Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Bob Dunning: Family looks back before looking ahead


From page A2 | August 27, 2013 |

SCHOOL DAYS, SCHOOL DAYS … in a town that centers around “higher education,” it’s easy sometimes to lose sight of where it all begins … thus, it was heartening to trip across a few short paragraphs written by none other than the Red-Headed Girl of My Dreams as the first day of school approaches …

“Tonight I am hit, like a ton of bricks, at how very important elementary school is,” she begins … “As my oldest child prepares to leave our neighborhood elementary school and move into the world of junior high, I am thinking about the specialness of kindergarten through sixth grade. Elementary school is the longest amount of time my children will have at any institution as children.

“They were blessed to spend two years at preschool. They will have three years in junior high. And hopefully, three years in high school. But in our town, elementary school holds onto our kids for seven years. Seven years. The biggest chunk of their childhood. Seven years to build a community. To teach them to read and write. To jump rope. To learn about science and math. To build character. To learn how to eat lunch next to the kid they don’t like. To solve problems. To become leaders. To make friends. To learn to love learning.

“Elementary school sets the stage for all future learning. It is the place where my kids are learning to think for themselves, independently of me and their dad. Where they are learning to solve recess problems. Where they are learning they are smart. And capable. And that learning is good and that education will take them to the next step, whatever that might be. That there is a bright future ahead and that this — elementary school — is just the beginning.”

We’re blessed in this town to have a set of elementary school teachers who are second to none … that’s a simple fact to be cherished … may these teachers, and the children we send to them, enjoy their best year ever …

A WOODLANDER BY ANY OTHER NAME … my friend Rich, responding to a recent column about what to call a resident of the Yolo County seat, says the proper term is neither “Woodlander” or “Woodlandite.” …

Writes Rich: “A person from England is English. A person from Ireland is Irish. A person from Poland is Polish. Therefore, a person from Woodland is, of course, Woodish.” …

Rich has a point, all right, but does that mean a person from Switzerland is Switzerish or a person from Iceland is Icish? … and what of my hometown of Portland? … must I now refer to myself as Portish? … no, a “Woodlander” it is … we’ll just have to live with the inconsistency …

IF YOU DON’T HAVE ANYTHING NICE TO SAY … one of Davis’ nattering nabobs of negativism — trust me, there are many — sent me a note disagreeing with my recent public assessment of Superior Court Judge Tim Fall as a “supremely able” jurist … “It’s not a good idea to make blanket statements of support like you did,” he said while making a blanket statement of his own …

His words made me smile, given that he’s one of those who feels that every defendant in a Yolo County courtroom is factually innocent, the victim of an aggressive, self-serving DA and a system that’s corrupt, top to bottom … that blind prejudice goes out the window, of course, if the defendant is accused of a race-based or gender-based crime, in which case he’s automatically guilty, no questions asked …

SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES … with the entire West ablaze, Glen at writes to say “Seems we hear not a peep from the NRC’s ‘smoke police’ while Davis is inundated with choking smoke from the region’s wildfires and agricultural burns in August, yet they become hysterical at just the thought of us burning wood in our fireplaces in December. If you ever figure it out, please let me know.” … there’s simply no figuring, Glen …

While it’s true that many of our truly bad air days occur in the dead of summer when no fireplace burning is taking place, the NRC has yet to figure out a way to ban forest fires or Smokey Bear … so they’d have us believe the real problem is that fire you and I had in our homes last Christmas Eve, the smoke from which magically continues to linger in the late August air …

— Entries to the Contest to Replace the Above-Pictured Columnist are due Tuesday, Sept. 3 at midnight. Entries may be about any subject and should be between 400 and 800 words in length. Entries, including daytime and evening phone numbers, a brief biography of the author, and a mug shot suitable for publication, can be emailed to





Summer jobs aren’t always in the bag

By Spencer Ault | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Davis Arts Center gets a new look, thanks to Brooks

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1 | Gallery

More details emerge in Woodland officer shootings

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Report details the face of hunger in Yolo County

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Bob Dunning: Taking on a Specktacular challenge

By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2 | Gallery

For the record

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

Students can practice safe bike routes to junior highs

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

‘Monsters University’ to be screened in Central Park

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

California regulators approve PG&E rate hike

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

America’s ‘it’ school? Look west, Harvard

By New York Times News Service | From Page: B3

School board preps for new academic year

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A3

The big moveout, on ‘Davisville’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Sunder campaign will be at Farmers Market

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Classic car show slated in Woodland

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Public opinion sought about Nishi Gateway

By Lily Holmes | From Page: A4

Davis Art Garage honored; bench dedication set

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8 | Gallery

Woodland historical award winners announced

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8



Can’t understand this change

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

Delta-friendly water bond is a win for all of California

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Bravo! The road diet works

By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6

Support water bond in November

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Relay for Life team says thanks

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6



Hard hoops schedule features defending national champs at UCD

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Crisp’s big hit helps A’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Aggie QB is back to pass … Touchdown, Tina! Tina?

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Sacramento scores early to snap skid

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

Unplayable? Cubs, rain hand Giants a loss

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

UCD roundup: Aggie gymnasts are awesome at academics

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery



Food that travels well for cooking out

By Julie Cross | From Page: A5 | Gallery



Visit Crawfish and Catfish Festival in Woodland

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Artists invited to paint at Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

Goldberg, Milstein to play at Village Homes

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

The voice on the CD comes alive at Music Together concert

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Crowd funding campaign offers support for Art Theater of Davis

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7





Railroad museum will host Aberbach memorial

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4



Comics: Wednesday, August 20, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6