Sunday, September 28, 2014

Why Is the Original Davis Street Grid “Tilted” Some 13 Degrees Northwest? (182)

The American penchant is to orient street and other land grids “cardinal north.” Indeed, early land maps of Yolo County are marvels of such rigid rectangles (images a and c).

But, the street grid for the original Davisville is not cardinal north. Instead, in a sea of north-south parcels, it conspicuously “tilts’ to the northwest some 13 degrees (seen in images a and c).  
a.
This exception has sometimes prompted the question “why?” The conventional answer has been that a rail line to Woodland was part of the planning and the tilt created a “straight shot” toward it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Distinctive Davis in Our Time: Public Social Life in the 5th & C Streets Area in the Twenty-Tens Described by Melody Boyer (181)


At its meeting on September 18, 2014, the Davis School Board voted to explore "redevelopment"  of the block it owns bounded by B, 5th, 6th and C streets and that it uses as a headquarters.

Among people addressing the Board on this matter was C Street resident Melody Boyer. She has lived just across the street from this block for a decade and she reported on what she believes to be the current intensity of public social life in that area.

Her thesis was that public life there was already quite intense and that redeveloping the block along lines that have been contemplated might make it too intense, thus destroying the very thing redevelopment sought to enhance.

While this was the point of her talk, I found myself more interested in her listing of current types of public social behavior in the area. It is rare for someone to undertake to describe the “obvious” and because it is not done very often, there are a great many things too many of us do not perceive and appreciate.

But here, Ms. Boyer does us the service of drawing a word portrait of an important feature of Davis in the twenty-tens. I think she provides an excellent capsule portrait of a wonderful aspect of the distinctive Davis of our time. I therefore seek to call attention to it by uploading it to Youtube and making it the subject of posts here and on Old North Davis Chat. 

Her talk runs three and one-half minutes. Enjoy it here:




Thursday, September 18, 2014

An Unusual 1978 Call For Business to “Flex Muscles in City Politics” (179)


In the “slow/no” growth progressive era of the 1970s-80s, a large portion of Davisites was nonetheless quite “pro-growth” even if somewhat guarded and circumspect in public expressions on the matter. Progressives seemed to occupy the moral high ground, rendering vigorous pro-growth advocacy rather “politically incorrect.”

I was therefore particularly struck when I happened onto a December 21, 1978 Enterprise report on how a prominent Davis realtor was urging his colleagues to “wage war on city government intervention in business affairs” and lamenting the lack of pro-growth lobbying.


I suppose the social analytic question is: why, despite sufficient citizen support and monetary resources, were pro-growthers so often tepid and even timid in local politics?


Monday, September 8, 2014

The City of Davis 1978 Prop 13 Budget Scramble: Week 4, June 25-30 (177)


This is the fourth in a series of four posts on the City of Davis 1978 Prop 13 budget scramble. It presents Enterprise stories printed in the fourth week of that scramble, the June 25-30 period.  

June 26 - 1

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The City of Davis 1978 Prop 13 Budget Scramble: Week 3, June 18-24 (176)


This the third in a series of four posts on the City of Davis 1978 Prop 13 budget scramble. It presents Enterprise stories printed in the third week of that scramble, the June 18-24 period.  

June 19

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The City of Davis 1978 Prop 13 Budget Scramble: Week 2, June 11-17 (175)


This the second in a series of four posts on the City of Davis 1978 Prop 13 budget scramble. It presents Enterprise stories printed in the second week of that challenge--the June 11-17 period.   


June 12 - 1

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The City of Davis 1978 Prop 13 Budget Scramble: Week 1, June 7-10 (174)

Recent City of Davis trouble with revenues falling significantly short of commitments is not
the first time this government has faced a “budget crisis.”

There has been at least one such event in the past--and one that was in some ways more interesting and dramatic than the current turmoil.

On June 6, 1978, California voters adopted the state constitutional amendment commonly called “Prop 13.” It significantly reduced and constrained real estate property taxes as a source of county, city, and school district funding.

June 7-1