We offer our cheers and jeers for local newsmakers as we look back over the previous week:
JEERS to EMQ FamiliesFirst for its decision to stop funding the Yolo Crisis Nursery, ending 13 years of providing emergency respite care to hundreds of families in crisis throughout the county.
The nursery has been credited with saving hundreds of children from abuse or neglect that might have occurred had their parents not had a safe place to bring them.
The closure this summer of the nursery, on a quiet residential street in East Davis, was confirmed at a meeting last week with Yolo County officials. It prompted an angry response from some who believe the decision is retaliation for the community’s response to issues that arose at FamiliesFirst’s embattled Davis group home last year.
“It’s despicable,” Yolo County Supervisor Jim Provenza said. “We didn’t cause their problems … they did.”
CHEERS to Karen Joy Fowler, a former longtime resident of Davis, for winning the PEN/Faulkner prize for fiction for her newest novel, “We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves.” The novel, about a 1970s Midwestern family with a most unusual sibling, is set partly in Davis, Fowler’s hometown for nearly four decades.
The $15,000 award is coveted by novelists; previous winners include Philip Roth, Ann Patchett and Sherman Alexie.
Fowler, who is best known for her novel “The Jane Austen Book Club,” credits a writing class at the Davis Art Center for kick-starting her career.
CHEERS to all five Davis City Council candidates — Sheila Allen, Robb Davis, John Munn, Daniel Parrella and Rochelle Swanson — for ably tackling a wide range of tough questions about current city issues at the first candidates debate of the campaign. Two seats are open in the June 3 election.
And cheers to the Davis Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee for organizing the well-attended debate, which featured good questions and a lively format. The debate was taped for later broadcast on Davis Media Access’ Channel 15.
JEERS to the vandals who tossed what looks like vanilla milkshake on “The Joggers” statues at the corner of Third and F streets in downtown Davis. Given our community’s enthusiasm about public art, we’re chagrined to see any damage, however temporary, done to sculptures and murals that beautify our environment.