Tuesday, February 22, 2011

"You Be the Judge" Talent Showcase - Friday at the Opera House

The Woodland Opera House presents "You Be the Judge" Talent Showcase, Friday, February 25 at 7 pm.

This year the annual Opera House talent show will include several cash prizes. Audience members will get the chance to be the judge and to award a $200 first prize and a $50 second prize.

The Showcase includes: Allison, Kimmie, and Keri Ruanto; Devon Hayakawa; Rudolph Cuyno; Jon Lugo; Morgan Gray; Claudia Evans; Alexis Zendejas; Christopher Olvera and Gabe Horn; Giovanni Garcia; Dan Richards and mom; Luke Fenimore; Kristina Pellegrino; Kaylee Pearson; Gaylena Erdman; Svitlana Kazakova; Monique Ward Lonergan & Shay Crandall.

Click HERE to purchase tickets online.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Commission passes off Target warehouse paint scheme as public art

Public art? The Target warehouse expansion will include two walls painted with four colors described as "stonewash," "putty tan," "natural suede," and "good earth" in random rectangles. Aerial views of the surrounding farm land are shown below.

From the Woodland Record:

On February 17, the City of Woodland Planning Commission, unanimously approved the "Target Regional Distribution Facility Expansion - Site Plan, Design Review, including Public Art, and a Mitigated Negative Declaration." The project is a 362,099 sq. ft. expansion of the existing 1,509,591 sq. ft. warehouse located at 2050 East Beamer Street at the most northern and eastern corner of the city's industrial area.

City planners require developers to include so-called "public art" on their project sites based on an incomprehensive paragraph tucked away within design guidelines. The public art "requirement" has no framework by which educated critics (or peers of professional public artists) can review the work according to a standard process. The following is the artist's statement made by an unknown public artist - a testament to the city's mockery of public art:

"Humankind's influence upon the natural world has been profound, but ultimately, our ability to control natural systems is limited and in the case of major natural events (tornado, earthquake, etc.), nonexistent. Our influence upon nature can be extremely destructive or, when exercised thoughtfully, benign. We can impose our idea of order on the earth and, as in our agriculture, derive great benefit. But if we fail to respect the natural balance we risk harm, both to the land and to ourselves."

Read more at WoodlandRecord.com.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Woodland tops Davis 26 to 10, Stallard MVP

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From the Woodland Record:

In a full court press of a State of California loophole, the Woodland City Council completed the aristocratic option of appointing Tom Stallard to fill Jeff Monroe's vacant council seat and laid to rest any notion of the democratic option play of an election. The democratic way would have been too costly, according to city manager Mark Deven, and would have been a burden to city staff.

Apparently democracy is now a burden - rather than a privilege. During a time when council can approve $42 million for summer water rights without batting an eye and conversely can save $15,000 by not having an election (revised to $75,000 for the staff report), citizens don't need to worry about voting for a new council member - they only need to endure grandstanding and a locker room pep talk during the final stage of an appointment process.

Read more at WoodlandRecord.com.

Click here to view the entire appointment process, Item 9 of the Feb. 15 meeting.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Behind closed doors: Price and terms for 22 acres next to Gateway I

From the Woodland Record:


B. CLOSED SESSION, B.1 Conference with Real Property Negotiators, Pursuant to Section 54956.8 Property: APN 027 852 005 Agency Negotiator: City Manager Negotiating Parties: Mark Deven and New Woodland Partners Under Negotiation: Price and Terms of Payment

More at WoodlandRecord.com.

Yolo Sun: No justice, no peace in council candidate selection

The Yolo Sun has infused some cerebration into the otherwise blasé platforms of the two city council candidates, David Sanders and Tom Stallard, in the latest posting called "Council appointment process qualifies two best resumés, but candidate replies raise concerns."

The two candidates chosen by councilmen Bill Marble and Art Pimentel may be the best of their six finalists of yes-men, but they are void of any true representation of those concerned with city affairs.

Among the 26 residents who applied for the vacant council seat left by Jeff Monroe, Marble and Pimentel ignored two people who have regularly kept pace with the city council on a variety of issues - Bernadette Murray and Bobby Harris. Both, in their own styles, have provided checks to the imbalanced council. It's a shame that such an appointment comes down to who is agreeable with council, rather than who has consistently provided alternative solutions to civic debacles. Sanders and Stallard could not articulate any particular action that council has taken that they disagreed with.

Sanders could only muster up "an area of concern" as the public's perception that council is "cozy" with unnamed developers. Sanders unwittingly criticizes himself since he is the chair of the planning commission - the governmental body that exemplifies the collusion with developer Paul Petrovich. (C'mon, name him for crying out loud). And Stallard only came up with an issue that council has no control over - the location of the Opera House annex that was approved for Measure E money by Woodland voters. Both are attorneys.

Here are some excerpts from the Yolo Sun article:

Sanders unctuously refuses to specifically identify any “decision or action that the Woodland City Council has taken that you have disagreed with” (and why) — “because [he] do[es] not have access to all the information the council had to reach any individual decision.”

Sanders, of course, has closely participated within the previous decade of planning and development within Woodland, often as chairperson of the Planning Commission.

Among his civic goals and directions, Stallard would: “Be a force for calm and stability in our community.

Installing calmness at city council chambers seems perversely redundant.

Stallard continues, explaining that: “’how’ we do things is, in fact, as important as ‘what’ we do. The feelings of people matter. I want to make progress, but I want us to have as united a community as possible.”

The feelings of people certainly matter a very great deal; but of course, not as much as their genuine (public) interests.

What quickly comes to mind when confronting Stallard’s call for calm and civility in the troubled face of entrenched problems described above, within our municipal development, is this hopefully accurate political slogan: No Justice, No Peace.

Read much more at YoloSun.wordpress.com.

February 14 uPrint edition

Chase Bank could have come out smelling like a rose just in time for Valentine’s Day. Instead, the institution is smelling more like a goat after snubbing thousands of State Theatre multiplex supporters by ignoring many solutions to facilitate a unique downtown opportunity. Chase Bank has apparently added lip service to their already maligned financial services since publicly-promised negotiations with developer Ron Caceres never materialized. Acting in good faith, Caceres even put a property in escrow
as an alternate site for the bank’s third Woodland branch. That was in December, but even earlier in 2010 Caceres offered to include Chase in the multiplex project (similar to above). But Chase’s arrogance may have been outdone: The City of Woodland is now touting RDA “highlights” that include Paul Petrovich’s competing Cinema West project – the same project that city staff denies they are subsidizing. Petrovich quit the RDA’s process to select a downtown multiplex on Oct. 25, then filed a building application on Nov. 15. Rendering by McCandless & Associates, Architects, for the State Theatre Renovation and Expansion project - modified by Woodland Record.

Chase chooses goat, not hero
City chooses gloat - still a zero

Go to WoodlandRecord.com to read the Feb. 14 uPrint edition. Check out page 6 for an interesting comparative look at a missed opportunity by both Chase Bank and the City of Woodland

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day dinner at Main Street Cafe

On special occasions the Main Street Cafe at 537 B Main Street opens their doors for dinners. Tonight you can celebrate with a Valentine's dinner from 5 to 9 pm. Here is the menu...

Starters: Blue Cheese Pear Tart, Grilled Shrimp with Pistachios and Chocolate. Soups: Parsnip Soup with White Chocolate, Vegetable Bean Chili. Entrées: (With vegetables and red potatoes or rice) Chicken Molé, Prime Rib with Creamy Horseradish, Baked Salmon with a Vanilla Ginger Sauce, Cocoa Rubbed Pork Loin with Citrus Mango Salsa, Chocolate Rosemary Short Ribs or Vegan Riblets. Includes a dessert tray, coffee, tea and soda. Only $65 per couple (includes Appetizer, soup, roll, entrée, drink, and dessert. beer, wine and Mimosas also available.

They are a low sodium restaurant. Visit Main-StreetCafe.com for more info.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

More evidence of city subsidies for Petrovich's Cinema West project

From the Woodland Record:

On Tuesday, February 15, City of Woodland's city manager Mark Deven and redevelopment manager Cynthia Shallit will recommend a "Resolution to Oppose Administration’s Proposal to Abolish Redevelopment Agencies."

Here is the "Report in Brief:" Governor Brown’s FY 2012 budget proposal proposes to abolish California redevelopment agencies. If this proceeds as planned, it would have serious negative consequences for Woodland’s future economic growth and development. Though the Woodland Redevelopment Agency is one of the smaller redevelopment agencies in terms of land size and the amount of tax increment funds generated, the Agency has had a significant positive impact in the areas of job creation, attracting new economic development investments to the community, and facilitating quality affordable housing projects."

Attachment 1 of the staff report is the document named "Highlights of Woodland Redevelopment Agency’s Past and Current Projects" that lists the "Multiplex Theater" and "SACOG Community Design" for Main Street, downtown locations. The locations happen to be the same: Third and Main, the site of Sacramento developer Paul Petrovich's Cinema West site. Petrovich quit the RDA's RFP process intended to select a downtown multiplex, then submitted a building application for Cinema West to circumvent that process. His letter of withdrawal (Oct. 25, 2010) stated he would not need city subsidies for the multiplex project. He also stated he would split the parcel to allow David Corkill to build a theater on his own and without a retail component. Petrovich later submitted a building application (Nov. 15, 2010) for Corkill and the Cinema West project.

Read more at WoodlandRecord.com.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Chase Bank caps off months of deception with no deal for State Theatre group

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. The bank project is under appeal by Downtown Specific Plan expert Bobby Harris who claims the city did not engage a required conditional use permit process.

From the Woodland Record:

It has been more than three months since Chase Bank representatives at the top level told Woodlanders that the bank would work with Ron Caceres to look into alternative locations for its downtown branch. Chase Bank is currently in escrow for the 304 Main Street parcel that sits vacant next to the recently abandoned State Theatre. Caceres is the developer of the State Theatre Renovation and Expansion project who is interested in building a multiplex at that address.

304 Main, owned by Marisol Tovar, is in foreclosure and is not owned by Chase Bank - contrary to information provided by city planner Paul Hanson during the January 18 city council meeting. That was the meeting in which the city council denied David Wilkinson's appeal to reject the planning commission's approval of Chase Bank's building design because it does not meet city guidelines for the downtown - a month after the redevelopment agency scrapped its plans to select a downtown multiplex site through an RFP process (Request for Proposals).

On November 8, 2010, executive specialist Heather Joyner (writing on behalf of JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon) wrote this to one Woodland supporter of Caceres' project: "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." This message was repeatedly sent by Gary Kishner of Chase Media Relations to other supporters of the State Theatre multiplex project who barraged the bank with emails urging the bank to find another downtown location so the State Theatre project can proceed.

Since that time, Chase Bank has only delayed alleged negotiations and has merely kept pace with their building permit process to develop an undersized building at the prime corner of Walnut and Main - the western gateway to the historic downtown according to the city's Downtown Specific Plan (DSP).

As of yesterday afternoon (Thursday, February 10), the negotiations are officially off and no deal was made according to a source. Chase Bank did not negotiate in good faith.

Read more at WoodlandRecord.com.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Letter: A community communicates, are YOU a part of this community?

From the Woodland Record - Letter to the editor:

Communication happens between two or more parties. Communication can be as informal as a grunt or as formal as a televised debate. Communication can dispel rumors or correct mis-understandings. Communication can start wars and end them. Communication can get you hired and it can be the reason you get fired too. Communication can be read and it can be spoken.

A community is a collection of individuals that have collectively agreed to co-exist. A community can be tightly knit with similar wants and needs. Or a community can be as diverse as apples to oranges. A community can be organized or very loosely connected. A community helps its members in times of need. And, a community can die.

You can find a variety of successful communities. What makes them a success? You got it, a community communicates. In my retail business I must communicate or I go out of business. It is an art form that not many have the ability to do well. I would not want to be a mechanic or contractor for instance. So, what can be done to help our community be more successful? Better communication.

We have a communication problem in Woodland.

Read more at WoodlandRecord.com.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Proposed Dead Cat Alley utilities between Third and Fifth to benefit Petrovich/Cinema West

From the Woodland Record:

Woodlanders interested in the downtown multiplex debacle might recall Paul Petrovich's claim that his downtown Cinema West multiplex project will not need city subsidies. However, skeptics do not believe that Petrovich - who quit the RDA's RFP process to select a multiplex project - can get his Cinema West project done without city help. His original proposal did not meet the RDA's criteria for parking and relocating his tenant (Hoblit Motors) and it included a budget for $5.2 million in city subsidies – only three weeks before he quit the process that was intended to decided the site of the downtown multiplex.

On tonight's Woodland City Council agenda, Item I-9: Resolution to Establish Underground Utility District No. 17 for Dead Cat Alley between Third Street and Fifth Street.

From the staff report: "Each year the City receives a work credit allocation of funds (Rule 20A funds) from PG&E to underground overhead power lines. Since Rule 20A is funded by PG&E’s electric service ratepayers, a project must benefit the general public. A project may qualify as a public interest project because it is heavily congested with overhead utilities, heavily traveled by the general public or because it is an area of civic or historic nature." Note that the 100 year-old and historic Electric Garage building located at Third and Dead Cat Alley will be demolished with the Petrovich plan.

Read more at WoodlandRecord.com.