Sunday, March 29, 2015

Cheers and Jeers: Sending some hope to typhoon survivors

From page A10 | February 07, 2014 |

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

CHEERS to a group of hard-working local residents who have banded together to raise more than $50,000 to help survivors of Typhoon Haiyan, which ravaged the Philippines in November, rebuild their homes and their lives. Local residents who have suffered the heartbreaking loss of family members are putting aside their grief to do what they can for those who soldier on.

A gala wine-tasting and auction, dubbed a “Taste of Hope,” will take place from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday at International House, Davis, 10 College Park. Tickets are $55 each to enjoy wines from RST Cellars and Bravante Vineyards and authentic Filipino appetizers, while bidding on a slate of one-of-a-kind auction items. All proceeds will be used to buy supplies to help people in the Taclaban area of the Philippines rebuild.

CHEERS to at least a dozen Davis High School athletes who signed National Letters of Intent on Wednesday to compete for college programs, plus a couple of dozen more who expressed their intent to play for UC Davis.

Only 1 percent of high school athletes land a college scholarship, so it’s truly remarkable how many Blue Devils move on to higher-level competition every year. We applaud the student-athletes as well as their parents, their coaches and the high school administration for providing the support system that helps these young people excel in their chosen sport.

We can’t wait to watch our Devils compete at the next level, and to watch our new Aggies don the blue-and-gold.

JEERS to the high cost of mounting a successful campaign for California Assembly. The four candidates — Davis Mayor Joe Krovoza, Davis Mayor Pro Tem Dan Wolk, Napa County Supervisor Bill Dodd and Napa County Planning Commissioner Matt Pope — have amassed more than $1.02 million thus far in the campaign, and the primary is still four months away. Then there’s the general election in November.

Current Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, D-Davis, spent $300,221 to win the seat in 2012 and $356,000 in 2008. Current state Sen. Lois Wolk spent $455,621 in her Assembly campaign in 2004. Even if you adjust those totals for inflation, Davis has likely never seen an Assembly candidate who can raise money like Dodd has so far ($594,597), and he still has many months to go.

CHEERS to Davis resident and bestselling author Kim Stanley Robinson, who was profiled recently by Tim Kreider in The New Yorker. He wrote, “Kim Stanley Robinson is generally acknowledged as one of the greatest living science-fiction writers. … He is also, for my money, one of the most important political writers working in America today. In his Mars novels, Robinson uses the Red Planet as a historical tabla rasa, a template for creating a saner, more sustainable and more just human society.”

Robinson tells The Enterprise that the article is bringing him to the attention of a new batch of “serious” readers who don’t ordinarily look in the science-fiction section where his books tend to be displayed.




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