YOLO COUNTY NEWS

Bob Dunning

Internet retailer overlooks our genius

By June 3, 2011

DAVIS SLIPS AGAIN … no, we’re not exactly Stockton, rated by Forbes Magazine as the Worst City in America to live in, but our intellectual prowess is once again being questioned in yet another national survey … this time it’s Amazon that’s picking on the Second Most Educated City in America … actually, it’s a sin of omission, since Amazon fails to mention Davis at all in its list of “most well-read” U.S. cities …

When I first learned of this survey, I anxiously scanned the results, since Amazon compiled sales data for books, magazines and newspapers — both in print and Kindle — dating back to Jan. 1 … given that it was a long, hard and exceptionally cold and wet winter, I figured Davisites probably did more reading than usual after the first of the year … I would be wrong …

According to CNN, Amazon then “used population figures to find out which cities bought them the most, per capita.” … so, this is more accurately a “most well-bought” list, rather than “most well-read.” … I mean, just because you buy a book or a magazine or a newspaper doesn’t mean you’re actually going to read it, present company excepted … they should have included “books checked out of library” in this survey, but it’s too late to save our reputation now …

Adds CNN: “College towns dominated the top 5,” and I wondered only where in the top 5 we would land … turns out the top 5 were Cambridge, Alexandria (Va.), Berkeley, Ann Arbor and Boulder … no Davis in sight … noted CNN: “Beach books also may have been a factor,” since “Florida was the only state with three cities on the list: Miami, Orlando and Gainesville.” … CNN, apparently, doesn’t have access to a map of Florida, which will clearly show that neither Orlando nor Gainesville have beaches …

Surely, you say, we must be in the top 20 … think again, my ill-read friends … after Boulder, in order, the others are Miami, Salt Lake City, Gainesville, Seattle, Arlington (Va.), Knoxville, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., Bellevue (Wash.), Columbia (S.C.), St. Louis, Cincinnati, Portland and Atlanta … however, if you are reading this at this very moment, you are helping the local cause …

JUNE JITTERS … my hat’s off to our local Climate Action Team, which in its very brief existence has quickly and dramatically reduced global warming — at least locally — as evidenced by a colder-than-Mars May followed by snow and hail and freezing temperatures the first several days of June … the kids are beginning to wonder if it’s time to hang the Christmas stockings by the fireplace with care … it has always been a dream of mine to have Davis so cold in June that I actually would need to build a fire in the house to keep warm, and with rain and cool temperatures in the forecast this weekend, I’m about to see my dream come true … the firewood is ready … matches wait to be struck … I hope only that it is not a no-burn day, if there is such a thing in June …

MONEY, MONEY, MONEY … reacting to the claim of one Stonegater that the presence of Delano’s can add $100,000 to the value of homes in the area that are within walking distance of the store, my friend Bob asks “How can there be so many nutballs in one town?” … you tell me, Bob … “I can’t type anything about this, because I am laughing so hard. The Realtors in town better get on this ‘walkability’ stuff so they can pick up a few more dollars on each sale with the higher value.” …

I think the author of that statement misplaced the decimal point by about five zeroes … that’s the only explanation I can come up with … but, if Delano’s truly does add that much value to surrounding homes, forget about selling groceries and just pass the hat among homeowners concerned with their property values …

— Reach Bob Dunning at [email protected] Comment on this column at www.davisenterprise.com

Bob Dunning

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