Yolo Shines

Aggie thanks

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This was fun. A few months ago, we had the pleasure of sitting down with UC Davis staff for a retrospective and prospective discussion. Here's a link to the spring 2018 AggieXtra publication.

Therein we explored what it means to be an Aggie, why UC Davis is best-prepared to tackled the world's foremost challenges, the pragmatic and idealistic value of solar, and fond recollections of my late dad, Charlie.

One story I failed to relay: In the early 1970s, when I was toddling at Birch Lane Elementary and my parents were grinding through graduate school, my dad started a company, East Davis Hot Tub Works. Redwood hot tubs were all the rage, particularly when married with solar thermal (hot water heating systems). Many a weekend was spent tagging along with my dad, visiting Davis homes, and observing the installation of hot tubs, decks and thermal systems. My dad was grinding to put food on the table while he completed his PhD in Environmental Toxicology; I, perhaps, was learning a lesson about the value of renewable energy (and serving our community too).

My dad went on to start California Analytical Labs, eventually growing it into the largest environmental testing laboratory in the country. He had a license plate that reflected his passion: Cal Labs was the "BMF LAB". Years later -- when he engaged with the Cal Aggie Alumni Association, UC Davis Foundation and UC Regents -- he would bend many an ear: UC Davis is the Best Mother F@#$*&! University. Period. (BMF UC?)

Many thanks to our comrades at UC Davis for sharing our story.

YoloShines: Yolo Crisis Nursery

The past month has been a whirlwind, with a record number of homeowners in our community signing up for solar via the Repower program. To wit, our apologies for falling behind in our advocacy for the terrific community organizations our homeowners support.

On behalf of Davis residents Jim and Katrin Baxter, we are honored to donate $500 to Yolo Crisis Nursery. Here’s why the Baxters selected Yolo Crisis Nursery:

The Yolo Crisis Nursery provides critical support for the youngest and most vulnerable members of our society and their families during times of crisis. We are pleased to support their efforts and thank Repower Yolo for making this gift possible.

This donation hits home with us, having raised children in the community. And, my mom is a retired public school psychologist ... Yolo Crisis Nursery is one of her favorite, more impactful support groups.

Here's more from their website:

The Yolo Crisis Nursery is a place of hope for desperate parents and vulnerable children in Yolo County, California.

We provide a safe, temporary home for children up to age 5 during times of extreme family crisis, when young family members are most vulnerable to abuse and neglect. Our cozy three-bedroom home can accommodate four children overnight and 12 during the day. Our professional staff members offer not only essential care but also smiles, hugs and hope.

Equally important, we help parents and guardians resolve their immediate problems and gain family stability.

In short, we prevent abuse and save lives. We strengthen families. We build a better future for Yolo County and beyond.

Please join us in supporting Yolo Crisis Nursery. Click here to learn how you can get involved -- financially or personally -- and help propel YCN's service to our community.

And, thanks again to the Baxters for making Yolo shine!

A (great) night at the council chambers

I have great admiration for Davis city council members. Incredibly devoted, immensely under appreciated. As individuals and a council, they can’t please everyone with every position/vote, but this group’s solid.

Admiration to the side, I usually loathe attending council meetings. Last night was different. Here’s why:

First my son was Youth Mayor for the Day (actually, for about 10 minutes, but who’s counting?). He crafted a proclamation seeking more sports fields — baseball especially — for our kids. And he learned about the sausage-making, governance process. Pretty cool for a 13-year-old, and kudos to all council members (particularly Mayor Dan) for opening their chamber.

Second, there was a simple proclamation trumpeting the upcoming (May 3) Big Day of Giving. Click here to learn more about this extraordinary, regional event. For us, we’re living a Big YEAR of Giving through our Yolo Shines program.

Third, my comrades at Sierra Energy were honored as the annual Environmental Business of the Year by the City. Grand kudos to CEO Mike Hart, a longtime friend and partner in crime. I had the pleasure of helping Mike start Sierra Energy 14 years ago and it has been a pleasure to witness the company’s emergence … potential game-changing, waste-to-energy technology. Learn more about recent developments here.

A final observation from the peanut gallery: A great quality of our community is the preponderance of smart people who care. A lot. Ours is a deeply-engaged hamlet. Conversely, a not-so-great quality of our community, if/when you want to get something done: A critical mass of intelligent citizens who care. We have a lot of people who “think it” versus “do it.” And, it hamstrings our ability to move forward.

Sierra Energy is doing it, not merely thinking about it. Bravo!