Sunday, April 20, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Bob Dunning: A tax is a tax no matter how small

BobDunning2W

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From page A2 | February 14, 2014 | 6 Comments

PENNIES FROM HEAVEN … for most of Tuesday night’s meeting, Davis City Council members seemed nearly unanimous in their resolve to raise $5.1 million — or at least attempt to raise $5.1 million — by putting a measure on the June 3 ballot to increase the local sales tax by three-fourths of a penny … then, along about midnight, at the urging of Councilman Brett Lee, they took a two-minute bathroom break and all five of them disappeared behind the magic doors where only council members are allowed to tread …

Oddly, when they returned, they had lowered their sights to a mere half-penny tax increase and passed it faster than you can say “potholes on Pole Line” … I don’t know what they were drinking back there during their short break, but it wasn’t Sacramento River water …

No matter how you slice it, though, they left $1.7 million on the table in the mistaken belief that lowering the ante by one-quarter cent would make it bulletproof at the ballot box … the one-quarter-cent reduction will not win them any additional “yes” votes in June, just as leaving it at three-quarters of a cent would not have increased the number of “no” votes … put simply, those in the community who were opposed to three-quarters will remain opposed to the new rate as well …

BE MINE, VALENTINE … the friendly note came home from one of our cherished elementary school teachers: “The kids would like to exchange valentines on Friday,” it began cheerily … “If you do plan on sending valentines, please send a valentine for all 32 students in the classroom.” … now wait a minute … if there are 32 kids in the classroom, shouldn’t our student be bringing 31 valentines? … or do you send one to yourself so your own feelings don’t get hurt? …

This everyone-gets-a-valentine request is an extension of the Davis Rule that every kid gets a trophy and every goal kicked or basket made or touchdown scored is greeted with enthusiasm by everyone, even if it was a kid on the other team who scored …

But just imagine what a better world it would be if we had the every-kid-gets-a-valentine rule long ago … what if little Richard Nixon had received 32 valentines from his fifth-grade classmates at East Whittier Elementary School instead of coming home empty-handed?… no Watergate, for sure …

SPEAKING OF ST. VALENTINE’S DAY … 40 years ago today a boy named Ted, my son, was born with a heart of gold … and in all the years that have passed since that miraculous moment, my love and admiration for him has grown each day, even as I find it impossible to fathom that a child of mine could possibly have reached such a milestone … he’s a son and a father and a husband and a big brother to more kids than I can count … may he have 40 more years and 40 more after that … and may I be there to celebrate each one …

IS THERE A PROOFREADER IN THE HOUSE? … my friend Chris says that “while perusing your Sunday morning column about water rates, I was gobsmacked by the sentence ‘Citing a crowed ballot, however, is the chicken’s way to keep this measure from the people.’ ” … adds Chris: “I’m not sure whether you or the proofreader were trying to get two bird references into one sentence.” … Chris, as much as I hate to see anyone get gobsmacked so early in the day, I did it on purpose to get you out of bed on Sunday morning in time to get to Mass … you were being God-smacked …

— Reach Bob Dunning at bdunning@davisenterprise.net

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Discussion | 6 comments

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  • February 14, 2014 - 8:42 am

    ' “If you do plan on sending valentines, please send a valentine for all 32 students in the classroom.” … now wait a minute … if there are 32 kids in the classroom, shouldn’t our student be bringing 31 valentines? … or do you send one to yourself so your own feelings don’t get hurt? …' No, it's so you just might remember to give the last one to the teacher.

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  • Curmudgeons Need HugsFebruary 14, 2014 - 9:58 am

    "This everyone-gets-a-valentine request is an extension of the Davis Rule that every kid gets a trophy and every goal kicked or basket made or touchdown scored is greeted with enthusiasm by everyone, even if it was a kid on the other team who scored …" Oh brother. As an elementary school teacher of many years, I can say this rule is not some namby-pamby rule that do-gooder teachers implement to make sure that students don't learn what the world is REALLY like (at age 6). On the contrary, it primarily prevents classroom interpersonal issues that can impede academics and classroom function. It's only a side effect that little kids get shielded from unnecessary cliquey-ness and don't have be singled out for being different or unpopular at least for one day. A good side effect IMO, but your opinion may differ... ... and our little kids certainly will get their quantum of sh*ttiness in other ways, so don't worry, Bob.

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  • Jim BonbrightFebruary 14, 2014 - 4:46 pm

    Bob, the every-kid-gets-a-valentine practice isn't something unique to Davis, or even to recent times. It was SOP when I was in grammar school in the sixties, and we didn't live in Davis.

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  • Steph SFebruary 15, 2014 - 7:43 pm

    Thumbs up on giving everyone a Valentine. When I was a kid, early 80's, my school did not do that. I was not one of the popular kids so I got few Valentines. I felt sad, and like an outcast, well past Valentine's Day. Kids should not have to face this kind of treatment at school. Who wants to feel like Charlie Brown in the Peanuts Valentine's Day special? http://www.hulu.com/watch/214662

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  • The Truth, The Whole Truth, and Nothing But The TruthFebruary 14, 2014 - 7:29 pm

    "then, along about midnight, at the urging of Councilman Brett Lee, they took a two-minute bathroom break and all five of them disappeared behind the magic doors where only council members are allowed to tread …" Well Bob you have put your foot in it now. The above statement is only 40% correct, if that much. If you look at the 6:15:15 point of the video streaming of the meeting you will see none of the Council members heading for the magic doors. Dan Wolk and Brett Lee both did indeed use the bathroom, but the last time I checked the bathroom they used is just off the Council Chambers lobby and both Dan and Brett had to walk all the way across the room through the surprisingly large group of people still there at that hour and stand in line waiting for their turn at relief that isn't spelled R - O - L - A - I - D - S. Lucas and Rochelle both came out into the crowd, with Lucas speaking to Mark West and Alan Pryor and Doby Fleeman, while Rochelle spoke to me and a number of other good Davis citizens. Mayor Krovoza never left his seat during the break. He spent the whole time in deep nose-to-nose conversation with the City Manager across the dais from one another. Just before Mayor Joe broke away from his deep conversation with the City Manager and banged his gavel at 6:23:00 to reconvene the meeting, Lucas and Rochelle did indeed repair to the back room behind the magic doors, but they barely had time to recite their ABCs much less craft a Machiavellian plot to disenfranchise Davis voters. Lucas and Rochelle didn't even run afoul of the legendary Mr. Brown. The "less than 40% correct" aspect kicks in because I personally have seen the City Attorney disappear behind the magic doors, and she has lived to tell the tale. So, whether you choose Door One, Door Two or Door Three there is a "For the Record" correction in your future. Monty Hall has assured me that is so.

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  • Steph SFebruary 15, 2014 - 7:53 pm

    It's great the local school/s ensure all kids get Valentines, if they observe the occasion in the classroom. When I was a kid, early 80's, my school did not have this policy. My elementary school had cliques starting in first grade. Being one of the kids who was not in the in crowd, I got few Valentines. I felt sad, and like an outcast, well past V Day. Kids should not be subject to this treatment at school. Watch the Carlie Brown Valentine's special (free on Hulu)...who wants to feel like Charlie Brown?

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