Sunday, April 20, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Bob Dunning: Our bag law won’t help that seagull

BobDunning2W

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From page A2 | December 13, 2013 | 4 Comments

NO-SEE SEAGULL … don’t know if you’ve seen that photo making the rounds on Facebook that shows an allegedly “local” seagull with its head covered by a Walmart plastic bag, exposing two evils at once: plastic bags and Walmart … the message here is that our just-passed plastic bag ban is indeed a good thing for wildlife … the only problem with this logic, of course, is that we don’t have a Walmart in Davis … furthermore, from my many fact-finding expeditions to the Walmart in Woodland, I have determined that no self-respecting Davisite has ever set foot in a Walmart, other than to ask directions … therefore, our plastic bag ban will do little to mitigate the excruciating problem of sea birds flying around town with Walmart bags on their heads …

A DOLLAR FOR YOUR THOUGHTS … finally visited the new Family Dollar store in Stonegate and, much to my surprise, there were many, many items priced much higher than a dollar … bargains galore, of course, but still more than a single dollar … it was a typical mistake for an Eastsider, given that our very own Dollar Tree along East Eighth Street has absolutely no items for more than a dollar …

I always thought it was some sort of unwritten law that if a retail outlet has the word “Dollar” in its title, no item can be sold for more than a dollar … turns out I was wrong … on the Eastside, of course, a dollar item is considered a bargain … on the Westside, however, discriminating shoppers tend not to trust an item that costs only a dollar … I guess that’s why we have a Dollar Tree and they have a Family Dollar …

FACTOIDS-R-US … quick, which is the first day in December (in Davis) when the sun finally begins to set later than it did the day before? … those who said the day after the winter solstice would be wrong … those who said Dec. 11 can move to the head of the class …

MANTECA MADNESS … this from an editorial by Dennis Wyatt, managing editor of the esteemed Manteca Bulletin in the San Joaquin Valley … under the heading “Flush the water tank art idea down the toilet,” Wyatt writes: “The nice thing about the 3.7 million-gallon water tank going up on Atherton Drive is that you won’t see much of it.’ … sound familiar? … later he notes “Massive obtrusive water tanks in a perfect world should do their job and not be seen.” … he also points out that trees near the tank soon will grow up and obscure it from view …

And then — are you sitting down? — he writes “This all begs the question: Why does anyone in their right mind — myself included — even want to consider spending anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000 placing a high-profile decal, an American flag replica, a mural or even lettering on the tank? As for spending money on art, lettering and such on top so people surfing the Internet one day using sites such as Google Earth could possibly pick out Manteca by the top of the water tank being cutting-edge, we all need to get a grip.” …

And finally, a concrete suggestion about how better to use scarce public dollars: “Take the $56,700 or so that the tank art for both the side and top would cost and use it to launch a program to aggressively retrofit existing homes that do not have low-flow toilets.” … this Wyatt fellow makes way too much sense … in fact, the next time the Davis City Council decides to entertain adding another sister city, I’m nominating Manteca …

— Reach Bob Dunning at bdunning@davisenterprise.net

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Discussion | 4 comments

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  • Rich RifkinDecember 13, 2013 - 6:03 pm

    “This all begs the question: Why does anyone in their right mind — myself included — even want to consider spending anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000 … ” …….. I realize that grammatical pedantry is a lost cause in a world where rules of language are no longer taught (or even understood) by most public school teachers. Yet, it still pains me to read errors as glaring as the ones made by the 'managing editor' of a newspaper. …….. First, the question Mr. Wyatt poses does not 'beg' the question. It raises the question. And second, 'anyone' is singular and 'their' is plural. Those nouns need to be in agreement: both singular or both plural. A 'managing editor' should know better. If singular, he should have written, “This raises the question: Why does anyone in his right mind — myself included — even want to consider spending anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000 … ” It is correct English to use 'his' for the neutral third person possessive pronoun. But if Mr. Wyatt wanted to avoid offending misandrous readers, he could have used the plural neutral: “Why would folks in their right minds — myself included — even want to consider spending anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000 … ”

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  • SteveDecember 14, 2013 - 5:06 am

    That's pretty funny that Dunning would nominated Manteca as our sister city without mentioning that we hired their city manager. As it was explained to me, the tank art project was basically a net zero cost because the city would have had to spend the money they spent (from a non-general fund account) to finish the outside anyway. But of course Dunning never actually did the research, why let facts get in the way of good rant.

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  • CayceDecember 14, 2013 - 8:52 am

    Dear Bob, The photo that I took of the seagull was not intended to be a sway on the bag ban in Davis. The photo was taken just outside the landfill, the landfill that Davisites trash goes into. I actually thought to myself that if YOU saw the photo you might change your mind about the hazard of PEOPLE choosing to continue to use plastic bags when they shop. But then I thought why bother? So I did not send you a copy. Now it is clear to me that you are just an old codger and hopefully your children will care more about their impact on the world than you. You know the world, its that place that exists outside of Davisville. Maybe you can write your next piece on a photo of a bear in a leg trap and how it does not matter because there are no bears in Davis. Ps. I picked up a black handle bag out of your yard last week.

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  • MartinDecember 14, 2013 - 1:03 pm

    "I realize that grammatical pedantry is a lost cause in a world where rules of language are no longer taught (or even understood) by most public school teachers. Yet, it still pains me to read errors as glaring as the ones made by the 'managing editor' of a newspaper. …….. First, the question Mr. Wyatt poses does not 'beg' the question. It raises the question. And second, 'anyone' is singular and 'their' is plural. Those nouns need to be in agreement: both singular or both plural. A 'managing editor' should know better." It's reassuring to know that there are readers who consider and comment on the importance of correct usage as Rich does. The use of the singular they is discouraged by "The Chicago Manual of Style" and regarded by Bryan A. Garner in "A Dictionary of Modern American Usage" as a 'disturbing development to purists that is irreversible and that nothing that a grammarian says will change that.'

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