Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Reading between the lines: City hall and Daily Democrat keep Woodlanders in dark



The top rendering is from the SACOG grant application (Sept. 2, 2009). It shows the city's partnership with Paul Petrovich and Cinema West in a proposal to build a $24 million complex of theaters and retail between Third and Fourth on Main ($16 million with city subsidies) and a city-built parking facility across the street ($8 million, not shown). The middle rendering, published by the Daily Democrat on Tuesday, shows a slightly modified version of the SACOG plan allegedly as part of a new Cinema West plan submitted to the city two weeks ago. The bottom rendering shows the misleading Cinema West plan without Petrovich's retail component - Petrovich quit the RDA's RFP process on Oct. 25 stating he "will retain ownership of the land where the associated retail will be built and I will address the development of that portion of the project at a later date."

THE DAILY DEMOCRAT'S RECENT ARTICLE called "Woodland's downtown theater: The show goes on" (Nov. 30) is a classic example of how no information leads to misinformation... and the City of Woodland would like it that way. The following shows the Democrat's article with comments and corrections below each paragraph.

Read much more at WoodlandRecord.com.

Davis Vanguard: Water project faces serious hurdles at state level

From the Davis Vanguard:

Water project could be facing expensive delays and legal challenges that will jack up costs

As the City of Davis steams ahead toward approving its wastewater treatment plant, the surface water application submitted in conjunction with the Joint Powers Authority established with the City of Woodland faces very serious challenges before the Water Resources Board, under the Delta Flow Criteria established this August.

Even if approved, the project has the potential to be tied up in the courts for some time. New criteria for Delta inflow and outflow appear to severely limit the potential for any further claims on upstream river water.

Read more at DavisVanguard.org.

Note from Kim Floyd, Public Outreach Manager of the Woodland-Davis Clean Water Agency: The Woodland-Davis Clean Water Agency’s Meet & Greet Scheduled for Tuesday, November 30, has been cancelled. As an alternative, we will inform you of other scheduled presentations in your communities and invite you to attend. For those who are interested, General Manager Eric Mische will be presenting a project update to the Woodland Chamber at 8 a.m., Tuesday, November 30, at the Yolo County Farm Bureau, located at 69 West Kentucky Avenue in Woodland. If you’re a member of a group that would be interested in learning more about WDCWA’s water supply project, please contact me at (916) 409-0426 to schedule a presentation. Also, please feel free to visit our website at WDCWA.com, or contact us with any questions about the plans for and progress of the water supply project.

Monday, November 29, 2010

State Theatre renovation and expansion advocate appeals planning commission approval of Chase Bank


This site plan for the Chase Bank building was withheld from the planning staff report made available on the City of Woodland's Web site. Most attendees at the November 18 Planning Commission meeting only learned of the disproportionate parking and driveway features that evening. The plan is 87% parking lot and driveway, 13% building - contrary to Downtown Specific Plan guidelines according to local preservationist David Wilkinson.

From the Woodland Record:

David Wilkinson - the organizer of the thousand-strong Friends of the State Theatre group - has appealed to the Woodland City Council the Woodland Planning Commission's decision to approve the design for a Chase Bank building at 304 Main Street. The approved building design is at the corner of Main and Walnut Streets, described in the Downtown Specific Plan (DSP) as the "western gateway" to the historic downtown. The commission approved the design, 4 to 1, on November 18 leaving State Theatre Renovation and Expansion supporters "dumbfounded" and "let down" as stated in a letter by member Bill Brewster.

Wilkinson - the local architectural historian, preservationist and author - laid out in a November 11 letter to the Planning Commission several reasons why the Chase Bank design should not be approved but only dissenting commissioner Seth Wurzel apparently understood. Wurzel tried in vain to convince his fellow commissioners to spend more time deliberating the design, the location and the holistic qualities of land use in the historic downtown - particularly in relation to the very real circumstance that the proposed bank could eventually serve as the "western gateway." He said the commission took the City Loft architect "through the ringer." That defunct project was proposed for across the street and would have also been a gateway feature.

Read more at WoodlandRecord.com.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

WMW newsletter: Toter etiquette reminders, it's leaf drop season


From the Waste Management Woodland newsletter:

Cart Etiquette

Carts are to be placed on the street in front of your residence for your scheduled service day. DO NOT place carts on the sidewalk, as this creates unsafe conditions for pedestrians and people using wheelchairs, strollers, walkers, and other walking aids. It also restricts the right of way. DO NOT place carts in the gutter, as this creates dams that can cause water and/or debris to pool and create a hazardous and messy situation. When carts are placed for service, cart lids should be closed flat against the cart base to prevent debris, recycling, and green waste from blowing or falling out of the cart and littering the neighborhood.

Timing: Please have carts out no earlier than 6 p.m. on the night prior to service and bring in your cart by 6 p.m. on the night of service. Carts left outside beyond this time period block parking spots and create unsafe conditions. According to crime prevention specialists, carts remaining on the streets past the service day may suggest that no one is home and create a higher risk of theft.

Maintenance: Please call Waste Management at (530) 662-8748 to report vandalized or broken carts.

Leaf Drop Season for weekly street pile collection

November 1, 2010 to January 31, 2011 - WEEKLY Trash, Recycle, and Green Waste Cart Collection with WEEKLY Street Pile Collection.

County probation dept. spent $2,327.78 for each of 81 sexual assault "contacts"

From the Woodland Record:

For the period October 1, 2009, through June 30, 2010, the Yolo County Probation Department spent $188,550 of an awarded $259,075 for contacting 81 victims of sexual assault about their probationers. That is $2,327.78 per contact for each of the 81 victims - or 73% of the award was spent on 27% of the department's goal to contact 300 victims.

According to a report by Laura N. Chick, California Inspector General, an objective of the department was to contact victims "to inform them about probationer's status, terms and conditions of probation, the role of the probation officer, examples of probation violations, and to refer victims to appropriate services." Chick's findings concluded that the department will not make the projected victim contacts as outlined in their American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant for funds awarded by the California Emergency Management Agency (CalEMA) for the Probation Specialized Units Recovery Act Program.

Read more at WoodlandRecord.com.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Davis Vanguard: Ranch owner calls for independent investigation

From the Davis Vanguard:

For two years, ranch owners Ted Wilson and Brenda Cedarblade have complained about a bizarre series of events that includes harassment and even a shooting on their land. They believe it has to do with their opposition to county land use policies that has made them a target.

At the same time, authorities found it somewhat easy to ignore these complaints. But the shooting death of Wayne King, an employee on the Historic Nelson Ranch, will likely change all of that.

Everyone admits the circumstances here are bizarre. There was no gun found near the body and yet the Coroner's Office believes that Mr. King died from a self-inflicted bullet wound.

Read more at DavisVanguard.org.

Also read the Vanguard article "Yolo County Coroner calls death of Cedarblade's ranch hand self-inflicted."

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Woodland Poly supporters to petition YCOE for charter high school

From the Woodland Record:

Immediately following the Woodland Joint Unified School District (WJUSD) board vote [Thursday, Nov. 18] denying the charter school petition for Woodland Polytechnic Academy (WPA), a grassroots coalition of parents and educators vowed to resubmit the petition to the Yolo County Office of Education. WPA is a new high school focused on pathways both to higher education and the world of work.

"We may have lost this battle, but we will win the war in the fight to give our children more opportunities for success. Today's vote, while disappointing, is only a minor setback and we are confident that the strong momentum will continue to make the dream of Woodland Poly a reality," said Paul Preston, a Woodland Polytechnic founder and Executive Director/Superintendent of California College, Career and Technical Education Center (CCCTEC).

Preston plans on submitting the petition to YCOE on [today,] Monday, November 22, Under state law, YCOE must take action on the petition within 60 days of receiving it.

Read more at WoodlandRecord.com.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Letter: Woodlander dumbfounded by planning process, city "really let me down"

From the Woodland Record:

To the City of Woodland (please forward to members of the Planning Commission),

Last night I attended the October 18th Planning Commission meeting where the Chase Bank architectural design for the development at 304 Main Street was approved. I am dumbfounded by the decision of this meeting, and do not understand the logic behind the City planning process. I can only conclude that the City has not done their homework, and did not listen to the public they serve.

Firstly, the approved design does not meet the guidelines as established in the Woodland Downtown Specific Plan. Secondly, the public raised numerous valid concerns regarding the architectural design at the meeting.
Specifically...

Read more at WoodlandRecord.com.

CHASE BANK, CITY SEND MIXED MESSAGES TO STATE/GALAXY SUPPORTERS


WELCOME TO HISTORIC DOWNTOWN WOODLAND!

From the Woodland Record:

After a 4 to 1 approval of Chase Bank's site plans for 304 Main Street Woodland Planning Commission chair Steve Barzo welcomed the corporation to Woodland. Of course, Chase Bank is already in Woodland - at the County Fair Mall among other satellite locations. Billed as the "Western Gateway to Woodland's historic downtown," the vacant lot (in default by the current owner) will be 87% parking lot and driveways - a testament to the poor interpretation of city design standards. The proposed 4,120 sq. ft. building will sit atop the 33,541 sq. ft. lot owned by Marisol Tovar.

Probably most important, however, is the green light the commission gave Chase Bank to proceed with building their branch on the location adjacent to the historic State Theatre - site of a proposed multiplex expansion of the vacant movie house. When given the opportunity to delay a decision pending ongoing negotiations between the bank and multiplex developer Ron Caceres to relocate the branch, Chase representative Greg Aguirre flatly refused. Then, the commission failed to respond to a citizen's request to wait on a decision until the negotiations have a chance to proceed. Longtime Woodlander Jan Flanery Cauble spoke to the commission (absent David Sanders and Myriam Gonzalez who recused herself) about postponing a decision - but the city court could only offer up legal justifications to avoid any delays.

Read more at WoodlandRecord.com.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Right hand, left hand: How will Planning Commission handle Chase branch design?

Tonight city planner Paul Hanson will explain why he is recommending the City of Woodland Planning Commission "approve[s] the architectural design for the Chase Bank building at 304 Main Street. Just the use of the property and the renderings have caused concern (Yolo Sun article "Chase Bank project subverts Downtown Plan; Planning Commission should deny this project," and David Wilkinson's letter to the Planning Commission), but the location of the property is the subject of confidential negotiations between the bank and Ron Caceres who would like to develop the vacant lot as part of the Redevelopment Agency's priority downtown multiplex project.

Chase Bank representatives have been replying to concerned "Friends of the State Theatre" with this message: "Thank you for your inquiry about our Woodland, CA branch. As supporters of the community and the arts, we understand your concern for the preservation for the State Theatre. We are re-evaluating options for the branch and will be in contact with the developer of the State Theatre." The "Friends" group have sent many letters to Chase Bank urging them to relocate so that the State Theatre Renovation and Expansion project can proceed as proposed by Caceres.

Currently, 304 Main Street is not owned by Chase Bank and is in default. Chase Bank has the lot in escrow and Caceres has a back-up offer pending. The city planning department has allowed the building permit process to proceed while the RDA's multiplex selection committee continues to delay the ranking of the one proposal that is left.

Click here to view the staff report and renderings for tonight's Planning Commission meeting.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Letter: Woodland Poly needs YOU, state-approved petition apparently not good enough for WJUSD

From the Woodland Record - Letter to the editor:

Dear friends and family,

We need YOU! The kids of Woodland and the surrounding communities need YOU!
WJUSD has made it clear that they think that the schools here are doing so well that we do not need another high school, especially one that behaves in a fiscally responsible, kids-come-first, creative, well-rounded, teacher-empowering, student-empowering, parent-empowering way, led by people who are PROVEN charter school teachers and administrators.

Woodland Poly's petition is an expanded and fine-tuned version of CCCTEC's (our West Sacramento sister school) UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED petition. Let me say that again in another way. This last May, CCCTEC received UNANIMOUS approval from the state in review of the petition that had previously been denied at the district and county level.

Read more at WoodlandRecord.com.

Woodland Poly provides legal briefs for charter school, battles red tape of WJUSD

From the Woodland Record:

IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION OF CALIFORNIA COLLEGE, CAREER & TECHICAL EDUCATION CENTER, INC. FOR APPROVAL OF A CHARTER FOR THE WOODLAND POLYTECHNIC ACADEMY

PETITIONER’S POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN FAVOR OF THE APPROVAL OF THE PETITION

To the Honorable Trustees of the Woodland Joint Unified School District (the “District”).

INTRODUCTION

On September 22, 2010, California College, Career & Technical Education Center, Inc. (“Petitioner”) submitted a Petition for the District’s approval of the Charter of the Woodland Polytechnic Academy, a California Public Charter School (the “Academy”).
Pursuant to California Education Code Section 47605(b) the governing board of the District (the “Board”) held a public hearing pertaining to the charter of the Academy (the “Charter”).

Section 47605(b) of the Code now requires the Board to either “grant or deny the Charter within 60 days of receipt of the petition.” Since said 60-day period lapses on or about November 22, 2010, the Board will need to make its decision with regard to approving or denying the Charter at the November 18, 2010 Board of Trustees meeting.

The purpose of this Brief is to set forth legal Points and Authorities contained in the statutory law of California as well as the case law that has been established by California appellate courts.

Read more at WoodlandRecord.com.

Yolo Sun: Chase Bank project subverts downtown plan

From the Yolo Sun article "Chase Bank project subverts downtown plan; Planning Commission should deny this project:"

Woodland Planning Commission will consider at its meeting of November 18 [Thursday] the subject of project “design review” for proposed development of a Chase Bank branch location at 304 Main Street, upon the long-vacant lot on the southeast corner of Main and Walnut Streets — adjacent to State Theatre — now the subject of extensive development consideration by the City’s Redevelopment Agency.

Intense interest, agitation and related controversies are presently roiling through Woodland regarding the fate of the historic State Theatre (please see: http://friendsofstatetheatre.org as well as recent Yolo Sun articles) — which this proposed Chase Bank development would hugely affect, because this long-vacant lot has been specifically understood — within decades-long city planning options — as crucial for its renovation and expansion.

Read more at YoloSun.wordpress.com.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

RDA tonight: $300,000 for new Woodland courthouse activities

At tonight's Woodland City Council/Redevelopment Agency Board meeting...

TO: THE REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY BOARD
SUBJECT: Relocation Activities for Woodland Courthouse Project

Report in Brief

The Woodland Redevelopment Agency has been assisting the State Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) in acquiring the parcels for the new Woodland Courthouse Project site. Part of the acquisition process involves assisting the existing commercial tenants on the properties to relocate. The relocation process must follow the regulations and guidelines prescribed under the California Relocation Assistance Law.

Staff recommends that the Agency Board adopt the Agency Resolution No. ______, allocating up to $300,000 to cover reimbursable relocation costs, associated legal costs and staff costs required for the new Woodland Courthouse project; authorize the Executive Director to execute the Relocation Agreement as shown in Attachment II, any claims or negotiated settlement agreements with the occupants and any other documents necessary to carry out the relocation activities required pursuant to the MOU and under California Code of Regulations, Title 25, Division 1, and Chapter 6.

Read more at WoodlandRecord.com.

Ironic approval of May 4 RDA minutes tonight, but no agenda item for overdue multiplex selection

Ironically, the City of Woodland Redevelopment Agency will approve their own minutes for May 4 when the agency approved a Request for Proposal process for their priority downtown multiplex project. Ironic because the much-delayed selection process is not on tonight's RDA agenda despite the fact there is now only one multiplex proposal left.

On October 25 the Sacramento developer who just 20 days previously stated "take as much time as you need," withdrew his proposal leaving only Woodland developer Ron Caceres and Galaxy Theatres as the only proposal. Last Wednesday the selection committee met but were "not ready to make a recommendation" according to city manager Mark Deven.

The RDA's RFP merely outlines in its "Stage I" that the proposals simply will be ranked - then in "Stage II" the developer having the best proposal - according to a set of RFP criteria - would enter into an exclusive agreement for development.

Here are the minutes:


JOINT CITY COUNCIL/REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY BOARD MEETING

MAY 4, 2010
REGULAR SESSION
6:00 P.M.

REDEVELOPMENT REPORT
RESOLUTION 10-01- REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL FOR DOWNTOWN THEATER

Redevelopment Agency Manager Shallit said there are two sites under consideration, the State Theater and the Hoblit-Haynes site.

Board Member Dote said they had gone through the draft proposal and there were some minor changes all of which had been included in the final Request for Proposal (RFP).

Board Member Marble asked if a member of the Advisory Committee could be on this Selection Committee. It would be appropriate and advantageous. Chairperson Davies feel the Advisory Committee has done their job as advisors and own property in that area, thus it could be conflict of interest for them to serve on the Selection Committee as well. The item will return to the Board for recommendations. Board Member Marble feels their input would be valuable and does not see a down side.
Vice Chairperson Pimentel does not feel there would be any value to add the Advisory Committee Member to the Selection Committee. With two Council/Board Members serving he would be comfortable.

Read more at WoodlandRecord.com.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Riverbank... Woodland? Could be if RDA honors RFP

The City of Woodland's Redevelopment Agency cannot figure out what to do with only one respondent left from a field of two who responded to their downtown multiplex Request for Proposals. On October 25 the Sacramento developer who just 20 days previously stated "take as much time as you need," withdrew his proposal leaving only Woodland developer Ron Caceres and Galaxy Theatres as the only proposal. The following is an example of what might be escaping the RDA's moving target called the "selection process."

From the Modesto Bee article "Moving seats, huge screen upgrade Riverbank theater experience" by Marijke Rowland:

Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Riverbank.

Yes, Riverbank. The Northern San Joaquin Valley city of about 22,000 residents has joined the elite ranks of state-of-the-art movie theaters thanks to renovations at Riverbank Galaxy 12 Theatres.

Besides upgrading its appearance, the movie complex has put in an IMAX-rivaling big screen and motion seats, in separate auditoriums. Galaxy and Riverbank officials hope the renovations will make the city one of the premier movie destinations in the valley.

Read more at ModBee.com.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

De Knikker shows what it takes to be an Eagle Scout, unveils his memorial bench for SSgt. Shinn, MIA


Jordan De Knikker, Eagle Scout candidate, addresses the Veterans Day crowd on Thursday.

From the Woodland Record:

Jordan De Knikker's Veteran's Day speech:

This day, forty-four years ago William Charles Shinn, of Troop 464, earned the esteemed rank of Eagle Scout. Four years later Staff Sergeant Shinn of the United States Air Force would be aboard his final flight of HH-53 rescue helicopter “Jolly Green 71”.

On January 28th, 1970, Shinn was shot down by a Vietnamese MiG-21 Fighter Jet over Northern Vietnam while trying to save the crew of F-105G “Seabird 02.” Staff Sergeant Shinn’s sacrifice perfectly emulates the fundamentals of Scouting: Loyalty, Bravery, Helpfulness, Obedience, and, putting the needs of others before his own.

This day, November 11th, 2010, along with remembering those who served, is a hallowed day to remember heroes fallen. Therefore, I erect and dedicate this memorial bench in honor of his sacrifice. For as long as this memorial stands, Sergeant Shinn’s service to this country and his fellow man shall not be forgotten.

Gentlemen, reveal the bench.

More at WoodlandRecord.com.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

RDA teetering on steep slope of malfeasance - Yolo Sun exposes dealings with Petrovich and Cinema West

The City of Woodland Redevelopment Agency's selection committee for a downtown multiplex met yesterday. Result: Nothing.

Despite the fact that there is now only one multiplex proposal left, the committee "is not ready to make a recommendation" according to city manager Mark Deven. Deven also stated, "...the selection committee wants to have as many details defined as possible so that they can evaluate which proposal has the best chance of success before the RDA enters into an exclusive negotiation agreement."

"Which" proposal? There is only one left.

Also, the RDA's Request for Proposals merely outlines in its "Stage I" that the proposals simply will be ranked - and not according to one criterion of "best chance of success" - then in "Stage II" the developer having the best proposal - according to a set of RFP criteria - would enter into an exclusive agreement for development.

Readers take heed of the two Yolo Sun articles that are unraveling some possible misdeeds at City Hall.


Excerpts from the Yolo Sun article "Petrovich’s petulant panache:"

[Sacramento developer Paul] Petrovich purportedly wants to do the city council a special favor by withdrawing his [downtown multiplex] proposal: “because I do not wish to put the City Council in a position of having to choose between the more viable project, versus the one that has created so much emotion at the State Theater site.”

So, Petrovich next: “elect[s] to sell the majority of my land to CinemaWest so they can proceed to build the theater themselves. As you know, [ ] they are more than capable and experienced to self develop and finance this theater[,] in full compliance with the Downtown Specific Plan [DSP] criteria so there are no discretionary approvals required. [I] will retain ownership of the land where the associated retail will be built and [ ] will address the development of that portion of the project at a later date.”

Spectacularly, Petrovich apparently intends an attempt to effectively forestall any practical ability of the city council — “to choose” — between the two theater proposals responding to the RFP process — by just ditching it and then swiftly facilitating his cinema operator’s simply moving forward — outside redevelopment authority — supposedly — along some already available, independent avenue within the DSP.

Instead of abiding an RFP process already steeply sloped to his unique advantage, but now suddenly infused with the relative novelty of authentic community participation, Petrovich strategically falls back upon the prior, entire basis / need for this RFP — a blatant subversion of Woodland’s best interests — a customized planning-fix within the 2003 DSP — installed for him by City Hall when his political influence there was at its apex — but which is now clearly being recognized as such.

Read the entire article at YoloSun.wordpress.com.

Excerpts from the Yolo Sun article "City report exposes steep slope of cinema study:"

A Woodland Redevelopment Agency Request For Proposals (RFP) regarding a new downtown theater complex was the subject of a Status Report for the City Council (serving as Agency Directors) on its agenda for October 5.

This Status Report details not only objective contours of this consideration process. It also reflects alarming predispositions both introduced within a key city planning document and perhaps existing among the city council subcommittee delegated with managing this RFP: Vice-mayor Skip Davies and Councilmember Martie Dote.

Fashioning this RFP on the flawed basis of the 2003 version of the Downtown Specific Plan (2003 DSP) has resulted in a deliberation process slanted and skewed to favor Paul Petrovich’s “Cinema Square” Project over Ron Caceres’ “State Theatre Renovation and Expansion” Project.

Neither the 2003 DSP nor the RFP and its Status Report properly address or even explicitly recognize the more than obvious threat to — “preservation” — of historical State Theatre — directly posed by Petrovich’s “Cinema Square” Project.

This glaring fact speaks volumes about the stunning insincerity of contending that: “Both locations could potentially have a positive impact on the preservation of historic structures.”

Such a load will surely break a camel’s back.

Read the entire article at YoloSun.wordpress.com.

Yolo County World War I veterans remembered on November 11


From the Woodland Record:

By Larry Shapiro
American Legion Post 77

NOVEMBER 11 is America’s 91st Veterans Day. The holiday is observed annually in honor of all those, living and dead, who served in the United States Armed Forces. Now a tradition in Woodland, in all those 91 years American Legion Post 77 has brought to our community its Veterans Day program. Post 77 members will again do so at 11 am on Thursday, November 11 at the Yolo County Courthouse, 725 Court Street, Woodland.

The first Veterans Day on November 11, 1919 – then known as Armistice Day – was set aside as a time to eulogize those who died in World War I. While there is but one U.S. World War I veteran still alive, American Legion Post 77 seeks to continue remembrance of their legacy of successfully fighting tyranny under very difficult circumstances.

The German forces used poison gas. When World War I began, the enemy had over 100,000 machine guns. Also new in war was the incorporation of machine guns into aircraft, plus the use of grenades and tanks. There were many occasions when close combat fighting was necessary, as one side or the other charged out of trenches and fought at close quarters. Death was seen most everywhere.

World War I servicemen from Yolo County experienced all this. From our then small county – with a population listed in the 1910 Census as 13,925 – 38 died. Many were wounded, with some receiving severe, permanent injury.

Those from Yolo County not only served in the infantry, but served in the full scope of positions utilized during World War I:

Read about our Yoloans who served in WWI at WoodlandRecord.com.

Courtesy photo: The Woodland National Guard members just before they left for Europe for WWI. The label reads: 1918 – F Company, 160th Infantry, 40th Division Training at Camp Kerny, Linda Vista, California, prior to going overseas as replacements in the American Expeditionary Forces.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Councilman Monroe resigns upon retirement from Sheriff's Dept.

From the Woodland Record - Letter to the editor:

November 18, 2010

Mark Deven, City Manager
300 First Street
Woodland, CA 95695

Dear Mark,

Effective November 30, 2010, I am resigning from my seat on the Woodland City Council. I have been given an opportunity to retire after serving 28 years in public service. After five generations, including 102 years of service by Monroes at the Yolo County Sheriff’s Department beginning when my great grandfather was elected Sheriff in 1908, the Monroe family is moving east.

My only request of my fellow council members and the community is that you work hard to keep public safety strong. I have always said, “There can be no quality of life if people do not feel safe in their homes, streets, and parks.” It takes leadership and community involvement to maintain a safe environment. Please do not forget the men and women serving you faithfully in our police and fire department.

It has truly been an honor serving the citizens of Woodland for the last eleven years. I will miss you all. I wish you well, may God bless you all!

Sincerely,

Jeff Monroe

Letter to council/RDA: Why wait on State Theatre multiplex?

From the Woodland Record:

SELECTION COMMITTEE TO MEET THIS AFTERNOON

The following letters support the State Theatre Renovation and Expansion project as proposed by Woodland developer Ron Caceres. The multiplex proposal was submitted in response to a Redevelopment Agency's Request For Proposals issued May 5 by the State Galaxy Theatres group in accordance with Project 105 of the Downtown Specific Plan. The group is led by Caceres and multiplex operator Frank Rimkus of Galaxy Theatres. The RDA has stalled on its ranking of two proposals and selection of a developer that was due to occur on July 6 as outlined by Stage I of the RFP. An exclusive developer agreement with the RDA was scheduled to be completed by September 7 as part of Stage II along with much of the due diligence for a downtown multiplex.

On October 25 the only competing developer for a Third and Main theater quit his bid for the RDA's downtown multiplex leaving the RDA perplexed as to how to proceed. The selection committee is scheduled to meet this afternoon, but it is not known if the RDA and city council will take up the matter during its regular meeting next Tuesday. In the meantime, Caceres and Chase Bank have already agreed to attempt to relocate a proposed Chase branch to one of several available parcels surrounding the State Theatre multiplex site.

Here are the letters sent by a Woodland resident and a Friend of the State Theatre:


Dear Mayor, Woodland City Council Members, Redevelopment Manager, City Manager,

I am a Woodland resident of over 10 years and support the multiplex theatre development as proposed by developer Ron Caceres... and yes, I am a "Friend of the State Theatre." I am writing this letter to encourage the City to select the RCI Development Inc. multiplex proposal, and move on to the next step in the development process without delay.

I have been following the news related to the construction of a new multiplex theatre and am somewhat baffled by the process. On one hand it appears that the City is following a logical and reasonable protocol, yet at the same time doing everything it can to thwart what appears to be a very innovative, thoughtful, appropriate and responsive proposal. There does not appear to be a rational explanation for the length of time the City has taken to select a preferred multiplex option. And now that there is only one plan to select from, why hasn't the City made a decision or an announcement explaining the delayed decision. The City is "supportive" of a new location for the Chase Bank branch (if that's what Chase decides) but won't give Mr. Caceres the 'go ahead' he needs to strike a deal with Chase.

Read a lot more at WoodlandRecord.com.

Monday, November 08, 2010

'Fill the Ball' fundraiser for Lee and Douglass Middle Schools this Saturday

Lee and Douglass Middle Schools will be hosting a "Fill the Ball" dinner and auction Fundraiser at the Heidrick Ag Building on Saturday, November 13, from 6 to 10 pm.

Tickets are $25 and the night will feature a catered dinner by Ludy's, a full bar, raffle, silent, live and desert auction. There will be some fabulous prizes donated for the event including free golf, hosted dinners, Kings tickets, ski lift tickets, spa days, a week's vacation and many more.

All proceeds from the event will be used to help fund middle school athletics. For more information or to purchase tickets you can contact Athletic Directors Stacey Mounce (Stacey.Mounce@wjusd.org) at Lee Middle School or Mike Papas (Michael.Papas@wjusd.org) at Douglass Middle School.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Democrat article is why we exist

Geoff Johnson, the new reporter for the Daily Democrat wrote this: "Until recently Caceres' project was in competition for city funding with a Cinema West proposal to build a new theater on the same street." This is the second time he's used this phrase which is a complete misrepresentation of the City of Woodland Redevelopment Agency's Request for Proposals for a downtown multiplex.

He also wrote, "Cinema West withdrew its request for funding and announced plans to build a theater entirely with private funding, a move decried by State supporters."

These statements can be found in the Democrat's new article about the Friends of the State Theatre email campaign to Chase Bank (AKA "Bank" or "major bank") called "Bank may talk to developer of Woodland Theater." Woodland Theater? Really? When has Ron Caceres, the RDA, or the Friends of the State Theatre ever referred to the project as the "Woodland Theater?" Caceres' response to the RFP was presented as State Galaxy Theatres - and it addresses Project 105 of the Downtown Specific Plan, the State Theatre Renovation and Expansion. It was never called the Woodland Theater and it never will be.

To address the "competition for funding" and "request for funding" falsifications, on May 5 the RDA issued an RFP for a downtown multiplex to be developed at one of two locations. The RFP was based on the fact that the RDA's top priority project for the next few years is a downtown multiplex. Caceres and Paul Petrovich responded to the RFP with budgets (at least in Caceres' case) that outline a variety of funding sources including cash, equity, investments, bank loans and federal and state grants in addition to listing a possible RDA contribution (since it is their project). Then Petrovich quit, leaving the State Theatre plan as the only downtown multiplex plan - at least in the eyes of the RDA. The RFP is not, and was not intended to be, a competition for funding. That is a false characterization of the RDA's priority project and the RFP by the Democrat's editor who evidently continues to support the quitter Petrovich and his crony Dave Corkill and Cinema West.

This is from the RDA: "The primary focus of the redevelopment investment strategy is to assist the historic downtown core area in transitioning from a general retail location to an entertainment center with restaurants and unique destination retail shops. The three investment strategy goals for the downtown are to:

· Create new entertainment venues and activities
· Increase residential units, and
· Develop currently underutilized or vacant sites, while renovating and preserving existing structures.

Note the RDA's use of the phrase "investment strategy goals." The RDA budgeted $4 million for a downtown multiplex project, unbeknownst to at least Caceres... why they would withhold that information is beyond me. Caceres has stated that he has budgeted for a $2 million loan from the RDA. He has yet to request any funds - from the agency, the city, the state, the feds, investors, banks, etc. - because he has received NO COMMITMENT from the RDA or city.

How can Caceres request ANY funding if he has not been selected as the exclusive developer? When he has an agreement with the RDA, and the building and financing process begins, then he will work with the RDA and create a realistic budget that may, or may not, include a request for an RDA loan. (Did you notice that the budgeted $2 million loan - that will be paid back - is half of what the RDA has budgeted to spend?) The RDA was supposed to wrap up Stage 1 of the RFP on July 6 when they were to simply rank the proposals and select a developer and operator. Caceres vs. Petrovich? Galaxy Theatres vs. Cinema West? Preserving the State vs. demolishing the Electric Garage? Removing blight vs. replacing one tax base with another? Yeah, I suppose it must be a very difficult choice for the selection committee and the RDA, especially when the Daily Democrat chooses to report the way it does.

This Democrat article represents why the Woodland Journal and the Woodland Record exist, to provide alternative - and in most cases more accurate - information on issues that are important to the community. Some people think the WJ and WR need to be more balanced in our "reporting," but they fail to realize we are providing balance to the daily rag and to city's lack of communication and to the county's propaganda. And some people also think The Realist and I should allow unbridled comments like DailyDemocrat.com does - but again, we exist to balance the unchecked and largely inaccurate articles and blog comments you see over there.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Woodland v Pioneer football

Stay tuned for live updates tonight.
Woodland fumbles opening kick off return, Patriots recover on the 35. #44 runs 25 yards for td. Patriots 7. Wolves 0
Patriots #3 interception return 40 yards to the 5 yard line.
Patriots 5 yard pass to #21 for a touchdown.
Patriots 14. Woodland 0
Wolves score on a 3 yard run by #6.
Patriots 14. Wolves 7
After stopping the patriots deep in their own territory, the wolves got great field position and drove 35 yards, capped by a 3 yard touchdown run by #6.
Wolves score again 35 yard td pass to #1 Jones.
At the half pioneer 14. Wolves 14
Wolves drive 65 yards and score on a spectacular one handed catch by #32.
Wolves 21 Pioneer 14
Wolves #9 Sachs interception. #44 70 yard run sown to the one yard line. Wolves can't punch it in. Turn over on downs. Pioneer takes over on the 1.
Start of the 4th.
Wolves get a stop on defense and drive 70 yards ending with a 5 yard touchdown run by #6
Extra point blocked
Wolves 27. Pioneer 14
7:27 left in the game.
Wolves #20 makes an interception at the 40. Wolves take possession with 5:30 left in the game.
Pioneer scores with a hook and ladder from the 25 yard line. Extra point blocked.
Wolves 27 pioneer 20
Wolves make 5th turnover with 1:45 left , pioneer takes over on the 40.
Pioneer scores with a 60 yard pass to #44. Tried for two and came up short on the extra point.
Woodland 27. Pioneer 26
Final score woodland 27 Pioneer 26

Public pressures Chase to work with State multiplex developer, Deven placates

From the Woodland Record:

From: Mark Deven
Date: November 4, 2010 3:57 PM
To: [City Council]
Subject: Location of Chase Bank in Woodland, CA

Mayor and City Council:

In response to several emails sent to national and regional representatives of Chase Bank, the corporation’s management will be making an additional effort to work with Ron Caceres in order to explore options for trading properties. The email below to Woodland resident Diane Adams, provided as an example of the response they plan to send to other citizens who have emailed Chase management, expresses their desire to work with Mr. Caceres.

Read more at WoodlandRecord.com.

First Friday event: Gelfman's "Taking Shape" opens at Blue Wing Gallery


From the Woodland Record:

The Blue Wing Gallery is pleased to host "Taking Shape" a solo exhibition featuring exciting new works by ceramic artist Linda Gelfman.

This exhibit is a mix of sophisticated and humorous sculptures each one rich in personality. Linda's mastery of medium is demonstrated in the attention to detail; the interesting variations in textures and the depth of color achieved in her glazes. These latest pieces mark her as an artist worthy of serious collectors, however her down to earth attitude and affordable prices make her an artist with overall appeal.

Read more at WoodlandRecord.com.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Letter to Chase: Be a friend, not a foe

From the Woodland Record:

The following is a letter to Jennifer Zuccarelli of JP Morgan Chase Corporate Media Relations from a Woodland resident.

Dear Ms. Zuccarelli,

I am writing to you with a plea to reconsider your decision regarding the location of your new branch in Woodland, California. Yes, I am “one of those ‘Friends of the State Theater’ people”, and I hope you have heard from many more of us. You may feel we are just a bunch of nuts letting our emotions get the best of us. You have a right to your opinion; however, I think if you knew a bit more about our community, you may understand where we come from with this passion for restoring the State Theater.

Read more at WoodlandRecord.com.

JP Morgan Chase contact information:

James Dimon
Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of JPMorgan Chase
25 Banks Street, Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 302-9990
Jamie.dimon@chase.com (emails to Dimon subject to screening)

Jennifer Zuccarelli
Corporate Media Relations
(212) 270-7433,
jennifer.r.zuccarelli@jpmchase.com

Antonio Manning
Community Relations Regional Manager
(323) 860-2001
antonio.manning@jpmchase.com

Gary Kishner
Chase Media Relations
(818) 775.3670, cell (818) 618.8302
gary.kishner@chase.com

Gregg Vogel
Retail Real Estate ~ Retail Financial Services ~ Initiatives
Senior Vice President
(949) 458-1208
gregg.vogel@chase.com

Sandy, Barajas and Hartley are Woodland winners

Check out the results at the Yolo Elections Office.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

"THAT'S IT" - SF GIANTS ARE CHAMPS

"That's it," shouted KNBR Giants announcer Duane Kuiper last night upon the final strike of Game 5 delivered by closer Brian Wilson. Kuiper went on to announce that the SF Giants won their first World Series Championship (4 to 1) and that the title was also for past players "The Say Hey Kid," "Will The Thrill," and "Number 25."

It's been a long wait for many Woodlanders who grew up listening and watching the Giants. What are some of your favorite memories about the ballclub, Seals Stadium, Candlestick Park or ATT Park?

Trojans, Spartans clash in NorCal classic

From the Record Searchlight:

The Quincy Trojans and the Esparto Spartans played in one of the more amazing games in Northern Section history Friday when the underdog Spartans defeated the first-place Trojans 66-60 in five overtimes.

Read more at Redding.com.

Monday, November 01, 2010

STATE THEATRE RISES!


The rendering shows a renovated State Theatre and the multiplex expansion on the adjacent lot to the west. The use of this lot for the preferred alternative presented by Woodland developer Ron Caceres has been compromised by delays caused by the City of Woodland’s Redevelopment Agency. Rendering produced by McCandless & Associates, Architects, and courtesy of the State Theatre Renovation and Expansion project.

Opposition quits, but project still faces foes: City and Chase Bank

THE STATE THEATRE Renovation and Expansion Project has risen to the top of the City of Woodland’s Redevelopment Agency’s (RDA’s) Request For Proposals (RFPs) for a downtown multiplex. The project’s only competitor, Sacramento developer Paul Petrovich, has quit and left his theater operator Cinema West holding the bag to pursue an end-around to the RFP process.

Regardless of the ploy to undermine the RDA’s priority project (as defined by its citizens advisory committee) – to quit and then apply for a building permit – the State project presented by the local team led by Ron Caceres and a community-minded theater operator, Galaxy Theatres, is the clear winner of the process. The project has the support of over 1,200 Facebookers and over 300 registered Friends of the State Theatre organized by local historian David Wilkinson.

Problem: From the beginning, the RDA itself has compromised the success of this popular proposal through delays perpetuated by councilmen Art Pimentel and Skip Davies, city manager Mark Deven, and RDA manager Cynthia Shallit. Even as sole survivor of the multiplex selection process, the State proposal still faces an unknown future.

Read much more at WoodlandRecord.com.