Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bob Dunning: A clean sweep, but for stubborn Joe


From page A2 | February 12, 2014 | 12 Comments

WOLK DYNASTY … it’s nearly a clean sweep for Dan Wolk when it comes to endorsements for his California Assembly candidacy from his Davis City Council colleagues … while the easy thing would have been to simply decline to endorse, Council Members Rochelle Swanson, Lucas Frerichs and Brett Lee all threw their support behind Davis’ fast-rising boy wonder … the backing would be unanimous but for the stubbornness of Mayor Joe Krovoza, who for reasons known only to him has so far steadfastly refused to endorse Wolk’s bid for higher office …

SPEAKING OF HIGHER OFFICE … my friend Sarah on the Bird Streets suggests that when compared to a seat on the Davis City Council, a seat in the California Assembly does not represent “higher” office … she does have a point …

THE NAME GAME … it’s official … our million-dollar plan to wrest the means of power from PG&E will henceforth be known as the Davis Utility District … “DUD” for short …

EXCESS PRODUCTION … as wonderful as the Farm to Fork movement is in our area, imagine if the whole country adopted the same philosophy … the first thing that would happen is that 95 percent of California’s farmers would be flat out of business … what, you really think that Californians eat all those almonds and walnuts and tomatoes we grow? …

The second thing is that we’d have plenty of water to meet our needs, even in times of drought … you can take shorter showers, eat off paper plates and pee in the back yard all you want, but those heroic efforts will be a drop in the bucket compared to the vast amounts of water California agriculture consumes every year …

NO WATER IN DAVIS RESTAURANTS … rumor has it that Davis restaurants are being advised not to serve patrons a complimentary glass of water unless they specifically request one … mustn’t waste a precious resource, you know … and while this might make sense from a manpower standpoint, it’s just plain silly otherwise … the human body, after all, needs a certain amount of water each day … so, if you don’t drink that glass of water in a restaurant, you’re more likely to drink a glass of water at home … put simply, we can’t do without water …

Besides, those same Davis restaurants have no trouble serving patrons a glass of wine, despite reliable estimates that it takes 40 gallons of water to produce that glass of wine and at least half that much to produce a bottle of beer … milk, apple juice, coffee and tea also take considerable water to produce …

The best policy in terms of conservation would be for Davis restaurants to serve only water to their patrons … best estimates are that it takes approximately eight ounces of water to produce an eight-ounce glass of water … the next thing you know, the Davis City Council will ban the consumption of watermelon, watercress and water buffalo within the city limits …

DROUGHT BE DAMNED … my friend Arthur at has about had it with all the talk about our local rivers drying up to a trickle, despite last week’s downpour … “Aren’t we still on well water?” Art asks … “Do we get any water from surface water?” … nope, the only river water currently in Davis is the gallon jug my kids filled last summer at the headwaters of the Mighty Sacramento at the municipal park in the city of Mount Shasta … because this water is alleged to have mystical, magical powers, we’re saving it for a true emergency …

— Reach Bob Dunning at


Discussion | 12 comments

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  • Debra DeAngeloFebruary 12, 2014 - 8:06 am

    Interesting note about the impact of the drought on the "Farm to Fork" movement. The drought could be the undoing of the program, as well as local school campus gardens. We have made such progress in teaching children to eat healthy. Here in Winters, the children have a salad bar with fresh, local produce in their cafeteria, and it has really become popular. Our mayor announced at the last city council meeting that a study done in Yolo County revealed that Winters children have the lowest obesity rate in the county, and she credited the huge push for eating healthy as one of the main reasons. The drought could damage all that progress, if kids must go back to eating government issued pizza. The children have learned about good health. Now they may get a hard lesson on the realities of climate change and the need for water conservation.

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  • February 12, 2014 - 8:23 am

    Yes Debra, California has never had droughts before so it must be climate change. Oh wait, a simple Google search shows that California has had many droughts and before the combustible engine was even invented. So what created those, maybe climate cycles? Ya think?

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  • Debra DeAngeloFebruary 13, 2014 - 7:18 am

    Dear person who has been living in a cave and watching only Fox "News": Let me introduce you to climate change... maybe you will believe NASA?

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  • Debra DeAngeloFebruary 13, 2014 - 7:19 am

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  • February 13, 2014 - 8:03 am

    DDebra, please tell us how the California droughts were caused by climate change that occurred before the combustible engine was invented. You won't find it watching MSNBC, in fact you won't find it anywhere because it's not true. Records show that one such drought happened in 1863-1864 when the state was scorched by the Great Drought. I didn't know they have caves in Winters.

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  • Rich RifkinFebruary 13, 2014 - 10:58 am

    "Tell us how the California droughts were caused by climate change that occurred before the combustible engine was invented." .............. It's impossible to scientifically demonstrate that our current drought was caused by climate change. Periodically, with no human-caused climate change, you are correct to say there were droughts, including some very severe. However, there is good evidence that in some regions, the warming of our planet will increase the chances and severity of drought. It's not clear that our Sacramento region, however, will experience more and worse droughts than we did in the past. Our greatest problem will be the decline of the Sierra snowpack, which we depend on for year-round water. But for the larger Southwest region, climate change will cause more and worse droughts. From the 2009 book "Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States" is this conclusion: "The Southwest, in particular, is expected to experience increasing drought as changes in atmospheric circulation patterns cause the dry zone just outside the tropics to expand farther Northward into the United States." If you prefer to dismiss scientific conclusions, that is your right as an individual. You can believe in Creationism, if you choose. But if we as a society dismiss science, we do so at our peril.

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  • February 13, 2014 - 12:08 pm

    History of California droughts: 1827- 29, 1843- 44, 1856- 57, 1863- 64(particularly extreme), 1887- 88, 1897- 1900, 1912- 13. 1919- 20, 1924, 1929- 34, 1947- 49, 1959- 62 1976- 77, 1987- 1992 As you can see Mr. Rifkin, this drought is hardly an anomaly but I know the climate change crowd never miss a chance to blame whatever they can on global warming.

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  • Rich RifkinFebruary 13, 2014 - 1:07 pm

    The 1863-64 drought impacted the course of Davis history. It played a part in the demise and bankruptcy of Jerome C. Davis, after whom our city is named. Like many farmers, Mr. Davis was heavily indebted. His debts were made more painful because, during and just after the Civil War, interest rates went sky high. The crop failures which resulted from that drought ended his livelihood along Putah Creek. Jerome and his wife moved to Sacramento and abandoned his very large ranch and all of its many buildings (which locals called Davisville). In 1868, his mortgage was then to the California Pacific Rail Road Company of Vallejo. The main man of that company, DeWitt Rice (after whom Rice Lane is named) laid out a new town where the new east-west Cal-P line intersected the new northbound Cal-P line to Woodland. The town, which they called Davisville, was entirely on land which had been a part of the massive Davis ranch.

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  • MLFebruary 12, 2014 - 9:04 am

    More junk science in the house than junk food. First, we'd have more water storage if we built more dams, and increased current dam capacity. We'd also have far less Demand if we closed our southern border, thereby severely slowing illegal immigration. I'm also told that routing 800,000 acre feet of water to save the 3-inch smelt (fish) is a theory not based on proven fact. We don't know if the take-in pipes are responsible for killing lots of smelt, or if its the invasive species we've allowed to fester and grow in our waters. These basic items aren't as sexy as "climate change", which has more holes than a cheap package of Swiss cheese. How can anyone trust a theory when 95 percent of their models don't work? Indeed, temperatures haven't risen in 12 years!

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  • BBFebruary 12, 2014 - 1:25 pm

    ML, Whille it may be true that avarage atmospheric temperatures haven't increased in a decade, ocean temperatures have continued to rise. Global climate change is more directly tied to changes in oceanic conditions. California has seen droughts throughout recorded time so, yes, our current waterless winter is not a rare anomoly that was necessarily brought on climate change but the global changes are far from junk science. They may just be natural cycles but we are going through a period of global climate change.

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  • Rich RifkinFebruary 12, 2014 - 5:58 pm

    "Council Members Rochelle Swanson, Lucas Frerichs and Brett Lee all threw their support behind (Dan Wolk)." .......... Not that any of them has to spell out why he endorsed Wolk over Krovoza, but I have been surprised (and a little disappointed) that none of these elected endorsers articulated a substantial reason for his choice.

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  • SteveFebruary 13, 2014 - 7:16 pm

    That's because their reason is they don't like Joe personally. Not something they are going to print.

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