Commentary: Do We Have Enough Jobs in This Community – A Graduate Student Says No

This evening, the Davis Planning Commission will hear a workshop on the Aggie Research Campus.  No decisions will be made tonight, but we have learned a lot from the early discussion on and around this project.

One of the questions I think we need to ask is how many private sector companies is UC Davis turning out, launching them into start ups from research at the university, and how does that compare to other similar universities.

When Danielle Casey from Greater Sacramento Economic Council (GSEC) spoke last August, she noted that UC Davis is ranked 5th best public university in the nation—the No.1 Veterinary Medicine college and Ag Science school in the nation with 1000 research studies are underway in basic science, translational and clinical research, more than 900 active patents.

She argued at that time, “UC Davis’ research specialties in life sciences, agriculture sciences and veterinary sciences mean opportunities for commercialization in Davis but also in the region.”

And yet we know that Davis lacks commercial space that could be utilized for these companies to land.

She argued, “University-led research parks allow for services and innovative partnerships that reach companies and communities across the region.”

For the university, this means retaining the talent and keeping it in the region.  It means taking the research taking place on campus in labs and in theory and turning it into products that can go
to the private sector—a process called technology transfer.

For the city of Davis this means economic development and potential revenue to help pay for infrastructure and city services.

But for students and recent graduates this means jobs.

All evidence suggests that we are not doing enough to create jobs for new graduates.

UC Davis produces a huge amount of STEM graduates, but we are losing an alarming number of recent graduates as the Davis-Sacramento region has among the lowest retention rates in the state.  When Danielle Casey from GSEC spoke last year, her data suggested that UC Davis had about a 23 percent student retention rate, far lower than a number of comparable universities—even the University of Texas at Austin had a 36 percent retention rate compared to UCD’s 23 percent.

What does that mean?  It means we are training a large population of UC Davis students with STEM degrees and then losing them.

This is the point that graduate student Gwen Chodur makes in her guest piece from earlier this week.

As Gwen Chodur writes, from her own experience, “Graduate students are often beginning to settle down in their lives with long term partners who are also likely to be highly educated. Yet a lack of a job base in Davis means our partners either have to work for the university or commute long distances to find suitable employment.”

She also notes: “The husband of a UC Davis professor has a rough commute to get to their engineering job for a technology company in the Bay Area. He could not find work for a company that is a reasonable drive from Davis, so every morning he takes a plane from University Airport with three other people and flies to San Jose and back daily. Before he found the plane service, he would spend three nights a week at a hotel, away from his family.”

And this: “Lack of jobs is not just an issue for partners of people affiliated with the university but can also worsen professional outcomes for both graduate and undergraduate students.”

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. One of our commenters likes to point out that there is a net flow of people into the community. That point, while technically accurate, misses a lot of nuance.

First of all, there are 28,000 people who come into Davis each day to work, by one measure. But there are also 24,000 people who live in Davis who leave Davis each day to work.

Who comes to Davis? Most of those are not coming to Davis at all—they are coming to UC Davis. A lot of those are faculty and other academic positions, meaning that it serves a fairly narrow slice of the workforce. Much of the rest are low level jobs, on which those people cannot afford to live in Davis.

So to say that there are jobs available at UC Davis does not mean we can’t use other jobs and does not mean that we already have enough jobs.

The commenter makes this point: “Probably can ‘commute’ 7 miles away, to the innovation center they’re going to build in Woodland (as only one of the possibilities). Maybe West Sacramento, as well.”

And later, “can you clarify why jobs 7 miles away, accessed via an unimpacted freeway (where they’re building literally thousands of new houses) isn’t ‘good enough for you’?”

It is like there is another world here. The simplest answer is that by building an innovation center in Woodland rather than Davis, Davis would lose potentially millions in revenue that it badly needs. Woodland and not Davis would acrue the benefits of economic development.

There are inherent advantages of having an innovation center in Davis itself.  As the host to UC Davis. the research taking place is occurring here in town and would stay in town—benefiting this community with jobs, with tax revenue, and far more.

These are not necessarily competing parks anyway.  As Danielle Casey’s presentation last August made clear, for example, Aggie Square is looking at 25 acres in Sacramento and they estimate they would create 10,000 direct jobs and another 27,000 jobs to the surrounding area.  These would be biotech, medical device and oncology jobs.

Davis may have a different focus with its research park—food and ag innovation, climate change and water solutions.

We have focused a lot on the direct revenue to the city, which we will have a better sense for when the EPS analysis comes out.

But it is worth looking at their previous estimates.  How about 3400 jobs, $605 million in income from goods and services generated, and $271 million in labor income.  That was the *conservative* estimate from EPS in 2015.  The applicants for the project think that number of jobs could be closer to 6000, which would drive up the other numbers as well.

At that time, they projected that MRIC would create several thousand high-wage jobs and generate over $2 billion in economic impact for the city. Moreover, they note that its construction (as ARC) is anticipated to create more than 2,000 jobs and generate hundreds of millions of dollars in economic impact.

We really want to cede that over a few acres of ag land surrounded by conservation easement or a few extra seconds each day sitting in traffic?  What’s more important than developing the next technology to help feed the world and do so in a clean and sustainable way?

Critics argue, as they did yesterday, “The problem is that jobs are being manufactured, in excess of what a given community needs.”

But the data suggest that Davis is falling short of other comparable universities in this respect.

And the community seems to be behind such a move—two thirds of the people when asked argued that the city needs to do more to attract and retain agricultural science, biotech and clean tech companies.

Moreover, 62 percent believe that the creation of nearly 6000 jobs will make them somewhat to much more likely to support Aggie Research Campus.

We need to listen to the student voices here.  UC Davis is training a generation of new STEM-graduating students to be leaders in agricultural technology, medical technology, clean technology and food science that can help develop the next generation of technology to feed the world and reduce greenhouse gases.

We have the ability to take advantage of this next wave and do so in a way that keep our Davis identity intact.

—David M. Greenwald reporting


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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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56 Comments

  1. Matt Williams

    The problem with this article is that the Vanguard is making these arguments.  As such they become outside-party speculation.  If the arguments are as powerful as advertised in this article, then why isn’t UC Davis the voice of these arguments?

    Given the fact that UC Davis will be the greatest benefactor of all if the arguments prove to be true, it is hard to understand why UC Davis is standing on the sidelines.

    1. David Greenwald

      It will be interesting to see if UCD stays on the sidelines. From talking to folks in the know a few years ago, the university felt very burned by the pushback on Russell outlet of West Village.

      1. Alan Miller

        the university felt very burned by the pushback on Russell outlet of West Village.

        As the university usually does in these situations, they built the infrastructure so this could be changed on a dime with a wrinkle in the political stronghold.  Go check it out on Google maps if you don’t believe me!

      2. Richard McCann

        Unfortunately, UCD has only itself to blame over the West Village design debacle on Russell. They were provided with design alternatives that would have much better integrated West Village with the Campus–it’s already quite isolated from the south part of the main campus due to the barrier of the Hutchison intersection. But instead the campus administration caved to faculty who wanted to protect “research” to the south of West Campus, and ultimately some of that research was abandoned. UCD had choices–listen to city neighbors and push back on the unreasonable demands of its faculty, or cede to the faculty and ultimately fail to open another access point on Russell. UCD chose the poorer path.

  2. Alan Pryor

    We really want to cede that over….. a few extra seconds each day sitting in traffic?

    A few extra seconds? Really, David? I have talked to some people who say it has taken over 30 minutes to get from Montgomery to the freeway on ramp at I-80 on some afternoons. And this Mace Mess is apparently caused by the diversion by WAYZE of only 400 cars over a 2 hour period during peak evening commute. What do you think will happen when the projected 14,000 plus vehicle trips per day are added to Mace?

    What’s more important than developing the next technology to help feed the world and do so in a clean and sustainable way?

    Can you spell “hyperbole”?

     

      1. Alan Pryor

        So if it takes over 30 minutes now – how much is the project going to add to that in 20 years when the project is built out?

        Well, I’m just guessing, but….maybe 2 hours or more…conservatively!

        But I now think I better understand the logic of project proponents…. “Get the construction tax revenue now and let our kids worry about the traffic problem in 20 years“.

        1. Alan Pryor

          Well, I dunno. Let’s see..400 cars over 2 hours = 30 minute delays

          14,000 cars over a 8- 10 hour period (maybe 5,000 during peak 2 hour evening commute period) = ___ minute delay? What’s your best estimate?

        2. Bill Marshall

          Well, if the projection of 14,000 (background traffic increases, other projects, and ARC) bears out, realize 15,000 vpd is the accepted capacity for a 2 lane road.  That’s per day… with peak hour considerations, and absent functional improvements, adding at least half hour, more likely 1 hour to peak hour travel times on the segment cited, (total of 1.5 hours), is certainly within the realm of reason… ironically, as the delays increase, there will be less of incentive to use that route rather than 80… a potential ‘off-set’.

          Other off-sets could be more tele-commuting or off-set work hours.

          But, weighing it all, I believe Alan is overestimating, but still at the high side of reasonable.

      2. Matt Williams

        David, a substantial portion of the answer to your question is easy to calculate.  Right now the ramp meters on the Mace entrances to I-80 allow one car every 13 seconds.  So,

        — the addition of 5 cars during any period of backup adds another minute to the commute time.

        — the addition of 50 cars during any commute period adds 10 minutes to the commute time.

        —  the addition of 100 cars during any commute period adds 20 minutes to the commute time.

        How many cars will be added by the development during the peak commute period(s)?

        Allowing for “clearance” the amount of delay for an individual commuter will vary, but if the addition during a one hour period is 300 cars then the 20 minute delay will remain pretty much constant throughout the hour.

        1. Alan Pryor

          Ok, let’s try this

          4,000 car trips per peak commute period x 13 sec per car x 1 hour/3,600 sec = 14.4 hours

          Oh, dear…Houston, we have a big freakin’ problem!

        2. Ron Oertel

          I suspect that the traffic analysis will be subject to considerable debate/dispute.

          Regardless, it might be interesting to assign an actual dollar cost resulting from the delays, which would account for factors such as lost time, wear-and-tear on vehicles, gasoline used while stuck in traffic, etc.

          Of course, the dollar cost for hours lost would be subject to assumptions, as well.  How much is each hour “worth” (e.g., in total/cumulatively)?  And, would it include the financial impact on non-Davis traffic, as well (e.g., those just passing through)?

          Of course, there’s also the additional environmental cost, regarding greenhouse gasses, etc.

        3. Bill Marshall

          Only correct if you are talking queue, not flow rate… your assumptions are flawed, and lead to ridiculous conclusions by Mr Pryor.

          You also neglect the comparatively free flow of vehicles in the 2+ on-ramp lane.

          Suggest waiting for actual modeling by actual engineers…

    1. Tim Keller

      The delays in the late afternoon at Mace are problems with 1-80 at the causeway and people using Waze trying to go around.   But these are just delays.  This doesn’t count as “traffic”   Try living pretty much anywhere else and you will know what real traffic looks like.  ( I live just a block from there and don’t think its a big deal at all)

      Either way, If we want to fix THAT problem, we need to fix 1-80 and the causeway.  As it relates to the ARC… it is a total non-sequitur.

        1. Tim Keller

          The delays on Mace are a non-issue.   If you are waiting to get on 80, then yes, its traffic… but it’s just an extension of the backup on 80.  And should be thought of as such.

          If you are just going around town or over that overpass, its NOT a major hassle (and I live right there so I know better than most)  Its inconvenient, sure.  But not that big of a deal.  The through lanes going over the overpass are normally clear.  And if you call THAT Traffic, then you need to get out and see some other cities and get some perspective.

          Nothing that we do at ARC is going to change the backup that happens on 80 at the causeway.  THAT situation sucks and it will continue to impact our streets until something else is done.  It should NOT be a factor in how we develop our city’s economy.

        2. Matt Williams

          Tim, if you were to guess, how do you think the cars going in and out of ARC be distributed?

          — Up Mace and west on Covell ??%

          — Across Mace onto Alhambra and points west ??%

          — Across Mace onto 2nd Street ??%

          — Over the Mace overpass either to I-80 or points south ??

          — Down County Road 32A to get on I-80 at the Yolo Fruit Stand ?? %

          I ask those questions because I think the proportion of those daily cars will not be “just going around town”

          Also, as a person who lives just off Mace south of I-80 I have firsthand experience vis-a-vis what happens to local traffic when the queue to get on I-80 is lengthened.  There are workarounds that one can implement if you don’t have to go to and from a job every day and/or are raising school-age kids.  But those workarounds become less and less available if you aren’t retired.

          Let me paraphrase your final paragraph back to you “Nothing that WAZE (and other traffic apps) does is going to change the backup that happens on 80 at the causeway.”  Is that statement true or false?

          Bottom-line, the statement is true.  However, the added traffic that cannot get onto I-80 because of the congestion and the steps CalTrans has taken to address it more and more impacts our streets.

          I agtee with you the I-80 situation should not be a factor in how we develop our city’s economy, but it should be a facto that ARC needs to address if it wants to join that local economy.  Nishi addressed I-80 issues.  There is no reason why ARC shouldn’t also address I-80 issues.

        3. Doby Fleeman

          Matt,

          To repeat myself:
          That’s sounds about right – let’s see if we can squeeze out another 25 years without a comprehensive plan update because we don’t have the money? 

          Reminds me of AE Newman – “Who, me plan?”

          So now, both the community and our would be developers, alike, are made to suffer – all because the city can’t manage to plan for its future?

          And this should all be on the developer to resolve?  I don’t think so.

          Are you suggesting we halt all further development in Davis because the city has failed to plan for a sustainable transportation model?  Serious question..
           

        4. Matt Williams

          So now, both the community and our would be developers, alike, are made to suffer – all because the city can’t manage to plan for its future?

          And this should all be on the developer to resolve?  I don’t think so.

          Are you suggesting we halt all further development in Davis because the city has failed to plan for a sustainable transportation model?  Serious question.

          There are three questions Doby poses, and they all are central to how I feel the coming months (and years) should unfold.

          My answer to tone of Doby’s questions is that we should NOT halt further development because the community does not  have an adequate sustainable transportation model.

          I believe “having” and “planning for” are two very different things, so the third question that I believe was implicit in Doby’s comment is, “How should a sustainable transportation model be planned for … and by whom?”  At the risk of repeating the message of many of my prior comments, the planning process needs to not be just the City, but also UCD.  UCD needs to come to the table in terms of planning sustainable community transportation and in terms of planning sustainable economic development. Without UCD’s active and consistent participation neither economic development nor transportation will be sustainable.

          On transportation issues, the State is an important player as well.

          Regarding Doby’s final question, I don’t think the developer needs to resolve the transportation issues.  That is an impossible task.  But I do believe the developer does need to show both the community and the future users of the development a plan for how their lives will be less of a nightmare thanks to planning steps that they have taken.

  3. Ron Oertel

    It is like there is another world here. 

    Nope – part of the same world.  7 miles from UCD, as opposed to 4 (for ARC). The difference is that one can be reached via an unimpacted freeway, while the other would be accessed through town.

    The simplest answer is that by building an innovation center in Woodland rather than Davis, Davis would lose potentially millions in revenue that it badly needs.

    Woodland is also going to get “stuck with the long-term bill” for the housing need that the development will create.

    Same story throughout California – even in San Francisco (which has no shortage of “economic development” and properties with high-value assessments).

    Unfunded pensions/medical costs for civil employees, sucking-up the revenue.

    1. Bill Marshall

      Unfunded pensions/medical costs for civil employees, sucking-up the revenue.

      Definitely off topic.

      Other comments, re: ARC, Woodland, housing, SF Bay area, marginal as to being on-topic… and stated many times before on many other threads.

      But the article opens the door by tying student, grad student/graduate opportunities to the ARC workshop tonight, arguably ‘opened the door’…

    2. Richard McCann

      I have no idea of how you get these distances. Using Google maps I get 9 to 11 miles from UCD to southern Woodland versus 3.5 miles from UCD to the ARC site.

      And based on your analysis of government costs, why do we even bother to have a city? Or even citizens? All residents just cost too much relative to the revenues they produce! Just disincorporate, and maybe even start executing residents!

      Or maybe we can be rationale and look at the increased overall economic activity, instead of just the tax revenue. We can fix the revenue shortfall problem with direct action (unfortunately it will probably require a crisis), but we can’t create local jobs directly–we have to rely on the series of decisions by others.

      1. Ron Oertel

        Well, according to this Vanguard article, the new Nugget headquarters (on Mace) is 5 miles away from UCD.  ARC is slightly further than that.

        https://www.davisvanguard.org/2019/05/flagship-research-and-development-opportunity-available-at-the-offices-mace-ranch-in-davis/

        The site in Woodland is 7 miles away from UCD, according to the Woodland research park website. And again, this is via unimpeded freeway access – rather than through town (or on I-80).

        http://woodlandresearchpark.org/

        We can probably quibble over these mileages, if you think it’s important.

        Woodland is going to build that development, regardless. (Of course, it also doesn’t seem to “pencil out” without housing.)

        1. Craig Ross

          “ ARC is slightly further than that.”

          Actually it’s slightly closer, not that it matters.

          Your point is significantly flawed.  You would realize this if you had any actual insight into how any of this stuff works.  Given that you won’t listen to me, I won’t bother to explain.

        2. Richard McCann

          It’s 8 miles to the Woodland site (and that site is about a mile outside of Woodland itself which means there will be even bigger GHG impacts from that direction) and its inaccessible by anything other than a car. Again, it’s 3.5 miles to the ARC site. You do your own research using Google Maps.

        3. Ron Oertel

          Richard:  You asked me where I got those distances, so I provided the evidence.

          And actually (according to the Vanguard article – regarding the same developer’s project across the street from ARC), I apparently “under-estimated the mileage to ARC.  (About 5 miles.)

          And, 7 miles to the Woodland site, according to the link I posted.

          But again, I’d suggest not going down this rabbit hole any further. As I noted in my initial response, to you.

          The point is that they’re going to build the Woodland site, regardless.  So, it’s not a choice between “one or the other”. The only choice to be made is whether or not a “second one” will be approved.

          And frankly, neither one of them appear to “pencil-out” without housing.

          Last night, I learned (at the planning commission workshop) that all of the housing at ARC would apparently be built before all of the commercial component is built. In other words, there will remain an unbuilt portion of the commercial space remaining, AFTER all of the housing is built.

          (Why doesn’t this surprise me?)

          The reason I mentioned the Woodland site is because of all of the fake arguments regarding no local place to live, or work.  (As if there’s some kind of “new need” for another office park to begin with!)

           

      2. Bill Marshall

        Nugget HQ vs. UCD distance, as opposed to ARC proposal ?  Apples and orangutans…

        Well, according to this Vanguard article, the new Nugget headquarters (on Mace) is 5 miles away from UCD.  ARC is slightly further than that.

        Yeah, we understand your “view”… 

        Your post is DEFINITELY off topic!

        1. Ron Oertel

          Your post is DEFINITELY off topic!

          You definitely haven’t read or understood the comparison.  (It was a comparison of UCD to ARC, vs. UCD to the Woodland research park site.)

          About 5 miles to ARC.

          About 7 miles to the Woodland site.

          The reason I’m bringing this up is because of all the fake arguments regarding “no place to work”.  (As if an innovation center is now “needed”, as a result of this claim.) If I’m not mistaken, you don’t fully buy into that argument, either.

          Seems that you’re the only one who didn’t understand the comparison.

        2. Richard McCann

          Again, Ron O, I don’t know where you get those distances. It’s 9-11 miles from UCD to south Woodland and 3.5 to the ARC site (the Vanguard cite also is wrong about Nugget). In addition, the ARC site is readily accessible by bike, transit and neighborhood EV, whereas Woodland is none of these. The GHG impacts will be MUCH higher for going to Woodland.

  4. Josh Pollich

    Davis’ highly restrictive land use policies clearly are preventing the state from reaching the full potential of UC Davis. It is unconscionable and selfish to live next to a major research university, purport to live in a small town, and prevent students, faculty, and their families from having full and complete lives in their communities.

     

    Other major, semi-rural public universities are the hubs of much larger cities or metropolitan areas: Champaign-Urbana 230k, State College 240k, Charlottesville 150k, Irvine 280k. Davis can and should be at least four times its current size.

  5. Alan Miller

    What’s more important than developing the next technology to help feed the world and do so in a clean and sustainable way?

    It also might be that there is a tire-storage warehouse, a spot for an ice-carver to make sculptures, a space for Davis punk bands to practice, and a consultant office for corporate assistance with state tax forms.  The developer will take any renter with money, “innovative” #hack,gasp# or not.  Save the world my arse!

    R.O. also has a point about crossing town on 5th/Russel vs. hopping on Hwy. 113 to south Woodland’s ‘innovation’ #hack,gasp# center.  The Google times are virtually the same, with a lot less stopping and starting.  Would it have been better if they had chosen West Davis?  Of course:  taxes, jobs, even closer, etc.  But Davis pooched itself.

    What is the point of this argument that a graduate student says Davis doesn’t have jobs for all the graduates?  Since when was that even a thing that it was supposed to?  So it always has been as so it forever will be.  More jobs, more tax base?  Sure . . . good thing . . . do it.  But this graduate student is going to have grandchildren (if they want to) by the time ARC is built out enough to make a tiny difference.

    1. Bill Marshall

      What is the point of this argument that a graduate student says Davis doesn’t have jobs for all the graduates?  Since when was that even a thing that it was supposed to? 

      True as written… but I believe that part-time employment opportunities (via internships in a related field) would benefit local businesses, and would decrease potential for student debt, which can be crippling. [students and grad students, not graduates]

      1. Don Shor

        I believe that part-time employment opportunities (via internships in a related field) would benefit local businesses, and would decrease potential for student debt, which can be crippling. [students and grad students, not graduates]

        Absolutely, and this points to another issue.
        I think most people who participate on this blog have no idea about the perilous financial condition of young adults in their 20’s. Not just students, but also recent grads and those who have ties to the area that are not students. We need a broader employment base and lower-cost housing in this area.

    2. Richard McCann

      “What is the point of this argument that a graduate student says Davis doesn’t have jobs for all the graduates?”

      First, it’s not just about “graduates”–it’s about their partners/spouses just as well. This situation hurts UCD in recruiting, which undermines the mission of this state institution. I know some of you (not Alan) would prefer that we focus on your personal interests instead, but we have a social responsibility to other state citizens in return for the benefits this community receives for having a major university in our midst. As has been said many times, we would be like Woodland or Dixon without UCD.

      And the abysmal regional retention rate is a red flag about the lack of job opportunities. Given the importance of STEM business to the health of our future economy, we need to fix this.

  6. Doby Fleeman

    That’s sounds about right – let’s see if we can squeeze out another 25 years without a comprehensive plan update because we don’t have the money?  Reminds me of AE Newman – “Who, me plan?”

    So now the both the community and would be developers, alike, are made to suffer – all because the city can’t manage to plan for its future?

    And this should all be on the developer to resolve?  I don’t think so.

  7. Ron Oertel

    I would also ask if the traffic analysis will include the impact of construction traffic over the next several decades (e.g., heavy equipment and construction workers moving in/out of the site – which would likely coincide with commuting hours).

    1. Bill Marshall

      No…. construction traffic is transient… and for most (but not all) CEQA purposes, is de minimus… read the statutes…  think… better than opining on topics you cannot ‘grok’.

      Think Mark Twain quotes… “better be silent…”

      1. Ron Oertel

        Bill: “No…. construction traffic is transient…

        From source, below:

        Transient:  “lasting only for a short time; impermanent.”

        https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/transient

        Bill:  “Think Mark Twain quotes… “better be silent…”

        Better to learn the definition of words, before responding.

        But, thanks for the confirmation that construction traffic lasting decades (over the projected build-out period) isn’t analyzed or disclosed. 

        (Hardly “transient”, but pretty much what I expected regarding analysis or disclosure.)

  8. Tim Keller

    The statements about need for internship opportunities and jobs for spouses are 100% true in my experience.

    Here at Inventopia, more than HALF the companies are being led by someone who is the spouse of someone who works at the university.  If we cant provide space for both halves of couples like that, then one of the two is going to need to get on a freeway.

    For students as well,  I cant stress enough how important internship opportunities are.  Getting hands-on experience building real-world solutions is an invalueable part of the learning experience that every student should have access to, AND a lot of the companies that do want to come to Davis tell me that part of their intentions is to have access to our amazing student talent pool.

    Saying that its okay for people to engage in these activities, to have to commute to woodland is ridiculous, and to say so WHILE saying that you want to reduce traffic is hypocritical.  These are convenient arguments from people who just don’t want Davis to change or build anything period.  This town has been set back by these voices for decades and that needs to stop.

  9. Don Gibson

    It is really dishearting to see some of the comments on this commentary and the original posting by Gwen. As a recently graduated Ph.D., it is absolutely clear there is a major missing section of the jobs portfolio, private industry jobs for those in the region with college degrees, BS and advanced degrees. I have a LinkedIn profile up giving me job alerts for the job title “Scientist”, I receive 30+ notifications a day for the SF Bay Area while I average 2 in the Sacramento Region, half of those are to work for the state.

    As for UC Davis, I have not seen anything publically posted by their team but lets not count out the university position when we are still very early in the public hearing process. UC Davis knowns it needs jobs and innovation to take the ideas from the notebook into a product. But where in Davis are there spaces to do that? There are a few but they are small and these companies leave town once they reach a big enough size. This means more commuters traveling long distances and Davis losing tax revenue. Davis is raising taxes TWICE on the same ballot in a few days. If that isn’t a sign of how unstainable the status quo is, I don’t know what is.

  10. Alan Miller

    Saying that its okay for people to engage in these activities, to have to commute to woodland is ridiculous,

    I just Googled from Memorial Union Parking Structure to two locations:  (1)  Proposed ARC from Road 32-A – 13 minutes; (2) Proposed Woodland Research Center from Road 25-A – 13 minutes.

    Any questions?

    1. Tim Keller

      With a car maybe.  What about bikes and public transit?  People are not going to bike to the woodland site.  Maybe Yolobus will make it through once an hour.  (Unitrans has 4 lines: A / Z / P and Q lines all go past the proposed site already, not to mention the promised electric shuttles from the developer.

      And what about the fact that if you leave Davis to work in woodland, then you will probably be getting your lunch, and running your daytime errands there too.  Is it okay to lose THAT business from our local economy along with the revenue from the businesses that we won’t accommodate?   How do our local business owners feel about that?

      (Alan, do you secretly live in woodland?)

    2. Craig Ross

      Alan: How much revenue goes to Davis if the project is located in Woodland?  How much if it is located in Davis?  Why are you taking up Ron’s flawed narrative?

      1. Bill Marshall

        How much revenue goes to Davis if the project is located in Woodland?

        Approximately, zero… as to sales tax, where it might (?) be apportioned to Davis… if Davis folk buy stuff from that project, it rises to ‘de minimus’… zero property tax (unless there is a tiny %-age that goes to DJUSD… still, given State apportionment, de minimus… maybe “beer money”

    3. Richard McCann

      Alan, I’m shocked that you would be promoting a truly cars-centric job center over one that has the potential (if properly designed) to be TOD and bike friendly. The difference in GHG emissions would be immense.

  11. Ron Glick

    What’s more important than developing the next technology to help feed the world and do so in a clean and sustainable way?

    “Can you spell ‘hyperbole’”?
    I’m not sure its hyperbolic at all. A UCD scientist developed a rust resistant wheat that has helped farmers in many parts of the world STEM crop losses dramatically. A plant breeder from UCD told me they built a statue of the guy somewhere in Latin America. You can go all the way back to the 1960’s when UCD scientists saved the walnut industry. Is the UC Davis World Food Center hyperbole. Do you even understand the role the place you live plays in the efforts to feed a world population projected to hit 9 billion by 2050?

    Perhaps you are like my dear 88 year old friend who passed away last year. He always doubted climate change. In his lifetime it wasn’t a big problem so in that respect he was right because in the end he was never impacted by it. As a boomer you likely don’t need to worry about feeding 9 billion people in 2050. But UC Davis and the Ag tech economy that it is agglomerating regionally is making a real impact in the global race to feed the world beyond the lifespan of Davis boomer no growthers.

    1. Richard McCann

      To reiterate Ron G’s point, the expansion of canned tomatoes is attributable entirely to the research effort at UCD, both in breeding that tomato strain and inventing the mechanical harvester. UCD can have that same impact on sustainability. It’s the no. 1 ag university in the US and no. 2 in the world. Unless you think that we’re wasting our time with research universities, and everything was created by lonely, brilliant individuals…

        1. Craig Ross

          Here’s the problem with you comment – it was inaccurate when they moved.  Agraquest was a locally company started by Pam Marrone.  She got bought out and started Marrone Bioinnovations.  The concept of her company was developing pesticides that were natural and organic.  The got bought out by Bayer and Monsanto, but at the time that it was in town, they were not producing Roundup.

        2. Ron Oertel

          Craig:  Seems to me that David consistently mourns the loss of Bayer, not Agraquest.

          Looks like Agraquest was sold to Bayer in 2012 (8 years ago), for $425 million:

          https://www.reuters.com/article/bayer-agraquest-idUSL6E8I40NN20120704

          I recall that the other company that David mourns (Schilling) was also sold (a couple of times – by the same owner), over a period of time.

          Perhaps “counting” on companies to remain stable (regarding ownership, direction, and location) is not something to count on.

          Especially when places such as West Sacramento are significantly cheaper. This will remain the case, even if ARC is built.

          Companies are often bought and sold.  Probably tempting to sell a company for $425 million, even if the purchaser produces products that are not necessarily “organic and natural”.

           

           

        3. Ron Oertel

          Thanks for the clarification.

          Over the years, I’ve heard of things like this, as well (regarding UCD itself):

          A national nonprofit group is suing UC Davis to comply with requests for public records related to the university’s work on genetically modified organisms, pesticides and its relationship with the agrichemical industry.

          https://www.davisenterprise.com/local-news/ucd/anti-gmo-group-sues-ucd-over-public-records-requests/

          And yet, very little reporting about the issue (in general), on the Vanguard.

           

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