Earlier this week, The Enterprise ran a scintillating recap of the top news stories of 2013, and what a year for news it was. However, only here will you read — in advance — the top news stories of 2014 as foreseen by my deadly accurate crystal ball.
May I have the envelope please?
HEY CULLIGAN MAN (Jan. 2) … after weeks of study, Judge Dan Maguire says new Davis water rates are so confusing he can’t decide whether they’re constitutional or not. Orders Davisites not to use water for any purpose until California Supreme Court can decide the issue. Culligan opens 10 Davis outlets.
MISTAKEN IDENTITY (Jan. 11) … Davis Human Relations Commission demands that UC Davis cancel scheduled football game with “Duck Dynasty “ in Eugene.
HOLY SMOKE (Jan. 23) … Pope Francis visits Davis. Arrested for burning incense on no-burn day.
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT (Jan. 31) … rare and endangered tomato horned worm (Lycopersicum hornywormicum) is discovered on The Cannery property, halting all construction. Feds order entire 100-acre site be permanently planted in Beefsteak and Early Girl tomatoes to restore horned worm habitat.
CATCH ME IF YOU CAN (April 21) … Davis High sophomore Fiona O’Keeffe wins Boston Marathon in 1 hour, 59 minutes, 59.9 seconds, becoming the first person in history to break the two-hour marathon barrier.
A RARE HONOR (April 23) … Bruce Gallaudet wins Pulitzer Prize for 14-part exposé on the hazards of press box food in the Big Sky Conference.
CUPCAKE CREATION (May 9) … Let Them Eat Cake wins Pillsbury Bakeoff for its tomato-olive-almond cupcake with beet sugar frosting that uses ingredients grown solely in Yolo County.
A WOLK IN THE PARK (June 3) … Dan Wolk cruises to victory in the 4th District California Assembly primary, with late write-in candidate Sue Greenwald running a distant second.
MAJORITY RULE (June 3) … responding to the Davis electorate’s successful repeal of the new water rates, all five members of the Davis City Council resign after voting to have Davis become the first city in America to go to direct democracy. From this point on, all council decisions must be put to a vote of the people, and, just like “Jeopardy,” must be worded in the form of a question.
SHE’S HAD ENOUGH (June 4) … County voting czar Freddie Oakley resigns in disgust. “I’m not running 365 elections a year,” she says in resignation statement.
ANOTHER HIT (June 23) … John Lescroart’s latest novel, “Yolo Contendere,” reaches No. 1 on The New York Times bestseller list.
COMEBACK TRAIL (July 4) … denied admission into the Bicycle Hall of Fame — even after buying a ticket — Lance Armstrong begins his self-described “Rehabilitation Tour” by riding his brightly decorated bike down C Street in the Fourth of July Davis Children’s Parade.
HAIL TO THE CHIEF (July 21) … after nationwide search, UC Davis names Matt Carmichael chief of police. Carmichael immediately bans pepper spray, hair spray, Ocean Spray, osprey and PAM. From now on, UCD police officers will use Silly String to quell student riots.
A RATINGS HIT (Aug. 1) … PBS begins filming new weekly series “Downtown Abbey,” featuring a single mom who opens a restaurant in downtown Davis serving authentic British food.
RIGHT OF PRIVACY (Aug. 25) … responding to a lawsuit from PETA, Superior Court Judge David Rosenberg bans the viewing of spawning salmon in Putah Creek “during this noble creature’s most intimate and private moments.”
HOOK ‘EM HORNS (Sept. 12) … UC Davis football coach Ron Gould turns down the head job at Texas because “at this point in my career, I don’t wish to make a lateral move.”
LET THEM EAT GREEK (Sept. 30) … Symposium is selected by Gourmet Magazine as “Best Restaurant in North America.” Mousaka all around.
CHEF DE CUISINE (Oct. 1) … Alzada Knickerbocker, concerned about hunger in Davis, turns downtown bookstore into soup kitchen, changing name to Avid Feeder.
NO FRACKING WAY (Oct. 5) … while turning on his backyard sprinklers, Davis Mayor Joe Krovoza discovers they are gushing oil instead of precious Davis water. Geologists determine that Krovoza’s property is sitting directly above “more oil than North Dakota,” but the mayor insists the gusher be plugged, citing Davis’ goal of carbon neutrality by the end of the decade.
WOLK DYNASTY (Nov. 4) … Dan Wolk elected to 4th District Assembly seat; Lois Wolk elected governor. Two share adjoining offices in Capitol.
EYE ON THE PRIZE (Nov. 5) … Dan Wolk declares candidacy for Democratic nomination for president in 2016.
IS THERE A BIRTHER IN THE HOUSE? (Nov. 6) … Republican presidential front-runner Ted Cruz produces Canadian birth certificate for a “Daniel Wolkski” that shows he was actually born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, to immigrant parents from Warsaw. Cruz further claims Wolk attended Stanford University as a foreign student and is also two years shy of being old enough to run for president.
SISTERS IN COMBAT (Nov. 7) … Lois Wolk endorses Hillary Clinton for president, saying “it’s high time we had a woman in the White House.”
CHANGE OF VENUE (Nov. 15) … ESPN’s “Game Day” comes to Davis to cover the Causeway Classic, but mistakenly sets up shop at Toomey Field. Chris Fowler tells nationwide audience the game “must have been canceled.”
DONE AND GONE (Nov. 15) … after suffering a 72-0 drubbing at the hands of the Aggies, Sac State announces it is dropping football. Says UCD Chancellor Linda Katehi, “from what I can tell of this so-called rivalry, it appears Sac State dropped football five years ago.”
BIRDS OF A FEATHER (Nov. 22) … voting 3-2 to drop the silly cow-on-a-bicycle in favor of a more meaningful city mascot, Davis City Council introduces Sally the Seagull, complete with a Walmart bag on its head to encourage public awareness of the hazards of plastic bags.
GASTRONOMIC NIGHTMARE (Nov. 26) … Connecticut women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma gets lost while touring the World Food Center, forgets to set his watch to Pacific Standard Time and misses tipoff of the UConn-Aggie game at the Pavilion.
HARDCOURT HEROICS (Nov. 26) … Aggie women’s basketball coach Jen Gross, having determined that she still has one year of eligibility remaining, inserts herself into the game and hits half-court buzzer-beater as UC Davis stuns defending NCAA champion Connecticut, 100-99.
PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP (Nov. 30) … city of Davis agrees to subsidize out-of-state corporation “Zip Lip,” billed as a balm-sharing service, despite concerns of county health department. “We like to support East Coast companies,” City Council states in unanimous statement.
GORGEOUS GEORGE (Dec. 2) … George of George’s Corner is named Davis Citizen of the Year “for his tireless efforts to beautify our landscape, our hearts and our very souls.”
EATING ON THE RUN (Dec. 8) … Fleet Feet merges with Cream of Wheat to form “Wheat Feet,” providing nutrition and shoes to health-conscious runners.
NUTS TO YOU (Dec. 21) … “Davis Children’s Nutcracker” found to be in violation of Title IX for consistently casting a female in the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Show is canceled mid-run, much to the disappointment of 14,882 cast members and untold numbers of parents who waited weeks in line for tickets.
AS PREDICTED (Dec. 31) … Davis Enterprise cites all of the above as the Top News Stories of 2014.
— Reach Bob Dunning at firstname.lastname@example.org