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Rich Rifkin

The U.S. Constitution: Ben Carson does not understand it

Recently on “Meet the Press,” in response to a question about whether he would support a Muslim for president, Republican hopeful Ben Carson said, “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.” After he received widespread criticism from observers who noted that […]

Change is certain: Davis will not remain the same

In 1789, one year before his death, Benjamin Franklin famously wrote, “… in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” I think one more thing is just as certain: change. No matter how much traditionalists want to preserve what they have and keep in place the life they are […]

How to solve the traffic jam on Richards Boulevard

Last week, the Davis City Council approved a giant hotel project on Richards Boulevard. Much of the discussion focused on how this development might add to the traffic problems leading into downtown Davis. Whether it will make matters much worse is debatable. What is not is the fact that we already have bad congestion through that underpass […]

September 02, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

The Iran nuclear deal does not promote peace

Barack Obama did not start the process which led to the deal he recently signed with Iran. He joined in mid-race. The P5 + 1 powers — the U.S., Russia, China, France, the U.K. plus Germany — began talking with the Iranians in 2003, and as early as 2006 (when George W. Bush was in […]

August 19, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged , ,

Why is the cost of a cup of coffee not falling?

If you are at all like I am, coffee is an important daily pleasure. I’m quite simple in my tastes. I don’t like cream or sugar or any bizarre chemical flavorings added. I want a cup of fresh, hot, black coffee. I prefer it strong — the way Peet’s makes it. I’m more than happy […]

August 05, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Parents: Stop coddling your kids

Among the many wonderful memories I have of my childhood growing up in Davis, one of the more fantastic events I recall was the Civil War of 1970. Or maybe it was 1971. I am not sure. I was 6 or 7 years old, and dozens of boys — half from my neighborhood south of […]

July 22, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Take down the South’s sinister standard

The controversy over the Confederate flag is not an either/or proposition. Factually, it symbolizes slavery, hatred and oppression. And in the minds of many white Southerners, it represents their revered ancestors. Yet because the cause of the Confederacy was slavery, and because racist hate groups ever since have used that flag as their symbol, it […]

July 08, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Enjoy a bike ride to Winters

Growing up in Davis in the 1970s, it was common for me and my friends to pass through Winters on a bike ride. But Winters, back then, was not a destination. It was at most a pit stop on a ride to Lake Berryessa. If we were thirsty and we had some money, we would […]

Davis city manager fails to lead

Next week, Dirk Brazil will mark the start of his ninth month on the job as the Davis city manager. Sadly, there is already good reason to think that our City Council made the wrong choice in picking Brazil to replace Steve Pinkerton. The crushing fiscal crisis in the city of Davis is with its […]

June 24, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Whatever happened to Cemetery Road?

In 1868, the owners of the California Pacific Rail Road Company laid out a real estate venture called Davisville in a rectangular grid. The original streets, which now make up downtown Davis, run parallel or perpendicular to the northbound tracks. However, the grid does not run perfectly east-west and north-south, because the spur to Woodland […]

June 10, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Family failure: The root of our urban crisis

“Any random drive through Baltimore pre-Freddie Gray clearly offered clues of a lit match halfway near the gas puddle. Places such as West Baltimore’s Sandtown neighborhood, where Gray lived, are tinderboxes full of folks who have nothing to lose.”  — Charles D. Ellison, contributing editor, The Root The death of Freddie Gray at the hands […]

May 27, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

At long last, Laura’s Law is being implemented

“On Jan. 10, 2001, our daughter, Laura, was at work at California’s Nevada County Behavioral Health Clinic. A client appeared for a scheduled appointment. Without warning or provocation, he drew a handgun and shot Laura four times. When the rampage at the clinic and at a nearby restaurant ended, Laura and two others lay dead […]

May 13, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,
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