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DCN News - September 17, 2014

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In this issue - 1) New elections website; 2) New board members are likely soon; 3) The continuing value of ad-free email; 4) Classes start Sept. 22! 5) 'Just unsubscribe' is working; 6) A good example.

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DCN News
September 17, 2014, Issue No. 3/2014
Davis Community Network

In this issue:

  1. New elections website
  2. New board members are likely soon
  3. The continuing value of ad-free email
  4. Classes start Sept. 22!
  5. ‘Just unsubscribe’ is working
  6. A good example

1. In time for November, a new county elections website
An updated Yolo County Elections Office website was unveiled at the beginning of September. The site is hosted by DCN, and is the latest development in a long history of joint projects by DCN and the Yolo County Elections Office.

Yolo's office was one of the first county elections offices in California to have a website. Live election returns at that time were typed into the website by DCN volunteers at the Elections Office. The site has gone through many changes over the years, and we're proud of the latest version.

  • The new site has updated design and functionality. We hope you'll find it easier to use, and it will also be easier for us to keep it up-to-date and add new information. Since it's easier to update, we'll also be able to keep more information online, including archives of ballots and candidate filings.
  • The new design should work better on small screens.
  • We've paid great attention to usability and accessibility, and hope that the site will be easier to use for persons using screen readers or other assistive devices. That's an ongoing effort, so please let us know where we can improve.
  • The search facility is much better, and will search the election result archives as well as other pages. We've reorganized the site structure for faster navigation.
  • The site's 558 pages of election-return archives cover 17 years. The oldest item is Davis' Richards Boulevard Upgrade referendum of March 4, 1997, which includes what may be California's first live returns map.

The site update was implemented in the open-source Plone Content Management System by Reid-McMahon, LLC and based on a design by Truman Consulting Services.

2. New board member update
We’re making progress in our search for people who might like to join the DCN board. New members will join in January; if you’d like to explore the possibility, or talk with someone about other volunteer opportunities large and small at DCN, please contact us at (Using the contact form will help us get your message to the right volunteer at DCN who can help you, but contacting any of our board members would be just fine too!)

3.’s reversal shows how valuable paid email still is
The Davis Enterprise printed a commentary by our president on this subject in late August. Popular demand later prompted to reverse its decision to drop email services, which shows how valuable paid, ad-free email still is. DCN offers no-ad low-cost email too, as described in the commentary, which we’ll link to here – with thanks to the Enterprise for publishing the original.

4. Classes
Classes for the fall include information security and a tour of the new county voters website, taught as part of the Connections Café sponsored by the city and the Senior Center, and held at the center.

  • First up: On Monday, Sept. 22, we present “Searching The Internet." (We’ll go deeper than just entering a word or two in a search engine and calling it good.) A brief, illustrated talk on how to search the Internet for specific information will be followed by hands-on practice with an Internet scavenger hunt. Volunteers will be on hand to assist.
  • And then on Oct. 6, Jenna Templeton from the county Elections Office will give a tour of the new voters website.

Connections Café is open to the public, and all are welcome to attend, from 6-8 p.m. either day in the Valente Room of the Davis Senior Center, 646 A St.

ALSO: Are you interested in volunteering to help people at classes and the Connections Café? The classes usually have a questions session, where someone might raise their hand to ask for help finding a tool or a website; if you could be that helper, please contact us at!

5. The ‘just unsubscribe, don’t call it spam’ approach is working
Each fall for the past few years, we’ve asked people to unsubscribe from email lists they no longer care about—typically, lists for clubs or organizations they have left—rather than label such emails as spam. The word seems to have gotten around, because what used to be a problem—lists labeled spam because so many individuals were pushing the spam button—no longer really is. Thanks! And to keep the momentum going, please help remind colleagues that unsubscribing from nonprofits’ email lists, when you’ve moved on from the group, is the best way to meet both your needs and theirs.

6. A good example
We enjoy calling out a good, well-maintained Davis community website, and this time we’d like to mention the one managed by Teach Another Language to Kids. TALK is a parent-run Davis nonprofit that offers language classes to Davis children. Find their site, and learn more about them, at

Davis Community Network is a nonprofit organization that provides Internet-related services and support to local nonprofit organizations, public agencies, schools and individuals. We're putting the power of the Internet in the hands of people and organizations to connect, engage, and build a stronger community - since 1993.

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