A yuletide tug-o’-war

Dear Annie: My husband and I have an old friend whom we’ve known more than 40 years. For the past 20, we have alternated spending Christmas Eve together. ”Betsy” has one unmarried adult son who has not attended our Christmas events in many years. Our daughter now spends Christmas Eve with her husband’s family. My […]

It takes two to play dodge ball

Last Friday, Bob Dunning sent me two questions. One was on water rates and the second was on my position on the referendum. I invited him to the Farmers Market for a cup of coffee and conversation. I invited him three times to meet and talk. He dodged all three invitations. Here is the response […]

Learn more about GMO labeling

I recently learned of a statewide effort to launch an initiative for the November 2012 ballot to label foods containing genetically modified organisms. Although biotech executives and some scientists say these foods are safe, other scientists and food experts advocate further independent testing as they believe these foods carry health risks. However, outside the biotech […]

Heed Poor Richard’s advice

There is advice from one of the founding fathers of our Constitution, Benjamin Franklin, which is appropriate for the people of Davis to consider today. It was written in 1746 in “Poor Richard’s Almanack”: “When the Well’s dry, we know the Worth of Water.” Hopefully, we in Davis will not learn this lesson the hard way, […]

Gift-giving becomes a burden

Dear Annie: About 17 years ago, a neighbor of mine employed “Violet,” a teenage au pair from France. We became friends, but when Violet returned home, we lost touch. Earlier this year, Violet found me on Facebook, and we corresponded several times, catching up on each other’s lives. Violet told me she was sending me […]

Send us your best and brightest yearning to study here

The issue: People forget that for a couple of hundred years, we didn’t so much grow Americans as make them out of immigrants Our immigration debate has been backward. To our great loss, in science, medicine, engineering and academia generally, we have concentrated too much on the immigrants we don’t want and too little on […]

Protest solitary confinement in prison

Marco Topete, we learned in Thursday’s Enterprise, spent nine years in solitary confinement during his years at Pelican Bay. In a monumental understatement, his lawyer said that when he came out of prison, Topete was “ill-equipped to adjust into a free society.” It’s impossible to imagine: Nine years, 23 hours per day in a windowless […]

Nurture the arts in our schools

The Causeway Youth Band Festival Concert at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Mondavi Center features top performers from 50 area schools and universities with a thrilling finale featuring all 350 performers. I am a UC Davis alumnus with a political science (pre-law) major, but I had more units in my music minor. I returned to Davis […]

How much extra will it cost?

The people who cry “democracy” on the water project simply want to kill it. The fact is, this project will move ahead if there is no referendum vote. The opposition to the project knows that it’s not a hard lift to convince people to sign a petition or to vote no on an issue that […]

Social Security slow to protect, resurrect wrongly deceased

The issue: Congress should require disclosure of these breaches of confidentiality There’s an expression in Washington about politicians and agencies that find themselves in hot water: It’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up. IN THE CASE of the Social Security Administration’s massive breach of confidentiality, it wasn’t a crime, but incompetence, and not so much […]

An obsolete law hurts our relations with Russia

The issue: Repeal of old restrictions on trade would be a nice calling card for new ambassador The Soviet Union was traditionally hostile toward emigration. If people left, it would belie the communists’ carefully constructed, if widely disbelieved image, as a paradise for workers and peasants. Besides, the people who did get out might describe […]