Thursday, April 24, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Bob Dunning: Finally, the carnage on our streets will end

BobDunningPicksW

By
From page A2 | January 19, 2014 | 4 Comments

Despite our City Council’s determination to have us put our so-called “yard waste” into large plastic containers instead of piling it in the street, a number of folks aren’t convinced this is the right way to go.

As my friend Curt points out, when you’re pruning branches from your favorite tree, that sort of waste doesn’t pack very neatly in a plastic bin. The same for discarded Christmas trees, which may or may not qualify as yard waste, depending on whether you banished it to the backyard for a few days before hauling it out to the street.

Leaves and grass clippings will certainly fit comfortably into a can and pack down much like garbage, but branches and other sorts of yard waste simply won’t fit very well.

The bigger question, however, is if Davis residents will even be generating yard waste as they rip out lawns, trees, bushes, flower beds and vegetable gardens in favor of cactus and rocks and fake redwood bark in the face of a worsening drought and escalating water bills.

Last time I checked, rocks and cactus and wood chips don’t generate much yard waste. And by the way, the term “decorative rocks” is an oxymoron.
Paul on the National Monument Streets isn’t buying any of it.

“The alleged justifications for forcing everyone to put their yard waste in big plastic containers sure sound like a lot of hooey to me,” Paul writes.
Oddly, hooey is one of those items that fits easily into a yard waste container.

“A hazard to cyclists?” Paul asks. “Our family has been riding bikes around town for many years, have never been injured by yard waste, never witnessed anyone else get injured by yard waste and have never heard of a friend getting injured by yard waste. I’m not saying that it has never happened, but come on, how big a risk can that be? If I had my druthers, I’d sure rather run into a pile of yard waste than a large, hard plastic container.”
Especially if that container was packed full of hooey.

But Paul, the mayor of the Most Relevant City in America claims he himself ran into a pile of grass clippings while bicycling one evening, and I guess we’re lucky he didn’t have to hand over the reins of government to his able pro tem. The point is well taken, though. If the mayor is capable of running into a pile of grass clippings on a dark and stormy night, sounds like he’s an excellent candidate for running into a yard waste bin or a parked car as well.

“Clogs storm drains?” Paul goes on incredulously. “In my experience, when leaves get into the storm drain, it’s usually because people have not yet raked the leaves into piles. Forcing people to use containers will make it less convenient to gather up leaves, discourage leaf gathering and could very well result in more clogged drains, not fewer.”

Especially if they ban leaf-blowers and force folks to rake by hand, which is clearly next on the city’s carbon-neutral agenda.

“Compostable materials in the trash? Some people already compost. Other people put food waste in their garbage disposals. Some people put food waste in their plastic garbage bags.”

Some people have a dog.

“Peer pressure? What happened to making Davis a unique and special place? Funny, but I never hear the peer pressure argument when Davis is considering adopting an ordinance that hardly any other city has.”

Amen to that.

“How much will it cost for thousands of these large new hard plastic containers and the many specialized trucks needed to empty them? Will we just toss away the value of the trucks that are already specially equipped to pick up yard waste from the street? (Yes, the trucks are privately owned, but all of its city-imposed costs just get passed on to the residents.)”

Somewhere, the folks responsible for making yard waste bins and trucks capable of picking up yard waste bins are smiling broadly.

“Being able to place yard waste in the street is a great convenience and contributes to a well-kept city. Why should we throw away those benefits?”
Now you’re piling on.

— Reach Bob Dunning at bdunning@davisenterprise.net

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 4 comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • John TroidlJanuary 18, 2014 - 6:07 pm

    This is quite a pile of ... words ..... our esteemed Enterprise columnist has shared with us today. In his humor, Mr. Dunning is making (at least) one good point and that is regarding the potential folly of our political leaders using "a sample size of one" as the measuring stick for public policy. Whether it is self admitted hazardous bike riding in this case or extrapolations from one's one-family experience regarding utilization of health services, perhaps we need to focus more on the "on the ground, of the group experience" of a greater number of Davis residents of all types rather than assuming that the personal experience of our leaders is the same as the experience of the vast majority of Davis residents. Might make for fewer jokes in the newspaper, but could also work for better public policy. That seems to be a good trade-off!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rich RifkinJanuary 18, 2014 - 6:26 pm

    PAUL: “Our family has been riding bikes around town for many years, have never been injured by yard waste, never witnessed anyone else get injured by yard waste and have never heard of a friend getting injured by yard waste.” ........ Paul is 100% correct. However, there is something else placed street side by thoughtless Davis residents and visitors, which bikes have run into many times and have caused serious mayhem: Parked cars. In fact, I once took a turn too fast onto Pine Lane and crashed my bicycle into the back of a parked car. Blood was everywhere. Fortunately, a police officer on a stake out witnessed what that parked car had done to me, jumped out of a tree and called an ambulance to come rescue me. (I am not kidding.) I've seen other bicyclists badly hurt by these horrible parked cars which park along streets with no sympathy of bike riders or drunk pedestrians. So, before the City Council decides to ban lawn clippings and tree branches from the edges of our streets, they need to ban all parked cars. ......... And by the way, according to Alan Pryor, the chief banner in Davis, no one needs a parked car when Zipcar is available for hire. Thanks, Alan!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • January 19, 2014 - 11:58 am

    Years ago an adventurous boy lived on our street. He liked to ride his bike right through the middle of the piles of cuttings in the gutter. When all went well, the pile was a little hill he could traverse. One January, he came roaring up to a pile of rose prunings in front of my house and I yelled "Stop!". He laughed and continued straight for the pile. Sure enough, he fell face first down into that pile of thorny rose cuttings. That was probably thirty years ago. Never saw or heard of anything like that happening again, except for the Mayor.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • January 19, 2014 - 3:14 pm

    This City Council, more than any of our past councils is out of control. But, shame on us if any of them get re-elected.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

News

 
4-H members get ready for Spring Show

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

 
Will city move forward on public power review?

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

 
Obama to Russia: More sanctions are ‘teed up’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

 
2 pursuits, 2 arrests keep Woodland officers busy

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
 
Youth sports in focus on radio program

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Rummage sale will benefit preschool

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Concert benefits South Korea exchange

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Conference puts focus on Arab studies

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Davis honors ‘green’ citizens

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Water rate assistance bill advances

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Program explores STEM careers for girls

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

 
Embroiderers plan a hands-on project

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Central Park Gardens to host Volunteer Orientation Day

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Volkssporting Club plans North Davis walks

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Hotel/conference center info meeting set

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
MOMS Club plans open house

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
Cycle de Mayo benefits Center for Families

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8

Author to read ‘The Cat Who Chose to Dream’

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A12

 
.

Forum

Things are turning sour

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

 
The high cost of employment

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

High-five to Union Bank

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Broken sprinklers waste water

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Three more administrators?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Neustadt has experience for the job

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Here’s a plan to save big on employee costs

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6, 3 Comments

 
Davis is fair, thoughtful

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Ortiz is the right choice for Yolo

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

.

Sports

DHS tracksters sweep another DVC meet

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Another DVC blowout for DHS girls soccer

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1, 2 Comments | Gallery

Young reinvents his game to help Aggies improve on the diamond

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
DHS boys shuffle the deck to beat Cards

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

DHS/Franklin II is a close loss for Devil softballers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Baseball roundup: Giants slam Rockies in the 11th

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
UCD roundup: Aggies lose a softball game at Pacific

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

 
Jahn jumps to Sacramento Republic FC

By Evan Ream | From Page: B8

.

Features

.

Arts

Congressional art competition open to high school students

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Emerson, Da Vinci to present ‘Once Upon a Mattress’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Winters Plein Air Festival begins Friday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Bach Soloists wrap up season on April 28

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A11

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Thursday, April 24, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6