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CHICO’S FREE NEWS & ENTERTAINMENT SOURCE VOLUME 45, ISSUE 4 THURSDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2021 CHICO.NEWSREVIEW.COM

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INSIDE

CN&R

Vol. 45, Issue 4 • October 7, 2021

OPINION

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

NEWSLINES

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Downstroke . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 North Complex: The Forgotten Fire? . . . . . . . . . . 8

FEATURE

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Best of Chico 2021

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ARTS & CULTURE

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October Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Scene . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Music . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Reel World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Arts DEVO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 Brezsny’s Astrology. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

ON THE COVER: DESIGN BY TINA FLYNN

NEW ADDRESS: P.O. Box 56, Chico, CA 95927 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 Jason Cassidy Editor at large Melissa Daugherty Contributing Editor Evan Tuchinsky Staff Writers Ashiah Scharaga, Ken Smith Calendar Editor/Editorial Assistant Trevor Whitney Contributors Alastair Bland, Juan-Carlos Selznick, Robert Speer Managing Art Director Tina Flynn Publications & Advertising Designers Cathy Arnold, Katelynn Mitrano, Jocelyn Parker Sales & Business Coordinator Jennifer Osa Advertising Consultant Ray Laager Distribution Lead Jackson Indar Distribution Staff Michael Gardner, Drew Garske, Josh Indar, Bill Unger, Richard Utter, Jim Williams, David Wyles

Advertising Mail PO Box 13370 Sacramento, CA 95813 Phone (530) 894-2300 Website chico.newsreview.com President/CEO Jeff vonKaenel Director of Nuts & Bolts Deborah Redmond Director of Dollars & Sense Miranda Hansen Accounting Staff Gus Trevino Developer John Bisignano System Support Specialist Kalin Jenkins Got a News Tip? chiconewstips@newsreview.com Post Calendar Events chico.newsreview.com/calendar Want to Advertise? cnradinfo@newsreview.com Editorial Policies: Opinions expressed in CN&R are those of the authors and not of Chico Community Publishing, Inc. Contact the editor for permission to reprint articles or other portions of the paper. CN&R is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts or review materials. Email letters to cnrletters@newsreview.com. All letters received become the property of the publisher. We reserve the right to print letters in condensed form and to edit them for libel. Advertising Policies: All advertising is subject to the newspaper’s Standards of Acceptance. The advertiser and not the newspaper assumes the responsibility for the truthful content of their advertising message. CN&R is printed at PressWorks Ink on recycled newsprint. CN&R is a member of Chico Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Chico Business Association, AAN and AWN.

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OPINION

Send guest comments, 340 words maximum, to gc@newsreview.com or to P.O. Box 56, Chico, CA 95927. Please include photo & short bio.

SECOND & FLUME

EDITORIAL

Bring back the masks n June, when most of the state mandates

ICounty related to coronavirus were lifted, Butte was in pretty good shape. But by

eschewed inoculation. Last week, Enloe announced a COVID high of 20 people admitted to the ICU. Still, less than 55 percent of eligible Butte County residents are fully vaccinated. We’re much worse off today than during the entirety of the pandemic, yet many are taking far fewer precautions. It’s an absurd response that should signal a call to action from local leaders.

early August, due to the more virulent delta strain, the case count began creeping up. Since then, our region has taken a steep turn for the worse. In fact, the current surge exceeds last winter’s. To wit, of the roughly 19,000 COVID-19 cases recorded in the county since the start of the pandemic, around 30 percent have occurred in the last two months. That’s a massive spike. Unfortunately, public health officials and As a result, health-care facilities have health workers have been left hanging by been stretched thin. As we reported last Gov. Gavin Newsom, who, until recently, month (“Condition critical,” newsreview. prioritized his prospects in the recall eleccom), Enloe Medical tion over helping rural Center announced that, counties whose medical We’re much due to shortages, it facilities are struggling with would be forced to ration worse off today a flood of cases. monoclonal antibodies, To stem the tide locally, than during one of the most successful Butte County Public treatments for the virus. asked the Board the entirety of Health Meanwhile, Chico’s only of Supervisors at their the pandemic, last meeting (Sept. 28) hospital logged a new record: 95 COVID-19 about reinstating a local yet many patients hospitalized on indoor mask mandate—an are taking Sept. 23. A year earlier, opportunity to back up during the pandemic’s first health professionals and first far fewer local surge, the facility was responders. Ultimately, to our treating 14 patients for the disappointment though not precautions. virus. surprise, the three conservaIn short, the North tive supervisors effectively State is in the throes of a medical crisis the washed their hands of the matter, bullied by likes of which it has never seen. Yet, from the “faith over fear” and “it’s a free country” the look of things in the community, you’d crowd. We’re tired of those tropes and will never know it. stick with the evidence at hand. Indeed, Butte County is experiencing a Fact is, indoor public mask mandates major case of cognitive dissonance. A large work, as we’ve seen in other regions of share of locals seemingly live in a bizarro the state that have wisely established such realm where they either believe the virus policy (roughly 50 percent of California doesn’t exist or that they won’t be affected. counties currently have them). Retail We’ve seen it manifested in the prolifestablishments that regularly interface eration of large gatherings, the continued with the public note how it gives them the resistance to vaccination and an aversion to leverage they need to keep their patrons and mask-wearing. employees safe. Butte County Public Health has been Speaking of local shops, as this is our beating the vaccination drum since supplies Best of Chico issue honoring comebacks, became available. Enloe has echoed the we want to thank those who’ve chosen the importance of inoculation, ramping up responsible route by asking patrons to mask messages to the public in light of the surge. up in their private businesses. For them, Last week, Enloe Chief Medical Officer we’re especially grateful. Dr. Marcia Nelson put into perspective the Bottom line is that we need a mask difference the hospital is seeing between its mandate. Ultimately, it’s the call of the Butte vaccinated and unvaccinated patients. The County health officer. The county soon will starkest she noted is that 92 percent of those have a new one, the third since the pandemic in the intensive care unit are unvaccinated. began 18 months ago. We encourage the That is, the vast majority of people who incoming doctor to waste no time establishget severely ill or die are those who have ing one post-haste. It’s long past time. Ω 4

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

Incoming The day after the CN&R closed up shop last year due to the statewide shutdown, I sat in our downstairs conference room with a few staffers and former staffers. I’d invited them to the office to brainstorm a plan for saving Chico’s beloved alt-weekly. I wasn’t about to let it go down on my watch. Pandemic be damned. So, I did what any other stubborn newshound would’ve done. I rolled up my sleeves and got to work. I wrote, I edited, I researched, I networked. Only this time, I wasn’t pulling a paycheck. For months, I was consumed by this effort. I needed to know that the paper would go on. And it wasn’t about ego or even job security. I wouldn’t give up because our community desperately needs and deserves the kind of reporting that only this publication provides, the type of stories the CN&R has been telling for decades. I want to make it clear that nobody more than yours truly wants the paper to succeed, as I have some important news to share. This week I’m passing the torch to the paper’s next editor, Jason Cassidy. Most readers know Jason as the CN&R’s longtime arts editor—curator of all things arts-related in Chico and beyond—and author of the Arts DEVO column. A cornerstone of the paper’s staff for close to two decades, he’s a fixture in the scene. We recently reminisced about our early days in the newspaper business, both of us getting our start around the same time, me as a staff writer at the Chico EnterpriseRecord and Jason as a freelance contributor for that paper’s now-defunct entertainment insert. Jason and I knew each other socially, but it wasn’t until we worked together years later at the CN&R that I got to know him well. The person I’d come to know is a kind, considerate and evolved human being. He was among the first to congratulate me when I was named editor back in 2013, and he was a dedicated colleague and confidant during my time in the chief’s chair. He’s been equally supportive over the past 14 months, as I’ve worked for the paper part time. It’s important for readers to know that this change doesn’t signal me giving up on the CN&R. Rather, it makes official what really is an overdue transition. Jason has been serving as interim editor since last July, when the paper started printing monthly. That’s when I stepped back and took on a helper role. I was dealing with some pressing medical issues and needed time to recover from surgeries. By the time I did, it became clear that I couldn’t jump back in as editor-in-chief. Where I was needed most was at home with my son, who is severely immunocompromised and unable to attend school amid the pandemic. Switching gears so abruptly was difficult initially. Like many professional women, I’ve been humbled by having to sideline my career, this one 20-plus years in the making. I originally thought I would be home for a few months, mistakenly presuming the country would rise to meet the moment to protect vulnerable people like my son. Turns out, I greatly underestimated America’s empathy deficit and mistrust of science. What’s been infinitely worse is the grief over my grandfather’s death to the virus. Losing him sent me far lower than I could have imagined, breaking my heart while filling me with rage at society. The beauty part in all of this—and, believe me, I’ve needed one—is the quality time I’m getting to spend with my son. As a workaholic by nature, I’ve missed many goodnight kisses and morning cuddles over his short life because of my job. I don’t need hindsight to recognize that this time together is a gift. As for the CN&R, it’s in great hands. Jason has been doing yeoman’s work, including diving into the news side of the paper with many of his own impressive bylines. I’m excited to see what changes he has in store. He’s asked me to stay on in my current role of editorat-large, so that’s what I’m going to do for the time being. I’ll continue editing certain deep-dive stories, writing a column, and cracking skulls in the editorial space as the occasion arises. Lord knows this town needs a good thumping now and again. Since this isn’t a farewell column, per se, I’m not going to get too sentimental. But I do want to thank those who’ve encouraged and believed in me over the years. I appreciate every email, hand-written note and phone call, and I hope that those who’ve supported me will receive Jason warmly.


GUEST COMMENT Teresa Larson is available to assist you with buying or selling

Salute, Melissa And this, it was one of those times. Bob Speer, he was serving one of his numberless terms as editor, and I had so been there, done that, I wasn’t really reading. Also, I’d heard Speer was leaving— again—this time to be replaced by some woman who’d worked for the E-R. Sheesh, I thought. Back in my day, there at the CN&R, the E-R had hated us with such fire and fury it wouldn’t even mention our by Kevin Jeys name. When we absolutely had to be referenced, there in its pages, we The author, a former CN&R staff writer, is a were but “another local newspaper.” Paradise resident who The E-R worked like 12 bastards, stayed on the Ridge for so many years, to put us out throughout the Camp of business. And now, one of the Fire and its aftermath. paper’s spawn would, at the CN&R, uber alles. So I’m sitting there, before the wood stove, feeding into it firestarter. CN&Rs. And, as I’m crumpling them, I see that the face of the paper, there in the lead editorial column, it has changed. No more Speer. Some woman, there, now. Must be the E-R woman.

And, as the fire starts, I commence—what the hell—to read. Wait a minute, I begin to dawn, this is not an E-R woman. For she wrote like no E-R person I had ever known. And so, in the course of things, I became a regular reader. And then, like, a fan. I called up Derish, long-ago Wildcat/CN&R compañero, and I said: “Seth, listen, there’s this woman editor of the CN&R now, who goes after the cops like nobody since we were there.” “No,” he said. “No way.” But it was true. She seemed to give no shits. If somebody was wrong, she would just say so. Didn’t matter who, what they were. She was like those “When You Awake” people: “And if I thought it would do any good/I’d stand on the rock where Moses stood.” It didn’t matter whether it would seem to do any good, or not. She would. Still. Stand. There. And you know how Dylan chimes for “the aching ones whose wounds cannot be nursed/for the countless confused accused misused strung-out ones an’ worse/an’ for every hung-up person in the whole wide universe”? That’s who she was for. GUEST COMMENT C O N T I N U E D

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when I wasn’t reading the thing, I would Ihaul Even home great stacks of the CN&R, as firestarter. met Melissa Daugherty in fire.

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GUEST COMMENT

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one of them: Once she came up here, after I’d been Homeless people would die—and she would without cooked food for about three weeks, with cry for them, right there in her column—just blocks some Del Taco, and that may have been the finest from where at the CN&R she did labor, and she meal that I have ever had. Will. Ever. Have. just couldn’t countenance that, and so, in that, she For more than seven years, she labored as the would make change, real change, wrench around the first female editor of the CN&R, which meant that a Chico Police Department, so that at least nobody, too-large percentage of the readers simply dismissed ever again, would die, on those streets, unknown, her, because everyone and their orc knows women unnamed, uncounted, unmourned. She wrote so naked, she made me ashamed. That can’t do that sort of job, and there were the death all my own words, once seemingly so brave and shit, threats, which the cops just sniffed at and dismissed, and, like any editor of any newspaper, she presided were actually inscribed all locked up, fear-confined. In her very first CN&R column, she wrote, “I’ve from and for a community an Island Of Misfit Toys, requiring all of her powers to each week bring from always been more comfortable writing about other the Thursday of absolutely nothing, to the next people, and don’t plan on baring my soul here.” Thursday of really something—pure magic, that—an Maybe that was her only fib. Because she bared entire born-like-Athena-from-the-head-of Zeus issue it all. Right through her most recent work, where of a newspaper. she grieves that her own mother Then, you sleep, maybe. And refuses to go to the vaccine, though then, you get up. And do it, all over, that woman’s own father—Melissa’s again. grandfather—was carried off, needRinse, repeat. And. Never. A. lessly, by the plague. Break. And so, although I had never met Meanwhile, the Americans are her, in reading her, I felt like she was making it increasingly clear that my friend. they don’t any more really want any Because. She was just so open. newspapers. They would prefer to With herself. receive their information from Aunt That is why when some orc wrote Edna, who heard from Cousin Ed, into the CN&R a letter, laughing and who’d seen it in an online virality, calling her names, for confusing in that Bigfoot burned down the town her column Tulare with Turlock—and with directed energy weapons, I mean, really, aren’t they both the supplied by Bill Gates, through same?—I sent in my own letter, severMelissa Daugherty, CN&R editor-at-large the chemtrails, after he and the ing that man’s head from his body. Hebrews control-demolitioned the Because: Nobody scorns my friends buildings of 9/11. like that. So, the money coming in, to support the newspaThen, the town burned down. per, it is ... ever ... dwindling. Melissa was down in the southland when she And so, when the plague hit, there was no “nest read that some freak, who had long before her time, egg,” no money to fall back on; and the CN&R, it once been with the CN&R, refused to get out of the folded, right up. fire, and so was still marooned up there, in the town Yet Melissa, and much of the rest of the crew, burned down. tried to soldier—first online, then in print monthly— And so, she resolved to go there. right on. Because. That’s. Who. She. Is. For three months, she worked as a volunteer, As she wrote in her column, I “had no clue a near stranger was on her way with rations and a hug. all the while in great pain, waiting for an operation delayed because with the collapse of the CN&R, Funny enough, though, when I pulled up near his also collapsed her health care. house, Jeys was sitting on the porch as though he’d Because. That’s. Who. She. Is. been awaiting my arrival.” She is relinquishing the editorship now, passing Well, yeah. Because it was like, we had always it on to Jason Cassidy, a good and decent fellow, for been. reasons and under circumstances she will explain, She was so burned down in the fire. She came elsewhere in this issue, in her own words. up here the day after the town burned down, and She has long believed she is a pariah, and I have she kept coming up here, day after day. She saw tried to talk her out of this, but she will not listen far more of what the fire had done than I did. And to me, and though it is an axiom that in the writers she wrote about it. For instance, that our water up generally no one appreciates you until you are dead, here, in the fire, had gone to poison—she pushed at which time they say, “no, but wait, I liked you,” that, there in her paper, week after week after week. I am determined she will be publicly appreciated, Until, she made it right. here, now, while she is alive, and surely kicking, in While, meanwhile, she wouldn’t do right by her own newspaper. herself. She had all the burneddownness—PTSD, Also, odds are, she’s not really going anywhere. anxiety, depression, insomnia, the dreams of the For she is like Obi-Wan. They thought he disapfire coming up the stairs, coming for her child, peared, but really he didn’t, as he was with the coming for herself—and though she would write Force—as surely is Melissa—and, once subsumed in about it—so naked—she would not go to such as the fire lawyers ... as all the while she put me into a the Force, you will, and for sure, come alive again, whenever it may so be necessary. headlock until I would. All my life, I don’t salute, anybody. She had a whole route up here, of fire cats that Melissa. I salute. You. she would feed every day, or close to it, and I was Ω 6

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LETTERS Folly of the recall

Two against Tuscan

Re: “Should Newsom be recalled?” (Newslines, Sept. 2): In 2018, Californians elected Gavin Newsom as the governor of California with a 62 percent vote. Republicans, including local ones, and QAnon activists decided to do a recall of our governor. Trump had $200,000 sent in and ordered others to contribute. The campaign pushed by the Republicans was that California should be like Florida and Texas where the Trump governors have ordered that no one wear a mask and no residents—including health-care workers, those taking care of elderly sick in nursing homes and others— should be forced to get vaccinated. Meanwhile, John Hopkins University just reported that California has the lowest infection rate per 100,000 people in the country. On Sept. 14, the recall was defeated by a 63 percent no vote, so Gov. Newsom was “re-elected.” Don’t expect the Republicans to reimburse the taxpayers the $300 million it cost.

I oppose the formation of the Tuscan Water District, as presented by Silmaril Group and McGowan Farming, et al. This plan is not in the best interest of our community. Our small farmers are increasingly important to the health of our community. As we have seen during the COVID pandemic, large farms suffered from many problems. Inability to sell product (milk and potatoes were dumped!), big meat processors struggled (Tyson’s chairman said “the food supply chain is breaking”), and so on. Our many small farmers produce food throughout the surges of the pandemic, and continue to do so. Turning control of our water resources to an outfit that thinks the larger the landownership, the bigger the vote, is not a viable option—no matter how many acres of land they own. Acres do not vote; people vote.

Bob Mulholland Chico

Collective responsibility Re: “Violent ends” (News, Sept. 14, newsreview.com): Who bears the responsibility for the fatal Teichert Pond shooting by underage teenagers? They are not legally or neurologically adults. Who gave them license to terrorize the homeless and regard the homeless as the “other,” undeserving and scum? Is it the Chico City Council member who said we will move them and move them and move them until they disappear? Is it the local citizen who has promoted citizen arrests and vigilantism? Is it the founders of Citizens for a Safe Chico and Chico First with their incendiary language? Is it the parents of the teenagers who did not properly secure their firearms? Is it the passive citizens of Chico who silently and with their vote authorize inhuman treatment of our homeless, relying on various conspiracy theories—“they’re from out of town” and “if we make it too comfortable for them, then all the state’s homeless will come here”? Now is the time for deep soul searching by all of us. This should not now or ever be happening. Julian Zener Chico

Carla Resnick Chico

I am writing in regard to the Tuscan Water District. I strongly oppose this district! During California’s emergency drought we cannot legitimize a privatized water grab by a small group of farmers. Water is a resource that belongs to us all and thus should be monitored, protected and legislated by elected officials with input from the people affected by its decisions. Understandably, this Tuscan Water coalition will only have its own profits and sustainability as its priorities, not the rest of the water users and those in charge of protecting our many other water related resources. Giving a share of our water freely to be selfmanaged by this private group is not in everyone’s best interest. Lisa Holeman Chico

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 November print publication is October 25.


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Best song ever? Asked in downtown Chico

Angel Durham stay-at-home mom

“Bohemian Rhapsody,” [by Queen]. I like the entire aesthetic of it—I love the song. [I’d listen to it] everyday; it’s just a happy song.

◆ Payroll Processing & Todd Steinberg real estate agent trainer

The one that means the most to me—and it’s going to sound cheesy because it’s one that everybody would say—is “Imagine,” by John Lennon. The reason is because of its depth of understanding of human nature and just trying to look forward to a time when we come together as a people and think about others as opposed to thinking of ourselves—look beyond ourselves and look toward us a human race.

Luke Brown high school student

Oh man, that’s a hard one. “Are we Still Friends?” by Tyler the Creator. I love that song. It just sounds nice before I’m about to go to bed.

Pat Lynn retired speech therapist

Oh boy, that’s hard. I want to say a Beatles song, but there’s so many. I’ll say “My Girl,” by The Temptations. I grew up with that.

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NEWSLINES DOWNSTROKE TUSCAN GETS NOD FROM SUPES The Board of Supervisors voted 3-1 to send a letter in support of the proposed Tuscan Water District to the Butte Local Agency Formation Commission after hearing more than two hours of public comment on the issue at its Sept 28 meeting. Supervisor Debra Lucero was the lone dissenting vote; Supervisor Tami Ritter was absent. The letter mentions two conditions for the county’s support of the district, which if approved would provide water for roughly 100,000 county acres. The suggested conditions: any water imported into the district will remain in the district and water transfer concerns should be addressed; and projects and programs conducted by the district must be consistent with projects and management actions or implementation activities described in the relevant Groundwater Sustainability Plans for the Vina and Butte subbasins, with the goal of addressing concerns regarding representation and harm to small landowners due to large landowners dominating the decisions and actions of the district. The next step is a public hearing before LAFCO, which has not been scheduled yet. Go to buttelafco.org for upcoming meeting information and buttelafco.org/ announcements to review the Tuscan Water District’s application materials.

A BOOST IN VIRAL PROTECTION The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has authorized a COVID-19 Pfizer booster dose for certain groups of people, administered six months after an individual has received their second Pfizer dose. Eligible groups include those 65 years and older, residents of long-term care settings and those 50-64 years old with underlying medical conditions. Boosters are also recommended for those 18-49 with underlying medical conditions and those 18-64 who are considered at increased risk due to occupational or institutional setting. Booster doses for the Moderna and J&J vaccines have not been approved by the CDC at this time. Butte County Public Health is encouraging high-risk residents to get a booster to help increase their protection against the deadly virus. Go to buttecounty. net/COVIDvac cine for more information on eligibility and vaccination sites. In addition, influenza season has returned, and area hospitals are hosting free flu shot clinics throughout October starting today (Oct. 7). Go to buttecounty.net/flu for more information. 8

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The forgotten fire?

A year after the North Complex Fire, Berry Creek residents say rebuilding hindered by costs, crime and splintered community story and photos by

Ken Smith kens @new srev i ew. c o m

ntil the night of Sept. 8, 2020, Berry

Uing Creek’s Village Market was the beatheart of a thriving community. It was the only destination “on the hill”—as locals refer to the foothills area—that offered groceries and gas. And it was where neighbors, who mostly knew one another by first name, could always find a friendly face and catch up on recent news and gossip. All that remains of the market since that date, when the North Complex Fire roared through and leveled most of the town’s homes, businesses and public buildings overnight, is a few gas pumps in the middle of a parking lot. The lot persists as a meeting spot, however, and is where more than a half-dozen Berry Creek residents met in late August to discuss the process of restoring their community as the fire’s one-year anniversary approached. The consensus among the group was

that rebuilding had been slow and arduous. Sometimes angry and sometimes near tears, the residents—most of whom are currently living in campers, tents or RVs on their properties—recited a litany of obstacles complicating their efforts. These included prohibitive costs, criminal activity in the area and what they see as a lack of assistance from the county and outside agencies. Unanimously, they felt overlooked in the light of the region’s other tragic fires. “It feels like everyone forgot about us,” Jackie Siegfried said. Another woman, Janice Wilson, stated even more emphatically, “It’s like no one ever really cared about Berry Creek before the fire, and they really don’t care about us now.”

Homegrown helpers One person who does care, deeply, about the plight of Berry Creek’s residents is Oroville’s Frank Martinez, who helped arrange the meeting at the Village Market site. Martinez said he’s been affected by multiple fires at his own property, having hosted evacuees and been one himself on multiple occasions.

Martinez said he started getting involved in fire relief efforts after his Grateful Dead cover band, Franklin’s Tower, played a 2017 benefit show for a Cascade Fire survivor. During the Camp Fire, he helped gather supplies and cook for survivors, and since then he has lent assistance during several major woodland blazes, often loading his silver Dodge Caravan with supplies to deliver to the epicenter of these disasters. He said he has hundreds of close friends in Berry Creek and the surrounding area; he refers to them as his “nephews and nieces.” In the weeks following the North Complex Fire, Martinez partnered with three survivors to form Berry Creek United. The group has since obtained official nonprofit status. It hosts regular free community meals, helps provide supplies to survivors, recently participated in Dixie Fire relief efforts and continues to advocate for Berry Creek residents as the focus shifts from meeting immediate needs to long-term rebuilding efforts. One of BCU’s founders is Brittany Flanagin, who serves as the group’s chief financial officer. She is also an admin of


A number of Berry Creek residents—including several more than are pictured here—met with the CN&R to discuss obstacles they’ve faced in rebuilding from the North Complex Fire.

Facebook group Bald Rock Talk, where people meet virtually to share resources and their fire recovery experiences. Before the fire, Flanagin worked as a cashier at Village Market, and she helped arrange the parking lot meeting of survivors and the CN&R. Running up to that meeting, Flanagin posted an informal poll to that group that asked, simply, “How are you feeling today?” She offered a dozen or so possible responses, both negative and positive. The most frequently chosen, each roughly 50 times, were “Still in the area with unstable living situation,” “mentally unwell” and “confused.”

Money and permits Only a handful of homeowners in the area have begun rebuilding, and none of the residents who met at the ruins of the Village Market planned to start anytime soon. At least one woman said she had given up hope of ever rebuilding in the area, and none expected to break ground until at least 2023. That’s because rebuilding is a complicated, costly and time-consuming process involving numerous county, state and federal government agencies—ranging from at least two different Butte County departments (Planning and Environmental Health) to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Additionally, those looking to rebuild often have to coordinate with Cal Fire and/or PG&E at various steps along the way. “It just seems like with each step, someone has their hands in your pockets,” one woman said. For many, the process begins with a stateissued Right-of-Entry permit, which enables property owners to avail of state and FEMA programs that can help with debris cleanup. With the state backlogged due to years of disastrous fires, even this first step can take months. Debris cleanup is a two-phase process (one for toxic chemicals, another for debris), and the removal of hazardous trees is yet another step. After those things are accomplished, staying on a property burnt by fire requires residents to pay nearly $700 for a permit to camp on their own land (“which we’ve already paid our property taxes on,” one woman pointed out). Residents wanting to rebuild are also responsible for the cost of having a power pole installed. All of this needs to be accomplished before residents can even apply for costly permits to rebuild. With contractors in demand due to multiple wildfires in recent years; stricter state regulations to ensure homes are more resistant to fire; and the cost of building materials at an all-time high due to supply-chain breaks, rebuilding costs are being driven even higher.

In the meantime, most of the people still living on their land require gas-powered generators for electricity. The Berry Creek residents said that, with this summer’s temperatures regularly reaching triple digits, they could easily go through five gallons or more of gas a day; they reported spending between $600 and $1,600 monthly on fuel. There also are insurance issues. At least two of the Berry Creek residents said they are currently in lawsuits with their insurers over settlement amounts. Others complained that pay-outs covered only the cost of their homes, not their belongings. And some said that the cost to insure once they are in the process of rebuilding will be greatly inflated over their previous premiums. The survivors said the most immediate help they could use is with the cost of permits, noting that grants covered many such fees for Ridge residents to rebuild after the Camp Fire, but only a handful have been available for North Complex victims. “This community is never going to get anywhere if the county or state or somebody doesn’t get involved to make it easier for people here,” Flanagin said. “A lot of people up here have fairly low incomes and can’t afford to get their lives back to where where they were at before the fire. As long as we’re overlooked, nothing will get better.” Butte County Supervisor Bill Connelly represents District 1—which includes Berry Creek—and during a recent phone interview said he’s aware of, and sympathetic to, the challenges his constituents in the area have faced in the wake of the fire. He also agreed that they’ve been overlooked. “The Dixie Fire is the latest thing, and prior to that was the Camp Fire, which wiped out parts of Concow and Yankee Hill and took out 12,000 homes in Paradise,” he said. “With the North Complex Fire falling between, it really is a forgotten fire. There’s not as much empathy for the victims, nor is there as much money readily available to help them.” Connelly said waiving building fees or lessening them at the county level is not possible, because “the cost of government has gone up dramatically, even during my time in office.” Instead, he said he—“with the full support of the rest of the Board of Supervisors”—is actively seeking grant funding to alleviate that burden. Several of the Berry Creek residents noted that there was a series of county-run town halls and informational meetings in the wake of the Camp Fire, while only one (at the Southside Oroville Community Center, in April) was held for North Complex victims. Attendance at the meeting was sparse, which Connelly and the Berry Creek crew agreed was due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Connelly said he would work on scheduling NEWSLINES C O N T I N U E D

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another in the near future in order to hear citizens’ ongoing concerns.

Resources are increasing The topic of disaster case managers—who can help survivors connect with resources and navigate the difficult rebuilding process—was met with a collective guffaw from the group of Berry Creek survivors. A few said they’re working with case managers or waiting to connect with one. “Good luck finding a case manager,” one woman said. “Even if you do, it’s hard to feel like a priority when they have so many other clients.” Disaster case management is funded by FEMA, which contracts with agencies to carry out those services. For the North Complex Fire, case management is delivered by North Valley Catholic Social Service (NVCSS) and St. Vincent De Paul (SVDP). Stephanie Gregorio, who oversees those services for SVDP, said that the two organizations have a total of five caseworkers dedicated to North Complex survivors. “A big obstacle is the sheer number of people that need help compared to our staffing,” Gregario said. “For that reason, there are waiting lists for case managers.” For the Camp Fire, the Butte County Department of Employment and Social Services coordinated with FEMA to contract with organizations that did case management. She said that FEMA funded some case workers through NVCSS and SVDP, but the need was so great that her organization successfully appealed to the North Valley Community Foundation (NVCF) to pay for more. However, her department is not involved in this aspect of North Complex Fire. NVCF has been instrumental to North Complex Fire recovery, supplying more than $600,000 in grant funding. On Sept. 8—the one year anniversary of the fire—an organization called California Hope of Butte County, a subset of NVCSS, opened a Wildfire Resource Center near Lakeside market in Oroville, which it hopes will be easily accessible for North Complex fire victims from Berry Creek, Feather Falls and the surrounding foothills. Cal Hope program manager Jake Fender, who oversees the center, said it offers resources like a computer lab, printing center and some supplies needed to meet immediate needs. Case workers are on site on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Fender said the Bear Fire Long Term Recovery Group—a coalition of more than 50 individuals and organizations dedicated to helping people rebuild—is also hard at work towards recovery. Since May, that group has held monthly “resource round-ups” to connect with survivors and aid in recovery efforts.

Theft and other losses Some of the Berry Creek folk at Village

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Frank Martinez has been doing wildfire relief since 2017 and helped found Berry Creek United along with three survivors of the North Complex Fire.

Market said they were taking a risk even being there, and away from their properties, due to theft. “We have overwhelming crime and absolutely no police presence,” one woman said, explaining that generators are the most common targets. Several of those who gathered believe the thieves even monitor local social media groups to ascertain when people will be attending meetings, picking up supplies or are otherwise away from home. Connelly also acknowledged theft in the area, saying he’s heard from constituents about whole metal buildings being stolen from people’s properties. He said that’s in part due to a lack of sheriff’s deputies throughout the county, which the supervisors have attempted to address through pay increases. He referred any further questions about criminal activity to the Butte County Sheriff’s Office; the CN&R did not receive a reply before press time. “I haven’t forgotten about them—I really care about and love the people up there,” Connelly said. “It’s just really difficult when we have fire after fire after fire.” Perhaps even more troubling than stolen generators is the sense of community that the fire stole from Berry Creek. “It’s really hard to gather people together,” Flanagin said. “We tried doing some shindigs in Oroville ... but it’s hard for a lot of people up here on the hill to even get gas money to come down there. There’s no community center, no grange, no building at all up here for people to meet at. Nobody wants to get together in the dirt and the heat. “We’re really struggling to stay together.” Ω


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The comeback I

t has been two years since the Chico News & Review last put out this normally annual special issue. As much as it pained us to miss out on celebrating all the good stuff in our town, there have been many more pressing concerns for our community. Our local businesses in particular have been put through the ringer with COVID-19 mandates, increased exposure at essential places of work and varying degrees of closures as the pandemic forced everyone to make sacrifices for the good of public health. Some businesses didn’t make it, and many of those that did—especially small businesses— are still struggling. We are not out of the woods; COVID is still making people sick at an alarming rate. But Chico is ready for a comeback. Consider this presentation of awards a palate cleanser, something that gets us ready for when it’s safe to fully come together again, by celebrating all the people and places that collectively make our community, well, a community.

After more than a year of shutdowns, Chico is ready for a win

Readers’ Picks Goods & Services.............................. 14 Food & Drink ................................... 24 Nightlife & The Arts ........................... 31 Health & Wellness............................. 35 Community .................................... 38

= Living Legend—a First Place winner in the same category for the past five consecutive years.

2021

Editors’ Picks Our local pandemic-era faves .............44 O C T O B E R 7, 2 0 2 1

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READERS’ PICKS 2021 Three cheers for the businesses that have seen our community through a pandemic

Pullins Cyclery

Northern Star Mills

Ag/Growing Supplies

It’s a treasure trove that one could blissfully while away an entire day exploring.

Attorney

FIRST Place: Northern Star Mills

SECOND Place (tie): Country Squyres’ Antiques 164 E. Third St., 342-6764

Rooney Law Firm, 196 Cohasset Road, Ste. 200, 345-5678 Formerly a probation officer and public defender, Michael Rooney has a lot of experience with the criminal justice system. But his practice isn’t limited to defense—Chicoans also trust him with cases in other areas, such as personal injury and family law. Year after year, Rooney is voted Best of Chico.

510 Esplanade, 342-7661 Since 1898, Chicoans have trusted Northern Star Mills for their farming needs, especially when it comes to their animals. That’s because the store, operating near downtown at its location on The Esplanade since 1933, stocks everything from dog and cat food to poultry and cattle feed. Northern Star Mills also carries fertilizer, soil and seeds for the garden. SECOND Place: AG Mart 1334 Park Ave., 809-2367

SECOND Place (tie): Little Red Hen Vintage 215 Main St., 894-1311

Appliance Store FIRST Place: Ginno’s Kitchen & Appliance Center

FIRST Place: Michael Rooney

SECOND Place: Nikki Farris 2607 Forest Ave., Ste. 120, 898-1488 THIRD Place: Aaron J. Stewart 2571 California Park Drive, Ste. 100, 345-2212

Antiques Store

2505 Zanella Way, 342-2182 Ginno’s is Chico’s largest independent appliance dealer, family-owned and -operated for more 50 years. The friendly staff not only offer a wide selection of the latest styles from leading manufacturers at their warehouse, they also come to customers for deliveries, installations and trusted repairs.

FIRST Place: Eighth & Main Antique Center

SECOND Place: Hudson’s Appliance Center 2525 Dominic Drive, Ste. D, 877-6312

2267 Esplanade, Ste. D, 891-0234 Bob and Linda Fitzgerald opened Concours Elite in 1982, and when it comes to getting people’s rides

THIRD Place: Tractor Supply Co. 2475 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Pkwy., 897-0669

745 Main St., 893-5534 Eighth & Main is huge! Across two buildings, it spans 29,000 square feet, housing vendors selling everything from vintage furniture to vinyl records.

THIRD Place: Collier Hardware 105 Broadway St., 342-0195

Auto Paint/Body Shop FIRST Place: Concours Elite Collision Center

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READERS’ PICKS C O N T I N U E D

“CHICO’S FAVORITE NEIGHBORHOOD BARBERSHOP”

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back in competition shape, theirs is the go-to shop for Chicoans.

Bank/Credit Union

the locals’ obvious favorite has accumulated Best of Chico plaques like nobody’s business.

SECOND Place: Knockout Collision Repair 3225 Esplanade, 899-9202

FIRST Place: Tri Counties Bank

SECOND Place: Greenline Cycles 515 Main St., 894-7885

THIRD Place: JP’s Paint & Body Works 1840 Park Ave., 342-1328

Auto Repair Shop FIRST Place: Affordable Automotive

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2106 Park Ave., 892-1774 Celebrating its 25th year in business, Affordable Automotive can handle any repair, from preventive maintenance to transmission work to diagnosing and fixing all those mystery rattles we all know too well. With the shop’s guarantee and warranty promise, customers know they’re getting service they can trust. SECOND Place: D & E Auto Repair 3328 Esplanade, Ste. D, 343-9703 THIRD Place: Superior Auto Clinic 2862 Esplanade, 343-3568

Baby/Kids’ Clothier FIRST Place: Apple Blossom Baby 977 East Ave., Ste. 90, 345-1617 Kids grow! (It’s science.) And one of the keys to Apple Blossom Baby’s popularity is featuring gently used resale items to help clothing budgets from getting out of hand. Of course, the store also has a wide selection of new styles of clothes, toys and any other kid gadgets a parent might need.

multiple locations, tcbk.com Founded over 40 years ago right here in Chico, Tri Counties Bank is no longer just in three counties; it has branches all over the state. Customers have come to know the bank by its core values of trust, respect, integrity, communication and opportunity, or TRICO. SECOND Place: Sierra Central Credit Union Multiple locations, sierracentral.com THIRD Place: Members 1st Credit Union Two Chico locations: 969 East Ave. & 550 Salem St., 222-9349

Barbershop FIRST Place: Liberty Barber Co. 240 Main St., Ste. 180, 630-7313 Liberty Barber Co. turned on its restored barber’s pole downtown last March and in less than a year has already made a name for itself in Chico’s crowded barber scene. A traditional shop offering cuts, beard trims and hot-towel straight-razor shaves, Liberty also features a complimentary beverage and a shoulder massage with each visit if you want. (You definitely want.) SECOND Place: Danny’s Barbershop 544 Broadway, 332-0553 THIRD Place: Gearhead Barbershop 151 Broadway, 774-2157

SECOND Place: Once Upon A Child 801 East Ave., Ste. 106, 592-3824

Bike Shop

THIRD Place: Kat’s Meow 138 W. Third St., 899-8811

801 Main St., 342-1055 Finally, after more than a century, Pullins Cyclery gets some recognition! We kid, of course: Pullins started in Chico in 1918, Steve and Katy O’Bryan took over the shop in 1984, and during their tenure,

FIRST Place: Pullins Cyclery

THIRD Place: North Rim Adventure Sports 178 E. Second St., 345-2453

Cab Company FIRST Place: Taxi Dave 566-0447 A no-nonsense name for a clean, dependable, no-nonsense taxi service. Dave’s got you covered 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day except Sunday. (Even Dave’s gotta rest!) SECOND Place: Chico Yellow Cab 893-4444 THIRD Place: G-Ride Pedi-Cab & Trolly 354-9885

Cannabis Dispensary (delivery or within driving distance of Chico) FIRST Place: Perfect Union (Marysville) 311 F St., Marysville, 763-4826, perfect-union.com Perfect Union has dispensaries all over the top half of the state, from Weed (naturally) to Morro Bay. The Marysville shop is less than an hour’s drive from Chico, where an enormous selection of sativa and indica products—from flowers and extracts, to edibles and topicals—keeps dispensary-deprived Chicoans stocked up. SECOND Place: Zente Farms zentefarms.com THIRD Place: SHÉ shewholesale.com

READERS’ PICKS C O N T I N U E D

Kirk’s Jewelry

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READERS’ PICKS C O N T I N U E D

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Car Dealership

Convenience Store

FIRST Place: Chico Nissan Hyundai

FIRST Place: Power Market

575 Manzanita Ave., 891-1777 This locally owned business started with the Nissan dealership 60 years ago, adding the Hyundai half in 1992. Many of the employees have been with the company for years, even decades, contributing to Chico Nissan Hyundai’s reputation for customer service.

Multiple locations The slogan says it all: “Power through your life with Power Market where you will always find something to keep you going!” Stock up on all your energizing supplies—from Red Bulls to unleaded gasoline—at these one-stop shops.

SECOND Place: Chuck Patterson Toyota 200 East Ave., 895-1771 THIRD Place: Courtesy Automotive Center 2520 Cohasset, 345-9444

Car Wash FIRST Place: Surf Thru Express Car Wash Two locations: 2470 Forest Ave.; 2573 Esplanade, 801-6479 The fast-growing chain of Surf Thru car washes came to Chico in 2017. The two local locations offer quick, full-service, water-saving washes, plus selfserve vacuums and a floor-mat-washing station. SECOND Place: Scrubbs Car Wash & Detail Center 1020 Skyway, 893-4885 THIRD Place: California Car Wash 150 Commercial Ave., 894-3017

SECOND Place: Sierra Market 1646 Park Ave., 342-4579 THIRD Place: Spike’s Bottle Shop 1270 E. First Ave., 893-8410

Day Spa FIRST Place: Angels Nails & Spa 965 Nord Ave., Ste. 100-A, 487-7322 See Place for a Mani/Pedi. SECOND Place: Urban Medspa 3221 Cohasset Road, 891-8772 THIRD Place: Renew Float Spa 1030 Village Lane, 588-7378

Dry Cleaner FIRST Place: 3rd Generation Cleaners 1380 East Ave., 899-0333 These full-service “wet cleaning” specialists also do alterations, pickup and delivery. One online reviewer sums up 3rd Generation’s popularity: “I have lived

in Chico over 40 years, and this is the best dry cleaners that I have ever used!” SECOND Place: Flair Custom Cleaners 660 Mangrove Ave., 345-0522 THIRD Place: Chico Express Cleaners Two locations: 641 Walnut St., 343-6013; 752 East Ave., 343-8844

Esthetician/Waxing Studio FIRST Place: The Eyebrow Goddess 260 E. First St., 680-2569 When it comes to eyebrow care, trust no mere mortal. The Eyebrow Goddess—located inside Envee Hair Studio & Spa—is here on Earth to make sure thy brows are on fleek. SECOND Place: Silhouette Studio 1324 Mangrove Ave., Ste. 214, 342-7131 THIRD Place: Esthetics by Elizabeth 2062 Talbert Drive, Ste. 100, 966-8644

Feed Store/Farm Supply

FIRST Place: Northern Star Mills

510 Esplanade, 342-7661 See Ag/Growing Supplies. SECOND Place: C Bar D Feed 3388 Hwy 32, 342-5361 THIRD Place: Wilbur’s Feed and Seed 139 Meyers St., 895-0569

Financial Planner (name and location)

THIRD Place: Little Red Hen Plant Nursery 189 E. 8th St., 891-9100

FIRST Place: Miste & Steven Cliadakis, Altum Wealth Advisors

General Contractor

1074 East Ave., Ste. T-1, 924-0110 Miste and Steven Cliadakis help clients achieve their individual financial goals—from retirement plans and investments to risk management and insurance—with “objective, unbiased” advice. Their team sets itself apart from large firms with a no-pressure approach that’s not beholden to proprietary products.

FIRST Place: Proframe Construction 11128 Midway, Ste. 3, 636-4574 General construction, custom homes, rebuilds, patio covers and more—Proframe has been building just about everything since it opened for business in 2008. SECOND Place: Birchard Construction 2122 Durham Dayton Hwy, 864-5427

SECOND Place: Barrett O. Benson, Benson Wealth Management 901 Bruce Road, Ste. 160, 891-0719

THIRD Place: Conroy Construction 1350 E. Ninth St., Ste. 100, 891-1204

THIRD Place: Renée Michel & Joe Sweeney, Sweeney & Michel Financial Planning & Investment 196 Cohasset Road, Ste. 100, 487-1777

Gift Shop

Florist

956 Mangrove Ave., 892-4940 With new items coming into Hubbs seemingly daily, you’ll never enter the exact same store twice. Rustic signs, scented candles, fashion accessories and tons more satisfy gift-giving needs.

FIRST Place: Flowers By Rachelle 2485 Notre Dame Blvd., Ste. 260, 345-2661 Owner Rachelle Nyswonger-Neal is the name and creative force behind a family-owned business that has been making Chico’s weddings and other special occasions beautiful since 1997. SECOND Place: Christian & Johnson 1098 E. First Ave., 891-1881

FIRST Place: Hubbs & Co.

SECOND Place: Made in Chico 127 W. Third St., 894-7009 THIRD Place: Little Red Hen 897 E. 20th St., Ste. B, 897-0100

Grocer FIRST Place: S&S Organic Produce and Natural Foods 1924 Mangrove Ave., 343-4930 What started as a roadside produce stand is now an established full-service grocery—with an impressive selection of organic produce plus breads, wines, herbal supplements and a butcher shop that puts most others to shame. SECOND Place: Trader Joe’s 801 East Ave., Ste. 100, 343-9920 THIRD Place: Chico Natural Foods Co-Op 818 Main St., 891-1713

Hair Salon FIRST Place: Da Capo Style House 1925 Market Place, 715-7183 This popular salon is one of the first businesses to open in the Meriam Park neighborhood, offering cuts, styling, coloring and extensions in a beautiful space. SECOND Place: The Hair Company 1299 E. Ninth St., 894-2002 THIRD Place: Salon Diamond 568 Manzanita, Ste. 9, 893-8895

House Cleaning Service FIRST Place (tie): C&A Cleaning

S&S Organic Produce and Natural Foods

514-7738 Established in 2008, C&A Cleaning offers residential and office cleaning services … and they do windows! From a recent online review: “[I]t looked AMAZING when it was done! Her crew of girls were friendly and got right to work!”

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New Business (non-food service, open in last year) FIRST Place: SkyLab Nails & Spa 611 Walnut St., 518-6908 Thousands of pairs of hands in Chico could use a little—or a lot of—flair, so it’s no wonder that locals are already supporting another nail shop in a town with so many. SkyLab provides manicures, pedicures and massage chairs, all in a clean, new space. SECOND Place: Plant Love 2267 Springfield Drive, Ste. 110, 330-5100 THIRD Place: Vang’s Plants and Succulents Hub 116 Broadway, 487-8125 Alternative Energy Systems

Nursery FIRST Place: The Plant Barn & Gifts

House Cleaning Service

Jeweler

FIRST Place (tie): Cleaned to Perfection

FIRST Place: Kirk’s Jewelry

520-6465 This year’s co-champ for Best House Cleaning Service specializes in real estate listings, rental properties, offices and restaurants. As one Facebook reviewer gushed: “I was shocked by the work this girl did! When she says Cleaned to [P]erfection, it was above and beyond.” THIRD Place: Helping Hands Cleaning Services 354-9630

House Painter

246 W. Third St., 891-0880 Jeweler/metalsmith Kirk Bengtson opened shop downtown in 1973 in a small second-story space. He soon expanded, moving down Third Street to a corner store at Salem, where Kirk’s Jewelry became a fixture—acclaimed especially for custommade engagement and wedding rings. Dazzling earring, pendants and rings make the cases like a museum display.

SECOND Place: SM Painting 321-1592 THIRD Place: Bestway Painters Inc. 343-0430

Insurance Agent FIRST Place: Heritage Insurance Agency 290 Airpark Blvd., 894-3276 In business since 1978, Heritage Insurance has operated as an independent agency with a Northern California base but has clients in Southern California, Idaho and Nevada as well. Steve and Kelly Mora head a team with expertise spanning agribusiness, commercial accounts, personal insurance, employee benefits and workers’ compensation. SECOND Place: Eddy Rodriguez, State Farm 45 Jan Court, Ste. 165, 899-0100 THIRD Place: Brad Jacobsen, Farmers Insurance 25 Jan Court, Ste. 120, 891-7900

NEXT GROUP CLASS BEGINS: NOVEMBER 3

SECOND Place: Magnolia Gift & Garden 1367 East Ave., 894-5410 THIRD Place: Little Red Hen Nursery 189 E. 8th St., 891-9100

SECOND Place: Olde Gold Estate Jewelry 225 Main St., Ste. O, 891-4610 THIRD Place: Julianne’s 1925 Market Place, Ste. 120, 342-3117

FIRST Place: Hawkes Painting 521-5237 John Hawkes’ work must speak for itself: Beyond a sign on the side of his truck, he doesn’t go out of his way to promote his business, yet he’s made an impression on customers who’ve voted him Chico’s best.

406 Entler Ave., 345-3121 Open since 1980, the Plant Barn is the longestrunning nursery in Chico. Denise Kelly and Rolf Weidhofer have owned it since 2006 and have expanded the operation into a veritable nursery theme park, with sprawling grounds of plants and trees of all types plus an indoor/outdoor gift shop filled with eclectic items for the garden.

Liquor Store FIRST Place: Spike’s Bottle Shop 1270 E. First Ave., 893-8410 Spike’s is the source for new, hard-to-find craft beers, ciders, whiskeys and more. That’s because owner Kevin Jaradah, who co-founded the lively online beer-geek group Chico Beer Enthusiasts, is committed to keeping his shelves stocked with interesting finds. SECOND Place: Star Liquor 933 Nord Ave., 891-4842 THIRD Place: Mangrove Bottle Shop 1350 Mangrove Ave., Ste. 160, 342-7575

Local Pet Store FIRST Place: TrailBlazer Pet Supply 752 Mangrove Ave., 892-1848 At Trailblazer, pets are the stars of the show. With shelves stocked with a wide selection of foods, treats and toys, plus grooming services where staff ensure each pup is properly pampered, this is a place where Chicoans return time and again. Add workshops focused on better understanding and caring for our fur babies, and you have a true onestop local pet shop.

Outdoor Living (patios, pergolas, pools, etc.) FIRST Place: Patio Pros 11128 Midway, Ste. 3, 924-6400 For those who’ve wanted to make the outside of their home as comfortable as the inside, the Patio Pros have been the winning construction company. That’s their specialty—building everything from pergolas to sun rooms to bring Chicoans closer to the outdoors. SECOND Place: Lowe’s Home Improvement 2350 Forest Ave., 895-5130 THIRD Place: Perfection Pools & Spas 172 E. 20th St., 895-0437

Pet Groomer FIRST Place: Carol’s Dog Grooming 975 East Ave., Ste. 160, 343-1554 Sixty years of grooming Chico’s pooches?! That kind of staying power is earned with decades of professionalism and patience and a large base of repeat customers, some of whom have been bringing dogs to Carol’s their whole lives. SECOND Place: Mutt Cuts 2991 Esplanade, Ste. 130, 592-3156 THIRD Place: Coature Pet Spa 1411 Mangrove Ave., 899-8433

SECOND Place: Chico Pet Works & Pet Salon 2201 Pillsbury Road, Ste. 186, 345-0934 THIRD Place: Northern Star Mills 510 Esplanade, 342-7661

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Place for a Mani/Pedi

grocery store of gear for those who enjoy staying active. For 36 years, the locally owned institution has offered a huge selection of essentials for camping, hiking, backpacking, running, yoga, swimming, snowboarding, disc golf and more.

FIRST Place: Angels Nails & Spa 965 Nord Ave., Ste. 100-A, 487-7322 There is no arguing with popularity. Open the door of the unassuming west Chico business on any given day, and inside the place will be packed with customers and nearly as many manicurists taking care of their nails.

SECOND Place (tie): Big 5 Sporting Goods 1717 Mangrove Ave., Ste. C, 891-1545 SECOND Place (tie): Dick’s Sporting Goods 1922 E. 20th St., 343-3351

SECOND Place (tie): SkyLab Nails & Spa 611 Walnut St., 518-6908 SECOND Place (tie): Tammy Nails 1354 East Ave., Ste. J, 899-8912

Tattoo Parlor FIRST Place: Eye Of Jade Tattoo 1238 Mangrove Ave., 343-5233 Owner/tattooist Ben Lucas and his roster of talented artists moved from downtown to the current spot on Mangrove two years ago. Local body-art fans have followed them up the road, where the shop continues its reign as Chico’s favorite place to get inked and pierced.

Place for Electronics/ Computer Repair FIRST Place: Best Buy 2005 Forest Ave., 566-1012 If an electronics store sells everything from an Apple Watch to a smart refrigerator—and provides repair service for it all—then it’s hard to beat.

SECOND Place: Red Room Tattoo 231 Nord Ave., 342-1287 THIRD Place: Tanner Drake Art Gallery and Body Art Studio 250 Vallombrosa Ave., Ste. 560, 965-5842

SECOND Place: Chico Computer Clinic 1450 Mangrove Ave., Ste. 140 THIRD Place: PCI Computer Services 225 Main St., 891-4152

Thrift Store Place to Buy Books

FIRST Place: The Arc Store

FIRST Place: The Bookstore

The Arc Store

118 Main St., 345-7441 This lovely, wood-floored, book-filled space downtown carries a wide range of used and new books, with particularly robust selections of children’s books, cookbooks, history, gardening, religious, art and classic literature. The Bookstore is a Chico institution, celebrating its 45th year in business, and a foundational part of what it means to be a Chicoan to many locals. SECOND Place: Barnes & Noble Booksellers 2031 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, 8941494 THIRD Place: ABC Books 950 Mangrove Ave., 893-4342

Place to Buy Clothes FIRST Place: 2econd Life 641 Nord Ave., Ste. B, 466-6966 Keen-eyed shoppers are as likely to pick up a sweet pair of vintage Air Jordans as a Super Mario hoodie among the curated goods inside this hip little shop in college town. Follow @we_the_best_thrift on Instagram to stay up on the latest finds. SECOND Place: For Elyse 228 Broadway, 893-0106

THIRD Place: Finds Design & Decor 1341 Mangrove Ave., 892-1905

important event in a couple’s life, capturing the intimate in-between moments during weddings, engagements and even elopements.

Shoe Store

Place to Buy Outdoor Gear

SECOND Place: Mark Thau Photography 5867 Cohasset Road, 566-9189

FIRST Place: Mountain Sports

THIRD Place: Park Avenue Photography 1376 Longfellow Ave., 521-4340

708 Mangrove Ave., 899-0725 From flip-flop season to fuzzy-boot weather, locals know where to go to find the widest selection of Reefs, Tevas and Uggs. Heel and Sole is packed to the ceiling, literally, with seemingly endless boxes of every style of footwear.

176 E. Third St., 345-5011 Sitting at the edge of the foothills of the Sierras and Cascades—not to mention Bidwell Park—Mountain Sports is here to outfit outdoor enthusiasts with clothing, footwear, equipment and accessories for whatever adventure awaits down the trail. SECOND Place: Sports Ltd. 698 Mangrove Ave., 894-1110 THIRD Place: Sportsman’s Warehouse 765 East Ave., Ste. 170, 897-0500

Plumber FIRST Place: Earl’s Performance Plumbing

THIRD Place: Anika Burke 211 Main St., 918-8850

2264 Park Ave., 343-0330 For more than two decades, Earl’s has kept Chico’s pipes in order. Techs arrive in a fully stocked van, answering calls 24/7 to fix everything from water and sewer lines to pumps and water heaters.

Place to Buy Home Furnishings

SECOND Place: Accurate Plumbing 2288 Park Ave., Ste. A, 894-1800

FIRST Place: The Address 2444 Cohasset Road, 898-9000 Overwhelmed by a “reno”? The team at The Address can help with everything from measuring for custom upholstery to accessorizing a room to designing it from scratch. Visit the shop to experience whole rooms set up inside the spacious showroom. SECOND Place: Esplanade Furniture 1750 Esplanade, 891-4788 22

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THIRD Place: Able Plumbing & Electrical 551 Country Drive, Ste. 150, 899-9009

Professional Photographer FIRST Place: Diane Nicole Photography 1230 Esplanade, 588-4949 Diane Nicole strives to tell the story of that most

Real Estate Agent FIRST Place: Sabrina Chevallier (RE/MAX) 1834 Mangrove Ave., 718-9115 For first-time home buyers especially, Sabrina Chevallier’s smooth and frequent communication throughout the process makes all the difference in creating a relatively stress-free experience. The RE/Max agent also gains points for her friendly personality and willingness to go above and beyond for her clients. SECOND Place: Kelsey Wakefield (RE/MAX) 1834 Mangrove Ave., 518-6609 THIRD Place: Danielle Branham (Century 21) 1101 El Monte Ave., 570-8402

Roofer FIRST Place: Powell Roofing 43 Norfield Ave., Ste. 4, 892-1410 From patching the smallest leak to a full roof construction, Powell Roofing has its customers covered. SECOND Place: Baird Roofing 11025 Midway, 342-1631 THIRD Place: Johnson Roofing Co. 3080 Thorntree Dr., Ste. 15, 894-5507

FIRST Place: Heel & Sole Shoes

SECOND Place: Birkenstock 333 Broadway, 345-4880 THIRD Place: Beck’s Shoes 801 East Ave., Ste. 145, 343-8923

Solar Company FIRST Place: Alternative Energy Systems 13620 Hwy 99, 345-6980 This locally owned business brings the resources, materials and manpower of a national company to the projects for solar systems and battery storage that keep local residential and commercial properties in power.

2020 Park Ave., 343-3666 Chico is home to many thrift stores, so the competition is stiff in this category. But the Arc Store is well-organized and clean, while offering a wide selection of clothing, jewelry, furniture and kitchenware. Bonus: All proceeds fund a good cause—services for people with developmental disabilities. SECOND Place: Goodwill 765 East Ave., Ste. 100, 893-8578 THIRD Place: Thrifty Bargain 2432 Esplanade, 774-2158

Tree Service FIRST Place: Tree of Eden Tree Service 513-6574 Joshua Guy worked as a wildland firefighter for years before starting Tree of Eden and making a name for himself as the go-to for tree trimming and removal. SECOND Place: M&S Wesley Tree Service 343-6809 THIRD Place: About Trees 343-4533

Window Treatments FIRST Place: Budget Blinds

THIRD Place: Chico Electric 36 W. Eaton Road, 891-1933

2525 Dominic Drive, Ste. C, 343-3400 Local owners Tim and Kim Long pride themselves on detail-oriented customer service. They have been consulting on and installing window treatments in Butte County and beyond for 15-plus years.

Sporting Goods

SECOND Place: Kathie’s Draperies, Blinds & Shades 2083 Mulberry St., 895-8147

SECOND Place: Urban Design Plumbing, Solar, Electrical 4742 Skyway, 809-1079

FIRST Place: Sports Ltd. 698 Mangrove Ave., 894-1110 It’s appropriate that Sports Ltd. is in the location of a former Safeway because the place is like a

THIRD Place: Nantucket Design & Home 603 Broadway, 895-1038

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READERS’ PICKS 2021 A bounty of sustenance and flavor from our resilient culinary and beverage establishments

New Eatery (opened in last year) FIRST Place: Drunken Dumpling 1414 Park Ave., 774-2173 Fans of the popular food truck were very stoked that Drunken Dumpling went brick-and-mortar last year. With a hip, fun space and greatly expanded hours, the slow-food restaurant can now offer excellent dumplings, baos and noodle bowls to even more people craving its Asian-fusion flavors. SECOND Place: Stoble Coffee Roasters 418 Broadway, 513-5547

THIRD Place: Deja Vu Breakfast Company 3221 Esplanade, 287-5660

Bakery FIRST Place: Upper Crust Bakery & Cafe 130 Main St., 895-3866 Over the years, locals have grown to trust The Crust for all their bakery needs. But the downtown icon is more than wedding cakes and pastries. The deli case is stuffed with sandwiches and a wide variety of salads, and the vegetarian chili even has Guy Fieri’s stamp of approval. SECOND Place: Tin Roof Bakery 637 Broadway, Ste. 170, 892-2893 THIRD Place: Lovely Layers Cakery 131 Meyers St., 828-9931

Barbecue FIRST Place: Smokin’ Mo’s BBQ 131 Broadway, 891-6677 At Smokin’ Mo’s, the secret is in the sauces— four distinct signature flavors that can be slathered on just about anything on the menu, from the mouth-watering pork ribs to shredded pork, beef or chicken sandwiches to the crave-worthy tri-tip salad. SECOND Place: Kinder’s BBQ 1369 East Ave., 342-3354 THIRD Place: Bootleg BBQ & Catering 1184 East Ave., 521-3284

Breakfast FIRST Place: Cafe Coda 265 Humboldt Ave., (530) 566-9476 While some restaurateurs rushed to open under constantly changing COVID restrictions, Cafe Coda owner Eric Danielli opted to stay closed, partly due to concerns for customer and employee safety. Long-time fans endured the wait and are once again enjoying their favorite Mexican/American/farm-fresh fusion breakfasts, as well as an added outdoor patio. SECOND Place: Sin of Cortez 2290 Esplanade, 879-9200 THIRD Place: Mom’s Restaurant 209 Salem St., 893-3447

Drunken Dumpling

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345 WEST FIFTH STREET CHICO, CA 95928 (530) 891–6328

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Now taking Reservations at 5thstreetsteakhouse.com

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Get Ready for Medicare’s 2022 Open Enrollment! OCTOBER 15– DECEMBER 7

NOW OPEN SATURDAYS WITH ONLINE ORDERING & CURBSIDE PICKUP

Learn More about Medicare Changes Sign up for one of the FREE ZOOM presentations hosted by Passages HICAP Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program REGISTRATION LINK: www.eventbrite.com/e/whats-new-with-medicare-2022-tickets-170497107438 10AM - NOON Wed 10/13, Tue 10/26 Wed 11/10, Tue 11 /23, Wed 12/1

Registration is Required! Go to Passagescenter.org or call 530-898-6715 Email and computer are required to participate This project was supported, in part by grant number 90SAPG0052-02-01, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D. C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy.

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MONDAY-FRIDAY 11-7 | SATURDAY 12-5 1903 PARK AVE | 530.345.7787 | BACIOCHICO.COM


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Brunch

Cheap Eats

FIRST Place: Nash’s Restaurant

FIRST Place: La Comida

1717 Esplanade, 896-1147 Nash’s omelet house always serves up a mean breakfast, but on the weekends it takes things a step further with bottomless bubbly alongside its huge morning menu, featuring everything from Benedicts and scrambles to chilaquiles and chickenand-waffles.

954 Mangrove Ave. For more than 50 years, this institution of institutions has served gut-busting plates of Mexican food to generations of Chico families at very affordable prices.

SECOND Place: Cafe Coda 265 Humboldt Ave., 566-9476 THIRD Place: Mom’s Restaurant 209 Salem St., 893-3447

SECOND Place: Aca Taco Two locations: 133 Broadway, 894-0191; 1000 W. Sacramento Ave., Ste. D, 343-0909 THIRD Place: La Cocina Economica 905 Wall St., 809-0370

Burger

Chef

FIRST Place: Nobby’s

FIRST Place: Ann Leon (Almendra Winery & Distillery)

1444 Park Ave., 342-2285 Even if it weren’t for the salty, fried, crunchyyet-chewy cheese skirt that’s bound to come up any time Nobby’s is mentioned, the no-frills Park Avenue eatery serves up old-school, made-toorder, mouthwatering burgers. And, OMG, the cheese skirt really is some next-level hamburger magic. SECOND Place: Burgers and Brew 301 Broadway, 879-9100 THIRD Place: Burger Hut Two locations: 3211 Cohasset Road, 342-4555; 2451 Forest Ave., 891-1430

925 Midway, Durham, 343-6893 Chef Ann Leon made a name for herself locally with her former restaurant, Leon Bistro, where she won over Chico with Mediterranean-influenced dishes and frequent cooking classes. Since closing her place, she’s created menus at Burban Kitchen in Meriam Park and, as of November, at the popular Almendra Winery & Distillery. SECOND Place: James Taylor (Sicilian Cafe) 1020 Main St., 345-2233

Gnarly Deli

THIRD Place: Lisa Sereda (Wine Time) 26 Lost Dutchman Drive, 899-9250 THIRD Place: Pablo Trenado – Tres Hombres Long Bar & Grill/Parkside Tap House 100 Broadway, 342-0425; 115 W. Third St., 636-4239

Burrito

Craft Beer Selection

Delivery

Diner

FIRST Place: Aca Taco

FIRST Place: The Commons Social Empourium

FIRST Place: Entree Express

FIRST Place: Cozy Diner

chicoentreeexpess.com One of the few comforts amid the sheltering-during-pandemic times: Our favorite foods (and drinks) from local restaurants were brought fresh to our doors by Entree Express drivers who deserve a salute—and fat tips—for returning to the frontlines over and over.

1695 Mangrove Ave., 895-1195 Whether it’s breakfast at suppertime or a broasted chicken at lunch, Cozy Diner serves down-home comfort food 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. SECOND Place: Morning Thunder Cafe 352 Vallombrosa Ave., 342-9717

FIRST Place: Shubert’s Ice Cream & Candy

SECOND Place: Door Dash doordash.com

THIRD Place: The Roost Cafe 1144 Park Ave., 892-1281

178 E. Seventh St., 342-7163 Ice cream in Chico is almost synonymous with the name Shubert’s. There’s nothing quite as refreshing on a hot summer day as a cold scoop of Chico Mint enjoyed on one of the benches in front of the shop that’s been in business since 1938.

Two locations: 133 Broadway, 894-0191; 1000 W. Sacramento Ave., Ste. D, 343-0909 Burritos qualify as a food staple in Chico, so winning this category is no small feat. Aca Taco holds onto its title for the seventh straight year because the ingredients are top notch and the burritos are huge! SECOND Place: Gordo Burrito 1295 E. 8th St., 809-1211 THIRD Place: La Cocina Economica 905 Wall St., 809-0370

2412 Park Ave., 774-2999 A huge selection of beers on taps that are all self serve? Can that possibly be beat? The stylish patio, live music and house-made pizzas don’t hurt, either. SECOND Place: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. 1075 E. 20th St., 893-3520 THIRD Place: Secret Trail Brewing Co. 132 Meyers St., Ste. 120, 487-8151

THIRD Place: Ginger’s Restaurant 2201 Pillsbury Road, Ste. 100, 345-8862

Fine Dining FIRST Place: 5th Street Steakhouse

Asian Cuisine

345 W. Fifth St., 891-6328 For fine—but not stuffy—dining in a fun atmosphere, 5th Street is Chico’s favorite restaurant for special occasions. Enjoy perfectly cooked slabs of rib-eye and maybe a well-executed cocktail … or three.

FIRST Place: Drunken Dumpling 1414 Park Ave., 774-2173 See: Best New Restaurant. SECOND Place: Happy Garden Restaurant 1880 Cohasset Road, 893-2574

SECOND Place: Red Tavern 1250 Esplanade, 894-3463

THIRD Place: Cocodine Thai Cuisine 2845 Notre Dame Blvd., Ste. 250, 891-1800

THIRD Place: Crush Italian Cuisine & Lounge 201 Broadway, Ste. 200, 342-7000

Caterer Food Server (name and location)

FIRST Place: Bacio Catering, Takeout & Eatery

FIRST Place: Christina Souza – Kalico Kitchen

1903 Park Ave., 345-7787 In Chico, special events and Bacio Catering go hand in hand. Owner/chef Amanda Leveroni’s business has woven itself into the fabric of the community with creative, fresh-made menus for all of life’s important occasions: weddings, birthdays, memorials and community events.

2396 Esplanade, 343-3968 People love Christina Souza for her friendliness and kindness. She goes out of her way for all of her diners, but she’s particularly fond of the little ones—she’s often spied doing extra favors to make children feel special.

SECOND Place: Butte Creek BBQ Co. 14 W. Eaton Road, Ste. 160, 990-0023 THIRD Place: Roots Catering 590 Capay Ave., 891-4500

Midnite Munchies

SECOND Place: Doliver Adkins – Sierra Nevada Brewing Co./The Rawbar 1075 E. 20th St., 893-3520; 346 Broadway, 897-0626

Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt

SECOND Place: Jon & Bon’s Yogurt Shoppe Multiple locations THIRD Place: La Flor De Michoacán Paletería y Nevería Multiple locations

International Cuisine FIRST Place: Priya Indian Cuisine 2574 Esplanade, 899-1055 To say that Priya is a cornerstone of the local food scene is an understatement. The impressive menu features both north and south Indian dishes, and the exceedingly popular lunch buffet is just plain irresistible. SECOND Place: Cocodine Thai Cuisine 2845 Notre Dame Blvd., Ste. 250, 891-1800 THIRD Place: Drunken Dumpling 1414 Park Ave., 774-2173

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Italian Cuisine

Local Coffee House

fare, cocktails and a wide variety of live music.

directly to customers—taste amazing.

FIRST Place: Sicilian Cafe

FIRST Place: Stoble Coffee Roasters

1020 Main St., 345-2233 It is hard to believe that this south Chico staple has been in business for 37 years! Though the local favorites—Calamari Originale, Chicken Americana— will always be on the menu, chef/owner James Taylor keeps things fresh with regular specials to be enjoyed in the intimate dining room or on the creekside patio.

418 Broadway, 513-5547 Check out the new kids on the block! Stoble has made a name for itself quickly, serving up fine house-roasted coffee and wonderful baked goodies (courtesy of Camina Bakery) in a gorgeous, expansive space that includes a rooftop patio.

SECOND Place: Tong Fong Low 2051 Robinson St., Oroville, 533-1488

SECOND Place: Live Life Juice Co. 220 Broadway, 566-3346

THIRD Place: Feather Falls Brewing Co. 3 Alverda Drive, Oroville, 534-4050

THIRD Place: Chico Chai 1919 Park Ave., 897-0822

Local Winery - Regional

Lunch

THIRD Place: Daycamp Coffee 1925 Market Place, Ste. 150, 636-4283

FIRST Place: Almendra Winery and Distillery

FIRST Place: Tea Bar & Fusion Cafe

SECOND Place: Italian Cottage 2234 Esplanade, 343-7000

SECOND Place: Naked Lounge 118 W. Second St., 965-5908

THIRD Place: Crush Italian Cuisine & Lounge 201 Broadway, Ste. 200, 342-7000

Local Restaurant - Chico Local Brewery - Regional FIRST Place: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. 1075 E. 20th St., 893-3520 If your beers are considered among the finest on the entire planet, it’s safe to say that your brewery will be looked upon favorably, if not reverently, in your home town. Chicoans adore Sierra Nevada and its community-minded approach to creating great beer. SECOND Place: Secret Trail Brewing Co. 132 Meyers St., Ste. 120, 487-8151 THIRD Place: Farmers Brewing Co. 880 County Road WW, Princeton, 982-2016

FIRST Place: 5th Street Steakhouse 345 W. Fifth St., 891-6328 See Fine Dining. SECOND Place: Drunken Dumpling 1414 Park Ave., 774-2173 THIRD Place: Grana Wood Fired Foods 198 E. Second St., 809-2304

925 Midway, Durham, 343-6893 The folks behind Bertagna Son Kissed Vineyards— Berton and Carol Bertagna—have created a beautiful destination winery in Durham with their Almendra venture. In addition to their portfolio of wines, they also feature a wide selection of spirits, distilled in vintage equipment on-site. SECOND Place: New Clairvaux Vineyard 26240 7th St., Vina, 839-2200 THIRD Place: Gale Vineyards 9345 Stanford Lane, Durham, 891-1264

Locally Produced Food - Regional Local Restaurant - Oroville FIRST Place: Union Patio Bar & Grill 2053 Montgomery St., Oroville, 693-4388 The Union is killing it! This spot in historic downtown Oroville, featuring one of the most beautiful patios in Butte County, serves up decadent elevated pub

FIRST Place: GRUB CSA Farm 11630 Dairy Road, 680-4543 The same pesticide-free, ecologically farmed produce available to GRUB’s community supported agriculture subscribers can also be found at local farmers’ markets. Best of all, the veggies and fruits—harvested at the peak of flavor and sold

Two locations: 250 Vallombrosa Ave., 895-8100; 555 Flying V St., Ste. 1, 809-1545 Both Tea Bar locations are regularly packed for lunch by locals who want hearty, healthful meals, which their menu of wraps and bowls provides. Oh, and there’s tea! Lots of teas—in sparkling, steamed, iced and frosted forms. SECOND Place: Broadway Heights 300 Broadway, 899-8075 THIRD Place: OM Foods 142 Broadway, 965-5263

Mexican Cuisine FIRST Place: Sol Mexican Grill 3269 Esplanade, 342-4616 Come to Sol for the So Cal burrito, with carne asada and french fries. Then go home and nap. Then wake up and dive into the other half of the monster that was as big as your forearm! The north Chico restaurant has a full menu of freshly made Mexican favorites—none skimping on the ingredients. SECOND Place: La Hacienda 2635 Esplanade, 893-8270

Union Patio Bar & Grill

THIRD Place: El Guayacan Mexican Restaurant 2201 Pillsbury Road, Ste. 124, 893-3777

Munchies

Pho

FIRST Place: Midnite Munchies

FIRST Place: Pho C&C

1008 W. Sacramento St., 514-3345 Midnite Munchies has been delivering fresh-baked treats to Chico doorsteps into the late hours since 2010, operating largely via word-of-mouth. The secret has been out since 2019, when the business established a kiosk in the Nord Safeway center, which is open late slinging sweets ranging from cheesecake to milkshakes.

3211 Cohasset Road, Ste. 110, 892-1415. Pho—the Vietnamese noodle soup of broth, meat, vegetables and herbs—is a thing of beauty. The gorgeous, fresh ingredients at Pho C&C are especially fetching, and aromatic, and tasty, and a great complement to the rest of the straightforward menu of grilled meats and egg rolls.

SECOND Place: Insomnia Cookies 305 Main St., 364-5220 THIRD Place: Crumbl Cookies 855 East Ave., Ste. 220, 230-9361

Patio Place: ★FIRST The Pour House 855 East Ave., Ste. 270, 893-3000 Doesn’t The Pour House win for the TV alone? It’s as big as a billboard! When a big game is on, the outdoor bar is open and the sun goes down, the big, lively patio is the place to be. SECOND Place: La Salles 229 Broadway, 487-7207 THIRD Place: Parkside Tap House 115 W. Third St., 636-4239

SECOND Place: Vietnam Bistro 788 East Ave., 433-7108 THIRD Place: Everyday Vietnamese Cuisine 951 Nord Ave. (recently closed)

Pizza FIRST Place: Celestino’s New York Pizza 101 Salem St., 896-1234; 1354 East Ave., Ste. 5, 345-7700 Celestino’s New York Pizza’s original location in downtown Chico opened in 1997, and the restaurant’s thin crust, Big Apple-style pies have been a local favorite ever since. Popular pizzas—sold by the slice or whole pie—include the meaty Tom Jones, the vegetarian Godfather and Celestino’s jalapeno-adorned take on a classic Hawaiian, Oscar’s Spicy Luau. SECOND Place: Farm Star Pizza 2359 Esplanade, 343-2056 THIRD Place: Woodstock’s Pizza 240 Main St., 893-1500

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Thank You to our Patrons! We appreciate your business and support.

5 OFF

$

your purchase of $30 or more Offer good through October 31, 2021

FOOD TO GO! Closed Monday

HAPPY GARDEN

CHINESE RESTAURANT 530-893-2574 • 530-893-5068 180 Cohasset Rd • www.HappyGardenChico.com

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Buy one get one 1/2 off any Breakfast! 2002–201919 Offer good Monday-Friday 8am-11am One coupon per guest • Expires 10/28/21

“A Chico Tradition Since 1965” Come find out why we’re Chico’s best spot for breakfast and home of great sandwiches, pizzas and pasta! 2234 Esplanade • 343-7000 • Monday - Saturday: 8am - 8pm

DINE IN / TAKEOUT / CURBSIDE / DELIVERY

Japanese Blossoms

Sandwich

Sushi

Takeout/Curbside

FIRST Place: Spiteri’s Deli

FIRST Place: Japanese Blossoms

971 East Ave., 891-4797 Spiteri’s might be kind of a “hidden gem,” tucked into an out-of-the-way strip mall on the north side of Highway 99, but the longstanding local icon is anything but a secret. Huge, traditional sandwiches served with a wide selection of deli sides have made this shop a Chico fave for many years.

2995 Esplanade, Ste. 104, 891-9022 Creating sushi is an art that takes years to master, and Japanese Blossoms has made a name for itself in Chico with his fun, creative menu. The art at his acclaimed restaurant ranges from simple sashimi (fish only) to nigiri (fish on rice) and, maybe most impressive, specialty rolls.

FIRST Place: Bacio Catering, Takeout & Eatery

SECOND Place: Fast Eddie’s Sandwich Shop 1175 East Ave., 342-8558 THIRD Place: Kona’s 965 Nord Ave., 894-1635; 138 Main St., 893-4344

Street Food FIRST Place: Gnarly Deli Locations vary (facebook.com/gnarlydeli) First rule of Gnarly Deli: No french fries. (Carting around a fryer in a food truck is not fun.) Second rule of Gnarly Deli: Hot dogs are sammiches. Third rule? There are no more rules for the local fave with the endlessly creative menu of bread plus a bunch of good stuff, e.g., the Ooo Mommy Dog (with nori and teriyaki sauce); or the Liz Lemon, with pastrami, turkey breast, coleslaw, Russian dressing, Swiss cheese and potato chips on sourdough.

1903 Park Ave., 345-7787 See Caterer.

THIRD Place: La Hacienda 2635 Esplanade, 893-8270

HOMEMADE ICE CREAM AND CANDY EST. 1938 • CHICO CALIFORNIA

178 East 7th Street | (530) 342-7163 | www.shuberts.com

Vegetarian Cuisine FIRST Place: OM Foods

Two locations: 133 Broadway, 894-0191; 1000 W. Sacramento Ave., Ste. D, 343-0909 See Burrito.

142 Broadway, 965-5263 OM Foods specializes in fresh, organic and GMOfree foods, with a menu that is largely meat-free. Regulars swear by the Slawchos—vegan “nachos” with corn chips, brown rice, pinto beans, cabbage slaw, avocado, cashew cheese, cilantro sauce, chipotle sauce, salsa, cilantro, green onion and lime wedge.

SECOND Place: Gordo Burrito 1295 E. 8th St., 809-1211

SECOND Place: Live Life Juice Co. 220 Broadway, 566-3346

THIRD Place: Aztlan Two locations: 1645 Park Ave., 487-7062; 2599 Esplanade, 965-5984

THIRD Place: Pizza Riot 206 Walnut St., Ste. A, 712-1647

Taco FIRST Place: Aca Taco

Family owned and operated for 83 years

SECOND Place: Ginger’s Restaurant 2201 Pillsbury Road, Ste. 100, 345-8862

SECOND Place: Big Tuna Sushi Bistro 1722 Mangrove Ave., Ste. 18, 345-4571 THIRD Place: The Rawbar 346 Broadway, 897-0626

A True Chico TRADITION

SECOND Place: Gordo Burrito Eighth & Pine streets THIRD Place: Tacos El Pinolero Esplanade & Tonea Way

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Chico

Oroville

Willows

1368 Longfellow Ave

2080 Myers St

530.342.6421

530.533.3424

305 N. Culver Ave. (Lambert Insurance Agency)

530.934.3361


READERS’ PICKS 2021

Nightlife & The Arts All the fun—virtual or otherwise—getting us through a tumultuous year

Astronaut Ice Cream

for that reason he’d likely enjoy a Sunday morning sipping one or five of Duffy’s renowned renderings of the classic cocktail.

Art Space

Bar

FIRST Place: 1078 Gallery

FIRST Place: Duffy’s Tavern

1710 Park Ave., 630-7522 Now celebrating its 40th year, this nonprofit gallery has managed to maintain its firm focus on community through COVID-era restrictions on indoor gatherings by getting creative. That includes using exterior space at its Park Avenue location to showcase murals, hosting events in the parking lot and branching out to virtual spaces

337 Main St., 343-7718 See Watering Hole for Townies.

SECOND Place: Mom’s Restaurant 209 Salem St., 893-3447

SECOND Place: Argus Bar + Patio 212 W. Second St., 332-9914

THIRD Place: Joe’s Bar 749 W. Fifth St., 894-3612

THIRD Place: Riley’s Bar & Grill 702 W. Fifth St., 343-7459

Casino - Regional

Bloody Mary

FIRST Place: Feather Falls Casino & Lodge

SECOND Place: Museum of Northern California Art (MONCA) 900 Esplanade, 487-7272 THIRD Place: Chico Art Center 540 Orange St., Ste. 6, 895-8726

FIRST Place: Duffy’s Tavern 337 Main St., 343-7718 Some urban legends name Ernest Hemingway as the creator of the Bloody Mary. That is likely hogwash, but the famed, dipsomaniacal writer was an avowed fan, and

3 Alverda Dr., Oroville, 533-3885 In addition to slot machines and gaming tables,

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there’s plenty of other fun to be had at Feather Falls. The on-site brewery and live entertainment are draws, as is the opportunity for locals to make an easy weekend escape via the casino’s luxurious lodge or more rustic KOA RV Park. SECOND Place: Rolling Hills Casino & Resort 2655 Everett Freeman Way, Corning, 528-3500 THIRD Place: Gold Country Casino Resort 4020 Olive Hwy, Oroville, 334-9400

Happy Hour FIRST Place: Pour House 855 East Ave., Ste. 270, 893-3000 A good thing about most “happy hours” is they generally last more than an hour. The Pour House not only embraces this tradition by offering discounted drinks and appetizers from 3 to 6 p.m. daily but one-ups it with a second happy hour from 9 p.m. to closing. SECOND Place: Crush Italian Cuisine & Lounge 201 Broadway, Ste. 200, 342-7000 THIRD Place: La Salles 229 Broadway, 487-7207

Local Music Act FIRST Place: Smokey the Groove smokeythegroove.wixsite.com/smokeythegroove Smokey the Groove’s Facebook bio bills the band as “California’s premiere Rage Funk Experience.” It’s a title the six-piece ensemble earned with a tireless live schedule—including online livestream gigs during COVID— and a fresh, young, dance-band sound for local fans of booty-shaking.

Bloody Mary, Duffy’s Tavern

SECOND Place: Hot Flash THIRD Place (tie): Decades THIRD Place (tie): Max Minardi

Local Visual Artist FIRST Place: Janet Lombardi Blixt In addition to her own bright, colorful paintings (her favored method is working “en plein air,” or on location), Janet Lombardi Blixt is known for sharing her talent and passion for art. Since 2009, she’s offered classes to children and adults at the Chico Art School and Gallery (261 E. Third St.). SECOND Place: Ama Posey

Margarita

THIRD Place: Wendy Reid, Studio Inn Lounge 2582 Esplanade, 343-0662

SECOND Place: La Hacienda 2635 Esplanade, 893-8270 THIRD Place: Sol Mexican Grill 3269 Esplanade, 342-4616

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337 Main St., 343-7718 Scott Barwick is manager and chief mixologist at Duffy’s Tavern, though his influence extends to other local bars, where he’s served or for whom he’s created cocktails. A real renaissance man, Barwick regularly shares his favorite cocktail recipes alongside videos of his synth compositions (as Push Button Bobby) on social media. SECOND Place: Stephanie Sosa, Argus Bar + Patio 212 W. Second St., 332-9914

100 Broadway, 342-0425 “Meet me at Tres!” is a local rallying cry when Margaritas are in order. The downtown landmark offers the classic chilly concoctions in a wide range of flavors including peach, pineapple, blackberry and seasonal fresh fruits. Additionally, Tres Hombres features more than 120 types of tequila.

CN&R

FIRST Place: Scott Barwick, Duffy’s Tavern

THIRD Place: Christine Mac Shane

FIRST Place: Tres Hombres Long Bar & Grill

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Mixologist (name and location)

Museum FIRST Place: Museum of Northern California Art (MONCA) 900 Esplanade, 487-7272 The largest gem in Chico’s art crown, MONCA houses a magnificent permanent collection of works by artists from the region, excellent special exhibitions and community events in a beautiful space—the reinvigorated Veterans Memorial Hall, originally built in 1927. SECOND Place: Gateway Science Museum 625 Esplanade, 898-4121

THIRD Place: Chico Children’s Museum 325 Main St., 809-1492

Place to Buy Art FIRST Place: Chico Paper Company 345 Broadway, 891-0900 This downtown art shop is well stocked with original pieces and prints by local and more far-flung artists for established and burgeoning art collectors. Chico Paper Company also offers custom framing and is the exclusive seller of prints of Jake Early’s iconic renditions of local landmarks. SECOND Place (tie): 1078 Gallery 1710 Park Ave., 630-7522 SECOND Place (tie): Chico Art Center 540 Orange St., Ste. 6, 895-8726

Place to Dance FIRST Place: The Beach 191 E. Second St., 898-9898 When college-aged Chicoans go in search of a club atmosphere, they hit The Beach. Open only on weekends, The Beach features multiple dance floors with local and out-of-town DJs serving up a wide range of music for moving. SECOND Place: Duffy’s Tavern 337 Main St., 343-7718


SPECIALIZING IN THIRD Place: Madison Bear Garden 316 W. Second St., 891-1639

Place to Drink a Glass of Wine FIRST Place: Wine Time 26 Lost Dutchman Dr., 899-9250 Wine lovers in search of a relaxing place to sip and find new flavors can get their fix at Wine Time. The north Chico restaurant serves a full menu of dishes designed by chef Lisa Sereda that are intended to be shared as well as paired with your favorite vintage. SECOND Place: Unwined Kitchen & Bar 980 Mangrove Ave., 809-2634 THIRD Place: Grana Wood Fired Foods 198 E. Second St., 809-2304

Sports Bar FIRST Place: Bella’s Sports Pub 231 Main St., 893-5253 Killer wings, a full bar, an exuberant clientele—all of the trappings of a winning game-day experience can be found at this fan-friendly downtown mainstay. It’s easy to find when a game is on: Just follow the sounds of cheering (or angry jeering) ringing out over Main Street. SECOND Place (tie): Buffalo Wild Wings 845 East Ave., 592-3251 SECOND Place (tie): Riley’s Bar & Grill 702 W. Fifth St., 343-7459

Theater Company FIRST Place: Chico Theater Company 166 Eaton Road, Ste. F, 894-3282 Chico Theater Company may be way out on edge

of town, but it’s in the center of the hearts of local theater lovers. The past year’s productions—some of which were presented outdoors due to COVID—included The Foursome and Daddy Long Legs. SECOND Place: California Regional Theatre 139 W. First St., 722-4522 THIRD Place: Theatre on the Ridge 3735 Neal Road, Paradise, 877-5760

SECOND Place: Secret Trail Brewing Co. 132 Meyers St., Ste. 120, 487-8151 THIRD Place: Argus Bar + Patio 212 W. Second St., 332-9914

“I also have great Auto Insurance, Landlord & Manufactured Home Rates!”

Virtual Local Show (during COVID) FIRST Place: Astronaut Ice Cream

To-Go Cocktail or Bar Service FIRST Place: Argus Bar + Patio 212 W. Second St., 332-9914, argusmonstercrate.com As some bars adopted delivery services merely to survive COVID restrictions, Argus Bar + Patio owner Scott Baldwin went the distance and established a cocktail subscription service called Argus Monster Crates. Now that the bar has reopened, the boxes continue to be mailed monthly to a growing list of subscribers. SECOND Place: Duffy’s Tavern 337 Main St., 343-7718 THIRD Place: Tres Hombres 100 Broadway, 342-0425

Venue for Live Music FIRST Place: Sierra Nevada Big Room 1075 E. 20th St., 893-3250 No bands have graced the stage at the Big Room since the initial COVID-19 shutdown, and the popular concert venue remains “closed until further notice.” Regardless, Chicoans relying on fond memories of the before times and dreaming of the day when the doors re-open still named it the best venue in town.

Homeowners Insurance

astronauticecreamband.com No artist in Chico filled the hole created by the loss of live gatherings during COVID more than Astronaut Ice Cream. The disco-pop duo created several online extravaganzas featuring music, crafts, comedy and more wrapped up in the band’s signature kitsch. SECOND Place: The Yule Logs (Chico Virtual Voices at Laxson Auditorium & Log-O-Vision at Chico Women’s Club) THIRD Place: Stonewall Chico Pride 2020

Hole ★Watering for Townies FIRST Place: Duffy’s Tavern 337 Main St., 343-7718 Dark interior; aged, familiar decorations; air conditioning; stiff drinks and smiling local faces. It’s a simple combination, beautifully executed in this hallowed downtown dive, that makes Duffy’s Tavern a perennial favorite and keeps generations of Chicoans stepping through that swinging door.

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Opportunity to Participate in Study about Rebuilding and Relocation after the Camp Fire I am a graduate student looking for participants for an exciting research study on rebuilding and relocation after the 2018 Camp Fire. The study involves one confidential interview which lasts no more than one hour. Participants receive $25 as a thank you. Topics include the decision to stay or relocate, the rebuilding process, and the future of Paradise and climate change in California. Participants can be any adult that lived or had a business in the Paradise area at the time of the Camp Fire.

Please contact mtk378@nyu.edu or (310) 433-2061 to receive more information. The researcher was born and raised in California and studies in the Department of Sociology at New York University.

SECOND Place: The Handle Bar 2070 E. 20th St., Ste. 160, 894-2337 THIRD Place: Studio Inn Lounge 2582 Esplanade, 343-0662

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Japanese Blossoms O N PA G E 3 5

CREATIVE JAPANESE FOOD CELEBRATING 14 YEARS

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Museum of Northern California Art

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2995 Esplanade #104 | 530.891.9022 www.japaneseblossoms.com Open Lunch 11:30-2 Mon-Fri Dinner 5-8:30 Mon-Thur | 5-9 Fri & Sat Happy Hour 5-6 Tue-Sun | Mon all night! O C T O B E R 7, 2 0 2 1

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READERS’ PICKS 2021 Keeping Chico healthy during trying times

Acupuncture Clinic FIRST Place: Chico Community Acupuncture 1815 Mangrove Ave., 345-5300 Open since 2010, Chico Community Acupuncture has been a Best of Chico fixture. It’s a nonprofit and part of a national cooperative, People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture, dedicated to increasing access, availability and affordability of treatment. Chico Community Acupuncture does so in a group setting without sacrificing individual attention. SECOND Place: Amy Dawson 572 Rio Lindo Ave., 891-1823 THIRD Place (tie): Acupuncture Center of Chico 1550 Humboldt Road, Ste. 7, 345-7735 THIRD Place (tie): American Chi Center for Health 1209 Esplanade, Ste. 1, 342-2895

Alternative Health Care Provider FIRST Place: Creating a Sustainable You

Serenity CBD

811 E. Fifth Ave., 521-7328 Candi Williamson and her massage therapy team take a holistic approach to healing. “What I provide is the ability to assess and put the pieces together in order to see the bigger picture and provide a comprehensive solution,” Williamson says on the center’s website. From reiki to myofascial to aromatherapy and more, Creating a Sustainable You offers a wide range of treatment options.

dental school and moved to Chico to start their practice, which has been going strong for 21 years. They’re so busy that they just brought in a new dentist.

SECOND Place: Chico Community Acupuncture 1815 Mangrove Ave., 345-5300 THIRD Place: Vital Functional Medicine 4 Governors Lane, Ste. B, 715-2115

SECOND Place: Kremer Dental Care Two locations: 140 Independence Circle & 3 Glenbrook Court, 892-1234

Boutique Gym

THIRD Place: Willow Creek Dentistry 2765 Esplanade, 891-6611

FIRST Place: Sweet Fitness Kickboxing 1390 E. Ninth St., Ste. 170, 521-8495 “This is NOT a professional fighters gym!” Sweet Fitness Kickboxing makes crystal clear that it’s a place to get fit, not get hit. The gym has 36 pro-grade punching bags that aren’t shared, which makes the workouts COVID-safe as well as face-saving. But make no mistake, participants feel the burn! SECOND Place: Basis Health & Performance 177 E. 20th St., 636-0850 THIRD Place: Orangetheory Fitness 874 East Ave., 722-4000

Dr. Ejaz Ahmed (fourth from left) and the providers at Chico Pediatrics.

Dermatologist FIRST Place: Dr. Kafele T. Hodari

Chiropractor FIRST Place: Preference Chiropractic Clinic 1635 Magnolia Ave., 895-0224 Situated in a converted house, Preference Chiropractic is a family-oriented clinic run by a family of practioners. They offer treatment to people from early to

late stages of life, including expectant mothers. SECOND Place: Chico Chiropractic Center 1140 Mangrove Ave., Ste. C, 345-3043 THIRD Place: Joyce Family Chiropractic 9 Frontier Circle, 899-8500

Dental Care FIRST Place: Nelsen Family Dentistry 1307 Esplanade, Ste. 4, 898-8511 A perennial Best of Chico winner, Nelsen Family Dentistry is truly a family affair. Dr. John Nelsen and Dr. Missy Nelsen met the first day of

Hodari MD Dermatology, 80 Declaration Dr., 894-6832 CN&R readers consistently vote Dr. Hodari as Best of Chico. He specializes in medical, surgical and cosmetic dermatology—meaning on any given day he may see a patient with an unusual rash, remove potentially cancerous moles from another and apply a wrinkle-removing treatment to yet another.

SECOND Place: O. Jay On Chico Dermatology, 774 East Ave., 280-7529 THIRD Place: Argyll Skincare Center 110 Independence Circle, 899-9393

Eye Care Specialist FIRST Place: Chico Eye Center 605 W. East Ave., 895-1727 From kids to adults, check-ups to surgeries, Chico Eye Center provides a full spectrum of vision care. Clinic surgeons have been performing LASIK laser procedures for over 15 years. The practice’s scope also includes cosmetic treatments such as botox and fillers. SECOND Place: North Valley Eye Care 114 Mission Ranch Blvd., Ste. 50, 891-1900 THIRD Place: Family Eye Care 2565 Ceanothus Ave., Ste. 155, 899-3939

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Fight The Bite! • AVOID DAWN AND DUSK • DRAIN STANDING WATER • WEAR REPELLENT

ButteMosquito.com

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Basis Health & Performance

General Practitioner

FIRST Place: Dr. Julie Archer

Chico Primary Care, 1645 Esplanade, Ste. 1, 896-0386 In an online review, a patient gives Dr. Archer “high marks for the skilled, attentive and dependable care she has provided” both for him and his wife for more than two decades—and he’s not alone. The internal medicine physician has repeatedly topped Best of Chico voting. SECOND Place: Stuart Mishelof, PA-C Argyle Medical Group, 100 Independence Circle, 899-0295 THIRD Place: Dr. Randall Williams Mangrove Medical Group, 1040 Mangrove Ave., 345-0064

Gym FIRST Place: In Motion Fitness 1293 E. First Ave., 343-5678 Spanning five acres, In Motion Fitness encompasses eight pools; seven areas for weight training and cardio exercises; and six spaces dedicated to yoga and other mind-body activities. Members use those facilities on their own or in classes, which include programs for kids and youth. During pandemic downtime, the club has done extensive renovations to its sprawling campus. SECOND Place: Chico Sports Club 260 Cohasset Road, Ste. 190, 345-9427 THIRD Place: Sweet Fitness Kickboxing 1390 E. Ninth St., Ste. 170, 521-8495

Hearing Aid Specialist FIRST Place: Costco Wholesale 2100 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Pkwy, 332-1742 Costco may be known for its $1.50 hot dog combo and $5 roasted chicken, but apparently it’s growing popular for audiology, too. The warehouse store’s Hearing Aid Center offers—all for free—hearing tests, product demonstrations, followup appointments, cleanings, equipment check-ups and no-deductible coverage against loss or damage. SECOND Place: Chico Hearing Aid Center 1600 Mangrove Ave., Ste. 160, 342-8132

Personal Trainer

THIRD Place: Bartlett’s Hearing Aid Center 2201 Pillsbury Road, Ste. 194, 418-6478

FIRST Place: Nate Carlascio, Basis Health & Performance

Local CBD Source FIRST Place: Serenity CBD serenitycbd.com Chico-based Serenity CBD, founded in 2015, has developed a product line sold in stores around town and across the West, from Alaska to Arizona. All the topicals and tinctures are organic and hand-crafted, in packaging that’s locally made with 100 percent biodegradable, compostable, recyclable materials.

177 E. 20th St., 636-0850 Now sole owner of Basis, Nate Carlascio has a lot on his plate: managing the facility, educating staff, conducting classes. But he hasn’t strayed from his roots—training clients, one on one or in groups, at the gym or in private sessions. Carlascio’s dedication has earned him loyal devotees. SECOND Place: Joey Lopez, OrangeTheory Fitness 874 East Ave., 722-4000

SECOND Place: S&S Organic Produce and Natural Foods 1924 Mangrove Ave., 343-4930

THIRD Place: Elaina Zinko, Orangetheory Fitness 874 East Ave., 722-4000

THIRD Place: Fresh Twisted Café 156 Eaton Road, Ste. E, 809-2489

Physical Therapy Office

Local Zoom Workout (COVID)

FIRST Place: Coast Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine

FIRST Place: Basis Health & Performance 177 E. 20th St., 636-0850 When pandemic restrictions kept gymgoers in their homes, Basis shifted classes to the virtual space to help clients stay in shape. Strength, conditioning and Kinstretch webcasts filled a void. Trainers first used Zoom, then pivoted to a more stable internet platform that they still use—albeit to a lesser extent, now that in-person workouts have resumed. SECOND Place: Kaia Fit Chico 2700 Hegan Lane, Ste. 108, 200-1856 THIRD Place: Yoga Center of Chico 250 Vallombrosa Ave., Ste. 150, 342-0100

Pediatrician FIRST Place: Dr. Ejaz Ahmed Chico Pediatrics, 670 Rio Lindo Ave., Ste. 300, 343-8522 Over the course of three decades in Chico, Dr. Ahmed has established himself as a generational pediatrician—a physician who sees newborns grow into adults, some who have become parents who have entrusted their children to his care. His thriving practice continues to grow, as well. SECOND Place: Dr. Patrick Tedford 643 W. East Ave., 342-0502 THIRD Place: Dr. James Logan Paradise Medical Group, 254 Cohasset Road, Ste. 10, 877-5437

1044 Mangrove Ave., 892-2966 With appointments in-person, by phone or on videoconference, Coast Physical Therapy has adapted to COVID times. Yet the clinic has a firm foundation with owners Chad Layland and Kevin Vaughn, the physical therapists who opened the office in 1998 and remain its owner-operators. SECOND Place: Avail Physical Therapy 2555 Ceanothus, Ste. 150, 892-2810 THIRD Place: Enloe Rehabilitation Center 350 East Ave., 332-6138

Veterinarian FIRST Place: Chico Creek Animal Hospital 3449 Highway 32, 343-3516 Dr. Matthew Bettencourt, raised on a Chico dairy farm, opened his practice seven years ago and in that span developed a dedicated base of pet parents. Whether for a quick vaccination or life-threatening emergency, the vets and staff care for—and about—everyone who comes through their doors. SECOND Place: Evers Veterinary Clinic 1150 El Monte Ave., 343-0713 THIRD Place: Erickson Veterinary Hospital 11181 Midway, 343-5896

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READERS’ PICKS 2021 The places where we get together and the people who stand out there

Charitable Cause FIRST Place: Chico Housing Action Team (CHAT) 520-6412, chicohousingactionteam.net With Chico in the midst of a housing crisis and homelessness the issue foremost on the city’s agenda, the life-changing and life-saving work performed by CHAT’s volunteers is more important than ever. The nonprofit provides housing, including a program specifically for displaced fire victims. It distributes food and furniture and offers hope for those in need. SECOND Place: Butte Humane Society 2580 Fair St., 343-7917 THIRD Place: Catalyst Domestic Violence Services 330 Wall St., Ste. 50, 343-7711

Community Event FIRST Place: Thursday Night Market downtownchico.com Though extreme heat and wildfire smoke caused certain days to be canceled, the downtown tradition that is Thursday Night Market carried on this year from May through September. Vendor booths lined Broadway between Second and Fourth streets, while food trucks parked along the block by City Plaza. After a year of minimal socializing, Chicoans got out again Thursday nights.

Mike “G-Ride” Griffith

SECOND Place: Stonewall Chico Pride stonewallchico.com THIRD Place: Saturday Farmers Market Saturdays, 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Second & Wall streets, chicofarmersmarket.com

Dance Studio FIRST Place: Hype Dance Studio 1033 Mangrove Ave., 898-8789

GRUB growers never spray pesticides, herbicides or fungicides on the produce, much of which can’t be found in supermarkets. SECOND Place: Live Life Juice Co. 220 Broadway, 566-3346 THIRD Place: Chico Chai 1919 Park Ave., 897-0822

SECOND Place: North State Ballet 2400 Notre Dame Blvd., 774-2364

3199 Golf Course Road, 891-8417 COVID prevented many golfers from celebrating the course’s centennial on the links last year, but they’re making up for lost time. The North State gem, opened in 1920, is beloved for its sprawling, varied layout with Upper Park views. As part of Bidwell Park, it’s public, so no membership required for country club amenities: the course, pro shop, bar and grill.

Farmers’ Market Vendor FIRST Place: GRUB CSA Farm 3269 W. Sacramento Ave., 680-4543 This community supported agriculture group provides fresh food to members as well as to customers at Chico farmers’ markets.

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THIRD Place: Canyon Oaks Country Club 999 Yosemite Drive, 343-2582

Local Personality

Dancer/choreographer Sarah Schneeweis has owned Hype Dance Studio and been its Fusion dance team’s creative director for 17 years. In that time, she’s developed her Chico school— teaching styles from ballet to hip-hop—into one of the top 50 studios in the country, according to Dance Spirit magazine.

THIRD Place: Chico Creek Dance Centre 1144 W. First St., 893-9028

SECOND Place: Butte Creek Country Club 175 Estates Drive, 343-7979

FIRST Place: Mike “G-Ride” Griffith

Golf Course – Regional FIRST Place: Bidwell Park Golf Course

Anyone who’s been in downtown Chico knows Mike “G-Ride” Griffith. This bonafide Chico personality is perhaps best known for his rockin’ pedi-cab that’s often heard (from blocks away!) before it’s seen. (His fleet has grown over the years to include a trolley.) When he’s not working, he’s often found volunteering at local events. SECOND Place: Linda WatkinsBennett (Action News Now) THIRD Place: Grandmaster Farshad Azad Bidwell Park, Sycamore Pool

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Instructor/Professor FIRST Place: Lindsay Briggs (Chico State) Beyond the Chico State campus, Lindsay Briggs may be most known for unapologetic activism. On campus, she’s acclaimed for her dedication to students and colleagues. A tenured professor in the department of Public Health and Health Services Administration, she rates consistently high with students who take her classes—95 percent of whom say they’d do so again. SECOND Place: Sanjay Dev (Butte College) THIRD Place: Janet Lombardi Blixt (Chico Art School)

CARE PROVIDERS Needed! Make Extra Money and Change a Life! Adult(s) with special needs lives with you in your home, and you mentor them towards a better future. Earn up to $5000/mo. Must be at least 21, have a spare bedroom, clean criminal record and vehicle.

Martial Arts Studio FIRST Place: Azad’s Martial Arts Center 313 Walnut St., Ste. 150, 892-2923 Grandmaster Farshad Azad has practiced martial arts for more than 40 years, earning multiple black belts and creating two of his own forms, Jungshindo and Shimkendo. He and his instructors enthusiastically teach beginners and experts alike at the studio that continually draws disciples—and Best of Chico honors. SECOND Place: Morning Sun Martial Arts 181 E. Ninth St., 342-5833 THIRD Place: Americana Brazilian Jiu Jitsu 13306 Cabin Hollow Court, 519-2099

(530) 221-9911 | www.mentorswanted.com

Place for Family Fun FIRST Place: Bidwell Park Annie Bidwell’s gift to the city is often called “the jewel of Chico”—for good reason. There’s a place in Bidwell Park for everyone in the family. Locals love a dip in Sycamore Pool or a journey into Upper Park for a more adventurous water outing. Caper Acres offers endless playground fun. Picnic and barbecue setups make get-togethers easy as pie. Quiet benches and shady trees nurture quiet contemplation. SECOND Place: FunLand/Cal Skate Chico 2465 Carmichael Drive, 343-1601 THIRD Place: Rare Air Trampoline Park 1090 E. 20th St., 433-5557

Place to Pray/Meditate FIRST Place: Bidwell Park See Place for Family Fun. SECOND Place: Center for Spiritual Living Chico 14 Hillary Lane, 895-8395 THIRD Place: Sky Creek Dharma Center 120 Three Oaks Court, 893-8088

Radio Station FIRST Place: KZFR (90.1 FM) Since 1990, when it started its own programming, KZFR has been an independent platform for the Chico community—providing an outlet for those who want to share their voice and ideas. Shows range from local news to gardening to reggae music. KZFR doesn’t stop at 90.1 on the FM dial and kzfr.org on the internet; the station is also an active participant in the community. SECOND Place: North State Public Radio, KCHO (91.7 FM) THIRD Place: 103.5 FM The Blaze (KHSL) 40

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Lindsay Briggs (center)

Teacher (K-12)

SECOND Place: Hot Yoga Club of Chico 1140 Mangrove Ave., Ste. B, 321-0611

FIRST Place: Jennifer Rossovich (Hooker Oak Elementary School)

THIRD Place: In Motion Fitness 1293 E. First Ave., 343-5678

A former winner in this category as a core educator in Hooker Oak’s Open Structure program, Jennifer Rossovich has taught in the Chico Unified School District since 1989. Known for being a kind and gentle leader, and for always holding her students to high standards, she’s recognized by both parents and students as an excellent teacher. SECOND Place: Erin Hall (Inspire School of Arts & Sciences) THIRD Place: Jim White (Inspire School of Arts & Sciences)

Volunteer FIRST Place: Christian Hammond Unofficial Butte County COVID-19 Dashboard (BC19.live) Chico native Christian Hammond brought his Bay Area tech skills home via the internet to help spread vital information about COVID-19. His dashboard consolidates data updates; those who follow Hammond on Twitter (@chipx86) know he puts a ton of effort into the purely volunteer endeavor. And in August, he launched a new project (BC19. live/schools) tracking cases in local schools.

Youth Organization FIRST Place: Boys and Girls’ Clubs of the North Valley 601 Wall St., 899-0335 More than 2,000 children who participate in Boys & Girls’ Clubs events and programs benefit from the dedication of over 500 people—mostly volunteers— to the enrichment of their lives through education and mentorship. With activities ranging from sports to homework help, it’s no wonder parents and teachers continually point to the nonprofit as Best of Chico. SECOND Place: Chico Area Recreation and Parks District (CARD) 545 Vallombrosa Ave., 895-4711 THIRD Place: 6th Street Center for Youth 130 W. Sixth St., 894-8008

SECOND Place: Lisa Currier, Crisis Care Advocacy & Triage THIRD Place: Farshad Azad

Yoga Studio FIRST Place: Yoga Center of Chico 250 Vallombrosa Ave., Ste. 150, 342-0100 Practitioners of the discipline already know—and know what it means—that Yoga Center of Chico offers yoga in the Krishnamacharya tradition, emphasizing Iyengar Yoga and Ashtanga-based Vinyasa Yoga. Novices just need to know that this studio continues to be recognized for its excellence.

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October is National FAMILY SEXUALITY EDUCATION Month The purpose of this awareness month is to encourage parents and adult caregivers to have an open talk with their children about sex and sexual health. Having conversations with your children at an early age can help them stay safe and aware of red flag behaviors. It creates a positive relationship with themselves and their body. Most importantly, it teaches young people that they will be able to trust the adults in their life to provide accurate information, offer support, and resources as they develop. There are many age appropriate ways to have these difficult conversations with children and teens, we highlight some pointers below. If you would like support on sexuality education with your family, please call us for more information and resources.

• It’s never too early to talk to your children Check-in and learn about where your kids are getting information about sex and sexuality. Lack of information does not equal innocence.

• Start talking about consent, ages 0-10 Teach your children about their personal space, who is allowed into it, and come up with alternatives to hugging/kissing like a handshake, fist bump, or high five

• Don’t use slang words for body parts, use the correct terms Using correct terms for genitalia, not euphemisms, slang terms, or profanity, helps children feel comfortable asking questions or expressing concerns about those body parts.

• Let children know they can say “no” We often do not give young children the option to say no, including when they feel their space is being violated. Allow children to warm up to people and build trust on their terms.

• Supporting Teens It’s important to have one on one talks with your teenagers in addition to school sexual education programs. If your child is LGBTQ+, school education programs may not address their specific needs and questions.

• Be an “askable” parent or caregiver Show the young people in your life that they can come to you with questions, experiences, challenges and build trust with your kids. Teach them that you will be there to support them without shame or judgment.

We are open and affirming to all regardless of ability, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation.

Butte/Glenn: 530-891-1331 | Tehama: 530-529-3980 Calling from Corning: 530-824-3982 Virtual Business Hours: M–F 10am-6pm (excluding Holidays)

24hr CRISIS LINE: 530-342-RAPE (7273) Collect Calls Accepted

Rape Crisis Intervention of North Central California

aka Rape Crisis Intervention and Prevention

Serving our Tri-County Community Members since 1974 O C T O B E R 7, 2 0 2 1

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Mural at Fair and East 20th streets by Christian Garcia.

Editors’ picks

In which we share our local pandemic-era faves

Best comeback Theatre on the Ridge 3735 Neal Road, Paradise, totr.org

Paradise’s community theater not only survived the devastating 2018 Camp Fire, but the intimate venue has continued to persevere with utmost caution coming out of a lengthy shutdown due to the pandemic. Vaccinations are required for cast and crew members, and theater-goers are required to mask up, regardless of vaccination status. The CN&R applauds TOTR for this approach. We are proud that the playhouse has remained a part of the local arts scene and continued to host moving works of art while also instituting changes to try to keep as many of its patrons and troupe as safe as possible during these unprecedented times. Bravo!

Best way to paint the town red …and blue, and green, and … Murals, new and old

Best bites worth the wait Brady’s B’s B Street, Banshee and Bill’s Towne Lounge

Chico restaurateur Will Brady is the mastermind behind the successful (and crazy?) idea of running three downtown eateries/bars within the same block. The Banshee, Bill’s Towne Lounge and B Street Public House are all smashing successes that were much missed when they shut down during the pandemic. Rather than rush to reopen, Brady decided to hold off—publicly acknowledging the threat of COVID, his concern for the safety of his employees and patrons,

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as well as the need for the restaurant industry to adapt with the times. He was also among the first local business owners in any industry to offer “vax bonuses” to employees. B Street reopened a few months ago. The Banshee is just beginning to serve for limited hours in their new, expansive parklet. Bill’s remains closed for a bit longer. We applaud Brady and his staff’s caution and consideration—as well as all other local businesses who’ve taken such care—to ensure reopening is done right. We’re more than ready to raise a pint over some pub fare.

The CN&R is a huge proponent of public art. As such, we are happy to see what appears to be a boon in the amount of murals appearing on walls all over town in the last two years. These include naturescapes painted by Christine Mac Shane between Lone Pine and Crouch avenues; “Love, Safety, Support, Respect” at East Third Street by Jed Speer; and Christian Garcia’s untitled piece of a raven carrying a poppy flower at East 20th and Fair streets. One of the busier muralists as of late has been Ali MedersKnight, whose pieces have included “Meadows,” a collaboration with Garcia on North Avenue; the trees and waterways lining the entrance to The DownLo; and “Forgotten Flowers,” a collaboration with Garcia and Shane Grammar along the railroad tracks at West Second Street honoring missing, murdered and abused Native American women. To find more murals, old and new, check out the excellent interactive map at buttemurals.org.


Best shot

Best fire-watcher

Pfizer

Zeke Lunder, The Lookout the-lookout.org

buttecounty.net/publichealth/ COVID19/vaccine

When it comes to understanding wildfire, the North State is fortunate to have Zeke Lunder. The Chico resident and Westwood native has spent more than 25 years in the fire and forestry industry, including two decades working on incident management teams for various largescale fires. A decade ago, Lunder founded a wildfire-mapping consulting firm. He has since sold the company but continues to perform prescribed fire and wildfire education work under its banner. As exemplified in a recent CN&R guest comment by Lunder (“Our wildfire breaking point,” Sept. 1, 2021), he is a staunch advocate for examining our fire-prone regions in totality and conducting long-needed prescribed burning, along with other mitigation efforts. During the Dixie Fire, he’s taken those views, along with his expertise in mapping, and created the-lookout.org, where his goal, as he put it, is to “help people get a better grip on how fires work, how they move across the landscape, how we fight them, and how to tell when they are doing good work for us.” In a region plagued perennially by wildfires, The Lookout is a great resource for experts and everyday people alike.

With so much stress from the pandemic, who could blame anyone for needing a stiff belt? More than Jose Cuervo or Jagermeister, the shot we favor is Pfizer. We’re not knocking Moderna or Johnson & Johnson, if that’s what’s on hand; with the FDA recently granting full approval to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for anyone 16 and older, that’s currently the top choice. Vaccination reduces chances of getting COVID and, for those who do get a breakthrough infection, reduces the severity of the illness and aftereffects. We know we won’t sway anti-vaxxers; but anyone else who’s still unvaccinated, your best shot is a shot—or two.

Best accessory Face masks The fashion statement of 2020 has carried over to 2021, though not as robustly as we’d like. Face masks were everywhere when mandated as the spread of COVID-19 put Butte County in lockdown. The economy may have reopened with rules relaxed, but case numbers and hospitalizations are higher than ever. The contagious delta

Zeke Lunder, The Lookout

Best place to feel safe and welcome variant makes preventative measures even more important. Even if state or county public health agencies don’t require face coverings, their recommendation is enough for us. So, don your most stylish mask—outfit appropriate and color coordinated if you like—and hit the grocery aisle like a runway model, or just a conscientious community member.

Equilateral Coffee facebook.com/equilateralcoffee

Chicoans Eileen and Rylan Morabito, who’ve operated the impossible-to-miss tealcolored Equilateral Coffee truck since 2018, are the kind of business owners who know their patrons by name and put great care into the products they offer. Recently, they opened a stationary location within the 1078 Gallery (check their

social media pages for updates). Not only is their coffee delicious, but we’ve noticed how conscientious the pair has been throughout the pandemic—maintaining a mask mandate, for example. They’ve done an excellent job of creating a safe space for folks to feel less alone while also getting a delicious jolt of caffeinated energy.

Equilateral Coffee

Best loaf Camina Bakery’s The Blonde caminabakery.com

The Blonde, by Camina Bakery

Is it too pretentious-sounding to say we can taste the bread-making process in Camina’s loaves? All of the bakery’s breads start with a sourdough culture (no commercial yeasts), and the fun times to be had therein by the living fungi and bacteria result in bread that is alive with lovely, tangy and even creamy flavors. The Blonde is a country sourdoughstyle loaf—made with both whole-wheat and unbleached bread flour—that is crusty, chewy and as flavorful on day five as it is off the shelf, where it doesn’t last long. EDITORS’ PICKS C O N T I N U E D EDIT O C T O B E R 7, 2 0 2 1

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Severance Package – Twofer ’21

Best pandemic data-cruncher Christian Hammond BC19.live

Bay Area software developer Christian Hammond has stayed connected not only with friends and family back home in Chico but also with the greater community through a website where he aggregates helpful local COVID-19 data. Hammond developed BC19.live—dubbed the Unofficial Butte County COVID-19 Dashboard—shortly into the pandemic, taking information released by Butte County Public Health, the state and other reputable sources and putting it into contexts that reveal trends, including how the virus has spread. It started primarily with case counts and has since expanded to include myriad helpful categories, such as vaccine rates. We appreciate all the effort to give back to his hometown, and we’re glad to see he began accepting donations to defray his costs through a “Buy Me A Coffee” page. We’ll drink to that! Christian Hammond, creator of BC19.live.

Best protest song “Protest Song” by Severance Package severancepackage.org/album/twofer-21

Best water warrior

Best memories of the way lunch used to be

Jim Brobeck

Alpaca Bob’s Sandwich Adventures

Chico-based AquAlliance has been fighting to protect the public’s water interests for 11 years, led by Executive Director Barbara Vlamis. Battling alongside her is Jim Brobeck, the advocacy group’s water policy analyst—at the forefront himself lately on two local issues. As the environmental representative on the advisory committee for the Vina Groundwater Sustainability Agency, Brobeck watchdogs the groundwater management plan for north Butte County, which is under development for state approval in January. He also leads opposition to the controversial Tuscan Water District, which if approved as proposed would concentrate its power in the hands of a few large landowners.

The Midnight Express. The Roman Holiday. The Kansas City Kicker. The mere mention of these names is likely to trigger a tear in the eye and rumble in the stomach of many a local deli aficionado. Though they may sound like the names of wrestlers from the oldetimey days, those were a few of the pillars on the menu at the now-gone Alpaca Bob’s Sandwich Adventures. Liz and Mark Guillaume are Camp Fire survivors who heroically managed to keep the business running in its wake. The pandemic, however, proved to be one disaster too many, and the shop fell victim to COVID’s economic impact in April. We understand that many other local businesses have likewise gone under in these terrible times—and hoist our (sadly empty, sandwich-free) fists into the air in honor.

And we love all those defeated by the crushing weight of today Underpaid and uninspired, you’re not alone we feel your pain Gotta take the top level off the pyramid and shake it up inside Everybody gets their share tonight Severance Package has obviously had enough. In July, the Chico garage-punk trio put out the two-song Twofer ’21 EP on its Bandcamp page, featuring “Protest Song,” which takes aim at inequality while celebrating those in America fighting to lop the top off the pyramid and shake things up in the country. The other half of the release paints the picture of a fight that hits much closer to home. In “Chico Song,” despite powerful post-wildfire moments of unity and community, as of late our little corner of Nor Cal feels hopelessly divided: What is there to do now? It’s all fallen apart We could put it back together if we just knew where to start The lies that came between us, the ones who stabbed our backs If we could get together we could take this city back!

Best use of food delivery services Banana split de La Flor de Michoacán lafloricecream.com (multiple locations)

A visit to one of La Flor de Michoacán’s four locations—with their colorful décor and friendly employees—is usually a welcome outing. But sometimes, we’ve come to learn, such visits aren’t advisable—such as in the middle of a global pandemic, or perhaps after a visit from the dispensary delivery man. So here’s an idea: For a truly decadent and satisfying treat, lock yourself down some evening and order up a banana split—or other ice cream treat—from La Flor. They deliver fast, fresh and mostly melt-free (we’ve tested this, just in case, multiple times). For even better results, add a bubble mate and two spoons to redefine Netflix and chillin’. Banana split de La Flor de Michoacán

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Arts &Culture Kitchen & Bar, 980 Mangrove Ave.

MOVIE ON THE LAWN: Chico State Associated

OCT.

Students presents Disney/Pixar’s Coco as part of its Moonlight Movies series on the lawn. Thu, 10/7, 8:30pm. Glenn Lawn, Chico State.

TRINITY CABARET: A local burlesque show featuring a live orchestra. Formal attire is encouraged and advance tickets are recommended. Seating is first come, first served. Three nights (Thu-Sat). Thu, 10/7, 9pm. $30. The Union Patio/Bar/Grill, 2053 Montgomery St., Oroville. (530) 592-5989. unionfork.com

ONGOING Art 1078 GALLERY: Members’ Show, a showcase of

FRI8

works by gallery members. Through 10/24. Also, Jason Tannen and Tiera May, Exhibitions by two NorCal artists titled Remnants and Rituals, respectively. Opening reception: Fri 10/29, 6-8pm. 1710 Park Ave. 1078gallery.org

CAMERON FORD: Local singer/songwriter serenades the happy hour crowd. Fri, 10/8, 5pm. La Salles, 229 Broadway St.

CHICO ART CENTER: Open Studios Art Tour, two

lasalleschico.com

weekends to visit artist studios around Butte County to see the works and how they’re made. Visit site or the gallery to purchase a guide. Oct. 16-17 & Oct. 23-24, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 450 Orange St. chicoartcenter.com

EMMA AND WILL: Local singer/songwriter duo playing rock and pop covers. Fri, 10/8, 4:30pm. Free. The Barn at Meriam Park, 1930 Market Place. meriampark.com

JANET TURNER PRINT MUSEUM: Figural Bodies in

LOCAL PUNKS: Lo-fi punks The Wind-Ups

Print, a collaboration between studio art and dance faculty, features works from the Turner print collection that focus on human emotions and the body. Through 11/20. Chico State, Art & Humanities Building. csuchico.edu/turner/

and Pervert (a local Limp Bizkit cover band). Fri, 10/8, 9:30pm. $7. Duffy’s Tavern, 337 Main St.

PARADISE JOB FAIR: Connect with 20 local employers seeking both entry level and management level employees. Fri, 10/8, 2pm. The Terry Ashe Recreation Center, 6626 Skyway, Paradise. paradise chamber.com

MUSEUM OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA ART: Behind the Scenes – Artist in Residency 2021, featuring artists Meghan Lacombe, Jessica De La Cuadra, Gerardo Alvarado, Rebecca Canterbury, Susan Fuller and Kimberly Ayers. Session One: Sept. 30-Oct. 24. Reception Oct. 23, 5:30-7:30pm. 900 Esplanade. monca.org

TRINITY CABARET: See Thu, 10/7. Fri, 10/8, 9pm. $30. The Union Patio/Bar/Grill, 2053 Montgomery St., Oroville. (530) 592-5989. unionfork.com

Markets FARMERS MARKETS: Butte County’s markets are

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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.); “Farmers Market Mobile” in Paradise, 1397 South Park Drive (Thursdays, 2pm).

AIR SUPPLY: Make a night out of nothing at all. The event center at the casino hosts ’80s superstars Air Supply. Sat, 10/9, 7pm. Gold Country Casino & Hotel, 4020 Olive Highway, Oroville. goldcountry casino.com

Theater

BLÜ EGYPTIAN: Local jam band. Sat, 10/9, 5pm. Free. The Barn at Meriam Park, 1930

ANNAPURNA: A play by Sharr White about love

Market Place. meriampark.com

and loss that unfolds throughout a series of conversations between two characters in one room. Directed by Amber Miller. Shows Thu-Sat., 7:30pm & Sun., 2pm, through Oct. 25. $12-$16. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. totr.org

CAR AND MOTORCYCLE SHOW: Cool cars and bikes, hot dogs and a pancake breakfast presented by Paradise Host Lions Club and The Paradise Veterans. Sat, 10/9, 8am. Veterans Memorial Hall, 6550 Skyway, Paradise. paradisechamber.com

CLUE, ON STAGE: Based on the cult classic film (inspired by the board game), this whodunit comedy will keep you guessing to the end. Shows Thu-Sat., 7:30pm & Sun., 2pm, through Oct. 24. $16-$20. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Road, Ste. F. chicotheater.com

CHICO REPTILE SHOW: Experience all kinds of

DAVIS SEDARIS

reptiles up close and personal. Plus, vendors will have animals and merchandise for sale. Sat, 10/9, 10am. $4-$7. Silver Dollar Fairgrounds, 2357 Fair St. 521-6201.

Nov. 2 Laxson Auditorium

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS: California Regional

CORNING OLIVE FESTIVAL & CAR SHOW: Food

Theatre’s production of the Broadway and Hollywood classic sci-fi musical at its downtown black-box space. Shows Fri-Sat, 7:30pm & Sun, 2pm, Oct. 15-31. $31.50-$35. First Street Theatre, 139 W. First St. crtshows.com

Other events COMEDY THURSDAY: Weekly comedy show & open mic hosted by Dillon Collins. Thu, 8pm. Free. Bella’s Sports Pub, 231 Main St.

JAZZ NIGHT: Grab a drink, play some pool, listen to some jazz by Chico Jazz Collective. Every Thursday night. Thu, 8pm. Free. Down Lo, 319 Main St.

OPEN MIC COMEDY: Open mic comedy hosted by Dillon Collins. Sign ups 8pm, showtime 9pm. Wed,

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PHOTO BY JENNY LEWIS

9pm. Free. The Studio Inn Lounge, 2582 Esplanade.

PUB SCOUTS HAPPY HOUR: Traditional Irish tunes every Friday during happy hour. Fri, 5pm. Duffy’s Tavern, 337 Main St.

SIERRA ORO FARM TRAIL HARVEST CELEBRATION: Sip wine and try local artisan food with the new Sierra Oro Farm & Wine Pass, a digital pass valid Oct. 1-31, 2021, at more than 30 area farms and wineries. $40. sierraoro.org

THU7 BLÜ EGYPTIAN: Local jam band on the patio. All ages. Thu, 10/7, 6pm. Free. La Salles, 229 Broadway St. bluegyptianband.com

BRAD DUFOUR: Local blues and rock guitarist. Thu, 10/7, 8pm. $7. Argus Bar + Patio, 212 W. Second St. GREG WILSON: Live set by comedian from the Neighborhood, Upload, Narcos: Mexico, Superstore, Hawaii Five-O and Modern Family to name a few. Thu, 10/7, 7pm. $20. Unwined

vendors, craft & retail vendors, farmers, live music, fun games and prizes and a kids’ zone. The Car Show features a collection of classic cars, antique tractor area, live music and more food! Sat, 10/9, 10am. Free. Corning Community Park, 1425 Toomes Ave., Corning. 824-5550.

EMMA AND WILL: Local singer/songwriter duo plays rock and pop covers during brunch. Sat, 10/9, 11am. La Salles, 229 Broadway St. lasalleschico.com

LOUIE ANDERSON: Live set by the stand-up comedian and game show host. Sat., 10/9, 8pm. $35. Colusa Casino Resort, 3770 State Highway 45, Colusa. (530) 458-8844.

NU BREED & JESSE HOWARD: Back-the-Blue country rap out of central Florida. Sat., 10/9, 9pm. $15. Tackle Box, 379 E. Park Ave. tackleboxchico.com

SECRET TRAIL PARKING LOT PARTY: Celebrate four years of the local brewing company at an all-day, all-ages outdoor party featuring live music from Strung Nugget Gang, The Alternators and Island of Black and White, plus food from locals Black Kettle, Panini Machini, Chicobi’s and Indulgence Pizza. Sat, 10/9, 12pm. Secret Trail Brewing Company, 132 Meyers St., Ste. 120.

TAPE FACE: Chico Performances presents the mime, comedian and actor of America’s Got Talent fame. Sat, 10/9, 7:30pm. $25$47. Laxson Auditorium, Chico State. 898-6333. chicoperformances.com

TECH N9NE: The Kansas City rapper returns in support of his album, EnterFear, along with Rittz and special guests King Iso, Maez301 and Jehry Robinson. Sat, 10/9, 8pm. $28. Senator Theatre, 517 Main Street. jmaxproductions.net

TRINITY CABARET: See Thu, 10/7. Sat, 10/9, 9pm. $30. The Union Patio/Bar/Grill, 2053 Montgomery St., Oroville. (530) 592-5989. unionfork.com

SUN10 EMO NIGHT: An angsty dance party featuring tracks by Taking Back Sunday, Fall Out Boy, Panic! At The Disco, My Chemical Romance and many more. Sun, 10/10, 8pm. $15. The Maltese, 1600 Park Ave.

SOUNDS GOOD: Local groovy jam band along with singer/songwriter Seth Prinz. Sun, 10/10, 2pm. Free. Secret Trail Brewing Company, 132 Meyers St., Ste. 120. simpletix.com

TAYLOR TOMLINSON: Chico Performances presents the stand-up comedian and co-host of the Self-Helpless podcast, who is on the road for her Deal With It tour. Variety named her one of their top 10 comics to watch in 2019 and she was recently named to Forbes’ 2021 class of 30 Under 30. Sun, 10/10, 7:30pm. $30-$48. Laxson Auditorium, Chico State. 898-6333. chicoperformances.com

MON11 LAND BACK DAY: On Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Stonewall Alliance Chico presents a day of learning, anti-colonialism and community joy in Mechoopda Territory along with North Valley Two Spirits, the Traditional Ecological Knowledge Stewardship Program, and Oct. 23

DUFFY’S HALLOWEEN Duffy’s Tavern


IS YOUR EVENT ONLINE? other local Native and allied leaders. Mon, 10/11, 10am. Verbena Fields (near E. First

TRINITY CABARET

and Verbena avenues).

Oct. 7-9 Union Patio, Bar & Grill

TUE12 brings together startups, investors, entrepreneurs, techies, students, educators, business owners and community leaders. This two day event will be hosted at the El Rey Theater in downtown Chico 10/12 and then at Stoble Coffee on 10/13. Tue, 10/12, 11:30am. $75. El Rey Theater, 230 W. Second St.

Hosted by Assistant Professor Neil P. Kelley, Vanderbilt University. Part of the museum’s fall lecture series: Fossils, Formations and Extinctions. Wed, 10/27, 7pm. Gateway Science Museum, 625 Esplanade. (530) 898-4636. csuchico.edu/gateway

THU28

THU14

CHICO COMEDY COMPETITION: A local stand-up comedy scuffle to see who’s funniest. Audience members vote contestants into the semifinals to earn a chance to win a cash prize. $10 entrance fee to compete. Thu, 10/28, 8pm. Bella’s Sports Pub, 231 Main St.

HOT FLASH: Rock ’n’ roll cover band on the patio. Thu, 10/14, 6pm. La Salles, 229 Broadway St. lasalleschico.com

SOUL POSSE: Local cover band. Thu, 10/14, 7pm. Almendra Winery & Distillery, 9275

Market Place. meriampark.com

CARLOS RODRIGUEZ: The Nor Cal comic has toured extensively and earned features on Comedy Central’s Up Next showcase and Hulu’s Quick Laffs. Fri, 10/15, 7:30pm. $20. Secret Trail Brewing Company, 132 Meyers St., Ste. 120.

TYLER DEVOLL: The local singer/songwriter serenades the happy hour crowd. Fri, 10/15, 5pm. La Salles, 229 Broadway St. TYLER RICH: Nor Cal country artist on tour. Fri, 10/15, 7pm. $22-$75. El Rey Theater, 230 W. Second St. tylerrich.com

including goat soaps, home made fudge, candles, bonsai plants, wood carvings, jewelry, pottery, holistic pain salves and creams, clothing, and more. Sat, 10/16, 8am. Deja Vu Gardens Galore Nursery of Paradise, 5424 Foster Road, Paradise. paradisechamber.com

SAMARIA GRACE: Local singer/songwriter entertains the brunch crowd. Sat, 10/16, 11am. La Salles, 229 Broadway St. lasalleschico.com

SAT16 1600 Park Ave.

MAX MINARDI: Local singer/songwriter. Sat, 10/16, 7pm. Free. The Commons Social Empourium, 2412 Park Ave.

OKTOBERFEST AT THE BARN: Beer, German food and live music by local legends Big Mo and The Full Moon Band. Sat, 10/16, 5pm. $20. The Barn at Meriam Park, 1930 Market Place. meriampark.com

PEDDLERS FAIR: An outdoor event with food trucks and local art and goods for sale

the museum’s fall lecture series: Fossils, Formations and Extinctions. Check page for Zoom link. Wed, 10/20, 7pm. Free. Gateway Science Museum, 625 Esplanade. (530) 8984636. csuchico.edu/gateway

FRI22 CIRQUE MECHANICS, BIRDHOUSE FACTORY: Chico

SUN17 OKTOBERFEST AT THE BARN: Beer, German food and live music by local legends Big Mo and The Full Moon Band. Sun, 10/17, 3pm. $20. The Barn at Meriam Park, 1930 Market Place. meriampark.com

THUNDER LUMP: Local funky rock band performs with acoustic Americana duo Two Skies Wide. Sun, 10/17, 2pm. Free. Secret Trail Brewing Company, 132 Meyers St., Ste. 120. simpletix.com

TUE19 MARTY O’REILLY AND THE OLD SOUL ORCHESTRA:

DRAG SHOW: An evening of drag, drinks and dancing. Sat, 10/16, 9:30pm. The Maltese,

379 E. Park Ave. tackleboxchico.com

TYLER DEVOLL: The local singer/songwriter serenades the happy hour crowd. Fri, 10/29, 5pm. La Salles, 229 Broadway St.

SAT30 STEVE JOHNSON: Local singer/songwriter entertains the brunch crowd. Sat, 10/30, 11am. La Salles, 229 Broadway St. lasalleschico.com

TACKLE BOX HALLOWEEN PARTY: Costume contest with a $350 gift certificate prize and live music by California Country. Sat, 10/30, 9pm. Tackle Box, 379 E. Park Ave. tackleboxchico.com

TRIASSIC MARINE REPTILES IN THE AMERICAN WEST:

Emerita Cathy Busby, UC Davis, as part of the museum’s fall lecture series: Fossils, Formations and Extinctions. Check site for Zoom link. Wed, 10/13, 7pm. Free. Gateway Science Museum, 625 Esplanade. (530) 8984636. csuchico.edu/gateway

CANA ROAD BAND: Local six-piece blues, rock and country cover band. Fri, 10/15, 4:30pm. Free. The Barn at Meriam Park, 1930

THE BROTHERS REED: Southern Oregon folk/ bluegrass duo. Fri, 10/29, 9pm. Tackle Box,

WED27

SIERRAN VOLCANISM, PALEO-RIVER VALLEYS AND THE MIOCENE ZOO: Hosted by Professor

FRI15

JUPITER STRING QUARTET: “The Jupiter String

cert of the season, The Beauty of Strings, features guitar soloist Warren Haskell. Sun, 10/24, 6pm. $15-$20. Paradise Performing Arts Center, 777 Nunneley Road, Paradise. paradiseperformingarts.com

GROWTECH FEST: See Thu, 10/12. Wed, 10/13, 11:30am. $75. Stoble Coffee, 418 Broadway.

lection of useless facts stacks up against the best. Hosted by Joe Griffith. Thu, 10/14, 7:30pm. Free. The Commons Social Empourium, 2412 Park Ave.

FRI29

PARADISE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: The first con-

WED13

Midway Road, Durham.

SUN24 Quartet, an ensemble of eloquent intensity, has matured into one of the mainstays of the American chamber-music scene.”— The New Yorker. Sun, 10/24, 2pm. $42. Zingg Recital Hall, Chico State. 898-6333. chicoperformances.com

GROWTECH FEST: A local tech conference that

TRIVIA NIGHT: Sign up and see how your recol-

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

The Santa Cruz blues quartet along with local singer/songwriter Pat Hull. Tue, 10/19, 8pm. $12. Argus Bar + Patio, 212 W. Second St.

WED20 CAMPUS SUSTAINABILITY DAY: The university celebrates community sustainable efforts and achievements, and brings together multiple campus organizations at a tabling event to educate and promote awareness about ongoing sustainability projects. Wed, 10/20, 10am. Free. Trinity Commons, Chico State. 898-6677. csuchico.edu

MASS EXTINCTION AND THE REAL JURASSIC PARK: Hosted by Dr. Montana Hodges as part of

Performances presents the acrobatic production of a story set in a drab factory where its workers come to life and present the classic cirque experience including trapeze, contortionists, clowning, acrobatics, and more. Fri, 10/22, 7:30pm. $38-$55. Laxson Auditorium, Chico State. 898-6333. chicoperformances.com

HIGHWAY BOUND: Southern Oregon country trio. Fri, 10/22, 9pm. Tackle Box, 379 E. Park Ave. tackleboxchico.com

LYNN BROWN: Local singer/songwriter during happy hour. Fri, 10/22, 5pm. La Salles, 229 Broadway St. lasalleschico.com

JEFF PERSHING BAND: Local jam band on the patio. Thu, 10/28, 6pm. La Salles, 229 Broadway St. lasalleschico.com

THUMPIN’ THURSDAY ROCK ’N’ BLUES JAM: Hosted

WALK WOOF WAG: Annual dog festival and fundraiser for Chico Animal Shelter that includes fun activities for dogs and their people, plus a group dog walk through Bidwell Park. Sat, 10/30. Sycamore Field, Lower Bidwell Park. walkwoofwag.com

SUN31 STEVEN SCHULTZ: A spooky acoustic set by the local singer/songwriter. Sun, 10/31, 2pm. Free. Secret Trail Brewing Company, 132 Meyers St., Ste. 120. simpletix.com

TUE2 DAVID SEDARIS: One of America’s pre-eminent

by JP Roxx & The Loco-Motive Band. Sign up at 6:30pm, music starts at 7pm. Thu, 10/28, 6:30pm. Free. The Tackle Box, 379 E. Park Ave. tackleboxchico.com

TRIVIA NIGHT: See Thu, 10/14. Thu, 10/28, 7:30pm. Free. The Commons Social Empourium, 2412 Park Ave.

humor writers and a perennial Chico favorite. Beloved for his personal essays and short stories, he is a master of satire and one of today’s most observant writers. In 2020, the New York Public Library voted his Me Talk Pretty One Day one of the 125 most important books of the last 125 years. Tue, 11/2, 7:30pm. $40 $58. Laxson Auditorium, Chico State, 898-6333. chicoperformances.com

EDITOR’S PICK

ON THE BOARDS IN OCTOBER

TODD SNIDER: The renowned folk singer/songwriter and storyteller with special guest Lilly Winwood. Presented by KZFR 90.1 FM. Fri, 10/22, 6:30pm. Paradise Performing Arts Center, 777 Nunneley Road, Paradise. kzfr.org

SAT23 DUFFY’S HALLOWEEN: The annual holiday show is back with Pinhead playing the Ramones and new cover projects The Gone-Gone’s (Severance Package plays The Go-Go’s) and The (Robert) Smiths (Desperate Hell plays The Cure). Sat, 10/23, 9:30pm. Duffy’s Tavern, 337 Main St.

REESE WEIL: Live music during brunch. Sat, 10/23, 11am. La Salles, 229 Broadway St.. lasalleschico.com

RIDGE STRONG BAND: Local rock ’n’ roll. Sat, 10/23, 9pm. Tackle Box, 379 E. Park Ave.

Giant Audrey II is downtown eating flower-shop customers at California Regional Theatre’s new First Street Theatre for the musical Little Shop of Horrors (Oct. 15-31). And in Paradise at Theatre on the Ridge, after

20 years apart, Anna tracks down her ex-husband Ulysses at his dingy trailer in the mountains, where the two hash out their past, processing all the love and loss in the twoperson Annapurna (Oct. 7-25).

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SCENE

Expression suppression Chico author examines how the Black experience is often stifled in the world of sports and beyond

Vfascination with Black expression took hold. As the Chico State sociology professor writes

ernon Andrews knows exactly when his long-held

in his new book, Policing Black Athletes: Racial Disconnect in Sports, he was 12 years old and an eighth-grader in Oakland in 1972 when he wandered onto the Fremont High School campus just in time to watch the final event of a high-school track meet, the four-man 440-yard relay. The contest pitted Fremont against arch-rival Castlemont High School, another all-Black, East Oakland sports powerhouse. The event that changed Andrews’ life occurred during the final leg of that relay race. The Fremont quartet had held a slight edge until the baton by was passed to Castlemont’s Robert Speer star sprinter, Karl Valrey, r ober tspeer@ who quickly took the lead. newsrev iew.c om As he neared the grandstand, Andrews writes, Valrey twisted his body and ran backwards, then politely Author/book info: Visit drvandrews.com for tipped his Ray-Bans to the more about Dr. Vernon vanquished Fremont runners Andrews and his writing. and “gracefully glided past the screaming fans to victory, arms raised in forever remembered East Oakland glory.” It wasn’t Valrey’s victory itself that elicited such a fervent fan reaction. As Andrews points out, “Crossing the finish line first was simply winning.” The crowd’s reaction was for the mastery of the moment that Valrey had demonstrated with this fully developed Black expression. In Andrews’ words, “It was as if Jesus himself had just executed a perfect 360-degree slam dunk, such was the awe of the fans.” Had any White people been in the crowd—

Andrews saw none—they likely would not have known what to make of Valrey’s performance, but the Black fans knew: Valrey was expressing his talent and creativity before an adoring crowd, thereby claiming his freedom and power— 48

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something African-Americans have struggled to do for centuries, Andrews says, and for which they have been unjustly and maliciously penalized over and over. Andrews cites, for example, the case of Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, who was effectively banished from the National Football League for having the audacity to kneel on the sidelines during the playing of the National Anthem in protest of the mistreatment of Black people in America. In Kaepernick’s case, Andrews explained during a recent interview at his North Chico home, Black expression took the form of social activism. Andrews notes that Kaepernick’s protest received widespread support among football players and many fans but vicious vitriol and hostility elsewhere. This was especially true

among NFL owners and officials and right-wing politicians, who quickly recognized an issue that was ripe for exploitation. Despite the threat of being permanently blackballed from the NFL, Kaepernick refused to buckle. His protest, Andrews suggests, was much like Rosa Parks’ refusal to move to the back of that Birmingham bus. Another significant form of Black expression emerged in professional football in the 1970s, when a number of Black players began celebrating success on the field— a touchdown, an interception, a sack—by spiking the ball or doing a vivid end-zone dance. For many years, players and owners tussled over just how much expression the NFL’s Rules Committee would allow Black athletes to have—a power struggle

Policing Black Athletes: Racial Disconnect in Sports


Left: Washington Football Team wide receiver Terry McLaurin celebrates a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles, Jan. 3, 2021. PHOTO BY ALL PRO REELS (VIA FLICKR)

that continues to this day. To the members of the committee, outlawing end-zone celebrations was a matter of maintaining decorum on the playing field—that is, maintaining the kind of “sportsmanlike” behavior exhibited by White players. In other words, Andrews writes, “[Black athletes] should not do things—like use expressive forms of behavior that are foreign to the Rules Committee—that might upset traditional White people, like those folks who impose rules on expression.” For Andrews, it’s personal, of course. He grew up, he says, surrounded by “a large Bay Area family of roughly 80 Black cousins, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, and siblings that has shown me by example the complexity of everyday Black life. “Blackness was the water I swam in for years until arriving in nearly all-White Chico” to attend its university. For 30 years, he writes, he has been been cataloging the multiple ways White Americans study—and, yes, police—Black athletes in the desire to control them. He reminds readers of what happened to Muhammad Ali when he refused to be drafted into the Army: He was found guilty of breaking draft laws and sentenced to five years in prison. (A series of court appeals kept him free and, ironically, enabled him to become a powerful spokesman for the anti-war movement.) After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Chico State, Andrews earned a doctorate from the University of WisconsinMadison in 1996, after which he taught for 14 years at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. That last school was his launch pad for travels around the world, during which he studied the many ways Black people used their expressiveness to establish a sense of style that appears in nearly everything they do. Take church, for example. It’s always been a place where Black folk feel empowered and safe, and it’s also a place that elicits stylistic creativity—in its powerful, hand-clapping gospel choirs, its Dr. Vernon Andrews PHOTO: DRVANDREWS.COM

preachers’ chanted call-and-response sermons and its attendees’ colorful outfits. (In his Chico home, Andrews has a display of nearly a dozen of his late mother’s gorgeous Sunday go-to-meeting hats.) Church is just one of the many arenas in which Black people have had a profoundly enriching influence on American society. Andrews’ main interest is in the conjunction of Black expression and sports, but he’s similarly interested in Black expression as it’s manifested in music, food, clothing styles— you name it. Policing Black Athletes is a remarkably comprehensive work filled with valuable insights into the relationship between White and Black Americans as seen primarily through the lens of sports. Andrews, 63, worked on the book for more than 30 years. Most of that time was spent researching Black expression—its manifestations not only in the United States, but also elsewhere around the world. He’s traveled extensively, and the more he’s learned about Black expression, its history and complexities, the more he’s wanted to know. In that time, he’s written dozens of scholarly papers while maintaining a teaching career at Chico State and San Jose State. For Andrews and most AfricanAmericans, it’s important to keep an open mind in dealing with White people. He tells, for example, about a night when he stopped for coffee in a Nebraska diner on his way back to graduate school in Wisconsin. When the White cashier took a long time to come up with his brew, he became suspicious, thinking that maybe the fellow was consciously ignoring him. Then two Black men passed the counter on the way out and greeted the White cashier warmly. He answered back with a smile, addressing both of them by their nicknames. The men were good friends, and the cashier was not a racist: “The White guy had no problems with Black people, as it turns out. As they walked out and he handed me my change, he said, ‘Sorry I took so long—I made you a fresh pot.’” Still, the brief encounter reminded Andrews once again that “the stress of figuring out White people’s intentions takes an emotional toll [on AfricanAmericans] even after decades of social contact.” Ω

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MUSIC

The storyteller returns Todd Snider PHOTO: TODDSNIDER.NET

songs pretty quickly, which I don’t do. There’s a couple of them on there I’d like back, but it was part of the project. It felt like a time to do some musical things that I’d always wanted to try to do, like play the bass or make a more funky thing. It gave me an opportunity to do something that would have taken a lot of money and time, and we had that time, and I didn’t need the money because I had my own studio. You know, troubadours don’t usually get a chance to work that hard on their records.

After a difficult year, singer/songwriter Todd Snider is back on the road with a new recording

Bpublic Todd Snider hadn’t played live music in since March 8, 2020. The 14 months

efore his current tour kicked off in June,

that the coronovirus kept him off the road was the longest the Nashville-based singer/ by songwriter had been Jason home in 30 years. Cassidy On stage and on the j ason c @ road is where Snider has newsrev iew.c om lived the bulk of his life, and over the course of Preview: his three-decades-or-so KZFR presents Todd Snider Friday, Oct. 22, 6:30 p.m. career, it’s the live perLilly Winwood opens. formances—filled with Tickets: $25, available at as much storytelling as eventbrite.com folksinging—where he’s Paradise Performing made his mark. To keep the show Arts Center 777 Nunneley Road going, he just moved 872-8454 it online for a weekly paradiseperforming arts.com livestreamed gig under the banner of “What It Is.” Those Sunday 50

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You mention troubadour and funky, it’s an interesting combination. The album sounds a little different than anything you’ve done before. It’s funky, but it’s still pretty intimate. That’s really what I was hoping for. I didn’t want it to get so overwhelming that you’d forget that I was a folk singer. I’ve done so many different kinds of records. Usually, the fun thing is if you get inspired by something … if you get bit by a muse, you just run for it, you just take off after it.

performances broadcast from The Purple Building—Snider’s rehearsal/recording studio in East Nashville—inspired recording sessions for a concept album of sorts, First Agnostic Church of Hope and Wonder (released in April), featuring the songwriter playing the character of a preacher “who’s full of shit” trying to bring comfort (to others and himself) after a difficult year or so that also saw the death of several people close to the artist. First Agnostic Church is Snider’s 19th solo release in a wide-ranging catalog that’s seen him try his hand at a variety of styles— country, rock, pop and even funk on this new one—but always with a folksinger’s heart and attention to lyrics at the center. Over his career, Snider has been mentored by everyone from Jerry Jeff Walker and Jimmy Buffet to John Prine, and his approach has often combined the free-spirited rowdiness of the former two and the unpretentious lyricism and storytelling mastery of the latter. For his current “Return of the Storyteller” tour, Snider is bringing all of his troubadour

powers to the stage, with career-spanning setlists and shows that are being recorded for a live album (“something special for those that missed live concerts as much as I have,” he says) to be released in 2022. In advance of his Oct. 22 stop at the Paradise Performing Arts Center, the CN&R talked to Snider by phone about his new album, the friends he lost last during the pandemic and getting back on the road. How have things been for you out there in Tennessee? It’s not bad. We had our Sunday shows to do, and I kind of quarantined with a group of about 10 people so we could do that show, and that was a lot of fun. And then we made a record, and because we didn’t have any touring, it’s the first time I made a record almost just because I could. I didn’t have a big bunch of songs or anything like that. We had all the equipment, and I thought it would be fun. So, I made up the

You started the streaming shows from the earliest days of the pandemic, right? Yeah, every Sunday at 11, I think it was. We have that building there, and we’ve just been collecting gear for a long time now. We realized we have great cameras, we have great lights, and we also had it set up to record. I remember after one of those shows, I was like, “Why can’t I make a record here, right from this chair?” And we were like, “Yeah, we probably could, so let’s just start meeting down here every day.” I got my buddy Robbie Crowell—I just had one musician friend—and then three or four engineer friends, and then my gambling buddy, and that was it. That’s a good group. Yeah, right? It was really, really fun to do. You could easily find a better banjo player, or piano player, or bass player than me, but that was the fun of it for me. Do you think you’ll go back to livestreaming? I would like to, if we ever take another break. I’m pretty arthritic and it comes and goes. I thought there could come a day I where I would only be able to play with a certain amount of notice—like four or five hours notice. Like, “Hey, my hands are great today, I’m going to down and play for a few hours.”


TICKETS AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR! Todd Snider records an installment of “What It Is,” a weekly concert series filmed at The Purple Building in Nashville, Tenn., and livestreamed during the coronavirus pandemic. PHOTO: FACEBOOK.COM/TODDSNIDER

TICK E $25 TS

Oroville State Theatre | Oroville Saturday, Oct 15 | 7:30pm | www.orovillestatetheatre.com Trinity Alps Performing Arts Center | Weaverville Saturday, Oct 23 | 7:30pm | www.tapaconline.org

That’s kind of like my old Fred Sanford-years plan. You wrote at least a couple songs on the new album about friends who died over the past year, right? There was so much of that. It was a really dark year because we lost John Prine to the pandemic; that was the hardest thing. And then Jerry Jeff [Walker] and Billie Joe [Shaver]; they were older, and they all three had a good long run for troubadours. We were all so down. Almost everyone of the people working on [the record] knew those guys. And then there were two suicides by guys my own age, and then also my dog [died]. All my friends knew my dog. He went everywhere. He sat on the stage; he never left me. So, I had all of that, and then my first manager, she died. She was my first manager, but she stayed in my life until the day she died. So, all the songs on the new album were written during the pandemic? Yeah. Usually, I’d [take] like three years or so to get 10 songs, and this time I just knocked them out—for better or worse. All my singing career, I’ve tried to avoid telling people [things like], “Never let a day go by.” I thought, I’ve never really approached this as a preacher before. You know that song, “You’ve got to know when to hold them?” I’m like, No I don’t. I don’t have to know that. And anytime a singer tells me I just have to breathe, or anything like that—I

can’t tell you how many times when I’m listening to the radio I always say, “No, I don’t. I don’t have to do that.” I don’t have to let myself dance and let go or any of that. But this time I thought, Well, people are calling me a preacher now on Sundays, and I’ve got this Sunday show. It was almost an arc of what the big picture of what that show had been. I was kind of making up a story about a folk singer who had to stop traveling and do these Sunday shows that were pep talks. Now that you’ve been out on the road, what’s it been like? How’s America reacting to the return? People are really excited to see live music. If feels like they’re excited to be with each other, too. Sometimes they all have masks on. It feels like I’m about to get robbed by a mob. You have a short speech you say at shows in which you say, “I didn’t come down here to change any of y’all’s mind about anything, I come down here to ease my own mind about everything.” Has being back on the road again helped ease your own mind after such a hard year or so? Tremendously. More than singing, I like to travel. It’s become a really big part of my life. For people who are a gypsy or a traveler, we just don’t know how to sit somewhere. It drives us crazy. Once you get used to the water out there, it’s like kids—first they don’t want to get in the pool and then you can’t get them out. Ω O C T O B E R 7, 2 0 2 1

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REEL WORLD

Fresh streams

Above: Cry Macho Left: Undine

CN&R critic’s rundown of new and newish releases Cry Macho Iwell) Clint Eastwood (who directs as plays a septuagenarian, a n the film

, nonagenarian

worn-out old cowboy who’s sent to retrieve his benefactor’s estranged (and by Juan-Carlos apparently abused) Selznick adolescent son from the clutches of his ex-wife in Mexico. It proves a journey to rough-edged renewal for both the old man and the kid (Eduardo Minett), with thoughtful variations on the latterday Eastwood-isms of Gran Torino and The Mule. Minett shows a certain star power as young Rafo, and Natalia Traven is startlingly angelic as the too-good-to-be-true cafe owner who gives the travelers some much needed succor and protection during a detour on their return journey to El Norte. In a way, the best performance in the film comes from Dwight Yoakam,

who plays the benefactor/father as an apt mixture of stand-up guy and human weasel. In mythology, Undine is a water nymph destined to kill the lover who rejects her. In the German film Undine, by Christian Petzold, she is a modern day lecturer/guide for a government office in Berlin. Paula Beer plays her as deadpan smart and feisty right from the early moment when her faintly feckless boyfriend (Jacob Matschenz) first declares he’s breaking up with her. But Petzold delays the fulfillment of myth long enough for his Undine to fall in love with Christoph (Franz Rogowski), an “industrial diver” whose profession makes him akin to the tales of water sprites; and also long enough for another woman (Maryam Zaree) to emerge within the story’s fluid love triangles. The full magic of Petzold’s version comes from

a surprisingly seamless blend of surface realism and underwater fantasy. Annette, the extravagant metamusical from French auteur Leos Carax, is both off-putting and fascinating—much more fascinating than not, I’d say, but with the sour notes still being a crucial ingredient. It has a ferociously contrarian superstar of stand-up comedy (Adam Driver) and an ethereal singer (Marion Cotillard) who fall in love and have a child, the eponymous Annette, who in early infancy shows “miraculous” musical gifts of her own and, with her parents’ management, soon attains superstar status of her own. For much of the film, however, Annette is played by what appears to be an animatronic doll, and her father’s dark side steadily expands toward something truly murderous. Much of the film, as a result, plays rather like some

Las Vegas-style wedding of modernist opera and film noir. And it’s topped off by the last-minute arrival of a real-life child superstar (Devyn McDowell, age 5 during filming) in the role of Annette. With Non Fiction, another esteemed French auteur, Olivier Assayas, gives us a calmly scintillating mixture of bedroom farce and deep-dish cultural debate. The mildmannered publisher (Guillaume Canet) is backing away from publishing the latest book of a previously favored novelist (Vincent Macaigne), which might or might not have something to do with the fact that the publisher is having an affair with the firm’s expert in digital matters (Christa Théret) while the publisher’s wife (Juliette Binoche) is having an affair with the novelist and nursing doubts about her future as a TV star. The novelist’s significant other (Nora Hamzawi) is unruffled by the infidelities but very upset about the public misbehavior of the political candidate she’s working for. Meanwhile, everyone involved

has astute things to say about the effects of digital media on literature, publishing, politics and culture in general. Assayas and company never get too serious about any of it, but when all is said and done, this sprightly roundelay of several kinds of serious fun may be its own real point anyhow. Only Murders in the Building, the comic murder mystery unfolding weekly on Hulu, is a witty delight, with true crime buffs played by Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez trying to investigate the sudden death of a tenant in their apartment building while also converting the whole process into their very own true crime podcast. With its sardonic running commentary on show biz, the internet, fame, media fads, loneliness, aging and self-absorption, Only Murders shines as a bristling comedy of digital-age manners. The funnysmart script is credited to the lead players, but a great deal of it has the feel and sound of an exceptionally witty Steve Martin production. Nevertheless, it’s Short who gets most of the knock-out moments, with Martin slightly off to the side, playing the less-manic foil. Ω

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ARTS DEVO by JASON CASSIDY • jasonc@newsreview.com

DEVOTIONS (VERSION 10.8 – THE COOLDOWN) The week this paper hits the street, the highest temperature in the immediate forecast for Chico is 79 degrees. The low is 43. Just typing those words soothes Arts DEVO’s heat-, wildfire-, pandemic-weary soul. My longtime love affair with our extra-long Nor Cal summers has taken a huge hit in recent years, and I am relieved to (hopefully) be done with this endless one. Some cool things on the calendar this month to fill the cool days: Open Studios Art Tour: Last year, Chico Art Center’s annual local-artist showcase was forced to go online only. This year, you can once again tour virtually but the studios are also open (with social-distancing and mask protocols in place) for in-person viewings of the work/exhibition spaces over the course of two weekends—Oct. 16-17 and Oct. 23-24, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Visit the chicoart center.com or the gallery (450 Orange St.) to purchase a $15 tour guide. New mural: In recognition of Deaf Awareness Month, local artist Valerie Rose is painting a mural on the back of North Rim Adventure Sports (facing First Street). North Rim owners Paul McIntyre and John Alden donated the wall, and the North Valley Community Foundation funded the piece, which features Rose’s message: “If everyone learned signed language, we would be Valerie Rose working on her mural at North Rim. happier.” Land Back Day: For Indigenous People’s Day, North Valley Two Spirits, the Traditional Ecological Knowledge Stewardship Program and Stonewall Alliance of Chico are presenting “a day of learning, anti-colonialism and community joy in Mechoopda territory,” Monday, Oct. 11, 10 a.m., at Verbena Fields. NFT BOSS! I am long overdue in giving props to Chico artist Max Infeld and the mind-boggling response he’s gotten to his digital artworks. I can no longer put it off, especially after what transpired last week when his art was sold at Christie’s. You read that correctly. Infeld had three pieces in a lot that was put up for bidding at the world-famous auction house on Oct. 1 … and which sold for more than $1.2 million! You may be shouting, “WTF?!” out loud right now, but not me. That’s only because I know that this is becoming old hat for Infeld. His three pieces were in the Christie’s sale as part of a series called Curio Cards, featuring 30 digital non-fungible tokens (NFTs) by various artists. One of the card’s created by Marisol Vengas (an alter ego of Infeld’s), a mixed-media image of a multistory building with trees in the foreground called “Yellow” (aka card “No. 29”), made a huge splash back in early August when it sold for $75,000. Then it almost immediately sold again, this time for more than $250,000. Then again for half-a-million! The Curio Cards exist on the Etherium cryptocurrency block chain and are some of the earliest examples of NFTs in existence. Despite talking to Infeld about how this cyber art-dealing works, I can barely wrap my head around what’s happening here let alone comment on what it all means. I do know that the digitally encrypted versions of his pieces being sold are works that are currently in other people’s hands, but that a percentage of the sales do go back to the original Curio collective artists. (Infeld is understandably shy about disclosing how much of this digital cash is actually landing his analog hands.) Infeld’s Curio Cards might be out of your price range, but his Marisol Vengas persona has just posted a new series of pieces online—“Series 7”—116 cards (each comes with one physical print and five NFTs—each a uniquely minted/encoded original virtual print) for $9,700 apiece. If that’s still too rich for your blood, for $25 you can order stickers based on his three Curio Card designs. Visit marisolvengas. com for more info. “Curio Card No. 29,” aka “Yellow”

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Rushing Around Town...

“PEACE OFFICERS IN ACTION” Imagine that your loved one has been shot, is covered in blood, and is being attacked by a K9, (Tig), trained to “bite and hold”? The picture below is a screenshot of Butte County Sheriff Ian Dickerson’s K9 “Tig” captured on Chico PD officer Cedric Schwyzer’s body-worn camera. Excerpts from Deputy Dickerson’s interview by investigators a few hours after the killing of Tyler Rushing... during a medical rescue to save Tyler... include the following: • “my dog was biting him in different places” • “I remember him biting at his leg, uh, at one point the subject stumbled and fell on top of Tig and then he came up under on the inside of his leg and I believe either bit his arm or his right side.” NOTE: The K9 is off the lead and not in the control of deputy Dickerson. Is it any wonder that Tyler was resisting and noncompliant? Would you want your loved one treated in this manner? Imagine yourself in Tyler’s situation; the loss of blood, the shock he must have been suffering, the panic of being alone in the claustrophobic bathroom, and knowing someone is trying to get to you with an aggressively barking dog, and that you may die in that bathroom? Tyler needed medical help. He did not need to be bitten, choked, shot, and tased.

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FREE WILL ASTROLOGY

(530) 879-2352

• Mandatory Commercial Recycling – AB 341 (2011): Includes collection and recycling of office paper, newspaper, magazines, cardboard, aluminum and tin cans, glass bottles and jars, and plastic containers (#1 - #7). • Mandatory Organics Recycling – AB 1826 (2014) and SB 1383 (2016): Includes collection and recycling of leftover food scraps and food soiled paper, and green waste (Grass clippings, leaves and tree branches).

C H I C O ’ S

The California Legislature has enacted several laws that require businesses and multifamily properties to implement on-site recycling programs.

WHY RECYCLE?

HOW TO GET STARTED — IT’S EASY TO RECYCLE! • Contact your waste hauler, ask about their recycling services. • Identify the recyclable materials you produce most.

N E W S

• Recycling helps conserve resources and also helps create a healthy environment for our community and future generations.

FOR APARTMENTS:

• Request a waste audit from the County or your waste hauler to determine what materials can be recycled. • Inform employees of the matrials that should be recycled. • Designate a key employee to oversee recycling activities at your business. NOTE: Any business or individual may donate, sell or otherwise arrange for pickup of recyclable materials.

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Questions? Call the Butte County Recycling Hotline at (530) 879-2352 CN&R

O C T O B E R 7, 2 0 2 1

S O U R C E

For additional information about recycling and waste reduction, visit the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) at www.calrecycle.com or for local information log on to www.RecycleButte.net

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

FOR BUSINESSES:

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• Inform your residents of the materials they can recycle. • Make sure residents know where the recycling bins are located in your complex. • Make sure you have adequate recycling capacity.

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Commercial and Apartment Recycling in California—What you need to know

FOR THE WEEK OF OCTOBER 7, 2021

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Aries poet Anna Kamienska said her soul didn’t emanate light. It was filled with “bright darkness.” I suspect that description may apply to you in the coming weeks. Bright darkness will be one of your primary qualities. And that’s a good thing! You may not be a beacon of shiny cheer, but you will illuminate the shadows and secrets. You will bring deeper awareness to hidden agendas and sins of omission. You will see, and help others to see, what has been missing in situations that lack transparency. Congratulations in advance!

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): “There is something truly restorative, finally comforting, in coming to the end of an illusion—a false hope.” So declared author Sue Miller, and now I’m sharing it with you, Taurus—just in time for the end of at least one of your illusions. (Could be two, even three.) I hope your misconceptions or misaligned fantasies will serve you well as they decay and dissolve. I trust they will be excellent fertilizer, helping you grow inspired visions that guide your future success. My prediction: You will soon know more about what isn’t real, which will boost your ability to evaluate what is real.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Afghan-American novelist Khaled Hosseini writes, “People mostly have it backward. They think they live by what they want. But really what guides them is what they’re afraid of—what they don’t want.” Is that true for you, Gemini? The coming weeks will be an excellent time to meditate on that question. And if you find you’re motivated to live your life more out of fear than out of love, I urge you to take strenuous action to change that situation! Make sure love is at least 51 percent and fear no more than 49 percent. I believe you can do much better than that, though. Aim for 75 percent love!

CANCER (June 21-July 22): “Sometimes dreams are wiser than waking.” Oglala Lakota medicine man Black Elk said that, and now I’m passing it on to you. It’s not always the case that dreams are wiser than waking, of course, but I suspect they will be for you in the coming weeks. The adventures you experience while you’re sleeping could provide crucial clues to inform your wakinglife decisions. They should help you tune into resources and influences that will guide you during the coming months. And now I will make a bold prediction: that your dreams will change your brain chemistry in ways that enable you to see truths that until now have been invisible or unavailable. (PS: I encourage you to also be alert for intriguing insights and fantasies that well up when you’re tired or lounging around.)

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): “Don’t hope more than you’re willing to work,” advises author Rita Mae Brown. So let me ask you, Leo: How hard are you willing to work to make your dreams come true, create your ideal life and become the person you’d love to be? When you answer that question honestly, you’ll know exactly how much hope you have earned the right to foster. I’m pleased to inform you that the coming weeks will be a favorable time to upgrade your commitment to the work and therefore deepen your right to hope.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): “To be truly visionary, we have to root our imagination in our concrete reality while simultaneously imagining possibilities beyond that reality.” This shrewd advice comes from author bell hooks (who doesn’t capitalize her name). I think it should be at the heart of your process in the coming days. Why? Because you now have an extraordinary potential to dream up creative innovations that acknowledge your limitations but also transcend those limitations. You have extra power available to harness your fantasies and instigate practical changes.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): “Some people are crazy drunk on rotgut sobriety,” wrote

BY ROB BREZSNY

aphorist Daniel Liebert. I trust you’re not one of them. But if you are, I beg you to change your habits during the next three weeks. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you have a heavenly mandate to seek more than the usual amounts of whimsical ebullience, sweet diversions, uplifting obsessions and holy amusements. Your health and success in the coming months require you to enjoy a period of concentrated joy and fun now. Be imaginative and innovative in your quest for zest.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Scottish Poet Laureate Jackie Kay, born under the sign of Scorpio, writes, “It used to be that privacy came naturally to everybody and that we understood implicitly what kind of things a person might like to keep private. Now somebody has torn up the rule book on privacy and there’s a kind of free fall and free for all and few people naturally know how to guard this precious thing, privacy.” The coming weeks will be a good time for you to investigate this subject, Scorpio—to take it more seriously than you have before. In the process, I hope you will identify what’s truly important for you to keep confidential and protected, and then initiate the necessary adjustments. (PS: Please feel no guilt or embarrassment about your desire to have secrets!)

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): “All our Western thought is founded on this repulsive pretense that pain is the proper price of any good thing,” wrote feisty author Rebecca West (1892–1983). I am very happy to report that your current torrent of good things will NOT require you to pay the price of pain. On the contrary, I expect that your phase of grace and luck will teach you how to cultivate even more grace and luck; it will inspire you to be generous in ways that bring generosity coming back your way. As articulated by ancient Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu, here’s the operative principle: “Opportunities multiply as they are seized.”

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): “If you don’t ask, the answer is always no,” declares author Nora Roberts. In that spirit and in accordance with astrological omens, I urge you to be bold and lucid about asking for what you want in the coming weeks. In addition, I encourage you to ask many probing questions so as to ferret out the best ways to get what you want. If you are skilled in carrying out this strategy, you will be a winsome blend of receptivity and aggressiveness, innocent humility and understated confidence. And that will be crucial in your campaign to get exactly what you want.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): “Few persons enjoy real liberty,” wrote poet Alfred de Musset. “We are all slaves to ideas or habits.” That’s the bad news. The good news is that October is Supercharge Your Freedom Month for you Aquarians. I invite you to use all your ingenuity to deepen, augment and refine your drive for liberation. What could you do to escape the numbness of the routine? How might you diminish the hold of limiting beliefs and inhibiting patterns? What shrunken expectations are impinging on your motivational verve? Life is blessing you with the opportunity to celebrate and cultivate what novelist Tim Tharp calls “the spectacular now.” Be a cheerful, magnanimous freedom fighter.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): The brilliant Piscean composer Frédéric Chopin (1810–1849) wrote, “I wish I could throw off the thoughts that poison my happiness, but I take a kind of pleasure in indulging them.” What?! That’s crazy! If he had been brave enough and willful enough to stop taking pleasure in indulging his toxic thoughts, they might have lost their power to demoralize him. With this in mind, I’m asking you to investigate whether you, like Chopin, ever get a bit of secret excitement from undermining your own joy and success. The coming weeks will be a favorable time to dissolve that bad habit.

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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