Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bob Dunning: Can ordinance is ‘cold-hearted, punitive’


From page A2 | January 21, 2014 | Leave Comment

SCAVENGER HUNT … the reaction was swift and certain when I suggested last week I’d be willing to set aside my recyclable bottles and cans for the struggling young woman who asked permission to lift those items from the recycle bin I put out weekly for DWR to collect … this in response to the city’s recent ordinance that criminalizes my friend’s efforts to make ends meet …

Debra on Far West Russell Boulevard wondered “what it’s like to feel that desperate” and suggested “it would be easier to cut to the chase and just make it illegal to be poor in Davis.” … amen, Debra … and then there was my friend Ron who wrote to say he and his wife “are disgusted by the cold-hearted and punitive nature of this action.” … adds Ron: “The sad part is the council is reflecting the will of the voters who are willing to make the life of the poorest even harder. It’s shocking.” … a true bleeding heart you are, Ron …

“The first time I saw someone rummaging for cans out of the recycle bin, my first thought was that it’s not right. Then, after I took a breath, I realized how desperate these people must be to steal such a pittance. Now I turn the other cheek at their crime.” … which is exactly as we’ve been instructed to do for centuries now …

“I wonder what Pope Francis would say to the people of Davis.” … I don’t know, but I do have it on good authority that he prays for us every night … “Perhaps he would tell them to beat their Teslas into aluminum cans. Maybe we should start a new currency in Davis. We can call it the bitcan.” … I think you just coined a new local phrase, my friend …

FELLING THE MIGHTY TREE … haven’t seen the official announcement yet, but Stanford does list a certain “UC Davis” as its opening-day opponent for the 2014 college football season that is barely seven months down the road … the Cardinal apparently is still seeking revenge for that embarrassing loss in 2005 when the Aggies rallied from 17 points down to take home a stunning 20-17 victory over the heavily favored Stanford … it wasn’t much after this defeat that Stanford announced it was tearing down the old stadium and building a new one …

For those who think the outcome was a fluke — the Aggies scored the winning touchdown with just 8 seconds left — a look at the stat sheet shows otherwise … the Aggies outgained the Cardinal, 361-192, and held Stanford without an offensive touchdown … both Stanford TDs came via defensive fumble recoveries … oddly, the official attendance was listed as only 31,250, even though 80,000 Aggie fans now swear they were there …

WATER WOES … according to The Sacramento Bee, “the Sacramento City Council voted unanimously to enact severe water rationing on residents and businesses, while also boosting enforcement efforts against water scofflaws.” … the capital city no doubt will send enforcement trainees to learn the tricks of the trade from the city of Davis, where we have an ordinance for just about everything … either that or hire Chris Christie’s Jersey crew to serve as enforcers …

Now, if we go to actual water conservation enforcement in Davis instead of just sending nasty emails about excessive water use to individual citizens, our esteemed Fireplace Force may have to do double-duty … still to be determined is whether or not the F-Force will still be able to toss cold water — now scarce — on the smoldering embers of offending fireplaces …

EVEN MORE WATER WOES … the city of Santa Cruz has taken water conservation into the realm of complete silliness by banning restaurants from serving drinking water to customers unless specifically requested … talk about a drop in the bucket, drinking a glass of water in a restaurant is not the problem … next thing you know, they’ll require restaurant patrons to relieve themselves outdoors …

— Reach Bob Dunning at


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