Monday Morning Thoughts: Trying Not to Overreact to a Tragedy

Davis Police Car

Davis-Police-Car

There is a thin line between due diligence and overreaction. For the most part I think public officials are being cautious in their approach since the tragic murder a week ago this past Saturday.

While an urgency ordinance seemed a bit extreme, it is basically pushing the pause button while authorities can get a better sense of what happened and what, if anything, we can do about it.

Council is holding a 7:30 am meeting tomorrow, which on the surface seems a bit much. However, the context is that the council was actually originally holding the meeting to address another issue, the need to approve the subcontractor substitution for the Water Quality Improvement Pipeline Project.

The council was on call for this meeting, but was unable to coordinate their schedules for a normal meeting time. Moreover, with Lucas Frerichs on vacation (he will be participating via Skype from Europe) and the need for four votes, they needed to find a time when all could meet.

There is a need to act if action is needed, but there is also a need not to overreact. The danger in any tragedy is that we act based on emotion and in order to “do something.”

As one reader posed the question yesterday: how many murders have to occur before action is taken?

We have seen all too many murders in recent years, but I have seen little change result from any of them. When Daniel Marsh murdered two elderly residents, did the school change their protocols for handling students with depression and other mental health disorders? Did we re-examine the depression drug protocols for teenagers, even in light of evidence that he might have been prescribed the wrong medication?

When Aquelin Talamantes drowned her daughter, did we change the family court system that gave her custody of the child, despite serious warning signs?

When William Gardner shot and killed Leslie Pinkston, did we change the way stalking and harassment were treated? Did we change release protocols from prison? Did we change the law to notify potential victims of such release?

Those seem to have been much more preventable killings and we seem to have done very little in this community and in this county to correct the errors that led to those tragedies – but there are people who want to shut down our bars based on this tragedy.

The first step is that we should find out what happened. We don’t know. We only know that one man is dead, the police think it was a gang-related killing, and there are five young men in custody with a sixth at large. We don’t even know which of those men actually stabbed the victim.

The police, while concerned, seem to be approaching this through an air of calmness that the rest of the community should attempt to emulate.

Assistant Chief Darren Pytel indicated that, while there are problems at KetMoRee and they have seen increased problems with respect to that restaurant, “I can say that all of the officers have told me that the staff that works at KetMo does a good job of dealing with the crowds, they handle the incidents inside their bar very well, they call the police anytime they feel it’s necessary.”

Others have told me that the security at KetMoRee is very good, but that is not a universally held belief.

Mr. Pytel told the Vanguard that, at KetMoRee and other locations, they are seeing more and more weapons. “We’ve taken more guns and knives off of people arrested in fights downtown,” he said. “We have kind of seen a change regarding escalation in weapons and violence over the past couple of years.”

The question is whether that is related to bar activity – whether the Davis bars draw in that kind of element or whether it is incidental.

Darren Pytel clarified that the calls for service have not suddenly doubled or tripled downtown, that it’s always been busy. However, the nature of these incidents have escalated somewhat in the last few years.

One thing that he said has improved things is that the police made a conscientious effort to approve more businesses with ABC licenses in the downtown. “What we’re finding is that when you only have a couple of bars and then you have hundreds people standing in line, we were dealing with a lot of problems just with the people standing in line,” he said.

Contrary to what people may believe, the more people you get into a bar, because of the security inside, you actually reduce the problems. So having more places can be a better situation than having not enough space and having people waiting in line, angry that they aren’t inside, having fun.

“Downtown is actually more orderly now that we don’t have all of the long lines in front of some of the bars like we used to,” he said.

This, of course, suggests that curtailing bar business is actually not an effective solution.

But again, I think we need to figure out what happened first before we can figure out the answer to the problem.

That said, I think a lot of people have believed that having more patrol officers would be helpful. Hiring about five extra regular patrol officers, which would add about $800,000 to the city budget, would allow the police to have some additional bodies available to monitor the scene.

Right now, even on a busy Friday or Saturday night, there could be as few as five officers on duty. The city budget remains strapped and stretched thin. It is one reason we have been concerned about the exorbitant fire compensation – the extra few million going to salaries there could have funded additional patrol officers.

Still, as the city looks at revenue measures and developing its revenue base through economic development, adding in funding for more police officers would probably be helpful even if it turns out they would not have prevented this tragedy.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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140 Comments

  1. TrueBlueDevil

    Kind of interesting that David thinks domestic incidents of Davis residents are more preventable, but violence-prone outsiders that come to poach on college-age girls aren’t. (I’m sure college girls lingerie shows motivate criminals to travel into town as often as possible.)

    Interesting that in such a long article he neglects to mention that the police believe they are all members of the violent Nortenos street gang, and that one alleged suspect was found to have a large stash of drugs, cash, and weapons at his residence.

    Interesting that he fails to mention that many (all?) of these young men may have long rap sheets.

    I don’t recall reading anyone asking all the bars to close – an exaggeration – but rather, some have suggested some bars closing earlier. (I believe Walnut Creek may have instituted staggered closing times so that all bars wouldn’t close at once, creating several dozen spots to police, which would be impossible.)

    This is not an isolated knife incident. We had two bar patrons stab and try to run over victims on New Years Eve (one individual is a woman). What is the status of those crimes? We also had a mid-day knife fight outside of a bar downtown a year or two back. This “new element” appears to commonly carry knives, something Aggies typically don’t do in 2015.

    I recall a time when Davis had one murder every 5 or more years, not one a year with potential for more. Does Davis need a gang task force?

    1. Davis Progressive

      “Interesting that in such a long article he neglects to mention that the police believe they are all members of theviolent Nortenos street gang, and that one alleged suspect was found to have a large stash of drugs, cash, and weapons at his residence.”

      i think he reported this on saturday or sunday.  and this article focuses more on what the city should do with drinking establishments, so why do you believe he needed to address it?

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        1. He omitted a major foundational fact.

        2. The changes needed for the environment has to consider all relevant facts and options. Misbehaving college students have one set of problems and challenges, gang members traveling in numbers with weapons bring another set of problems.

        For example, a slap on the wrist or a public service announcement (PSA) might get through to the former group.

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          Talk to the Vacaville police, or consult the online Solano County crime database. We’re not in a court of law, we’re in the court of public opinion.

          Why do you have such a bleeding heart for the alleged killers of a wonderful young man?

      1. Tia Will

        TBD and Anon

        Why do you have such a bleeding heart for the alleged killers of a wonderful young man?”

        So now  it seems to me that you are equating calling for factual evidence to support one’s claims with having a bleeding heart.  I am not sure on what you are basing or supporting this equivalency. Can either of you explain your reasoning ?

         

  2. davisite4

    I can believe that having people standing in line waiting to get in creates problems, and that having more bars relieves that problems.  But I’d guess that that relief is temporary — when we add a lot of bars, we become more of a destination for those outside of Davis. No one will travel for a night club or two, but when you have a “nightclub scene” it becomes more of a destination.

    I’ll repeat the possible restrictions I floated on yesterday’s post:

    – earlier bar closing times
    – “club-only” bars, where one has to be a member to enter, and membership costs some $ amount
     
    – require that guests drinking alcohol must be seated

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      – Earlier or staggered closing times may have been used in Walnut Creek, a similarly sized city with similar issues 3-4 years ago.

      – Utah has those “license” rules, but it was maybe a few bucks, plus when I was there, you had to buy food to be served booze.

      davisite – how about my suggestion that Davis hold highly visible DUI checkpoints Friday-Saturday for multiple weekends, and get the message out that we are not the playground for gang members and bad boys?

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          DUI checkpoints would help weed out some troublemakers and / or deter some Neanderthals from visiting Davis, at least short term. And if they’re stupid enough to have an open container, weapon, or reefer flowing from the car, so be it.

          College students often walk or ride bikes downtown, and many are smart enough to have a designated driver or use Tipsy Taxi.

        2. TrueBlueDevil

          They’re too busy writing up the police reports for the body bags, and talking to witnesses who won’t snitch, and dodging drive byes.

          Our crackdown and regualtions on Picnic Day worked, right?

      1. davisite4

        TrueBlueDevil:

        Those suggestions are worth considering, too, thanks.  Seems to me that this is a time to put all the suggestions on the table and to talk about what has worked elsewhere.

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          Alan Miller makes many great points. Why does a small city allow the music to get that loud? There have to be tools to turn that volume down, maybe if it even includes complaints from neighbors. There has to be a reasonable level to the music, and if the type of music brings a dangerous element to the city, then that can be dealt with, too.

  3. TrueBlueDevil

    I just read this in the Enterprise, I don’t recall this specificity before. It sounds like we have had a growing gang problem for years … what has our city council and police department considered as adjustments the past 5 years to counter these problems?

    Davis police say that gang, weapons and violence-related crimes have been increasing since 2010, and the number this year is the highest to date. More than half of the cases this year at licensed bars and restaurants have involved some form of violence, the staff report says, and 15 percent have involved a weapon, including a metal pipe, a glass and knives.”

    http://www.davisenterprise.com/local-news/council-wants-to-press-pause-on-new-bars-nightclubs/

     

    1. Davis Progressive

      as opposed to:

      Mr. Pytel told the Vanguard that, at KetMoRee and other locations, they are seeing more and more weapons. “We’ve taken more guns and knives off of people arrested in fights downtown,” he said. “We have kind of seen a change regarding escalation in weapons and violence over the past couple of years.”

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          I like to identify problems without regard to Political Correctness.

          When Panamanian or Swiss grandmothers start shanking people in nightclubs, I’ll note it. But right now, they don’t. … but now I have a craving for ceviche.

        2. Davis Progressive

          in my experience those who say they don’t like political correctness either want an excuse to be crass or racist.  actions are perpetrated by individuals or small groups of individuals.  conservatives like to push the discussion away from societal factors but at the same time want to accept group responsibilities and collective guilt.  gangs didn’t stab that young man, a misguided young man or several of them did.

    2. Anon

      To TrueBlueDevil: I agree there has been a gang problem in Davis for years.  Gang members live in this town, then go commit crimes elsewhere as they keep themselves protected in this relatively “safe” haven.  Remember Topete and family, who rented a house here in West Davis and killed a cop?

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        I may have been preoccupied then, I’ll have to google / refresh my memory. I don’t think this is an isolated incident, we should tabulate some of the incidents our local papers have bypassed.

        This is almost like the terrorist attacks. It was attack, attack, attack, and we kept our head in the sand. Then they hit the World Trade Center.

        What happens when one gang engages another gang in one of our nightclubs? Maybe one gang will have a weapon, and one won’t, and we’ll have a few killed? Could the fight then spill out to the street / parking lot, where the “losing” gang will save face by gaining retribution? We could easily have 4 or 5 people killed. What happens if a gang gets into it with some fraternity or sports members, and a few students are killed.

        Can the city council then say, “We didn’t know this was going to happen. We didn’t foresee this.”

        When I was in school there were only two places with drinking and dancing in town, and we were 22,000 students. By the time we were seniors, we occasionally would go to “the big city” – to Old Sac or elsewhere, for nightlife. But Davis was our safe haven for tame college fun.

      2. Davis Progressive

        “Remember Topete and family, who rented a house here in West Davis and killed a cop?”

        topete crashed at a family’s member’s house in davis and then got kicked out.

  4. Alan Miller

    The Vanguard could not be more wrong here.

    This isn’t about not over-reacting, this is about not having seen the problem coming and taking action a long time ago.  These night clubs have been a scourge on the Davis Downtown for well over five years, and the change in the scene is quite profound.  This change has been especially pronounced in the past 2-3 years, where a noticeably non-college student crowd dominates.

    Most of you are asleep or don’t go downtown by 11:00pm, so you don’t see what I am speaking of.  I am a night person and live only a few blocks away.  Despite being well across the tracks from downtown, the thump-thump-thump penetrates our houses starting at 11:00pm, and it doesn’t stop — and gets louder — into the night until 2:00am.  If I am coming home by bike, car, or on foot that time of night, I’ll frequently swing by the 2nd & E to 2nd & H to 3rd and G corridor and check out the scene, or I’ll walk over to confirm the source for a noise complaint.  As often as not I’ll see a gathering of police cars with lights going, having pulled over a drunk driver or detaining someone who caused a problem.

    There are people drinking at their cars in the Amtrak lot, or being ACE hardware, or behind Village Bakery.  Men are urinating all over in semi-hidden places.  Couples are making out in dark corners, and occasionally fornicating (such as the couple fornicating butt-naked in the alley behind my house a few months ago at 1:45am).  There are over-indulgers passed out face first on the pavement.  There so many people at 3rd and G wandering into the street that it is difficult to make a turn there.  There is a look to the college crowd, and a look to those coming in from out of town.  Clearly, there is a much higher percentage of out-of-towners.

    When the energy of scene reaches a certain level, dark and evil things happen.  Murder for example, about as dark as it gets.  Before murder comes accusations of rape, stabbings that don’t result in murder, people trying to kill other people by running over them, drunk driving and related accidents, etc.  You can see this coming, and we shouldn’t be surprised when it does.  Overraction?  Hardly, we are reacting way too late.  My concern is a bandage will be put on the wound and we’ll continue on with business-as-usual, with an ever-more-expanding Thursday-Saturday party scene.  Were this a Davis resident or UCD student that was killed, I believe the reaction of citizens would have been far more severe, and it just as easily could have been.

    As previously stated, I was involved in a event that had a sub-event that some of our staff was noticing was getting out-of-control.  But people wanted to continue the event, so patches were put on the problem, and then a young woman was raped.  The scene was not controllable, but people didn’t want to admit it.  There was no choice but to end the scene.  The scene was broken up into other venues and handled elsewhere, but when there is a clear problem, it calls for drastic action, and the out-of-control scene needs to be shut down and the energy dispersed to a scene that isn’t so intense and evil.  I said evil.  Drunk driving, accidents, possible rape, assaults, stabbing, MURDER.  We, as Davis, have allowed a scene to fester right under our eyes and choose to ignore it in the name of economic development.  It fact, it is a very few establishments that have the night club scene that fosters the intensity of this evil, and there is where the focus must be directed.  This cannot be ignored any longer.

    Hilarious the idea that having more police on duty is the answer.  A small squad would be needed to really handle Thursday – Saturday 11pm to 2am.  Want to commit a crime in Davis?  Great time to do it, all the cops are downtown.  More police cost significant money.  If the idea is economic development, it should come from private profits, not from the public payroll.  If the price of overtime police exceeds the tax revenue being brought in from the margin of extra taxes from these venues nine hours of nightclub time, the taxpayers are subsidizing these night club scenes the difference.   A study in Fullerton, where a similar scene is brewing, has shown this loss to taxpayers in their nightclub scene.  I would guess similar economics applies to Davis.  The cure isn’t a bigger cast, the cure is not to break your leg in the first place.

    When you put out rat foot (nightclub scene), you attract rats.

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      Powerful post Alan. Thank you. What is the cost-benefit analysis to turning Davis into the new Chico of Northern California?

      I’d prefer a business / innovation park over this madness. While Rome burns, the city council discusses illegal street basketball!

      Has the city accepted more bars in lieu of real economic development? Are they too passive or weak to say no? Or are they too Politically Correct to acknowledge the “dark element” which now comes to downtown Davis?

    2. Anon

      To Alan Miller: Excellent post!  Spot on!  The city is talking about putting public urinals all over the downtown, and making downtown businesses pay for it.  Why should a little craft store pay for urinals caused by bars that get students drunk and encourage public urination?  One of the problems, IMO, is that the actual businesses causing the problems are not paying for the problems they cause – not paying for the installation of extra urinals, not paying for extra police, not paying for cleanup up of vomit and urine on public/private property, etc.  How about charging an extra city tax for having a nightclub?

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        I believe he is referring to the crime element and uncontrollable behavior that the city now draws on a regular basis.

        It is not all or nothing. Just a few decades ago we had 2 primary bars with dancing, 22,000 students, and we didn’t have this kind of madness downtown. The choice is not nothing or Chico.

        That might be another interesting comparison for actual practices.

        1. Frankly

          So you want to eliminate the places that students primarily go to dance and socialize because it can attract a few bad people from outside the area?

          Property crime is pretty high in Davis because the “rats” are attracted to it.  So should we start banning people from having property so it does not attract the “rats”?

        2. TrueBlueDevil

          I believe you can comprehend my above post; your straw men arguments don’t change my rational points. We don’t have to emulate Chico (or the Chico of flipped over cars ablaze during Pioneer Days).

          I don’t see any cash cow from outsiders coming to get drunk beyond enriching a few club owners. I see huge police costs, and massive negative externalities and costs that Alan Miller eloquently described. I can see more rapes, more stabbings, and some day far worse. I don’t know why you see the need to turn Davis into Chico on steroids. (Chico is tough to get to for most, Davis is easy access.)

          I don’t see why you tie unlimited bars, unlimited booze, and no restrictions on wild nightlife – to innovation parks, hotels, and dorm rooms. Unless you have an economic interest in such.

          I wonder what Mike Corbett thinks of this little predicament.

        1. Michelle Millet

          Or is it only after the stabbing that you accept the “rat” label?

          Yes Frankly, its the stabbing of a 23 year old young man who was out with his family celebrating his sister wedding that I have problem with, not whether the person who stabbed him was a student, or whether or not they a had a facial tattoo.

        2. Frankly

          It seems you are incapable of understanding your own internal conflicts.

          The point I am making.

          Allan Miller uses the term “rats”.  You agree.  But you go ballistic over my (sarcastic) suggestion that we ban people with face tattoos.

          We agree that someone that stabs and kills another is a “rat”.

          But if the goal is to prevent the stabbing, then how do you ID the “rat” before the tragedy while also not causing a hypersensitivity explosion over treatment of others?

          Allan Miller’s idea is to shutdown the bars.

          I guess if we have a bank robbery where someone is killed, Allan Miller will demand that we shut down the banks too.  Because those banks with all their money attract “rats”.

        3. TrueBlueDevil

          Frankly: “But if the goal is to prevent the stabbing, then how do you ID the “rat” before the tragedy while also not causing a hypersensitivity explosion over treatment of others?”

          STIFF DUI checkpoints which many law-abiding citizens will successfully navigate. They have nothing to worry about. Experienced police can use their training to spot troublemakers, gang bangers, … my experience is that many Neanderthal types aren’t big on the news, so many won’t know their are DUI checkpoints … police can spot dilated pupils, know the smell of marijuana, know gang attire, relevant tattoos… if we must, bring in a few police from Vacaville one weekend to help. If there is probable cause, and they run the plates / ID, they may catch a few people with warrants outstanding.

          The PR will cause some criminals to think twice before coming to town.

        4. Davis Progressive

          it’s a good thing you’re not in law enforcement.  “neaderthal” types may or may not be big on the news, but they have smart phones which means they can text and use social media.

        5. Davis Progressive

          also davis would need to bring in a few extra officers to do an effective dui check point.  dui check points don’t give you the ability to search cars.  there’s implied consent for field sobriety, but not past that.

        6. TrueBlueDevil

          DP, yes, bring in extra officers for DUI checkpoints, bring in cadets, volunteers, etc. Police can always ask if they can search the car, and they can run the plates if they have suspicions.

        7. Alan Miller

          Allan Miller’s idea is to shutdown the bars.

          Again incorrect.  I am talking about a specific scene that runs nine hours per week and takes place at 4-5 venues, Thursday – Saturday, 11pm to 2am.   I have never advocated shutting down the bars or the Davis night scene.

  5. Michelle Millet

    Mr. Pytel told the Vanguardthat, at KetMoRee and other locations, they are seeing more and more weapons. “We’ve taken more guns and knives off of people arrested in fights downtown,” he said. “We have kind of seen a change regarding escalation in weapons and violence over the past couple of years.”
    The question is whether that is related to bar activity – whether the Davis bars draw in that kind of element or whether it is incidental.

    I’m assuming these fights in which they are taking guns and knives off of people are happening at night when the bar scene is active, making it directly related to the bar activity.
     

  6. Anon

    Others have told me that the security at KetMoRee is very good, but that is not a universally held belief.”

    I have not been to KetMoRee at night, nor Tres Hermanos, but based on anecdotal evidence from Davis Wiki, there are some major problems at these restaurant/bars turned nightclubs:

    1. Lingerie parties, if that is still going on;

    2. Bartenders selling more drinks to already very  inebriated customers.

    3. Very unprofessional bartenders and bouncers that promote aggressive behavior by very inebriated customers.

    Possible solutions:

    a. Wanding for weapons

    b. Cracking down on allowing minors into the restaurant/bars turned nightclubs;

    c. Cracking down on selling more drinks to overly inebriated customers;

    d. Cracking down on establishments that promote aggressive behavior of overly inebriated customers.

    e. DUI checkpoints, as someone else suggested.

    f. Closing bars earlier or at staggered times, as someone else suggested.

    I would strongly suggest the police/ABC do some undercover sting operations so it can be determined what is actually going on in these nightclubs, not just what the establishments themselves say is going on.  Perhaps the police/ABC plan to do or have already done this – don’t know and don’t pretend to know.  But we as a city either address this now, or it is going to get out of hand.  I would argue it has already gotten out of hand…

  7. Michelle Millet

    Contrary to what people may believe, the more people you get into a bar, because of the security inside, you actually reduce the problems. So having more places can be a better situation than having not enough space and having people waiting in line, angry that they aren’t inside, having fun.

    I understand why this may solve some issues while the bars are open. But what I wonder is if this would create more problems when the bars close. If more people are getting into more bars then more people are getting access to alcohol which I would guess translates into more drunk people causing the types of problems that need police intervention at 2:00 AM.
     

  8. Frankly

    including a metal pipe, a glass and knives.”

    Looks like we will need to require the local bars to convert to red Solo cups.

    (that is sarcasm Michele Millet and Davis Progressive)

    One thing about this topic, it cuts across ideological lines.  I see some of my more conservative posting friends and some my more liberal posting friends on the side of “de-baring” Davis.  Frankly, (because I am), although I understand the personal impulse and divers for this, it is NOT a feasible direction.

    Look at this… https://www.google.com/maps/search/palo+alto,+CA,+restaurants/@37.4390945,-122.168532,15.25z

    Then look at this… https://www.google.com/maps/search/Davis,+CA,+restaurants/@38.5463558,-121.7474122,15.5z

    Then look at this… https://www.google.com/maps/search/Chico,+CA,+restaurants/@39.7341356,-121.8280005,15.25z

    The source of the problem is very clear.  Davis, a city of 72,000 people with a very high percentage of those people being 20-something young people, lacks venues.  And the venues we do have are small.

    The concentration of humanity downtown simply increases the probability of tragic person-to-person conflict.

    It really cracks me up hearing those that oppose development… even redevelopment of the core area… that want to keep Davis “the same”… meanwhile the university keeps growing and the region keeps growing.  Failing to accept these facts and stubbornly insisting that Davis not grow geographically is only resulting in pressure.  Pressure of too many people with too few places to go and compressed into too tiny a space.  Pressure from surrounding communities that have grown in population with a much larger percentage of their residents prone to criminal behavior.

    We need more restaurants and more bars.

    We need more space.

    We need more police.

    The scarcity approach isn’t working.

     

        1. Michelle Millet

          I’m still not sure how giving more people easier access to alcohol solves alcohol related problems. Again while I see the benefits to the police prior to 2:00 AM when people are inside bars, it seems like it would create more problems when the bars close.

           

        2. TrueBlueDevil

          What is the cap, Frankly? 20 bars? 30? 50?

          BTW, I saw someone else ask this, so I think it is fair game in this instance. Are you an investor or do you work for current bars / restaurants currently open, or those with plans to do so? I’m just curious as to whether their is a conflict of interest here.

          Has the city ever had DUI checkpoints at the major thoroughfares into town?

        3. Michelle Millet

          Are you an investor or do you work for current bars / restaurants currently open, or those with plans to do so? I’m just curious as to whether their is a conflict of interest here.

          Frankly just likes to be disagreeable on the VG. Apparently in real life he is much more pleasant.

        4. Frankly

          Nope.  I have no interest in any bar or restaurant in town.  I am just a very pragmatic realist.  I see that we have all these students looking for something to do.  They like to have a few drinks, socialize and dance.  It has been the same since college existed.  We have a tiny little city footprint and a tiny little downtown and many more people.

          I keep thinking about the 50s when the young people started listening to Elvis and all those adults wanted to ban his music and the dance halls due to their opinion of moral depravity… attracting “rats”.  It did not work then, and it won’t work now.  If we restrict the number of venues and the hours of operation, the kids will just drive to other communities where there are more rats.

          Think abundance, not scarcity.

          Abundance of venues and space, and abundance of cops to keep the peace.

          Keep our kids here and support them with professional security measures to keep them safe as possible.

          Grumpy adults are a really downer… and tend to cause more problems than they solve.

        5. Alan Miller

          We have a tiny little city footprint and a tiny little downtown and many more people.

          Serve more alcohol from more nightclubs to solve the alcohol related problems!  Straight out of Frank Lee’s sequel to “1984”.

        6. Frankly

          alcohol related problems!

          You got some splainin’ to do Mr. Miller.

          By the way, are you related to Howard Hyde Russell?

          He and his follower prohibitionists were masters of propaganda. The Headquarters for Murders was the bloodcurdling title of one anti-booze pamphlet, which claimed, “The saloon is the resort of the underworld whose inhabitants swarm like maggots.”…

          or maybe “rats”.

        7. TrueBlueDevil

          I think we should offer 1/2 price drink special to all current gang members as they are all misunderstood and well intentioned. Free admission to those sporting facial tattoos or full on authentic gang attire. Let’s also get a federal grant for free lap dances.

      1. Michelle Millet

        I see that we have all these students looking for something to do.  They like to have a few drinks, socialize and dance. 

        I’m all for it. I’m not for Downtown Davis becoming a place where I have to worry about getting shot or stabbed while socializing with friend over a few drinks, (which on occasion I’ve still been known to do).  The violence problem seems to be growing, and the more it does, the fewer people like me (either my college version or present day one) who just want to have fun with friends, will start looking elsewhere to do so.

        1. Frankly

          Exactly BP.  I think MM and others have amped themselves up to an irrational level.  Davis, even in light of this terrible tragedy, is still orders of magnitude safer than these other places.

          I was just remembering cruising Davis in 1979 when my friend (who was driving) made a gesture to another car that cut him off, and out comes three dudes with one carrying a metal pipe intent on doing damage to his car or one of us.  We both got out of the car and since I was 6’3″ 200 lbs and my friend was also pretty big (athletes).  I told them they would be making a big mistake as one of more of them would end up beat up badly.  They held back and we just exchanged verbal insults.   They got back in their truck and sped away.

          About an hour later we were pulled over by a Davis PD.  They asked us about the incident and took a report.  Several people witnessed the incident and called it in.  Learned later that they were from Vacaville.

          The bad element, “rat”… whatever we want to call them… have been coming to Davis for years.

          And part of it isn’t just that they are bad… but they come to Davis to meet girls, but with a chip on their shoulder about Davis in general.  Sometimes it is young people that attended high school in these surrounding communities and are just amped up from school rivalries in athletics.

          But I think more of them are truly bad people… gang members, etc.   I know a lot of neighborhoods in Sacramento, Vacaville, Fairfield and Vallejo… and even Woodland… where there is an increase in low income families and there is a lot of crime.   The region has changed over the years, and this is increasing the probability that bad people will come to Davis.   That is not KetMoRee’s fault.

        2. Michelle Millet

          Frankly, I’m pointing out the reality of the situation. If Downtown Davis increasingly  becomes a place were violence breaks out more and more frequently at night, regardless of why, then I will avoid going downtown at night, just like I avoid going to other places that I do not feel safe. I’m not sure how this is considered an irrational response.

          What type of crowd do we want to attract into our downtown? Those who bring violence and weapons? So be it. I’m just saying if that is the direction we go, I’ll choose to find alternate places to socialize with my friends.  My guess is that college students who don’t want to run the risk of being stabbed or shot will do the same. Leaving who?

          If we want a downtown that is vibrant, and not one in which people fear for their personal safety, then I think we need to look at the choices we are making. If our restaurants and bars want to stay in business, I would suggest that think about the clientele they are attracting, and whether or not this will lead to their long term economic viability.

           

           

        3. TrueBlueDevil

          Frankly, in my days as a young person downtown or at the Grad, we saw a few out of towners, but it wasn’t common. Typically, farm hands / cowboys might come to the Grad on $1 a pitcher night. That was the biggest thing I recall, and it wasn’t that big. One night I saw a huge guy in bib overalls pummel a student at Mr. Bs, the only altercation I ever saw there. Both places were well run.

          I think a difference is these cowards … I mean gang members … travel in packs, and bring weapons. We’ve also had an explosion in the Latino gang culture, population, numbers … I was reading a gang report about Sonoma or Napa, and in a few decades they’ve gone from 1 active gang to 22. Twenty two gangs in a small community like Davis.

          I think this is part of globalization and a massive illegal immigrant population – we have chipped away at the middle class, and we’re expanding the lower classes. I don’t think they have any specific feelings about Davis … maybe just that they’re “rich college kids” and that there are cute naive college girls here.

        4. Alan Miller

          I’m not for Downtown Davis becoming a place where I have to worry about getting shot or stabbed while socializing with friend over a few drinks

          That’s really overstating and mischaracterizing the problem.  The problem is about 4-5 establishments, Thursday – Saturday, 11pm – 2am.

          It’s not that there aren’t problems elsewhere, but this is the when/where of the core of the issue.

        5. Frankly

          UCD 2013 percentage of female undergraduates = 66%

          UCD 2013 percentage of male undergraduates = 44%

          In 1980 it was about equal.

          But I think your fear of your personal safety is overblown.  Davis is still by far one of the safest cities around.  But it has a bunch of rowdy college kids that actually live here and are part of the community.  You might not like that sort of thing.

        6. Frankly

          they didn’t come to Davis to MEET young women.

          Let’s put it this way.  Without young women patrons, I guarantee they would not come to Davis just for the thump, thump, thump music and the muscatel.

        7. Davis Progressive

          “Frankly… let’s be honest… they didn’t come to Davis to MEET young women.”

          let’s be honest, you wouldn’t have the first clue as to why they came to davis.  i’m sorry to be snarky, but i don’t think you know jack and you keep spouting off and planting nasties.

        8. tribeUSA

          Re:

          “UCD 2013 percentage of female undergraduates = 66%

          UCD 2013 percentage of male undergraduates = 44%”

          Adds to 110%–perhaps hermaphrodites count twice, and also many may be courageously following the example of Jenner and switching genders during the year, and prefer to think of themselves as both fully male and fully female.

          The math can’t be wrong, as it was posted by a guy, though with more self-identified females enrolling in college perhaps the fairer sex will catch up in math–have I performed these social computations correctly?

        9. tribeUSA

          TBD:–good post 3:07. Yes, extrapolation of trends suggests that there will be fewer communities, even small communities like Davis, without serious gang problems in the next few decades, particularly if the borders remain open and the economy continues on its trend of the rich getting richer, the poor getting poorer, and fewer people in the middle class–does not bode well for our children and grandchildren–in Davis; brown yards and dusty (less grass, even when drought ends a high percentage of people won’t want to pay the higher water prices that are now ramping up), studio apartments the only thing affordable to most students and lower income single people (continuing rent increases; like the closet-size apartments now becoming all the ‘fashion rage’ in San Francisco), and a more dangerous town to walk or bike around in after dark, particularly as the gangstas multiply and ‘racist’ police are held in check from cracking down on them.

        10. hpierce

          DP… talk about snarky… I was responding to a post that said the “outsiders” were there to meet young women.  I opined that those “outsiders” who were here to meet young women (think Venn diagram), from outside the City, were not interested in a “hello, my name is XXXXX, how are you this evening in a bar, semi toasted.”

          Suggest a mirror check.

        11. Frankly

          The math can’t be wrong, as it was posted by a guy, though with more self-identified females enrolling in college perhaps the fairer sex will catch up in math–have I performed these social computations correctly?

          Sorry.  Got that from a UCD source.  I will check it out and report back.

        12. wdf1

          Frankly:  UCD 2013 percentage of female undergraduates = 66%
          UCD 2013 percentage of male undergraduates = 44%

          This says UCD 2014 (fall) was 57% female, 42% male.  Compared to your data, amazingly in one year, the percentages dropped for both genders.  There’s still 1% missing for 2014, maybe rounding issues.

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      1980s / 1990s – Frankly, if I buy your logic, how is this possible. In the 1980s Davis had two primary watering holes – Mr. Bs and the Grad. Other small places came and went. Even into the early 1990s this was still the case, plus add in Froggys as a very popular bar / drunkfest.

      We had 22,000 + students, maybe 45-50,000 citizens, 2 bars, and I rarely witnessed any problems.

      2010-2015 – We have 35,000 students, 70,000 residents, and dramatically increased the number of bars and problems. Our population didn’t quintuple, nor did the campus.

      One Change appears to be a large “outside” element which also now includes gang members using Davis for their nightlife.

      I simply don’t see the need to make Davis into Chico.

      I also don’t see the connection between innovation parks, bars, and crazy loud music. We can add an innovation park, significant dorms within walking distance of the campus, the Hotel complex, and some external smaller retail developments which might include a brews pub or wine bar or whatever. I am for smart development!

      My gut also tells me that a lot of students don’t live downtown. Many are serious students, many have other interests besides getting drunk, many are international students, many socialize within the Greek system, and many are under 21!!

      It appears a large “outside” element comes to Davis for their nightlife and to get crazy. Was this the plan of the city council? How many bars have local politicians as investors?

      1. Frankly

        and dramatically increased the number of bars and problems.

        I think this is your problem TBD.   “Dramatically” is a word that derives from “drama”.  I don’t agree with it.  The Assistant Chief does not agree with it.

        I would like you to define the problems as you see them.  Then maybe I will understand how you can make the claim that they are dramatically increased compared to the past.

        I think you fail to see the problem with capacity and saturation.  The population has doubled since 1980.  36,400 then to 72,000 today.  Davis has always attracted outsiders to town.  But the region has grown in population.

        And all these people are going to the same 2-3 blocks.  Yes there are a few more venues, but not that many more.  Maybe five compared to three.   Plus the Graduate has been here for most of that time.

      2. Michelle Millet

        What Vacaville lacks is the concentration of partying humanity in a small space and a higher percentage of female patrons.

        This almost seems to imply that you view female patrons as a commodity? So tell me Frankly, are you willing to sacrifice the safety of these female patrons in the name of economic development. Maybe we should start shuttling them into Davis from surrounding communities in order to attract more customers to our bars?

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          He is just being frank as to what draws the testosterone to the establishment. Its not the tooty fruity drinks.

          In the olden days before lawyers like DP stepped in, there used to be “Ladies Nights” where ladies got in free.

  9. Michelle Millet

    Looks like we will need to require the local bars to convert to red Solo cups.

    I’m pretty sure when restaurants convert to nightclubs they switch to single use disposable plastic cups. Given the safety concerns that go along with drunk people dancing in close quarters drinking out of glass I’m willing to let the environmental impacts of this one slide.

        1. Michelle Millet

          I hit a big plastic container on B Street riding my bike to work this morning.  Hurt my knee.  Almost crashed.  I feel much safer with green piles.

          Maybe we should get rid of garbage and recycling bins all together and just let people pile their waste loose in the street all week. Then when patrons toss their red Solo cups and cigarette butts into the street as they leave the nightclub it won’t be considered littering.

    1. hpierce

      Moderator:  you’re probably busy with “real life”, and running a great business, but this portion of the thread, seems more than a bit “off-topic”.

      Actually, Don, (giving myself a few moments to reflect) this should have been “self-policed”, by writing the things we ‘just need to say’, and then having the self-discipline not to hit the “post” button.  I .can say this as someone who has not self-policed as often as I should have.  Mea culpa.

  10. Anon

    TrueBlueDevil:”1980s / 1990s – Frankly, if I buy your logic, how is this possible. In the 1980s Davis had two primary watering holes – Mr. Bs and the Grad. Other small places came and went. Even into the early 1990s this was still the case, plus add in Froggys as a very popular bar / drunkfest.

    We had 22,000 + students, maybe 45-50,000 citizens, 2 bars, and I rarely witnessed any problems.

    2010-2015 – We have 35,000 students, 70,000 residents, and dramatically increased the number of bars and problems. Our population didn’t quintuple, nor did the campus.

    One Change appears to be a large “outside” element which also now includes gang members using Davis for their nightlife.

    I simply don’t see the need to make Davis into Chico.

    I also don’t see the connection between innovation parks, bars, and crazy loud music. We can add an innovation park, significant dorms within walking distance of the campus, the Hotel complex, and some external smaller retail developments which might include a brews pub or wine bar or whatever. I am for smart development!”
    WELL SAID!

    1. hpierce

      In the 1980s Davis had two primary watering holes – Mr. Bs and the Grad.”  As previously noted by myself and others, that is untrue, unless you mean by ‘primary’ something like 23, 22 percent of market share (each), as opposed to ONLY 17-18% of the market (3rd and 4th, each).  Were you even here then?  Where are you getting your “facts”?

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        Yes, I was. What places do you think I was missing?

        (Maybe my choice of words was poor. If you wanted to drink and dance and have fun, there were two places. Yes, you could get a beer at a pizza joint, or at AJ Bumps, or I think the Paragon, but downtown had a limited amount of choices. I don’t ever remember being able to do a bar crawl.)

  11. Anon

    Anon: “As much as I am in favor of further economic development, not for one second do I believe it is the answer to the city’s nightclub problems!

    Frankly: “The Assistant Chief and I disagree with you.”

    Are you seriously trying to argue the Davis Police Dept is in favor of encouraging further economic development in order to increase the number of nightclubs in this town – to decrease criminal violence?  The next time I run into him, I’ll ask Police Chief Landy Black if he agrees with that whopper!

    1. Frankly

      Read what he wrote.  More venues make for fewer incidents.

      So having more places can be a better situation than having not enough space and having people waiting in line, angry that they aren’t inside, having fun.
      “Downtown is actually more orderly now that we don’t have all of the long lines in front of some of the bars like we used to,” he said.

      Frankly Anon, it seems you are so amped up about this that you are not listening to what the experts are telling us.

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        But he contradicts himself when we know that we have more weapons, violence and gangs the past 5 years. I guess if your goal is orderly violence, yes, we have progress.

        1. Michelle Millet

          There does seem to be a contradiction here. This is the statement that I find most troubling. I’m not sure how opening more bars will solve this.

          Mr. Pytel told the Vanguard that, at KetMoRee and other locations, they are seeing more and more weapons. “We’ve taken more guns and knives off of people arrested in fights downtown,” he said. “We have kind of seen a change regarding escalation in weapons and violence over the past couple of years.”

        2. Frankly

          No contradiction unless you are unable to rid yourself of your incorrect opinion that the bars attract the “rats.”

          So, if I spill some syrup on the ground and later I see it covered in ants, it is correct to say that the syrup attracted the ants… but not the whiskey that I also spilled right next to it.

        3. Michelle Millet

          No contradiction unless you are unable to rid yourself of your incorrect opinion that the bars attract the “rats.”

          Or maybe you need to rid yourself of the opinion that these particular venue of bars are not attracting “rats”. Does it means we need to shut down bars all together, I don’t think so, but maybe we need change the scene so we don’t attract as many.

        4. Frankly

          Or maybe you need to rid yourself of the opinion that these particular venue of bars are not attracting “rats”

          I have lived in the area since 1974.  Davis has always had bars and more after it stopped being dry in 1979.

          In fact:

          Like many other early California towns, Davisville was full of hard drinkers. In 1867, when the population was only about 500, there were already nine saloons, outnumbering every other type of public establishment in town, including churches and restaurants.

           

          One other point to consider.  The City banned the public consumption of alcohol in 2002 with an open container ordinance.  So that forced all these thirst people to need to find a qualified drinking establishment. And so we have a need for a few more bars.  And there the people crowd in and fights start.

          Again, we fools cause our own problems.

        5. Alan Miller

          The City banned the public consumption of alcohol in 2002 with an open container ordinance.  So that forced all these thirst people to need to find a qualified drinking establishment. And so we have a need for a few more bars.  And there the people crowd in and fights start.  Again, we fools cause our own problems.

          The public drinking allow was great.  Nothing like a guy walking down the street with a beer to let you know who was coming.  Now only the In-N-Out crowd drinks in public.

          I’m sure all those people who used to walk around drinking on the street now go to the nightclubs on Thursday – Saturday from 11pm to 2am.  A direct line from one to the other, and the people crowd and the fights start.  Right

  12. ryankelly

    I’m pretty sure that if the form of entertainment were changed, then the behavior of the crowd would change.  A few years ago, promoters rented out Odd Fellows Hall to have these techno music / hip hop concerts and attracted a mainly out of town crowd from Vallejo, Oakland and other East Bay locations.  Lines formed outside the Hall with bouncers and angry people being turned away.  Calls went into the police about cars full of men driving around downtown flashing gang signs and threatening to start fights during and after the event ended.  There were thefts and assaults. The Odd Fellows stopped renting the hall to these kinds of groups and promoters.   This same problem happened at a event location in Woodland, except I believe that there was a shooting outside one of these events and Woodland shut it down.   The music is loud and relentless.  Any jostling in the crowd is a potential serious altercation because no one can hear each other and communication is reduced to looks and gestures and young men are impulsive.  Add someone with a weapon and it is a disaster.

    1. Davis Progressive

      “promoters rented out Odd Fellows Hall to have these techno music / hip hop concerts and attracted a mainly out of town crowd from Vallejo, Oakland and other East Bay locations.  ”

      techno and hip hop are extremely different and attract very different crowds.  techno is more of a college crowd and centered around the ecstasy crowd.  hip hop is rap/ r&b based, and would attract a more urban audience, although college students are big consumers of it white and minority.

      1. ryankelly

        All I know is the type of people that were in line and the difficulties they caused downtown.  I know that when the Odd Fellows stopped renting to them, things calmed down.

      2. TrueBlueDevil

        It sounds like there are two types of crowds to avoid. The ecstasy events have had drug overdoses in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and elsewhere.

        Hip hop / rap concerts often bring a bad element which often includes violence and weapons, and as I am older see it as different than R&B – concerts I often attended. I never had a single problem at a Luther Vandross, George Benson, Cameo or Earth Wind & Fire concert.

        1. Davis Progressive

          ecstasy isn’t healthy for you, but the crowd itself is harmless.

          ” I never had a single problem at a Luther Vandross, George Benson, Cameo or Earth Wind & Fire concert.”

          well gee, there’s a press stopper…  you never had a problem going to concerts that play old fogey music.  shocking.

        2. TrueBlueDevil

          Back in the day the crowd was not old, it was mixed. I don’t hear about troubles with country or jazz concerts either.

          Hip hop is another world, and is part of the whole gangsta culture … 90% of the people there might be law abiding citizens, but that 10% can create a whole lot of havoc.

          I used to occasionally go to some businesses around Jack London Square in Oakland until a hip hop club brought a lot of crime and posing and threatening behavior to the area. I went elsewhere.

        1. hpierce

          So, to be “colorblind” (assuming it is a goal, and one I espouse), we need to focus on race?  I see a logical error there.  Or is this a need for “flagellants”?  How many ‘mea culpas’ do we need we need from an individual (or even a race, if there are any) who is innocent of racism?  Oh, yeah, whites are evil, stupid, bigoted.  Uniquely.  Minorities, on the other hand, are morally superior, and their verbal/physical attacks on whites or other minorities are fully justified.

          Ok.  I understand your position. A color-blind society is not your goal.  It’s something else, but I don’t know what

        2. hpierce

          Ok DP (your 3:20 post)  “… people are treated differently when their skin color is darker.’

          In your ‘world’, people are judged differently because their skin color is lighter?.  Your point?  In your world view are all light skinned people racist?  BS.

          1. David Greenwald

            “n your ‘world’, people are judged differently because their skin color is lighter?”

            You disagree with this?

            “In your world view are all light skinned people racist? ”

            I don’t think anyone said that.

  13. hpierce

    My ultimate take is that the perp would have stabbed someone, somewhere, sometime, independent of the location (in Davis?), with or without alcohol in the equation.  The perp is either mentally ill, and/or a serious criminal, IMHO.

    1. David Greenwald

      No offense hpierce, but I think your ultimate take is really based on a known set of circumstances. If it was a bar fight that escalated, then circumstances mattered and played a role. Why don’t you let the facts come out before concluding “the perp is either mentally ill and/or a serious criminal.” He may well be both, but we don’t have much to go on now.

  14. Tia Will

    hpierce

    In your ‘world’, people are judged differently because their skin color is lighter?.  Your point?  In your world view are all light skinned people racist?  BS.”

    I don’t believe that anyone made this claim any more than some posters claims that immigrants are part of the problem equals the claim that all brown skinned people are criminals once they arrive. Setting up straw men to tear down is much easier than making objective points on either end of the social/ political spectrum.

    The point is not what happens in “DP’s world, or in your world or my world. It is what happens in the worlds of those who do, vs those who do not experience racial discrimination.

  15. Anon

    Listened carefully to the discussion by City Council this morning on the proposed 45 day moratorium for drinking establishments big enough to accommodate nightclubs – the 45 day moratorium passed 4-1, with Mayor Pro Tem Robb Davis opposing. The moratorium stopped temporarily the formation of another restaurant turned nightclub establishment that will go in on G St. where Little Prague used to be.  It exists or existed (not sure which) in Vacaville, and drew extremely large crowds at certain times.

    One interesting tidbit that came out in the City Council discussion is the types of liquor licenses we are talking about.  It turns out that because KetMoRee had a 47 license (not sure that is the correct terminology), which is a combination restaurant/bar license, a 20 year old would be permitted to be on the premises, but would not be permitted to drink alcohol.

    There is no question the City Council wants to hear from citizens, and will be part of discussions with the Davis Police Dept, ABC and representatives of the bars in town.  I suspect the bars turned nightclubs are deathly afraid right now of what new city regulations they may get hit with.  But whatever is enacted will take from 6 months to one year to implement to soften the economic hit to these businesses.

    1. Davis Progressive

      “It exists or existed (not sure which) in Vacaville, and drew extremely large crowds at certain times.”

      but he explained that the establishment was drawing huge crowds due in part to other promotional activities.  this facility in davis isn’t going to be large enough nor will it have the other coinciding events.

        1. David Greenwald

          I don’t think adding Blondie’s is suddenly going to pump in thousands of people into Davis downtown late at night. But at the same time, it doesn’t sound like the council is prepared to stop them from coming.

        2. TrueBlueDevil

          Thanks Don. This place sounded like a real winner … “sleazy hangout”… ” fights all the time” … $150 bottle service where they fill the bottles with well liquor (film supposedly on youtube)… rude bouncers.

          Does Davis even vet these owners and their past history?

          How big is the Little Prague space?

  16. Anon

    Frankly:

    So having more places can be a better situation than having not enough space and having people waiting in line, angry that they aren’t inside, having fun.

    “Downtown is actually more orderly now that we don’t have all of the long lines in front of some of the bars like we used to,” he said.

    Frankly Anon, it seems you are so amped up about this that you are not listening to what the experts are telling us.

    You claim the Davis Police Dept is in favor of encouraging further economic development in order to increase the number of nightclubs in this town – to decrease criminal violence?  In this morning’s City Council’s discussion, I did not hear Asst. Police Chief Pytel say, in any way shape or form, that he thinks the City Council should encourage more nightclubs in Davis as a solution to the increase in violence.  And I will hazard a guess he will never posit such a suggestion.

     

    1. David Greenwald

      To clarify, what he told me is that having more bars has counter-intuitively reduced some of the strife, but at the same time, he said that there has been more violence and weapons downtown in the last five years. So I’m not sure which way you want to go on this.

      1. Anon

        Ask Asst. Chief Pytel or Chief Landy Black specifically if they think the solution to the violence is for the city to approve more nightclubs.  Let’s see what they have to say…

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