Thursday, August 28, 2014

Arnold left his mark on Davis


From page A2 | August 03, 2012 |

A LEGEND LEAVES US … it would have been hard to grow up in Davis in the ’50s and ’60s and not know of Bill Arnold … Bill, who passed away last week at the age of 89, was one of those visionary citizens who helped put in place so many things that make Davis the special place we all love today …

He cared passionately about this town and its people, as evidenced by the many years he chose to live here … amazingly, not only did Bill Arnold serve as president of the Davis Chamber of Commerce, he was proud to see his son Doug and his granddaughter Cary later hold the same post … his many efforts to make Davis a better place were much appreciated by those of us fortunate enough to know him … tellingly, many current residents who never met Bill were still served by the way he lived his life … we were lucky to have had him for so many years …

HEAT WAVE … given that July is the hottest month of the year around here, I was stunned to read that those disappointing State Fair numbers were being blamed, in part, on “the heat.” … yeah, it’s called “summer” … happens every year about this time … oddly, though, during the July 12-29 run of this year’s fair, it wasn’t particularly hot, save for a day or two … the fair used to start in mid to late August and run through Labor Day, which can come as late as Sept. 7 …

While it’s not appreciably cooler at that time of year, the average temperature is several degrees lower than it is in mid to late July … that’s just an historical fact … part of the reason for the switch is that more and more schoolchildren now start school earlier than the first week of September …

If the State Fair is worried about hot weather and lack of kids hurting attendance, they might want to try a run next year during Christmas vacation, when kids aren’t in school and the temperature will make even Frosty the Snowman shiver …

SPEAKING OF FAIRS … while the thought of parking at Cal Expo, taking a long hike to enter the fairgrounds and then encountering ever more sun-baked asphalt simply screams “hot,” the Yolo County Fair has no such problems …

First off, it’s free … second, you can park no more than a block away, sometimes for free if you know what you’re doing … and virtually every sight and sound available at the State Fair — at least from a kid’s point of view — is available at the county fair … believe it or not, the midway is set up on God’s green grass …

Plus, the county fair has much more of a “hometown” feel than Cal Expo could ever pretend to have … and yet, you will never – repeat, never – encounter another Davisite at the Yolo County Fair … something about not wanting to ever be caught dead in Woodland …

OLYMPIC FOLLIES … that “scandal” concerning certain badminton players trying to lose in pool play in order to enhance their chances of later winning a medal is the fault of the Olympic Committee, not the athletes … in this strange case, the quirky rules of pool play actually made it advantageous for these folks to lose …

There are many easy ways to set up pool play so this doesn’t happen … the Olympics chose to do it another way and paid the price … and if you’re worried about folks intentionally losing, watch the final week of the NFL season when teams that have already earned a playoff spot take the field … besides, this was badminton, a sport better suited for backyard barbecues, not Olympic gold …

EVEN MORE OLYMPIC FOLLIES … when Russian Aliya Mustafina and American Aly Raisman incredibly tied for third in the gymnastics all-around competition with identical scores of 59.566, the tie was broken by tossing out the lowest scores for both gymnasts and the bronze medal was awarded to Mustafina … which is downright goofy … each did four events and they ended up tied …

The tie didn’t need to be broken, since neither was advancing to another round … this was the finals … how hard would it have been to award identical bronze medals to two athletes who clearly put their best efforts on the floor and ended in a dead heat? …

— Entries to the Contest to Replace the Above Pictured Columnist are due by midnight Sept. 3 (yes, an extension has been granted to all procrastinators). Essays may be about any subject and should be between 400 and 800 words long. Entries should be emailed to





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