A UC Davis fire crew has been at work on the Sand Fire since the day it broke out, last Saturday (June 8). The fire in the Capay Valley, western Yolo County, has blackened some 2,500 acres as of about 9 a.m. today (June 11), according to Cal Fire, which reported that firefighters had achieved 60 percent containment.
Brush Truck 34, staffed by Capt. Dave Stiles, fire engineer Kyle Dubs and firefighter Meggie Elledge, responded on an “immediate need” basis just just after 4:30 p.m. Saturday, meaning the crew went directly to the fire without joining up with a strike team.
The truck and crew came back to campus at midday Sunday. Then, Monday morning (June 10), Capt. Stiles and Brush Truck 34 returned to the fire as part of a Yolo County strike team. Engineer Lindsey Dubs and firefighter Jon Poganski are with Stiles.
Heat illness prevention
Safety Services sent out a notice today (June 11) about heat illness prevention: “Departments with employees (students, staff and faculty) who work in hot conditions outdoors must meet standards established by Cal/OSHA. Please ensure all employees who work in the heat have received their required annual heat illness prevention training.”
A training session is scheduled from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. this Thursday (June 13) in 130 Hoagland Hall. Training covers heat illness prevention planning, recognition of signs and symptoms, best practices and case studies. Seating is limited; send an email to Heather Spaulding to RSVP.
OSHA regulations identify four steps to preventing heat illness:
- Plan — Develop and implement written procedures for complying with the Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Standard.
- Train — Employees must receive initial and annual heat illness prevention training.
- Water — Provide at least 1 quart per person, per hour.
- Shade — Provide it for use during breaks and to recover from heat illness.
Spare the Air today and Wednesday
The Sacramento region today (June 11) is under its first Spare the Air alert of the season, and another has been called for Wednesday (June 12), as abundant sunshine, triple-digit heat and little to no wind contribute to ground-level ozone pollution.
Air quality officials are encouraging people to put off driving or drive less, or, better yet, take public transit. Unitrans is offering free rides on 15 Spare the Air days this season — with today and Wednesday counting as the first and second free days.
Officials predicted 129 on the Air Quality Index today and 136 Wednesday, compared with Monday’s 105. All three readings fall within the range of “unhealthy for sensitive groups”; a Spare the Air alert is called when the forecasted AQI is 126 or higher.
City launches survey of train depot use
Do you ride the Capitol Corridor train in and out of Davis, or do you have opinions on the city’s Amtrak station?
The city of Davis has launched a survey on people’s use, or nonuse, of the Amtrak Station, and what kind of improvements would encourage people to use and-or visit the station more often. “Your participation will help guide future investments to improve the station area,” the survey states. Not only that, but you could win a pair of Capitol Corridor tickets.
The survey is part of a state-funded study of access and connection issues at the Davis station, the region’s third most active depot, serving more than 10 percent of total Capitol Corridor ridership.
“Despite its popularity, the station is fraught with challenges,” the city acknowledges on its “Davis Amtrak Access and Connections Study” webpage. “Parking surveys show the lot fills well before the arrival of the first train and remains full until the late afternoon. Surveys also suggest that bicycle parking is regularly at or near capacity. Additionally, the current depot lacks modern amenities and safety features.”
The study seeks to identify long-term opportunities to increase train ridership, improve connections between different types of transportation, and enhance station safety. The study will also examine the potential benefits of more people riding the train and using the station, including less traffic congestion and fewer auto emissions (as people drive fewer miles), and increased economic activity downtown.
The online survey should take about five minutes to complete. The survey is open through July 1.
Questions? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 916-442-1168.
1 week left to vote in UCRS election
Voting will end Monday (June 17) in an election to fill two open staff seats on the UC Retirement System (UCRS) Advisory Board. Three candidates are in the running:
- Lucy E. Whyte — payroll/personnel specialist, UC Davis
- Tiffany E. Wilson — systemwide academic HR analyst 3, UC Office of the President
- Ruth S. Zolayvar, inpatient pharmacy technician III, UC San Diego Medical Center
The electorate comprises UC Retirement Plan members and Savings Choice participants in the defined contribution plans who are not members of the Academic Senate. Eligible voters should have received election notices by email (to UC email addresses) or U.S. mail (for eligible voters without UC email addresses).
Election results are due to be posted on the above sites by the end of June.
President Napolitano’s statements
UC President Janet Napolitano issued the following statements last week:
●︎ American Dream and Promise Act (June 4) — The University of California applauds the House of Representatives for passage of the American Dream and Promise Act and urges the U.S. Senate to swiftly take up the legislation and send it to the president for his signature.
UC is home to thousands of undocumented students who are preparing to be the next generation of standout teachers, medical professionals, engineers, lawyers and other important contributors to our country. California has already made a big investment in these students, who have spent the better part of their lives in the U.S. It is now time for them to have a path to permanent residence and citizenship through the American Dream and Promise Act.
In challenging the rescission of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in federal court within days of its announcement, UC was an early and vocal advocate for these young people and the university continues to stand with them.
●︎ New restrictions regarding fetal tissue research (June 5) — The Trump administration dealt a blow today to scientific discovery and medical advancement. Fetal tissue research has helped find cures for millions of Americans who suffer from debilitating diseases, while improving the quality of life for others.
It has fundamentally changed the practice of medicine — including advances in polio, measles and chickenpox vaccines — as well as treatments for Parkinson’s and rheumatoid arthritis, and cutting-edge research on HIV and Alzheimer’s disease.
The importance of fetal tissue research cannot be overstated, and today’s action is a step backward for science. The University of California will continue to fight for the critical lifesaving research that Americans have come to expect and rely on from our nation’s scientific community.