Monday, January 31, 2011

Pimentel to proclaim African-American History Month just two weeks after being put "on blast" by committee


During the January 18 Woodland City Council meeting, Pamela Bird-Dunn expressed her disappointment in city councilman Art Pimentel on behalf of the Woodland community's African-American Steering Committee. Bird-Dunn said that Pimentel has not come through on some promises in his role as mayor. Ironically, city staff has recommended that the city council adopt a proclamation recognizing African-American History Month during this Tuesday's meeting (February 1).

Here is the proclamation:

Read the proclamation at WoodlandRecord.com.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Appeal claims Chase Bank project fails to comply with DSP, charges abuse of discretion

From the Woodland Record:

The following appeal was filed at the City of Woodland this afternoon, January 28:

APPEAL BY FRIENDS OF STATE THEATRE OF CITY OF WOODLAND ZONING ADMINISTATOR / COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR DECISION TO NOT REQUIRE A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT FOR CHASE BANK PROJECT LOCATED AT 304 MAIN STREET
(A) INTRODUCTION

This is an extraordinary appeal by Friends of State Theatre of an already approved building permit for the Chase Bank project located at 304 Main Street (Project), necessary because the decision of City of Woodland Community Development Director / Zoning Administrator decision to not require (approve exemption from) a conditional-use-permit process for the Project is not a matter of public record and only became legally noticeable upon City Council denial on January 18, 2011, of an appeal of (Nov. 18, 2010) Planning Commission approval of the proposed architectural building design, etc., of the Project.

Woodland Downtown Specific Plan (DSP) states that the City Zoning Administrator may allow certain projects to proceed without a conditional use permit: “[I]f the project meets the appropriate performance standards, complies with the other requirements of this Specific Plan and applicable City regulations, and does not pose any design or operational features that would require warrant (sic) further public review.”

On an unknown date, the Community Development Director / Zoning Administrator decided that the Project will proceed with an exemption from available conditional-use-permit process.

Read more at WoodlandRecord.com.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wizard of Oz runs Jan. 28 to Feb. 20 at WOH

Kevin and Lorie Haarberg & Roger and Judy Kohlmeier present the Wizard of Oz, January 28 to February 20.

After a tornado whisks her away to the magical land of OZ, young Kansas farm girl Dorothy Gale teams up with a Scarecrow, a Tin Woodsman and a Cowardly Lion to avoid the clutches of the Wicked Witch Of The West and find the mighty Wizard who can send her home. All reserved seats $20, seniors $18, children 17- $10. Balcony $10 and children $5. Call the box office for groups of 10+. Purchase reserved seats online here, at the Box Office or call 530-666-9617.

Join the Woodland Opera House for a FREE Wine Tasting courtesy of Route 3 Wines January 28 from 6:30 to 7:30.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Woodland RDA escapes controller's audit list

From the State of California - Controller:

State Controller John Chiang today announced his auditors were beginning reviews of 18 redevelopment agencies (RDA) across the state in an effort to obtain facts on how RDA funds are used and the extent to which they comply with laws governing their activities.

“The heated debate over whether RDAs are the engines of local economic and job growth or are simply scams providing windfalls to political cronies at the expense of public services has largely been based on anecdotal evidence,” Chiang said. “As lawmakers deliberate the Governor’s proposal to close RDAs and divert those funds to local schools and public safety agencies, I believe it is important to provide factual, empirical information about how these agencies perform and what they bring to the communities they serve.”

Read more at SCO.ca.gov.

If you have something to report about our local RDA:

John Chiang, California State Controller
Sacramento
P.O. Box 942850
Sacramento, California 94250-5872
(916) 445-2636 Office

SCO Email form.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Opera House to take you over the rainbow with family classic, Jan. 28 to Feb. 20


From the Woodland Record:

Travel with Dorothy Gale of Kansas (Danielle Hansen) and her little dog, Toto (Bella) over the rainbow and down the yellow brick road as they journey through Oz in this L. Frank Baum classic tale presented by the Woodland Opera House January 28 through February 20. The show is generously underwritten by Kevin and Lorie Haarberg and Roger and Judy Kohlmeier.

Read more at WoodlandRecord.com.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Throw out the DSP and let the subsidies begin!


Design professional and native Woodlander Chris Holt presented these comparisons during the Jan. 18 council meeting. Chase Bank was not required to submit a perspective view of their plans as were previous applicants for the City Center Lofts project (left) or the Tovar Building (top right). The proposed building only covers 13% of the lot, whereas the city's commercial zoning code requires 60%-100% at that site.

Building is too small according to commercial zoning code, city planner lies about lot status

From the Woodland Record:

At Tuesday night's Woodland City Council meeting, local award-winning architect Bill McCandless stood up to support David Wilkinson's appeal of the planning commission's approval of the Chase Bank building design for 304 Main Street. McCandless pointed out many glaring inconsistencies between the bank's proposed design and the Downtown Specific Plan and he suggested that council should just throw away the document if it is not followed.

Lifelong Woodlander Chris Holt also presented his opinion as a design professional. He pointed out the disparity in building sizes between the small Chase elevations and the monumental architectural renderings of two other building designs that were previously approved for that intersection. Chase did not provide a three-dimensional rendering as was required by the two previous applicants. The proposed Chase footprint is only 13% of the lot (87% is dedicated to parking and driveway) that is supposed to be massed as the western gateway to the historic downtown according to the DSP. According to the city's zoning code, commercial lot coverage is required to be 60% to 100% for parcels that front on Main Street between Fourth and Walnut Streets

Council members Martie Dote, Skip Davies and Art Pimentel did not agree with McCandless (an accomplished professional who is very experienced with the DSP) or Holt (an architectural license candidate with a strong interest in the historic downtown) - but they lauded the interpretations set forth by the city's in-house planner and denied the appeal.

Read more at WoodlandRecord.com.

Petrovich sends press release, price tag for two Woodland parcels now comes to $2,500,100

In an obvious response to the Woodland Record article "Council agenda item fails to reveal another city partnership with Petrovich land" published Monday night, Sacramento developer Paul Petrovich has issued a press release to announce he will sell an up-to-this-point secret 19.1 acre parcel to the City of Woodland for only $100. That brings the total of that parcel and his I-5 onramp parcel purchased by the city last year to $2,500,100.

In the press release published by the Daily Democrat called "$100 for Woodland water intake site" (concocted by the cub reporter Geoff Johnson) Petrovich was quoted: "When I got Gateway rezoned, (the city) required me to reinvest in the downtown. Nobody does that. So I bought the Third and Main property to try and stimulate the downtown, and everybody thinks there's some big thing down there." Third and Main is the location of his proposed multiplex - at the site of the historic Electric Garage building.

However in an April 29, 2007, Daily Democrat article "Ground Broken for Costco and Target in Woodland" about his Gateway I project Petrovich "said that Kirkwood forced him to commit to a downtown component to help offset potential losses. As a result, Petrovich bought the old Shell station site on Main Street just west of the railroad tracks – a $7 million investment, he said – “that will touch off a rebirth of Main Street.” The Shell station was located at Sixth and Main, the site of his failed Rite Aid project that remains vacant.

In the same article it was reported that "Petrovich also bought 155 acres of land on the Sacramento River through the Wildlife Heritage Foundation to make up for Gateway land being developed at I-5 and Road 102."

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Yolo Sun: Chase plan - with council direction - will squander prominent corner

Excerpts from the Yolo Sun article "City Hall rationalizes enfeeblement of Downtown Specific Plan to suit Petrovich and Chase Bank:"

Objectivity and balance of staff reports are always deserving of scrutiny.

Pending action on David Wilkinson’s appeal of action by Woodland Planning Commission on November 18, 2010, to approve design of a proposed Chase Bank upon a large vacant lot on the SE corner of Main and Walnut Streets, is a vivid case on point.

Complicating these strange planning circumstances is recent emergence of a proposal to renovate and expand the historic State Theatre — presenting a compelling alternative use upon this pivotal downtown intersection — but also apparently perhaps doomed by city council directions / actions, since at least mid-2010, overtly designed and determined to install a Chase Bank upon this (as below demonstrated: “prominent”) spot.

Paul Petrovich was so interested in the relevance of this parcel, rumor has it, that he attempted to purchase it before it was put in escrow by the Tovar family and Chase Bank. [Editor's note: Last January the Woodland Record was told directly by the property owner that Petrovich made several attempts to buy the parcel.]

Certainly, for Chase Bank to build on this parcel, perhaps so pivotal for successful renovation and expansion of the State Theatre, and whose proponents currently desire to purchase it and use it for that purpose — would be tremendous advantageous for Petrovich’s (CinemaWest partnership) application to build a downtown cinemaplex on site of (former) Electric Garage (Main to Deadcat Alley, between Third and Fourth Sts.).

Read the rest at YoloSun.wordpress.com.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Council agenda item fails to reveal another city partnership with Petrovich land


Item K 10: Adopt Resolution Authorizing the Woodland-Davis Clean Water Agency to Proceed with Final Engineering of the Water Project Intake Facility

From the Woodland Record:

City of Woodland officials will tell you that the property known as AP 057-170-04 is "not part of any of the agreements we have announced" (12/15/10) and they will explain that it is "my recollection of the discussion regarding this property is that it is the back-up plan for the intake structure" (1/10/11). They will also tell you that "the site is critical to the City and the Woodland Davis Clean Water Agency (WDCWA) for the surface water project" (1/12/11).

So which is it? Has the property really "been discussed openly in the WDCWA board meetings by General Manager Eric Mische" but at the same time "wasn’t part of the agreements that were involved in last month’s negotiations" (1/10//11)? And what is AP 057-170-04?

To answer the first question... no. The property has NOT really been discussed openly because it has only been a closed session item in both the WDCWA board meetings and the Woodland City Council meetings. And it WAS part of the water agreements hastily approved in succession on Dec. 21 by the WDCWA, the City of Woodland, the City of Davis. Yolo County approved a related water agreement with the Conaway Ranch and Tri-City Water and Farm (owned by developer Angelo Tsakopoulos) on December 17 that is now subject to allegations of Brown Act violations.

Read much more at WoodlandRecord.com.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Where is this sign?


Click here for a hint to what street it's on and what city it's in. (Link takes awhile to load.)

Next question: Are other signs like this allowed in the city that allows this sign?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Killer of WesSac postal worker denied parole

From Yolo County - District Attorney:

54 year-old convicted murderer Clifford Myelle was denied parole on Jan. 11 by the Board of Parole Hearings.

On July 4, 1989, Myelle brutally murdered 40 year-old postal worker Richard Islas of West Sacramento. Islas had been allowing Myelle to live in his home. Police and coroner’s reports state that on July 4th, Myelle surprised Islas and hit him in the head with a claw hammer. Myelle proceeded for the next three hours to beat a stunned and defenseless Islas. He stuck him 33 times with the claw hammer. Blood spatter throughout the house indicated that the beating occurred throughout the house as Islas attempted to escape his attacker.

Read more at WoodlandRecord.com.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

YCOE board bucks trend, listens to public and unanimously approves Woodland Poly charter

From the Woodland Record:

In a unanimous vote, the Yolo County Office of Education (YCOE) tonight granted conditional approval for the charter school petition for Woodland Polytechnic Academy (WPA). WPA, founded by a grassroots coalition of parents and educators, is a new high school focused on pathways both to higher education and the world of work. School founders will now work closely with YCOE to address the board's questions prior to another charter petition vote on February 22.

"The County Board recognized that our primary mission is to give our children more opportunities for success. I'm pleased that they're willing to work with us so that we can ensure that Woodland Poly has the best program possible to serve our students," said Paul Preston, a Woodland Polytechnic founder and Executive Director/Superintendent of California College, Career and Technical Education Center (CCCTEC). "YCOE has been a tremendous partner and I applaud the board for visiting our campus to learn more about our innovative program."

Read more at WoodlandRecord.com.

10 applicants so far for vacant council seat, Hilliard throws hat in ring as expected after council appearance to back Petrovich

Rumors about Jim Hilliard applying for the vacant council seat have come true as he is one of ten applicants so far. His eleventh-hour appearance to the downtown multiplex issue to back the staff recommendation to suspend the RFP process - and to endorse the Petrovich/Cinema West plan - fueled the flames of speculation that the outgoing Chamber of Commerce president seized an opportunity to make a showing before Woodland City Council.

Interested citizens are still encouraged to apply by this Friday. Click here to view the city's press release about the status of the vacancy created by the resignation of Jeff Monroe - including the list of ten applicants.

Democrat gets it wrong again

Check out the Daily Democrat's newest article about the RDA: "Woodland's Redevelopment Agency defended for preserving history." Once again, the reporter has mischaracterized the State Theatre Renovation and Expansion proposal - here are a couple of excerpts:

"Woodland's Redevelopment Agency is often mentioned in conjunction with a long, enduring controversy over whether its funding should have been used toward a proposal to rehabilitate the State Theatre."

On May 5 when the RDA issued their RFP for two downtown multiplex sites, there was no question that RDA funds were going to be used at one of two locations - at the State Theatre or at the Electric Garage site. A month later, the RDA budget (later called "assumptions" by city manager Mark Deven) was approved and included $4 million for a multiplex project ($1 million for site preparation and $3 million for construction). The controversy started when the RDA delayed the selection process to the advantage of the Petrovich/Cinema West proposal.

The RDA has continued to ignore their own prescribed stages of the selection process - not even recognizing such observations made by many State supporters. They continued to delay the selection process by asking for information that could only be obtained in Stage 2 of their own process. They did not rank the proposals and select one proposal for an exclusive negotiating period that should have started on July 6. Subsequently, Petrovich quit the process, but the RDA continued to entertain only his multiplex development application - falsely claiming the city or agency has no legal discretion in its own planning within the downtown/redevelopment area.

The Democrat also stated: "Wilkinson campaigned heavily, but unsuccessfully, for the RDA to use some of its funding for the State Theatre."

David Wilkinson campaigned for the selection of the State Theatre Renovation and Expansion proposal - not whether, or not, the RDA should use some of its funding. He reminded the RDA many times about the purpose of the RDA - that the money is required to be spent on redevelopment projects - but at no time did Ron Caceres or the State Theatre group ever request any money from the RDA. That fact was confirmed by Deven. The RDA had budgeted $4 million in June for a multiplex project - then they rewarded Petrovich and Cinema West for quitting their own process that was intended to select the location of the new downtown multiplex. The controversy is all about the process and the lack of leadership exhibited by the city manager and three of the four RDA board members. Bill Marble was the only board member who tried to salvage any credibility of the process.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ayala recommends appeal denial for Woodland Poly charter

Agenda: Yolo County Board of Education, Special Meeting, January 12, 2011, 5:00 pm

Recommendation/comments: YCOE staff recommends the YCBE deny the Woodland Polytechnic Academy charter petition on appeal due to the findings of fact enumerated in attached Resolution #10-11/06.

George O. Ayala, Ed.D., Superintendent

YCOE Board Members:

Read more at WoodlandRecord.com.

WJUSD expenditures for Jan. 13

Pursuant to Board Policy 3310, the Board of Trustees must approve the purchase of items/services in excess of $15,000. The following list includes those purchase orders requiring Board approval at this time:

School Steps, Inc. Roseville, CA
To provide qualified Physical Therapists and Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants
Special Education Budget – $114,000.00

Child Development Center, San Jose, CA
Child Development Services - 201 0/11 School Year
Child Development Fund – $225,402.26
PO was previously approved for $95,944. 75. This request is to increase it by $225,402.26. Paid in 2009-10: $262,815.70

Yolo County Office of Education, Woodland, CA
Research Based Professional Development in Literacy Improvement for all English Language Learners - The Write Institute and Look at Learning by localizing training.
$86,576.75
$8,420.00 Title II IMP Teacher Quality, $78,156.75 Title 111 LEP

Office Depot, Los Angeles, CA
Office Supplies for Woodland High Schooi
$17,000.00
$12,000 Discretionary Allocation, $3,000 Speciai Ed Discretionary, $2,000 Partnership Academies

Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo, Cerritos, CA
Legal Services
Legal Budget $30,000.00
PO was previously approved for $75,000. This request is to increase it by $30,000.
Spent in 2009-10: $102,733.43

Action Supportive Care Services, Inc. EI Dorado Hills, CA
Consultant Services Licensed Nurse 1:1 Assistance for a student (on bus and in classroom)
Special Education Budget $93,445.00

Monday, January 10, 2011

USA dismisses all charges against Harrison Jack, et al.

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
HARRISON ULRICH JACK, et al., Defendants.

Case No. CR 07-266 FCD
UNITED STATES’ MOTION TO DISMISS ALL CHARGES AS TO ALL DEFENDANTS; ORDER

MOTION: Plaintiff, the United States of America, by and through the United States Attorney, Benjamin B. Wagner, hereby moves pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 48(a), to dismiss the counts in the indictment, first superseding indictment and second superseding indictment as against all defendants, in the interests of justice. Based on the totality of the circumstances in the case, the government believes, as a discretionary matter, that continuedprosecution of defendants is no longer warranted. In addition, the government moves to exonerate bail as to all defendants. Dated: January 10, 2011

Respectfully submitted, BENJAMIN B. WAGNER, United States Attorney [By: Tice-Raskin]

ORDER: Based upon the motion of the United States, it is hereby ordered that, pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 48(a), all charges against all defendants are dismissed. Bail is exonerated as to all defendants. IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: January 10, 2011

FRANK C. DAMRELL, JR., United States District Judge

Woodland Poly supporters plan for Jan. 12 date with YCOE

Join the large group of parents, students, educators, alumni and community members who support Woodland Polytechnic Academy (Woodland Poly), a safe, drug-free campus that will prepare our students for the 21st century workforce and college.

On Nov. 18, the WJUSD denied Woodland Poly's charter school petition so on Nov. 23, Woodland Poly appealed WJUSD's decision by submitting its charter school petition to the YCOE. On Wednesday, Jan. 12, the YCOE will hold a Special Board Meeting to approve or deny Woodland Poly's charter school petition. Please tell the YCOE's superintendent and five board members how important Woodland Poly is for our children and community by taking the following three easy steps:

1. Attend the YCOE's Special Board Meeting next Wednesday, Jan. at 5 pm at 1280 Santa Anita Court, Suite 120, Woodland. The superintendent and the five board members want to see the community's support so please attend and show/voice your support. PARENTS AND STUDENTS ARE ENCOURAGED TO SPEAK so prior to the start of the Special Board Meeting, please fill-out a "Speaker Form" located on a table just inside the Board Room entrance door.

2. Add your name to the supporters list published on Woodland Poly's website and in future Daily Democrat ads by emailing Woodland Poly at email@woodlandpoly.org

3. Write a letter of support to the superintendent and the five board members; contact info is available at http://ycoe.org/boardmembers and http://ycoe.org/contacts

As of November 17th, 540 people have asked to be published on Woodland Poly's website supporters list, and on Facebook, 318 people "Like" Woodland Poly's commitment.

Learn more about Woodland Poly at www.woodlandpoly.org, or call 530-219-2542.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

DA drops Galvan case, believes juries will deadlock again

From the Woodland Record:

Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig announced that his office will not seek a fourth trial against West Sacramento brothers Ernesto and Fermin Galvan who fought West Sacramento Police officers and resisted arrest in 2005.

On June 14, 2005, at approximately 3:33am, Officer Schlie of the West Sacramento Police Department noticed a car parked on Riverbank Road in West Sacramento. As Officer Schlie approached Riverbank Road, he noticed two men standing in the road way. Officer Schlie exited his patrol car and contacted the two subjects, later identified as Ernesto and Fermin Galvan. Upon contacting the two men, Officer Schlie noticed Ernesto Galvan was sweating profusely, was fidgety, and would not look him in the eyes. Officer Schlie suspected that Ernesto Galvan was under the influence of a controlled substance and attempted to detain him to conduct a further evaluation. Ernesto Galvan failed to comply with his requests and Officer Schlie grabbed him by the wrist. Ernesto Galvan pulled away, swung around and struck Officer Schlie in the chin. Galvan fought Officer Schlie and another officer for nearly four minutes.

Officers were unable to stop the onslaught of kicks and punches from Ernesto Galvan. During this struggle, the officers attempted to gain control and compliance from Ernesto by Verbal Commands, Take down techniques, the taser and use of batons. It was not until the officers used their batons that Ernesto Galvan stopped fighting. Ernesto Galvan was charged with felony resisting by threats and violence and misdemeanor battery on a police officer. Fermin Galvan was charged with misdemeanor resisting arrest.

Read more at Woodland Record.com.

See the Davis Vanguard article "Reisig reverses course, will not seek fourth trial of Galvan brothers."

Monday, January 03, 2011

Animals vs. Humans

Okay, here is my rant for the month. Why is it that animals get better emergency room services than humans do?

I had to take my dog Max to the emergency room yesterday after he had an allergic reaction to a spider bite of some sort. We took him to Woodland Veterinary Hospital over on Matmor road. This was a great experience, but left me with many question about my own emergency room experiences.

When you walk in, the inside was very clean, nice seating areas, art on the walls and a few other things to keep you busy. The first difference I noticed was we were helped in about 20 seconds. Now if that was me at a Hospital, we are talking 3 - 4 hours minimum. Also, the staff appeared to love their jobs. they were super friendly. The doctor came in after about 2 minutes and checked Max out. The Doctor actually spent time in the room and seemed to go out of his way to make the dog feel comfortable. While getting treated and checking the examination room out, max urinated on the wall. Wow, if I tried that, I would be in jail. Then, not only did they clean it up, they gave Max some treats too. WTF, not only have I never been given treats at the ER, I am sure I would not get treats after urinating on their wall.

I warned the doctor he might bite, they didn't care. Again, if I bite the doctor, I go to jail. The doctor quickly diagnosed him, gave him a shot and we were on our way. This entire visit from my front door and back only took 45 minutes. Are you kidding me.... I will not even talk about how long the total visit at the ER takes for me, unless I fake some breathing problems.

Then, the big kicker, it only cost me $203. What can I even say about this, last time I went to the ER I was hit with a $850 bill. My two pills alone cost me $50. At the Vet ER, he told us which medication to get over the counter for dirt cheap, saving me even more money.

What is the moral of this story? I don't know, but I am very tempted to go see a Vet next time I get sick.