We offer our cheers and jeers for local newsmakers as we look back over the previous week:
CHEERS to the homeless man who picked up the bat from the sidewalk using a stick and some cardboard Sunday afternoon on the 500 block of Second Street.
When a passerby asked him what he was doing, he said, “I don’t want a child to come by and try to play with it.”
JEERS to the man who ran across Fifth Street in front of a fire engine running with full lights and sirens. Emergency services crews have enough trouble with cars getting in the way.
CHEERS to the Mondavi Center staff, who were unexpectedly (and pleasantly) surprised to find an unannounced celebrity guest in the house on Saturday for the concert by Joshua Bell and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. The Mondavi Center’s senior staffers were sitting in the VIP box with patroness-of-the-arts Margrit Mondavi, who likes to attend concerts at the performing arts center that bears the family name.
And when they ushered her backstage to see Joshua Bell after the concert, who should they encounter but Alan Gilbert, the music director of the New York Philharmonic. Turns out that the Academy’s first violin Harvey de Souza is one of Gilbert’s in-laws, and Gilbert happened to be vacationing nearby, so Gilbert decided to quietly pop by and check out the concert. Gilbert’s been here at least once before; he conducted the New York Philharmonic at Mondavi in May 2012; Bell most recently appeared with the New York Philharmonic, with Gilbert conducting, at Lincoln Center in April 2013.
JEERS to whoever set fire to a Central Park bench, which ended up ruining the oak tree deck. The deck is a popular meeting spot, and central to Farmers Market festivities. Authorities blame arson, and damage to the property was estimated at $10,000. The area has been blocked off to the public pending repairs to the bench and deck.
CHEERS to George Hincapie, former champion cyclist, for including Davis on USA Today’s shortlist to choose the top U.S. cycling town. “He took into account the cycling cities he knows and loves,” USA Today wrote. “Cities in which he’s competed; cities with conducive weather; cities generating great buzz in the cycling community; and the places attracting cyclists on a permanent basis.” Voters can cast one ballot every day at www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-u-s-cycling-town through April 14.
Other nominees are Ann Arbor, Mich.; Asheville, N.C.; Austin, Texas; Bend, Ore.; Boulder, Colo.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Durango, Colo.; Fort Collins, Colo.; Gainesville, Fla.; Greenville, S.C.; Madison, Wis.; Malibu; Minneapolis, Wis.; Moab, Utah; Park City, Utah; Portland, Ore.; Sacramento; Seattle; and Tucson, Ariz. This isn’t the first time Davis has been part of a USA Today readers’ poll. In the spring of 2012, the Davis Farmers Market was tapped as one of the nation’s top 10 farmers markets by the national newspaper.