Friday, January 26, 2018
Tuesday, January 2, 2018
One the months and even years there were dozens and perhaps hundreds of public statements for and against building Trackside Center.
Many were well articulated, but, to me, the most compelling was offered by Mayor Robb Davis the evening of November 14, 2017, just before the City Council voted 4 to 1 to build Trackside.
His statement was -- and is -- distinctive in being based on a serious and careful reading of the basic vision-and-goals documents that provide the legal and moral context for the Trackside decision. The more important of these include, of course, the Core Area Specific Plan and the Davis Downtown and Traditional Residential Neighborhood Design Guidelines.
I think his 21-minutes analysis is fundamentally correct and deserves the careful attention of all reflective Davis residents, not just because it is about Trackside, but because it is about the future of Davis itself.
Hoping to make his thoughts more available, I have copied the City video of his statement and placed it on YouTube, here:
Friday, November 24, 2017
Only in Larger College Towns With Rich Social Media Networks: The Amazing Episode of Translating a Greek Passage in an Obscure 1736 French Opera (275)
Recently, Davis resident and musicologist Beverly Wilcox was writing an article on an 18th-century French opera that contained a passage, seemingly in Greek, that she wanted translated (images 1 and 2).
In the “old,” pre-digital world she would likely address her query to the UCD Classics department or such. But, we are now in the new digital age and “social media.” So, she took the more direct route of posting the problem on Davis Nextdoor! (Actually, it is on the even more specialized Old North Davis Nextdoor, although also sent to 30 neighborhoods.)
What is amazing to me, at least, is the outpouring of good help she got, as chronicled in images 1 through 5, which are extracts of what ensued. (The URL is https://nextdoor.com/news_feed/?post=70941071
Thursday, September 21, 2017
I was looking over a summary of growth, growth control, and development events in the last some 70 years in Davis and the idea came to mind that the series of them formed two long-term, two-stage cycles.
Twice since WWII and today, a phase of “growth” as a dominant mindset and policy was followed by a phase of “stasis.” Eerily, the first or growth phase of each cycle is about 11 years long and the second or stasis phase is (or might be) just less than 30 years long.
This to suggest that Davis’ history of growth and development and reactions to it might not be merely “one damn thing after another.” Rather, it might exhibit systematic and repetitive patterns that deserve (or require?) characterization as a cycle, defined in one dictionary as “a round of years . . . in which certain events or phenomenon repeat themselves in the same order and at the same intervals.”
A key feature of this cycle conception is that Davis might now be nearing the end of the second one. If It has the same “shape” in years as the first cycle, we should expect a third “great turning” in matters of growth and stasis within the next two years or so.
All of this is shown in overview in the accompanying chart titled “Cycles of Post WWII Growth and Stasis in Davis, CA.” Let me elaborate on what is shown there.
Thursday, August 31, 2017
|1932 El Rodeo, Labor Day Description|
The meanings of the name, and observances of, “Labor Day” differ greatly between the U. S. and the UC campus at Davis. In the larger U.S., Labor Day is, quoting Wikipedia, “a public holiday [that] honors the American labor movement and the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws and well-being of the country.” Unions began to promote such a day in the late 19th century and, in 1887, Oregon was the first state to make it an official holiday. “By the time it became an official federal holiday in 1894, thirty U.S. states officially celebrated Labor Day.”
A curious and interesting aspect is that, starting in 1897, the same name was used at the University of California (then meaning Berkeley) to label a campus-wide day of voluntary labor devoted to campus improvement projects (Ann Scheuring, Abundant Harvest, p. 35).
Given what we know about the intensity of public sentiments for and against labor unions, it is not a stretch to guess that Berkeley’s Labor Day was a sideways negative comment on the larger and “real” Labor Day.
Monday, August 28, 2017
|Picnic Day page, 1932 El Rodeo|
In post 266 on this blog, I reported on Dr. Arnold Rosenwald’s amazing home movies of ‘60s UCD Picnic Day parades and related public events. That report is at the URL immediately below and the movies themselves are at the URL below it.
Dr. Rosenwald was a poultry disease researcher and extension practitioner at UCD for some seven decades, dying at age 98 in 2008. He was also an undergraduate at the “Branch College,” graduating in 1930 (and subsequently earned a DVM degree, an MA in bacteriology, and a PhD in veterinary science).
Apparently also a “shutter bug,” the materials I acquired from his estate sale included not only the movies mentioned, but also an envelope containing 12 snapshots stamped on the back as developed in May of 1932. He had completed a BA at Davis in 1930, and was apparently visiting the campus and made nine photos of Picnic Day and three of Labor Day. (I report on them in the next DHT post, #273.)
The envelope also had negatives of 11 of the 12 snapshots and I have used them to make fresh images for this and the following post.
Monday, August 21, 2017
The First Core Area Plan’s Smooth Journey From Conception to Policy: Part II, July-December 1961 (271)
|1. City Council Minutes, July 24|
This post continues Post 270 on “the 1961 Core Area Plan’s smooth journey from conception to policy.” The previous post stops with the dramatic and mid-point moment of the formal presentation of the plan to Davis people. This post continues through City Council Adoption in December, 1961.
As with the first post, I try to let the story tell itself.