Thursday, April 17, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
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Bob Dunning: Haven’t we voted on this? Well, no

BobDunning2W

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From page A2 | January 10, 2014 | 3 Comments

THE ISSUE THAT WILL NOT DIE … after reading that opponents of the city’s new-and-improved water rates think they have enough signatures to put the rates on the ballot, a friend of mine asked incredulously: “Haven’t we already voted on this?” … well, actually, no … we did vote on the water project itself last March, but the city wisely decided not to put the rates on the ballot as well, justifiably fearing that such information might kill the measure …

The rates are currently tied up in court, awaiting a decision from Superior Court Judge Dan Maguire, but no matter how that case is decided, it appears we’ll all be voting on the rates come June … obviously, if the rates are struck down either by Judge Maguire or by the people on Election Day, the project reverts back to square one and might not survive …

Because the number of signatures needed to qualify for the ballot is remarkably low (just 1,161) it seems almost certain we’ll have yet another water campaign in our future … whether the voters are up for such a debate remains to be seen … especially if drastic conservation measures in the face of the current drought cause the city to admit that rates will have to go even higher to cover the fixed costs of the surface water project … in any regard, it’s going to be an interesting spring in the old hometown …

EVEN MORE WATER WORRIES … Ray on the Eastside notes that “the city of Sacramento may order a reduction in water consumption by 30 percent or more. It is my understanding that they get their water from the Sacramento River.” … according to my Sacramento source, Deep Well, 85 percent of the city’s water supply comes from the Sacramento and American rivers combined, with the remainder coming from wells …

Asks Ray: “Does that mean the great city of Davis would also have to cut back if we were connected to the Sacramento River for our water supply via pipeline?” … well, we still have all those wells that have served us so well throughout the city’s history, so we would have some options, limited as they might be … “If our city fathers and mothers ever pass an ordinance reducing our water consumption, they would have the water police knocking at your door with a warning or maybe even shutting off your water altogether.” … Tillamook is looking better all the time …

“Just think about it, first the smoke police, then the water police and the plastic bag police. What’s next? Better watch out, Bob. I heard something about the excess newspaper floating around town, so maybe the newspaper police are coming, too.” … add to that the fact that when it rains, The Enterprise comes wrapped in a plastic bag and Ray’s point is well taken … on the other hand, it’s not likely to ever rain again, so maybe Ray’s concern is unfounded …

SPEAKING OF RAIN … thanks to the good folks at the National Weather Service in Sacramento, I now know that our current streak of rainless days is nowhere near a record for our area … our last measurable rain (.01 of an inch or more in a 24-hour period) came on Dec. 7, which means today marks the 34th consecutive dry day, which ranks us in the top 15 all-time … the record for the so-called rainy season (Nov. 1 to March 31) is 44 dry days set in 1976 when it failed to rain from Nov. 15 through Dec. 28 … then again, records in Sacramento go back only to 1877, so the term “all-time” is a bit misleading …

SIGN ME UP … I could hardly believe my eyes when I read in this very newspaper the other day that free haggis will be served as part of a Robert Burns Night at Little Prague on G Street … I remember years ago sampling haggis with my traveling partner Brett Stone at a pub in the small Scottish town of Moffat …

The locals who served as our hosts on this trip all gathered around to see if the “Yanks” could stomach what they described as “roadkill mixed with oatmeal” and cooked in the stomach of some sort of farm animal … they, of course, wouldn’t touch the stuff … I thought it tasted just fine, if a bit peppery … best of all, we lived to tell the tale …

— Reach Bob Dunning at bdunning@davisenterprise.net

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Discussion | 3 comments

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  • Jim LeonardJanuary 10, 2014 - 8:32 am

    If the drought continues past the time the water processing plan is built, there might not be any river water to process. Sacramento has a longer history of getting water than Davis does and more of a right to it. All Davisites will get is a bill for the construction of an idly-sitting plant.

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  • Alan MillerJanuary 10, 2014 - 2:40 pm

    Bob, to beat a dead horse that needs a repeated beating, we are not " . . . all be voting on the rates come June." Only OWNERS will. The 55% Davis majority who pay these rates either directly by being forwarded the bills or indirectly with higher rents will NOT be voting on this, thanks to the flawed state method, and may I make an educated guess that this majority, being of lower income on average than your average owner, would be far more likely to vote the rates down. Just saying!

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  • Alan MillerJanuary 10, 2014 - 5:59 pm

    I have been informed this may not be the case as this is not a Prop. 218 protest. The intricacies of this are beyond my pay grade.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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