Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Yolo Sun: RDA split on support of city's art programs

Excerpts from the Yolo Sun article "State Theatre performing arts center moving forward – but public arts pilot program shelved:"

Arts have apparently inherited another historical venue in Woodland, as State Theatre will eventually become combined with the Opera House to display various cultural and entertainment opportunities on both sides of downtown, as a result of a June 21 Woodland Redevelopment Agency allocation of about $1.9 million and later emergence of an acceptable arrangement to attempt raising at least another $0.5 to $0.8 million dollars to meet current cost estimates ($2.4 – $2.7 million) for properly restoring and renovating State Theatre.

Yolo County Arts Council (YoloArts) on the same agenda submitted a thoughtful and valuable proposal (elicited by city hall staff) for an Art in Public Places demonstration project(s), a “pilot program” to be united with a recent series of redevelopment fund allocations totally $4.75 million.

This YoloArts proposal, however, was quite rudely punted into virtual oblivion by Vice-mayor Skip Davies — with city council cooperation and acquiescence.

Read the rest at YoloSun.wordpress.com.

Notes from the Woodland Record article Great 2011 RDA Give-Away: "No bargaining" claim won't fool the people:

In December 2002, the Woodland Art Center offered to help create an Art in Public Places program and ordinance for the city. Staff continually blocked these efforts despite the generous consulting contribution of art center volunteers (estimated value $10,000). The percent-for-art ordinance would have required Paul Petrovich to pay $200,000 for his $20 million Gateway Center. At 1.5% as listed in this allocation, Petrovich would be responsible for a $300,000 deposit in the APP fund. Instead, Woodlanders got an on-site chrome horse valued at only a few thousand bucks.

But city staff not only stalled the APP ordinance for the benefit of Petrovich, it effectively prevented the Woodland Art Center from opening a gallery at 145 Court Street (across from Nugget Market) in 2006. The city's building department made false claims that the structure required ADA improvements before its opening, but could not specify what improvements should be made. The city would not allow the gallery to be opened even with a conditional use permit. By the way, the intent of the federal ADA law is not to create a hardship on small businesses or nonprofits - but the city cost a Woodland Art Center benefactor at least $10,000, ironically the amount the RDA wants to give Yolo Arts.

Additional note: Despite his claim during the June 21 "Give-Away," councilman Skip Davies was NOT a participant in the early development of the Woodland Art Center's APP ordinance proposal. Planning commissioners Martie Dote and Pat Murray and city planner Paul Hanson were the city officials who first worked with the art center. Davies and planner Dan Sokolow came along later (2006) and meddled with the plan until it fizzled without council consideration.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Contractors board stings 11 in Woodland

Repeat offender among those caught contracting without a license in Yolo County

From the Contractors State License Board:

The Contractors State License Board (CSLB), in partnership with the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office and Department of Insurance, caught 11 unlicensed operators in an undercover sting in Woodland on June 8.

Members of CSLB’s Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT) posed as homeowners and invited suspected phony contractors to a vacant home to bid on home improvement projects, including landscaping, fencing, and painting. If the bid totaled more than $500 in labor and materials and the suspect was not state-licensed, they were given a notice to appear (NTA) in court to face misdemeanor charges of contracting without a license. Some also face misdemeanor charges of illegal advertising. State law requires contractors to put their license numbers in all advertisements. Those who are not licensed may advertise to perform jobs valued at least than $500, but their ads must state that they are not licensed.

Click here to go to CSLB.ca.gov to see who was busted.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sound familiar? RDA moves target for the use of the State Theatre

From the Woodland Record:

Bizarre.

The "Great 2011 RDA Give-Away" lived up to the anticipated circus-like spending spree. Typifying the city's "Emporer's new clothes" disposition, RDA executive director Mark Deven (aka city manager) began the discussion by "respectfully disagreeing" with the Daily Democrat headline that neatly described the spending spree that was about to occur. Deven tried to distinguish "obligating expenditures" from "spending."

As outlined in the June 21 Woodland Record article "Great 2011 RDA Give-Away: 'No bargaining' claim won't fool the people," there are many shadows cast by the litany of bargained and leveraged projects included in the spending spree. This article will focus on the issue of the Woodland Opera House expansion into the State Theatre. (Other articles to follow.)

Does this sound familiar? The redevelopment agency (RDA) proposes a project with goals (targets), the RDA receives a response based on the targets, the RDA moves the targets and disappoints the supporters of the project. Hmmm. This all happened to Ron Caceres' State Theatre Renovation and Expansion project. And now it has happened to the Woodland Opera House, Inc. (WOH).

Read more at WoodlandRecord.com.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Redevelopment Agency stuns Opera House and State Theatre supporters, underfunds 'fig leaf'

From the Yolo Sun:

Once enthusiastically embraced as potentially resolving the civic quandry created by Sacramento developer Paul Petrovich’s plans – based on an unwise and damagingly divisive (2002-03) amendment of the Downtown Specific Plan (DSP) to prioritize a cineplex to replace historic Electric Garage, rather than renovating and expanding State Theatre per the original DSP – the prospect of Woodland Opera House [Inc.] now acquiring, renovating and operating it as a performing arts center has suffered a relatively unexpected blow, with uncertain consequences.

This strange blow occurred during the agency meeting of June, 21, 2011, after several months of various efforts, led by agency member Bill Marble, to swiftly knit together such a proposal for redevelopment agency allocation.

With cash aplenty, agency underfunds State Theatre project

Bent on requiring the Woodland Opera House [Inc.] to eventually fund-raise perhaps as much as $1 million to supplement a stingy Woodland Redevelopment Agency allocation of $1,887,500 for State Theatre transformation to a performing arts center (presently estimated to cost $2.4 to $2.7 million), perhaps also significantly delaying this project – Vice mayor Skip Davies seemingly prearranged to obtain the vote of interim agency/council member Tom Stallard, combining with mayor Art Pimentel to make a majority.

Read more at YoloSun.wordpress.org.

Music Morning classes begin at Sweet Potato Pie

Musical Building Blocks – one of the classes of the Music Morning program – is an innovative and exciting four-week music program, designed by two musicians; one with extensive vocal training and one a credentialed teacher for 18 years. Each 30-minute class begins with a “hello song “ where your child is greeted by name, followed by the introduction & exploration of a key musical concept. Simple instruments and props such as sticks, shakers, bells and miscellaneous items will be used to develop a keen awareness of the distinguishing qualities of sound, while encouraging spontaneity and creativity. With the home materials, learning continues at home with your child’s best teacher, you.

Read more at MusicMorning.com.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Great 2011 RDA Give-Away: "No bargaining" claim won't fool the people

83% of RDA funds will go to two "chosen ones" – That's $4 million!

From the Woodland Record:

The saying "You can fool all the people part of the time, and part of the people all the time, but you can't fool all the people all the time" has been attributed to Abraham Lincoln, P.T. Barnum and others. Let's just go with Abe on this one since he was shot in a theater.

Case in point: Tonight... the "Great 2011 RDA Give-Away" will cap a hastily concocted sweepstakes of fools gold that will be awarded by our city council (aka Redevelopment Agency, aka RDA, aka Representatives, aka Those Who Do the People's Business). Tonight... great shadows will be cast by a litany of bargains, blunders and braggadocios. Tonight... Woodlanders will witness a circus of spending intended to offset an alleged State of California confiscation of RDA funds, but will ultimately confirm a list of the city's favored projects.

On the June 21 agenda of the City of Woodland City Council meeting is "Item K: Redevelopment Agency Reports" that includes the revised "2012 RDA Budget" and "RDA Allocations" with their companion items "K-15 through K- 24." Therein lies the two big winners of the "Great 2011 RDA Give-Away" sweepstakes and eight other recipients. The Woodland Opera House (that has already received $574,873 in Measure E money for its expansion) will win $2 million for a children's program and Black Pine Holdings (owned by Jeff Morgan) will win $2 million for three restaurants - two of which are near the proposed Cinema West multiplex. That's 83% of the available $4.8 million of RDA funds. The remaining 17% of the available RDA money will be split amongst six projects in various amounts.

Read much more at WoodlandRecord.com.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Norteño Broderick Boys slapped with court injunction for public nuisances and harm done

The gang injunction against the Broderick Boys (BRK, BSK, Norteño, Norte) imposes a curfew and restricts activities of gang members in the "Safety Zone" within West Sacramento.

From the Woodland Record:

After a 54 day trial with testimony from over 286 witnesses and over 800 exhibits, a Yolo County Judge finds by clear and convincing evidence that the Broderick Boys is a criminal street gang that has created a public nuisance in the City of West Sacramento.

On June 16 Yolo County Superior Court Judge Kathleen White issued a final "Judgment Granting Injunction After Trial" against the Broderick Boys criminal street gang in West Sacramento. The gang injunction issued by the court imposes a curfew and restricts other activities of gang members in a defined area within West Sacramento called the “Safety Zone.”

Read more at WoodlandRecord.com.

Click here to see the "Judgment granting injunction after trial."


Click here to see the "Statement of decision granting injunction after court trial."

NCAA wrestling champs and Hall of Famers at Woodland Poly clinic Thursday and Friday


From the Woodland Record.com.

It's not too late to register for the Woodland Polytechnic Academy wrestling Clinic to be held Thursday, June 23 and Friday, June 24 from 10 am to 3 pm. Participants will get the rare opportunity to be schooled by NCAA championship wrestlers Eric Wais, Lennie Zalesky and Lee Roy Smith. All three are honored on the Wall of Champions in the Paul K. Scott Museum of Wrestling History in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame located in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Smith is also honored on The Wall as a coach (Arizona State University) and serves as the Hall of Fame's executive director.

Click here for an event flyer and registration form. Share this announcement with interested wrestlers.

Read more at WoodlandRecord.com.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Home energy workshop is FREE and could save you thousands

From the Woodland Record:

If you would like to learn how to save thousands of dollars, you are invited to a free public workshop on July 7 co-hosted by the City of Woodland, Yolo County, Yolo Energy Watch, and the Woodland League of Women Voters that will introduce community members to the energy and monetary savings opportunities available through Energy Upgrade California. The workshop will be from 7 to 8:30 pm at the Woodland Community and Senior Center at 2001 East Street.

Read more at WoodlandRecord.com.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Lord's Gym partners with Woodland Poly for healthy minds and bodies, first benefit is Stonyford visit

Lord's Gym members had fun this week at Stonyford Ranch. The trip was hosted by Woodland Polytechnic Academy. Lord's Gym is Woodland Poly's partner in physical education. Courtesy photo.

From the Woodland Record:

Woodland Poly students will have the opportunity to exercise healthy minds and bodies, thanks to discounted memberships offered by Lord’s Gym in Woodland. All enrolled Woodland Poly students are eligible for gym memberships for a one-time fee. This fee covers the cost of the keycard for the student’s entry into the gym between the hours 5:30 am to 3 pm on Monday-Friday and on Saturday from 7 am to 7 pm. If the students are interested in using the facilities after this time, there will be a reduced rate with no set-up fee. The discounted memberships will be offered through December 31, 2011.

Read more at WoodlandRecord.com.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Letter: Planning commission should not be fooled by staff gloss-overs

From the Woodland Record:

Here is a letter sent to members of the Woodland Planning Commission this morning as a result of a poor answer provided by a city consultant to a question by one of the commissioners:

Commissioners,

Apparently staff failed to forward one of the emails I sent to you yesterday. I'm glad Myriam raised the question so that you can now realize how staff and their hired consultants gloss over material that does not serve their purpose.

Here is Cindy Gnoss' response to Myriam's question last night: "To go back to commissioner Gonzalez' question about the emails, one was from the Woodland Record and they had requested that we provide that blog to you for your information and tonight it references other projects, one of them was the New Woodland Partners and the decision you had made on that. So the other email was from the minutes from the New Woodland Partners, in case you wanted to see that. It has no bearing on what we're doing tonight. And most of the blog was just a copying of the staff report that you have before you tonight."

1) I sent two emails that included two different articles posted at WoodlandRecord.com:

Gateway II revisions before commission
http://woodlandrecord.com/gateway-ii-revisions-before-commission-p2084-1.htm

City ignores Brown Act by refusing to say why it wants 22-acre parcel adjacent to Gateway Center
http://woodlandrecord.com/city-ignores-brown-act-by-refusing-to-say-why-it-wants-acre-parcel-adjac-p1944-1.htm

2) Re: Minutes from the New Woodland Partners... "It has no bearing on what we're doing tonight." My emails and information about your decision on the New Woodland Partners annexation have EVERYTHING to do with the decision you will make on July 7.

The question at the top of the first article is very specific... Question for the Planning Commission: "WHY WOULDN’T THE SAME REASONS USED TO REJECT THE NEW WOODLAND PARTNERS REQUEST BE APPLIED TO PETROVICH’S REQUEST TO ANNEX 154 ACRES?"

Read more at WoodlandRecord.com.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

City's true colors will be revealed at noon Friday in Heritage Plaza

...or... Woodland Opera House presents "Showboat" – produced by the City of Woodland

From the Woodland Record:

Finally, Woodlanders will be able capture the image of something we've known all along... the city manager and a councilman standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Dave Corkill (owner of Cinema West and partners with Paul Petrovich) – a triad symbolic of municipal corruption. The purpose of this "important" meeting is to make some sort of "public announcement" regarding the future of the State Theatre. Joining these figureheads of collusion will be the symbolic representations of a turncoat and a puppet.

"Cinema West owner Dave Corkill, who holds an option to buy the State, will meet at noon at the Heritage Plaza on 600 Main St. for a public announcement with City Manager Mark Deven, Councilman Bill Marble , Woodland Opera House Executive Director Jeff Kean and Friends of the State founder David Wilkinson, according to a press release from the city of Woodland."

That was the report from the city's stenographic service, the Daily Democrat. Funny, this "press release" never made it to the inbox of the Woodland Record or the Woodland Journal. I suppose those who publish alternate views to the status quo are not considered reputable enough to be noticed for such a grand proclamation.

Read more at WoodlandRecord.com.

Gateway II revisions before commission

The above diagram is part of the January 18, 2010, staff recommendation to deny the New Woodland Partners appeal to annex land next to the Gateway Center along Interstate 5. Note that all properties surrounding the 22-acre site are owned by Paul Petrovich (labels added). The city owns land that touches the southeast corner of the New Woodland Partners parcel. The city subsequently met in closed sessions to discuss “price and terms” of the land. In disregard to the Brown Act, city manager Mark Deven refused to disclose why the city needed the parcel. See the Woodland Record article “City ignores Brown Act by refusing to say why it wants 22-acre parcel adjacent to Gateway Center.”

Gnos/Deven: “THE APPLICANT’S REVISED PROJECT CONSISTS OF ANNEXATION OF THE ENTIRE 154 ACRES... [AND] REMAINS A POLICY-LEVEL ANALYSIS WITH NO IDENTIFIED USERS.”

Question for the Planning Commission: "WHY WOULDN’T THE SAME REASONS USED TO REJECT THE NEW WOODLAND PARTNERS REQUEST BE APPLIED TO PETROVICH’S REQUEST TO ANNEX 154 ACRES?"

From the Woodland Record:

The following is the June 16 staff report for the “Woodland Gateway Phase II Project Revisions Workshop” prepared for the Woodland Planning Commission. Developer Paul Petrovich apparently is allowed to make revisions to his plan to annex 154 acres of agricultural land next to the city’s sewage facility while the adjacent New Woodland Partners’ (NWP) request to annex 22 acres was rejected by the commission. The NWP appeal was due to also be rejected by city council on January 18 before it was mysteriously pulled from the agenda.

By Cindy Gnos
Raney Planning & Management, Inc.

SUMMARY: Developer Paul Petrovich has submitted an application to the City for a General Plan Amendment, Prezoning, and Annexation of the 154 acres south of the existing Woodland Gateway shopping center. An Environmental Impact Report was prepared and circulated for public review. Based upon public comment, the applicant has revised and reduced the scale of the proposed project. This item is for informational purposes to update the Planning Commission on the proposed project revisions. A special meeting held by the Planning Commission on July 7, 2011 will include a public hearing and review of the project entitlements.

Read more at WoodlandRecord.com.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Why should Woodland taxpayers clean up Petrovich messes?

This is the most recent benefit for Paul Petrovich and his properties – compliments of the City of Woodland. The Main Street widening project will widen the north side of Main from East to Sixth Streets (along Petrovich's defunct Rite Aid project that should have covered most of the costs). These improvements consist of widening westbound Main Street to two lanes as well as sidewalk, curb, gutter and ADA ramp work. Price of street widening component: $305,281. Price of storm drain improvement: $392,000. Total: $697,281 (minus $69,000 to be reimbursed by the Woodland Courthouse project for street widening). Last year the city paid Petrovich $2.5 million for the I-5 on ramp land.

Excerpts from the Yolo Sun article "Petrovich makes community planning messes, city should clean up?"

Sacramento real-estate developer Paul Petrovich may have helped bring a Costco to Woodland, but he’s also brought a mess fest of civic planning chaos.

Currently playing at this ongoing theater of undesirable drama is the spectacle of Petrovich – who last July doubled the rent ($5500 to $10,000) paid by Hoblit Motors for occupancy of Electric Garage — now suing to evict. Woodland Redevelopment Agency has (formally since April 5) proposed expending $200,000 to assist relocation of Hoblit Motors, in blatant violation of state law; whereas, such assistance should be paid by Paul Petrovich as a condition of approval of any related development project.

In 2002-03, Petrovich managed to skew Woodland’s Downtown Specific Plan toward his desired cineplex location, undermining the Plan’s original goal of renovating and expanding the Art Deco era (1937) State Theatre.

Petrovich obtained (2008) municipal approval to construct a single-story, strip-mall Rite Aid store upon the eastern gateway of Woodland’s downtown, effectively destroying the nature of such a gateway, a key element of the Downtown Specific Plan.

Petrovich has recently sold to the city, for one dollar ($1), land along the Sacramento River to be used for an easement to facilitate the city’s new surface water project, causing rampant speculation over what he now expects to obtain from the city in return for this benefit. [Petrovich didn't announce the gesture until it was revealed by the Woodland Record that the city had been conducting secret negotiations for the land.]

Petrovich’s Gateway 2 project was announced this week (June 9), to be soon moving forward at Woodland Planning Commission. What new messes will soon arise in connection with these situations?

Read the entire article at YoloSun.wordpress.com.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

June 2011 Woodland Record/The Mail of Woodland


Click here to access the June 2011 newspaper edition of the Woodland Record/The Mail of Woodland.

Or, visit one of the hundred, or so, pick-up locations to get your free community access paper.

Cover story: Will council ignore 2nd popular project?
Woodland Opera House Expansion - 5,094 voters for Measure D
State Theatre Renovation and Expansion by Ron Caceres – 1,345 supporters

Marble’s new plan for State Theatre is amiss
$574,873 in Measure E money already spent for WOH expansion

The following includes abridgments from recent WoodlandRecord.com stories relating to the ongoing malfeasance of the Redevelopment Agency (RDA) and the continuing misallocation of Measure E money.

ON APRIL 5 councilman Bill Marble announced a self-proclaimed “best solution” to “save” the State Theatre. The new proposal was carefully crafted to include the “unanimous” backing of the Woodland Opera House (WOH) board that had just met the previous night to hear it. The proposal was to create a WOH/State Theatre “children’s program.” Using the pretense of helping children is always a good way to get things approved.

But this plan comes across as another subsidy for Dave Corkill, owner/operator of Cinema West and Paul Petrovich’s partner, since he has the option to buy the State Theatre from Richard Mann. Corkill offered to rehab the State Theatre in consolation of the RDA suspending the multiplex RFP in his favor on December 14, 2010.

Read more at WoodlandRecord.com

Council memory is short when it comes to Measure E funding for Opera House, continued

Image originally posted on March 11, 2009: A total of $1,700,000 in Measure E funding for the Opera House expansion won’t be available until beyond 2011. In contrast, the city’s budget allocates over $8.2 million for various parks projects this year (including money for the new sports complex), $2.3 million for parks project in fiscal year ‘09-’10, and $2.1 in ‘10-’11. Road projects will receive $15.3 this year, almost $10.7 the year after, and $1.3 in ‘10-’11. Rendering by McCandless & Associates, Architects.

Due diligence vs. RDA sweepstakes OR Nine years of planning vs. Two months of frivolity

So far, expenditures for the expansion total $574,873.

Flashback to the January 20, 2009, Woodland Record article "Lack of revenue, borrowed funds moves Opera House project to 2012 or beyond:"

In response to learning that the city may defer Measure E funds, former councilman Neal Peart said, “If the City council is moving any Measure E money from the proposed use, they are losing all the credibility they established in the way Measure H was handled. The fact that the people established – through an advisory vote – where they wanted Measure E money to be spent, sets a guideline for the Council to follow. You leave that guideline and you just left the people who voted for it.”

Flashback to the August 5, 2007, Woodland Journal article Woodland Opera House plans expansion:"

In 2002 the Woodland Opera House Board of Trustees undertook a year-long self-study and developed a five-year plan for growth. The major elements of that plan were the addition of an education and youth theatre component to WOH programming and facilities to support it.

The WOH Performing Arts Center for Youth Fact Sheet:

Read the rest at WoodlandRecord.com.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Nutrition Navigator: The Land of Oz

From My Nutrition Navigator:

Sometimes it feels like I am living in the land of Oz. Who would have thought that when Oprah introduced us to Dr. Oz, that he would create such a large following. I guess we should have all known. Now that he has become so popular, his audience literally hangs on to every word he has to say. Day after day, week after week, his followers listen to his advice, just waiting for something to treat their problems with. Weather it is the great Dr. Oz or one of his many guests on the show, there is surely something to learn from the discussions. After all, he is a doctor and a lot of his guest speakers are too. They must know what they are talking about, right?

Read the rest of the June 2011 article at WoodlandNutrition.wordpress.com.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

WCS' Natalie Smith on ABC reality show June 23


The California Girls team on ABC's “Expedition Impossible is Brittany Smith, Woodland Christian School teacher Natalie Smith and Christina Chin - all UC Davis alumni.

From the Woodland Record:

Natalie Smith is in her second year of teaching Woodland Christian School’s fifth grade class, but she decided more excitement was in order to finish off this year. Natalie (age 25) will compete, along with two other teammates, for the victory on ABC’s “Expedition Impossible: Morocco” which is set to premiere on June 23. The new reality show features 13 teams of three racing in a fun expedition across vast deserts, over snow capped mountains and through raging rivers in the beautifully exotic, fabled Kingdom of Morocco. Each week a new stage of the expedition will be revealed to the teams. After 10 legs of competition, one team will cross the finish line first to claim victory. Each winning team member will receive $50,000 ($150,000 total for the team) as well a new Ford Explorer.

Read more at WoodlandRecord.com.

Check out ABC.com and the “Expedition Impossible: Morocco” Web site.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Cache Creek Lavender Festival today and tomorrow

From Cache Creek Lavender:

The Cache Creek Lavender Festival is a fun day in the country with live music, wine tasting with Capay Valley Vineyards, crafts demonstrations, the opportunity to pick your own lavender, field tours, essential oil distillation, lavender lemonade, carriage rides and lavender, lavender, lavender. The 2011 Festival will be held on Saturday and Sunday, June 11 and 12 from 10:00 to 4:00. Admission is free.

Pick your own lavender: Visitors to the Festival are encouraged to roam the lavender fields and pick their own lavender. The fragrance, color, butterflies, bees, and warm sun combine to create a thoroughly enjoyable experience that will stay in your memory as the ultimate aromatherapy treatment.

Details and directions at CacheCreekLavender.com.

Second Saturday Art: Susan Bovey shows photos tonight at Wild Wings

From the Wild Wings Golf Club:

Susan Bovey, local photographer. Susan has been a member and past President of the Woodland Camera Forum for 20 years. She is a hobbiest and fine art photographer who shoots for fun, as well as a few weddings and special events in-between. She is also a director for the Yolo Arts Council, and sells real estate in Yolo and Sacramento Counties.

For more information, you may contact The Nest at (530) 661-4716. If you are an artist or know someone who is an artist and would like to display some of the artwork at one of the Second Saturday showings, you may contact our Second Saturday Chairperson, Margaret Kronenberg by email at teragram0001@aol.com.

See the announcement at WildWingsGolf.com.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Reading between the lines: Daily Democrat is city hall's stenographer



From the Woodland Record:

Once again it is necessary to balance city hall's stenographic services,* the Daily Democrat, with a line-by-line analysis of truth vs. fiction. Woodland Record readers will recall that such an accounting was required on Dec. 2, 2010 in an article called "Reading between the lines: City hall and Daily Democrat keep Woodlanders in dark" as a spot-check for the DD article called "Woodland's downtown theater: The show goes on" that was posted on Nov. 30, 2010. (*Compliments of the Yolo Sun.)

One continues to be a local government house organ when one is lauded publicly for his fine reporting, as was DD cub reporter Geoff Johnson by councilman Bill Marble during Tuesday's council meeting regarding the June 5 article called "Woodland's State Theatre could be absorbed by Opera House." Of course that report suited Marble, he couldn't have written a better press release for his pet project.

And consider the previous - June 2 - DD article called "Future of State Theatre looks 'Kean' for kids." A 'keen' observer would have caught a critical mistake in that city's address to zombies: "The Woodland Opera House rarely sells to a full house." So why would the city give the Woodland Opera House (~600 seats) a $2 million Redevelopment Agency (RDA) grant for an additional ~900-seat auditorium, known as the State Theatre, when it rarely sells to a full 600-seat house?

Besides that lapse in coordination between our local potential-Pulitzer and our local government, here is jejune Johnson's "Future of State Theatre could be in the hands of the council" that was posted at DailyDemocrat.com on June 8:

Read more at WoodlandRecord.com.

Image, posted at WoodlandRecord.com on Wed, Mar 11, 2009.: A total of $1,700,000 in Measure E funding for the Opera House expansion won’t be available until beyond 2011. In contrast, the city’s budget allocates over $8.2 million for various parks projects this year (including money for the new sports complex), $2.3 million for parks project in fiscal year ‘09-’10, and $2.1 in ‘10-’11. Road projects will receive $15.3 this year, almost $10.7 the year after, and $1.3 in ‘10-’11. Rendering by McCandless & Associates, Architects.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

City manager pulls RDA subsidy for Hoblit/Cinema West off agenda after citizen's notice of violation

From the Woodland Record:

At the beginning of the Tuesday, June 7, Woodland City Council meeting, city manager Mark Deven requested that "Item 16" be pulled from the agenda. Council agreed to remove the item described as "Adopt Resolution to Authorize Execution of Relocation Agreement with Hoblit Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep" with no explanation other than it may be discussed later with other redevelopment (RDA) funding matters.

Read more at WoodlandRecord.com.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Harris memo to city: You are laundering RDA funds for Hoblit relocation

From the Woodland Record:

Acting on behalf of the new Woodland Civic Alliance, Bobby Harris today (June 6, 2011) filed with the City of Woodland the following memorandum of objection to redevelopment funding for relocation of the Hoblit auto dealership:

Re: Objection To Redevelopment Funding For Relocation Of Hoblit Auto Dealership

Mark [Deven, Woodland city manager]:

As I noted several weeks ago, the state Health & Safety Code (section 33426.5) explicitly forbids the nature of redevelopment agency funding assistance being proposed (for approval as an agenda item at agency meeting of June 7, 2011) involving relocation of the Hoblit auto dealership.

Apparently (per your replying email), some occasion(s) of redevelopment agency activity is being used to attempt to justify this unlawful agency expenditure. However, any such direct assistance by this agency is clearly prohibited by a pertinent provision (cited above) of state redevelopment statutes.

Purporting to possess some (specious, invalid) kind of justification for this funding action by misusing state redevelopment law certainly does not excuse its blatant violation. Your description / explanation in reply to my inquiry of several weeks ago does not respond to what appears as a serious barrier against contemplated agency action.

Read more at WoodlandRecord.com.

Read California Health and Safety Code Section 33426.5

Cinema West owner still main character in Opera House children's theater subsidies

Closed session item in the June 7 Woodland City Council meeting:

Conference with Real Property Negotiators, Pursuant to Section 54956.8
Property: APN 006-602-02 (320-324 Main Street) State Theater.
Agency Negotiator: Agency Executive Director and Agency Attorney.
Negotiating Parties: Mark Deven, Ed Quinn and Richard Mann, Dave Corkill.
Under Negotiation: Price and Terms of Payment.

The principal cast:

Mark Deven as the "City Manager"
Ed Quinn as the "Redevelopment Agency Attorney"
Richard Mann as the "Owner of the State Theatre"
and starring Dave Corkill as the "Owner of Cinema West" who holds the option of buying the State Theatre

Supporting roles:

David Wilkinson as the "Friend of the State Theatre"
Jeff Kean as the "Opera House Executive Director"
Sandy Marble as the "Opera House Board Member"
and Bill Marble as the "City Councilman" who came up with the idea to use RDA money for the Opera House expansion

What they're telling the Daily Democrat:

Deven: "We're focused on making this happen, somehow, someway."
Wilkinson: "We're hoping that Mr. Corkill will just sort of graciously step aside."
Kean: "This option to buy the building can slow us down, but it really can't stop us. Unless he buys the building. That's a whole new ballgame."

And coming to an unsubsidized theater near you... the City of Woodland-sponsored children's production of "Disney’s Camp Rock: The Musical” - produced by City of Woodland partner Yolo Stage Company. Children's workshops begin June 20 (see page 31).

Don't forget your City of Woodland dance classes at the brand new Community and Senior Center built by Measure H and E funds! (See pages 27 -31 in the Parks and Recreation catalog.) The Daily Democrat on the Opera House subsidy: "The $2 million question is expected to go before the City Council on June 21. If all goes according to plan, the new State Theatre and its adjoining dance rooms could open by September 2012."

Council memory is short when it comes to Measure E funding for Opera House


Flashback to the January 20, 2009, Woodland Record article "Lack of revenue, borrowed funds moves Opera House project to 2012 or beyond:"

In response to learning that the city may defer Measure E funds, former councilman Neal Peart said, “If the City council is moving any Measure E money from the proposed use, they are losing all the credibility they established in the way Measure H was handled. The fact that the people established – through an advisory vote – where they wanted Measure E money to be spent, sets a guideline for the Council to follow. You leave that guideline and you just left the people who voted for it.”

Read the archived article at WoodlandRecord.com to see why misspending Measure E money now translates to misspending RDA money for the Opera House.

Image: A total of $1,700,000 in Measure E funding for the Opera House expansion won’t be available until beyond 2011. In contrast, the city’s budget allocates over $8.2 million for various parks projects this year (including money for the new sports complex), $2.3 million for parks project in fiscal year ‘09-’10, and $2.1 in ‘10-’11. Road projects will receive $15.3 this year, almost $10.7 the year after, and $1.3 in ‘10-’11. Rendering by McCandless & Associates, Architects. Posted at WoodlandRecord.com on Wed, Mar 11, 2009.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Letter: RDA playing favorites in the "Great 2011 Give-Away"

From the Woodland Record:

The following is a press release entitled "City of Woodland plays favorites and attacks existing restaurant community," with an accompanying letter to the Woodland City Council. The communications are in response to the city's sweepstakes-like give-away of RDA funds this year.

It is no secret that the business climate for Main Streets all over the country has been difficult for the past two years. In Historic Downtown Woodland, as we near the midpoint of 2011 and possibly see a light at the end of the tunnel – restaurants face an unexpected new challenge:

On May 3 the city council approved the use of funds from the Redevelopment Agency to finance a new competitor restaurant – uncollateralized – for 2.5% interest.

While the existing restaurants are still recovering from two very hard years and paying on loans taken out at market value (for restaurants anywhere from 8% to 30%), Woodland has decided to assist new restaurants compete without similar burdens. As the owner of Tazzina Bistro & Vintage Lounge, I was more than a little offended that the city - where I have created 33 jobs, brought positive publicity, support 40+ vendors, support local interests and charities, pay county taxes, pay license fees, pay permit fees - has approved a $245,000 uncollateralized loan at 2.5% interest [and $45,000 grant] to a new restaurant with a business description eerily similar to my own! The advantage is significant, as I pay in one year more interest than they will pay in the life of the loan!

Read more at WoodlandRecord.com.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Gangsters tag City and Harris Parks

See the Woodland Record Badge Blotter.

Don't forget this Woodland Record report... "Gangsters: Over 900 in Woodland."

Comedian Michael Finney to perform at WOH for Woodland Poly fundraiser Saturday

Please join Woodland Poly for comedian/magician, Mike Finney at 6:30 pm at the Woodland Opera House. Click here for an event flyer.

Civics 101: A review of the "Measure E Spending Plan Update and Allocation for the Opera House Expansion Project"

Excerpts from the December 7, 2010, City of Woodland Measure E Spending Plan Update and Allocation for the Opera House Expansion Project:

Background

On June 6, 2006, the Woodland voters approved Measure E (MSE), which extended the 1⁄2 cent supplemental sales tax collected within the boundaries of and for the benefit of the City of Woodland. Additionally, the voters approved three advisory measures outlining the types of projects for which proceeds from MSE would be spent:

• Measure B allocated a minimum of $30.2 million or 45% of MSE for road rehabilitation;
• Measure C approved funding for Community and Senior Center Phase II, Sports Park and renovation and improvements of parks, recreation facilities and pools;
• Measure D approved funding for expansions of the Library, City Hall and the Opera House

Opera House

Through recent discussions with the Opera House Board of Directors there appears to be some interest in collaboration with a regional benefactor to provide advance funding of the $1.8 million through a low interest loan that will allow the Opera House project to move forward sooner than expected. The $1.8 million is included in the $2,374,873 allocation for Options 1 and 2 above. The terms and conditions of this loan are still under negotiation.

Read more at WoodlandRecord.com.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Capital Saloon owner has liquor license for former Big MacDaddy's Pub

From the Woodland Record:

With the Daily Democrat reporting that the Capital Saloon is now closed with no explanation, one needs to look no further than the May 3 Woodland City Council meeting to discover that a group called "102 Main Woodland LLC" had already applied for a liquor license - a clue to what happened with the saloon.

102 Main Street is the site of the former Big MacDaddy's Pub. The managing member of that partnership is David Camacho - owner/manager of the Capital Saloon - according to California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control License No. 50769. ABC issued a Type 48 license transfer to Camacho for an "On-Sale General Full Liquor License" on April 29.