Our View

Cheers and Jeers: Downtown vandalism is vexing

By From page A12 | June 22, 2014

F Street planter damageW

Large blue urns containing topiary trees lie smashed in the gutter in front of the Hallmark Inn, 110 F St., last week. Courtesy photo

We offer our cheers and jeers for local newsmakers as we look back over the previous week:

JEERS to the growing incidents of vandalism in downtown Davis, perpetrated — we believe — by drunken revelers who frequent the bars. Business owners have long known they’ll be picking up trash (discarded bottles, cans, fast-food wrappers and other detritus) every Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning. But washing away vomit and, worse, dealing with destructive damage shouldn’t be part of the bargain when you’re a downtown retailer or service business.

A case in point is what happened last week in front of the Hallmark Inn, 110 F St. The hotel’s owners have done a beautiful job spiffing up that block with newly painted storefronts, colorful awnings, a three-dimensional farmers market mural and charming topiaries in stunning blue ceramic urns.

Two of those urns were overturned and smashed into the gutter last week, Hallmark general manager Marisa Schaffer said. She’s working with Davis police to see if the guilty parties can be identified via surveillance video. Last fall, the police helped Schaffer track down a drunken miscreant who pulled a bell pepper and a pear off the mural and collect reparations. CHEERS to Officer John Renger for his assistance in that case.

JEERS to the sidewalk upheaval on numerous streets around our community. The uneven sidewalks pose a danger to residents of all ages. The city owes it to locals to make sure they have a safe and secure passage en route to work, school and shopping, or if they’re just out for a stroll. We urge the City Council to make infrastructure repairs a top priority.

CHEERS to the nonprofit organization Music Only Makes Sense for organizing the fourth annual Davis Music Festival this weekend, a fundraiser for the Davis School Arts Foundation. The yearly event is a win-win-win for Davis: Money is raised to help local elementary, middle and high school arts, music and performing arts departments; local residents and visitors can enjoy a broad-ranging array of live music; and downtown businesses get extra foot traffic.

CHEERS to Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, for helping to organize a job fair last week at the One-Stop Career Center in Woodland. More than 600 people attended the fair, which featured 50-plus employers and job apprenticeship programs. There were even UC Davis students on hand to mentor high school students as part of the Career and College Success Link Program.

We also send out early cheers and congratulations to all those who found work.

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