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FREE CHICO’S NEWS AND ENTERTAINMENT SOURCE VOLUME 44, ISSUE 7 THURSDAY, JAN. 14, 2021 CHICO.NEWSREVIEW.COM

SHAME ON LAMALFA

ENCAMPMENTS EMPTIED PANDEMIC BAKERY ARTS DEVO’S EULOGIES

WHOM to

WATCH

Five locals tasked with leading Butte County through uncertain times PAGE

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J A N UA RY 1 4 , 20 21


INSIDE

CN&R

Vol. 44, Issue 7 • January 14, 2021

OPINION

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4

Second & Flume . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Editorial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Guest Comment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 This Modern World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Letters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Streetalk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

NEWSLINES

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Downstroke . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Update on homeless encampments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Schoolkids’ pandemic challenges. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

FEATURE

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Whom to watch in 2021

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ARTS & CULTURE

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January Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Chow. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Scene . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Reel World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Arts DEVO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Brezsny’s Astrology . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

ON THE COVER: DESIGN BY TINA FLYNN

353 E. Second St., Chico, CA 95928 Phone (530) 894-2300 Website chico.newsreview.com Our Mission: To publish great newspapers that are successful and enduring. To create a quality work environment that encourages employees to grow professionally while respecting personal welfare. To have a positive impact on our communities and make them better places to live. Editor at large Melissa Daugherty Interim Editor Jason Cassidy Contributing Editor Evan Tuchinsky Staff Writers Ashiah Scharaga, Ken Smith Calendar Editor Trevor Whitney

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OPINION

Send guest comments, 340 words maximum, to gc@newsreview.com or to 353 E. Second St., Chico, CA 95928. Please include photo & short bio.

SECOND & FLUME

EDITORIAL

Profiles in cowardice ongressman Doug LaMalfa has Cspewing always been a dull, propagandaopportunist. He’s the same

guy who has lined his own pockets with literally millions of dollars in farm welfare while simultaneously voting to cut food stamps for his poorest constituents. But last week, he went too far. Late Wednesday evening (Jan. 6) and into the next morning, hours after the attempted coup incited by President Trump—a riot at the U.S. Capitol that ultimately killed five people, including a police officer— LaMalfa joined the most extreme members of his party and voted against the Electoral College certification in two states. It was a ludicrous stunt with absolutely no basis in reality, as clearly demonstrated by the Republican Party’s top official, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who repudiated the maneuver. What it did was memorialize LaMalfa as a Trump loyalist, forever linking him to a seditious scofflaw for whom there is no cost too great to subvert democracy in the name of self-preservation. Forget country over party, LaMalfa chose Trump over it all—the GOP, the Constitution and especially his district, over which he has cast a pall. Indeed, doing so has not only stained his already checkered tenure in Congress, but also has brought shame to his constituency. There is no truth to the claims of

the election having been compromised, and those in LaMalfa’s position know this. His actions aren’t about phony “concerns,” but rather fealty to a dangerous man who reveled in the bloody chaos wrought in his name. Worst of all, our congressman bears a portion of the responsibility for the violence in D.C. for parroting Trump’s election-fraud lies and adding fuel the flames. What a disgrace. LaMalfa should resign, but we know that will never happen. He’s shown he has no shame. Moreover, he has pretty much nothing else going for him. Unlike some of his extreme Republican cohorts, who’ve lost book deals and the backing of prominent benefactors, LaMalfa’s claim to fame on a national level is being humiliated by Chris Cuomo during an interview on CNN last month. Our response as a result is twopronged: First, we ask residents of the 1st District to call the congressman’s office to lodge a complaint (Chico 343-1000; Redding 223-5898; D.C. 202-225-3076). Second, we encourage others regardless of party affiliation—ideally rival Audrey Denney, if she were motivated for a third run at his seat—to step up to replace him in 2022. LaMalfa is about to begin his fourth term in office. It’s up to us to make it Ω his last.

LaMalfa should resign, but we know that will never happen. He’s shown he has no shame.

Write a letter 4

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JANUARY 14, 2021

Tell us what you think in a letter to the editor. Send submissions of 200 or fewer words to cnrletters@newsreview.com.

by Melissa Daugherty m e l i s s a d @ n e w s r e v i e w. c o m

Sad and angry One of my worst fears about the pandemic was realized six days before Christmas. That’s when I lost my beloved grandfather, Albert Baleme Jr., the patriarch of my mother’s family. He was my last living grandparent and one of the kindest men I’ve ever known. Departing roughly a month before his 97th birthday, Grandpa lived longer than any other member of my family. I don’t know his secret to longevity, but I suspect it had something to do with how much he enjoyed life. He was accomplished professionally—first in the construction field, then as a building inspector for the city of Merced—earning a comfortable living for his 33 years in retirement. More important, he developed lasting bonds with friends and loving relationships with his family. After my grandmother died five years ago, my grandfather said he had no regrets. “I wouldn’t change a thing,” he told us. Grandpa is the only person in my orbit for whom I believe that statement to be true. I’m mad as hell that he’s gone. Even now, nearly a month after his passing, I’m stuck in that second stage of grief. But that’s exactly where I need to be to process his death. Though Grandpa lived a long and happy life, he deserved better than having it ended by COVID-19. Were it not for the spread of the virus, he likely would’ve been around for years. And for that, I blame our selfish society. There have been so many terrible responses to the pandemic, but perhaps the biggest failure is how poorly we’ve safeguarded the elderly, something that speaks volumes about America and our values. According to AARP, as of early December, nearly 40 percent of U.S. coronavirus deaths were linked to nursing homes or other long-term care facilities. I’m angry with the politicians who’ve played down the seriousness of the disease. I’m angry with the people who infected my Grandpa, a 96-year-old who didn’t even use a cane. I’m also angry with certain friends and family members who’ve responded to precautions such as social distancing with casual disregard or wanton contempt. Since the start of the pandemic, I’d been anxious about Grandpa’s well-being due not only to his age-related vulnerability but also because nursing homes on the East Coast had been a sort of ground zero for virus-related fatalities. The staggering number of deaths there last spring presaged what California would later experience. I took some solace in the fact that Grandpa’s assisted-living facility in Merced instituted a host of precautions. He had a nice private suite in the place, a fancy joint with marbled walls that we jokingly called the Taj Mahal. I really hoped that those operating it were treating him and the other residents with the same care they would have given to their own relatives. And, for many months, things seemed to be OK. Still, deep down I feared people wouldn’t do the right thing—set aside their own desires for the greater good. I witnessed locally the kind of complacency that I imagine ultimately allowed COVID into the facility, killing him and at least three others diagnosed with the virus despite the fact that their home ostensibly had been locked down. Early in the statewide stay-home order, I ran into an acquaintance who is the perfect example. In addition to spouting off conspiracy theories about the virus, he complained that the economic toll of the shutdown was too steep for a disease that largely kills “only old people.” I was appalled by his detached cruelty and reminded him the virus could affect someone he loved. He scoffed at mask-wearing and the death toll. Our conversation solidified my suspicion that too many people wouldn’t take the pandemic seriously unless and until they were personally affected, perhaps even losing someone dear to them. For me, the loss is the man who taught me how to bait a fishing hook from the deck of the houseboat he built. He’s the man who made me the sweetest personalized cards bearing his picture for each birthday and other special occasions. He’s the man who joked that I was his favorite granddaughter, because I was the lone granddaughter, but also made me feel truly special. He’s the man whose dark-brown eyes I catch a glimpse of when I look into a mirror. To those who are mourning a COVID death and feel cheated, I get it. No matter what anyone says, you have a right to be angry and grieve at your own pace. You’re not alone.

Melissa Daugherty is editor-at-large of the CN&R


GUEST COMMENT

YOGA CENTER OF CHICO

America’s modern religious war Right declaring Trump the Lord’s anointed versus Tprogressive Christians denouncing him.

here is a civil war in American Christianity: The Christian

Did Republicans buy the evangelicals or the evangelicals take over the Republican Party? Each side gained. Evangelicals got the appointment of conservative judges; an unflinching rejection of abortion and the promise to revoke Roe v. Wade; a gradual de-privileging of homosexuality and gay marriage; and an activist guarantee of freedom of religion, including government support of religious schools and religious symbols in the public square and the withdrawal of prosecution of religious prejudice against homosexual and other liberal civil rights. In turn, the Christian Right bestowed religious legitimation on by the philosophy of small governDonald Heinz ment with no responsibility for The author is a social justice and the baptism of retired Chico State professor and the unregulated capitalism as God’s author of Beyond own economics. The self-congratTrump: Achieving a ulatory ideology of the shining city New Social Gospel. became God’s American dream,

while our political-economic culture was shielded from religious critique. The idea of “social sin” and “structural analysis” of an economy that immiserates the poor and destroys the environment was rejected in the name of opposing cultural Marxism and preserving Christianity as a purely individualist path to salvation. Contemporary Catholic neo-conservatism was insisting that a pro-life stance is the single moral issue decisive in politics, while also giving disencumbered capitalism a pass from a century of Catholic social theology that championed the poor as victims of rapacious capitalism. On the opposite side of this civil war, progressive Christians call for the demise of the Christian Right, lest it discredit all religious belief and contribute to the marginalization of historic Christianity. They propose a renewed social gospel that carries the essence of Christianity onto the streets, fights for social justice and champions “the least of these” in a grossly unequal system. They applaud Pope Francis’ social theology and the sacramentalization of workers and unions. How will this end? In view of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, will the Christian Right admit it wasn’t God who anointed Trump but their own mistaking the idolatry of Christian nationalism for historic Biblical Christianity? Will left and right Christians find ways to work for the good of the whole? Ω

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LETTERS

Send email to cnrletters@newsreview.com

Shelter in jail I’m impressed by the immense charity of the City Council opening up a homeless center at 1460 Humboldt Road! They’ve decided to be proactive in having city resources go toward bringing all of the homeless who usually sleep in the parks and housing them for the night! I’m so proud of Councilmembers Morgan, Reynolds, Coolidge, Tandon and Denlay for voting in favor of making camping in the park a misdemeanor so that they can waste money on police overtime to repeatedly book the homeless folks for the night. Eva Willingham  Chico

Where’s the de-escalation? Thirty-five civilians have been killed in officer-involved shootings in Butte County since 1992. About one-half of the victims were experiencing a mental crisis when killed. Your District Attorney, Michael L. Ramsey, has exonerated every killing; however, he pivoted from justified to filing charges in one case, against former Paradise Police officer Patrick Feaster. Feaster was convicted of manslaughter and served a scant 90 days in jail. Ramsey initially told the press and taxpayers that the shooting was accidental and possibly the gun was defective, but the dash camera video told the tale, and Ramsey caved. Chico Police Department officers killed a 30-year-old man [Stephen Vest] on Oct. 14, 2020, who was having a mental crisis. The Chico police chief, Matt Madden, has told the public he is committed to following new state laws concerning the use of deadly force and de-escalation guidelines from the state’s Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training. His officers must not have gotten the message. Actions speak louder than words. Scott Rushing Ventura

Empathy for the unhoused I was homeless after running away from St. Clairus Catholic Orphanage in Denver and traveled to most states in the union. I became sober and stopped all my wild choices to be a responsible father. I feel that my life transition through 55 years—the up and downs with alcohol and drugs and homeless experience then sobriety—gave me an ability to help with Chico’s Homeless crisis we are in now. I have been active with AA for 40 years. I am one of volunteers available 24/7 to aide people in crisis. I learned a lot about being homeless and setting up shelters from Carl Porter, who established a shelter in Portland where people could stop in for 2-3 hours to 6 

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JANUARY 14, 2021

rest and get some food. I want to help volunteer to solve this crisis in Chico. I suggest we establish rules, but give some autonomy to help homeless people grow with gratitude, build confidence and trust in the city and themselves. Show Chico cares about them, and help this group transition though better choices, to improve their lives and see the light at the end of the tunnel—like I did to become a responsible dad. Aldofo Rivera Chico

Muse in chief “Desperate Donald’s Downfall” There once was a liar named Donald Trump Who was tossed out like old worthless junk. “Get out—you’re fired!” we the people said, Having had enough of him in Putin’s bed. Herd immunity was Trump’s murderous plan, To do nothing but laugh at dead Americans. While Russian hackers steal our information, Traitor Trump went on a permanent vacation. Playing golf at his country clubs nonstop, The laziness of this loser is over-the-top! WWII ended with Hitler hiding in a bunker, And Trump is in a sand trap trying to hunker. Fascist criminals deserve only one fate. No mercy for those who spread racist hate. The neo-Nazi GOP just loves Don the con. Liar liar, pants on fire! Don’s no James Bond. Trump is a traitor. That is perfectly clear. January 20th: Biden-Harris are almost here. Trump the chump will first flee to West Palm, Then off to Moscow he’ll run—get lost, Don! Beg for assistance from Vladimir once again. The Orange Emperor is defeated. THE END. Jake Pickering Arcata

Clarification In last month’s print edition (“Local heroes,” Dec. 10, 2020), no credit was given for the mural featured on the cover of the issue. The two-story “Love, Safety, Respect, Support” painting in downtown Chico was created by Jed Speer in cooperation with Catalyst Domestic Violence Services. The CN&R apologizes for the ommission.

Write a letter  Tell us what you think in a letter to the editor. Send submissions of 200 or fewer words to cnrletters@newsreview.com. Deadline for February print publication is Feb. 3.


What’s your New Year’s resolution? Asked in downtown Chico

Cheryl King educational consultant

To be more conscientious of the money I spend, and to not spend it on myself but to provide help to others who need it.

Mallory Penzotti facility manager

To be more mindful and responsive to my intuition.

Reginald Matthews retired

Be a better person.

Christopher Kokoll mindfulness coach

Heal all my karma across all lifetimes and completely align with my soul. Total sovereignty from the consensus consciousness—something real and authentic and loving and kind to the world.

What will happen in 2021?

STREETALK

We need your support Help us continue reporting on important issues The Chico News & Review’s wants to ensure that our team of dedicated journalists can continue working through one of the worst economic and health crises of the past century. With your recurring or one-time contribution, the CN&R can continue our award-winning coverage on the topics that impact the residents of Butte County, including COVID-19, the arts, homelessness, the fight for equality, and wildfire recovery and prevention.

You can make a donation Online at: chico.newsreview.com/support Or mail a check to: Chico News & Review 353 E. Second St. Chico, CA 95928 (Please include return address, and do not send cash.)

Thank you from your local, alternative newsroom.

Independent local journalism, since 1977. Now more than ever.

JANUARY 14, 2021

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NEWSLINES DOWNSTROKE VACCINES ROLL OUT

Butte County Public Health has begun releasing COVID-19 vaccines to high-risk groups in phases and tiers based on federal and state government guidelines. Groups that had been offered vaccinations as of press time include front-line health care providers and teachers/educators. Vaccines are being offered at this time by invitation only. Once a group is eligible, Public Health will reach out through methods such as contacting places of employment and health care providers. Public Health will also post updates to its Facebook page and website (buttecounty.net/ph/COVID19/vaccine). It is estimated that the vaccine will be available for the general public by this June or July via local pharmacies, primary care providers, and community vaccination clinics.

FOR THE HELPERS

The North Valley Community Foundation (NVCF) is offering tangible thanks to those who help others. Via its COVID-19 Employee Care Grant Program, the NVCF will give out awards— between $100 and $5,000, depending on staff size—to nonprofits that serve at-risk populations and residential care facilities in Butte, Glenn, Tehama and Colusa counties so they can treat employees with self-care initiatives or gestures. “We are always looking for ways to help the helpers, and those helpers have never been more heroic than during this pandemic,” NVCF President and CEO Alexa Benson-Valavanis said in a news release. The foundation suggests rewards such as “staff appreciation events on Zoom, a delivered meal, virtual yoga or exercise classes, group meditation sessions, exercise equipment, gratitude gifts and other self-care ideas.” The application period ends Friday (Jan. 15); submit proposals online (nvcf.org/covid19-employee-care-grant).

RIDGE TRAIL GETS FUNDING

In a boost to hiking and biking on the Ridge, the Paradise Recreation and Park District (PRPD) announced it has received state funding to build a 20-mile loop trail. The $507,392 award comes from the Recreational Trails and Greenways grant program, funded by Proposition 68. The loop will connect more than 15 miles of trails on public lands—local and federal—predominantly in and around Magalia. In a PRPD news release Monday (Jan. 11), District Manager Dan Efseaff (pictured) said the grant money “will help provide a backbone for a new trail system in the heart of Butte County.” PRPD seeks public input for trail needs via an online survey (paradiseprpd.com/ cascade-and-sierra-foothills-trails). 8

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Sweeps begin City of Chico starts clearing homeless encampments without providing alternatives

A heated public debate, the city of Chico made good on pledges to step up enforce-

fter weeks of uncertainty and months of

ment against homeless campers Tuesday morning (Jan. 12), as dozens of city workStory and ers and Chico Police photos by Department (CPD) Ken Smith personnel broke up kens @ encampments in Lower n ew sr ev i ew. c o m Bidwell Park. The sweeps began at about 8:30 a.m., as a large tractor rolled into the horseshoe pit area near Sycamore Pool. The yellow behemoth maneuvered around protesters who’d gathered to voice opposition to the crackdown in light of the fact that the city has failed to provide camping or shelter alternatives and local service providers are currently unable to accommodate new guests. During the sweep, city workers gath-

ered campers’ belongings into trash cans they dumped into a large pile, which the tractor then carried to dump trucks staged nearby. Sgt. Cesar Sandoval of the CPD’s Target Team was on hand to field questions and criticisms from peaceful but passionate protesters who decried the sweep as inhumane and illegal. “I agree they need to have a place to go, and we should work on that together,” Sandoval said in response to homeless advocate Patrick Newman, one of many people who asked where people are supposed to relocate. Though he referred direct questions from the media to CPD Chief Matt Madden, Sandoval was also overheard saying that city staff and police were merely doing their jobs and carrying out the will of the City Council. Tuesday’s action focused on the encampments west of One Mile Recreation Area to the park’s entrance. It is the first

of what promises to be a series of roustings in areas where campers have congregated since March, when the previous left-leaning City Council relaxed rules against public camping to comply with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines aimed at aiding social distancing to curb the spread of COVID-19 among the vulnerable homeless population.

Lead-up to the bust-up Despite allotting more than $2 million towards homeless issues in October—with some of the money earmarked to establish shelter beds and sanctioned campgrounds—the city has not realized efforts to provide those resources. Still, the City Council—which flipped to a conservative majority in November, driven largely by those candidates’ promises to break up the


Navigate today’s legal challeNges Chico Police Sgt. Cesar Sandoval (wearing black mask) engages with homeless advocates and police personnel as city workers dismantle a homeless encampment near One Mile Recreation Area in Bidwell Park Tuesday (Jan. 11).

encampments—passed an ordinance Dec. 1 elevating the breaking of park rules to criminal offenses, a stepping stone to the sweeps that are now officially underway. Police and park rangers have spent the last several weeks visiting camps and informing denizens about impending enforcement, but city officials have been vague about when this would begin or how it would be carried out. That became more clear when 72-hour eviction notices were issued to some campers in Lower Bidwell Park last Thursday (Jan. 7). Roughly half of the campers had moved out of the area by Tuesday morning. Anticipating Tuesday’s action, protesters began gathering at Bidwell Park’s Cypress Street entrance at about 7:30 a.m. Roughly 50 people had shown up by 8 a.m., and about half moved to the horseshoe pits when city workers began breaking up the camps located there. As the protesters gathered, Bryce Hodge was among a handful of campers breaking down their belongings near the park entrance in order to move before police and city workers arrived. “I found a place right on the edge of town, but it’s going to be a difficult move,” Hodge said, explaining he has medical issues that have forced him to the visit the hospital a half-dozen times in recent months. “It’s especially confusing, because I was Bryce Hodge breaks camp near the entrance to Bidwell Park where he’s stayed for the last three months, just minutes before encampment sweeps started Tuesday morning.

told to move here three months ago when I was staying elsewhere. “They pretty much corralled us in here, and now they’re telling us we have to move but that we can be arrested for camping anywhere we go in city limits. “I really don’t know what I’m supposed to do,” he added. “None of us do.”

‘Making problems worse’ While the conservatives on City Council have made apparent their objective to empty the encampments, Alex Brown and Scott Huber—the only left-leaning holdovers of the progressive-majority council—have remained steadfast in their stance that campers shouldn’t be forced to move without the city providing alternatives. Huber stood among the protesters Tuesday morning, carrying a sign reading, “NO EVICTIONS without SANCTIONED CAMPGROUND.” Interviewed Monday (Jan. 11), Brown voiced her opposition to moving campers. She criticized what she deemed a lack of transparency by city staff regarding how and when enforcement of camping laws would be carried out, saying that she—as well as service providers and advocates—have had to rely on information circulated by word of mouth after enforcement steps were already underway. “City staff has been given vast deference on how to move forward with this action, and now they’re implementing it in a big way without giving any information,” she said. “The public has been completely excluded from the conversation regarding these actions and had to learn from rumors NEWSLINES C O N T I N U E D

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NEWSLINES

C O N T I N U E D F R O M PA G E 9

or from people on the street. “It’s ironic that in a moment when the most vulnerable are being threatened, everyone—myself, service providers, concerned citizens—has to rely on them for information.” Brown said this is especially concerning in the case of service providers who will be faced with serving the needs of a newly uprooted unhoused population against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I’m angry and I’m frustrated, and from comments I’ve heard from other councilmembers, it’s apparent they just want the camps to go away and think that will solve everything,” she said. “But this can’t be fixed with a snap of the fingers. “Forcing people to just move around and handing out citations or arresting people aren’t substantive or helpful ways to address these issues. It’s ultimately just causing more suffering and making problems worse.”

More to come The only official communication from the city in the days leading up to Tuesday’s sweep was a news release issued Monday that was largely aimed at quelling rumors that the city was moving forward with plans to establish a shelter at the vacant Kmart building on Pillsbury Road or at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds. The press release, like previous communications from the city, is ambiguous about when and how park camping regulations would be enforced. It reads: “As the City Council directed at the December 1, 2020 regular meeting, enforcement of all park rules and regulations will continue to occur, allowing for heightened enforcement of illegal behaviors within these public spaces, thereby amplifying the level of accountability and public expectation of safety, cleanliness, and environmental stewardship within

these areas.” Lynda Gizzi, the city’s public information officer, offered more specific information on Tuesday after the sweep had already begun. She said that 44 eviction notices had been issued thus far to campers in Bidwell Park between Highway 99 and Annie’s Glen. “Notices will continue to be issued throughout the areas identified in the ordinance,” she said. Those areas include “The

Triangle” area between Pine and Cypress streets, Humboldt Park, the Comanche Creek Greenway and other parts of Bidwell Park. “The Chico Police Department will continue to issue eviction notices based on their prioritization of calls for service, their staffing levels, and the areas where they are seeing illegal activities and the degradation of the environment in our parks and waterways.” Though it’s unclear as of press time if there were any arrests made or citations issued during Tuesday’s rousting, Gizzi said those responses remain possible as the city clears additional encampments. “We continue to seek voluntary compliance but will be moving forward with enforcement in the upcoming days and weeks,” she said. “Citations and arrests may be warranted based upon illegal behaviors and actions taking place.” As far as where people should go, Gizzi said the city is directing campers to contact local service providers and that the city “has been in continuous communication with local services providers so that they can be prepared to offer services to those people affected.” On Monday, Joy Amaro—executive City workers clear debris from encampments in Lower Bidwell Park.

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About 50 protesters gather near the Cypress Street entrance of Bidwell Park to oppose Tuesday’s crackdown on campers.

director of True North Housing Alliance, which runs the Torres Community Shelter— said she was not given advance warning about eviction notices last week or of this week’s sweep. She also confirmed that the Torres Shelter is not accepting new guests due to the COVID crisis and has not been accepting them since Butte County reentered the purple tier in November. Safe Space Winter Shelter has not opened this year due to the city’s strict adherence to state rules saying that buildings used as shelters need to have sprinkler systems—an edict the city has backed away from since the Jan. 5 council meeting when Councilman Sean Morgan introduced a plan to circumvent that rule and partner with Safe Space to sublet a building. But the city has yet to announce any movement on that endeavor. This all leaves the question asked again and again by the unhoused and their allies— “Where are people supposed to go?”—unanswered. “All that we’ve heard and continue to hear from city officials is where people can’t be,” Brown said, “not where they can be.” Ω NEWSLINES C O N T I N U E D

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COVID 19 has been stressful for many of us in Butte County as well as for many others around the world. Stress over a prolonged period of time can cause or make worse pre-existing conditions people might have as well. As a result, people can experience a significant increase in mental health challenges (anger, depression, anxiety, and fear) as well as increased substance use (drugs and or alcohol). If you or someone that you know is struggling with any of these issues there is help available. Reaching out for help is not a sign of personal failure or weakness. It is the right thing to do. Every day, millions of people face challenges related to mental health and substance use. You are not alone, and we are here to help. Butte County Behavioral Health has a mission to "Partner with individuals, families and the community for recovery from serious mental health and substance use issues and to promote wellness, resiliency and hope."

Now, more than ever, it is critical to pay attention to your mental wellness. If you or a loved one would like more information on local treatment and services, dial 2-1-1 to speak with someone for assistance.

Need help? If you have Medi-Cal and are interested in accessing services with Behavioral Health for mental health or substance use treatment or if you are in crisis: Please call our Access line (available 7 days a week 24 hours a day). 800.334.6622 or 530.891.2810 Services are provided in Chico, Paradise, Oroville, Gridley. Support can be provided by phone, video, or in-person Additional resources are also available at buttecounty.net/ behavioralhealth

800.334.6622 or 530.891.2810 www.buttecounty.net/behavioralhealth/

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NEWSLINES Chico Unified School District office. PHOTO BY JASON CASSIDY

Back to school conundrum Coronavirus surge makes in-person instruction a trade-off for families by

Evan Tuchinsky eva nt@ newsrev iew.c om

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Fgenerational Junior High has become a tradition. JP and

or the Bergmann family, Chico

Linda went there, and though their Mulberry Street home falls within the attendance boundaries of Marsh Junior High, their son is a proud Chico Junior Cougar. The coronavirus pandemic interrupted his seventh-grade year, when schooling moved online, and he started eighth grade with distance-learning as well. For spring semester, which started last week, Chico Unified School

District offered families the option to continue with remote schooling or return to campus for inperson instruction compliant with COVID-19 prevention measures. As a family, the Bergmanns decided to stay with distance learning. Linda—program coordinator for a youth nonprofit, as well as a local musician (known as Minnie Mental in the band she fronts, Furlough Fridays, with her husband on drums)—said doing so was particularly important to JP, a seed cultivator for a local

rice farm, considering the spike in coronavirus since Thanksgiving. “My husband and I both feel very strongly about following experts, especially since we’re not viral epidemiologists,” she told the CN&R. “If they’re suggesting that you remain socially distant, then that’s what we’re going to do. Not to mention that I wouldn’t want to have something on my conscience, that something I did caused the death of someone else.” The Bergmanns submitted CUSD’s survey ahead of winter break and received no notice that indicated a change—until last Monday (Jan. 4), when school started virtually for three days in preparation for resuming on campus. They received an email

indicating he’d been slated for inperson classes—the alternatives at that point being a wait list for Chico Junior’s distance learning or enrollment at the district’s online school, Oak Bridge Academy. Fortunately for the Bergmanns, their school counselor got him switched over to remote instruction by last Thursday morning, so he remains at Chico Junior and with minimal disruption, to his mother’s relief. “I wouldn’t want to have to tell my little Cougar that he couldn’t be a part of that school anymore because he has a certain school identity and school pride, and that’s where his friends are,” she said. “I’d like to give him an opportunity to finish what he starts there; he started [in] the band program last year, and there were concerts and all these cool things that they were going to do … march in a parade with Chico High Schoolers and get that experience. That’s something we want to make sure he gets to do at some point.” The Bergmanns’ experience isn’t unique, CUSD administrators told the CN&R, but also isn’t common. Assistant Superintendent Jay Marchant said “not a lot [of families] want to switch”; Educational Services Directors John Shepherd and Ted Sullivan said CUSD has resolved around 95 percent of requests for distance learning. Families still can ask to go remote by checking with their school’s administration. The district administrators stressed, however, that it’s more complicated to come back midterm from online learning than vice versa—and educators find strong benefits from in-person classes. “This pandemic is not the kids’ fault, so we’re going to accommodate them every way we can,” Shepherd said, adding: “What’s hidden but sometimes comes exposed is the humans in the building—human relations, building social skills, being able to manage social situations—that hidden curriculum that takes place in every setting. Without that


E N T E R T A I N M E N T

PHOTO BY EVAN TUCHINSKY

&

Linda Bergmann, parent of a Chico Junior High student, says she’s glad her son can continue distance learning without needing to switch schools.

N E W S

Bergmann sees first-hand the challenge of remote learning. Distinct from home-schooling, where families utilize curricula specifically designed for this purpose, districts offer hybrids of their own making, akin to online college classes—but for younger students, with developing study skills and different attention spans. Bergmann says her son is “pretty independent” and does well in school, but Mom doesn’t have the same influence as a teacher. That’s not unusual, according to Mary Sakuma, superintendent of the Butte County Office of Education, who told the CN&R that many students seek approval more from teachers than parents when it comes to schoolwork. That’s just one reason she, like CUSD administrators, endorse inperson education. “Working from home in a distance-learning model really doesn’t work well for most kids,”

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Pros and cons

Sakuma said. “It’s not to say the families aren’t trying, because they’re really working hard; and it’s also not to say that teachers who are teaching in distance learning aren’t doing a great job, because they are. “End of the day, when you’re a kid and you can be face-toface with your teacher, it really increases the engagement and I think really gives that teacher the in-the-moment feedback that comes from that person-to-person interaction—and really allows the teacher to modify their instructional strategy on the spot.” BCOE and the county’s districts, including CUSD, anticipated the coronavirus surge that pushed Butte County into California’s most restrictive tier (see “Year-end stats stark,” chico. newsreview.com, Dec. 31). That was the impetus for CUSD’s survey and distance-learning plan. Sakuma and CUSD administrators noted that none of the county’s coronavirus cases traces to transmission at school. “I realize the challenges that [pandemic-caused changes] have brought to families,” Sakuma said. “My opinion is that, wherever possible, we want kids in school with their teachers, but there are just so many challenges that this pandemic has brought that there’s no simple or easy answer.” Ω

C H I C O ’ S

hidden curriculum to grow for our students is definitely a disservice.”

S O U R C E

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Whom to watch in Highlighting some of the local leaders tasked with guiding Butte County through tumultuous times

W

hatever new challenges 2021 has in store for Butte County, there is still a lot of work to do to recover from the wreckage of the previous year. Public health, business, education, housing and the environment have all suffered during a year filled with wildfires, civil unrest and a worldwide pandemic. It’s going to take commitment and many people willing to work together to rebuild our community, and the five subjects the CN&R has chosen to spotlight in this annual Whom to Watch issue are among the leaders tasked with getting us back on our feet.

Working for a better future Caitlin Dalby

Caitlin Dalby just started two new jobs, and she is approaching both with the focus of making a difference in her community—in 2021 and beyond. In addition to being a newly elected Chico Unified School District board member, she will spearhead the nonprofit Butte Environmental Council as its new general manager. That’s not to say making a difference wasn’t a focus before—Dalby has been a secondary school science teacher for the past 12 years. She told the CN&R that she’s motivated by her former students, to whom she had to say goodbye in order to assume her post as a district trustee. And, of course, she’s also motivated by her infant daughter, Isla. “I want them to have a brighter future. It’s a lead-by-example thing: ‘Follow your passions and be the change.’ It’s been what I’ve been telling my students forever,” she said. “And I’m really excited to live that.” 14

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When it comes to her position at BEC, Dalby said she’ll work with her team to continue the organization’s 45-year legacy of environmental stewardship, education and advocacy. Dalby, who has a master’s degree in land resources and environmental science, takes a holistic view of environmental health. She sees BEC having an important role in many socioeconomic issues, including homelessness and the housing crisis. In addition, she’s planning on exploring projects related to groundwater and surface water health, sustainable land regeneration, urban forest management and wildfire recovery. In both positions, at BEC and with CUSD, Dalby said transparency is key for her and she’ll always take the approach of asking analytical questions and drawing Caitlin Dalby (with daughter Isla), CUSD board member and Butte Environmental Council general manager. PHOTO BY ASHIAH SCHARAGA


2021

conclusions based on evidence and data. As a CUSD board member, she said her No. 1 priority is the health and safety of students, staff and teachers on campuses. The district needs to err on the side of caution until coronavirus infection and transmission data paints a complete picture of the impacts and risks for students, teachers and staff, Dalby added. She’s a proponent of focusing on how to mitigate spread and continue in-person instruction for those who really need it—such as students with accessibility issues or those suffering from severe mental health challenges. “Distance learning is not ideal, but it’s not as disruptive as what’s happening right now at the secondary level” with absences among students, teachers and staff due to COVID-19 exposure quarantines, she said. The district needs to “be creative and find out how to make campuses safer and still provide meaningful education to students.” Dalby also is focused on students’ emotional well-being. She said she’s in support of more primary school counselors—at least one at each elementary site. “We need to model advocating for ourselves and we need to empower [students] to reach out to a trusted person,” she said. “We really need to work on this personal connection with our students because we’re just seeing that need so much right now, especially over the last few years. With [the] COVID[-19 pandemic], it’s even more prominent.” —ASHIAH SCHARAGA as hi ahs @ n ew sr ev i ew. com

Dr. Robert Bernstein, Butte County public health officer PHOTO BY EVAN TUCHINSKY

New top doc

Dr. Rober t Ber nstein Public Health Officer has not been the most popular job title in California over the past year. Across the state, doctors setting coronavirus measures have left their posts under pressure by policymakers and the public—or due to pressure from the work itself. Butte County, with the Oroville Dam and Camp Fire crises preceding the current pandemic, lost its public health officer in June. But available and willing to take the job was Dr. Robert Bernstein, who’d served that capacity in Tuolomne County until February, when that county’s supervisors let him go without public explanation. Butte County’s Board of Supervisors approved his hiring in August to succeed Dr. Andy Miller, who remains a practitioner in Chico and in contact with Bernstein. Known as Dr. B around the Public Health Department, he relocated with his 15-year-old triplets and four cats. “I’m happy here,” he said—knowing well, from Miller and others, all that Butte County has gone through and continues to endure. But this is not Bernstein’s first exposure to emergency. He’s worked for the World Health Organization, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Doctors Without Borders and USAID, battling diseases such as Ebola, MERS and SARS. He’s also provided medical relief to tsunami victims in Asia. “I’ve had my share of experiences working at the international, national and local levels during outbreaks of communicable diseases and other kinds of emergencies,” he explained in a training room at Public Health’s administrative office in Oroville. “There’s a photograph of me being in a small room, about a quarter of the size of this one, briefing President Carter during the Mount St. Helens eruptions [in 1980]. “I’m not exactly uninitiated in terms of emergencies and disasters—but this is the first pandemic that most of us have experienced unless we’re 100 years old in the U.S., so there are a lot of things that are different and challenging about this pandemic.”

Bernstein advocates for preventative measures such as social distancing, hand-washing and wearing face coverings in public. Controversy over the latter, in particular, troubles him. “There’s so much confusion, I think, over individual rights versus public needs that have led [some] people to take positions and behave in ways that endanger members of their own family and the community,” he said. In December alone, Butte County experienced more than 40 percent of its 7,390 COVID-19 cases from 2020, and the pace has continued into the new year, with 1,135 more cases through Jan. 10. Coronavirus vaccines will roll out countywide after health-care workers get inoculated—but, once again, Bernstein sees resistance as a problem. Epidemiologists estimate at least 70 percent of the population must vaccinate to effectively stop the spread via herd immunity. “We really need their agreement to understand the importance of accepting these vaccines in order to protect themselves, their family members and the community at large,” Bernstein said. “At the same time, we need to overcome the anti-vax movement that’s keeping people from vaccinating their children and taking their own vaccines—the dozen or so vaccines that have been shown over the years to be safe and effective.” Improving health literacy in the county is one of Bernstein’s priorities. He’s also eager to continue efforts championed by Miller to reduce opioid addiction. He has other epidemics in his sights— i.e., adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and tuberculosis—plus expanding access to care. All this amid budgets cuts and the added demands of a pandemic. “Our ability to provide essential public health services is constrained,” Bernstein said, “and we’ve had to prioritize our [coronavirus] case investigation and contact tracing…. That’s a problem.” However, “2021 is going to be brighter than 2020,” he added. “I’m always optimistic; that’s a requirement of a public health officer, to be optimistic.” —EVAN TUCHINSKY eva nt@ newsr ev iew.c o m

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Council comeback

Insuring a Strong Community

Andrew Coolidge After falling short of reelection to a second term on the Chico City Council in 2018, Andrew Coolidge felt no rush to return to civic duty. “Someone would ask me, and I would say, ‘Maybe some day,’” he told the CN&R. “It was something where maybe later in life, maybe in my 50s or 60s, I’d think about trying to run a race to come back to council.” Then 2020 struck. Coolidge, 48, works in public relations, with the bulk of his business centered on bridal shows and homeand-garden shows; coronavirus decimated the events sector. Meanwhile, Chico moved from citywide elections to districts, and he resides in one—District 5—that was set to be contested. The nexus of opportunity, plus encouragement of supporters, prompted Coolidge to declare his candidacy over the summer, and he went on to beat Lauren Kohler and incumbent Randall Stone, both progressives. Fellow Conservatives, including incumbent Sean Morgan, also won the other three seats to join Kasey Reynolds in a 5-2 majority that flipped the council’s power balance. His colleagues punctuated his comeback by electing Coolidge mayor, with Reynolds vice mayor. “This is definitely not an easy position,” he said, seated in City Council Chambers recently. “I welcome the challenge, but at the same time I realize I’m not going to make everyone happy all the time. “I’m also going to do it in my style: calm, pragmatic, moving forward at a good pace but welcoming public comment. I’ve never been one to be aching for the center of attention or limelight—that’s not my personality, that’s not who I am.” His council leadership now belies his position during his first term, when he periodically found himself on his own outside the conservative bloc (then-Mayor Morgan, Vice Mayor Reanette Fillmer and former Mayor Mark Sorensen). This time, he came into office aligned with councilmembers supported by the political action committee Citizens for a Safe Chico as well as the similarly oriented citizen groups Chico First and One Chico. The PAC spent around $220,000 on the election. Coolidge acknowledged positions he shares with Morgan and the two new councilwomen, Kami Denlay and Deepika Tandon, on issues such as public safety, homelessness and banning syringe service programs. He also pointed to priorities of his that are not promoted by the others—road improvements; tree-planting in

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Chico Mayor Andrew Coolidge PHOTO BY EVAN TUCHINSKY

Bidwell Park; solar energy; retrofitting more lighting to LED; irrigation and wastewater efficiency. “PACs speak with a loud megaphone,” Coolidge said. “I campaign person to person. “I have a unique way of looking at city government: It’s a little Libertarian, a little conservative and a little socially moderate. Those three things mixed in make me different. I can’t necessarily be put into one box.” Coolidge credited the previous council for its budgetary response to the pandemic though feels the city can thaw its hiring freeze, as the new council recently approved for the Chico Police Department. “My goal, really, is to move the city through things business-wise,” he said. “It doesn’t have to be controversial. People get their say, the council moves forward in one direction or another. “City government only moves so quickly, so I don’t think necessarily we’re going to have rapid change,” Coolidge added. “I think we’re going to make progress—or at least what I view as progress—in a very methodical, steady pace.” —EVAN TUCHINSKY

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been committed to helping people and changing lives. In 2019, CAA served over 22,000 people through Community Action Agency of Butte County’s programs.

This can only happen with great partners and supporters!

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Center of the storm Suzi Kochems

As large encampments settled into Chico’s parks and along its waterways since the outbreak of COVID-19, public debate on homelessness reached a fever pitch. The scope of the problem is daunting enough; add the contentious debate surrounding it, and Suzi Kochems would seem to have one of the toughest jobs in town. Kochems was hired as the city’s homeless solutions coordinator in August, a position created in March. She followed Joy Amaro, who left to return to her position as executive director of True North Housing Alliance. Kochems has been involved in lowincome and homeless programming for more than 25 years. That includes a decade-long stint in the Glenn County Health and Human Services Agency’s housing department; serving as coordinator of the Homeless Countinuum of Care for 12 Northern California counties; and other jobs—such as working in grant writing and contract procurement—with Butte and Trinity counties. “I wrote my very first grant proposal for the Jesus Center many, many moons ago,” Kochems said in a recent interview. She has also worked on the service provision side, for a time running the Westside Domestic Violence Shelter in Orland. “All of that experience lends me the expertise to succeed at this job, given amenable circumstances,” Kochems said. However, given the abundance of problems connected to homelessness, “amenable circumstances” are scarce. Kochems may have helped facilitate a big boon to the local fight against homelessness—convincing the Chico City Council in October to allocate more than $2 million toward a number of incentives collectively called the Homeless

Opportunities Plan—but little movement has been made on any of the approved schemes. Locations for shelters or designated camping have been hard to come by or barred by restrictions; some options have expired due to slow-moving bureaucracy; there are limited amounts of capable service providers; and myriad other issues have hindered progress. “Housing the homeless is tough enough on any given day, and then you add COVID in there and it just amplifies the difficulties,” Kochems said. This lack of apparent movement has driven public criticism and anger, elements that have long complicated everything related to homelessness. “Every day I’m working with service providers, finding funding, coordinating efforts [between different organizations], meeting with politicians and city staff, and tromping through empty buildings looking for sprinklers,” she said. “It’s a very broad scope of work, and there are plenty of people who haven’t walked two steps in these shoes who are quick to criticize anything and everything.” Kochems said that, contrary to some opinions about the town being a magnet for homeless people, Chico’s situation is on par with that of other similarly sized cities. She also believes it’s a growing problem that was ignored far too long, one that may worsen in the near future as the economic impacts of the coronavirus continue to wreak havoc on the working poor. “We as a society and country don’t put enough emphasis on prevention, so when it comes to homelessness, we’re constantly chasing our tails,” she said. “It’s reactionary management. ... Now we have to fix the problems we have before we can get ahead of anything.” —KEN SMITH kens @new srev i ew. c o m

Suzi Kochems, Chico homeless services coordinator PHOTO BY KEN SMITH

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Butte County Supervisor Tod Kimmelshue PHOTO BY ASHIAH SCHARAGA

Middle man

Tod Kimmelshue When Tod Kimmelshue was sworn in as a Butte County supervisor on Jan. 4, he filled a spot that could end up being most contentious: that of a tiebreaker. It’s no secret that the Board of Supervisors—made up of liberals Debra Lucero and Tami Ritter from Chico and conservatives Bill Connelly of Oroville and Doug Teeter of Paradise—has been harshly divided along partisan lines. Kimmelshue was elected to serve District 4, encompassing southwestern Butte County. The seat was previously held by longtime politician and former Board Chairman Steve Lambert, also a conservative. Though Kimmelshue, a fifth-generation farmer and retired agricultural finance and banking adviser from Durham, is also conservative, he’s “not a big labels guy”; he says he sees his role on the board as one of “trying to bridge th[e] gap.” “I can see myself working with all of [my colleagues]. And I’ve told all of them, ‘We’re not going to agree on everything, but I will always treat you with respect.’” Kimmelshue’s priorities include supporting Camp Fire recovery; public safety and law enforcement; the agricultural industry; the protection and preservation of local water; and the building of a skilled local workforce. His election win in the 2020 primary was announced just before the initial lock-down order for California in March, so he’s since added the county’s response to the coronavirus pandemic to that list of priorities. He told the CN&R that he is concerned about the vitality of small businesses, particularly those that have been heavily impacted, such as barbershops, salons and restaurants. Kimmelshue is in favor of their opening with “very stringent precautions” and said he’d support pushing back the state’s business closure mandates.

In addition, Kimmelshue has been a vocal opponent of syringe service programs and has publicly praised the Chico City Council’s move to ban them. “Government’s main job, as far as I’m concerned, is to keep our people, to keep the citizens, safe,” he told the CN&R. “The way the needle program has been going, it is a safety issue for me.” As an alternative, he said he is supportive of private organizations, particularly the Jesus Center, that can serve as a “guiding place” for those who are struggling with addiction and homelessness. Other issues important to Kimmelshue are connected to his background, such as “a sustainable and ample water supply” for agriculture, residents and the environment. Regarding fire safety, Kimmelshue said that the county needs to better manage unincorporated lands in the foothills to be prepared for catastrophic wildfire and that he’ll be looking into proposing some ordinances related to defensible space. “I think we need to do a little bit better job of being prepared for these type of fires, whether it’s thinning the forest, whether it’s defensible spaces, [whether it’s] tree removal in certain situations,” he said. “I think that’s just very, very important. We still have a lot of area that could burn.” Ahead of his swearing in date, Kimmelshue told the CN&R that he was prepared to make tough calls for the good of the county, even if it means he’ll take some heat in the event he casts a swing vote, siding with the liberal supervisors instead of his conservative colleagues. “I want this county to succeed, I want this county to be prosperous, and I want it to be a great place for people to raise a family,” he said. “I want to just do what’s best for the county, and if I’m a swing vote, I’m a swing vote.” —ASHIAH SCHARAGA


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Ken Devol Kenneth Gates Kenneth Logan Kenneth Sutten Kim Agur Kim Seidler Kim V. Kim Weir Kimberly Heines Kjerstin Wood Kris Foster Kristi Edwards Kristin Uhlig Kristy Martin Ladona Knigge Lana Kitchel Larry Strand Larry & Maureen Krik Laura Askim Laura Fletcher Lauren Kohler Lauren Meichtry Laurens Walker Laurie Aaron Leah McKean Lechia Dickinson Lee Lyon Leeann Schlaf Leslie Howard Leslie Johnson Linda Cartier Linda Haddock Linda MacMichael Linda Stukey Lindy Hoppough Lisa Langley Lisa & Marc Sorensen Lory Allan Louis Wilner Lynn Haskell Marc Wysong Marcel Daguerre Maria Olson Marian Gage Marie O’Sullivan Marie Winslow Marilyn Knox Marilyn Rees Marilyn & Daniel Martin Mark Bloom Mark Carlsten Mark Kernes Mark & Cynthia Gailey Mark & Tomoko Lance Marlene Brenden Marv Megibow Mary Cree

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Steven Hammond Stuart Mayer Susan Chin Susan Dobra Susan Green Susan Minasian Susan Reed Susan Ronan Susan Sagarese Susan Tchudi Susan Wiesinger Susan Wooldridge Susan & Michael Christensen Suzanne Garrett Suzette Welch Suzy McCreary Tanha Luvaas Tara Sullivan-Hames Ted Baca Terrence Hoffman Thomas Barrett Tim Elliott Tim Leefeldt Timothy Ervin Timothy Jordan Tom Reed Tom Sundgren Tom & Cheryl Hawk Tony Jewett Tovey Giezentanner Treva Mauch Trish Briel Tristan Weems Trudy Duisenberg V. & Silvia Milosevich V.S. Maier Vi Cantu Vic Makau Vicki Artzner Vicki Webster Vicky Breeden Walter Schafer Wayland Augur Wendy Rose William Jennings William Robie William Rowe William & Cheryl Appleby Zack Kincheloe

This is your paper, and we will continue to serve our community together. Thank you. CHICO.NEWSREVIEW.COM JANUARY 14, 2021

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Arts &Culture would normally populate its calendar. Visit the theater website for current listings. $5-$12. Pageant Theatre, 351 E. Sixth St. pageantchico.com

AT THE DRIVE-IN Thursdays-Saturdays

Meriam Park Drive-In

THU14 MERIAM PARK DRIVE-IN – JOHN WICK: Watch the 2014 action thriller starring Keanu Reeves at the drive-in. Thu, 1/14, 6:30pm. $25-$35. Meriam Park Drive-In, 1930 Market Place. meriampark.com

featuring pieces created by artists from Amber Palmer’s Mind Vacation Watercolor Workshop during the pandemic. Artwork is also on display at Broadway Heights (300 Broadway) and may be purchased and/or picked up at the restaurant. amberpalmerwatercolor workshops.com

NORTH STATE ECONOMIC FORECAST CONFERENCE: The North State

Events

FRI15

BLUE ROOM DARK SEASON:

JANUARY ALL MONTH Galleries & Museums 1078 GALLERY: Stories Nine, eight artists with strong ties to Chico tell their story through art and photography. Featuring: John Baca, Sharon DeMeyer, Josh Olivera, Lauren Ruth, Jason Clower, Sheri Simons, Judith Leinen and Marilyn Walsh. To accompany the exhibit, the gallery published a booklet that documents the artists as they were and how they are now. The 1078 currently closed due to COVID-19. Find show online at gallery website. Through 1/31. 1710 Park Ave. 1078gallery.org

CHICO ART CENTER: Member Showcase, works by gallery members on display on the center’s site. Next up: Birds of a Feather, a celebration of birds as a symbol of freedom and community (still accepting submissions—through Jan. 15). Visit site for info. 450 Orange St., 895-8726. chicoartcenter.com

going in another direction? Has your art taken on a new life? The museum is closed, but a virtual tour of the exhibition is in the works. Next up: Dream State, a group exhibit on dreams as a source of inspiration (submissions accepted through Jan. 22)—opens Feb. 4. 900 Esplanade. monca.org

NAKED LOUNGE: Call for art. The newly remodeled coffee shop is taking art submissions on its website for 2021. Fill out the submission form on the website. 118 W. Second St. nakedloungechico.com

PARADISE ART CENTER: Virtual Gallery Members’ Show, work by gallery members is online. The center’s Wheeler Gallery is temporarily closed. Visit the members page on the gallery website to get your work into the show. Through 2/16. $20-$55. 5564 Almond St., Paradise. paradise-art-center.com

STAYING CREATIVE THROUGHOUT COVID-19: A virtual exhibit

GATEWAY SCIENCE MUSEUM: The museum is physically

bition about the self after the first 10 months of 2020. Northern California artists were asked to submit work that reflected their answer to a set of questions about their life and work during the pandemic: Have you changed physically? Mentally? Is your mind

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taurants are offering unique specials priced at $20.21 for 10 days. Participants include Celestino’s NY Pizza (downtown location), Crush, Gogi’s Cafe, La Salles, Om Foods, Panama Bar & Cafe, The Rawbar Restaurant and Sushi, Sicilian Cafe and Woodstocks Pizza. Jan. 22-31. explorebuttecounty.com/ restaurant-week

CARD VIRTUAL CLASSES FOR KIDS: Chico Area Recreation and Park District has opened a full slate of classes and activities for kids over the next few months—everything from cooking and computing classes to hiking and sports camps. Call or visit the site for more info. CARD, 545 Vallombrosa Ave., 895-4711. chicorec.com

FARMERS MARKETS: Butte County’s markets are open and selling fresh produce and more. Chico: Downtown (Saturdays, 7:30am-1pm & Thursdays, 6-9pm); North Valley Plaza (Wednesdays, 8am-1pm); Chico State University Farm (Fridays, noon-4 p.m.). Paradise: Alliance Church (Tuesdays, 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m.).

VIRTUAL SCREENING ROOM: While the Pageant is temporarily closed, its offering virtual screenings of the documentaries, cult classics and foreign and independent films that

Cohasset Road, Ste. 10. labbarandgrill.com

MERIAM PARK DRIVE-IN – SING: The 2016 animated family comedy featuring voices of Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson and John C. Reilly. Fri, 1/15, 6:30pm. $25 $35. Meriam Park Drive-In, 1930 Market Place. meriampark.com

TYLER DEVOLL: The local singer/songwriter serenades the brunch crowd. Fri, 1/15, 5pm. Free. La Salles, 229 Broadway St.

SAT16 MERIAM PARK DRIVE-IN – GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: The 2014 origin story of Marvel’s gallant group of galactic outlaws starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Dave Bautista and Lee Pace. Sat, 1/16, 6:30pm. $25 - $35. Meriam Park Drive-In, 1930 Market Place. meriampark.com

MON18 THE SACRAMENTO NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE COMPLEX: Lora Haller gives a virtual tour of the complex, which is home to over a million waterfowl, as well as a lesson on migration, birds and visiting the complex itself. Meeting ID: 868 9938 8346 Passcode: 033463 Mon, 1/18, 6:30pm. Online event, Altacal Audubon Society. altacal.org/event/thesacramento-national-wildlife-refuge-complex-via-zoom

VIRTUAL MLK DAY CELEBRATION: A livestreaming of musical selections, interviews, dance and performance art from Hue Vision Productions in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The event is free and donations can be made to North State Equity Fund (norcalunitedway.org/northstate-equity-fund). Mon, 1/18, 2-4pm. Broadcast by BCAC TV on Comcast Channel 11 and at youtube.com/bcactv.

HOW TO HELP YOUR TEEN IMPROVE THEIR MENTAL HEALTH: A digital webinar designed to support parents in fostering wellness in their teens, so that they can effectively cope with challenges. Pre-register online. 100 seats available. Tue, 1/19, 6:30pm. Free. Inspire School of Arts & Sciences. inspirechico.org

JANET TURNER PRINT MUSEUM: Social Commentary; Prints

MUSEUM OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA ART: Selfie 2020, an exhi-

BUTTE COUNTY RESTAURANT WEEK: Eight downtown Chico res-

OPEN MIC COMEDY: Live stand-up outside on the patio. Signups start at 7pm. Thu, 1/14, 8pm. The Lab Bar and Grill, 250

TUE19

closed, but it’s still offering its Gateway at Home series of virtual activities like folding paper airplanes, learning in the garden, wildlife art and reading and lectures from previous seasons that cover a variety of environmental topics. csuchico.edu/gateway

and Politics, a virtual exhibition that explores the intersection of printmaking and politics and features a 360-degree video of the entire exhibit. Exhibition talk Feb. 4 at 5:30pm. Gallery talk Feb. 16, 5:30pm. Through 2/27. Chico State, 400 W. First St. csuchico. edu/turner

Visit the theater’s website for links to recent virtual productions of Blue Moon & Poe and The Jungle Book, and become a Patreon subscriber (patreon.com/ BlueRoomChico) to watch already filmed productions of Treasure Island and Blue Stories, plus an evergrowing list of vintage performances from 1990s on. Blue Room Theatre, blueroomtheatre.com

Planning and Development Collective at California State presents its annual conference. This is a virtual event with panels on the changing workforce, e-commerce and more. Speakers include Bob Lanter, Rachel Michelin, and Dr. Robert Eyler, specialists in retail, economic forensics and analytics and workforce associations. Thu, 1/14, 9am. $79. Online event. www.nspdc.csuchico.edu/#/nspdc

MEMBER SHOWCASE January

THU21

Chico Art Center

MERIAM PARK DRIVE-IN – BRIDESMAIDS: Watch the 2011 romantic comedy starring Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph at the drive-in. Thu, 1/21, 6:30pm. $25 - $35. Meriam Park


IS YOUR EVENT ONLINE?

So is the CN&R calendar! Submit virtual and real-world events for the online calendar as well as the monthly print edition, at chico.newsreview.com/calendar

Earl’s Plumbing (530) 879-5590

VIRTUAL CLASSES FOR KIDS

Multiple sessions through spring Chico Area Recreation and Park District (CARD)

Drive-In, 1930 Market Place. meri ampark.com

HOW TO HELP YOUR TEEN LEARN CIVIL DISCOURSE: A digital webinar designed to support parents in helping their teens engage in civil discourse. Attendees will learn what civil discourse is and how it relates to the social and political issues of our time, how to communicate effectively around these issues with people we do and don’t agree with, and how to have these important conversations in a safe environment with teens. Thu, 1/21, 6:30pm. Inspire School of Arts & Sciences. inspirechico.org

MINI SIGN WORKSHOP: Pre-register to create your own tiny sign. Choose from a selection of designs and a variety of paints to make something for yourself or someone special. Thu, 1/21, 6pm. $35. Board & Brush Chico, 1380 East Ave., Ste. 108. boardandbrush.com

OPEN MIC COMEDY: See Thu, 1/14. Thu, 1/21, 8pm. The Lab Bar and Grill, 250 Cohasset Road, Ste. 10. labbarandgrill.com

FRI22 MERIAM PARK DRIVE-IN – RATATOUILLE: Have you seen a rat who can cook? Watch the 2007 animated Disney/Pixar film at the drive-in. Fri, 1/22, 6:30pm. $25 - $35. Meriam Park Drive-In, 1930 Market Place. meriampark.com

ROAST BATTLE COMEDY: Stand-up and roast battles. Hosted by Dillon Collins. Fri, 1/22, 8pm. $20 - $25. The Lab Bar and Grill, 250 Cohasset Road, Ste. 10. labbarandgrill.com

SAT23

TUE26 HOW TO HELP YOUR TRANSGENDER TEEN THRIVE: A webinar designed to support you in being an identity-affirming parent to a transgender teen. Attendees will learn skills and tools from experts in the field for offering support and acceptance to teens who identify as transgender or are questioning their gender identity, including some of the risks facing transgender teens who do not have affirming adults in their lives. Pre-register online. Limited to 100. Tue, 1/26, 6:30pm. Free. Inspire School of Arts & Sciences. inspirechico.org

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THU28 OPEN MIC COMEDY: See Thu, 1/14. Thu, 1/28, 8pm. The Lab Bar and Grill, 250 Cohasset Road, Ste. 10. labbarandgrill.com

MERIAM PARK DRIVE-IN – PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL: The 2003 swashbuckling adventure film st-arrr-ing Johnny Depp. Sat, 1/23, 6:30pm. $25 $35. Meriam Park Drive-In, 1930 Market Place. meriam park.com

EDITOR’S PICK

SHEEP & GOAT EDUCATION DAY: Tune in to the stream to learn about lamb and goat management from the people of Chico State Sheep. The six-hour webinar includes a raffle and a skill-a-thon with prizes for top performers. Sat, 1/23, 8am. $5 - $30. Online event, Chico State Sheep. eventbrite.com/e/chico-state-sheep-meat-goateducational-day-tickets-130058575701

FRI29 TYLER DEVOLL: The local singer/songwriter serenades the brunch crowd. Fri, 1/29, 5pm. Free. La Salles, 229 Broadway St.

RESTORATION, RECONCILIATION, RESILIENCE The MLK Unity Group is dedicating its annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration to the memory of civil rights warrior and longtime U.S. Representative from Georgia John Lewis. This year’s event will be virtual—broadcast on BCAC.TV community access television (Comcast channel 11 and youtube.com/bcactv)—and feature a keynote address from Bethel AME Church’s pastor, Rev. Loretta Dickerson-Smith, as well as music, interviews, dance and performance art. Monday, Jan. 18, 2-4 p.m.

JANUARY 14, 2021

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CHOW Adrianna Wiley PHOTOS COURTESY OF ADRIANNA’S BAKERY

Treats for trying times

How has business been during the pandemic?

Being in my early 20s is confusing enough, so being in a pandemic in my early 20s is like, “OK, can we pump the brakes a little bit?” Early on, business was crazy. We can all remember people really wanted to support the Black community and the Black dollar. So I really felt that from our community. Business has died down a little bit, but I’m coming back strong.

Chico State grad opens one-woman bakery during pandemic

Do you have any advice for other young people who are unsure about starting a business?

I would say just to do it. Don’t be afraid. You never know what’s going to happen. I took a leap and bought all the expensive machines and hoped that business could stay up. Even though that didn’t happen, I still feel grateful because I built something. You can build yourself, build your community, build your character if you start. That’s what life is about. Now is a great time to explore passions and hobbies. I think it’s worth the risk.

by

Trevor Whitney t revor w@ n ewsrev iew.c om

Aespecially Adrianna Wiley was always curious, in the kitchen. At a young age, she s a child growing up in Southern California,

started learning from an aunt who transmitted a love for cooking and baking to her niece. She might’ve transmitted too much. “You’ve got to step away ’cause you’re gonna hurt yourself,” her aunt would say. Wiley moved from Moreno Valley after high school to study English at Chico State. After graduating in 2019, she took a job at a preschool, but due to the coronavirus pandemic the school is closed indefinitely. To make ends meet, she’s turned to baking full-time Adrianna’s Bakery with a small, homefacebook.com/adriannasbakery based operation, @adriannas_bakery on Instagram Adrianna’s Bakery. Wiley makes cakes, muffins, burger buns, zucchini bread, fresh fruit jams, almond and oat milks—much of it vegan. It’s all available to order on her Instagram and Facebook pages, and though she doesn’t currently deliver, Wiley is equipped to ship all over the country.

What do you love about baking?

I love the feeling I get when I see people happy to eat my goodies. It’s like one of my love languages, I could say. Food makes me happy, so why not pass that on and share what I come up with? It’s also fun to hear people’s opinions on what I make because there’s always room to improve. Every time I make an order, I make sure to follow up and see how it was. I like that “wow” factor too, like if somebody’s reaction is, “This tastes amazing, how did she do this?” 22

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JANUARY 14, 2021

What goals do you have for the business this year?

I want to do more collaborative work here in Chico with other local shops. I also want to reinvent my menu. New year, new menu. Life just feels like it’s been on pause so I’m trying to take advantage of that while I can and bake. Ω

I used to think of vegan baking as the diet soda of baked goods. How do you make your vegan options taste as good traditional recipes?

People avoid it because they might feel like they’re missing out on non-vegan goods and it’s not going to taste the same. That’s what I strive for with vegan baking—to make sure people don’t feel left out and for them to be able to enjoy regular treats without all that extra animal product. I honestly don’t know what I do to make them taste good other than trial and error. Vegan baking definitely is different. It can be complex because you have to find substitutes. What’s your favorite thing to make? Most recommended?

Definitely the cinnamon rolls. They are 100 percent my number one favorite to make and also my favorite to eat. I think it’s the process. It’s not a quick thing but it’s therapeutic. And it’s an efficient

recipe. You can get a lot out of one batch, plus it’s fun to roll ’em. I cut them down trying to get them all the same size even though I never do, but it’s fun. I think the zucchini bread is amazing, too. It’s probably the best zucchini bread I’ve ever had. Chico Chai said that as well, so I got the pass. It has no dairy, too. You also make your own almond and oat milks?

I do. And I make my own butter. It’s honestly not hard. It’s crazy how simple some things are to make if we actually just looked it up, but butter takes 10 minutes to make. It takes a lot of arm work for sure, but all you really need is that and some cream. It’s kinda like ice cream, you just have to shake it. The almond milk is easy as well. You just soak them overnight Wiley’s vegan cinnamon rolls. and blend them up.


SCENE

Exhibiting resilience MONCA stays connected to art and the community during pandemic

Tcentral for art in Butte County, and one of the traits that has made it so is how committed its board and volunteers have been to the he Museum of Northern California Art is one of the main hubs

mission “to make art accessible.” But last spring, when COVID-19 forced the closure of our houses of art—galleries, theaters, concert venues and museums, by MONCA included—access to art was suddenly Jason Cassidy cut off. During the three state closures, not only jasonc @ were MONCA’s exhibits shut down, the handsnewsrev iew.c om on workshops, artist talks and school outreach were also off limits. While most local venues have had to stay MONCA dark, MONCA—like many of Butte County’s On the walls: Selfie, art galleries and museums—has been able to through Jan. 24. keep the lights on with online-only versions of Virtual tours available exhibits. MONCA quickly converted its content via website. Call for art: Submissions to virtual “pop-up museums” during the closures, for Dream State moved art classes online and reached out to other (opening Feb. 4) venues to collaborate (joining The Turner print accepted through Jan. 22. museum in providing at-home art kits for kids). Visit site for details. The museum has hardly missed a beat and has Museum of Northern provided one of the few constant sources of art California Art to the community throughout the pandemic. 900 Esplanade MONCA also made tweaks to its program487-7272 ming to give a forum for artists to respond to the monca.org pandemic, as in the current exhibit, Selfie, which asked for submissions that considered the “self” during the tumultuous year.

The CN&R spoke with MONCA Executive Director Pat Macias via Zoom recently about the challenges the museum has faced by having its doors closed for most of the past year (MONCA was open 84 days in 2020, versus 190 in 2019, she said) and what the future holds.

Museum of Northern California Art PHOTO BY JASON CASSIDY

pandemic restrictions don’t] allow you to do that little extra stuff that we used to do when we had rentals, [or all the] people we got in just because of those rentals.

MONCA is currently accepting submissions for a new group show, Dream State; what’s the exhibit about?

What was your mindset for how MONCA would respond to having to close its doors? I didn’t change a whole lot of my thinking. I thought of it as just a bump in the road; it ended up being three bumps in the road because we were closed three times. It wasn’t an excuse to not connect with the community, because that is what we do—connect with the community—and they needed us more than anything. How were we going to do that? We all learned along the way.

How did you approach programming when you were forced online? Luckily, we have a board member [Kimberly Ranalla] and some volunteers who are much more adept at doing those things, and that’s where they kind of step in. My skills are improving in that, but I’m not the one who’s going to do the virtual tours. It’s been a good way to make our team better and bigger. Pieces from MONCA’s current Selfie exhibit.

MONCA Executive Director Pat Macias during a Zoom interview.

Have people responded positively to the virtual exhibits? Yes, they [have]. I’ll see somebody in the grocery store and they’ll say, “Ooh, I watched the virtual tour and it’s great!” Even though we have a [current] exhibition that’s been up and nobody has seen it [in person], it was seen virtually.

How is MONCA doing? Do you expect it will come out of the pandemic OK? Yeah. You’ve caught me on a day that I’m looking at writing those state grants [COVID-19 Relief Grant program for small businesses]; we can fit into those. We’re OK. We have wonderful donors, wonderful members, wonderful community support. But [the

It kind of began with the fact that we got a really nice acquisition to the museum given to us by the daughter of Maria Aguilar. Her things are very mystical, very dreamlike. They’re amazing works. We thought, “OK, that will take up one gallery. Let’s put out a call for art for that same idea of what is your dream, or not? What’s your inspiration?”

How do think the arts community as a whole will fare after all this? It’s hard to guess. I think we’ll be fine. I think we can build it back up again. We are just missing so much of a community—like the students at the university, like students [at Chico High School and Inspire] across the street from the museum. It’ll come back; I’m sure it will. It’s just going to take some work. People have to get used to the idea that they have to rebuild. You may rebuild it differently than what it was before, but it may be stronger. Ω

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REEL WORLD Bacurau

Delivered by cinema A world of film offered respite from the bubble in 2020

Tmuch-needed place” provided at least some respite from the his past year of “streaming in

multiple miseries, large and small, of the times in which we find ourby Juan-Carlos selves. There was, Selznick however, little that was “normal” about 2020’s movie-viewing, and so the year-end custom of top 10 lists, etc., seems in some ways beside the point. Be that as it may, there was much of interest in the movies that were available to us and much that, as a consequence, was not entirely “beside the point.” A season of wide-ranging home view-

ing took me far afield in a number of ways, which for me was one of the good things in this hugely fraught year. But I still managed to see a good many new or recent releases worthy of “top 10” consideration. By my lights, the best of the lot include the following (listed alphabetically): Bacurau (Brazil), Beanpole (Russia), CoinCoin and the Extra-Humans (France), Corpus Christi (Poland), Da 5 Bloods (USA), Five Fingers for Marseilles (South Africa), First Cow (USA), Invisible Life (Brazil), Les Misérables (2019) (France), Mank (USA), Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (USA),

Marriage Story (USA), Martin Eden (Italy), Sorry We Missed You (UK), The Whistlers (Romania). Kelly Reichardt’s wonderfully casual First Cow (see “Land of Milk,” CN&R, Dec. 10, 2020) stands out as my personal favorite

from that group. Bruno Dumont’s CoinCoin and the Extra-Humans, with its soulfully imagined entertainment, is also a particular favorite. And I especially admire four others for their haunting, multilayered artistry: Beanpole, for its earthy, complex take on women caught up in pivotal moments of modern Russian history; Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story, with Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver as the conflicted couple; Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods, with a group of black Vietnam vets revisiting the legacies of that war and that era; and Pietro Marcello’s Martin Eden, an Italian updating and reworking of the semi-autobiographical Jack London novel from more than a century ago. A heartening global trend that continued in 2020 has to do with the rich sense of contemporary social issues emerging in artful films, regardless of genre and subject matter. I’d say that’s reflected in most, if not all, of Invisible Life

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the films cited above—including the Romanian police story/ character study (The Whistlers), the Brazilian psychodrama (Invisible Life), the hybrid “westerns” (Bacurau and Five Fingers for Marseilles), and the not-tobe-confused with “Les Miz” crime drama from France (Les Misérables). Ω


ARTS DEVO by JASON CASSIDY • jasonc@newsreview.com

IN MEMORIAM It’s been nearly a month since Arts DEVO has written this column. That’s the longest break I’ve taken from it since the debut in August of 2006. The bulk of the break was spent on a vacation from work altogether during this typically mellow time of year. Of course, the last few weeks have been anything but mellow in America, but I am saving my words on that for another day out of respect for those connected to the local scene who passed away around the holidays. On Jan. 2, local thespian John Fuller died. He was 69. According to a family post on his Facebook page, Fuller died due to complications related to COVID-19. His last local performance was in the musical Jesus Christ Superstar at Chico Theater Co. in March. A memorial service was held on Jan. 10 at East Ave. Church. From 1995 into the early 2000s, there was probably no band in Chico (doing original music at least) that played as many local shows as The iMPS. Thinking back to those days and the countless, usually packed, beer-fueled rave-ups at John Fuller Duffy’s Tavern, it feels like the high-energy power trio’s music was the soundtrack of the times for downtown’s family of hipsters, rockers, drunks and assorted freaks. The fire in the band’s belly was John McCall, and on Dec. 20, the relentless frontman finally burned out. He died in his Chico home at the age of 49. For years, McCall was the well-known manager of Woodstock’s Pizza downtown before going into business for himself with the amazing and criminally short-lived McCall’s BBQ in south Chico. I know I’m joined by many local rockers and tons of coworkers over the years in mourning the loss of one this town’s iconic characters. Tune into The iMPS’ Bandcamp page (theimps.band camp.com), cue up the perfect “Hill of Beans” from the album K.R.F.W. and raise a glass to the man. A masked/ social-distanced memorial service for McCall will be held at Chico Cemetery Friday, Jan. 15, 1 p.m. Also around the scene back in the day was the Mean John McCall Girl, the hilarious, wicked smart and definitely mean at times (in print at least) columnist for the Synthesis newspaper, Nicole Seredszun. On Nov. 29, Seredszun died in Chico. She was 45. No memorial had been announced as of press time.

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A NOTE FROM THE SCENE In 2017 and 2018, a supergroup of local players put on a series of Leonard Cohen tribute nights to raise money for the Norton Buffalo Hall. It turns out the most recent shows were recorded by local engineer Dale Price, and there is now a tribute CD available as gift for those who donate to the effort to rebuilt the Paradise venue (which burned down in the Camp Fire). Visit nortonbuffalo hall.org/lc-tribute-cd for info. 2020 CODA

RIP Honey

Nicole Seredszun

Longtime readers of Arts DEVO know that one of the biggest parts of my and Mrs. DEVO’s life—and a frequent subject of this column—has been our 7-pound puffball of puppy Prozac, Honey. It’s with the heaviest of hearts that I share that our scruffy toy poodle crossed the Rainbow Bridge a few days shy of her 17th birthday (which was, of course, Christmas day). She was my little buddy, up for adventure always, and during the trials that life throws at us all, I would bury my face in her apricot-colored fur, inhale her sunshine-anddirt essence and whisper “Thank you” into her little lamb ears. Rest in peace, Honey Bunny. Thank you.

JANUARY 14, 2021

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FREE WILL ASTROLOGY For the week oF JAN. 14, 2021

KZFR and the CN&R is the perfect collaboration between two community-focused media outlets at a time when independent local journalism is more important than ever.

ARIES (March 21-April 19): As you ripen

into a more fully embodied version of yourself, you will summon ever-greater discrimination about where to seek your inspiration. I trust that you will increasingly divest yourself of any tendency you might have to play around with just any old mediocre fire. More and more, you will be drawn to high-quality blazes that provide just the right amount of heat and light—neither too much nor too little. And you will steadfastly refrain from jumping into the flames, as glamorously dramatic as that might seem—and instead be a master of deft maneuvers that enable you to get the exact energy you need.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Denstu

is a major Japanese advertising agency headquartered in Tokyo. Annually since 1925, its new employees and freshly promoted executives have carried out a company ritual: climbing 12,388-foot-high Mount Fuji, Japan’s tallest peak. The theme of the strenuous workout is this: “We are going to conquer the symbol that represents Japan more than anything else. And, once we do that, it will signify that we can do anything.” In anticipation of what I suspect will be a year of career gains for you, Taurus, I invite you to do the following: Sometime in the next six weeks, go out in nature and perform an equivalent feat.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Today I

Local news and arts coverage presented much like the newspaper version of the CN&R, with interviews with the people in the stories and with the writers reporting them, updates and commentary on local issues, community dialogue, arts/music previews and reviews, and spotlights on upcoming community events and entertainment.

Hosted by CN&R Interim Editor, Jason Cassidy Tune in at 90.1 FM or stream online at kzfr.org

Thursdays, 5:30–6pm

received a new email from a Gemini friend who lives in London. It was date-stamped January 15, 2015. Weird! In it, she talked about applying for a new job at a publishing company. That was doubly weird, because February 2015 was in fact the time she had gotten the editing job that she still has. Her email also conveyed other details about her life that I knew to be old history. So why did it arrive now, six years late? I called her on the phone to see if we could unravel the mystery. In the end we concluded that her email had time-traveled in some inexplicable way. I predict that a comparable event or two will soon happen in your life, Gemini. Blasts from the past will pop in as if yesterday were today.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Eugene Sue

(1804–1857) was a popular French author whose stories often offered sympathetic portrayals of the harsh living conditions endured by people of the lower economic class. Writing generously about those downtrodden folks made him quite wealthy. I’d love to see you employ a comparable strategy in the coming year. What services might you perform that would increase your access to money and resources? How could you benefit yourself by helping and uplifting others?

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): The beautiful and

luxurious fabric known as silk comes from cocoons spun by insect larvae. Sadly for the creatures that provide the raw material, they’re usually killed by humans harvesting their handiwork—either by being stabbed or boiled alive. However, there is a special kind of silk in which manufacturers spare the lives of their benefactors. The insects are allowed to mature into moths and escape. I propose that we make them your spirit creatures in the coming weeks. It’s an excellent time for you to take an inventory of everything you do, and evaluate how well it upholds the noble principle of “Do no harm.”

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): “Any time that

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is not spent on love is wasted,” declared the Italian poet Torquato Tasso. Although I am sympathetic with his sentiment, I can’t agree that acts of love are the only things ever worth doing. Sometimes it’s healthy to be motivated by anger or sadness or skepticism, for example. But I do suspect the coming weeks will be a favorable time for you to be in intense devotion to Tasso’s counsel. All the important successes you achieve will be rooted in an intention to express love and compassion.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): I heard a

story about how a music aficionado took a Zen Buddhist monk to a performance of

by rob brezsNy Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. The monk wasn’t impressed. “Not enough silence!” he complained. I’m puzzled by that response. If the monk were referring to a busy intersection in a major city, I might agree with him, or the cacophony of a political argument among fanatics on Facebook. But to want more silence in one of history’s greatest pieces of music? That’s perverse. With this in mind, Libra, and in accordance with astrological omens, I encourage you to seek extra protection from useless noise and commotion during the coming weeks—even as you hungrily seek out rich sources of beautiful information, sound, and art.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): “Some

people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal,” wrote Scorpio author Albert Camus. If you’re one of those folks, I’m happy to inform you that you have cosmic permission to relax. The coming weeks will be an excellent time to explore the pleasures of NOT being conventional, standard, ordinary, average, routine, prosaic, or common. As you expansively practice non-normalcy, you will enhance your health, sharpen your wits, and clarify your decisions.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21):

Our lives tend to be shaped by the stories about ourselves that we create and harbor in our imaginations. The adventures we actually experience, the problems we actually face, are often (not always) in alignment with the tales we tell ourselves about our epic fates. And here’s the crux of the matter: We can change the stories we tell ourselves. We can discard tales that reinforce our pain, and dream up revised tales that are more meaningful and pleasurable. I believe 2021 will be an excellent time for you to attend to this fun work. Your assignment: Be a self-nurturing storyteller.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Cap-

ricorn author Edgar Allen Poe named “four conditions for happiness: life in the open air; love of another human being; freedom from all ambition; creation.” I’m accomplished in three of those categories, but a failure in being free of all ambitions. In fact, I’m eternally delighted by all the exciting creative projects I’m working on. I’m VERY ambitious. What about you, Capricorn? I’m going to contradict Poe and speculate that your happiness in the coming months will require you to be at least somewhat ambitious. That’s what the planetary omens are telling me. So what are the best goals and dreams for you to be ambitious about?

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): It’s time

to launch Operation Supple Watchdog. That means you should be tenderly vigilant as you take extra good care of everyone and everything that provide you with meaning and sustenance. It means you should exercise rigorous but good-humored discernment about any oppressive or demeaning ideas that are flying around. You should protect and preserve the vulnerable parts of your life, but do so with tough-minded compassion, not ornery overreactions. Be skeptical, but warm; breezily resilient but always ready to stand up for what’s right. (P.S. The better you shield yourself against weird surprises, the more likely it is you’ll attract interesting surprises.)

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): The atoms

that compose your body have existed for billions of years. Originally created by a star, they have been part of many forms before you. But they are exactly the same in structure as they have ever been. So in a very real sense, you are billions of years old. Now that you know that, how do you feel? Any different? Stronger? More expansive? More eternal? I bring these thoughts to your attention, Pisces, because 2021 will be an excellent year for you to come to a more profound and detailed understanding of your true nature. I hope you will regularly meditate on the possibility that your soul is immortal, that your identity is not confined to this historical era, that you have been alive and will be alive for far longer than you’ve been taught to believe.

www.RealAstrology.com for Rob Brezsny’s EXPANDED WEEKLY AUDIO HOROSCOPES and DAILY TEXT MESSAGE HOROSCOPES. The audio horoscopes are also available by phone at 1-877-873-4888.

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