UC Davis Magazine Online
Volume 20
Number 4
Summer 2003
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End Notes

By Teri Bachman


The newest street on campus—the drive into the parking structure adjacent to the new Mondavi Center. Well, OK, just as long as traffic mooooves. . . .


Peacocks are iridescent blue-green beauties but a nuisance in suburban areas. When they start ruffling feathers, it’s Francine Bradley, a UC Cooperative Extension poultry scientist, who gets the calls. And those calls are on the rise from Vacaville to Berkeley and Arcadia to Point Reyes. “Peafowl are native to India, not California,” she says. “They are an invasive animal species.” They crowd out native birds, decimate erosion-controlling plants, scratch paint on cars, damage shingles on roofs and poop on people’s lawns. The solution, she says: Give the birds to breeders who can keep them confined—yep, jail time for those who run afowl of the law.


UC Cooperative Extension solved another rural-urban conflict this spring, when air-quality specialist Frank Mitloehner was called in to help settle a conflict between a high school ag program and its annoyed neighbors. Homeowners bordering Sonoma Valley High School were frustrated by noise, odors and dust from the school’s Agricultural Center, where students learning animal-husbandry skills were raising 24 sheep, 14 cattle and seven pigs. Mitloehner surveyed the neighbors and to his surprise found the most common complaint was not flies, dust or odor, but noisy sheep. He stayed on the property and found “those sheep vocalized all the time. MAA, maaaa, MAA, maaa. The neighbors could not even sit out in their backyards in peace.” And he discovered that the students’ feeding practices were to blame. Each student cared for one animal, feeding each individually at a different time. “The sheep that weren’t being fed right then complained. Loudly.” After several mitigating changes, including a common feeding time for the sheep, the neighbors were satisfied—so satisfied that they donated the money they had collected for a lawsuit to help pay for the changes. You gotta love a solution in which only the lawyers lose.


As the campus works to complete a new long-range plan, it’s helpful to take a look back, and a display used at the public hearings does just that, detailing campus planning efforts of the past. One panel notes that, in 1922, the first long-range plan for the campus called for removal of “temporary” buildings North and South Hall. Here’s hoping that current planning efforts are a little more prescient (and that some of the campus buildings called “temporary” today—none of them nearly as charming as North and South halls—don’t last as long as those two have).


Forward/backward bikeThe 20th annual Human Powered Vehicle competition held on campus this April brought entries from as far away as New York and Hawaii, including this push-me, pull-you model from the University of Idaho. The bike finished in a respectable second place in several multi-rider categories. Unfortunately, the UC Davis entry—“UCD Genuine Draft”—didn’t fare as well, topping other bikes perhaps only in the number of setbacks it faced. The bike crashed several times but was fixed with tools and duct tape and always got back in the race again—making the team a clear winner when it came to creative problem solving.


Looking for a good vacation-time book? You might join with the many on campus who will be reading Gandhi’s Way: A Handbook of Conflict Resolution by Mark Juergensmeyer—this year’s selection for the Campus Community Book Project. Chosen for its broad appeal and practical conflict resolution advice, the book will be the focus of a number of programs offered this fall. For more information—and to see the nearly 100 other books that were considered—visit Web site occr.ucdavis.edu/bookproject.html.

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