YOLO COUNTY NEWS

Bob Dunning

Bob Dunning: It only APPEARS like you’re saving

By From page A2 | April 10, 2014

OUR PLUMMETING WATER BILLS … a holier-than-thou acquaintance stopped me in Nugget the other day to brag that apparently due to her diligent conservation efforts, she had managed to cut her city services bill nearly in half … I didn’t have the heart to tell her that the city recently went to monthly billing instead of every other month, which means her conservation efforts went for naught …

SPEAKING OF WATER BILLS … as April’s lack of showers leads to May cactus flowers, the city of Davis Department of Large Bills is gearing up for our first-on-the-planet CBFR billing system that kicks in at one second past midnight on May 1 … from that moment forward, every drop of water you use to brush your teeth or water the crabgrass will appear on your bill every month from Jan. 1 of 2015 to Dec. 31 of 2015 … yes, you’ll still be paying for that water nearly 20 months down the road … if that sounds strange, it’s because it is strange … and if you don’t know how the CBFR works — locking you as it does into a rate you can’t get rid of for 20 months no matter how much you conserve — you’d better study up between now and May 1 … otherwise, you will be hit with one great big sticker shock and a whole bunch of aftershocks … trust me on this …

A BLAST FROM THE PAST … my friend B.J. Kline, who has always had a strong interest in improving Davis schools, as evidenced by his service on the board earlier this century, is back in town after a few years away and willing to toss his hat in the ring for an appointment to fill the remaining five months of Nancy Peterson’s school board seat … here’s hoping he gets a strong look …

A LITTLE PEPPER SPRAY ON YOUR SALAD? … because Davis and Portland have so many similar aspirations, I regularly keep up with news in the Rose City, which also had a costly pepper spray incident of its own … turns out in the fall of 2011 — sound familiar? — 23-year-old Occupy Portland protester Elizabeth Nichols was blasted in the face with pepper spray by a Portland police officer …

According to a recent account in The Oregonian, “On November 17, 2011, Nichols had linked arms with other Occupy Portland protesters and didn’t move down a sidewalk and away from a bank next to Pioneer Courthouse Square despite police orders to do so.” … yet another familiar ring there … during the trial, “Officer Doris Paisley said she pushed Nichols in the throat with a baton as Nichols stood her ground. Paisley said Nichols then threw her hands up in an aggressive fashion, and the officer shoved Nichols in the torso with the baton. Officer Jeffrey McDaniel than pepper-sprayed Nichols in the face, her mouth open. The moment was captured by an Oregonian photographer in an image that circulated around the globe.” … such eerie similarities to our very own pepper spray case …

So, Nichols sued the city for $30,000 — again, sound familiar? — and after a four-day jury trial was awarded exactly nothing … zero, zilch, nada … emboldened by the decision, the city of Portland is now going after Nichols for $7,116 to compensate the city for various costs involved in the trial, including $5,195 for fees for transcripts and $838 for copying costs … they may even attempt to charge her for the cost of the pepper spray, which isn’t cheap …

Had she come south with her protest during the fall of 2011, she’d most likely be $30,000 to the good … so much for a kinder, gentler Portland …

— Reach Bob Dunning at [email protected]

Bob Dunning

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