Tuesday, April 15, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Bob Dunning: Wait till death before setting in stone

BobDunning2W

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From page A2 | December 26, 2013 | 2 Comments

OF DEATH AND STREET NAMES … Joel at ucdavis.edu enters the debate over naming Davis streets by noting that “Foshay Tower was the lifelong dream and namesake of Wilbur Foshay, an art student turned businessman who amassed his fortune by building up three utility company empires.” … turns out they chiseled Foshay’s name into the building only to later have him go belly up with a number of unpaid debts … as Joel points out, this is “what happens when you name something after a living person,” as some suggest we should do with Davis streets … agreed, Joel … whether it’s buildings or boulevards we’re naming, best to let the recipients of such honors complete their days on Earth before we set their names in stone …

NEAR MISS … Jen writes to say that “I was in the running to have a street named after me, but someone heard me at Nugget asking for ‘plastic’ and my name was quickly dropped off the list.” … a mortal sin in this town, Jen …

SIGN OF THE TIMES … posted on the marquee of a Woodland elementary school on break: “We wish you a Merry Chirstmas.” …. no wonder they’ve taken to calling it “Winter Break” …

TIS THE SEASON … while walking through a Ross on Christmas Eve, I noted the large, decorative cutouts featuring the words “Peace” and “Joy” had already been relegated to the bargain bin along with a number of items devoid of such lofty sentiments … hopefully, both of those words will be prominent in our world in 2014, despite their bargain bin status … not to be outdone, the brightly colored Target ad that landed on my driveway Christmas morning prominently featured a very large “JOY” cutout at 50 percent off …. I say if you can get joy that cheaply, take it …

SPEAKING OF HOPE AND JOY … tickets are on sale at 30 bucks a pop for non-Chamber of Commerce members who would like to hear Mayor Joe Krovoza’s “State of the City” address on Jan. 7 … according to advanced publicity for this glorious event, Krovoza will run down the city’s accomplishments in 2013 and set some “attainable” goals for 2014 … I don’t know about you, but I much prefer attainable goals over those unattainable ones … presumably, one of Krovoza’s goals will be to hammer Mayor Pro Tem Dan Wolk in the June primary election for a seat in the California Assembly …

All of this caused my friend John to wonder out loud why the ordinary folks in town should part with that much cash just for the honor of hearing the mayor deliver a message that potentially affects all of us … I assured John that this very newspaper will cover the mayor’s speech in detail and he won’t need a ticket to read it … as I understand it, the country’s major networks were offered the chance to show the mayor on live television, but there were no takers …

MASS FOR THE MASSES … I got asked the other day by one of my non-Catholic friends how “you Catholics do Midnight Mass”? … for the record, the Church of my birth offers all sorts of Mass times on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, thus attending Midnight Mass — beautiful as it is — remains an option, not a requirement … even the pope, following his predecessor’s lead, has moved up Midnight Mass at the Vatican to 9:30 p.m. …

— Reach Bob Dunning at bdunning@davisenterprise.net

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Discussion | 2 comments

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  • December 26, 2013 - 6:11 am

    You just blew it Bob, you'll never have a street named after you after admitting you were shopping at Ross on Christmas Eve. Last time I checked we don't have a Ross in Davis.

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  • Rich RifkinDecember 26, 2013 - 5:18 pm

    Joel: 'This is “what happens when you name something after a living person.” .................. The same can be said of naming something after someone dead, even those dead for a very long time. John Sutter died in 1880. Davis named Sutter Place in 1994. Ten years later, some in Davis decided that Mr. Sutter's treatment of American Indians was disgraceful and said Sutter Place's name ought to be changed. In 2006, the Davis City Council rebranded it Risling Court. ................. For no particularly good reason we have a road in Westwood named for Aaron Burr. Burr was a scoundrel and a criminal. That he was long dead when he was honored with Burr Street did not remove the chances that we might name a street for someone bad. ................ There are some in Davis who have suggested to me that we need to change the name of Covell Boulevard in light of Mayor Calvin Covell's resolve to prevent Japanese-Americans from living in Davis after WW2. That thoroughfare was named for our longest serving mayor after he died. Did waiting for his death solve the supposed problem Joel wants to avoid? ................... My view is that, if a person is old and retired from the activity which made him worthy of the honor of having a street named for him, there is no logical problem doing so while he can still breathe. It may be the case that many years later, when the culture has changed and his accomplishments are seen in a different light, the community may think the choice was not good. But, again, that sort of revision can just as easily take place when you name a street for someone who resides in a necropolis.

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