored or sanctioned by the University.  It is a City/Developer collaboration to increase tax revenues to the City. However, according to the last fiscal analysis, after all of the construction is done, the City may reap only $1M dollars per year in net revenues after expenses.  To put this into perspective, the City has blown nearly $4M on making a hash of South Mace Boulevard, and they're still spending like drunken sailors trying to fix the mess they made.

Continue reading "Mace: The Voice of Experience" »

Letter: Linda will Lean In

Deos-for-supervisorIn Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg noted that “[t]he laws of economics and many studies of diversity tell us that if we tapped the entire pool of human resources and talent, our collective performance would improve.”

Here in Yolo County, it has been a whole decade since any representative from half of our entire pool of human resources and talent—the female half—has served on our Board of Supervisors. It is long past time to correct this lack of adequate representation…and that’s just one of the reasons I’m so pleased to endorse Linda Deos to represent the 4th District on our Board of County Supervisors.

My other reasons have to do with Linda’s excellent qualifications for the position. Linda has been my next-door-neighbor for nearly 12 years and I know her to be extremely intelligent, knowledgeable, hard-working, open-minded, a great listener, exceptionally friendly and very focused on community. Ours is a more interactive, more informed and more friendly neighborhood now, largely due to Linda’s energy and active presence. I know she has been working even harder in our larger community and that’s why I’m very confident she will make an excellent County Supervisor.   

I agree with Sheryl Sandberg that “[c]onditions for all women will improve when there are more women in leadership roles giving strong and powerful voice to their needs and concerns.”

Linda Deos is the right woman for the 4th District’s open leadership role on the Board of Supervisors. Linda will lean in to give strong and powerful voice to the needs and concerns of women—and of all of us—here in Yolo County. Please join me in voting for Linda Deos.

Belinda Martineau


Letter: Deos will bring new vision

Deos-for-supervisorOur Yolo County Board of Supervisors is in need of new vision, creative collaboration, diversity, and fresh ideas to deal with the myriad of challenges this county faces.

Therefore, I will vote for Linda Deos for Yolo County Board of Supervisors. We have a growing climate emergency that has not been addressed adequately by our supervisors. Linda Deos has presented a number of creative policy proposals and ideas to tackle this crisis. Regarding the problems of mass incarceration, cash bail, and the exploding homeless population in our county, Deos has offered solutions which could be implemented if she were to be elected to the Board.

I have worked with Linda in a number of settings, and find her willingness to listen, her desire and skill in working collaboratively, and her advocacy for the disenfranchised to be exemplary and inspiring.

It is time that we update the male-dominated Board and add a fresh female voice to our county government. Linda is a proven leader. Please join me in voting for Linda Deos for Yolo County Board of Supervisor.

Karen Friis

Blogger receives ARC docs before Commissions and citizens do

Sustainability-ARCBy Colin Walsh

On Thursday morning, a local blog referred to a set of environmental sustainability "guiding principles" released from the developers of the Mace ARC business park. I looked on the City's ARC website but I could find no such document. Puzzled, I emailed City Manager Mike Webb, and received the following response:

Dear Colin,

I am responding to this message on Mike's behalf.

David Greenwald contacted staff on Tuesday afternoon asking if we had received any new materials on Aggie Research Campus from the developer. The only additional item that we had received was their Environmental Sustainability Guiding Principles for the project. Considering a public document was requested, it was provided accordingly. The attached document was received last week from the applicant and will be posted to the City website later today along with the Natural Resources Commission memorandum when it is ready for posting. Our staff is not able to immediately post each document as it is received. We endeavor to post them in a timely fashion and it will be posted later today along with the staff memorandum to the Natural Resources Commission.

The Natural Resources Commission and the Planning Commission will both be receiving the document with their meeting packets consistent with our regular and accepted operating procedures for commissions. Staff will be seeking the Natural Resources Commission feedback on the applicant's proposed Environmental Sustainability Guiding Principles and the Planning Commission workshop is an informational project introduction. The packet for the Natural Resources Commission will be posted on the City website this evening and the Planning Commission packet will be posted tomorrow evening.

Thank you,

Ashley Feeney
Assistant City Manager

Continue reading "Blogger receives ARC docs before Commissions and citizens do" »

Followup to: Mace ARC Business Park Developer Trying to Omit Details until after Vote

Mac-ARC-map-under-mag-glassTree, Recreation and Parks Commissions will now review before the vote; still unclear what sort of project detail will be left out

By Roberta Millstein

On Tuesday, I published an article that detailed the fact that despite numerous requests and promises from the City, some key commissions would not be reviewing the Mace ARC Business Park until after the Measure R vote (see article here).  I had also forwarded my article to the Davis City Council.  Early yesterday evening, I received the following email response from Assistant City Manager Ashley Feeney:

Dear Roberta,

The ARC project has applied for a General Plan Amendment, Pre-Zoning, a Sphere of Influence Amendment and an Annexation. These are the land use entitlements that would be the subject of a Measure R vote should they ultimately be approved and referred to the ballot by the City Council. Baseline project features would also be established and memorialized as part of the Measure R vote. These initial entitlements would establish land use for the project area. The project will require future implementing entitlements that have been described on the City's ARC webpage.

Continue reading "Followup to: Mace ARC Business Park Developer Trying to Omit Details until after Vote" »

Letter: Deos has the right priorities

Deos-for-supervisorI am pleased to be supporting Linda Deos for county supervisor. I went to lunch with her last fall, and was very impressed with her willingness and ability to listen, and her passion for uplifting those disenfranchised in Yolo County – her priorities of affordable housing, protecting the environment and alternatives to mass incarceration will be a refreshing and much needed voice on our Board of Supervisors.  

I am thrilled that Linda will advocate passionately for immigrants, people of color, and other marginalized folk. As an immigration defense attorney myself, I often see bias in county agencies resulting in needs in our communities' not being met fairly and accountably.

And finally, we really need a strong, progressive woman on that Board!

Ann Block


Mace ARC Business Park Developer Trying to Omit Details until after Vote

Mac-ARC-map-under-mag-glassThe City’s promise to include full commission review is being broken

 By Roberta Millstein

The developers of the Mace ARC Business Park are avoiding a full analysis of their project proposal and omitting important project details until after citizens have voted on the project.  City staff seems to support them in this, and City Council isn’t asking any questions – even though they had already promised that the proposal would be seen by all of the relevant City commissions. 

Without a full public disclosure of the project and proper impartial commission analysis, citizens will not have the information they need to make an informed decision.

For those who don’t know the legal context, this project will require a city wide vote – because the 200 acres proposed for the ARC business park outside Mace Curve is outside the Davis City limits with an agricultural land use designation, it is subject to a Measure R (formerly Measure J, now Davis Municipal Code Chapter 41) vote.  One of the provisions requires:

Continue reading "Mace ARC Business Park Developer Trying to Omit Details until after Vote " »

Voting information and deadlines

Vote-CAThis is just a friendly, civic reminder that Tuesday February 18th is the last day to register to vote in the California primary coming up soon on March 3. You can do that online here.  Or, you can "conditionally" register to vote after the 15-day voter registration deadline by following these instructions: https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voter-registration/same-day-reg/

If you want to check your registration status, you can do that online here: https://registertovote.ca.gov

Republicans have a closed primary. You must be Republican to vote in it.

However, Democrats have an open primary, so on the day of the primary, any independents or folks registered with a third party can opt to vote in the Democratic contest.

Roughly 1 out of 4 registered votes in California are independents ("no party preference.") That's a lot of people! If you are one of them and want to make sure you get to vote in a presidential primary, here's how:

Continue reading "Voting information and deadlines" »

Letter: Deos for positive change and community engagement

Deos-for-supervisorI'm writing in support of positive change and community engagement and thus in support of Linda Deos for the 4th District of the Yolo County Board of Supervisors, which covers most of north (of Covell) and east (of Hwy 113, J and L Streets) in Davis. I've read with interest various letters in support of both Linda and the incumbent, Jim Provenza; both appear to be good people who support their community. Letters in support of Mr. Provenza stress his accomplishments while on the Board and, as one might expect when a person sits on the Board for twelve years, there is a notable list. Board members are paid to accomplish things.

The question one might ask, then, is why make a change? Incumbents traditionally have this advantage in a campaign. To this question, my response is, the making of public policy is strengthened locally by representation on our Board from as many segments of our community as possible. In these troubled times, such inclusivity matters tremendously, not only at the national and state level but also locally—it starts here.

Diversity of representation, however critical, should not be gratuitous, however. Linda Deos—not as part of her job but in her passion for giving back to her community—has volunteered on six area boards and commissions, including the Yolo Basin Foundation, health, cannabis and disability access advisory groups.  All of this effort has been carried out on top of her legal work with members of the community who are facing bankruptcy, or who are overwhelmed by credit and student debt. With this record of contributions in an unofficial capacity, imagine what she can achieve as a County Supervisor! Linda has the capability to meet and to exceed Mr. Provenza's record if she is given the opportunity.

I encourage voters in the 4th District to vote for the future by electing Linda to serve the district and to represent your interests to the County.

Michele van Eyken


Letter: Deos Leading for Yolo County

Deos-for-supervisorI want a leader on the Yolo County Board of Supervisors, someone who has fresh ideas and solutions for the new decade. I want someone who will not only question the need for a new county jail but will look at ways to reduce the incarceration rate that we have. Eliminating the cash bail system that keeps poor people in jail while awaiting their hearings is one way to accomplish this goal. Because 65% of our jail residents cannot post bail, they must stay there until his or her trial. They are in jail, often for months at a time, despite not having been proven guilty of any crime. It's a modern-day debtor's prison.

It costs as much to house a prisoner in California for a year as it does to send a student to Stanford for the same amount of time. That’s a lot of money that could be used to provide more robust social services programs that lift up our county residents.

I want a leader who will return our foster care program back to one that works for families that are in distress.  We need to stop shipping hundreds of Yolo County children to foster homes far from their families.

I want a leader who understands climate change as the existential threat that it is. Someone who is able to work with other committed supervisors and residents to do the hard work of making significant and urgent changes to our county’s operations model.

You have a choice of leadership for the 4th district Yolo County supervisor race for the first time in many years. The leader that I want for Yolo County Board of Supervisors is Linda Deos. She is the future.

Elizabeth Lasensky


Strong turnout for Davis's "Reject the Coverup" Impeachment Rally

Blue efforts are ongoing

Davis trump impeachment rally 2020 02 05 5th x B  (4) crop

Davis trump impeachment rally 2020 02 05 5th x B  (18)On Wednesday evening, nearly 100 people showed up (on short notice!)  at 5th and B to protest the failure of the U.S. Senate to call witnesses, much less convict, Trump for Abuse of Power or Obstruction of Justice.

Davis trump impeachment rally 2020 02 05 5th x B  (20)People driving by enthusiastically honked in support.

Photos of the Davis crowd made Rachel Maddow show....along with photos of the other 270 rallies across the U.S.

Later that evening, IndivisibleYolo and Sister District CA-3 previewed their new volunteer HQ on Olive Drive near Rocknasium, the first step of Blue Wave 2 campaign to flip the Senate and Presidency red to blue in November 2020.  Arizona races are the target Red to Blue area for Davis.   Over 60 people showed, celebrating that the two groups have together raised over $14,000 to fund this office space.

Last week there was also a Davis House party run by the group “The Verbs” to raise money for Democratic Senate Candidate for Arizona, Mark Kelly. It reportedly netted over $70,000.

- Submitted by a Davisite reader.

Vanguard Publishes Demonstrably False Information

Misinformation persists even after the author and board members are notified

VanguardBy Colin Walsh

On Monday February 3rd the Davis Vanguard published a story titled “Monday Morning Thoughts: Strange Decision on Commissioner Punctuates a Strange Night for Council” by David Greenwald (link). This is not a big groundbreaking story; it mostly focuses on the Council’s decision to suspend a Commissioner for two meetings and takes the opportunity to make fun of people who spoke at public comment. Sadly, it also had the effect of again dragging a hard-working City of Davis volunteer Commissioner’s name through the mud. What is most notable about the Vanguard article is that it has specific false information that distorts what actually happened.

The third paragraph of Greenwald’s article about the January 28th City Council meeting states,

The council then attempted to split the baby so to speak – instead of ousting Mr. Edelman, they suspended him for two meetings, February and March, with some sort of conflict resolution process.  That was not enough for the three commissioners who all resigned, leaving the commission short of a quorum.

The second sentence is demonstrably false. This sentence clearly states that three commissioners resigned after the January 28th Council meeting, but the January 9, 2020, BTSSC agenda had already announced the departure of Commissioners Andrews and Gudz (link). If it was on the January 9 agenda, then the announcement was made at least several days before, possibly as far back as the December BTSSC meeting (link).

Jan 9 BTSSC agenda_highlighting

Continue reading "Vanguard Publishes Demonstrably False Information" »

Letter: Deos for change

Deos-for-supervisorI'm voting for Linda Deos for real change.

I strongly support term limits in California politics and agree with those imposed on our state legislators. I think the longer an elected office-holder is in the same job the more entrenched they become with their same ideology and their same old ways of doing things. That's no longer enough given the huge challenges facing our planet, our country, and our county.

For instance, on a local level, Yolo Co. still has an extremely regressive criminal justice system that disproportionately hammers even non-violent low-income defendants of color and minority youth.

We still have an exploding homeless population that shows no signs of abating. Yet our Supervisors are only using short-term band-aids to try to alleviate this glaring problem and have yet to enact a long-term comprehensive plan to address our homeless and housing crisis.

Yolo Co. is still increasing its carbon footprint every year while the world is burning and the Supervisors have yet to declare a climate emergency or implement policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that have already been adopted by the City of Davis and more progressive communities.

Enough is enough. Jim Provenza is a very nice man and truly believes in what he is doing. But he has had 12 years to make his mark on Yolo Co. and there has barely been a dent in improving the lives of the most vulnerable people in our midst.

It's time we changed the make-up of our staid, male-dominated Board of Supervisors and their same old ways. Endorsed by one of my favorite local progressive heroes, Public Defender and 2018 Yolo Co. District Attorney candidate, Dean Johannson, Linda Deos will work for the little and forgotten people in our county.

Linda Deos gets my vote.

Alan Pryor


Letter: Provenza for preservation of open space and farmland

EnterprisePic (4) - cropSupport Jim Provenza

I am delighted to write in support of Supervisor Jim Provenza. I have known Jim for a long time. He is very accessible to the residents of the county. In several incidents, I reached out to him to solve issues with the county. He contacted the right persons and resolved the issues in no time.

Jim's priorities at Yolo County include the preservation of open space and farmland in Yolo County, the protection of our water supply, and the promotion of services for children, crime victims and senior citizens. He is committed to ensuring that Yolo County delivers essential health care and effective public safety protection.

Supervisor Provenza has 30 years of county and state government experience, and a long career in public interest law. For the 23 years, he has worked as a special assistant district attorney. He is also a past member of our school board. We are fortunate to have him as our supervisor.

Hamza El-Nakhal,