Sunday, May 3, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Signs of the times: What’s in a street name?

By
From page A1 | January 16, 2014 |

16streetsignsW

Many Davis streets are named after local figures, including Covell Boulevard. Calvin Covell, mayor of Davis for 16 years, was a conservative City Council presence in the 1940s. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise photo

The whistling UPS driver. The City Councilman who supported interning Japanese during World War II. A longtime county supervisor who represented Davis.

What do they have in common? People commute through Davis on their namesake routes as part of their daily lives: Tim Spencer Alley. West and East Covell Boulevards. Russell Boulevard.

Tim Spencer whistled his way around town as he delivered packages. Calvin Covell, mayor of Davis for 16 years, was a conservative presence in the 1940s. W.O. Russell was a beloved elected official who served multiple terms on the Yolo County Board of Supervisors until his death in 1943.

Since the passage of The Cannery housing project, the city’s Historical Resources Management Commission has had its eye on constructing a list of historic names that could adorn the street poles of the soon-to-be new Davis neighborhood.

Current Davis street names are wide-ranging, from the stock-standard alphabet streets to the fantastical Middle Earth names of the residential roads and lanes in Village Homes.

But commissioners want to educate the public about local history, according to Rand Herbert, commission chair.

“Most people have no idea why Russell Boulevard is Russell Boulevard and Covell is Covell,” he said.

To that end, the commission is not only seeking to add new historic names to The Cannery, but also to include small signs letting residents know why the streets are named as they are. And these signs could be added to major streets in other parts of town, as well.

“The goal is to try and promote Davis history to the public and street names are one part of that,” Commissioner Rich Rifkin said.

But as is standard practice in Davis, there has been some controversy — mostly over whether the streets should be named after dead or living people.

“It just seems very unlikely that we will have names after people who are living,” Rifkin said. “There is an objection to that and we didn’t want it to be objectionable.”

One broad benefit to naming streets after the living is diversity, Rifkin said, but there is the danger that a living person may do something that sullies that person’s reputation before he or she dies.

The list is still a work in progress and diversity is a subject that will be tackled again in the future, he said.

For now, the main list contains names of local notables who have passed away, as well as an alternate list sprinkled with the living.

Some examples include: Floyd Gattrell, Davis’ first police chief; Chelso Maghetti for his work as the postmaster and at The Davis Enterprise in the 1940s; and Nathan Fiske, a longtime pastor at Davis Community Church.

For now, Cannery developers are taking the list as a suggestion.

“So far as we understand, The Cannery people were interested in our list because they didn’t have names developed,” Herbert said.

Tuesday night, City Councilman Brett Lee said he would like the city’s Human Relations Commission to also take a crack at the list, saying it would help round out the entries and get more of the community involved in the process.

— Reach Dave Ryan at 530-747-8057. Follow him on Twitter at @davewritesnews

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Breaking barriers: For Prieto, it’s all about hard work

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Council to hear about drought pricing

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    Peaceful Baltimore demonstrators praise top prosecutor

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Nigeria: Nearly 300 freed women, children led to safety

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    Graveyard thefts land three Woodlanders behind bars

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3

    Downtown altercation leads to injuries

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

     
    Woman arrested for brandishing knife on overpass

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

    Yolo DA launches monthly newsletter

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Can plants talk? UCD prof will answer that question

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    A Scottish setting for local author’s next book

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Free beginner yoga class offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Video discusses surveillance of prostate cancer

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    NAMI support group meets May 10

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Dr. G featured on the radio

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Fee proposed on rail cars that haul oil, other flammables

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Indoor Fun Fly comes to Woodland

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Internships move UCD doctoral students beyond academia

    By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Make Mom a warm vanilla sugar scrub

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

     
    The secret to Mother’s Day gifting success: Give time, not stuff

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Letter book is series of collected missives thanking Mom

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    If your mom fancies something fancy, consider a tea party

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    Out of Africa and back to Davis: James Carey will give special presentation

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    Big Day of Giving makes philanthropy easy

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    Tuleyome Tales: How are a snake and a mushroom alike?

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

     
    Tuleyome hosts Snow Mountain camping trip

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

    .

    Forum

    End of life doesn’t mean life must end

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4 | Gallery

     
    Advancing education for California’s former foster youths

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

    With sincere gratitude

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    A wonderful day of service

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    Please help Baltimore

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    Eyewitness to the ‘fall’ of Vietnam: It was not a bloodbath

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5 | Gallery

    He can’t give it up

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B6

     
     
    Dangers from prescription pills

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

    .

    Sports

    UCD softball splits with Titans

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Trifecta of Devil teams open playoffs Tuesday

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Defending champ DHS clinches a baseball playoff berth

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Making memories at Aggie Stadium

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: DHS boys win to reach lacrosse playoffs

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    UCD roundup: Aggie women speed past Hornets

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

     
    Pro baseball roundup: Hudson pitches Giants past Angels

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Arcadia partners on soybean trait to improve yield

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Marrone opens new greenhouse

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    New firm helps students on path to college

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A8

    Yolo County real estate sales

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, May 3, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8