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Blue Devils rally around injured player

By October 30, 2009

Enterprise columnist

LIGHT A CANDLE É it was opening night for Davis HighÕs brand-new football field and the stars were aligned perfectly É the crowd was large, the field gorgeous and the Blue Devils were winning in a rout over an outmanned but game Valley High School squad É and then it happened É Valley HighÕs Will Barker went down and didnÕt get up É he had fractured two vertebrae in his neck, a nightmarish injury that can cause permanent paralysis É

After what seemed an eternity, he left the field in an ambulance for the UC Davis Med Center in Sacramento, where he went into surgery at 2 a.m., a surgery that lasted for six full hours É according to Valley High Athletic Director Stephanie Haas, ÒThe operation was successful and now it is a waiting game as the swelling goes down. After surgery, Will was able to feel sensation in his arms and legs and he has since lifted his arms to signal and answer questions.Ó É

And now the Davis High football program and the Blue Devil Backers, whose kids were playing against Valley High that night, want to help a fallen comrade É yes, theyÕre all comrades on the football field, no matter the color of their jerseys or the logo on their helmets É turns out Will is being raised by a single mom who works two jobs É when she goes to work, WillÕs two sisters stay at the hospital to help him through what is expected to be a long and difficult ordeal É

The Blue Devil Backers and the DHS football program have set up a fund to ease the burden for Will and his family É theyÕre calling it the ÒWilliam Barker Ñ Light A Candle FundraiserÓ É theyÕre asking those who can to donate a dollar a day for 30 days É youth groups might hold carwashes and bake sales, others may wish to simply write a check É while $30 each is the goal, any donation will help É

Valley High Principal Keven MacDonald says this is Òa very heartwarming story of how two diverse communities are working together to help our student.Ó É indeed É to contribute to the fund, which will be overseen by First Northern Bank, send checks to P.O. Box 4194 in Davis, 95617 É

THE READERS ALWAYS WRITE É Susan at sbcglobal.net, who may or may not vote against Measure P, says that the developer, Parlin, Òtouts 90 percent reduction in greenhouse gas from their development.Ó É which, if I do the math correctly, is still 10 percent more than if they built nothing É ÒLet me tell you what would be 110 percent reduction of greenhouse gas,Ó Susan goes on, ÒA horse ranch.Ó É way too logical, Susan É ÒLet us not forget what is green Ñ grass.Ó É yeah, but what happens when all those horses eat that green, green grass? É

EVEN MORE READERS WRITING É K.O. at yahoo.com is so tired of the fliers that trumpet ÒEndorsed by the Sierra ClubÓ that he wonders Òif politics played a role in the decision.Ó É you think? É

SIERRA SAYS É this just in, the Sierra Club has endorsed Sierra Nevada Beer, the New York Yankees to win the World Series and the renaming of Carbon County, Wyoming É more to come É

GREEN, GREEN, ITÕS GREEN THEY SAY É hey, this plan to pave the horse ranch may be greener than Kermit the Frog, but itÕs all going to boil down to one simple word in the votersÕ minds: need É do we need this housing, green or otherwise, or should we wait until the several thousand approved but unbuilt units are occupied before we start developing new projects? É and, secondarily, will 191 new homes soften an already squishy soft housing market and cause existing home prices to plummet even further? É those are the questions that will determine TuesdayÕs outcome É

THANKS A MILLION É I would personally like to thank all Sierra Clubbers at the national level for being so concerned about our little town that they apparently did a study of DavisÕ housing needs and determined that we need 191 more homes, despite the fact we already have 2,000 approved but unbuilt homes in the pipeline É and then, in a further act of kindness, the Sierra Club directed us how to vote on this project, since itÕs unlikely we could have figured this one out on our own É why the Sierra Club hasnÕt posted this proud endorsement on its national Web site is anyoneÕs guess, but maybe theyÕre just being humble É

TO BEE OR NOT TO BEE É glad to see the Major Metropolitan Daily East of the Causeway weighed in with its advice on Measure P É always nice to get some outside help when our small-sized Davis brains canÕt figure out a one-issue election for ourselves É put simply, the folks at the Major Metro say we need more housing in Davis for Ñ youÕd better sit down Ñ plumbers É I am not making this up É funny, because all the plumbers who visited my home in the past 20 years already lived in Davis É

MONEY IS THE MOTHERÕS MILK OF POLITICS É two local charities recently received ÒcontributionsÓ from the Wildhorse developer, and Ñ surprise, surprise Ñ high officials in those charities are now writing letters to the editor and passing out lawn signs urging a ÒYesÓ vote on the development É

PLENTY OF PAYOLA TO GO AROUND É if thereÕs anyone from the Yes on P side who is not being paid, would you please raise your hand? É

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

Bob Dunning

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