My View: Council and Community Need to Get Behind a WFC in Davis Movement

The end of this week has seen an interesting confluence of events involving UC Davis and the city in general.  The basic prognosis is this: the city of Davis needs revenue generators and needs a partner in UC Davis to make some of it happen.

As Mayor Robb Davis laid out in his State of the City speech before the Davis Chamber this week, regarding the city of Davis: “On the face of it, it appears that revenue has more than kept pace with expenditures,” the mayor said.  “However, when we dig into the expenditures or rather what we’re not spending money on, we see that the picture is not at all positive.

“Essentially, we have balanced the budget over the years by not including many infrastructure projects that really should be covered,” the mayor stated.

Mayor Davis laid it out squarely and unequivocally: “Our greatest weakness as a city right now is our inability to fund the maintenance of our infrastructure.  That is true for our roads.  That is true for our parks.  That is true for our pools.  That is true for just about every city building.

“It’s not that we’re not putting any money into those things,” he explained.  “It’s that we’re not putting sufficient money into it, year on year, to really maintain the things that we already have.”

The bottom line here is that the city needs to take measures to contain costs, while finding new revenues to help pay for existing infrastructure and unfunded liabilities.

There are lots of ways that we are going to have to go about generating revenue.  There is not one single answer.  We will see a tax proposal this year – there is no doubt.  We will see about maximizing existing commercial space and expanding hotel tax revenue.

And we need to look once again toward research parks as one of the answers to our revenue needs.

This fall the Vanguard, noting the change in chancellors at UC Davis, pushed for the idea of the World Food Center staying at Davis as a driver for technology transfer from the university, startups and other companies coming to Davis.

Earlier this week, it appeared there was good news, with newly-elected Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry stating that she would support a UC Davis consideration for building the World Food Center “on its land and there are other parcels like the (on-hold) Mace Ranch Innovation Center proposal.”

She told the Vanguard, “I want to see Yolo County as a hub for ag-tech, including value added product manufacturing. AgPlus (Central Valley Food and Beverage Manufacturing Consortium) is one initiative I’m involved with that is a good model here.”

But UC President Janet Napolitano appears to have other plans.  She told the Sacramento Bee on Wednesday that “she hopes whoever gets picked as the new chancellor of UC Davis can pull off an expansion of the campus into Sacramento.”

That would appear to include the World Food Center.

In my view, an expansion of UC Davis into Sacramento in and of itself is a good thing.  It raises the profile of the university.  There is a natural nexus between UC Davis and the legislature that can only enhance the importance of the university.

The World Food Center could be part of this move – but it doesn’t have to be.  The key would appear to be the next chancellor of UC Davis.  She told the Bee: “I really think the next chancellor should be able to weigh in on that.”

One of the big questions is what the World Food Center looks like in a future vision.  Right now, it appears that there is a center in name only, with a looser affiliation of faculty and non-faculty policy oriented individuals.

Is the World Food Center going to be a research center or is it going to be a lobbying center?  As a research center, it makes a lot more sense to leave it on the main campus or put it out in a research park like MRIC (Mace Ranch Innovation Center).

The advantages of MRIC for such a center are enormous.  It would have the space to develop a hub of ag-tech companies that could grow and develop near agricultural land.  Already there is Mace 391, a conservation easement that could become a huge boost for agricultural research and experimental agriculture.

Those are advantages that the WFC would not have in a more urban environment like the railyards.

The Vanguard has now privately spoken with each of the members of council and there seems to be an emerging view from many that the WFC is something that we want to keep in Davis as a billion dollar research center that can hopefully be a driver for further economic development.

Already Rochelle Swanson and Robb Davis, as the council subcommittee, have been working hard behind the scenes to bolster relations between the city and university.  There is some thought about the need to formalize the relationship into a formal two-by-two.

In addition to council movement, the community – if it wants to house a prestigious center like the World Food Center – needs to get behind the concept and the need to create land and commercial space for the center and potential spinoffs.

That would appear to put a proposal like the Mace Ranch Innovation Center back on the main page for future discussions.

There are a lot of moving parts here including the need for the community to embrace a Measure R project that right now is on the back burner, but, given the timeline for the new chancellor, we appear to have at least until the fall to get our act together here.

The resignation of Katehi created an opportunity for the city leaders to refocus, but we need to take advantage of it because, as the UC President’s comments made clear, Sacramento is already angling for another slice of the pie.

—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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  1. Leanna Sweha

    I heard an interview this week with Steve Hammond, outgoing CEO of Visit Sacramento, in which he said the “Farm to Fork” brand is critical for growing tourism and new business for the city. I’m sure city officials realize that a World Food Center in downtown Sacramento would add to that brand.

  2. Jaroslaw Waszczuk

    The World Food Center could be part of this move – but it doesn’t have to be.  The key would appear to be the next chancellor of UC Davis.  She told the Bee: “I really think the next chancellor should be able to weigh in on that.”


    In the DV’s  article “Napolitano May Have Dealt a Blow to Davis’ WFC Chances” Mark West pointed to you that” The decision will ultimately be made by the Office of the President and the Board of Regents whether there is a new Chancellor in place or not.”  Seems to me that you and Tia long time ago  fell in love with Janet Napolitano’s and SacBee reporter  Diana Lambert’s  their “ Soviet Pravda “ stories.  The two most recent SacBee articles about WFC and the third UC Davis Campus in Sacramento bashing which are not only bashing  the former UC Davis  Chancellor  Linda Katehi but also indirectly the UC Davis as a entity .  One of the readers commented the SacBee’s    article  with words:

    “Wow, after 6+ years of relentless bashing of UC Davis and Linda Katehi, the bee now is ga ga over the thought of fresh faced UC Davis students going to class in downtown Sac. Now its a love fest with napalitano, steinberg and the bee talking about UCD classroom buildings in the downtown and what UC DAVis could do for the sac economy. Note, nothing is said about whats good for the kids or their education, much less the UC faculty. And this is not good for them at all. UC Davis is not about to recruit new freshmen to UC Davis with the caveat that “you may be taking classes in down town Sacramento”. “Watch your backpacks and laptops and enjoy seeing the needle exchanges and down town addicts on your way to class. Yes, its a new real world education.” No, this will not happen anymore than UC Berkeley offering classes in Richmond or West Oakland. Bee offers total false hope with stories like this.

    You and others have to understand that Napolitano was brought by Feinstein , Blum and Brown to the UC system  with Steinberg’s blessing to  protect corrupted to the bones UC political establishment after Napolitano  with Haag took care of the California “Bernie Sanders”  Senator Leland Yee . Senator Yee  dedicated his life to fight the  corrupted  UC and Sacramento political swamp since 2002.  In January 2004 Blum with other regents recruited John Lohse to watch closely Leland Yee and the others UC cronies’ adversaries. John Lohse was recruited after his c career with the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), where he served as a chief division counsel and supervisory special agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigations from May 1975 to January 2004 (28 years and 9 months) in the San Francisco area. Lohse took action with his former colleagues  from the FBI  and Haag to help Blum, Feinstein , Brown  other UC  regents and some  Yee’s colleagues from the California legislature  like Steinberg and Perez to  neutralize Senator Leland Yee and take him out of picture forever by framing him and throwing into prison for five years.
    You probably know what Steinberg did to Yee in 2010 as a warning for Yee and to push him back not to mess with UC and Sacramento’s swamp.  The World Food Center and the third UC Davis Campus is the billions of dollars business. This business means Senator  Feinstein and her billionaire husband  who is  regent for life since 2002  and three others regents for life with lot of money in the banks. They are  Monica C. Lozano, Sherry Lansing, and Norman Pattiz .  Napolitano . Feinstein , Brown , Steinberg regent Blum , regent John Perez is the Trojan Horse  for UC Davis and not only for UC Davis . They  are decision makers what is good for UC Davis, UC and Sacramento swamp  and what is not .  This is the  Yolo Leaks issue but looks like Yolo Leaks is disabled by the Yolo Leaks founder who is two ways patriot.
    Mark  West in his other comment wrote : Tia – Why do you have such difficulty with reading comprehension?

    Tia has no difficulties with reading comprehension. Tia is exercising her First Amendment rights and  supporting wrong causes  placing herself on the side of the oppressors by in the wrap of  the chameleon’s camouflage.

    1. Tia Will


      Seems to me that you and Tia long time ago  fell in love with Janet Napolitano’s and SacBee reporter  Diana Lambert’s  their “ Soviet Pravda “ stories”

      This is one of the most ridiculous assumptions you have ever made. First, I do not typically read the Sacramento Bee, and I do not believe that I have ever read an article by reporter Lambert. It is very hard to “fall in love” with what you do not know exists. I try very had to make judgements based on the words and actions of the individual. I never wrote one word in support of Ms. Napolitano. I never criticized former Chancellor Katehi for anything that she had not admitted to doing. I was never impressed by the nepotism and other dubious charges, but was very critical of her thoroughly vetted and admitted handling of the quad incident  and its subsequent attempted white washing as I was of her board activities.

      You are right in that I have no difficulty with reading comprehension. I do not agree with your assessment of me placing myself on the “side of the oppressors” since I was not a fan of the actions of Ms. Napolitano. However,  oppression takes many forms. Some might see it as “oppression” to implement a policy whereby foreign students less qualified but having to pay out of state admission are accepted over more qualified in state students even though one is in charge of a public institution whose primary mission is to educate qualified in state students. That was a decision made and supported by former Chancellor Katehi which I found quite “oppressive” when it affected my own son after my generous support of the university through taxes and alumni gifts for years.


      1. Jaroslaw Waszczuk


        I had a liberty to read your vindictive posts about Chancellor . Don’t give your smile on this one . Could you elaborate a little more about the oppressive Katehi’s action which  affected your son .  I am not Katehi’s supporter.   I am against framing ,  scapegoating and prosecuting people for political reason and to cover up political cronies crimes.  You are intelligent person and I thought that you will figured out that something is wrong when  Katehi was prosecuted by the same two individuals , Napolitano and Haag  who framed and prosecuted  Leland Yee and threw him into federal prison for five years .  The Yee was socialist like a Bernie Sanders with ideology I left behind leaving Poland in 1982 and I don’t like to do anything with . However , I will stand firmly with my principles and against these who are being victimized and their life being ruined by thugs like Napolitano , Steinberg , Haag and others like them .

        In 2013 I seriously considered to add Katehi and Hexter to my lawsuit .  I decided not to because I found out that Katehi and Hexter were no involved in destruction of my life and order to destroy me came from the UCOP.  If I would add Katehi to my lawsuit than Katehi today would  be still working as UC Davis Chancellor and she would be defended by the Porter Scott notorious law firm as the  other five individual Defendants in the lawsuit and she would be facing 1 year in jail and fine if I would have her in the lawsuit. Chancellor of UC Davis has less power than her subordinate CEO of the UC Davis Medical Center who made over 1 million dollars a years, more than twice than UC Davis Chancellor . You have to look at the  big picture. You know very little about UC system .

    2. Jim Frame

      to  neutralize Senator Leland Yee and take him out of picture forever by framing him and throwing into prison for five years.

      If Yee was framed, why did he plead guilty?

      1. Jaroslaw Waszczuk

        If Yee was framed, why did he plead guilty?

        Jim and Howard

        He  was forced or convinced by his lawyer and  Haag to sign plea agreement on July 1, 2015 because he was successfully  framed.  What kind question is it? He would not survive 20 years in prison . Maybe he will survive 5 at his age  Why Yee was framed is more important than his plea agreement.  Shortly after signed plea agreement , Haag resigned and resurfaced next to  Napolitano to take care of Katehi or Katehi case was a total hoax to divert the  California Senate and Assembly Yee’s colleagues attention from the Yee’s  prosecution , his sentencing at the end of February 2016   in and his reporting to the US Marshal at the end of March 2016. This is at least 20 pages story to explain why he was framed and how he was framed . FBI did excellent job. It took FBI 3 years to prime Yee’s and convince him to  swallow the hook. Yee’s worse mistake after he was framed and arrested in 2014 was to fire his first attorney and hire the  former U.S. attorney’s and San Francisco district attorney  James Lasart who cut 5 five years deal for Yee  with another US Attorney Malinda Haag . The first Yee’s  attorney Paul DeMeester was on the right track to get Yee out of the trap set for him by FBI .

  3. Tia Will


    “I had a liberty to read your vindictive posts about Chancellor .”

    I have no desire to rehash our conversation about the former Chancellor. Her policy of favoring less qualified foreign students over more qualified in state students disadvantaged my son as I have stated previously. I did not favor this at a public institution. However, she had many positive attributes and accomplishments in her career which I applauded here on the Vanguard. She also made a number of decisions and took actions of which I disapproved. I do not do the “cult of personality” thing. There is no human being with whom I have always agreed or disagreed and I tend to be honest in my assessment of others based on the entirety of the knowledge available to me, preferably their own words and actions. You defended all of her actions seemingly without regard to their impact on others. That is your right to do so. But our disagreement over some of her actions does not make my accurate comments “vindictive” anymore than if I were to call your comments “sycophantic” which I have not and do not.

    I was and am, of necessity neutral at this point in time about the World Food Center. This is because we do not yet have enough information about what it will entail, who will be partnering, whether the emphasis will be on basic agriculture which I feel is best suited to this location, or whether it will be primarily based on ag manufacturing which I feel would be better placed at a third campus. There is simply too much that we do not know at this point in time to make a judgement about optimal location.

  4. Jaroslaw Waszczuk



    Is that  was the reason that you   paired yourself on the DV  with SacBee and five smart legislators  to help Napolitano and Haag  in  their unsuccessful attempt to throw Katehi into prison as they did to Leland Yee .I  don’t believe this . You know very little how the UC system works  and where the decisions are made . You aimed your anger and personal vendetta to wrong direction .  The tuition and foreign students and corruption among the UC cronies were a few of many reason that Senator Yee was taken out . Foreign students were  not the Katehi’s policy and decision.  Katehi was the UCOP’s policies enforcer, especially the policies where the big money were in play .  The Katehi worse mistake was that she as the outsider found herself in 2009 in the middle of crisis turmoil and students protest in UC campuses. Her second worse mistake was that she did not quit after the pepper spray attack. However with such publicity she got, I doubt if she could find any job after 2011 especially with the  pending lawsuit against her , Hexter and others in the Federal Court. Impossible. If she would be one who make the decision to attack students in 2011 than UCOP would dump her right away after the lawsuit was settled or even before to have Katehi as  a scape goat.  This was unfortunate that this lawsuit was quickly settled to cover up bigger scandal that we had a liberty to watch on TV and read in newspapers. 

    University of California President Janet Napolitano denounced the audit’s conclusions as “disappointingly pre-baked” and “unfair and unwarranted.” She said auditors ignored the fact that higher-paying out-of-state students contributed $728 million to UC coffers and allowed the 10-campus system to accept more Californians in the face of massive budget cuts imposed since the 2008 recession.
    Monica Lozano, chairwoman of the UC Board of Regents, said the audit was filled with erroneous conclusions. California students have always come first, she said, and the regents will continue expanding access for them. “There is no doubt the primary focus and responsibility is for California students,” she said.
    Howle, however, said UC officials failed to provide evidence for their key claims. They have not shown, for instance, how they used the $728 million in nonresident tuition for more California students

    In regards to World Food Center , I believe that  Katehi’s 2013 WFC  project was killed in 2013  and Katehi fate as well was decided in December 2013 just  three months after  Napolitano’s was brought by Feinstein and Blum to UC system  . After Vanderhoef died in October 2015 Katehii was finished.  

    1. Tia Will


      Is that  was the reason that you   paired yourself on the DV  with SacBee and five smart legislators  to help Napolitano and Haag  in  their unsuccessful attempt to throw Katehi into prison as they did to Leland Yee “

      First, in order to have a conversation, we need to agree on what each other are actually saying. Please show me any quote from me stating that I favored any action by any legislator or Napolitano or Haag. You will not find any, because I never wrote one word on these topics. I never favored the incarceration of anyone. My strongest statement ever was that I thought it would be the best move for Chancellor Katehi to resign as chancellor and continue on with what I see as the strengths of her career as a scientist, researcher, teacher, and supporter of women in STEM.

      I had and have no personal animosity for former Chancellor Katehi at all. I simply did not and do not believe that her perspective and actions were the best for a public institution. The same attitudes and actions might very well have been very constructive at a private institution. While it is certainly true that I may be mistaken about how much the policy of pushing acceptances of lesser qualified foreign students was her own, or how much she was merely implementing and/or defending a policy determined by others, I did not hear her vocally opposing this policy.

      I fail to see how you cannot see the difference between believing that a person is not the best fit for their position which is and has always been my position and having a personal vendetta or even any animosity towards them. I actually believe that Chancellor Katehi and I have stood on the same side on many academic issues, most notably our belief in advancing opportunities for women in STEM fields. However, that does not mean that I need approve of every decision she has made or every action that she has taken just as I would anticipate that she would not agree with all of mine.

  5. Jaroslaw Waszczuk


    First, in order to have a conversation, we need to agree on what each other are actually saying. Please show me any quote from me stating that I favored any action by any legislator or Napolitano or Haag.


    Her policy of favoring less qualified foreign students over more qualified in state students disadvantaged my son as I have stated previously.

    This was your personal vendetta because you thought that she is responsible for disadvantage of your son and you with out any mercy attacked  Katehi over and over on DV forum .  You admitted it. Don’t deny it now. Too late.

    What difference it is makes now whether you mention Napolitano’s  or Haag’s  name . Katehi would be wasted regardless of your consistent non stop clapping and admiring Napolitano’s and other  brutal and inhumane assault aimed at  Chancellor Katehi at her family.  Read your posts  you wrote .  Especially  what blown my mind was  yours  unconditional waves of attacks on DV forum against chancellor  and it was was done in supporting the person who deported 2.2 million  people including thousands of families and children you cried about because Trump was elected President . Katehi did not deport anybody and is no record that she has done any harm to anybody .  I have record what Katehi has done and what she did not do it.  I don’t Katehi , I never met her , I never talk to her , I was fired when she was Chancellor and I could say that she could stop the attacks against me and blame her for destruction of my and my family life  and sue her because she was Chancellor. It does not work this way Tia. Making a false accusations or repeating  the false accusations  accusations after SacBee  provided for Lambert by Napolitano and Klein is same as to  make the unfunded accusations . Kicking  someone when they are <a title="down"

    1. Tia Will


      When I started my commentary on the behavior of Chancellor Katehi was at the time of the pepper spraying incident which was years before my son every applied to UCD. We did not know until a year ago that he had not been accepted to UCD but had been accepted to Cal State Sac, so although I know you think that you have “caught me” in something, your time line is completely wrong.

      I have not lied. I think that former Chancellor Katehi’s own statements and the investigation have revealed what she has done. As I have said repeatedly, I approve of some of her actions and disapprove of others.

      regardless of your consistent non stop clapping and admiring Napolitano’s and other  brutal and inhumane assault aimed at  Chancellor Katehi at her family.”

      I note a lack of quotes from me to support any of your claims that I ever supported any action of Ms. Napolitano.

      Especially  what blown my mind was  yours  unconditional waves of attacks on DV forum against chancellor”

      I regret that your mind “was blown” by something that never occurred. My comments on former Chancellor Katehi have included the elements of her career that I admire, and those that I think were handled poorly. Hardly “unconditional waves of attacks”. Again, I simply do not share your ” cult of personality approach to former Chancellor Katehi.

      1. Jaroslaw Waszczuk


        We could argue who is who and who is responsible for quite while .  This is not the point .  I have more important business with UC to finish.  You know who Janet  Napolitano was and who she is now  and you  know who Melinda  Haag and her colleague McGregor Scott was  is in relation to the  Napolitano’s professional background.  Janet Napoliatano  and her colleagues knows everything about every chancellor, every ,  every California legislators who got himself into their spotlight , governor etc. Something went wrong for these three amigos in their attempt to turn over  Katehi to the  District Attorney or US  Attorney  in 2016. When I noticed  what Napolitano, Haag and Scott were  trying to do  than I sent a several  complaint to US Attorney Office in Sacramento and to Feinstein and FBI. I got three responses  from Feinstein, from FBI and from US Attorney . I am not sure how it is going to end  because it is not of this story . Katehi is still around. Napolitano did not go back to DC as the next US Attorney General because unfortunately for her and many others  Donald Trump won the  election  and she stuck powerlessly  with her sins in UC .  She is not eligible yet to receive her UC retirement and she needs another 2 years. This is a big chunk of money . She  just announced that students  tuition fees would  be increased. This is not  a god sign for her. Maybe the planned  tuition increase was the part of the game with Katehi not to have major turmoil and uprising in the UC Davis. Napolitano is very well train and  skilled professional to deal with turmoils and protests but students eventually will send her out.   I already see some  reactions on the twitter about  planned tuition increase from the  students activists .   . You know what did  happen  in 2009-2011 in UC Campuses. Katehi is still around .  Lets wait and see.

  6. Jaroslaw Waszczuk

    According the SacBee  article  the   Katehi ‘s  goals to make  UC Davis the  21 Century University were well planned and were discussed with UCOP and and the  regents . Somehow and for  the unknown reason Napolitano killed the projects and she  wasted Katehi.

    Something drastic must have occurred or took place  between October 2015 and February 2016 that Napolitano turn  the UC Davis into the war zone in 2016.

    The “University of the 21st Century” plan was developed in a yearlong discussion between university officials, staff, students and community members. The 10- to 20-year proposal, including plans for the Sacramento campus, will go before the UC Board of Regents next spring.
    “The moment the regents approve it, we will start immediately,” Katehi said. She expects the first building would be completed on the Sacramento campus within three years.
    Michael Lairmore, dean of the university’s school of veterinary medicine, broke the news Tuesday that a new veterinary hospital is expected to be completed on the Davis campus by 2026. The hospital is still in the planning stages and has yet to be approved by the Board of Regents.
    As part of the plan, Katehi said the university will spend a minimum of $2 billion to renovate older buildings and build new ones on the Davis campus over the next 10 years. The campus currently has $1.3 billion in deferred maintenance – the highest in the UC system, Katehi told The Bee.

    The SacBee’s  article was written by same  Diana Labamert who in 2016 launched  massive concerted attacks against the UC Davis  Chancellor Katehi and still continue to bash her long  after  the  Kathi’s forced resignation in August 2016.

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