Sunday Commentary II: Questions We Should Be Asking about Our Future



While the council largely made it clear that they would like some different questions asked in the initial input from the community, I still see this as a missed opportunity to engage the public in the process.

There is nothing in particular wrong with the three questions that the staff came up with:

  1. What do you like most about Davis today (in 2016)? (open ended question)
  2. What do you want Davis to be like in 20 years (in 2036)?(open ended question)
  3. What are the most important planning issues facing Davis today and over the next 20 years? (multiple choices would be identified by staff such as housing opportunities, growth, economic development, transportation options, senior needs, recreational facilities, etc., as well as an opportunity for additional comments)

I like the visioning questions.  For me the answer to the first question is the reason I have chosen to live here and raise my family here even though right now I cannot afford to buy a home.  It is a small town, it has good schools, and it has great amenities from parks to greenbelts to bike paths.  And, while we have our share of frightening crime, it is a relatively safe community.

My answer to No.2 is largely the same but I think this is where the planners and staff missed the boat.  The critical question is not what I want Davis to be like when I’m 63, it is how do we manage to keep what I like most about Davis alive in 20 years.

Some of that is captured within the third question, where we are given multiple choices to identify important planning issues, but a lot of that we need to tease out in more focused questions.

Here are five questions I would ask if I were the city council.

First, what are our biggest needs?

For me this is something I have been discussing for a few years now.  I think we need to find rental housing for students.  I think we need revenue to maintain our current levels of city services and capital to keep our infrastructure where we need it to be.  We need to find revenue from economic development.  We need to maintain our parks, greenbelts, bike paths and roads.

Second, select four places where you would support new housing opportunities for students not including the UC Davis campus.

Does this question beg the question about whether we need housing?  Of course.  I think everyone supports the idea of more housing opportunities on campus.  But this forces people to think about where they are willing to support housing in the city.

As we saw in 2007-08, there is not just one answer here.  If you are an opponent of peripheral development, for instance, you can talk about PG&E site, the District Administrative yards, you can talk about redevelopment along B Street or the Corporate Yards, you can talk about inside the Mace Curve, you can talk about redeveloping areas of downtown.

The point is there are a lot of answers for housing that do not necessarily require a Measure R vote or going outside of the city’s current boundaries.  On the other hand, maybe you think we should go outside of the current boundaries.

Bottom line: I think the city needs to know where people are thinking we should build housing.

Third, how do we do economic development?

Again there are multiple answers we still have the dispersed economic development model which calls for utilizing existing sites, adding on Nishi, and adding at least one peripheral site.  Maybe that model needs to change.  Maybe we need to support the Joe Minicozzi model for downtown densification.  Maybe we should focus on hotel development.  Maybe it should be peripheral retail.  Maybe we should be working more with the university.

Fourth, what do we want the downtown to look like in 20 years?

There are a number of issues at play in this question.  Do we continue to make it restaurant and entertainment oriented?  Do we add more retail?  Do we densify?  Do we put mixed use housing on top of offices, on top of retail and restaurants?  How high are we willing to go?  How do we address parking and transportation?

Fifth, what does infill look like?

Infill is difficult.  It involves shoving a new project into a space designed for something else with people living around it who will have their lives impacted.  We saw the problems it caused with Paso Fino.  We saw the problems it has caused at Trackside.  We have seen that some of our planning documents are out of date.  Are we willing to push for maximum density?  Are we willing to go up to six stories?  Do we want higher density in the core?  Do we want a stark change or a transition?

Infill is tricky because it affects some people but not most people in a community.  How do we resolve those issues?

Those are to me the key questions that I would like to see addressed and I don’t think the three questions address.

What other questions would you like to see answered early in the process?

—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.

Related posts

96 thoughts on “Sunday Commentary II: Questions We Should Be Asking about Our Future”

  1. Tia Will

    What other questions would you like to see answered early in the process?”

    How will any proposed changes affect the health, safety and well being not only of the proposed inhabitants and or business owners of said projects but of the entire community ?  We saw relatively late publicity about the supposed hazards of the Nishi site play at least a small role in the defeat of this measure. A more comprehensive analysis of these concerns earlier in the process might have contributed to a different outcome.

    1. hpierce

      What would you choose as a metric for “health”, “safety” and/or “well-being”?  And what is “well-being” as you define it?

      Any [even if infinitesimal]?  Insignificant? Potentially significant?,  etc.

      Or, if it was asked as a question on a survey, would you solicit answers to the questions I just posed?

      1. Tia Will


        Or, if it was asked as a question on a survey, would you solicit answers to the questions I just posed?”

        That is exactly what I was suggesting. I do not believe that my personal suggestions are nearly as important as assessing what the members of the community would consider significant in this regard, especially given the disparity of opinions regarding the health and safety of potential residents of Nishi.


  2. Eileen Samitz


    I find your second question pretty astonishing. First for you to be advocating for more student housing in the City when virtually no one disagrees that more student housing is needed on-campus is disappointing and counter-productive. You claim that this is because it “forces” everyone to basically identify, not one, two, or three, but four sites for high density housing in the City. So your advocacy for more student housing in the City, rather than advocating for it on the campus basically diminishes the availability for rental housing to our workforce and families.

    With more housing on-campus, students would have the option at least of living on-campus or off-campus, however non-students would not have the option of living in on-campus rental housing. So your question #2 just invites the exacerbation of an existing problem. Since you are recommending this question for others to answer, what four sites would you recommend for high density “student housing” in the City? You mention a few sites for others to possibly consider who don’t want peripheral development, but which four specific sites would you recommend for this high density housing? Also, note that one of the sites you did mention, the P,G and E site has been explored a number of times in the past and due to enormous relocation costs for all of the transformers, generators, electrical lines and infrastructure, etc. and toxics on the site, unfortunately is not an option for housing.

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      Hi Eileen,

      My view is that the university is looking at providing for 90% of the 6,000 student growth over the next decade. The problem is that even if they hit that number we still need to provide at least 1,000 new beds the city just to manage current demand with future demand. I don’t expect that the university is going to get close to 90% and if they reach 50%, a more reasonable expectation, we’ll be fortunate. Also given the rate of their planning, I don’t think they will do so very quickly.

      So for me that means about 3,000 to 4,000 beds in the city. Nishi, Sterling, and Lincoln40 would have accommodated perhaps 3,000. So I don’t see this as a huge leap for the city.

      1. Grok

        You know what would be great? An article that that investigated ways of increasing student housing options on campus. Maybe it could look for good examples in other states. Some colleges like Ohio State even require all second year students to live on campus, and have housing available for students who want to stay on campus past that. UCD is one of the 30 largest public Universities in the country by student enrollment. How about an investigative article that looks at how these other 29 schools house their students? That would be much more powerful than just saying you don’t think the university is going to provide enough housing.

  3. cornford


    The day is almost over and I am awaiting breathlessly for an answer to the question posed  above to you by Eileen. If David cannot or will not answer  then perhaps some of the so many “vanguard” unfettered growth at any cost  regular contributors can do so for him?

        1. Grok

          Your the boss David. You decide when it is appropriate to take time off from your gig at the Vanguard. Frankly I suggest you take an extended vacation. The time you spend with them now can not be replaced.

  4. Frankly

    Defeat Measure R/J and then ask.  Otherwise it is a waste of time.  But in the meantime I hope UCD builds student housing skyscrapers along Russel.

  5. Eileen Samitz


    I know you like to project what you believe. Well, we all do that to some extent but we don’t all have a daily column, nor have the time like you to compose one. But you clearly have what seems to be a constant resistance to advocating for on-campus housing for the students. If you would write as often about the need for on-campus housing as you do on your ever pessimistic “predictions” of the chances of on-campus housing materializing on-campus, well then who knows, we might actually wind up having a long-term solution in process.  Since it is you wanting solutions, you really should try to have some optimism on the obvious solutions, which is more on-campus housing for the students. UCD has more than 5,000 acres to provide it. Our City does not. Furthermore, it is the most long-term attainable solution for UCD, the UCD students, and our community.

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      I have some concerns about whether students really want to live on campus past freshman year. But the biggest concern is I just don’t think you’re going to get the university to build that quantity of housing. And even if you do, you still need a few thousand beds in town. So plan to build for some of the capacity and work with the university to produce the rest. I think we can do that without major upheaval of the community.

      1. Grok

        Not only are there students who prefer to live on campus closer to their classes, there is a small percentage of students who would prefer to live in dorms on campus past freshman year. That is a completely unmet need that the University can and should be building for.

        1. Don Shor

          It seems it would be a reasonable goal for UCD to try to house a higher percentage of their sophomore students on campus, as well as their recent promise to try to house 90% of their projected enrollment increase.
          That still leaves a need for thousands of beds, both on campus and off.

  6. Eileen Samitz


    I would have less concerns about if students care about any nuances of living on campus versus off campus for the convenience and sustainability of students not having to commute from distances in all kinds of adverse weather (particularly on bikes) and the sustainability of reducing the commuting impacts as well on the City and reducing our carbon footprint as well. Practicality would far outweigh any preference. Your “solution” advocates for endlessly enabling UCD to deflect their enormous housing demands on our community and causing a major upheaval of our community.

      1. Eileen Samitz

        I am saying that UCD needs to build what they have promised and admitted that they need to build on UCD land using UCD wastewater treatment, water, and campus services (fire, police, etc.) rather then our City’s.

        Are you saying that our City should be providing UCD’s housing needs and that Davis residents should be paying for UCD’s housing needs while you are also arguing that our City is having major financial problems?

    1. Don Shor

      1. They do not have 5000 acres of buildable land.
      2. Juniors and seniors are less likely to want to live on campus, and cannot be coerced into doing so.
      Focusing on the sophomores seems more practical.

      1. South of Davis

        Don wrote:

        > Juniors and seniors are less likely to want to live on campus,

        If you have nice on campus housing even juniors and seniors will live on campus.  The Junior University just outside the Palo Alto city limits has had virtually all the undergrads (and a huge percentage of grad students) living on the (~8,000 acre) campus for the last 125 years.

        > and cannot be coerced into doing so.

        It seems like it would be easy to “coerce” kids in to living on campus by giving them class priority after the NCAA athletes and before the kids that live off campus.

  7. Eileen Samitz


    1) So how much buildable land are you saying UCD has?

    2) No matter what year UCD students attend UCD, what is most practical is housing that is closer to when they need to commute to, primarily if not only, by bicycle. It is far more practical sustainability-wise also.

    1. Don Shor

      I think you should be more realistic about how much buildable land they actually have. New housing on campus is going to go in the main campus area, not out in the agricultural fields they own west of town or in South Davis.

      I think you also need to be more realistic about the likely timeline of UCD actually providing even what they’ve informally promised the city, much less anything they haven’t yet agreed to. As you probably know, but other readers here may not: housing is not — cannot be — paid for from fees or state revenues. It is, if I have the term right, an auxiliary expense, and is supposed to be self-sustaining. Housing construction competes with all that other big-ticket building chancellors like to do, and the problem is that those other types of buildings enhance the university’s reputation and prestige. Housing doesn’t. The enrollment increases are also leading to a serious need for more lecture and office space, and that is a higher priority to the administration than housing is.

      It is very likely that enrollment increase will continue to precede housing increase at UCD. We are starting from a very low apartment vacancy rate in town, and the number of students is going to grow faster and sooner than their housing is going to be constructed. We are looking at a rental housing shortfall for several years at least.
      With all that in mind, it is necessary that rental housing be built in town, and student and rental housing be built on campus. Everything you say seems to preclude ANY rental housing being built in town. That will continue to exacerbate a serious housing shortage for young adults who live and work here. And it continues to send renters, workers, and students out of town for housing, leading to thousands a day commuting in to town. All the talk about making sure the new housing is sustainable seems to fail to address the lack of sustainability and the climate impact of the present situation.

      As you know, I don’t disagree with your proposals to urge the university to increase on-campus housing. I simply strongly feel we also need more rental housing in town as well. And it doesn’t all need to be near campus, because not all of the renters in our community are UCD students.

  8. Eileen Samitz


    UCD and other UC’s can and have built on-campus housing with private sector developers like West Village and “The Collages” on campus and there is no excuse why much more of this land-lease housing cannot be built. With over 5,000 acres UCD has plenty of on campus land options to build high density housing on. Beyond that UCD and UC need to get their priorities straight on how that are spending their endowments (UCD has an endowment fund of over $1 BILLION dollars) and other public funding.  We see that issue being raised on a weekly basis in the media.

    Rather then building a new art museum, a new music recital center, and an International Student Center (all under construction now on the campus) UCD needs to focus on the on-campus housing needs of their students which they have neglected for too long and the public has had enough of the mismanagement issues at UCD. UCD needs to get their house in order by prioritizing the needs of their students. That is their job, not our City’s. Their negligence is unfair to their students and to our community and it is causing major negative impacts on our City planning. That needs to stop.

    So I think you and David need to be better advocates for the on-campus housing that is needed  rather then giving UCD excuses for why they can continue to try to neglect their responsibilities and promises to provide the on-campus housing needed to their students and our community.

    1. Mark West

      The shortage of apartments in Davis is due to Davis failing to build sufficient apartments to meet the demand. Nothing more. We are completely responsible for the negligence of failing to meet the needs of our residents.

      1. Grok

        No, Davis is building more housing, but  UCD keeps expanding its enrollment faster. UCD has no plan for where its students live after they come to Davis. It’s time UCD takes responsibility for what they are doing. Davis can not be expected to jump to building more housing every time the University decides to expand enrollment. Making sure they can provide housing for students on pace with enrollment increases is exactly what the UCD Long Range Development Plan should deal with.

        1. Don Shor

          No, Davis is building more housing,

          Not rental housing.

          Making sure they can provide housing for students on pace with enrollment increases is exactly what the UCD Long Range Development Plan should deal with.

          Sure. That doesn’t take care of the backlog. And they have only promised to cover 90% of the new enrollment.

          1. Don Shor

            UCD enrollment 1997: 24,299
            UCD enrollment 2012: 32,354
            UCD enrollment 2016 – 17: 34,665
            UCD planned enrollment 2020: ______
            Total beds added on campus 1997 – 2016: ______
            West Village: “At build-out, the project will include 663 apartments, 343 single-family homes….” Estimate 2 – 3,000 beds at completion.
            Tercero, Phase 3: 1176 beds
            Total beds to be added on campus 2016 – 2020: ______
            Solano Park: _______
            Orchard Park: ________

        2. Grok

          Don, I think we agree about the inadequacy of the increase in housing in the current draft of the LRDP.

          I also agree that the majority of the new housing being built in Davis is not rental housing, but there is some new rental housing being built, and there is more that is proposed. your right though that it is not enough to keep pace with the increasing enrollment at UCD, that is why it is so important that the University plan better and get its enrollment projections and capacity to house students in line with each other.


          1. Don Shor

            it is not enough to keep pace with the increasing enrollment at UCD

            I feel as though you all are missing the math here. We are thousands of beds short already, and they aren’t even going to provide new housing for all of the future students.

        3. Grok

          We see the Math, and we see that UCD has the most control over the equation. UCD has control over both how many students it brings to campus each year, and how much on campus housing it provides. UCD needs to link the two in its plans so it can make sure there is housing for the students it brings to campus.

      2. Eileen Samitz

        Mark West,

        A demand being created primarily by UCD’s housing needs since they have dragged their heels for too long on building on-campus apartments that they promised and acknowledged that they need for their own growth.

        1. The Pugilist

          The problem is that we benefit as a community from UCD – it hires us, drives our economy and then we want to force housing onto them saying this is there problem.  It’s not, it’s our problem.

        2. Grok

          “we want to force housing onto them”

          No one is forcing housing onto UCD. UCD controls how many students it enrolls. UCD also has control over how much housing it provides. Thus UCD controls both sides of the equation they can get their student enrollment in line with their housing availability.

        3. Mark West

          “A demand being created primarily by UCD’s housing needs…”

          No, the demand has been created by people who want to live in Davis for a variety of reasons, not just by students. That is the simple fact that you seem to want to ignore. This is a Davis problem, not just a University one.


        4. Grok

          Never mind that at least 25,000 of those people who want to live in Davis are UCD students and that UCD is housing a smaller percentage of students on campus than other UCs.

  9. Eileen Samitz


    This suggestion below is great. So why are not seeing articles advocating for UCD building on-campus housing? Just seems like nothing but gloom and doom by the Vanguard articles regarding on-campus housing, and instead constantly advocating for UCD housing needs being provided by our community. Again, if you are so concerned about our City’s financial crisis, why keep advocating for our community taking on more costs caused by UCD’s negligence?

    July 24, 2016 at 7:18 pm
    “You know what would be great? An article that that investigated ways of increasing student housing options on campus. Maybe it could look for good examples in other states. Some colleges like Ohio State even require all second year students to live on campus, and have housing available for students who want to stay on campus past that. UCD is one of the 30 largest public Universities in the country by student enrollment. How about an investigative article that looks at how these other 29 schools house their students? That would be much more powerful than just saying you don’t think the university is going to provide enough housing.” 






    1. Grok

      What made me think the Vanguard should really look deeper into this story is the way the Vanguard has dealt with the innovation center idea. Specifically, I was thinking back to a resent article that showed examples of other Universities like Purdue that have successful public private innovation partnerships. It seems like if the Vanguard staff wanted to find good examples of universities taking responsibilities for the number of students they bring to town, they could find that too.

        1. Grok

          I have a suggestion for you. If you’re too busy with other parts of your job at the Vanguard to do actual research on the housing issue, why don’t you have some of your interns and paid staff start researching what happens with housing at other large Universities?

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            You’re the one who requested it – I don’t have the time or staff to do it right now – so it it’s that important, you can do the work and we will publish it, that seems fairly reasonable to me.

        2. Grok

          So you will print opinion pieces day after day, but you don’t have time to actually research the housing issue. Maybe you should give the issue a rest then until you have time to do some more research.

        3. The Pugilist

          Seems like you’re interested in a specific topic but then deriding the Vanguard for not doing it while you yourself are not willing to step up.

        4. Grok

          David/Pugilist, your the one who keeps publishing these thin opinion pieces about housing day after day, seems like your pretty interested in the topic. Your the one who runs a “news reporting organization” as you call your selves on the “about us” page. Doing some research is a reasonable thing to expect a “news reporting organization” to do, especially one that strives to “adhering to principles of accuracy and fairness in our reporting.”

  10. Misanthrop

    The obvious answer is to build out from the periphery, Covell Village, Mace Curve, by the hospital  north of Covell out to 98, and some infill where space and scale are appropriate. It is easier on existing neighborhoods to do so but requires dumping J/R that has strangled any efforts at peripheral development for the last 16 years creating a massive housing shortage in the community that has been absorbed by Woodland and driven Davis housing prices up astronomically.

    What is interesting is the lack of discussion about faculty and staff housing. So many of these people have been forced to live in Woodland or West Sac or Dixon who, if Davis didn’t have this extreme anti-growth policy, would choose Davis. This policy causes greater environmental impacts and greenhouse gas pollution. It is laughable to read about how we must have sustainable housing built when not building it creates worse regional and global impacts. Then there are the local schools that by law can’t keep the kids of these commuters who work in Davis out of the schools and don’t pay parcel taxes to DJUSD.

    The arguments that housing in the city burdens our infrastructure and isn’t cost efficient seems to be lost on our neighboring communities. Why is that? How can Woodland accommodate all that new housing but Davis can’t even though housing in Davis costs nearly twice as much? Could it be that the economics of housing aren’t as bad as portrayed by the anti-growth advocates?

    As for our infrastructure, without UC,  Davis wouldn’t need nearly the infrastructure it has built over the last 100 years, much of it through the multiplier effects of money brought to the community through UCD. This nonsense about UCD’s negative impacts ignores the positive impacts having a UC campus brings to a community and has brought to this community over the last 100 years. Just consider the irony of the College Park residents all up in arms about building along Russell. These  residents have benefitted from UC and these fields for generations yet that precinct voted against Nishi that would have taken some of the pressure off of UC to build along Russell. It also fails to recognize all the state money that has come to Davis over the last 60 years since Clark Kerr and the state’s Educational Master Plan. Davis has a roll to play in educating the people of California. California has invested billions of dollars in UCD and lots of it has trickled down to the city but so many seems to forget that this means we have the infrastructure needed to educate the kids of the entire state. The least Davis could do would be to accommodate more of those kids and the people who do the work to educate them in a state that has grown by millions of people over the last few decades.

    The problem with the position of people like Samitz is that they want all the benefits that having a UC campus brings but seem unwilling to shoulder any of the costs.

    1. South of Davis

      Misanthrop wrote:

      > many of these people have been forced to live in Woodland or West Sac or Dixon 

      No one has “forced” these people to live in “Woodland or West Sac or Dixon” most of them just “decided” to live there to get a bigger home or a nicer apartment for less money.

        1. South of Davis

          Misanthrop wrote:

          > The unseen hand of lack of supply forces them.

          There are over 200 homes in Davis for sale and over 200 apartments for rent, it is not “lack of supply” forcing 99% of the people that don’t live in town to live in Woodland or West Sac or Dixon (sure if a guy gets a job here in November and has 72 hours to move he probably won’t be able to find a place to move on such short notice, but within 90 days he could find a home to buy or rent in Davis if he really wanted to live here)…

        2. South of Davis

          The Pugilist wrote:

          > 200 is not a lot compared to 25,000 students living

          > off campus.  That’s less than one percent.

          There are more that 200 homes for sale and more than 200 homes and apartments for rent today.  At 2.5 people per home and apartment that is enough for almost 5% of the off campus students.

          My point is that when you can chose between hundreds of homes to buy and/or hundreds of homes and apartments to rent no one if “forced” to live outside Davis.

          P.S. Davis almost 5x as many homes for sale as Dixon and just slightly more than Woodland, and West Sac…

        3. Misanthrop

          Of course lack of supply also moves the needle on prices and many people who work at UCD simply can’t afford to live in Davis even accounting for downsizing. If all these people decided to move to Davis at any cost prices here would skyrocket. You seem to be arguing that the market is working and indeed it is working but it would also work if we added supply although it would do so in a more humane and GHG environmentally friendly manner.

    2. Eileen Samitz


      To begin with Davis approved plenty of housing over the past years, but we had a recession so the developers did not build. But now that housing is starting to be built as the economy has improved. But it is clear that you are quite pro-growth and that you don’t support measure J/R and you are entitled to your opinion. We just don’t agree on the subject of growth in Davis.

      We also don’t agree on the subject of our community “shouldering the costs” of UCD housing needs and I would venture to say that the majority of Davis residents would agree with me on that particularly when our City already has its own financial problems.  And while I do appreciate what UCD has to offer, I do not appreciate their negligence in providing on-campus housing for their own growth that they have promised and acknowledged that they need to build.





      1. Mark West

        You cannot live in a house or apartment that someone has promised to build until it is actually built. Promises, plans, and good intentions don’t supply housing for those in need today. It doesn’t matter what the University has promised, or what the City has approved. Until the housing is ready for occupancy it doesn’t exist and has no impact addressing the critical need in the City. We are years of effort and thousands of beds behind addressing our rental housing needs. This is the City’s problem and one that the City needs to address.

        1. hpierce

          Actually, no developer “promises” to build anything… they get ‘entitlements’… they have no obligation to use those entitlements…  for some entitlements, there is indeed a ‘shelf life’…

          1. Don Shor

            Any idea what entitlements or shelf life apply to the property around the hospital that was the subject of the business park proposal?

  11. Tia Will


    why don’t you have some of your interns and paid staff start researching what happens with housing at other large Universities?”

    Who are these interns and paid staff of whom you speak ?  The interns are all students participating in the Court Watch program and do not have separate time allotted to do the “investigative reporting” you are asking for. The “paid staff” is one part time entry level assistant who also participates in the Court Watch program. The members of the editorial board, moderator and proof reader are all volunteer and all have full time ( or close in my case) jobs unrelated to the Vanguard.

    1. Grok

      Thanks for sharing that information Tia, I appreciate the opportunity to learn more about the Vanguard organization. Given what you have said, who does the research that fuels the reporting at the  Vanguard “news reporting organization”, “adhering to principles of accuracy and fairness in our reporting”?

      1. The Pugilist

        How much money have you donated?  Oh, I’m sure you’ll come up with an array of excuses not to donate starting with your disagreement on land use.  But remarkably I’m not moved.  You are asking for a free service and in fact, demanding a higher level of free service with no give on your part.

        1. The Pugilist

          You’ll have to ask someone who works for the Vanguard.  I suspect no.

          But as a supporter, it seems to me you are asking for a free ride – others to work and you to reap the benefits from their free work.

        2. Grok

          Hey, if anything I am helping the Vanguard by pointing to a line of research that mirrors research they have done on the innovation center issue. It would make a good story.

          By refusing to look into how other large Universities are dealing with student housing, but looking at how universities collaborate on innovation centers it shows a clear bias.

          So if your not David G. as so many assume you are, how much have you donated Pugilist?



  12. Tia Will

    Hi Grok,

    David does the vast majority of the actual news articles. There are a number of us that are more or less frequent contributors who sometimes submit factual articles in our own areas of expertise and/or opinion pieces. But with an actual reporting staff of one, I think that David does a remarkable job of covering the facts behind the articles in his areas of interest which tend to be primarily city and to a lesser degree regional governance.


  13. Tia Will


    So it is pay to play on the Vanguard David? Who ever pays gets their side of the story run?”

    Absolutely not. David ran my first contributions long before I had donated any money at all. He also puts up any article that meets the guidelines regardless of political philosophy. He has run articles that I have written and those written by the alter ego of the frequent commenter “Frankly” as well as a few by the alter ego of the commenter currently using “Anon” to illustrate the range of points of view he is willing to publish.

    1. Grok

      Thanks Tia, that’s good to know, I was surprised it was being suggested. to fully clear the air, what about the stories David researches, I think that is more to the point of what Pugilist was suggesting. Are David’s stories in any way motivated by who is donating to the Davis Vanguard?

      Is there a public record of donations to the non-profit?

      1. Delia .

        Unbelievable. You pretty much admit you don’t contribute, yet regularly post comments, and then demand David or his staff cover your interests. Then you ask to see what others donate? If my donation becomes public, it will cease. I have enough people asking me for money

        If my donation was public, more people would be bothering me.

        Surely you can afford a very small donation for something you spend so much time participating in.


        1. Grok

          I have made no such statement about donating or not donating. I have no idea if there is a public record of who donates to the non-profit. Based on your statement above, it seems like you would like to know if there is a public record of the donations too.

          [Moderator please direct me to how to find out if there are public records of donations to the Vanguard]

  14. Tia Will


    So if your not David G. as so many assume you are, how much have you donated Pugilist?”

    I have been answering your questions to the best of my ability up until this point with the assumption that you had genuine curiosity about the operations of the Vanguard. That included your question about “pay to play” which I thought was a a bit over the top, but for which I decided to give you the benefit of the doubt since it is possible that you just didn’t know.

    Now, with your completely egregious question about how much another posters has donated to the Vanguard, I am thinking that perhaps this is a trolling expedition rather than an actual requests for information. Am I wrong ?  If so, please explain to me what makes you think another poster has any obligation to inform you of their pattern or amount of donations ? If you can provide a reasonable explanation, I will continue to help you understand the operations of the Vanguard.

    1. Grok

      Thanks Tia,

      I appreciate your candor.

      Honestly I was surprised that Pugilist was suggesting that money influenced what stories the vanguard runs, that is an important issue to clear. In the interest of clearing the name of the Vanguard, are David’s stories in any way motivated by who is donating to the Davis Vanguard as Pugilist has suggested?

      As to  my question to Pugilist regarding their possible donations – there is no fishing expedition here, I was merely turning the question Pugilist asked at July 25, 2016 at 3:31 pm around. I do not think another poster has an obligation to answer any question I might ask, including how much they donate.

      I am still curious if as a non-profit there is a public record of the donations the Vanguard receives. Can you shed light on that?

      Thanks again for explaining how the Vanguard works.

      1. The Pugilist

        You’ve misinterpreted interpreted my comment.  I was not suggesting pay to play at all, I was suggesting that if the Vanguard would have more resources, David may have more time to do the type of story you are asking for.

    1. hpierce

      Suggestion, Don… it would possibly be very useful if when you say, “I suggest you direct them to David directly.”, you provide a link/e-mail address.  Just a suggestion, not a criticism…

  15. Barack Palin


    David/Pugilist, your the one…..So if your not David G. as so many assume you are…..

    LOL, I’m starting to like this Grok person.

    1. hpierce

      I’ve heard this before… Pugilist = DG…

      I have a different theory… but will not state it, as I respect anonymous postings (duh), and there are valid reasons for posting in that manner…

      Just don’t believe in “outing” folk…  their call, not mine…

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
Sign up for