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Bob Dunning

Bob Dunning: Drought? It’s déjà vu all over again

By From page A2 | August 01, 2014

SOME THINGS NEVER CHANGE … “Water savers go on splurge” said the front-page, above-the-fold headline in Wednesday’s Davis Enterprise … “Davis water users were doing fine, in fact better than expected, through the first three months of the year, but warm weather has caused a reversal of form, according to City Hall,” the story begins … “With yard irrigation the largest single factor in the consumption picture, reaching a high of 75 percent of all usage by mid-summer, it is traditionally the most inefficient use of water.” … unless, of course, you’d rather walk on grass than gravel …

“With a little attention to how one waters his lawn or garden, large gains in the conservation program can be achieved without sacrificing green, healthy yards.” … have they forgotten that brown is the new green? … one county supervisor “was critical of the cavalier attitude of Davis residents toward the drought and the need for water conservation. Part of the problem, he theorized, is that people in Davis keep getting reports that they are immune from the drought because of a plentiful area groundwater supply.” …

Cavalier attitude? … even if true, those are fighting words … but, just as I was about to fire off an angry email to the supervisor in question, I checked the date at the top of the front page and realized I was reading a 1977 edition of The Davis Enterprise, which is what happens when you finally get around to cleaning your desk … 1977, for those who are old enough to remember, was also one of our historic drought years … interestingly, the other front-page headline that day said “Drought clobbers county farm crops,” which hasn’t been the case this time around …

SPEAKING OF THE DROUGHT … it was amusing to watch one national news report claim that California’s “relentless drought” was expected to last at least another month … you think? … around here, we call that “summer” … even in the wettest of years, it doesn’t rain in August …

GAMING THE SYSTEM … when and if the city throws a parcel tax at the intelligent voters of this town, it may wish to look to the school board for help in getting the job done … in other words, bribe the voters with such diversionary tactics as a “senior” exemption … that’ll guarantee a number of “yes” votes right out of the chute …

Then get the tennis community on board by promising to send 50 Davisites on an all-expenses-paid fact-finding trip to Wimbledon … next, convince the swim community that public pools will become Project No. 1 when the tax passes … two-thirds approval may be difficult, but it’s not impossible …

THERE’S ALWAYS A LOCAL ANGLE … when a former Davis school superintendent is prominently mentioned in the very first sentence of a story in the Los Angeles Times, I generally sit up and take notice … “Last year,” the story begins, “James Hammond, the superintendent of the Montclair-Ontario Unified School District in the Inland Empire, was paid $492,077.” … as one former Davis school board member commented, “I liked James and thought he did a good job in Davis, but no superintendent should make $500,000.” … no argument here, my friend …

DISSING THE AGGIES … pity the poor footballers at UC Davis, who get no respect from the sports leader known as ESPN … in analyzing Stanford’s early-season schedule, ESPN’s Kevin Gemmell notes that the mighty Cardinal opens with UC Davis, then takes on much-hated USC … Gemmell’s take on the two foes: “The Aggies probably won’t provide a very good proxy for the Trojans, so Stanford had best be ready to work in Week 2.” … Gemmell is a youngster who may not remember the last time the Aggies visited the Farm and came away with a 20-17 win over Stanford …

— Reach Bob Dunning at [email protected]

Bob Dunning

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