My mailbag runneth over, which is a strange thing indeed in this age of instant communication.
Writes Joe K. at City Hall: “Dear Bob — This bell on a bicycle stuff is very complex. And almost as important as that pesky water issue. To Ring or Not to Ring has some vexing angles. First, ring and walkers move or stay right and the world is a beautiful place. Ring and walkers move left and … So don’t ring and just ride by with caution? One needs to find a bell tone that works for both a greeting and indignation. It can be done, but there’s a fine line to navigate.”
Mr. Mayor — I agree it’s a fine line, but the way some folks whiz by me on their bikes while I’m out walking on a bike/pedestrian path makes me think I’d have a better chance just strolling down the middle of Russell Boulevard. Maybe we should have some “bike only” lanes and let our Spandex Speedsters battle it out among themselves. Or maybe Davis Roots can find a high-tech startup to manufacture bells with appropriate rings for all occasions. For sure, it’s important to get this one right. Blow it and the recall petitions will start circulating faster than you can say “change.org.”
Writes Art at gmail.com: “Dear Bob — Of course bike bells are a perfectly common-sense idea, which virtually guarantees no one will pay attention. I spend an inordinate amount of time on really hairy one-lane mountain roads with hundred-foot dropoffs if you miss one of the zillions of hairpin turns. In 40 years I have never encountered a California motorist with the sense to honk as he approaches a blind turn on such a road.”
Art — All the more reason to have a bell on your bicycle. When that unthinking motorist blasts you deep into the canyon below, you’ll at least have a bell to ring for help.
Writes Jeff on the Eastside: “Dear Bob — I have long felt that part of the problem with the GATE program was the name. What parent doesn’t think their kid isn’t ‘gifted and talented?’ I have sometimes said they should call it the WONK program for ‘Willful, Obdurate, Nerdy Kids’ and then parents would ay ‘Oh, my kid’s a WONK and needs to go into a special classroom with other WONKs.’ Then they’d be less likely to spend money on private testing with a compliant psychologist to place their kid in the WONK program if the kid didn’t pass the WONK test on the first try.”
Jeff — I was saying the very same thing to a school board member the other day. No matter what you do with the GATE program, for heaven’s sake, change the name. How about the BIRD program (Bored In Regular Day)? Or, to give it a bit more class, follow the Da Vinci model and call it Da Bird program.
Writes Kent: “Dear Bob — Great story on Davis Little League, but you forgot to mention that kids who find and return a foul ball get a free sno-cone. It’s more sought after by the kids than a winning million-dollar lottery ticket blowing in the wind.”
Kent – I intentionally “forgot” to mention the free sno-cone for a foul ball deal. I don’t want every kid in Davis storming the Little League park and cutting into my chances of finding a foul ball of my own. Why do you think I attend Little League games five nights a week with a catcher’s mitt on both hands?
— Reach Bob Dunning@email@example.com