The CEAV Project FAQ

FAQ Index (linked)

  • What does the name ‘CEAV’ stand for?
  • The CEAV Project – Introduction and history
  • Who is The CEAV Project?
  • What is The CEAV Project?
  • When will Cal Expo Green happen?
  • Where will Cal Expo Green be located?
  • Why should Cal Expo Green be built?
  • How will Cal Expo Green be implemented?
  • How will Cal Expo Green be financed?
  • What about the traditional fair offerings?
  • [top of index]

    What does ‘CEAV stand for?

    ‘CEAV’ stands for “Cal Expo – An Alternate Vision” The two missions at the top of this faq describe the major components of the CEAV Project.


    ‘CEAV’ was the name of the original proposal submitted to Cal Expo in March, 2009. Depending on context, ‘The CEAV Project’ refers to one of the two missions of the project: To prevent the sale of Cal Expo land to private developers; and, to create a world-class hub showcase, amplify and accelerate the growth of green consciousness in the 21st century. ‘Cal Expo Green’ is the working title for the new facilities and activities that The CEAV Project has proposed – the showcase environment and world-destination for greening the planet.

    [back to faq index:]

    The CEAV Project – Introduction:

    The CEAV Project began in 2009 with the presentation of an alternate concept to Cal Expo’s intentions to build a sports-arena on its site and open the state-owned public commons to private, mixed-use development.


    The CEAV Project (‘Cal Expo An Alternate Vision’) began in March 2009. It was an immediate reaction to Cal Expo’s public announcement that it intended to turn its public commons, belonging to all the people of California, over to developers in Sacramento to build a sports-arena, shopping malls, townhouses and other “mixed-use” development. Their plan had nothing to do with the people of California. It was solely for the benefit of a few developers in Sacramento, and for members of the Cal Expo Board who have close ties with them.

    The CEAV Project began at once to envision a public use and benefit for that land that served all the interests of the state and was far superior in every way to the narrow, selfish interests of a few. That vision – world-class showcase for the best of advanced technology, environmental restoration and planetary health – became The CEAV Project, an effort to build that vision and make it a reality, for California, for the world. This blog will report on the continuing evolution of that vision and of nurturing it into a realization of a global hub of green consciousness.

    [back to faq index]

    The CEAV Project – Who?

    Who are the stewards of The CEAV Project? The CEAV Project is a catalyst, citizen’s group. It’s parent group is ‘California Advocates for the 21st Century’. The current resident steward of The CEAV Project is Red Slider. CEAV is not a membership organization and keeps no membership rolls. CEAV has no financial structure and does not accept donations of any kind.

    Anyone who wishes to take an action that furthers the mission of The CEAV or enhances the project concepts is essentially acting as a steward of CEAV. They do not need permission to do this, they only need to act in a way consistent with the practices and missions of CEAV which are embodied on the websites and other online presences of The CEAV Project and maintained by the resident steward. Besides those sources, no one speaks or takes action on behalf of The CEAV Project as a whole. Those who act to the purpose of furthering the missions of the CEAV project in a manner consistent with the various documents on its page are considered stewards of CEAV, but act on their own authority and responsibility. The resident steward may represent the wishes or opinions of CEAV, from time to time, as required to address official bodies, media and such; and may delegate such authority as needed. As a group and a 21st century structure, however, The CEAV Project has no “central authority” or hierarchy.

    [back to faq index]

    The CEAV Project – What?

    What is The CEAV Project? The CEAV Project is a set of activities directed to the purpose of creating a showcase and global hub for advanced practices, services, ideas and technologies of the 21st century to restore the planet to health and to accelerate and amplify our ability to solve 21st century problems.

    The Ceav Project has envisioned a number of future, green oriented exhibit facilities and areas, research stations and demonstration environments, culture and performance centers, a small university research campus, a green jobs and vocational college, master gardener facilities, a knowledge-transfer center, open resource exhibit areas, advanced health exhibits, experimental farms and gardens, farmer’s markets and nutritional-health exhibits; anything and everything associated with restoring the health of the planet and ourselves as one among many species.

    All of these ‘Imagines’ are tentative concepts and the design process, itself, is intended to be an evolving one in the functions and even architecture of various offerings which can be modified with a minimum of cost or disruption so that the entire project can evolve and change with the changing needs and discoveries of future generations. It is meant to last for several centuries and keep current throughout its history.

    [back to faq index]

    The CEAV Project – When?

    When can/does The CEAV Project actually begin? Certain elements of the CEAV-concept could be started immediately, provided the land was available to undertake the effort and the properly constituted public bodies were delegated the authority and responsibility to begin project work. That might take quite some time. First the project need to undergo rigorous public examination and initial concept development.

    Second, certain legal and financial requirements and responsibilities need to be established and fulfilled. Once that is done, and proper commitments obtained to undertake a CEAV-like project, early survey, planning and development could begin immediately. That initial work, itself, could serve as initial exhibits on how a green development project is undertaken and realized.

    Some exhibits, events and other activities within the scope and mission of the new Cal Expo Green could employ the same structures and processes used by the current Cal Expo for its present operations. Whether the current Cal Expo entity, some transitional structure or a newly created replacement organization would take on this task would be up to the public agency(s) responsible for that phase of the project.

    Some of the old buildings at Cal Expo might be put into service as temporary facilities after undergoing minor repair – certainly, they could be used for the general administration and development of the project. After that, some venues, such as a temporary central facility for the California Master Gardener Program and its Library could be up and running in short order, though its final facilities and realization might be decades away. Current Exhibit space could be used for specialized green exhibits, some temporary or seasonal, some permanent, until planned permanent facilities are underwritten and built.

    Throughout the site, clean-up, land restoration and preservation projects could be undertaken as soon as they are planned and financed. Scientific and environmental restoration activity could also serve as ‘exhibits’ of the project – permitting the public to come and observe the various undertakings, visit these ‘work’ areas, attend lectures and watch demonstrations of the progress of the project. Almost every phase of the project can, itself, be designed and presented as an interesting part of the educational and practical exhibit of the project’s evolving design. If well-planned and interestingly presented, it could also draw a considerable number of interested visitors on its own. This is a large-scale project. Public interest in its development can be an important part of its early market appeal.

    [back to faq index]

    The CEAV Project – WHY?

    Why undertake a CEAV-like project?

    1. To prevent an important statewide public asset from being turned over private developers and lost forever as a part of California’s endangered public commons;

    2. To serve and steward the original mission of the California Exposition and State Fair; to revitalize it and keep it relevant for the remainder of the 21st century and beyond:
    “The California Exposition & State Fair mission is to:
    Create a State Fair experience reflecting California including its industries, agriculture, diversity of its people, traditions and trends shaping its future-supported by year-round events.”

    [Source: The California Exposition & State Fair Board of
    Directors Policy & Procedure Manual, 2009]

    That mission and its relation to the public commons it was given to fulfill it, has been threatened for a number of years by Cal Expo’s determination to turn it over to private developers for sport-arenas, shopping malls, housing and other mixed-use development having nothing to do with the interests of the people of California. Such transformation would, at best only serve a few narrow interests of the city of Sacramento.

    When the CEAV Project began, its intention was to keep an important place for traditional fair activities, though those, too, would need considerable improvement and revitalization. The remainder of the site was conceived as an ideal space to locate an enhancement and extension of the original mission that would serve the future interests of all Californians, for the remainder of the century and beyond. To accomplish that, a host of often disparate elements would need to be brought together. Commercial, industrial, agricultural, educational, environmental, political, economic and other interests, would all need to be brought together under one ‘large tent’ to make any ‘best-use’ concept for the land a workable idea.

    Commercial interests wouldn’t much care for anything that did have a ‘product sale’ on it at the end of the day. Environmentalists would much like turning the land over to commercial interests with which they often found themselves at odds. If you couldn’t eat it or grow it, the agricultural communities, one of the original, mainstay sectors that gave rise to the State Fair, would not be interested. To add to the mix, financing the project would clearly require ‘real-valued’ benefits that did not require traditional development market/land-driven values to sustain the project. In short, the project would need the support of economic, social, cultural, educational, environmental sectors if it was to have a chance of overturning the forces that seemed driven to sell the land and be done with it.

    After examining all the possibilities, the only thing that seemed to fit the bill was a growing realization locally, statewide, nationally and globally that we have lived considerably out of balance with the requirements of our planet and that a significant part of the remainder of this century would be absorbed in the problems of undoing the damage that has already been done and finding a way to live in harmony with the world for all the centuries to come. No matter what interest one represents, restoring the health of our world is an undertaking of first importance. It touches everyone and everything.

    The CEAV concept was simply a natural conclusion of that realization. It is what we need to foster in our citizens, it is what the best of our efforts needs to demonstrate, it is what our children should expect as a legacy. That is essential why a CEAV-like transformation of the current site of Cal Expo was chosen as the next century’s best face for the future of the California Exposition and State Fair.

    The question remains, What about the more traditional Fair offerings? Do they not have a place in California’s showcase? Are they not also in keeping with the original mission? The answer to that will be given in a separate section of the CEAV FAQ.

    [back to faq index]

    The CEAV Project – How? The Realization.

    How – the realization: There are several elements to ‘how’ a CEAV-like project is to be accomplished.
    – The planning and design of the project, along with the initial commitment by the State to undertake it should be a fully promoted public participation effort: the result of open, public processes and encouraging the participation of every sector of California’s economy and cultural life to be involved.

    – the various facilities, areas and environments could be scheduled as the early design processes suggest their priority. There is simply no reason to do everything at once. Even some undeveloped areas can serve as demonstrations in the earliest stages of their survey and reclamation. Provided adequate public access is provided, new projects involving new demonstration can be supplied with sufficient exhibit and educational-cultural interest to open them to visitors well before their completion.

    The environment and the way Green Cal Expo builds itself can, itself, become a worthwhile exhibit. Consider, for example an undeveloped habitat area. There are no research stations, no permanent facilities and only the beginning of surveys to describe how the area should be treated and reclaimed. However, some access trails have been created and some trash removed. Those planning the final shape of this section have created a little outdoor exhibit of some of the elements they are preparing to consider – a scale model and descriptions of the landscape and its principle features is placed on display in a temporary outdoor exhibit shelter on the edge of the site.

    Biology and Environmental Science students from local universities have made placards along the trails describing some of the habitat, species of birds and animals, native plants and matters of interest in the immediate vicinity. Others are around counting species of birds or taking samples of water or examining some other feature for eventual consideration into the master plan. The all will take time out to chat with visitors about their work and the importance of the land around them. Not much of an exhibit, true. But, with a little imagination, one can see how it might rapidly grow into a very interesting public destination for visitors even though its final plans for inclusion may still be some time away.

    And this isn’t even a main facility or major element of the CEAV Project. Just a little backwater place that will, in time be integrated into the larger showcase.

    [back to faq index]

    The CEAV Project – How? Financing.

    How – The Financing: While most traditional development financing depends on land-value and investment based underwriting, The CEAV Project looks to real-valued, product based revenue streams to serve as the core source of support. Green technologies, products and services are undoubtedly going to serve as the central economic endeavor of California’s future. They will have new technologies and products to sell, new inventions to discover and bring to market, new concepts to introduce to the general public and consumers alike.

    The industry currently has no permanent, central world hub for displaying, educating, advertising and promoting these activities. True, there is traditional advertising on which the industry spends many billions of dollars every year. And, there are a variety of trade fairs, some mobile ones such as the new ‘Green Expo’, which host the presentation of new green products. However, the space for the creating the world’s fair of green activities of the future, the prize of being the global-showcase for all of these various developments, remains vacant at the moment.

    Large Corporations, philanthropic organizations and donors of all types have already demonstrated their willingness to underwrite large-scale activities, simply for the educational and promotional value of the project.

    Older established world-class organizations such as the Huntington Arboretum or the Hayden Planetarium, manage to survive, through good times and bad. The Kennedy Centers and the great museums and cultural centers of world all depend and endure on these types of support. The new California Academy of Sciences demonstrates that these sources are as engaged in supporting projects of the future as they are in maintaining those of the past. And they do so largely for the intangible promotional and educational value of these entities.

    In addition to those motives, The CEAV Project all offers something more – real-valued implementations of the things that would actually promote and contribute directly to the growth of the industry itself.

    The exhibits and ‘green trade fairs, in addition to being as exciting, educational and contemporary as our imaginations can make them, will of course promote direct sales of products, technologies and methods. But that is only the beginning of real-valued enterprise at Green Cal Expo. The ‘School of Green Design’ becomes an active partner with both exhibitors and statewide industry in conducting environmental and scientific research leading to product invention and application. It can work directly with exhibitors and California companies on exchanging ideas and considering solutions to problems that are needed in the future.

    The knowledge Transfer Center operates to integrate the external green industries and activities in the state with potential markets, inventors, venture capital and other elements which would amplify and accelerate the work of a green economy.

    Even the demonstration environments and research stations can serve to promote products and services in environmental, agricultural and other sectors of the economy. All that activity, indeed almost every activity of a CEAV-like undertaking, has real value to the producers of these components. The showcase is merely a stage upon which they can be displayed, operated and even invented, all to the benefit of their production, sale and employment.

    As a global hub, this not only holds true for California investment and industrial opportunity but for advances anywhere in the world that would find value in supporting and exhibiting at Cal Expo Green. Queensland, Australia recently announced its intention to build a state-of-the-art waste water reclamation system for the entire province, at a cost upwards of 6 billion dollars. Would they not be interested in showcasing their project and its technologies and products at a global showcase? For a project that size, surely a few million dollars, perhaps more, to help underwrite an exhibit area like “WaterWorks”, would be a worthy investment. Not only would it bring Australian ideas and products to the attention of the U.S. and the rest of the world (think ‘global-hub’) but would also be a good place for California and U.S. green technologies and products to introduce themselves to Queensland.

    The Underwriting opportunities are probably endless. And that’s not the only revenue stream a CEAV-like concept could exploit. Many projects are naturals for foundation endowments and grants, philanthropic donations and other private sources. As well, federal dollars for various aspects of green technology development and educational specialties are sure to be forthcoming. As a part of the economic infrastructure of the state, A CEAV-like project might have well qualified for Recovery Act funds had it been planned a few years ago. Certainly there will be many more such opportunities in the future.

    In any case, the real-valued financing base of the project opens far more creative opportunities for underwriting the project, than the narrow and limited returns of traditional land-valued, mixed-use private development.

    The ‘How’ of finance would not be complete without a word about process. Traditionally, large-scale projects, such as the Sacramento sports-arena, begin by asking “Where’s the money?”. It is why they often build to suit the financial package they can get, rather than creating a financial package built to suit the project they want. CEAV has argued that this is exactly backwards to the way it should be done.

    CEAV has suggested that one should first define what (and where) they want something to be (and, before that ‘why’) and only then, after the preliminary design work is actually done and the shape of the project can be seen and costed, should they ask, “How do we finance that?” It may be that they can’t and certainly elements have to be scaled back, left to another time or, if need be, simply eliminated. But, more often than not, the answer to how to finance the desired projects will lead to ways to design a financial package to accomplish just that. If it’s a worthy project, then it should also be a saleable project. The design of a financial package is not different than the conceptual design in that regard. Simply, that it comes after it is known what it is one wishes to buy.

    [back to faq index]


    The CEAV Project & The State Fair?

    When CEAV first presented the concept of The CEAV Project to Cal Expo, in March 2009, Cal Expo was fixed on the idea that no other location than its present site would be considered. This was not ideal from the standpoint of the CEAV Project. However, politically, it was unimaginable that Cal Expo could ever be persuaded otherwise. For that reason, CEAV presented its early concept with the idea that Cal Expo would remain at its present location and that the CEAV implementation would occupy the remainder of the 460 acre site.

    However, when Cal Expo’s original plan failed, the second round of proposals for a downtown arena suggested a land-swap deal in which Cal Expo would be moved to the current Arco arena site and its present site would be sold to private developers to help finance the arena. This involved a tacit admission, on Cal Expo’s part, that it was entirely possible to relocate the site of the State Fair. It didn’t matter that that plan (the Kamilos’ land-swap) also fell apart due to the inadequacy of the alternate site to relocate Cal Expo. What mattered was that Cal Expo did not require, by its own statements, to remain at its current location.

    At that point, CEAV considered the alternatives. The possibility of finding another suitable site for Cal Expo was in play. However, CEAV had neither the resources nor the knowledge to identify where such a location might be. Instead, CEAV developed a radically different concept, which we felt was far superior to simply finding another permanent location for the State Fair. ‘A Movable Fair’ was proposed to the Cal Expo board in late September, 2010. This proposal suggested that Cal Expo return to its original mode of presentation (1854-1859) that permitted different locations to host the State Fair during successive seasons. That mode was abandoned due to the difficulties of communications and transportation of the time; difficulties which no longer exist today. CEAV look that the potentials of a Movable Fair and felt that it not only resolved the problem of relocating the State Fair, but would spread the benefits of both the production and rewards of hosting the fair to regional and hosting interests throughout the state. This, CEAV believes, is far more in keeping with the fact that the California State Fair is a state offering that ought to directly benefit all of the diverse areas of California, not simply a single local host in the Sacramento area. ‘A Movable Fair’ was received by a committee of the Cal Expo Board and then promptly set aside and ignored. Cal Expo has yet to ask a single question or even contact CEAV to suggest how the concept might be evaluated. It has pretty much been left to the same treatment that The CEAV Project has received over the years – to be ignored and excluded from any serious consideration.

    [back to faq index]


    One response to “The CEAV Project FAQ

    1. Pingback: The CEAV Project FAQ | Stopcalexpo Blog

    Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

    You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


    Connecting to %s