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Community lacking character?

Original post made by Alison, Danville, on Jul 3, 2009

This morning I headed downtown with my kids in tow to set up our chairs for the parade. We were so excited anticipating one of our favorite holidays! When we got downtown around 8AM, however, we saw the signs posted that no chairs could be put out until 6PM this evening or the DPD would confiscate them.

My kids and I loaded our few (4) chairs back in our car and decided to return later. Rules are rules. Or so we thought...

As luck would have it, I needed to be back downtown in the afternoon, so I ran my errand without consideration of the chairs and came back home.

At 5 PM we decided to head downtown to take a walk and wait until 6 to put our chairs out (we figured we should give ourselves a little extra time to find parking, guessing everyone else would be arriving then as well).

I was absolutely shocked that the entire street was already completely lined with chairs, marked off with taped paper on the ground, or chalk writing. Chairs were roped off, bicycle chained or "manned" by those who were placing their chairs out. We approached a few individuals "standing by" and they basically told us to blow off.

I have never felt so offended in this town! Here I could've had my chairs out at 8AM or again at 2PM, but instead I chose to wait for the deadline established by the police department - I would have assumed that was the way things were done here in Danville.

So, here we are at home tonight, with no place for a chair tomorrow, and while this may be trivial to some of you, I think I came away feeling saddened by the character of our community. It seems like this community has decided what they want is more important than playing by the rules.

We'll be at the parade tomorrow, sure we'll find somewhere to enjoy the scene and it will be a great day, but I think Danville is losing some of it's friendly-neighbor town feel when we tell each other to take a hike for doing the right thing.

In all honesty, I think this artificial deadline that obviously wasn't enforcable should be changed to 24 hours before the parade.

If nothing else, please try and be a better neighbor tomorrow.

Comments (21)

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Posted by Danville resident
a resident of Greenbrook Elementary School
on Jul 6, 2009 at 6:52 am

I agree completely with her comments. I too followed the rules and went downtown at 6p to place a few chairs and could not believe my eyes! It was obscene. People had roped, chained, taped and placed blankets from the beginning of the route to the end. Why did the police even bother to place those signs or place reminders in the town newspapers, that chairs will be removed if placed before 6p? It was ludicrous. I also felt saddened that locals are so crazy to get their way that they will just ignore the rules. It is a behavior that obviously rubs off on the kids of Danville too. The rules don't apply to us, because we are special. Oh well what is there to do? The parade was fantastic and I am glad I braved the crowd and did find someplace to put my chairs, even after 6 p.m.


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Posted by Ron
a resident of Danville
on Jul 6, 2009 at 7:26 am

I feel the chairs should not even be allowed. If you want to go, go early and get a spot. To me its like someone standing in a parking spot waiting for their friend to get to that spot. I have been to countless parades and have never seen where you can hold a spot the day before. There is always room down by the Safeway but the parade is very slow moving and makes it three times as long as it should be. Maybe that is why people need chairs since its so slow.


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Posted by Lili
a resident of Alamo
on Jul 6, 2009 at 7:30 am

No wonder Madeline Levine and her "The Price of Privilege" seminars are so popular around here...monkey see, monkey do.


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Posted by Old timer
a resident of Danville
on Jul 6, 2009 at 7:39 am

I think there should be a permit required to put out a chair and the cost could be $100 per and they would get a label to attach. This way if they are serious about not standing, it will give Danville some added funds to patrol and clean up after the parade.


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Posted by Rule-abiding Mom & Teacher
a resident of Danville
on Jul 6, 2009 at 8:00 am

People DO love a parade. The 6:00 p.m. rule was difficult to enforce, but the chair police tried. Around 2:00 they came down Hartz Ave. and removed some chairs. With a bucket of water and a mop, they washed away the chalk lines. Little by little though, too many chairs came. Although they were walking/driving up and down the parade route, it was next to impossible to stop these chairs! I agree that it's a little crazy, yet standing for 2-3 hours is not desirable.

My neighbors and I came down at 3:15 with our chairs, hung out with a beverage from Starbuck's and then placed our chairs, front row and curbside at exactly 6:00 p.m. If someone walked up before that, we kindly said, "We are here for that spot." I think we were fair & reasonable. It was akin to waiting in line.

What's most amazing is that all the chairs sat there for the night and weren't disturbed or stolen! If parade chair placement is our community's big issue for the month, I think we are quite fortunate. I love Danville.


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Posted by Duffy
a resident of Danville
on Jul 6, 2009 at 8:12 am

The "parade chair" problems continues year after year. How about banning all chairs and let people sit on the curb like in the "old days"?

Or at the least have chairs restricted to alternate blocks on opposite sides of the street with
the restriction reversed in odd numbered years except on leap years when only chairs rented from the Town of Danville would be permitted.


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Posted by Susan
a resident of Danville
on Jul 6, 2009 at 8:41 am

I agree with Allison, Ron & Old Timer,

The chair thing, chalk marking and tape is ridiculous and should not be allowed. As for the people who do it, I'm glad they have so much time on their hands.

If the town insists on allowing it, the seat license idea is a good one.


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Posted by CLJ
a resident of Danville
on Jul 6, 2009 at 9:42 am

I have lived here for 21 years, and am currently raising a boy (13) who is polite and not "entitled." It IS difficult, though, to maintain this when he sees so many "special" people, as at the parade. If seating is needed and people want to assure their place ahead of time, maybe we could have grandstand seating and sell tickets. Otherwise, I vote for no chairs, blankets, trucks in parking lots, caution tape etc prior to the start of the parade (9:00AM). Maybe the Kiawanis would be willing to pick up the offending material when they go down the street to place the trash cans?


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Posted by Marie
a resident of Danville
on Jul 6, 2009 at 10:15 am

I am embarrassed, but not surprise at the rude behavior of my fellow Danville neighbors. I have had to deal with many parents who think that the world revolves around them and that is how they raise their children. Many Danville children have done some despicable things, and their parents either pay it off or ignore it all together. If parents don't obey rules/laws and respect others, then why should their children?

We live in such a beautiful town; I wish we could all act as beautiful.

Thank you CLJ, I'm sure you are raising a great respectable boy.


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Posted by Lynn
a resident of Danville
on Jul 6, 2009 at 12:02 pm

I think that seating should be by permit and paid for to off set the cost of cleaning etc. No trucks, not to banish parade lovers but to have some control over the expanding parade crowd. I have lived in
Danville over 30 years and enjoyed the parade with my sons as they grew up....now when they want to return with their little ones it is too big and too much to fight the crowds, not to be able to see what is happening. I really like the bleacher idea. That would allow good viewing and ticket sales could benefit or as I said before pay for the clean up and bleacher fees.


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Posted by Lousie
a resident of Danville
on Jul 6, 2009 at 1:11 pm

Since parade has gotten so big and people like to sit, then the bleacher idea might be a solution for the town and appeal to many. And charge a nominal fee $20 for each seat. If people want to stake out a spot on the street/sidewalk - let them do it after 6PM the night before. They take the time and make the effort, they should have a designated spot to sit. It's silly using police officers to enforce the seating by washing off chalk marks. Get a grip - that's a waste of their time and the taxpayer's money.


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Posted by Kathy
a resident of Danville
on Jul 6, 2009 at 1:13 pm

I live in Danville, 3 blocks away from the parade and I have to say for one day out of the year I enjoy seeing the streets lined with chairs of different sizes, blankets of different colors and the unique way everyone marks off their areas for the parade that they won't see until the following day. I get a kick out of seeing people sitting in their chairs talking to strangers, eating their ice-cream or eating their dinner the night before the parade, adults and kids alike....in their chairs. How many cities around can do this and not have to worry about their chairs being taken? I can't think of one....It's a fun and funny tradition that someone started......surely some of the old-timers can find something other that this to complain about????


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Posted by Marie
a resident of Danville
on Jul 6, 2009 at 4:10 pm

Kathy: I think you are missing the point of the original post. But I'm glad you enjoy this wonderful holiday in Danville.


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Posted by Rick Pshaw
a resident of Danville
on Jul 6, 2009 at 6:11 pm

I already posted this on a different thread, but it bears repeating here.

We went to the Danville Parade once when we first moved here. Never again will we put ourselves through such a display of rudeness and incivility.

As an experiment, remove all time restrictions on allowing people to "reserve" a space with chairs, blankets or whatever. This will really show you what kind of people go to the parade.


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Posted by Visitor
a resident of Danville
on Jul 6, 2009 at 9:39 pm

As someone not from this area, I'm truly not surprised by this behavior. I was at the grocery store and responded to a question from the female sales clerk by saying, "Yes, Ma'am." You'd have thought I tried to rape her the way she carried on about being called Ma'am. Later that same day, I was exiting a business and held the door open as I stood aside to let the lady behind me exit first. She threw up her nose and said that she was quite capable of opening the door herself. I thought, whew, Barbara Boxer sure does fit in well here.

When you teach your children respect and discipline, then you'll have good behavior at the parade.


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Posted by Diane
a resident of Danville
on Jul 6, 2009 at 9:58 pm

You know, I really love it here. I have so many great neighbors. I've also seen some people who think they are entitled somehow or just want to beat out the next guy, but that hasn't spoiled my feelings for the town.

Alison, like you I am a rule follower - totally! I tend to feel better knowing I didn't take a spot that someone else, maybe someone with babies for their lap or someone with problems standing for long periods, could have had. I'm also glad my kids don't see me act that way.

It's a bummer that people sometimes operate from a "get mine before they get theirs" mentality, but don't let it get you too down. We still are so fortunate to live in such a beautiful community.


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Posted by Ron
a resident of Danville
on Jul 7, 2009 at 5:37 pm

I dont find people rude, I find the act to be rude and these people dont have a clue. They think its their spot if they put out a chair even if they are taking up more room than needed. They also make it hard to cross the street. I have been here 18 years and have never attended the parade pass the Safeway for that reason. Here is an idea, let Norms or any bar or place that serves food set up a grandstand and let the people sit there as long as they are eating and drinking. More income for Norms and the city. Only problem with that is big brother will say no outside drinking.
Rude people are everywhere but face it, its better here than most towns. I dont let the snobs bother me, I grew up in a town where many got rich over oil leases and wells on their property. Many were multi millionairs but you could not tell, they were the same nice people driving the same truck. Not here in Danville, people have to show it and with that comes rudness and a feeling of being special. To be honest, this town is full of fakes but its our home till I retire then someone can take my place in this little but big ego town.


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Posted by Rotten Robbie
a resident of Danville
on Jul 7, 2009 at 8:08 pm

The parade used to be a Danville thing. Now its for the whole Bay Area. Here's an idea: every politician who is not from Danville should be charged $10,000 to ride in the parade.


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Posted by Caroline
a resident of Danville
on Jul 8, 2009 at 1:36 am

Okay, so some folks don't follow the rules and others do. Given that the rule in question is about setting up chairs for the 4th of July parade in a wonderful town, I am not sure feathers should be so ruffled - although I do understand.
Please be thankful that all those chairs that are setup the day before, whether at or before the designated hour, are still there the next day. There are many places where those chairs would be long gone by the next day.
The situation provides the perfect lesson for any parent to teach their child that "just because everyone does it, doesn't make it right". And, that life isn't always fair even when there are clear rules for the game...that's life - no matter where ya' live.


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Posted by Race Mom
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Jul 8, 2009 at 8:42 am

I'm amused by reading all of the other responses that this would be such a hot topic. What I see is that it's really comes down to honesty and rudeness as well as morals and obligations.

As a 15-year resident of Danville, raising two sons, I too fully witness the "sense of entitlement" as well as the overall rudeness of many people. It's a challenge raising children here and as my husband and I say, "Danville is the worst place to raise children as well as the best place to raise children". I know most of you will understand.

The chair thing goes on my (thankfully) short list of "pet peeves" along with stopping my car to "let" someone into the traffic flow and not getting a thank you in any way.

The Danville Fourth of July parade is truly a wonderful thing to experience either from the inside or the sidelines. Coming from a small East Coast town, it does bring back fond memories. There was only one year where I left out chairs (after the suggested time) and had no problem finding a small patch of pavement.

If people are so insistent about supporting our town's parade, good for all. It would be nice if rules would be adhered to and maybe charging for a chair permit is a good idea but I think it would take something away from the entire event. How about no chairs (as previously suggested)?? Sounds good to me.

And next time when someone stops their car to let you in, a little wave would be nice!!


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Posted by Polite Mom
a resident of Danville
on Jul 8, 2009 at 11:16 am

Why is following the rules so hard for people in such a nice community? Why do such otherwise intelligent people think it is okay for them to make up their own rules or choose which ones to obey? This subject totally baffles me!

We have lived in Danville over 10 years, and loved it, but the last few years the rule-bending and superior attitudes are getting out of control! Why do so many people here think they and their needs are more important than everyone else?

Whether it's unsafe bike riding, or chairs on the street, trying to pick up your kids in a crowded school parking lot, or rudely attacking each other on the Danville weekly forum, the residents of Danville need to stop thinking so much about themselves and think more about the community as a whole. If everyone in Danville only commits one publicly rude act per year, that's over 40,000 rude acts per year.

Get over yourselves, people!


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