Friday, December 19, 2014

Bob Dunning: One little word can make a big difference


From page A2 | February 07, 2014 |

IS THERE A PROOFREADER IN THE HOUSE? … you know, it’s worth reading every line of your city services bill because there’s always a surprise or two in there if you’re willing to take the time to really digest everything … for instance, in the bill that arrived this week, I learned that “New indoor burn regulations to prevent harmful smoke are not in effect.” … wow, and here I had thought just the opposite … “For more information on compliance or reporting violations, please visit our webpage or call code enforcement.” …

Now wait a minute, if new indoor burn regulations are not in effect, how could there be a violation to report? … a violation of what? … I mean, you just said they aren’t in effect … then again, maybe with all the budget problems facing our municipality, the city fired its proofreader and just lets this stuff go out raw … perhaps if that word “not” were replaced with the word “now,” the following sentence about compliance and reporting violations would make a lot more sense …

So, loyal and patriotic Davisite that I am, here’s what I’m going to do … I’m willing to offer my considerable skills as a proofreader, free of charge, before any city services bill sees the light of day … it’s the least I can do for the city I love … I do, of course, reserve the right to edit the numbers on my own bill if I detect they are in error …

SPEAKING OF THE WATER BILL … reading ever further on my most recent city services bill, I learned that “Removing recyclable material form Davis Waste Removal carts is illegal.” … you mean that guy who comes by in the great big DWR truck and turns my can upside down with the Jaws of Life is going to be in trouble with the law? … next time, I’ll put a note on my can warning him of his peril, plus a recommendation for a good lawyer …

CONSERVATION IS MY MIDDLE NAME … according to my water bill, our humble East Davis household is using a mere 27.7 gallons of water per person per day … it shows that a little creative planning can pay great dividends … or at least prevent great big bills … when the city decided to raise our rates last year, we immediately went into emergency mode and instituted a sure-fire game plan …

Family members are allowed to go to the bathroom only at school or at work, showering is done strictly at the athletic club or by sneaking into the locker room at Hickey Gym, the kids are required to drink soda pop instead of tap water, absolutely no in-law visits allowed at any time of the year, all sleepovers are at other kids’ houses and all outdoor watering is accomplished by using the next-door neighbor’s garden hose in the middle of the night … it’s a plan that’s working to perfection …

TOUGH ON CRIME … according to the headline in the Daily Democrat out of the county seat, “Woodlanders who don’t comply with proposed water conservation measures could face criminal charges.” … and, as we all know, there’s nothing worse than a Woodlander facing criminal charges … the odd thing is that when I was growing up here, I always thought a resident of our northern neighbor was a “Woodlandite,” and now, after all these years, I learn it’s really the much more drab and boring “Woodlander.” …

Then again, the Woodland city fathers — there are currently no city mothers — at least have the good sense to charge the same rate for water year-round, while Davis’ esteemed leaders soon will begin charging us six times as much for summer water as for winter water … come summer, it might make sense to rent a water tanker and head up to Woodland for a fill-up, then drive back to Davis to fulfill all your gardening needs …

CAPAY CAPER … as part of Black History Month, some of the good folks in the Capay Valley are inviting all of us to celebrate the Capay’s multi-cultural heritage on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Grange Hall in the mighty metropolis of Guinda … if you want to learn more about this unique slice of Yolo County history, this event is for you … for more information, call Clarence Van Hook at 510-815-0241 …

— Reach Bob Dunning at





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