Review Category : City News

City Council has yet to act on draft policy banning sugary drinks in kids meals

City Council has yet to review a draft policy, submitted by Davis Housing & Human Services in December concerning the addition of healthy beverage options to kids meals. The policy requires Davis restaurants to set default beverages for kids meals from sugary drinks – such as soda – to healthier beverage options. “The discussion is regarding whether the drink option in a kids meal at local restaurants should default to milk or water. Other options (including soda and juice) could be available upon request, but wouldn’t be default,” said Danielle Foster, city of Davis Housing & Human Services superintendent, in an email interview. The policy refers to several research studies conducted by health advocates and organizations. One of the main organizations is First 5 Yolo, a local agency whose mission is to improve the lives of young children and their families in Yolo County. “This draft policy shows the obesity problem in Davis as well as the state of California. It shows the influence that kids meals have toward childhood... ...

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Yolo County District Attorney Office settles case with Johnson & Johnson, Neutrogena

On Jan. 18, the Yolo County District Attorney’s (DA) Office announced that they came to a settlement in a case involving Johnson & Johnson and Neutrogena over deceptive packaging, leading California consumers to believe that there was more product in the packaging than there really was. The case was settled in cooperation with the DA Offices of San Joaquin, Fresno and Shasta Counties. Both companies complied with investigations and in a settlement with the DA Offices that brought the allegations against them to pay $506,000 in civil penalties and investigation costs. “It is easily arguable [that] it’s misleading to the public. You go and buy the biggest bag of potato chips and there aren’t any, you buy a certain size bar of soap and it’s much smaller once you open the box,” said David Irey, assistant chief deputy district attorney. The case began in 2012 with each county’s respective Department of Agriculture and Division of Weights & Measures. In general, a Division of Weights & Measures looks for packaging that... ...

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California Wild Rose excavation along Putah Creek benefits native habitat

  Volunteers from the Putah Creek Council (PCC) planted native California wild roses along Pleasants Creek, located near State Route 128 as an environmental rehabilitation project to prevent erosion, Jan. 16. The PCC along with UC Davis Riparian Reserve (UCDRR) and volunteers excavated the roses a few days prior from Putah creek. This is the fourth-annual wild rose harvest since it started in 2012. Rich Marovich, Stream Keeper for the Lower Putah Creek Coordinating Committee and UC Davis Alumnus, explained that by relocating the plants in the winter, the dormant plant will have a better chance to survive after it is replanted. The PCC organized the annual harvest after discovering the benefits wild roses have on the creek environment. “What we were finding was that there were places where roses were occurring in great abundance and many other places where roses were very scarce. So the distribution of roses on Putah Creek and in the entire watershed was very uneven. We wanted to start new colonies of roses because it’s... ...

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Sacramento Celebrates 4th Annual Bacon Fest

This week marks the 4th annual Sacramento Bacon Fest. There will be bacon themed events from Jan. 19 to Jan. 25. The festival was started in 2012 and allows only all-natural, house made bacon to be served, excluding pork from factory farms. The event supports local chefs and restaurants and encourages high quality, natural products. Chefs have experimented with dishes such as bacon bon bons, bacon tater-tots and bacon gelato. Events include a Bacon Education Session with Chef Dionisio Esperas Jan. 20 at Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op from 6-8:30 p.m. with a registration fee of $49. On Jan. 22 Capital Dime in Sacramento is hosting their “Bacon Week Party” from 5-11 p.m. with, according to their website, “bacon-inspired menu surprises, local beers and cocktails”. The week of bacon themed events will end Jan. 25 with a Bacon Week Chefs Competition at Mulvaney’s from 2-5 p.m. For more information and events visit www.baconfestsac.com. ...

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North Tahoe to see snowpack increase compared to 2014 season

Tahoe’s 2015 ski season so far has had more than twice as much snow as the 2013-14 season did by Jan. 8, according to a j2ski.com report. According to the National Water and Climate Center, 2013 recorded twice as much snow as 2014. In 2013, Squaw Valley had the lowest snowfall in over eight years with only 128 inches of snow, and although 2014 had more snow, it was still far below the average of 460 inches of annual snowfall.  Although there was snow early this season, it does not promise anything for the rest of the year. “Initially we were actually off to a pretty good start, at least with this winter season with those early December rain and snow events … but since we haven’t really gotten any precipitation since then, that snowpack has obviously been melting a little bit overtime,” said meteorologist for the National Weather Service Tom Dang. In order to cope with the annual snowpack fluctuations, Squaw has invested in new snowmaking technology, allowing the... ...

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CA state parks introduces new Tahoe Regional Pass in 2015 Annual Pass Program

California State parks released the Annual Pass program Dec. 23 which for the first time introduced the Tahoe Regional Annual Pass. The Pass Program, which consists of four different passes, allows visitors access to corresponding parks statewide. The Tahoe Regional Annual Pass, marks the start to a new promotional strategy of including regional passes. “There have been conversations on introducing regional passes, and this is something new that we want to try. Tahoe is a region that is recognized worldwide as a tourist attraction and we know that there’s a lot of interest for that park in that area,” said Vicky Waters, deputy director of public affairs for California State Parks. The Tahoe Regional Annual Pass, priced at $75, gives visitors access to many sites in the Tahoe area including the Emerald Bay State Park, Kings Beach State Recreation Area and Donner Memorial State Park. “With the diversity of the park in the area, and the [number of visitors], not just the locals but also folks that do visit Tahoe... ...

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News in Brief: Davis attempts to set record for Worlds Largest Simultaneous Group Workout

At 12 p.m. on Jan. 3, Davis locals gathered in Central Park to participate in an attempt to set the world record for The World’s Largest Simultaneous Group Workout (WLSGW) organized by national weightloss and fitness program ViSalus. The event was free for participants and took place at the same time around the world in 11 different countries including Germany and Canada. Activities included forms of fitness that varied depending on the location as well as group size, encouraging all types of exercise. Hiking, yoga, dancing, kayaking and other forms of exercise took place during the event. Those who gathered in Davis’s Central Park had the opportunity start the new year off right by participating in either a run, walk, bike and boot camp. “At the start of the new year people want to start the year off right, new year, new me. Fitness is always a big part your image and everyone wants to make sure that they’re healthy and physical activity is a big part of that,” said... ...

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Sacramento Sheriff’s Toy Project helps families in need during holiday season

The holidays are a difficult time for many low-income families, and the Sacramento Sheriff’s Toy Project, along with other organizations, is helping to alleviate some of the stress associated with providing holiday gifts for children. Since 1985, the Sheriff’s Toy Project, organized by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department (SCSD), has collected food, toys and built toys to donate to those in need. Throughout the season local collection boxes are set up at numerous locations for toy donations. The toys are then sorted and distributed on Dec. 19. Deputy Scott Anderson has worked with the SCSD for many years and recently became Toy Project Coordinator. “[The Toy Project] was started by a deputy that just wanted to help families in need, and it has since grown. It started out as like 20 families or something like that. … Last year we did 2,000 families and almost 8,000 kids out of that got toys and food,” Anderson said. “It fosters a relationship between law enforcement and the community. Because the whole thing... ...

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Yolo County sees increase of children entering foster care

Yolo County is currently experiencing a shortage of foster parents both due to an increase in children entering the system and a deficit of available foster parent homes. According to Cherie Schroeder, educational specialist and program director for Yolo County Foster Care, it is not just Yolo County experiencing a shortage of foster families but also counties all over California. Schroeder said that she is unsure of the reason for the increase of children entering the foster care system at this time. She speculates that it could be due to the improvement of the economy after an extended period of financial hardship. “The economy is back on the upswing, but for people who haven’t gotten their jobs back, their housing back, they’ve been riding this financially stressful ride for three or four years. I just think that there is still a lot of stress,” Schroeder said. She speculates that the rate of reporting child abuse has increased because more children are re-entering daycares and other institutional settings where they are... ...

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City welcomes holiday season with festive downtown activities

Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting The Annual City of Davis Holiday Parade and tree lighting will be held in E Street Plaza today. The children’s parade starts at 6:00 p.m. at the Co-op (620 G St.). The parade will kick off at the E Street Plaza. The tree at the plaza will be lit at 6:30 p.m. by members of the Davis City Council. Activities will include entertainment by the Davis Children’s Chorale, “Visits by Santa,” and a free screening of How The Grinch Stole Christmas. Showtimes are at 6, 6:40, 7:20 and 8 p.m. at the Varsity Theatre.   Gingerbread House Workshop Carlton Plaza will be hosting a free gingerbread house workshop for the general public today from 4 to 6 p.m. Another workshop will be held on Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m., and Dec. 10, from 4 to 6 p.m.  Carlton Plaza will provide the materials needed to build a gingerbread house. This includes gingerbread, icing and candy; Participants are allowed to bring any additional sweet treats.... ...

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Co-op program allows shoppers to donate spare change to schools

The Davis Food Co-op completed its first month of its new program, Round Up at the Registers this November. This initiative allows shoppers at the grocery store to bring their total to the nearest whole dollar, and all of the change collected is donated each month to a different school in the Davis Joint Unified School District (DJUSD). The program, according to Julie Cross, the marketing director of the Davis Food Co-op, raised $685 last month for Fairfield Elementary — a two-room school and the smallest school in the Davis school district. Cross said that the Round Up program replaced an older program in which schools would buy Co-op gift certificates and resell them to parents to raise money. “It was pretty cumbersome and expensive to run and didn’t have a huge amount of participation, so we thought we would get rid of something that didn’t work very well and replace it with something easier,” Cross said. According to the Co-op’s website, one DJUSD elementary or junior high school is... ...

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Davis firefighters distribute Thanksgiving food baskets, despite rising food costs

For the past two weeks, Davis Firefighters Local 3494 (Local 3494)  stood on traffic partitions at the 5th street intersection near Central Park with empty firefighter boots and signs asking passersby to donate money to fund their Thanksgiving basket drive. This year, however, the firefighters experienced a shortfall in donations and had to supplement their budget with a second fill-the-boot fundraiser. Local 3494 has given away baskets filled with the necessities for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner for those in need for the past 28 years. “We’ve never had to turn anyone away and I’m hoping the same for this year. There have been years where it’s been pretty close. Right at the end there were one or two families left and the firefighters all reached into their pockets and we were able to get the food for those families as well,” said Bobby Weist, president of Local 3494. Although Weist was unsure of the number of baskets the firefighters were planning on distributing this year, in previous years they have... ...

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Memories lost to Alzheimer’s disease are recovered through music

In recognition of Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness month Dr. Petr Janata, UC Davis professor and researcher in the department of psychology and the Center for the Mind and Brain, visited Carlton Plaza, a senior home in Davis, to present his ongoing research of the relationship between music and memories. The association of music and memories is not exactly a new concept. Imagine driving to work and you just happen to be listening passively to the radio when all of a sudden the song sucks you into the memory of a nasty breakup or maybe your first kiss. Dr. Joel Krueger, UC Davis alumnus and philosophy lecturer at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, explained in an email interview that he has been working on a number of issues in philosophy of the mind and cognitive science, philosophy of music and Asian and comparative philosophy. “When we remember a past event , we’re not simply summoning an inventory of ‘cold’ facts,” Dr. Krueger said, “we are also summoning an ‘affective... ...

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27th Annual Davis Turkey Trot brings community together

A Change of Pace Foundation hosted the 27th annual Davis Turkey Trot running event last Saturday at the Civic Center Park downtown. The event had categories for every participant with a 5K, 10K and half-marathon for adults, and 1 mile, 1/2 mile, 1/4 mile and 200-yard dash for children. Despite the light rain on the morning of, approximately 3,000 attendees participated in the Turkey Trot. Participants came from various cities throughout Yolo County. Some participants even came all the way from Reno City and Nevada City. “We do try our best to get out [in marketing] of Davis and really explore all the communities to come to Davis,” said Jared Ney, event coordinator and a member of the A Change of Pace Foundation. One participant in the 5K race, April Lynn Gemein, came from West Sacramento. “I think it is very well-run and a good local event. It brings a lot of people together and gets people active, [try] to get out and have fun,” Gemein said. Over 500 volunteers... ...

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Davis continues to foster relations with sister cities

On Nov. 17, a group of volunteers gathered at Cynthia Kellogg’s house, a member of the non-profit Davis Friends of Rutilio Grande, to prepare a mailing of holiday fundraising requests. For the last 23 years, Davis residents have donated money to a community of 80 families in Rutilio Grande, El Salvador. “They have a two-room school that goes only to sixth grade, so if the children are going to be educated, they have to travel outside the city, and that means they have to pay for transportation, uniforms and books,” Kellogg said. Davis’ role as a sister city to Rutilio Grande has allowed many students to be educated beyond the sixth grade. Most of the students’ parents are subsistence farmers growing corn and beans either on small plots of land or larger, communally farmed plots. “These mailings are really helpful, because there are so many good people in Davis that respond to this and the money goes to good people,” said Walter Sherwood, who became involved with Friends of Rutilio... ...

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