Saturday, January 30, 2010

City provides no creative choices for water tank "paint job"

From the City of Woodland survey:

The City of Woodland wants your opinion!

The City must paint its newest water tank to prevent rust. This survey includes sample paint finishes and designs for your consideration. They are not necessarily the final designs. The City is interested in knowing what type of designs you like best.

Located on Beamer Street at the edge of the baseball fields, the 400,000 gallon water tank will improve water pressure and ensure water is always available for firefighting. The tank is expected to be finished by early summer 2010. Painting is included in the construction costs.

This survey should take approximately 10 minutes to complete. Thank you so much for your time. Questions? Please call us at 530-661-5973.

Please rank each of the following design concept based on the simple preference scale listed below. There is space for additional comments after every sample design.

• Really Like
• Somewhat Like
• No Opinion
• Somewhat Dislike
• Really Dislike

What do you like about this concept? (optional)
What do you dislike about this concept? (optional)

# # #

Since the city didn't seize the opportunity to create a landmark based on structural design, it now has a chance to make the water tank something special with a creative surface design. And since there are three baseball fields near the tank, the Zebulon baseball design should be considered as an option. The tank does not have to spell out "Woodland" – that is simply mundane. I'm sure there are a lot of other creative ideas out there... perhaps the city should have a call for designs.

Image is from Click here to see this and other creative water tank "paint jobs."

Here are previous Woodland Journal posts about the water tank:

City chooses costlier, non-1880s pedesphere tank: Savings to come from less repainting

Zebulon baseball won't be going to the Hall of Fame

Mesa del Sol water tank becomes landmark

Friday, January 29, 2010

Puzzles and games at the library tonight

From the Friends of the Woodland Library:

Tonight (Friday, January 29), from 6 to 8pm, the Friends of the Woodland Library are hosting a members only Puzzle and Game night in the Leake Conference center in celebration of National Puzzle Day. There will be puzzles to solve and games to play - individual and team. Win prizes! Hearty refreshments and hot/cold beverages will be provided. Non-members may join at the door with special half off membership pricing (for new members only). Call 666-0545 with questions.

Greenwald calls Asmundson liar at Davis City Council meeting

From the Davis Vanguard post "What Happened Tuesday Night After the Cameras Were Off..."

I have seen a lot of things in the last four years, probably more than most in this community. I have seen the best in people and at times the worst in people. However, I am not sure I have ever seen a worse side of people than I did on Tuesday night. The worst of it came after the cameras were off.
I delayed writing about this for a day. I wanted to gain some reflection. I wanted to see how things played out. I spoke to other reporters about the propriety of reporting such a personal encounter and asked what they would do. But mostly I watched the response of the community and whether Councilmember Sue Greenwald would step up and take responsibility for her actions on Tuesday.

Read the rest at

City wants input for pedesphere paint job, "rocket" water tank nears completion

From Kim Floyd Communications:

With a new 400,000 gallon water tank nearing completion, the City is asking residents to help “finish” the project. The tank will be painted to prevent rusting as the final step in the construction process, and the City wants residents to weigh in with their opinions about how the tank should look when completed.

“We’d especially like to hear from those who live, work, and play in the vicinity of the tank, since they will see it on a regular basis,” said Woodland Public Works Director Greg Meyer.


Woodland planners "didn't do their job" for Spring Lake neighborhood shops

From the Yolo Sun report "Spring Lake’s neighborhood commercial zones to be eliminated as financially infeasible:"

The Spring Lake Specific Plan presently includes a total of eleven (11) acres of Neighborhood Commercial (NC) zoning distributed at four fairly logical locations within its area.

NC land uses are generally intended to help reduce residents’ strongly ingrained inclinations to use motor vehicles, as a result of some manner of (“Smart Growth”) commercial convenience being carefully integrated within the land use fabric of an overall development plan.

Perhaps, residents might quickly walk or swiftly bike to local convenience corners, shopping for their most common, spontaneously arising needs, rather than using motor vehicles — thereby decreasing their “carbon footprints.”

Read the rest at

Monday, January 25, 2010

Cache Creek casino's new expansion plan stuns residents

From the Sacramento Bee report by Hudson Sangree:

Residents of the rural Capay Valley can't help feeling a little beleaguered these days.

Many are upset by a state Transportation Department plan to straighten and widen Highway 16 to better handle casino traffic. They recently filed a legal challenge to the project.

Read the rest at

Read the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation press release at

Davies and Marble announce council candidacy together

From a press release emailed by Skip Davies:

Woodland Mayor Skip Davies and Councilmember Bill Marble have announced that they will both seek re-election to the Woodland City Council in June of 2010. First elected in 2006, both Marble and Davies have received the endorsement of every member of the Woodland City Council and the Yolo County Board of Supervisors.

In a joint statement, Davies and Marble [released this]: “We both love Woodland and sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence the community has placed in us these past 4 years. We would like the opportunity to continue the important work we have yet to do. These are tremendously challenging times for cities and we pledge our very best efforts to helping Woodland continue to be a great place to live.”

Read the rest at

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Learn the Olympic sport of curling at Vacaville open house

From the Wine Country Curling Club:

Come join Wine Country Curling in celebrating the upcoming Vancouver Winter Olympics by learning the “coolest sport on ice.” Wine Country Curling will be presenting a "Learn To Curl" night at the Vacaville Ice Sports Center on Saturday, January 30, from 6 to 9pm.

The Vacaville Ice Sports Center is located at 551 Davis Street, Vacaville, next to the Brenden Theater complex. The phone number is (707) 455-0225.

Curling equipment will be provided and it is recommended that loose,
warm clothing and rubber soled athletic shoes be worn. Instructors are
US Curling Certified. There will be no charge for curlers.

Come and learn to play the coolest Olympic sport in the area. Inquiry can be made by calling Jerome Larson (707) 374-3920 or email at The WCC Web site is

Saturday, January 23, 2010

By Hell? Huh?

I do a lot of research on the history of Woodland. Annoyingly, whenever I start a Google search on the topic, the Wikipedia/ pops up and states "Woodland (formerly, By Hell...).

I have NEVER come across any substantive reference that can prove Woodland was ever popularly known as "By Hell." Perhaps someone wrote it in an article or included it in a letter, but as far as I can tell, Woodland was NEVER widely known as "By Hell." I've been to the Woodland Public Library, the Yolo County Archives, and have read the county history books published by the Yolo County Historical Society.

Please prove me wrong on this. Any Wikipedia/Crap references will be deemed idiotic.

Davies and Marble let other local paper know they're running

From the Dolly Doodoocrat article "Woodland councilmen jointly announce candidacy to retain seats this June:"

Woodland Mayor Skip Davies and Councilman Bill Marble jointly announced Friday afternoon that they will both seek re-election to the City Council in the June elections.

Already announcing his candidacy for City Council is Bobby Harris, who sought election two years ago. Two positions on the five-person council are up for election. As per council protocol, the top vote-getter in this June election will become mayor in two years. Following Davies as mayor will be Art Pimentel, who was the top vote-getter in 2008. Each council member serves for four years.

Read the rest while it's posted at

Assemblymember Yamada to host free veterans forum

From the office of Assemblymember Yamada

Assemblymember Mariko Yamada is hosting this free event for veterans who would like to learn about and apply for state and federal benefits earned through their military service.

Topics to be covered include: Disability benefits, including the addition of new Agent Orange-related diseases; survivors’ benefits; vocational training, rehabilitation and job search assistance; eligibility for Sacramento Valley National Cemetery; home mortgage assistance; and accessing VA health services. Caseworkers will be present to assist with veterans services applications. Please bring your DD214 if available.

The veterans forum will be held Saturday, February 6, 9 am to 3 pm at the Veterans Memorial Building, 549 Merchant Street, in Vacaville

To RSVP, or for more information, please contact Assemblymember Yamada’s district office at (707) 455-8025 or go to

Friday, January 22, 2010

State court removes limit on medical marijuana, Woodland's urgency moratorium to expire in Oct.

From the Sacramento Bee article "California's removes state limit on medical marijuana possession:"

The California Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the state cannot impose legal limits on the amount of pot that medical marijuana users can grow or possess.

In a ruling certain to exacerbate debate over the governance of medical marijuana in California, the court threw out legislation that limited medical pot users to 8 ounces of dried marijuana and six mature or 12 immature marijuana plants.

Read the article here.

Woodland's urgency moratorium of medical marijuana dispensaries is set to expire on October 6, 2010. In an exercise of futility and redundancy on December 1, 2009, Woodland City Council amended chapters 13 and 25 of the municipal code to disallow illegal businesses. This was an attempt to disallow medical marijuana dispensaries without any mention of marijuana, cannabis, or dispensaries. Read the Woodland Record report here.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Disney Aladdin, Jr. starts Friday at WOH

From the Woodland Opera House Backstage Newsletter:

Welcome to Agrabah, City of Enchantment, where every beggar has a story and every camel has a tail! All of your favorite characters are here in this stage adaptation of the Disney hit, including Aladdin, Jasmine, and of course, the Genie. Filled with magic, mayhem, flying carpet rides, and the tuneful Academy award-winning score with songs including "A Whole New World" and "Friend Like Me". Don't let the "Jr." fool you. This is a musical for the whole family.

Disney ALADDIN, Jr. will be presented at the Woodland Opera House, January 22 through February 14 on Fridays 7:30 and Saturday and Sunday performances at 2 pm. You can purchase tickets online or visit the Woodland Opera House at 340 Second Street in Woodland. Call (530) 666-9617 for information.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Bobby Harris announces candidacy for one of two city council seats

By Bobby Harris from a prepared statement for last night's city council meeting:

Public comment is likely the best place and this is certainly the best time to announce that I’ll be a candidate for city council at the June election. Key issues and evolving challenges are arising for Woodland, including: more equitable home ownership options, improved downtown planning and revitalization, more vigorous redevelopment policies, more focused economic development efforts, better stability for our community library, vastly enhanced scrutiny of the development proposals of Paul Petrovich, new policy protecting testimony access within public hearing matters outside general comment periods such as this, among many other items.

Read the rest at

Monday, January 18, 2010

"Children's safety" town hall meeting turns into civil rights forum, key leaders absent

From the Davis Vanguard article "Key Leaders Absent as Over 150 Attend Civil Rights Forum in Woodland:"

[On January 14] at Dingle Elementary School in Woodland a large audience of at least 150 people gathered to listen to what was billed as a townhall meeting with the county and city's leadership. Apparently organizers for this event entitled, "Protecting Our Children's Public Safety" organized by the Yolo County Justice Coalition, had invited leaders ranging from the members of the Woodland City Council, the Woodland Police Chief Carey Sullivan, Yolo County Sheriff Ed Prieto, District Attorney Jeff Reisig, and members of County Board of Supervisors.

Of these invitees only two showed up. Woodland Police Chief Carey Sullivan sent his Lt. Don Beal and Woodland Mayor Skip Davies came and graciously and patiently addressed a group of questioners that seem to grow more frustrated as the night went on. The crowd was very grateful to Lt. Beal who was actually on duty as the scene commander and to Mayor Davies, but they were frustrated at the lack of attendance of other political leaders.

Read the rest and look at the photos at

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Holding company of Daily Democrat files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

By Aldo Svaldi of the MediaNews Group:

Affiliated Media Inc., the holding company for MediaNews Group, publisher of The Denver Post and The Daily Democrat, announced today that lenders have approved a plan to restructure the company and significantly reduce $930 million in debt.

The agreement swaps debt for equity, retains the current management team and excludes all of the company's 54 daily newspapers and other media operations, according to announcement. The plan will be implemented in the near future through a prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.

Read the rest at while it's still posted.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Director takes Golden Handshake, city library's future may be as special district

From the Yolo Sun article "Woodland Library Director suddenly resigns – petition campaign arises for special district:"

Woodland Public Library’s Director, Sandra Briggs, at its regular Board of Trustees Meeting of January 7, has suddenly announced her pending retirement (effective April 30) through the ongoing municipal budget-cutting program of Golden Handshakes.

Briggs indicates that increasingly deteriorating budgetary circumstances for the Library is her major motivation.

“Maybe I can’t stop further cuts to the Library’s budget,” Briggs exclaimed, “but I don’t have to be a part of it. And I believe that’s an important distinction.” She relates that closed-session discussions regarding this subject with Library Trustees have occurred for several months.

The “Future of the Library” was the urgent topic of a Special Study Session With Staff, which its Trustees suddenly convened on January 11.

Its board of trustees “believe[s] that the [City of Woodland] has been short-changing the [Woodland Public] Library for many years,” far before the recent and pervasive economic turmoil.

Read the entire article at

Monday, January 11, 2010

Capay Valley Coalition and Farm Bureau challenge Caltrans Hwy. 16 project in court

From the Capay Valley Coalition and the Yolo County Farm Bureau:

On January 6 the Capay Valley Coalition and the Yolo County Farm Bureau filed a legal challenge to Caltrans’ approval of the Highway 16 Safety Improvement Project in western Yolo County. The action challenges the adequacy of CalTrans’ environmental impact report for the project. CVC and YCFB argue that CalTrans failed to consider alternatives to the project that would have less environmental impact in the Capay Valley, including less impact to agriculture. The parties also allege that CalTrans failed to adequately analyze the highway expansion’s impacts on agriculture and traffic.

CVC and YCFB will ask the Sacramento County Superior Court to direct Caltrans to set aside the environmental impact report and the project.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

WJUSD to decide Race to the Top participation tonight

From the Woodland Record:

In a special board meeting at 5:30 pm tonight, the Woodland Joint Unified School District Board of Trustees will have the option of approving a Memorandum of Understanding with the State of California to participate in the "Race to the Top" grant project or take no action.

In the Board Item Analysis Page prepared by administrative assistant Sherri Brown, the benefits to the district include additional federal revenue for the purpose of improving student achievement through the tenants of standards, data, accountability and "Turn Around Schools." Brown lists the "costs/cons" as: 1) A multi-year commitment, 2) Additional auditing, 3) A "parent trigger" program that may call for removal of staff, 4) Open enrollment resulting in possible loss of ADA, 4) Unknown consequences regarding resources and fiscal allowances, 5) Short timelines for union negotiations, 6) Simultaneous negotiations during lay-offs, 7) Increased data reporting and ongoing costs, and 8) Increased workloads during staff reductions.

Read more at Pertinent links are provided in the article.

Rent goes up this month

Lease years - annual rent

1 - $445,000 (begin Jan. 09)
2 - $458,300
3 - $472,101
4 - $508,586
5 - $523,844
6 - $539,559
7 - $539,559
8 - $581,131
9 - $581,131
10 - $581,131
11 - $581,131
12 - $581,131
13 - $673,691
14 - $673,691
15 - $673,691
16 - $673,691
17 - $673,691
18 - $780,992
19 - $780,992
20 - $780,992
21 - $780,992
22 - $780,992
23 - $905,384
24 - $905,384
25 - $905,384
26 - $905,384
27 - $905,384
28 - $1,018,424
29 - $1,018,424
30 - $1,018,424 (end Jan. 39)

Total - $21.8 million (approx.)

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

"Your city, your voice" survey

Relating to city services, here are the pertinent questions from the "Your city, your voice" survey.

"This is an opportunity to voice your opinions about how the City of Woodland should prioritize its spending on City services. We plan to use your feedback, along with that of others, to guide the budget development process for the upcoming fiscal year."

What are the three most important issues facing your community today?

How would you rate the quality of life in Woodland? (Very Good, Good, Neutral/Okay, Poor, Very Poor)

To follow are some statements about the City of Woodland and the services it provides. Please indicate whether or not you agree with each statement (Strongly Agree, Agree, No Opinion, Disagree, Strongly Disagree)

The City of Woodland:
• Is a safe place to live
• Is an affordable place to live
• Provides good services for my money
• Has a government that is accessible
• Manages growth responsibly
• supports business and job development
• Has enough parks and recreation facilities
• Cares about its residents

Last year, the City of Woodland cut approximately $7 million in City services. In your opinion, those budget cuts:
• Went too far in cutting services to residents and businesses
• Were appropriate for the City's financial situation
• Did not go far enough to control spending and reduce services

To follow is a list of City services that are paid for with General Funds. Please rank these services in order of importance, with “1” being the most important and “10” being the least important. You may only assign each number to one item (in other words, you can only rank one service as “1”).
• Street maintenance
• Library services
• Economic development
• Planning, zoning, and permitting
• Parks and athletic fields
• Community recreation facilities and programs
• Public safety (police and fire)
• Traffic management
• Code enforcement
• Communication with residents

This year, the City is facing additional budget cuts. Please indicate whether or not you would support the following actions to balance the budget. (Strongly Support, Somewhat Support, No Opinion, Somewhat Oppose, Strongly Oppose)
• Increase sales tax
• Increase fines for parking and permit violations
• Increase fees for park and community facility use
• Increase hotel/motel “bed” tax
• Implement new property taxes
• Combine City departments and services
• Reduce benefits and salaries for city staff
• Layoff staff
• Increase response time for emergency services
• Reduce Library hours
• Reduce Community Center hours
• Reduce recreation programs
• Restrict overtime for emergency service personnel
• Reduce street maintenance services
Additional Comments:

What advice would you give the City Manager and City Council to help them with balancing next year’s budget?

City wants Woodlanders' input on budget

From Kim Floyd Communications – Public Relations:

“Your City, Your Voice” initiative aimed at increasing community participation in budget process

Faced with another year of drastic budget cuts, City of Woodland officials are calling for increased community involvement in decisions about what services and programs are funded – and at what levels. Today, the city announced the launch of “Your City, Your Voice,” an initiative designed to make it easy the City’s 56,000 residents to offer opinions about how taxpayer dollars are utilized.


About Kim Floyd Communications at

Monday, January 04, 2010

Heat comes down on former UCD Violence Prevention Director

But no one is asking where the oversight was

By David Greenwald at

In October, UC Davis officials revealed that Campus Violence Prevention Program director Jennifer Beeman had over-reported forcible sexual-assault crimes under the federal Clery Act from 2005 until 2007. At the same time she has also been the subject of an investigation in which it appears she used grant money to pay the mortgage on her home.

Read the entire article at

Ex-UC Davis staffer under new scrutiny in embezzlement probe

By Hudson Sangree at

A former University of California, Davis, employee whom officials have accused of inflating crime statistics may have funneled university money into a private account and paid her mortgage with it, campus police said in a court document released this week.

Read the entire article at

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Fire engineers Losh and Baerd leave 55 years of distinguished service

From City of Woodland, Fire:

Two highly experienced Woodland firefighters worked their last 24-hour shift on December 29 before retiring. Fire Engineers Monty Losh and Guy Baerd completed their distinguished fire service careers leaving the Woodland Fire Department with more than 55 years of combined knowledge and experience between them.


Fire Engineer Monty Losh and his wife Debbie are seen here standing in front of Engine 2, stationed at 1619 West Street, the engine Monty drove for many years. Courtesy photo.