Monday, December 16, 2013

The 53-Year Lineage of the Science-Based Critique of Fluoridation in Davis (144)

When the City Council voted on October 1, 2013 not to fluoridate Davis water, it concluded
2. 1964a
that body’s sixth public policy decision on this matter spread over a remarkable 53 years (1960-2013).

While many aspects of this implausible series of events merit description, two stand out in my mind.

One, unlike what is claimed about some other communities, the criticism of fluoridation in all six episodes--and that carried the day in five of the six--was dominantly science-based.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Street Naming and the Politics of Memory (143)

In many countries and communities around the world, the naming (and renaming) of streets for local and related people is a matter of intense debate and even conflict.

The phrase “the politics of memory” usefully captures the reason for this. Names on street signs (plazas, etc.) may or may not recall a past that one likes or wants to be honored. In some racially and ethnically divided societies, there are at least two opposing pasts seeking the honor--memory--of public place recognition. In some of these societies, the street sign names literally go back and forth depending upon which group is in power. And, in these disputes we see the usual assortment of human conflict tactics, including the claim there is, in reality, nothing about which to disagree, acts of intimidation and bullying postures, among the milder ones.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Davis Historic Names and Street Naming: Problems of Inequity & Invidiousness (142)

At its meeting on December 16th, 2013 the Davis Historic Resources Management Commission (HRMC) will, according to its press release, “discuss a proposal to update and refine a list of individuals and families who have played a significant role in Davis’s history.” A major purpose of this list is to provide names for streets in the planned Cannery subdivision.

I want in this post to suggest, first, that rather than “update and refine,” the Commission should think anew about how a “list” might be correctly established in the first place (if a list is, indeed, needed). The existing effort displays inequity and plans for its use are deficient and invidious.

Second, after describing nine measures that might lead to a legitimate list that could be used properly, I want to raise wider questions about naming Cannery streets in the first place.

Friday, November 22, 2013

HRMC To Hold December 16th Meeting on Revising Its “Historic Davis Names” Lists Turned Down By the City Council (141)

On November 12th, the City Council unanimously declined to approve two HRMC “Historic Davis Names” lists submitted to it. In response, that body has scheduled a December 16th “discussion” meeting described in the press statement reproduced here.

HRMC Press Statement
Some background to this matter appears in the previous two posts on this bog, numbers 139 and 140. The two "historic names" lists in question are reproduced after the jump.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

City Council Asks For Wider Input on Staff Proposed “Historic Davis Names List” (140)

This post reports the outcome of the proposed action reported on in the DHT post just before this one (number 139, November 8). That proposal would have created an official “historic Davis names list.” Council deliberated this matter for a little more than four minutes and voted to have staff seek wider input. I have placed the video of this segment on YouTube and it can be seen here:

Friday, November 8, 2013

City Staff Asks Council to Create an Official “Historic Davis Names List” (139)

Tucked into Consent Calendar  item H and titled “Commission Minutes” on the Davis City
Council agenda for November 12th (shown to the right) is an action to endorse an HRMC created list of “historic Davis names” for use in naming Davis streets.

If Council approves this action, “staff would utilize the list, in consultation with the applicant, to develop street names” for new subdivisions, including the Cannery (if approved) (Staff report page 3, below).

This post consists of the agenda item H text, the Staff Report, and relevant portions of the HRMC minutes involving this matter. The proposed list (or lists) appear as pages 5 and 6, below.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Celebrating the 34th Anniversary of the Opening of the Blue Mango (138)

The accompanying email from Ken Kemmerling reports on last week’s 34th anniversary
celebration of the opening of the Blue Mango on October 19, 1979.

      I had hoped to post his email and the two photos accompanying it closer to the anniversary event, but there was a communication mix-up. But no matter, with his permission, here is that celebration news now.

     The Blue Mango must surely rank as one of Davis’ signal, all-time institutions. It very much expressed the tenor of a key period in Davis history.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

A ‘Ken Burns Effect’ Video of Stonegate 1968-1983 (137)

J. J. Carroll and others have created a ‘Ken Burns Effect’ video depicting the first years of the Davis Stonegate development. Running almost eight minutes, it is on Pietor Pastoor’s YouTube channel and can be viewed here:

As a preview, I reproduce a few screenshots from it below in this post.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Davis-area Farmers & Baseball Mania in the late 19th Century (132)

This is a second post on the theme: “The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.”

In the first post on this idea, I highlighted reports of citizen reactions to the Winters-centered earthquakes of 1892 (post number 117, May 12, 2013).

This post associates the same idea with much the same period of Davis history, only this time dealing with the reported rapid rise of interest in the game of baseball among Davis area farmers.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Fluoridation Five? (130)

After I published descriptions of four episodes of serious public engagement with fluoridation in Davis history,* Barbara King emailed me a copy of the City Council Minutes from February 21, 1991 that suggested a fifth episode.

I agree that these minutes (reproduced here) raise the possibility of a fifth episode. At the very least, they document a period of serious City government engagement.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

The UCD Offcampus Water Pipeline Across Solano County, Part II: Resistance (129)

2. List
This is the second of two posts on the UCD Offcampus Water Pipeline by means of which
water is transported from the Putah South Canal to the UCD campus. The line itself is described in the first post. This post reports some social aspects of how it was created.

The massive “Solano Project” dammed Putah Creek in order to stop its natural eastern flow and to divert it south for dispersal across Solano County in a system of canals and pipes. The complex array of structures needed for this was almost complete at the end of 1958.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The UCD Offcampus Water Pipeline Across Solano County, Part I: The Line (128)


This is the first of two posts on the UC Offcampus Water Pipeline by means of which water is transported from the Putah South Canal to the UCD campus. The line is described here. The second post will report some social aspects of how this structure was created.

During the debate over Davis acquiring surface water from the Sacramento River, it was noted that UC Davis already had surface water--from Putah creek.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Fluoridation Four: Shelved in August 1971 (127)

January 12 - a

This post is the fourth of four, one each on four episodes of public debate on fluoridating Davis water.  An overview of the four is given in post # 120, May 26, 2013.

So far as I know, fluoridation left the Davis public agenda after 1964 and did not return until 1971.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Rich Rifkin’s Observations on Davis Fluoridation Matters (126)

Rich Rifkin sent me the following observations on the history of Davis fluoridation that I thought others might find of interest. With his permission, I reproduce them here. JL


My read on the fluoridation fights is that they are always an establishment vs. anti-establishment contest.

Because of the scientific nature of the fluoride question, where one falls comes down to how much a citizen trusts the scientific establishment or not.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Fluoridation Three: Narrow Defeat in November 1964 (125)

May 21 - a
This post is the third of four, one each on four episodes of public debate on fluoridating Davis water.  An overview of the four is given in post # 120, May 26, 2013.

Within only a few weeks of their defeat at the polls on April 14, 1964 (reported in the previous post), members of the Davis Pure Water Committee began to organize an initiative drive to put fluoridation on the ballot.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Fluoridation Two: Narrow Win in April 1964 (124)

January 16
This post is the second of four, one each on four episodes of public debate on fluoridating Davis water. An overview of the four is given in post # 120, May 26, 2013.

Of the four episodes, this one in the winter and spring of 1964 was the most ordinarily political.

By “most ordinarily political” I mean that two named groups with a public leadership mounted campaigns in the forms of walking streets, organizing public debates, publishing advertisements, and the like.

At least as evidenced by Enterprise reporting, such features were much less visible or even present in the three other episodes.

Specifically, the Davis Dental Health Council faced off against the Davis Pure Water Committee. The names of the organized leadership of both were reported in Enterprise stories.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Terminal Hotel Sign Advances to a Second Draft (123)

Readers of this blog will recall the February 27th post in which I published the first draft of a Terminal Hotel Building history sign. For reference, the introductory part of that post is reproduced here.

I am happy now to report that after being reviewed by many people and after revisions, the sign has advanced a second draft graphic design by DaRold DeSigns. It is reproduced here. (Because of internet limitations, this copy is viewable and readable but is low resolution.)

This second draft is also available as a free-standing download at:

Once again we invite people to inspect the sign and to send us their suggestions ( or  

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Davis Mayor Presents Centennial Proclamation to Old North Davis (DHT 122 & ONDC 207)

Tuesday evening May 28th, Mayor Joe Krovoza presented a proclamation recognizing the Old North Davis Neighborhood Centennial to Old North Davis Neighborhood Association Vice-President Dennis Dingemans and President Steve Tracy.

I have uploaded a copy of the City-broadcast video of the ceremony to YouTube. Slightly more than 6 minutes long, it can be viewed here: