Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Chase Bank breaks ground for monument to deception

Ironically, Chase Bank – the self-proclaimed community partner since 1924 - has broken ground at 304 Main Street next to the "Save our State" sign. The bank did nothing to save the historic State Theatre that could have been restored as a movie theater with an adjacent multiplex at 304 Main. The bank lied to many Woodlanders telling them they were willing to work with Ron Caceres and move to one of several available sites in the immediate vicinity. Caceres was the developer who would have restored (not simply remodeled) the State Theatre building with Galaxy Theatres as the operator.

From the Woodland Record:

Chase Bank has now broken ground on what will become a monument to corporate deception and poor civic planning in addition to becoming a glorified ATM outlet and parking lot in the central business district. The bank is able to finally build its third Woodland branch on the Tovar property at 304 Main Street because on June 29, a partnership named Main Street Woodland LLC closed escrow on the parcel. The sale price was $530,000 according to a source.

304 Main Street is adjacent to the historic State Theatre building that was one of two sites listed in the City of Woodland's Redevelopment Agency (RDA) request for proposals (RFP) for a downtown multiplex. Woodland developer Ron Caceres responded to the RFP with a plan to renovate and expand the State Theatre. Caceres actually became the only respondent since the other developer, Paul Petrovich, quit the selection process. It became clear through a series of events that the City of Woodland never wanted the State Theatre project to succeed.


Friday, July 22, 2011

Local nutrition store looking for creative partners

From the Woodland Record:

Woodland Nutrition is owned and operated by Michael O’Connor who has been a certified vitamitician since 1989. The shop has been at 424 First Street for almost ten years – it opened in late 2001. Since that time O'Connor has offered free nutritional advice to Yolo County residents, and last year he started a blog called "Nutrition Navigator." Many of those blog entries appeared as stories in the Woodland Record newspaper.

Things have changed since 2001. Not only have many of O'Connor's neighbors closed – Maritime Restaurant, J. Barth Co. heating and air, La Finca de Rivera restaurant, Morrison's Deli and Morrison's Upstairs Restaurant and Morrison's Downstairs bar – but over the past four years sales have dropped off by about 20%. This drop is probably a result of a combination of the recession and the loss of symbiotic activity in the neighborhood. Compounding those problems are his suppliers who have also tightened their belts and have restricted credit, making it difficult to stock shelves. This is puzzling since Woodland Nutrition only has a modest debt.


Read the "Call for investors" at

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Organic and sustainable ag booms despite discouraging actions by State of California

From the office of Mariko Yamada, Assembly District 8:

Watch the full hearing at

Assemblymember Mariko Yamada (D – Davis), Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Organic and Sustainable Agriculture held the first in a series of hearings on sustainable and organic agricultural practices in California last Wednesday. All seven members of the committee and one member of the Assembly Standing Committee on Agriculture were present and asked various questions in front of a full audience.

“The popularity of this hearing signifies the increasing interest in new agricultural methods and their effects on California,” said Assemblymember Yamada. “Creating a smaller ecological footprint, preserving farmland, and eating healthier food have captured the attention of many Californians.”


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Staff 'agendizes' RDA remittance, defers due diligence for rushed projects to council

From the Woodland Record:

On June 21 Woodlanders witnessed rampant spending (allocations in city-speak) of Redevelopment Agency (RDA) money to avoid a threatened abolishment of California redevelopment agencies. That night, the RDA board (city council) gave away nearly all of the available $4.8 million in the pot. $4 million was awarded to only two recipients, Black Pine Holdings (Jeff Morgan) and the Woodland Opera House, Inc. (Mrs. Bill Marble, et. al.). The other recipients included the property owners of the Porter Building, the Simmons/Diggs Block Building (formerly occupied by Muscle World), and the Odd Fellows building (consistently referred to in error by the city as Oddfellows).

Tonight, it's expected that the RDA will approve the staff recommendation to pay the State of California a voluntary community remittance so that its operations can continue. Staff placed this item on the agenda – an important point that will be realized later in this article. See the agenda.

Back to June 21: The RDA passed a resolution to approve money for second story improvements to the Odd Fellows building. The resolution's purpose was to "Approve an Owner Participation Agreement for the Oddfellows [sic] Building second floor interior loan in the amount of $125,000, in substantially the form attached to the staff report." See the report.

Speaking of odd, part of tonight's resolution to approve the remittance includes reasons for doing so. Here is one of the reasons:


Monday, July 18, 2011

Yolo Sun: Petrovich backers on council aren't comfy, manipulate Gateway II annexation

Excerpts from the Yolo Sun opinion piece "Gateway II project hits political, legal snags:"

Biggest current news is that city council consideration of Paul Petrovich’s Gateway II proposal to annex 154 acres directly south of Gateway Center, of which 62 acres would commercially develop as a “program EIR”... has suddenly been delayed – likely at least until September, as the council will recess during August.

Officially, the reason for this sudden delay is said (by city manager) to be an inability to prepare the related Development Agreement (DA) between the city and Petrovich, in time for this July 19 council meeting.

Saying that this DA isn’t ready to proceed appears similar, in this instance, to admitting that there may not be a council majority in favor of project approval on specific terms presently advanced by Petrovich.

Quite likely, Pimentel and Davies are most inclined to approve Gateway II, which is the basis for Petrovich’s decision to now move ahead in 2011, prior to the 2012 city council election campaign, wherein civic scrutiny and political turbulence regarding this situation will surely increase.

Read the article, in full, at

Woodland Record: Davies goes on the defense after citizen questions need for Gateway II

Read about this side bar at

Woodland Poly accepting teacher applications

The above site plan of the brand new Woodland Polytechnic Academy shows the new classrooms in the middle surrounded by existing Yolo County Fairgrounds buildings. Courtesy image.

From the Woodland Polytechnic Academy:

Woodland Polytechnic Academy is seeking qualified applicants for several teaching assignments for the 2011-2012 school year. Assignments may include day, evening, weekend hours, and extracurricular support.

Posted Positions:

• Social Science [UC “a” requirements] – Social Studies, World History, US History, American Government, Economics
• English [UC “b” requirements] – Grades 9-12
• Mathematics [UC “c” requirements] – General Math, Algebra, Geometry
• Science [UC “d” requirements] – Life Science, Biology, Chemistry
• Computer Applications & Technology [UC “g” requirements]
• Physical Education (P.E., Health Education)

Additional positions that may be available:

Read more and access application materials at

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Activist sues Whitey's over disability access

By Steve Marschke of the WesSac News-Ledger:

The bathroom at Whitey’s Jolly Kone is closed to the public. But the fact that it’s closed is not as remarkable as the reason it’s closed: A Southport man who has sued dozens of Northern California businesses over compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act has now targeted this drive-in burger stand on Jefferson Boulevard.

“He served us with papers in April,” said Paula Ericson, who owns Whitey’s with her husband, Steve. “He claimed in his papers that he tried to use our bathroom and couldn’t, and therefore he had to wet his pants. He never bothered to bring his concern to our attention, he just sued us.”

Read the rest at

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Gateway II annexation pulled from council agenda

From the Woodland Record:

The Woodland City Council Item J 15 scheduled for Tuesday's meeting has been pulled. The item "Consider Recommendations from Planning Commission; Approve Woodland Gateway Phase II Project and Approve Development Agreement" was removed because a development agreement was not ready. On July 5 the planning commission narrowly approved recommending the certification of the Environmental Impact Report, 3-2-Abstention. The EIR was performed without any substantive development design or plan.

City manager Mark Deven explained, "The Development Agreement was not ready. This item was pulled because we need more time to work through the issues. As of right now, we are not sure on the timing for the [next] agenda. Since the item was pulled, it will have to be re-noticed."


Let's add one more piece of ugly to Woodland

From the July 17 City of Woodland staff report "Development of guidelines for use of Dave Douglass Park:"

"Over the past few months, the Commission has learned from Public Works that the use of Dave Douglass Park as a storm water retention basin (the primary use of the basin) will increase in years to come and that the Park will also be the site of a ground-level water storage tank."

See the report.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Letter: Recirculation of Gateway II EIR may take less time than legal challenges

From the Woodland Record:

The following is an email sent from Woodland resident Bobby Harris on July 13, 2011, to council members Martie Dote and Bill Marble and cc'd to city manager Mark Deven. Later, the email was sent to councilman Tom Stallard. Woodland City Council will go through the motions on this issue July 19.

Martie and Bill,

During the planning commission hearing on July 7, regarding final EIR certification of the Gateway 2 project, the city attorney and project consultant (responding to my memorandum of objections) mis-characterized matters related to CEQA requirements about EIR recirculation.

Emphasis was made by them about this substantially modified project not creating: "a new substantial environmental impact;" however, another aspect of CEQA recirculation analysis includes: "a feasible project alternative or mitigtion measure that clearly would lessen the environmental impacts of the project, but which the project proponents decline to adopt." (Laurel Heights Improvement Association v. Regents of UC, 6 Cal.4th 1112)


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Woodland's coolest tourist attraction

Reiff's Gas Station Museum

MARK REIFF started his collection with the purchase of a 1930s Wayne gas pump at a neighborhood garage sale. Since then he has added a diner, barber shop, gas station, general store and old time movie theater. The entire house has become a museum of 1950s nostalgia, antiques and car culture.


Springlakers call town meeting tonight about more fee hikes; L&L fees up $86,191 while Gateway escapes tax hikes

Four other L&L districts have been maxed out for years, Petrovich stays at 51% of max

Apparently a group of disgruntled Spring Lake residents have called a town hall meeting tonight (Thursday, July 14) at 6:30 at the Woodland Community and Senior Center, 2001 East Street.

Woodland City Manager Mark Deven explained, "The meeting was not noticed by the City. A group of neighbors asked us to meet and we agreed. The neighbor organization has publicized the meeting through their own list serve group. They were also the source of the article in the Daily Democrat." Many Spring Lake residents are unaware of the meeting.

Many Springlakers are upset over rising fees and lack of city services they claim they are paying for. On July 5 Woodland City Council approved by consent (meaning no discussion or public hearing) a resolution that initiates proceedings for the annual levy and collection of assessments for the Spring Lake and Gateway Lighting and Landscape Districts. A public hearing is scheduled for July 19. The same goes for the nearby Gateway L&L.


By the way, "Spring Lake" is the city's bastardized spelling of the historical area known as "Springlake."

Sunday, July 10, 2011

UC Davis 'California Girls' still in ABC's 'Expedition Impossible' TV race

Bio from


Christina Chin, Age: 24
From: Davis, CA
Occupation: Corporate PR

Brittany Smith, Age 24
From: Rancho Murieta, CA
Occupation: Aspiring Pro Golfer

Natalie Smith, Age 25
From: Woodland, CA
Occupation: Teacher/Coach

Christina, Brittany and Natalie make up this team of brainy beauties. They not only carry the burden of being both gorgeous and smart, but they also happen to be talented athletes. This trio of lovely ladies met at UC Davis, where they were all recruited to compete for the Aggies. The members of this team are always up for an adventure and aren't afraid of getting a little dirty. We're thinking they came to the right show.

Watch the latest episode at

Woodland native Camarena-Williams ties American shot put record in Paris

By Vicky Oddi, Universal Sports

[Woodland native] Jillian Camarena-Williams knew she was going to have a good day when her first throw in the women's shot put competition at the Diamond League Paris meeting was marked at 19.28m. It was her best opening throw ever in competition. She had no idea how right she would turn out to be. On her very next throw, Camarena-Williams launched the shot 20.18m/66-2.5 to tie Ramona Pagel's 23-year-old American record.

Read the rest and watch a video of Jill's throw at

Read the article.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Anonymous citizen to receive commendation for courageous assistance to police officer

From the City of Woodland:

On Tuesday, June 23, a Woodland police officer was on routine patrol near the area of Beamer and West Streets. The officer recognized a subject walking on Beamer as being on California Department of Corrections parole and believed there was an active warrant for the subject’s arrest. The officer contacted the subject and during a search of the subject, the officer located a bag of methamphetamine. As the officer attempted to arrest the subject, the subject pulled away and ran off.

The officer chased the suspect and caught him approximately 20 yards away. The officer struggled with the suspect on the ground as the suspect actively resisted and tried to get up to run away. The struggle on the ground continued approximately three minutes. During this extremely dangerous moment, a good samaritan was driving by and witnessed the officer struggling with the suspect on the ground.


Friday, July 08, 2011

Planning commission split on Petrovich's Gateway II (3-2-abstention)

From the Woodland Record:

Barzo, Lopez and Peters back city staff and Petrovich; Barzo throws a red herring into annexation reasoning

Last night, July 7, City of Woodland Planning Commissioners Steve Barzo, Fred Lopez and Rex Peters voted in favor of recommending to city council the approval of the annexation of 154 acres for Paul Petrovich's Gateway II "project." Pat Murray and David Sanders voted against it and Seth Wurzel abstained because he wanted to delay the process due to insufficient information provided in the staff report.

According to principal planner Cindy Norris, "Sanders suggested postponing the action date until September to allow more time for public review and to allow time to make any identified corrections to the [report]" and Wurzel "...wanted the CEQA Resolution and Statement of Overriding Consideration to be modified to incorporate the findings for urban decay and requested a stronger [report] identifying the quantifiable benefits of the project."

Curiously, commissioner Myriam Gonzalez was absent from this important vote. She also recused herself from the controversial Chase Bank decision on November 18, 2010.


Thursday, July 07, 2011

Harris files legal objections to final EIR certification of Petrovich's Gateway II

From the Woodland Record:

Mark Deven
Woodland City Manager
300 First Street, Woodland, California

Re: Objections To Approval Of Final EIR Certification For Gateway 2 Project


Please soon forward to Chairperson David Sanders and other Planning Commission members this 7 page memorandum of itemized objections to proposed Woodland Planning Commission approval of EIR final certification for the proposed Gateway 2 development project, to be considered at a special meeting on July 7, 2011.

(a) I strongly object to the very brief timeline of municipal consideration of this matter. California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guideline, 14 CCR 15088(b), requires a minimum of 10 days between the release of (potentially) final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) certification documents and a relevant hearing, regarding notification of commenting public agencies. Individuals submitting comments may be notified at municipal discretion; and apparently, such notification was not accomplished.

Research indicates that only the bare minimum of 10 days notice has been provided.

For this quite prominent matter, oddly enough, such an already very brief notification process has been unduly abridged, through being scheduled within what amounts to a four-day national holiday (July 4), leaving only six days of practical (work-day) notification, including the actual hearing date.

There exists no reasonable basis / excuse for substantially abbreviating this already very brief process. Jamming through final certification action on this EIR in such a way is unreasonable, unwise and improper.

Such municipal / developer conduct raises concerns that this schedule represents an attempt to curtail both the general public’s and public agencies’ fair opportunities to properly review, scrutinize and offer rebuttal and collateral arguments regarding the substantial documentation within this key EIR being proposed for final certification.

I request the Planning Commission consider the serious ramifications of such an abuse of important legal process and, unless final EIR certification is denied, take action that this final certification hearing be continued for a period of 60 days.


Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Woodlanders will be watching the planning commission's recommendation for Petrovich's Gateway II

From the Woodland Record:

According to the City of Woodland, there are 844 acres of land currently zoned for commercial uses in the city limits. Within those areas, there exists vacant commercial space (buildings) totaling 253,834 sq. ft. Also, there are 276.4 acres zoned for commercial use that is vacant.

And yet staff wants to annex 154 acres of zoned agriculture land and open space to the City of Woodland. Staff wants to add 340,000 sq. ft. of commercial buildings to Woodland when there are 253,834 sq. ft. that is unused. Staff wants to annex 154 acres when there are 276.4 acres that has yet to be built upon. Why? Two words... Paul Petrovich.

Will the City of Woodland Planning Commission continue along this path of favoritism for this developer? Or will the commission truly represent what most Woodland voters want and put an end to this collusion?


Something you won't find at

Found at the California State Data Center Web page:

City of Woodland total population, April 1 2010
55,468 – 100%

Hispanic or Latino (Hispanic or Latino persons are NOT included in the race groups) – % of Total Pop
26,289 – 47.4%

White alone, not Hispanic – % of Total Pop
23,368 – 42.1%

Asian alone, not Hispanic – % of Total Pop
3,385 – 6.1%

Two or more races, not Hispanic – % of Total Pop
1,183 – 2.1%

Black or African American alone, not Hispanic – % of Total Pop
708 – 1.3%

American Indian and Alaska Native alone, not Hispanic – % of Total Pop
332 – 0.6%

Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone, not Hispanic – % of Total Pop
141 – 0.3%

Some other race alone, not Hispanic – % of Total Pop
62 – 0.1%

Source: Table 3A — Total Population by Race (Hispanic exclusive) and Hispanic or Latino: 2010

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Woodland Poly begins JV football info meetings tonight

From the Woodland Polytechnic Academy:

Who: Freshmen, Sophomores, and Juniors interested in playing JV Football Fall 2011
When: First and third Tuesday of every month
Time: 5:30 to 6:30 pm
Where: 30 West Main Street, Suite C, Woodland
Questions: Contact Head Football Coach Steve Marks, Jr. at (530) 219-2542 or

Team: Please forward this information to potential teammates

Monday, July 04, 2011

Petrovich to escape fee increases for Gateway lighting and landscape district while Spring Lake faces increase of $86,191

Four other L&L districts have been maxed out for years, Petrovich stays at 51% of max

From the Woodland Record:

This is not scheduled to be discussed since it is on the consent calender of the July 5 Woodland City Council meeting, but staff recommends that council approve and adopt a resolution that initiates proceedings for the annual levy and collection of assessments (to be concluded with a public Hearing on July 19) for the Spring Lake and Gateway Lighting and Landscape Districts.

From the July 5 City of Woodland staff report:

The Landscaping and Lighting Act of 1972 ("Act") authorizes cities to impose assessments on benefitted properties to finance construction of street landscaping, street lighting, traffic signals, parks, street trees, sidewalk repair, recreational improvements; as well as maintenance and servicing of any of these improvements.

In accordance with Act, the City formed the Spring Lake and Gateway L&L Districts. A brief description of each district is as follows:


100 years ago: Appropriately, Mrs. Sparks receives Fourth of July honors in Winters celebration

From the July 5, 1911, Woodland Daily Democrat:

A safe, sane and splendid celebration at Winters

Over 5000 people crowded the streets of Winters Tuesday to take part in one of the grandest Fourth of July celebrations ever attempted in the county. The largest delegations were from Woodland, Dixon, Guinda and Davis, but it is safe to say that all western Yolo was there.

The celebration was a success in every way and the people of Winters have just reason to believe that the demonstration Tuesday has never been surpassed in this section of the state.

The day was an ideal one for such a time. All arrangements were perfect and the grand manner in which the crowd was handled reflects much credit upon the committees in charge. The people of Winters had spared no efforts nor expense to make it the grand success it was.