Monday, December 26, 2011

The “Christmas Festivities” Display at the Hattie Weber: As Much About Us As About 1898 Davisville? (32)

For a number of years, a snippet from a Davis Enterprise story dated December 30, 1898 has been prominently displayed at the Hattie Weber Museum of Davis during the holidays.

Titled “Christmas Festivities,” the Christmas Eve scene and performance at the Presbyterian Church are described, as can be read in four reproductions of it in this post (images 2 through 5).

This year, the large-size version of it has even been placed in a kind of altar to the holidays. (Image 1)

Its long-term veneration and the resonance it seems to have prompts me to reflect how items do or do not achieve such iconic status.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Davis & Yolo-Solano Life in the 1910s as Glimpsed in Two Booster Publications (31)


I recently acquired a “commercial encyclopedia” of four western states that was published in 1910. The title page is reproduced in Image 1.

Measuring 12 by 15 inches and running to 196 pages, it is a lavish booster compendium featuring photographs from the Southern Pacific Railroad and Sunset Magazine (which is pretty much the same thing).

In addition to capsule profiles of counties and towns, the volume has an 18 by 26 inch foldout map of Northern California.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Slideshow History of Davis Biking Is Now Online (30)

In 2007, Ted Buehler, a graduate student in UCD transportation studies, completed an M. A. thesis titled “Fifty Years of Bicycle Policy in Davis, CA.” (Image 1)

At 159 typescript pages, it is a quite fine description and analysis of the bicycle in Davis life over an extended period.

The exposition is made all the more interesting by Buehler taking advantage of the new ease of placing digital images on word processor pages. This practice is illustrated in image 2, which is page 35 of the thesis.

Monday, December 5, 2011

A History Plaza Is Not a Sprinkler System: Confusing Technical and Value Decisions in the Central Park Remodel Process (29)

In reflecting on the history of the proposal for a history plaza in Central Park, I have begun to think the problem is that a history plaza is not a sprinkler system, but that it has been treated like one.

This is to say, the history plaza idea got defined as a technical decision of park remodeling when it should have been viewed as a serious issue of values in public policy.

Let me explain this distinction and then apply it to the case of the history plaza.

Decisions in government matters are--simplifying for clarity--of two types.   In one type, an official policy is forged out of diverse viewpoints. There is open presentation of divergent alternatives and conflicting values are accommodated. A course of action is achieved by some manner of voting.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

California Women Suffrage Centennial Exhibition at City Hall (28)

The display case near the City Manager’s office in City Hall currently has an exhibition titled “Celebrating California Women Winning the Vote.”

I call attention to this exhibition because it features events in Davis that were part of that campaign. It is thus “Davis History” and not simply history.

We read, for example, that Jeanette Rankin herself spoke in Davis “to an audience as large as was ever drawn by either one of the great parties . . . .”

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Posts on the Central Park “History Plaza” Delivered to the City Council (27)

Monday morning, I hand-delivered to City Hall one hard-copy for each Council Member of each of my three “History Plaza” posts. (These are posts numbers 18, 22, and 24.)

The posts were assembled under a cover-memo explaining why I presented these to them and the two requests I make of them. That cover-memo is reproduced here.