Mulch improved

One benefit Target declined to mention: noise abatement from the wind howling over the vacant lot.

One benefit Target declined to mention: noise abatement from the wind howling over the vacant lot.

SN&R Photo By Ken Widmann

Ken Widmann writes about The People’s Republic of Davis.

I know Target isn’t supposed to open until early 2009, but these things tend to happen quickly. (Notice the Woodland Costco site, which was being graded a week ago and now looks ready for shoppers. Then again, that’s Woodland, where they’re practically paying the store to open, as opposed to Davis, where you need a permit to shop.) The view here is that Target’s much-ballyhooed, 137,000-square-foot, “green” building will be so green it will be like shopping in a peat bog. Get ready for moss on the walls and gnarled tree roots snaking through the electronics department. Have you checked out their Web site ( lately? No idea how they’re going to make shopping bags out of palm fronds and receipts from loose birch bark, but I’m excited. And the snack shop? Full-on mulch bar.

The online shingle actually says this: “With a clearance of 220 feet and a landscaped berm, the Davis Target will actually absorb freeway and auto dealer loudspeaker noise.” Whatever your position on the place, that’s a stretch. Auto dealer loudspeaker noise? Is this a problem? I’ve never heard jams from any of those Cowell Boulevard car dealerships.

Speaking of Cowell: Who was the bright guy who decided to name the main north Davis artery Covell and the main south Davis one Cowell? Besides stirring confusion, it smacks of a lack of creativity. We have all sorts of thought-provoking public art here, yet our downtown is gridded by streets named A, B, C, and 1st , 2nd, 3rd and so forth.

A few weeks ago I described how Redrum Burger, which oughta be a local treasure, was quite often too filthy to enjoy. Turns out the owner wasn’t thrilled and called to let us know. Then our distributor found the metal SN&R newspaper rack, formerly inside Redrum, thrown into the dumpster out back. It’s good to see Redrum finally making use of a trash can. … Update: A week after our column, the FDA and UC Davis announced they will be opening the Western Institute for Food Safety a scant mile from Redrum. Coincidence? …

Earlier I wrote that upon first moving to Davis, my wife and I took our beloved 16-year-old, cancer-ridden cat to the vet (vet is my word; the place is actually called the Animal Wellness Center). A wellness professional examined our obviously terminal pet and recommended feline massage and a local healer who could “talk” to the cat, to find out why the poor thing was howling so much.

Well, we have a new vet. This one, whom we adore, referred our dog to the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, on account of constant licking of her paws. While checking in, my wife overheard one receptionist remark to another, after placing a caller on hold, “There’s someone on the line who wants to know … where the remains are of their euthanized rainbow trout?”

I mean, wow! That’s like scattering the ashes from your 10-piece chicken dinner, no?

I love Davis. If you’re reading this, and you’re the dude who brought his catch in to be put down, please contact me at SN&R for an interview.