Review Category : Front page story

New businesses open in downtown Davis

Pachamama Pachamama Coffee is owned by small-scale farmers and therefore distinguishes itself from the many other coffee shops in Davis. Pachamama Coffee Cooperative, on 521 First St., was established in Davis in 2001. Nicolas Brown, the co-founder, was studying at the UC Davis Medical School, and he decided that Davis was the perfect place for a global cooperative of coffee farmers. He saw that Davis was at the crossroads of several important movements — farm-to-fork, grower cooperatives, organic agriculture, viniculture and specialty coffee. “Pachamama goes beyond the [conventional] model of fair/direct trade by organizing farmers as owners of their own brand and distribution. By roasting, branding and selling their best coffee, farmers are capturing a much [greater] percentage of the market value of their crop,” said Thaleon Tremain, current CEO of Pachamama in Davis. There are no other international coffee cooperatives in the U.S. Pachamama currently represents over 100,000 families in Africa and Latin America. The goal of Pachamama’s coffee is to create a more dynamic and sustainable supply chain.... ...

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Raise the Wage Davis hosts kick-off campaign

Raise the Wage Davis, a grassroots campaign, kicked off their initiative to raise the minimum wage in Davis to $15 per hour on Jan. 31. The group has submitted their initiative to the City of Davis to get it on the November 2014 ballot. The next step, according to Neil Ruud, communications director of the campaign, is to collect signatures to ensure the measure’s place on the ballot. “$15 per hour is just enough to be self sufficient to the point where you wouldn’t have to take assistance,” said Bernie Goldsmith, the campaign co-chair. Goldsmith said that the cost of living in Davis is at a point at which $15 per hour isn’t even enough for a family with one child. Goldsmith and Ruud said that movements to raise the minimum wage in cities across America were their inspiration for bringing a movement to Davis. “We’re not political experts but we know what it’s like to be working poor,” Goldsmith said. The way the bill is structured is similar to... ...

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ASUCD Winter Elections: Voice your vote

On Feb. 18, voting will begin for the 2014 Winter Quarter ASUCD elections, which will determine six new senators as well as a new ASUCD President and Vice President. The Aggie Editorial Board interviewed and evaluated each of the 15 senate candidates and three executive tickets. Normally, we would select six senate candidates to endorse. Unfortunately, we were underwhelmed with the majority of prospective senators, most of whom are running on unfeasible and unoriginal platforms. We hereby endorse the following candidates: Executive: Armando Figueroa (President — SMART) & Maxwell Kappes (Vice President — Independent) Figueroa and Kappes are on the only executive ticket that boasts two former senators. Kappes is the only vice presidential candidate with senate experience, a crucial component for a position that presides over senate. Because Figueroa and Kappes are on different slates, we believe that they will bring more ideas and a more diverse opinion to ASUCD as a fusion ticket. Their platforms goals are all well-researched, specific and feasible. Additionally, Figueroa and Kappes stressed the... ...

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Brain injuries ignite discussion of head trauma protocol

Best’s story Imagine running into a wall at full speed. Now imagine doing that 30 more times. Welcome to a week in the life of a typical running back like former Cal player Jahvid Best. While that doesn’t sound like fun, Best’s story gets worse. In a Sept. 5, 2009 game against the Maryland Terrapins, Best took a pass and tried to do what he did best: blaze past defenders with his incredible speed. However, Terrapin player Kevin Barnes had a different idea. The 190 lb. defensive back launched himself at Best, hitting him so hard that Best was sent flying. When Best landed, he rolled over and vomited on the field. Best, being the competitor that he is, still had the desire to play football after his injury. However, luck was clearly not on his side. Only a few weeks later, in a game against Arizona State, Best, in an attempt to get into the endzone, flung his body toward the goal line. Unfortunately for him, he collided with... ...

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UC Davis undergraduate applications continue to rise

According to the University of California Office of the President (UCOP), UC Davis received a total of 74,909 undergraduate applications for Fall Quarter 2014. Of the 74,909, freshman applications accounted for 60,496, while transfer applications accounted for 14,413. UC Davis experienced a 7.6 percent increase in total applications from 2013. According to Walter Robinson, executive director of UC Davis Undergraduate Admissions, the increase is because of a strategic recruitment plan created when Robinson started at UC Davis in September 2011. “We’ve been very intentional with our recruitment efforts,” Robinson said. “We have identified places where we should go and activities we should engage in in our outreach and recruitment. And it’s starting to pay off.” Of the total UC Davis freshman applicants, 46,757 are California residents, 4,326 are out-of-state students and 9,413 are international students. While there is only a 2.2 percent increase in California resident applications, out-of-state and international applications increased by 27.8 percent and 39.5 percent, respectively, from 2013. For transfers, there were 11,843 California resident applicants, 203... ...

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Students drive to college degrees

Fourth-year English major Seychelle Steiner said she listens to trashy radio shows more than her fellow students might. Steiner, like many Aggies, doesn’t actually live in the college town of Davis itself. Since her second year in college, Steiner has been commuting daily to classes from her home in Sacramento. “I have an 8 a.m. discussion, so I wake up at 5:30 in order to get everything ready, get breakfast and leave at 6:45 in the morning,” Steiner said. “ Yes, I’m on campus really early, but I do that in case there is traffic or an accident.” Since much of Davis is occupied by college students, many community members are not aware of the large student population that does not live locally. “To me, Sacramento is so close, so it’s not that big of a deal,” Steiner said. “I don’t think there should be any judgment against commuting, it’s more curiosity than animosity. I think people are curious about how it works.” Students may live outside of Davis for... ...

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California in drought, State of Emergency

The State of California has been officially declared in a drought State of Emergency on Jan. 17 by Gov. Jerry Brown. According to the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, dry conditions were experienced statewide in 2012 and 2013 based on reports by the U.S. Drought Monitor and the Department of Water Resources. Regions of the Central Valley and Southern California have been experiencing extreme drought conditions. Additionally, on the eastern border, there are record-low snowpack measurements, about 84 percent below average. “The record has been surpassed for most days during the rainy season without rain,” said Clark Blanchard, spokesman for the Natural Resources Agency. “This is the driest that California has been since 1884.” The effects of the drought are visible in lakes and mountains where the landscape requires precipitation to retain its functional and recreational purposes. Locally, the severity is evident at Folsom Lake, Lake Tahoe, the Sierra Nevada and agricultural establishments around Sacramento and in central California. “Some municipalities have prepared accordingly,” said Nancy Barker from the UC... ...

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UC Davis computer science lecturer moonlights as Fringe Festival blogger

UC Davis continuing lecturer Sean Davis watches 160 to 200 plays every August. For the rest of the year, he teaches computer science. “I think I am lucky enough to be gifted with a wide range of interests,” Davis said. “I’m a general contractor, I review plays and I teach computer science.” Like many undergraduate students on campus today, Davis started in the 1970s with no specific major interests. After bouncing from chemical engineering to history, Davis graduated with a Bachelor of Arts psychology degree in 1978, having zero idea that one day he would rejoin the Aggie community as a faculty member in the College of Engineering. “It’s kind of cool because you realize that he absolutely didn’t know what he wanted to do at our age,” said second-year animal biology and computer science double major Russell Miller, who took Engineering Computer Science (ECS) 30: Programming and Problem Solving and ECS 50: Machine Dependent Programming with Davis. “He had a very generalized education, and learned most of the computer... ...

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UC receives increased funding, still falls short of needs

Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed budget for the 2014-15 year includes a five percent increase of funding to the University of California (UC) system, a shortfall from what the UC Regents requested from the state during their budget meeting in November. The proposed budget leaked to the Sacramento Bee on Jan. 8 and Brown confirmed the budget in a press release the next day. The UC Regents expressed in the November 2013 budget meeting an aim for an additional $120.9 million in addition to the five percent, or $142 million increase. “We’re putting $10 billion into the schools of California after years of drought and cutbacks and pink slips for teachers,” Brown said in a press conference, the day after the budget was leaked. Of the five percent increase, the proposed budget apportions $50 million for Awards for Innovation in Higher Education, a program that sets out to increase the number of people in California that have bachelors degrees, allows for students to complete degrees in four years from the time... ...

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Davis finds knack for novelty

Often associated with bikes, big red buses and cows, Davis was once claimed to be America’s Weirdest City in the satirical Weekly World News. The town is home to peculiar urban legends, like historic potholes and Ted the Titan, and distinctive sites like the famous toad tunnel and Baggins End. The concept of a toad tunnel first sprang about when the city was in the process of building an overpass by Pole Line Road in 1994. “Helping the toads to find a happy little habitat was the intention,” said John McNerney, the wildlife resource specialist of the City of Davis. “The main idea is that they would encounter earthen berm.” Community members such as Julie Partansky, who later became the mayor of Davis, were concerned that toads would be inevitably mashed in the process of their hippity-hopping across the overpass. After much deliberation, Partanksy convinced the Davis City Council to build an approximately 220-foot long corridor tunnel with an 18-inch diameter of corrugated steel pipe. According to McNerney, the core... ...

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An Islamic State of Mind comes to UC Davis

Over 1,000 people from all parts of the West Coast joined the UC Davis Muslim Student Association (MSA) on campus from Jan. 17 to 19 for the 16th annual MSA West Conference. Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi attended the conference opening ceremonies the evening of Jan. 17, welcoming students with a speech celebrating the University’s diversity. “First of all, I think this conference provides a very safe environment for students to have a dialogue about important issues,” Katehi said. “Sometimes the issues are very difficult to discuss, but I believe these are the right ways and right environments where difficult discussions can take place and where people, through respect for each other, can develop trust for each other and can have safe dialogues that eventually can lead into some important solutions.” The MSA on campus was founded by students in the 1970s, but was officially recognized by ASUCD in the ’90s. “Our main goal is to have a safe haven for Muslim students on campus, and for community members to learn... ...

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It takes a village to save a college

Estevan Sanchez, a second-year African American and African studies and sociology major couldn’t get away with skipping Jiu-Jitsu practice at the Experimental College (EC). “There have been times when I’ve thought about taking a day off, but I see other students on campus and they say, ‘Hey! You’re coming today, right?’ There is a great vibe and respect there, and the people care and want you to come back,” Sanchez said. In light of the recent suspension of the EC, however, Sanchez and others will not only be taking a day off, they will be taking every day off until fall 2014 at the earliest. In early December 2013, the outlet for those interested in learning martial arts, belly dancing, meditation, massage, pottery, DJing and just about anything that couldn’t be taught in a traditional classroom was suspended indefinitely by ASUCD due to financial losses. In the past five years, the EC has experienced dwindling enrollment and failed to make the jump from print to digital advertising. Additionally, the high... ...

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“Breathe Free” campaign uses budget for signs, stickers

The cost of implementing “Breathe Free UC Davis” has reached $74,868.25, according to the Smoke and Tobacco Free Communication Budget. Beginning Jan. 1, “Breathe Free” has banned all smoke and tobacco products across campus, and signs announcing this mandate began going up in September 2013. In total, money spent on signage, meaning ash urn stickers, door stickers, window clings and banners, have dominated the budget, costing $67,580. Program communication has an allotted $77,000 for this first year, and an additional $15,000 for the next, after which the policy’s success will be evaluated and future funding will be considered. While this amount appears modest within the University’s $3.8 billion yearly budget, it still presents a philosophical issue, according to Professor Gregory Clark of the Economics Department who is a member of the Budget and Planning Committee. “It’s not so much the money, because it’s amazing how much we spent,” Clark said. “I think it’s more of a philosophical issue, of who decided that this was a good expenditure of the resources... ...

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KDVS initiates new DJs

Each quarter KDVS, Davis’ student-run radio station, initiates a new batch of DJs into the KDVS family. The volunteers go through multiple weeks of training and are offered time slots between the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. The early morning work hours are considered a rite of passage for all KDVS DJs. New DJs are placed in the early morning when the smallest audience tunes in to allow room for amateur mistakes. The time slot is meant for the new DJs to become comfortable with the station and get a feel for what music they wish to play. Third-year evolutionary anthropology major Emily Jones — aka DJ Feels — works the Friday 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. shift and has found the early mornings a worthy challenge. “Initially it was difficult because it puts a limit to the amount of sleep I have for that day full of work and classes,” Jones said. “However, after a couple of weeks I adjusted, and although it is never easy to... ...

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California to enter third consecutive dry year

2013 has been declared the third consecutive dry year for California. Though Gov. Jerry Brown has not officially declared a drought, governmental entities such as the California State Board of Food and Agriculture, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), among others, are collaborating to come to consensus on solutions. The California Department of Water Resources is planning to draft emergency legislation to present to Gov. Brown within the next few weeks. While there is still a possibility we can get enough rain in the next three months, many cities in the greater Sacramento area have already taken initiative in water conservation efforts. Folsom was the first to mandate a 20 percent water conservation effort from its citizens on Dec. 23, 2013. Sacramento County followed a few days later asking voluntary reductions in water use by 20 percent. Davis has already instilled a water conservation goal of 20 percent for 2020. The Water Advisory Committee has made efforts to give advice on how... ...

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