Thursday, December 25, 2014

Bob Dunning: A chance to give back to one of our own


From page A2 | February 27, 2014 |

AN OPPORTUNITY TO HELP … Davis is the kind of town where no issue is too small to debate, but the one thing we all seem to be able to do is pull together when we recognize someone in need … so I’m here today to make a suggestion that we rally around one of our dedicated elementary school teachers, Paulene Bitners, who has been battling breast cancer for most of the last two years … Paulene has been a beloved teacher at North Davis Elementary for more than 18 years, but has had to suspend her teaching career for more than a year now due to her ongoing valiant battle with this cancer …

The loss of her teaching duties has contributed to the creation of a substantial financial burden for Paulene and her family, which includes three kids in our Davis schools … many friends of the Bitners through school, Little League and various other activities in Davis have challenged themselves to help raise money that will go directly to the Bitners family in their time of need …

The Bitners have been leaders in our community and friends to many in a variety of endeavors … they deserve our best effort at this difficult time in their lives … to this end, a group of Davisites have pulled together and established an online account for donations that will directly assist Paulene and her family … those who are willing to give, in any amount, can go to “” and enter “Paulene Bitners’ Family Fund” to make a gift in your own name or anonymously … it’s a great opportunity for all of us to make a huge and positive difference … whatever you can give will go a long way toward helping this wonderful family that has given so much to our community …

TOUGH SLEDDING … “2014 UCD football schedule considered toughest ever,” said Wednesday’s headline over Bruce Gallaudet’s story that made me wish football season started this Saturday instead of six months from now … given that the Aggies play two of their first three games against bowl teams from last season, plus virtually all the traditional powers of the Big Sky Conference, Gallaudet’s assessment is right on the money — at least on paper …

Opening at Stanford is no picnic, despite the fact the Aggies came away with a 20-17 win the last time the two met nine years ago … but with all due respect for one of the greatest wins in UC Davis history, that Stanford team bears absolutely no resemblance to the national power the Aggies will face this fall … the Aggies have a pair of forts in their future as well, hosting Fort Lewis in early September, then traveling to Fort Collins to tangle with rugged Colorado State …

For those who sleepwalked through last year’s bowl season, Colorado State stunned Washington State in the 2013 New Mexico Bowl and is loaded for bear in 2014 … add to that the likes of Eastern Washington, Montana and Montana State and there’s little argument that this is, indeed, the toughest Aggie schedule ever … let’s just say if the Aggies open 3-0, you’ll know The End is near …

SPEAKING OF FORT COLLINS … our beloved City of All Things Right and Relevant regularly competes with Fort Collins in those polls of “Most Livable Cities” in the country … one of the key elements of that poll is which city has the better college football team, which makes it essential that the Aggies leave Fort Collins with a victory under their belt …

DON’T CRY FOR ME, ALABAMA … while we’re on the subject of college football, I see where Alabama coach Nick Saban, whose recent record of success is unmatched by any of his colleagues, is leading the charge to slow down this hallowed game … seems Saban, a proponent of smash-mouth football, doesn’t like the fact that schools employing the hurry-up offense eventually might overtake the Crimson Tide … so he’s proposed limiting how quickly an offense can line up and snap the ball …

He’s hidden his motive behind the banner of “player safety,” even though there’s not a shred of evidence that snapping the ball quickly leads to more injuries … next thing you know, Saban will suggest making it illegal for teams to run back the ball after a failed field goal attempt … (Auburn fans are now snickering) …

— Reach Bob Dunning at



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