Review Category : City News

UC Davis releases annual apartment vacancy survey

In early March 2014, the UC Davis Office of Student Housing released its yearly Apartment Vacancy and Rental Rate Survey. The Office worked with BAE Urban Economics, a private real estate consulting firm located in downtown Davis, in order to conduct the yearly survey. According to the UC Davis Office of Student Housing, “The objective of the survey is to provide information that will help inform planning decisions on campus, and throughout the broader Davis community. For example, survey results help campus officials to assess the current housing market conditions faced by UCD students, and to determine the likely feasibility of proposed housing projects.” The vacancy and rental rate survey has been conducted annually for the past 38 years. In past years the survey had been conducted on paper through mail. There was an increase in participation this year by offering the online version via SurveyMonkey, a website used for administering surveys through the web. “The Vacancy and Rental Rate survey participants consisted of apartment complex managers, property management companies... ...

Read More →

Davis Chamber of Commerce holds forum for City Council candidates

The Davis Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee (PAC) held a forum April 2 to interview the five Davis City Council candidates for the June 2014 election. The Q&A based forum discussed various concerns that the City of Davis is facing and lasted from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at City Hall. The main topics of conversation focused on the $5.1 million annual deficit, the parcel tax, the city employee changes and visions for the future of Davis. Chamber PAC members will be endorsing candidates or slates of candidates and releasing a video recording of the event later this month. The Davis Chamber of Commerce created the PAC in 1997 in order to support or oppose local, county or state ballot measures that influence the Davis business environment. According to its website, the mission of the Chamber is to promote, support and advocate the general economic vitality of its membership and the quality of life for the community. The PAC is funded by individuals in the Chamber and is financially... ...

Read More →

Yolo County tobacco, alcohol availability statistics high

A statewide survey, including regional and county level data, reveals the density of stores selling, advertising and making available tobacco and alcohol products in proximity to minors. According to this study, Yolo County has more stores selling tobacco products near schools in comparison to the rest of California. To sell tobacco, stores must attain a tobacco retail license from the California State Board of Equalization (BOE) as well as a California Cigarette and Tobacco Products License. Even with a displayed license these establishments are not permitted to sell tobacco or related paraphernalia to minors, have a self service display or give out samples. Additionally, there are restrictions as far as tobacco packaging, outdoor/storefront signs and general advertising. “How tobacco products are marketed has long been one of the keys to the tobacco industry’s success at getting people to use their products,” said Steve Jensen, Yolo County Tobacco Education Program coordinator. “Marketing itself isn’t a bad thing, but targeting a young … population with visuals that give the impression tobacco doesn’t... ...

Read More →

Proposed bill may divide California into six states

Tim Draper, a venture capitalist from Silicon Valley, is collecting approximately 808,000 signatures for a bill that would divide the State of California into six separate states. Draper said that this measure is necessary for the state to move forward as the “state government has become rusted, and operates as a monopoly.” According to Draper, the State of California is ranked 50th out of 50 as the worst managed state in the Union. The Forward Observer, a non-partisan consulting firm that conducted an analysis of the Six California’s ballot measure, reported that the measure could cause two out of three UC students to pay out-of-state tuition. Notably, the analysis states that 78 percent of UC Davis students would be required to pay out-of-state tuition under this new bill. However, only the physical boundaries of these six new states have been drawn up — if the bill were to pass, 24 people would be appointed to consult with industry leaders on the best way to proceed, according to Alexandra Klun, the... ...

Read More →

Regents discuss de-freezing UC tuition

The UC Board of Regents met on March 19 to discuss the developments in the 2014-15 budget. Although Gov. Jerry Brown did increase the UC budget by five percent in his proposed budget, it leaves the UC with a $124 million shortfall. Due to this shortfall, the UC Regents said they doubt the current tuition freeze could be upheld in the 2016-17 school year. Brown’s proposed budget, which was leaked and then officially released in January, allocated five percent more money for the UC system than the budget had the year before. However, the UC Regents had requested a 10 percent increase in funding in November to cover mandatory costs. As reported by the Daily Californian, the California legislative analyst’s office proposed a budget that would return the UC system to a “workload” budget, which would be dependent on $78 million from tuition leading to a nearly four percent increase. According to Kelly Ratliff, associate vice chancellor of budget at UC Davis, mandatory costs include salary increases for faculty and... ...

Read More →

Shifa Clinic aims to overcome linguistic, cultural barriers

As she sits patiently in the waiting room, Gurbachan Samra, a 56-year-old Sacramento resident, chats with an acquaintance in Punjabi, her native tongue. They sit one chair apart against the tan-tinted walls of the clinic. When a doctor approaches her, Samra looks up and continues speaking in Punjabi while she explains the reason for her checkup. When the doctor understands and responds to her in the same language, a look of relief washes over Samra’s face. Samra and her husband, Satvinderpal Samra, are patients at Shifa Community Clinic, a free health clinic located at 419 V St. in downtown Sacramento. Shifa, meaning ‘to heal’ in Arabic, is a clinic that provides basic healthcare to the uninsured South Asian and Middle Eastern population of Sacramento. Like many of the patients at the clinic, Samra and her husband recently immigrated from India. And like many of the patients, Samra and her husband are without health insurance. Samra has been a patient at Shifa since she moved to California five years ago. She... ...

Read More →

News from around the world: March 12, 2014

Violence in Ukraine The capital of Ukraine is experiencing the most violence since the former Soviet Union became independent 23 years ago.The turmoil the Ukranian government has been experiencing during the past few weeks is the product of persistent social tension and political unrest. The explicit protests and demonstrations are due to the actions of President Viktor Yanukovych rejecting a geopolitical trade deal with Europe, which sealed a $15 billion bailout from Russia. Thousands of citizens flocked to the street to demonstrate against the obvious corruption and police brutality. College Board restructures SAT The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) that high school students must take to get into college will be overhauled and changed drastically. Criticism from parents, colleges and students saying that the exam does not focus on core academic skills urged the College Board to fundamentally restructure the test.The College Board is ending the old penalty for guessing wrongly, making the essay optional and scrapping vague and obscure vocabulary words in the reading section of the exam. David Coleman,... ...

Read More →

AB 2160 seeks to simplify financial aid process for incoming college students

On Feb. 25, California State Representative Phil Ting announced AB 2160, a bill that would require all high schools in California to electronically submit GPA verification of all graduating high school seniors to the California Student Aid Commission. “We want to do everything possible to streamline that process so students who are graduating from high school and entering into a higher education institution can get access to the funding they deserve,” Ting said. While some high schools in California automatically submit GPA verification electronically, those that don’t require students to request GPA submissions themselves. Statewide in 2012, there was a FAFSA completion rate of 54 percent among graduating high school seniors, and a Cal Grant completion rate of 50 percent, according to Orville Jackson, senior research analyst at Education Trust. In 2013, those numbers went up to 61 percent for FAFSA, and 58 percent for Cal Grants. This increase can be attributed in part to the California Student Aid Commission’s program, WebGrants, which allows students to submit their GPA verification... ...

Read More →

California authorities support relaxed ban on marijuana

Administration for California is backing Senate Bill (SB) 1262, which would license medical marijuana dispensaries and cultivators while ensuring that healthcare providers are regulated in their medicinal marijuana recommendations. This is the first marijuana bill to be supported by police and state legislation. SB 1262 was introduced by State Senator Lou Correa on Feb. 21, and supported by the California Police Chiefs Association in a joint effort with the League of California Cities. Additionally, nine law enforcement associations and over 5,000 churches in California are amenable to passing this piece of legislation. “This bill is an example of California coming late to the game trying to marry a currently illegal marijuana industry to a changing public attitude,” said Allen St. Pierre, executive director for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). “It would be presumed that California would have allowed a regulatory scheme for medical marijuana 10 years ago”. Currently, the standing laws in California regarding marijuana and medical marijuana usage are outlined in the Health and... ...

Read More →

Davis Food Co-op General Manager resigns for unknown reasons

General manager of the Davis Food Co-op, Eric Stromberg, was asked to resign by the board of directors and will take a permanent leave starting March 22. This will end Stromberg’s 14 years of employment at the Davis Food Co-op. “[The Board of Directors for the Davis Food Co-Op] decided to exercise an option under the General Manager contract for separation without cause,” said a memo issued to the Davis Food Co-op members and shoppers by Stacie Frerichs, board president and the entire Davis Food Co-op Board of Directors. The board made this decision following closed meetings. “[This was a] very deliberate process and [we] thoroughly considered all information available to [them] before making a decision. We feel our decision was made in the best interest of … the Co-op members … However, for legal reasons, we cannot discuss personnel matters publicly,” Frerichs said. The management team at the Davis Food Co-op is expecting a smooth transition according to Julie Cross, marketing and education director for the Davis Food Co-op.... ...

Read More →

Gov. Brown signs emergency drought legislation

Gov. Jerry Brown signed emergency drought legislation on March 1. The bill allocated $687.4 million to aid workers with food and housing that have been directly impacted by the drought and technologies that will assist communities in using less water. Additionally, it will fund security emergency drinking water supplies for drought-impacted communities, according to a press release from Gov. Brown’s office. Many of the proposals included in the package were proposed earlier this year in Gov. Brown’s budget proposal; however, they are now being expedited due to the dire need of California’s water situation. “These targeted responses will have tangible results, but the solution requires more than legislation and investment. Every Californian needs to be a part of the solution, and we strongly urge every person in our state to take action to conserve water,” California State Assembly Speaker John A. Perez said. One piece of the bill that California State Representative John Garamendi highlighted as particularly important was the funding for farmers in the Sacramento region to update their... ...

Read More →

Policebriefs: March 12, 2014

Wednesday 3/5 Firebolt A car was driving down Faro Drive dropping fireworks out the window into the middle of the roadway. Friday 3/7 Trash-talking On Anderson Road, several people were hitting the garbage cans in front of the pool yelling “F you” over and over again. Throwing a party Several loud subjects on the balcony of the apartments above the Olive Drive Market were dropping things on people as they walked by. Saturday 3/8 Know-it-all On Sycamore Lane, someone received a phone call and text saying,“I know where you are.” Sunday 3/9 Cut to the chase Someone on L Street was approached by a guy who accused the reporter of stealing a bike, then stated he wanted to cut the reporter up and pulled out a knife. Monday 3/10 Ball was in their court Someone reported two juniors at the tennis court on J Street for horsing around and making too much noise for the reporter to tolerate. Police briefs are compiled from the City of Davis daily crime bulletins.... ...

Read More →

Downtown desserts, delicacies hope to draw customers

Downtown Davis recently added Sweet & Shavery, Bambu Drinks and Desserts and Tako Korean BBQ to the restaurant scene. Sweet & Shavery, located at 210 E St., had its grand opening on March 8 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. The small store specializes in sweets, its menu consisting of Italian shaved ice, frozen custard and crepes. Co-owners and UC Davis graduates Lindsay Phan and Brian Nuss, now a graduate student at UC Davis, believed the sweet treat that is more popular on the East Coast would do well in Davis. “I think it is a little different since we cater to vegans and vegetarians because we have shaved ice … my favorite flavor is the cactus cooler parfait and the fruitier [desserts],” Phan said. At the grand opening they offered free samples of the shaved-ice-parfait dessert and 50 percent off crepes to draw in new customers. Due to the unanticipated high demand, they had to close early on March 9 at 6 p.m. rather than the usual 10 p.m.... ...

Read More →

UC Davis to compete in 2015 Solar Decathlon

In February 2014, UC Davis was chosen by the Department of Energy to build a solar-powered home to compete in a Solar Decathlon in UC Irvine during October 2015. UC Davis was chosen as one of the 20 universities to compete in the competition. The competition is also featuring other top research universities such as Stanford, Yale and nearby rival school, Sacramento State. “We don’t know exactly how the Department of Energy made its final selections. They have a very rigorous proposal process,” said Frank Loge, principal investigator for the team and a professor in the Department of Environmental and Civil Engineering. “We … pulled in a remarkable team of interested students and faculty from across many disciplines at UC Davis to prepare a proposal … and we told an interesting story while we did it.” Although the team was confident, they were as surprised as anyone when they heard the news. Loge even admitted that the team got started late in the proposal process. The team was able to... ...

Read More →

News in Brief: Delayed Fifth Street construction to be completed early May

City of Davis officials said that the Fifth Street construction will be completed as soon as early May 2014. The project was initially projected to be completed January 2014, but has experienced a few setbacks. Vanguard Construction Services of Livermore began working in early October 2013 with the intention to make biking and pedestrian activity along Fifth Street safer. They will be adding bike lanes between A and L streets. They will also be adding a dual left-turn lane and turn pockets, upgrading and adding access ramps in compliance with the Americans Disabilities Act and adding new traffic lights and pedestrian activated traffic lights at the C and J street intersections. To date, they have completed much of the work, said Roxanne Namazi, City of Davis senior civil engineer in the Public Works Department.  “The majority of the concrete flatwork including upgrading the access ramps and sidewalks — adjacent to the ramps — is completed.  Foundations for the signal poles, pedestrian signals and street lights have been poured. The conduits... ...

Read More →