FREE CHICO’S NEWS AND ENTERTAINMENT SOURCE VOLUME 45, ISSUE 8 FEBRUARY 3–MARCH 9, 2022 CHICO.NEWSREVIEW.COM
S S E N I S D E BU ENT V N I RE
mic e d an p e th g n i ur d s nge a h gc i b ing k a M
OMICRON’S LOCAL SURGE
CHICO’S OWN UFC PRO
FILM: LEFTOVERS FROM 2021
FEBRUARY 3, 2022
Vol. 45, Issue 8 • February 3—March 9, 2022 OPINION
Editorial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Letters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Editor’s Note. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Guest Comment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 This Modern World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Second & Flume . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Streetalk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Downstroke . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Omicron hits local health care facilities. . . . . . . . . . 8
Entrepreneurs 2022: Reinvention
ARTS & CULTURE
Events Feb. 3-Mar. 9. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Scene . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22, 24 Reel World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Arts DEVO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Brezsny’s Astrology. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
ON THE COVER: OWNERS OF CHICO’S GNARLY DELI (FROM LEFT) NICK STILES, JASON ALLEN, DON ASHBY AND EVE HAMILTON PHOTO BY JASON CASSIDY
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, Ken Pordes, 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
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 System Support Specialist Kalin Jenkins Got a News Tip? firstname.lastname@example.org Post Calendar Events chico.newsreview.com/calendar Want to Advertise? email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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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One victory v. homelessness
by Jason Cassidy j a s o n c @ n e w s r e v i e w. c o m
Tof lessness, a complicated and still ever-growing mass issues increasingly impacting communities across the
Council for this dawdling and waste. Since the day the council flipped to a conservative majority just over a year ago, helpful measures like those outlined in the city’s United States. No one can claim the battles are over as Homeless Opportunities Plan—approved in October long as there are people living and suffering—and some 2020—were systematically eliminated. Ironically, one of dying—on city streets, deprived of the most basic worldly the seven approved parts of that plan included working needs, not to mention human dignity. towards establishing a sanctioned campground at the That said, the Warren v. City of Chico settlement agreeformer Silver Dollar BMX track, the same location where ment—made final with a signature from federal Judge non-congregate pallet shelters are part of the settlement Morrison C. England, Jr., on Jan. 14—marks a bright agreement. spot in the push for protection of our most vulnerable In fact, the only proposed part of the 2020 plan that neighbors. It was made possible the council initially rejected through the heroic efforts of Legal was enabling camping at the Services of Northern California airport, a plan the conservaThe settlement is a and Western Center on Law & tives later returned to in trying good start, but we Poverty, both inside and outside to appease the federal court. of the courtroom, as well as the That effort to have people shouldn’t celebrate many service providers, advocates, “rest” on the asphalt tarmac, activists and other helpers who’ve which was criticized by the too loudly or for too given time and resources while judge, will undoubtedly be long. There is much serving as boots on the ground. remembered for decades as one Though hailed as a compromise of the city’s most ill-conceived, work left to be done. by both sides, the settlement obviwasteful and heartless ously favors the plaintiffs, stands boondoggles. as a rebuke of the city’s heavy-handed enforcement efforts The current City Council is not solely responsible for and greatly assists in providing shelter while guaranteeing wasted time and resources or misguided efforts when it human rights of the local unhoused moving forward. comes to homelessness. Let’s not forget that homelessness In short, the settlement is a good start, but we shouldn’t has arguably been Chico’s most divisive and pressing issue celebrate too loudly or for too long. There is much work for the better part of a decade. Liberal-majority councils left to be done, and time and resources that could have also dragged their feet, killed good plans and supported the been spent implementing substantive changes have been criminalizing ordinances that ultimately spawned Warren v. wasted along the way. City of Chico. It’s easy to place the blame on the current City The challenges are still there, folks. The fight continues. Ω here are few true victories in the ongoing fight against home-
LETTERS Same ol’ development Re “Tenuous connection” (News, chico.newsreview.com): People—at least everyday citizens—don’t have a voice in housing development in Chico. City staff have been in bed with developers for years to keep inclusionary zoning off the books. It was actually approved by the “progressive” City Council a few years ago, and staff failed to develop a zoning policy because it would never be adopted. Since when is it the staff’s job to go against the council? Since [former Chico City Manager] Fred Davis actually. We, affordable housing advocates, have 4
FEBRUARY 3, 2022
been trying to get inclusionary zoning implemented since the early 1990s to no avail because developers prevail. The voice of the public has very little effect on what gets passed by the council. The council may have adopted the Climate Action Plan, but nothing can happen with it without some significant funds to implement it. Tom Barrett Chico
Settling into the details Re “On new terms” (News, chico. newsreview.com): The Warren v. City of Chico settlement agreement should be read by every
Chicoan. The sections regarding law enforcement are clear about the role of the Chico Police Department. In my opinion, the agreement is a de facto acknowledgment that CPD officers are not trained to deal with people in crisis and need. (Chicoans will have to be ready to block the use of scantily trained private armed guards at the shelter location.) Chico can reduce the size of the CPD, a huge cost savings to the taxpayers, now that their role in interacting with the homeless is legally limited. The exact wording is this: Chico Police Department or LETTERS C O N T I N U E D
O N PA G E 7
Normalishness When I get started on my workday, before I walk across the hall into the spare bedroom and turn on the computer, I put on real clothes. Even though it’s just me and the dog and the cat in the house all day, I put on a pair of pants, a clean shirt and even a pair of shoes. That hasn’t always been the case during COVID. For the first few months of the pandemic, I’d simply pour a cup of coffee and start writing, editing and calling while wearing whatever I put on for bed the night before (or still had on from the previous workday). Maybe around lunch, I’d throw on a baseball cap—if I had to Zoom or something. At a certain point, when it became apparent that we wouldn’t be returning to the office for a very long time, I had to make the change just so I could simulate a “normal” day—one where work/life lines weren’t so blurry and I could get done the things in a day that I needed to get done. We are going on two years of mostly remote work here at the CN&R, and even though my editorial colleagues and I have made the best of the situation and figured out a way to get the work done, operating this way comes at a cost. We’re losing time together, which makes collaborating as journalists and relating as friends a challenge; and we’re losing time with our community, which impacts our ability to connect. With so many people in so many sectors working in an alternate mode, it’s now become its own normal. As counterintuitive as it may sound at this juncture, I’ve started to think about the return to regular old normal. Butte County is still in the throes of an omicronfueled wave of infections (see “Viral Load,” page 8), so I’m not suggesting anyone let down their masks just yet. However, many scientists, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, predict that omicron will peak in February, and if new problematic variants don’t crop up, America could be transitioning from pandemic to endemic in the coming months. Whether that happens in the spring or even summer, I want to be ready. I need to start preparing—for myself and this newspaper. We’re out of practice with normal! Last summer, the CN&R sold its downtown building. We now occupy two offices and a large barn-like aluminum shed inside the Idea Fabrication Labs compound near the railroad tracks. I’m going to start trekking there on work days so that I’m primed to receive my coworkers and the community the moment we get the green light to do so. I’ll transfer files from the home office, hang up a few family photos, fill up a coffee mug with highlighters and red pens, stock the fridge with some pale ales … and put on some pants—just like normal.
Jason Cassidy is editor of the Chico News & Review
N RAIN OR SHINE M
A vote for recall ICouncilman Sean Morgan. Here’s why: On April 23, 2021, Federal Judge
support the recall of Mayor Andrew Coolidge and
Morrison C. England, Jr. in a court hearing said, “You can’t justify the ordinances that are violating the United States Constitution.” The conservative judge added: “These ordinances on their face, they’re invalid. You can’t do what you’re doing. You’re criminalizing people, which is a direct by violation of Martin v. Richard Ober Boise because they don’t Richard Ober is a have a place to live.” community organizer Violating the and former Chico City Council candidate who Constitution. has served on multiple Criminalizing people local nonprofit boards because they don’t have a and city commissions. place to live. This is what the leadership of the current Chico City Council has done. On Jan. 14, the city and the homeless plaintiffs reached a settlement in the Warren v. City of Chico lawsuit, and the city is now
being held accountable for its past misdeeds. Good. But we all know there was no reason for it to get this far. Hundreds of us had advocated for exactly the solution that the settlement calls for—a shelter at the old BMX track site—five years ago. Coolidge and Morgan are responsible for this avoidable outcome because they have done nothing to address actual core problems: a lack of affordable housing, the ordinances that criminalize poverty. This is not about politics. A recall is a democratic tool of last resort. Recalls should not be used to remove someone from office because you disagree with them. Mind you, there is much to disagree with about the way Coolidge and Morgan have led this city, from fiscal irresponsibility ($35,000 a month to let a handful of people “rest” on unshaded pavement at the since-abandoned airport resting site?), to threatening to eliminate Chico’s green line, to stalling for years on commercial cannabis, to disregard of the basic tenets of fair governance as seen in multiple likely Brown Act violations. But these disagreements, regardless of GUEST COMMENT C O N T I N U E D
O N PA G E 7
8TH ANNUAL NURSERY CRAWL
Discover local nurseries & watch your garden grow! FRIDAY & SATURDAY February 25 & 26, 2022 | 9:00am-4:00pm Localnurserycrawl.com | Find us on WHAT’S THE LOCAL NURSERY CRAWL ALL ABOUT?
This event is a fun opportunity for community members to connect with local plant nurseries and discover all the amazing plants, garden supplies, decor, and expertise each nursery has to offer. Each local nursery has a different focus and passion and can help you design your dream garden or landscapes.
HOW THE EVENT WORKS: Get the flyer.
Print one out (see website) or grab one from one of the participating nurseries.
Visit the nurseries!
Now for the fun part…visit the nurseries on February 25-26. It doesn’t matter which order, it’s up to you! While you’re there, check out what each nursery offers, ask questions, and get inspired.
Collect stamps, enter raffle. After you have collected 6 stamps, get entered into the raffle at one of the nurseries. The prize is a $25 gift certificate.
Feel good about supporting your local nurseries. PARTICIPATING NURSERIES
Deja Vu Gardens Galore Nursery of Paradise, Paradise | Fair Street Nursery, Chico Floral Native Nursery, Chico | Garden Gleanings, Glenn | Geffray’s Garden, Chico Harvests & Habitats, Chico | Hodge’s Nursery & Gift, Durham Little Red Hen’s Plant Nursery, Chico | Magnolia Gift & Garden, Chico Spring Fever Nursery & Garden, Yankee Hill | The Plant Barn and Gifts, Chico The Rock Garden Nursery, Proberta
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February 3, 2022
by Melissa Daugherty m e l i s s a d @ n e w s r e v i e w. c o m
Sabbatical Before I accepted the job of CN&R’s editor-in-chief back in 2013, I sat down with my predecessor, Robert Speer, to get some advice. At the time, I felt reasonably prepared for the job. I’d been with the paper for six years in a variety of roles, including news editor and managing editor, but I knew that the top position was different. During our conversation, Bob acknowledged what I expected was the case—that the job entailed more work, more pressure, more visibility, more stress. He gave me several pointers, but one struck me. “Don’t stay editor for more than five years,” he said. Well, that’s oddly specific, I thought. Bob had been the editor of at least two newspapers, including multiple stints at the CN&R. He knew how draining it was to pull off “the weekly miracle”—not only publishing a newspaper each Thursday, but also an award-winning one read by more than 100,000 people. What a grind. At first I didn’t think too much about that one particular piece of advice, but after a while, it became quite clear that Bob had the right idea. When five years rolled around, I was overworked and exhausted. Being subjected to misogyny and the occasional death threat didn’t help. Call me naive, but I didn’t think being the first woman to lead the paper was that big of a deal in modern Butte County. As if on cue, I started talking about taking a sabbatical—a break for a few months, or longer, to rest and regroup—but I kept putting it off because of big stories or projects. And then, boom, along came Nov. 8, 2018. I put that plan on hold, indefinitely, to focus on the Camp Fire. The paper’s collective effort covering the disaster is probably the most important journalism in my more than 20 years of reporting and editing. It also was the most personally challenging. I didn’t live in Paradise, so I didn’t have to escape the flames. Figuratively speaking, however, the fire—from spending day after day on the Ridge— burned my ability to sleep, my focus and my remaining energy. Everything became more difficult to accomplish. Looking back, I really should’ve taken that sabbatical, but you know what they say about hindsight. I’m what you might call a workaholic. It literally took a global pandemic for me to take a “break”—though I wouldn’t call getting laid off restful or stressfree. I have my husband to thank for rescuing my family from financial ruin and allowing me to stay home with, and protect, our medically fragile child. Which brings me to the here and now. I’m finally taking that leave. Since the CN&R relaunched as a monthly in print, I’ve taken a back seat as editor-at-large. At first, I was editing quite a bit and writing editorials and this column. But as time marched on, I slowly pulled back. That’s only natural since the paper is under the leadership of a new editor. But part of it is due to frustration. Because the finances aren’t sufficient for a return to weekly publication with buoyed staff, so many of the stories I view as critically important simply will never be written. That’s been hard for me to accept. Notwithstanding the fine work that the CN&R is still accomplishing, I haven’t been able to turn off the editor within, the woman who thinks up story ideas while showering, running errands, you name it—who writes editorials in her head while cooking dinner. My husband has caught me several times recently with a faraway look, then asked what I was thinking about. My answer: “Journalism.” It’s part of me, and maybe it always will be. My first byline appeared in a college newspaper 22 years ago, and I’ve been a newsie ever since. But for now, I’m choosing to disengage—to give myself that long-overdue break. CHICO’S NEWS & ENTERTAINMENT SOURCE My hope is to come back refreshed and with clarity of how I might continue to be of service to our community. Until then, readers, be well. Take Address: care of New eachMailing other. And thanks for understanding.
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Chico News & Review P.O. Box 56, Chico CA 95927 Melissa Daughtery is editor-at-large for the Chico News & Review
Is Chico still a nice place to live? Asked in downtown Chico
GUEST COMMENT C O N T I N U E D F R O M PA G E 5
how egregiously Coolidge and Morgan have failed the city of Chico, are not enough to recall and remove them. Voting for and then implementing “ordinances that are violating the United States Constitution”—that is the reason to recall and remove these two failed leaders. They swore an oath. They have broken that oath. They must go now before they do more damage to the city we love. Ω
Devan Garofalo student
I think it is. I’ve only lived here for about a year, but I think it’s a really nice town. I think it’s a good community and it’s a fun place to be.
Christopher Waits law f irm employee
No. It’s dirty; too many homeless people; roads are terrible. I’ve lost count of how many front-end alignments on my car I’ve had. The population has outgrown the infrastructure that we have, especially when the [students] are back in town. Traffic in certain parts of town, such as Mangrove or East Avenue, can be a hassle.
Devon Garcia hotel worker
For the most part, yes. I love the town, I love the atmosphere. It has a nice nature feel to it, as well. It’s got the downtown city aspect. The only downfall is sometimes a feeling of a lack of safety—in some parts.
LETTERS C O N T I N U E D F R O M PA G E 4 other law enforcement may be present at the general location where [Outreach & Engagement] Staff are meeting with Homeless Persons but they must remain far enough away from O&E Staff and Homeless Persons to ensure that the Individual Assessment remains private and outside the immediate presence of law enforcement unless O&E staff requests law enforcement’s presence due to safety concerns or law enforcement determines that they need to intervene for safety reasons. Scott Rushing Ventura
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Raise another glass to Dave Re “Cheers to Dave” (Second & Flume, CN&R, Jan. 6, 2022): Dave [Mettler] was my friend and bandmate. We played music together for about 15 years, and he had an amazing ear. We worked out together when he lived in Bend, Ore., and I always called him the wine dude. He was an amazing friend, and he will truly be missed. One time, we were in my music studio and he brought over his saxophone. He said that he hadn’t played it since eighth-grade band, but I wanted sax laid down for a song we were working on. He listened to the song, and on his first take, he laid down the most entrancing sax I’ve ever heard. One-take Dave. I will miss my friend Mark Armstrong Chico
Aja Mulford illustrator
Well, I live in Paradise. There’s lots of stuff to do here compared to there. It has its share of issues, but I do believe it’s a nice place to live.
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NEWSLINES DOWNSTROKE CITY REDISTRICTING BEGINS
The city of Chico has kicked off the council redistricting process. The first public hearing was scheduled for this week’s regular council meeting (Feb. 1, after the CN&R’s press deadline). A final district map is due to the Butte County registrar by April 15. According to a schedule released by the city, there will be three more public hearings during council meetings—Feb. 22, March 1 and March 15—at which the community is invited to provide input on the configuration of the districts being redrawn in the wake of the 2020 U.S. census. ARDA Demographics, the consultant hired by the city, has provided districtmapping tools which can be found on the city’s website (chico.ca.us/districtinformation). Draft maps from the public must be submitted by Feb. 15, at 5 p.m., to be considered. The new districts will be implemented for the November election. At that time, city council districts 2, 4 and 6 will be contested, and district 3 will be open for a half term to finish off the remaining two years of the seat vacated by former Councilwoman Kami Denlay, who resigned last June.
Chico State students returned to campus—literally—for spring semester after the school decided to stick with its plan for in-person instruction amid a spike in COVID-19 cases. Seventy percent of courses contain an inperson component, according to the university, but attendance figures will not be compiled until after the fifth week of the session. When classes began, Jan. 24, Chico State was among five of the 23 CSU campuses proceeding with spring semester as planned. “Experts suggest omicron cases are expected to peak around the middle of this month,” Chico State President Gayle Hutchinson (pictured) said in a written announcement. “While the number of cases on campus will likely rise, we have demonstrated effective management of COVID-19. Therefore, we are confident we can hold classes and activities on campus this spring in ways that are safe and meaningful.”
FEBRUARY 3, 2022
Around 8,000 Butte County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 since omicron was detected locally. PHOTO BY CPL. SARAH MARSHALL (VIA FLICKR)
Viral load With high infection rates in Butte County, omicron puts new strain on local health care by
Evan Tuchinsky eva nt @new srev i ew. c o m
Pdemicmanifestation of the COVID-19 panlocally, Dr. Marcia Nelson offered reparing to speak about the latest
a quick apology. She explained she might look off-camera during the Zoom call to check statistics on another screen. “I’m multitasking with a purpose,” Nelson said, laughing gently.
The same could be said about Enloe Medical Center, where she’s chief medical officer, and facilities across Butte County. For nearly two years, the health-care system has stretched to handle coronavirus along with regular demands. With the arrival of the highly contagious omicron variant, providers have experienced a renewed surge of coronavirus. Butte County Public Health reported 110 new cases Monday (Jan. 31)—7,839 since Dec. 27, the day the first omicron case was detected in the county—with 1,301 residents in isolation and 94 hospitalized.
Enloe was caring for 52 of those patients, 58 percent of whom were not fully vaccinated. State and local officials have instituted preventative measures, such as the current indoor mask mandate, with the primary goal of keeping COVID-19 from overwhelming hospitals. Nelson and county Public Health Director Danette York both said what they’re seeing dovetails with broader trends: sharper spikes in case numbers but lower incidence of severe illness. According to Nelson, between 10 percent and 15 percent of COVID patients seeking care at Enloe facilities require hospitalization compared to 25 percent a year ago. Problem is, with the sheer volume of infections—weekly averages so far in COVID-19 testing resources:
Visit buttecounty.net/publichealth for info on scheduling a PCR viral test. Order free rapid antigen tests online at covidtests.gov.
“Omicron is more transmissible; the science shows that. Luckily it is less severe, but because of the sheer number of cases, that number could become overwhelming.” —Butte County Public Health Director Danette York
2022 are double the number for any other peak during the pandemic—those lower percentages of admission still yield high numbers of patients. Exacerbating capacity concerns is the fact that doctors, nurses and support staff are coming down with coronavirus as well, adding personnel shortages to those of treatment resources. Thus, the state extended the mask mandate an additional month, through Feb. 15, while public health departments and hospitals continue to promote vaccination. “As always, it’s important for people to protect themselves,” York told the CN&R by phone. “Omicron is more transmissible; the science shows that. Luckily it is less severe, but because of the sheer number of cases, that number could become overwhelming.” Nelson noted that “some people still require hospitalization and some people are still dying, which is an important point to make. But more people are able to go home than be admitted—that is the sav-
ing grace for us, because we are seeing more patients with COVID in all of our acute-care settings, and if we had that same 25 percent [from a year ago] being admitted, we would be having a much greater challenge ahead of us taking care of everyone”—coronavirus patients and others. The duration of this spike is hard to predict, though modeling suggests California is on the downside of a curve that will flatten in early March. York pointed to a tendency for “the northern part of the state” to peak later than the southern, “so we’re watching that carefully.” Whether omicron’s wide spread helps tamp down the pandemic, as has occurred historically with other less-virulent strains of a deadly virus, also remains unclear. Another unknown is whether omicron causes long-haul COVID (a persistent form of the illness) or lingering debilitation. “COVID is different,” Nelson said. “I hope that it just fades into
Enloe Medical Center has experienced a new wave of COVID-19 patients since the uptick in omicron (see chart below). CN&R FILE PHOTO BY JASON CASSIDY
the background of other viral illnesses we have to be mindful of, but I have no idea when that’s going to happen—and I don’t think anybody can give a good timeline for that, because COVID is making its own timeline.” In the meantime, Nelson said shortages—testing, treatments, staff—have prompted plans to ensure an “ethical framework” guides all decisions about care. “It’s a hard situation,” she added. “Two years into this and The most recent variant data released by Butte County Public Health shows the arrival of omicron to this region in December. CHART COURTESY OF BUTTE COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH
we’re still just holding on.” York emphasized the need for prevention. She mentioned recently reporting to the county Board of Supervisors that her department “had just started dipping our toe in the pond, so to speak, of starting back some in-person meetings— and we just put a stop to it completely.” Public Health employees will not meet together or attend conferences until they have a better gauge on omicron. As such, she praised the Chico City Council for holding its meetings exclusively over Zoom, saying: “It never hurts to be preventative; typically it helps.” Does she envision a return to
Enloe Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Marcia Nelson gives a coronavirus update via Facebook video on Jan. 12.
stricter measures? “I don’t, of course, have a crystal ball, and it’s very difficult to predict,” York said. “At the Butte County level, I feel very comfortable saying we’re not going to revert back, as a county. But as [part of] a state, we would follow the directive that comes from [Sacramento]—so I can’t say that it wouldn’t happen due to the increase in cases, and specifically if it started overwhelming our healthcare system, because originally Ω that’s what it’s all about.” FEBRUARY 3, 2022
Entrepreneurs 2022: Chicoans make big changes during the pandemic
R E I N V E N T I O N
he only economic certainty during the COVID-19 pandemic is change. Some businesses have shut their doors for good (including the beloved Maltese Bar & Tap Room, open for one more weekend of events—Feb. 4-5—before closing). Some have adapted to COVID safety measures, setting up outdoor parklet seating or offering curbside pickup. Others have used the downtime—and, in some cases, pandemic-relief monies—to start something different with hopes of coming out better on the other end. For the CN&R’s 2022 Entrepreneur Issue, the focus isn’t on new ventures per se; rather, it’s about people who have made or soon will make big changes to how they do business—aka, reinvented themselves. Featured this year: a food truck that’s gone brick-and-mortar; a coffee shop/music venue madeover under new owners; a breakfast spot forced to move from its longtime home; a creative outlet turned dream job; two businesses joining a third in the same space; and two that have added second locations offering different experiences. Things will likely continue to shake up as businesses adapt to a post-COVID reality. We hear about changes nearly every day, such as Music Connection soon moving across town into the old Bidwell Chapel funeral home on Third Street, and the owners of Momona announcing that the noodle/bao restaurant will relocate next fall into a much larger Main Street location. Here’s hoping most of the changes are good, as we anticipate approaching something like normal in the year ahead.
FEBRUARY 3, 2022
Better together 1078 Gallery creates ‘community hub’ combining art, coffee and plants Ashiah Scharaga ash ia h s@ newsr ev iew.c o m
he orange building at 1710 Park Avenue has undergone quite a transformation since 2020—it’s now a one-stop-shop art gallery, coffee shop and native plant nursery, a neighborhood hub that came together amid the COVID19 pandemic. It’s not uncommon to see folks grabbing a coffee or tea at Equilateral Coffee, taking in the latest exhibit of fine art on display on the walls of the 1078 Gallery and browsing Harvests & Habitats Nursery’s native edible and pollinator selections, all within one afternoon. Erin Wade, 1078’s facilities chair, said the nonprofit gallery had space that wasn’t being fully utilized, especially after the pandemic began. It embraced the opportunity to create a “community hub” of activity and new collaborations while still maintaining its roots as a contemporary and experimenRylan and Eileen Morabito have transformed Equilateral Coffee from a mobile business to a brickand-mortar spot within 1078 Gallery. PHOTO BY ASHIAH SCHARAGA
Harvests & Habitats Nursery planted itself in the back yard of the 1078 Gallery building where Equilateral Coffee moved from a truck in the front parking lot to inside. PHOTO BY TINA FLYNN
YEARS IN BUSINESS
Clinton and Nicole OWNERS, EARL’S PLUMBING
“Plumbers are late (if they even show up at all!) It seems they charge you whatever they feel like, and if there is an issue with the work performed, good luck getting them back out!” This was the image that the Earls set out to change when they opened in the fall of 1998. The Earls believe that by looking at how they conduct business from their customer’s point of view, they can provide the absolute best plumbing experience. A live operator answers the phone 24/7 and appointments are scheduled in a two hour window, 92% of their customers receive same day service, all their technicians wear booties to protect your home, and a complete written quote is given before any work begins.
tal arts venue. “When we had to stop doing events, that was a pretty major blow to our normal operations,” she said. “[This] certainly helps us with paying our rent as well as making the space a lot more lively, and the whole corner has much more of a buzz.” Rylan and Eileen Morabito, owners of Equilateral Coffee, used to operate from a bright teal truck in the gallery’s front parking lot. Scorching temperatures and persistent heat forced them to make frequent unplanned closures last year that were unsustainable, Eileen said. Though the couple never planned to have a brick-and-mortar location, those challenges led to the re-envisioning of their plans. That’s when they reached out to 1078 Gallery about changing up their partnership. Since opening indoors last summer, “we’ve gotten busier and it’s felt more secure and stable,” Rylan said. A brickand-mortar location would have been impossible without such a partnership, he added. “It’s a lot easier for us to manage with the way rent is climbing in Chico,” he said. “The [support of the] Barber neighborhood has gotten us through this pandemic, for sure.” Similarly, Sherri Scott, owner of Harvests & Habitats Nursery, started operating her business (formerly known as GRUB Grown Nursery) in the back yard of 1078 last spring. For the past 12 years or so, she’s primarily sold her offerings amid the hustle and bustle of the Chico Certified Farmers’ Market on Saturdays. While she still sells there, Scott knew
Sherri Scott offers native, edible and pollinator- and wildlifefriendly plants at her Harvests & Habitats Nursery, in the back yard of 1078 Gallery.
complete customer satisfaction, and the health and well-being of their North State Community, the Earls are on the road to success.
“We are proud of our commitment to the environment and offer products and services geared toward energy efficiency.” With goals of
PHOTO BY ASHIAH SCHARAGA
she wanted to expand to a location where she could spend more one-on-one time with customers who want to learn more about edible and native plants. Scott, who taught local students how to garden via GRUB programs for years, is passionate about plant education. She’s excited about the new opportunities she has there, and said it’s all financially possible due to the partnership with 1078. “I love the communities where there’s a smaller version of everything you need within walking distance,” she said. “To have microbusinesses where everybody supports each other and shares rent is a great way for all of us to operate.” “We need places to come together now more than ever,” Wade added. “I’m grateful that we’ve been able to survive and be that in some way for the neighborhood and for Chico.” Ω MORE
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1078 Gallery Equilateral Coffee Harvests and Habitats Nursery 1710 Park Ave.
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YEARS IN BUSINESS
John Dahlmeier OWNER The insurance business has changed dramatically since Dahlmeier Insurance Agency first opened its doors in Oroville in 1948. The family owned and operated business has grown and prospered by adhering to the same core values it began with when John Dahlmeier’s dad, Hal, and his uncle Ed were running it. “Old fashioned customer service never gets old” John says. “We continue to hear from new customers that tell us one of the main reasons we earned their business is because we were the only ones to respond to their inquiry in a timely manner”. With a commitment to the professional development of its employees and embracing the tools of developing technologies, the company has combined the past and the present to chart a bright future. The agency remains independent, selling a range of policies— Home & Auto, Business, Farm, Health, Life, Etc.—from a variety of companies.
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Roost owner Linda Juanarena in the restaurant’s new Main Street digs. PHOTO BY KEN SMITH
New place to roost Popular cafe migrating to bigger, better location
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jOiN us ON
ith a multi-page menu heavy on comfort food, an old-school lunch counter and a standing army of kitschy chicken statues, The Roost Cafe at 1144 Park Ave. was a bonafide slice of Americana. It may have continued as a Chico mainstay—fueled by a faithful regular following, particularly for weekend brunch hours—but things changed course in 2021. Roost owner Linda Juanarena, who started the restaurant in 2004, said the property owner informed her last summer he’d be ending the lease so he could raze the building. This left her preparing to change locations in the middle of a pandemic, a move made more urgent by Mother Nature, when, during October’s heavy rains, the ceiling started to cave in. Juanarena found a new home at 817 Main St., which formerly housed Leon Bistro. Preparing to open is an endeavor she said has been plagued by service and supply shortages. Currently awaiting a final visit from a health inspector, she The Roost Cafe said she should be 817 Main St. Instagram @theroostcafechico allowed to open the doors to the new Roost in the next few weeks. Juanarena said she’s looking forward to the benefits of having more modern, streamlined digs. “I always referred to visiting [the old location] as going on an adventure,” she said, explaining it was actually two buildings cobbled together. “It was hard to be
super efficient there, and luckily I had great cooks and staff who always made it work. Everything was manual because we just didn’t have the space. I’ve become a manual-mode monster from learning to deal with it, but now everything’s changing. The new building is just so much more.” Citing improvements such as central heating and air, a bigger kitchen, more seating, bigger and better bathrooms and a computerized point-of-sale system, Juanarena said the new Roost will maintain some of the old location’s soul but will be something “entirely new.” “We’re leaving the diner/dive behind,” she said. “It wasn’t planned that way, but this new space is just so nice and such an opportunity. It will still be great food and great service, and I’m bringing a few of the chickens over; but for the most part, we’re going with all new.” Another big improvement—especially for the aforementioned weekend brunch fans—is the addition of a beer and wine license. The Roost can offer mimosas and other drinks as soon as the licensing process is done, which Juanarena anticipates will be this spring. “Mimosas are important, and we actually lost business not having them all those years,” she said. “Even when business was good and we’d be busting at the seams, some people would walk in and ask if we had them, and when we said, ‘No,’ they’d turn round and walk out.” —KEN SMITH kens@ newsr ev iew.c o m
Second home Pandemic boon yields satellite shop for Magnolia nursery Co-owner Courtney Paulson continuously refreshes decor inside Magnolia Gift and Garden’s downtown Chico shop. PHOTO BY EVAN TUCHINSKY
n March 2020, with plants in their nursery and their annual business cycle about to bloom simultaneously, Courtney Paulson and Chris Hunter locked the gates of Magnolia Gift and Garden. They could have stayed open—under pandemic restrictions at the time, theirs was considered an essential business—but uncertainty in the first wave of COVID-19 prompted the married owners to take the safest course. “I thought we were toast; I thought that was it [for the nursery],” Paulson recalled in a recent interview. “I mourned our life, really. It was just such a strange time.” Three weeks later, Magnolia reopened … and went on to have its best year since the couple started the business in 2008 at the East Avenue location of the old Zamora Nurseries, where Paulson had worked 20 years. California’s stay-home orders led to more interest in plants, she explained—notably, Magnolia Downtown Chico house plants. From this 830 Broadway. coalescence sprung a (530) 809-4196 magnoliagardening.com downtown shop, which opened last August. The store with an industrial interior, on Broadway between Eight and Ninth streets, expands upon the indoor plants and pottery aspects of Magnolia’s nursery, with a distinct aesthetic. Paulson knew she’d found her place the moment she spotted it while driving by, stopped and peeked inside. “We weren’t actively looking,” she said,
“but I messaged my husband that I wanted to get this space because it was just so perfect, with all the windows and the skylight. “Honestly, I’d been at the nursery for so many years [that] I was kind of ready for a change, too. But I love plants, so this has been a new adventure sticking in the plant world. It’s kind of a perk, too, that my husband and I have our own spaces now!” Paulson (and Hunter) decided the storefront needed only a couple minor renovations: flooring and paint. Otherwise, Paulson simply has added touches of decor from local antiques stores such as Eighth and Main. She said she continuously refreshes the look of her shop, not just the inventory, so customers can have a different experience each visit. Her overarching theme is a motto for both sites of the business: cultivating a good-natured home. So far, the clientele has come from “a lot of word of mouth”—via the East Avenue location, social media and the Local Nursery Crawl (happening Feb. 25-26 this year) in which Magnolia participates. “What a luxury that we have an established business,” Paulson said. “And we had that advantage with our nursery [when it opened]; everyone knew there was a nursery there, so even though the name changed, that’s always been on our side. “It’s been a lot of fun [opening the new shop],” she added. “It’s been a lot of work … it was a little more than I was anticipating, but it’s amazing. I’m really grateful and happy.” –EVAN TUCHINSKY eva nt @new srev i ew. c o m MORE
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Gnarly Deli dives from truck to basement
t’s the week of the soft opening for the new brick-and-mortar home of his popular Gnarly Deli food truck, and for Nick Stiles, reality is starting to set in as he sits around a table in the new dining room joking with his co-owners. “We’re going to be making food tomorrow?” In the four months since Stiles and Eve Hamilton, his partner and co-owner, signed the lease on the old Peking Chinese Restaurant in downtown Chico, the job of getting the basement space ready has been bigger than they’d imagined. “Eve and I walked in the first day, we got the keys and we’re like, ‘Oh god, we’ve made a huge mistake,’” he recalled. The removal of old and installation of new kitchen equipment and carpet, plus cleaning and repairs in a building well over 100 years old, has been a very heavy lift—especially going up and down the stairs of an underground restaurant. The initial work by the four partners in the business—including Gnarly Deli’s first and second employees, Jason Allen and Don Ashby, respectively—and their “Gnarly Army” of workers/helpers is almost finished. If everything has gone smoothly, doors will be open for real this weekend (Feb. 5-6). The move Gnarly Deli from a rov243 W. Second St. ing truck to a Instagram @gnarlydeli 4,000-squarefoot restaurant is a big one, but after looking at the big picture, the owners decided to take advantage of the forced pandemic downtime and COVID19-relief funding opportunities and slingshot the business into something bigger and better.
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Stiles says they are approach- The Gnarly Deli crew in the bar of the sandwich truck’s new downtown home: (from left) ing the new venture based on founders Eve Hamilton and Nick Styles and their their food-truck experience. business partners Don Ashby and Jason Allen. “We’re pretending the front PHOTO BY JASON CASSIDY desk is the food truck window,” he said. “We do it the same way taking such a huge risk. we do on the truck: We give you “I’m glad we did it that way. a buzzer; you go sit wherever We built up a huge following, you want, and you pick it up [at an army even. I don’t know how the counter] when your order is New mailing address is: P.O. Box 56,just Chico 95927 … people openCA a restaurant ready.” and start advertising,” he said. The four owners all have Stiles pointed to the local backgrounds in performing— Small Business Development mostly as comedians—and in the Find more content available only at chico.newsreview.com Center as being a key resource for restaurant’s separate bar area, the business—from its hot-dog they also plan to host a full schedcart beginnings in 2016 through ule of comedy, live music, karahelping him apply for (and oke, burlesque, drag, etc. “When it’s a comedy night, we receive) pandemic-relief grants. As the foursome sat in the really want to set it up like you’re having a real comedy-club experi- closed dining room mulling ence, like you’re in San Francisco the impending opening, Allen and you just have a candle on the remembered the early lean years, working the cart at the Thursday table,” Hamilton explained. Night Market: “To go from a Stiles said that though he’s situation where they [sometimes] always dreamed of having a couldn’t pay their one employee brick-and-mortar restaurant, having started by selling his over-the- to moving into this glorious buildtop artisan “sammiches” (e.g., the ing and launching this dream of Nick’s ... is exciting.” Ruthless Chris, with a 10-ounce ribeye and bone-marrow butter) via cart and truck gave him a —JASON CASSIDY chance to make a name without jaso nc @ newsr ev iew.c o m
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Naked Lounge co-owners (from left, during the remodel) Brandon Squyres, Sarah Schlobohm, Michael Lee and Mahina Gannet. PHOTO BY MICHELLE CAMY
Stage is set Naked Lounge owners remodel downtown coffee shop and look forward to hosting allages live music shows
randon Squyres has a deep connection to Naked Lounge. He cherishes memories of nights out front of the downtown space when he couldn’t get into Juanita’s, the now-defunct venue that was next door, because of his age or the crowd size. He appreciates how, over two Naked Lounge decades, the cof118 W. Second St. (530) 965-5908 feehouse and perfornakedloungechico.com mance space became just as much of a community fixture. Multiple times, Squyres told Naked Lounge owners that if they ever thought of selling the business, he’d buy it. Well-known as a 2013 contestant on The Amazing Race, he’s a local musician and contractor who also owns a Chico-based
firm that manufactures fire suppression equipment. He got the chance in the summer of 2020, when Naked Lounge closed amid the pandemic lockdown. Not looking to take on the venture right then, Squyres approached friend Michael Lee, co-owner of the downtown restaurant Momona, who came onboard with his Momona partners, Sarah Schlobohm and Mahina Gannet. They renovated the space and opened their Naked Lounge that October. “We all have full-time things; [so,] the more the merrier to share the responsibilities,” Squyres said Sunday morning (Jan. 30), seated on a couch in the elevated back room that doubles as a stage. “We worked out a structure where all of us are four equal partners. Sometimes it may be a little hard, because we have to get four people to agree on everything, but I think in the long run it makes us stronger because we look at every decision from four different angles.” The owners decided on “improving what was there” as their aesthetic. They replaced flooring and exposed original brickwork on the walls. They reconfigured the back to move the performance area from the entry and to expand the kitchen; the small galley—“like the inside of a taco truck,” Squyres said— will allow Naked Lounge to serve toasts, bowls, sandwiches and soups once approved by health officials. Posters from historic Chico shows decorate the floor of the stage room, which also features two chandeliers refurbished by Squyres’ wife, Michelle Camy, who’s completing a stained-glass window they’ll mount in a lit doorframe at the rear. “I always loved the idea of music downtown,” Squyres said. “I wanted the place to stay here, and I wanted there to be a place where we could play music [shows] whenever I wanted. There aren’t that many places in town that will still do all-ages music…. “We’re four people who didn’t have coffee business knowledge,” he added, “but we tried really hard to learn it and surround ourselves with people who really do care about the product and community instead of just one or the other.” —EVAN TUCHINSKY eva nt @new srev i ew. c o m MORE
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Visual storyteller Collage artist finds success pursuing her dreams during pandemic
OVID-19—and the controversy around masking—inspired Nicole Coffield to create a collage, an image of a 1960s couple sharing beers and pizza while masked in front of a funky floral background. As the pandemic progressed, Coffield experimented with more collages under the artistic moniker of Collage Graduate. While she is a firm believer in creating art for its own sake, Coffield, who has bipolar disorder, also found the process to be soothing. “I love making collages because it’s a way of helping me tell stories and daydream (it’s also therapeutic as hell),” she wrote on her artist Instagram page. Her works quickly drew people in. Coffield’s pieces are vibrant and surreal—often playful, often juxtaposing familiar images with new ideas Collage Graduate collagegraduate.myportfolio.com to flip old Instagram @collage_graduate assumptions on their head. Coffield’s work explores themes of mental health, gender and sexuality, politics and social commentary—like “Surfing on a rocket,” which features a woman gleefully riding a dildo, and “What I can’t speak, I Remember,” the primary subject being a man’s mouthless, shattered head, with an arm wielding a camera emerging from the rubble of his crown. A recent college graduate, Coffield received her degree in mass communications and public relations, with a minor in web design and publishing. She always wanted to be “one of those
Nicole Coffield’s artistic breakthrough as Collage Graduate includes her first solo exhibition at Daycamp Coffee in January. PHOTO BY ASHIAH SCHARAGA
FEBRUARY 3, 2022
cool graphic designers,” she told the CN&R. The pandemic put everything into perspective and motivated her to pursue that dream. Since posting her first piece in June 2020, Collage Graduate has continued to grow. Coffield has sold her works at events and venues including Chico Pride Festival, Greenhouse Studio, Chico Print Party and Dog Days PopUp, and sells online as well. “I’m sending art to people on other continents,” she said during an interview at Daycamp Coffee, where the works of her first solo exhibition, “Space-O-Rama,” hung on the walls around her. (The show closed at the end of January.) “It’s just mind boggling.” Coffield remains humble and grateful for all the support she’s received from the community, her friends and her family. In particular, her mother, an artist and retired art teacher, has been an incredible resource. Her work as Collage Graduate has helped her get through tough financial times, she said, and it’s led to other career opportunities for her. She now works as a graphic designer for California- and Nevada-based Coast to Mountain Media. (Coffield also does digital marketing for the Pageant Theatre.) “The pandemic did make me realize … what I want,” she said, “and what life’s about.” –ASHIAH SCHARAGA as h i a h s @new srev i ew. c o m
Darby McConnell and Amanda Bosschart behind the bar at Om on the Range. PHOTO BY KEN SMITH
New vibrations OM Foods adds live music and moves to a bigger home
or years, Amanda Bosschart fantasized about the storefront at the southeast corner of Third and Main streets, imagining it would make the perfect home for the business she’s always wanted to create—a tasty eatery that could also offer live entertainment in downtown Chico. She even looked at the spot more than a half-decade ago, but at the time, it wasn’t meant to be. The Main Street space became a burrito spot and then Old Barn Kitchen, and Bosschart instead moved OM Foods from a hut on West Sacramento Avenue to a small spot on Broadway. But last summer, after seeing that Old Barn Kitchen was closing, Bosschart decided it was time to expand her business—pandemic be damned. “It wasn’t even on the market yet,” she said of the space. “I hunted down the landlord and made some bold moves.” Fortune favored her this time around, and Bosschart said she and her partner, Darby McConnell, spent the next several months building out and adapting the space. On Nov. 11, Om on the Range opened its doors. The restaurant has been open three days a week with limited hours since then but beginning this week will switch to a fuller schedule: MondaySaturday, noon-8 p.m. Om on the Range, Bosschart explained, is both an extension of and an expansion on what is offered at OM Foods. That venue will remove fish from the menu and go completely vegan, while the new restaurant includes what she described as “omnivore options.” OM Foods will stay open until its lease runs
out in nine months, at which point it will merge under one roof with the newer restaurant. “I just love food,” she said. “I like local food, I like grass-fed and healthy foods. That’s my whole jam and the foundation of what we’re doing here: serving clean, organic meat and dairy products and delicious food to people.” Bosschart said all of the dishes are made from scratch, and chef Blake Hudson helped her develop a “more sophisticated” menu. “A lot of what we serve is my favorite things to eat from around town, but in organic form,” she said. Om on the Range also offers Om on the Range live entertainment, 301 Main St. (530) 487-8150 which Bosschart facebook.com/omontherangechico referred to as “the icing on the cake.” It currently has DJs every Thursday night with bands on Fridays and Saturdays. The shows have been well-received and attended, she said, and generated a lot of interest from local and out-of-town acts eager to return to the stage since COVID-19 decimated live music. McConnell—a drummer—is in charge of booking, and Bosschart said entertainment is scheduled for approximately the next two-anda-half months. Bosschart is confident that Om on the Range will continue to grow and succeed. That faith is based on experience—having opened OM Foods six years ago, as of this Valentine’s Day—and maybe some of the trust in the spiritual universe implied in the restaurants’ names. “I’m a lover, and I love feeding people, I love giving … so Valentine’s Day was a good time to open my hut, and now is a good time to take it to that next level.” Ω –KEN SMITH kens@ newsr ev iew.c o m
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Arts &Culture band along with local support from Empty Gate and Tite Nauts. Sat, 2/5, 9pm. $8. Duffy’s Tavern, 337 Main St.
JAKE JACOBSON: NorCal country singer/songwriter. Sat, 2/5, 9pm. $7. Tackle Box, 379 E.
Feb. 20 Chico Women’s Club
Park Ave. eventbrite.com
SAMARIA GRACE: Local singer/songwriter entertains the brunch crowd. Sat, 2/5, 11am. La Salles, 229 Broadway St. lasalleschico.com
SKYNNYN LYNNYRD: Skynyrd trybute band. Sat, 2/5, 10:30pm. Feather Falls Casino & Lodge, 3 Alverda Drive, Oroville. featherfallscasino.com
SUN6 ASHIAH: Local singer/songwriter Ashiah Scharaga and her ukulele. Sun, 2/6, 3pm. Free. Secret Trail Brewing Company, 132 Meyers St., Ste. 120.
CAMELOT: See Feb. 3. Sun, 2/6, 2pm. $22-$25. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Road, Ste. F. chicotheater.com
COMPANY: See Feb. 4. Sun, 2/6, 2pm. $31.50$35. First Street Theater, 139 W. First St. crtshows.com
FEBRUARY ALL MONTH
FLUME STREET MARKET: Arts, crafts, vintage
Art 1078 GALLERY: The Women Within Me are Tired, an exhibit featuring work by artists Kiri Bolles and Isabella K. Saavedra. Opens 1/14. Artist reception 2/14. 1710 Park Ave. 1078gallery.org
B-SO SPACE: MiniPrint Art Show, a compilation of works by present and previous Chico State art students. Through 2/18. Ayres Hall, Chico State.
CHICO ART CENTER: Pastel National Juried Exhibition, works that relates to contemporary issues by artists in our region as well as from across the United States. Virtual Talk with the juror and prize winners Sat., Feb. 12, 5pm. Shows through 2/27. 450 Orange St. chicoartcenter.com
JANET TURNER PRINT MUSEUM: The Fierce Urgency of Now, a juried exhibition of socially engaged printmaking. Opens Feb. 14. Shows through April 9. Arts & Humanities Building, Chico State. www.csuchico.edu/turner
MUSEUM OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA ART: Two shows: Wings in Art, featuring the work of 40-plus artists in a variety of media, including sculpture, clay, oils, fiber arts, watercolor, acrylics, mixed media, glass, and photography—through 2/5. Also, Running Threads, a contemporary quilt exhibit, showing 2/10-4/10, with reception Feb. 11, 6-8pm. 900 Esplanade. monca.org
Markets FARMERS MARKETS: Butte County’s markets are open and selling fresh produce and more. Chico: Downtown (Saturdays, 7:30am-1pm); North Valley Plaza (Wednesdays, 8am-1pm); Chico State University Farm (Fridays,
noon-4 p.m.). Magalia: Magalia Community Center (Sundays, 10am). Paradise: Alliance Church (Tuesdays, 7:30am-2pm); Farmers Market Mobile, 1397 South Park Drive (Thursdays, 2pm).
FEBRUARY 3, 2022
clothes and more. Vendors and live musicians set up in the parking lot. Saturdays, 11am. The Magic Shop, 740 Flume St.
THU3 CAMELOT: An intimate adaptation of the Arthurian legend by the local theater company—this time without tights or pointy hats. Shows through Feb. 13. Thu, 2/3, 7:30pm. $22$25. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Road, Ste. F. chicotheater.com
COMEDY THURSDAY: Weekly comedy show & open mic hosted by Dillon Collins. 2/3, 8pm. Free. Bella’s Sports Pub, 231 Main Street. 530-520-0119.
FINAL KARAOKE NIGHT: Sing farewell to the beloved local bar as the Maltese celebrates its last weekend. Thu, 2/3, 9pm. The Maltese, 1600 Park Ave.
THE QUEEN’S CARTOONISTS: A live score performed over cartoons and animated films from the golden age of cartoons, from Bugs Bunny to modern animation. Thu, 2/3, 7:30pm. $25-$45. Laxson Auditorium, Chico State. 530-898-6333. chicoperformances.com
FRI4 CAMELOT: See Feb. 3. Fri, 2/4, 7:30pm. $22-$25. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Road, Ste. F. chicotheater.comCOMPANY: California Regional Theater presents Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s classic musical comedy. Shows through Feb. 20. Fri, 2/4,
DEMETRI MARTIN: Chico Performances presPHOTO BY JAY BLAKESBERG 7:30pm. $31.50-$35. First Street Theater, 139 W. First St. crtshows.com
FAREWELL DRAG SHOW & DANCE PARTY WEEKEND: Say goodbye to your favorite queer dive bar in style while surrounded by your favorite drag and burlesque performers. Take that last spin on the dance floor. Two nights! Fri, 2/4, 9pm. $12-$15. The Maltese, 1600 Park Ave. eventbrite.com
HYPHY IN CHICO: Bay Area hip-hop legends Taije D, Da’ Unda Dogg, Zero, Swinla, Turf Talk, Tre Jones, Luxury and more at the local honkytonk. Fri, 2/4, 7:30pm. $20. Tackle Box, 379 E. Park Ave. eventbrite.com
PAT HULL: Local singer/songwriter. Fri, 2/4, 5pm. Free. The Barn at Meriam Park, 1930 Market Place. meriampark.com
TYLER DEVOLL: Local singer/songwriter entertains the happy hour crowd. Fri, 2/4, 5pm. La Salles, 229 Broadway St. lasalleschico.com
ents the New York City comedian known for his deadpan delivery. He’s been a regular performer on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and has released three stand-up albums and four TV specials, including his latest for Netflix, The Overthinker. Sun, 2/6, 7:30pm. $28-$47. Laxson Auditorium, Chico State. 530-898-6333. chicoperformances.com
CAMELOT: See Feb. 3. Sat, 2/5, 7:30pm. $22-$25. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Road, Ste. F. chicotheater.com
COMPANY: See Feb. 4. Sat, 2/5, 7:30pm. $31.50$35. First Street Theater, 139 W. First St. crtshows.com
FAREWELL DRAG SHOW & DANCE PARTY WEEKEND: See Feb. 4 Sat, 2/5, 9pm. $12-$15. The Maltese, 1600 Park Ave. eventbrite.com
FUCKWOLF: San Francisco 4-piece dub/punk/rock
CAMELOT: See Feb. 3. Thu, 2/10, 7:30pm. $22-$25. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Road, Ste. F. chicotheater.com
COMEDY THURSDAY: See Feb. 3. 2/10, 8pm. Free. Bella’s Sports Pub, 231 Main Street. 530-520-0119.
EDEN AN EVENING OF SHEER TEMPTATION: Hypnotique Productions presents its debut cabaret and Valentine’s special. A show of sheer temptation, hosted by the devil and angel on everyone’s shoulders. Featuring an original script and a line-up of local dancers, vocalists, musicians and artists. Five showings—Feb. 10-12 & 18-19. Thu, 2/10, 8:30pm. $30-$180. Mulberry Station Brewing Company, 175 E. 20th St. (530) 591-9124.
UNWINED COMEDY: Funnyball and Unwined Kitchen and Bar present live stand-up comedy with Sacramento’s Johnny Taylor and Becky Lynn and local support from Dillon Collins, Samantha Luger and Sam Mallett. Thu, 2/10, 7pm. $20. Unwined Kitchen & Bar, 980 Mangrove Ave.
FRI11 CAMELOT: See Feb. 3. Fri, 2/11, 7:30pm. $22-$25. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Road, Ste. F. chicotheater.com
COMPANY: See Feb. 4. Fri, 2/11, 7:30pm. $31.50$35. First Street Theater, 139 W. First St. crtshows.com
EDEN AN EVENING OF SHEER TEMPTATION: See Feb. 10. Fri, 2/11, 8:30pm. $30-$180. Mulberry
FLY FISHING FILM TOUR: The film fest is back—
MATEAS AVALOS: Live local music during happy hour. Fri, 2/11, 5pm. Free. La Salles, 229
Station Brewing Company, 175 E. 20th St. (530) 591-9124.
this time featuring works shot on locations from Costa Rica, Hawaii, Maryland, Belize, Louisiana, Alabama, Australia, Colombia and beyond. Discount tickets also available at Fish First Fly Shop at 766 Mangrove Ave. Wed, 2/9, 7:30pm. $20. El Rey Theater, 230 W. Second St. flyfilmtour.myeventscenter.com
LIQUID STRANGER: The Swedish-born electronic musician is on tour with Mersiv, TVBOO, Veil and Canabliss. Wed, 2/9, 8pm. $22.50. Senator Theatre, 517 Main St. jmaxproductions.net
OPEN MIC COMEDY: Hosted by Dillon Collins. Sign ups 8pm. 2/9, 9pm. Free. The Studio Inn Lounge, 2582 Esplanade. 530-520-0119.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH PARKING LOT POP-UP: Stonewall Alliance is partnering with the African-American Family Cultural Center to host an outdoor event at the parking lot adjacent to the Stonewall office. Come shop and support local Black-owned small businesses including Black Wal Street Cafe, Adreanna’s Bakery and Qiasquisine. Also featuring Black creatives Scout The Wise, Hoops by Anastasia, Beads by Rey and Macrame by Raina. Sat, 2/5, 10am. Free. Stonewall Alliance, 358 E. Sixth St. 530-893-336. stonewallchico.com
DEMETRI MARTIN Feb. 6
Broadway St. lasalleschico.com
TYLER DEVOLL: Local singer/songwriter and selfdescribed one-man band. Fri, 2/11, 5pm. Free. The Barn at Meriam Park, 1930 Market Place. meriampark.com
SAT12 BETTER TOGETHER: New local singer/songwriter duo Katie Barrett and Kyle Williams. Sat, 2/12, 9pm. Feather Falls Casino & Lodge, 3 Alverda Drive, Oroville. featherfallscasino.com
BLÜ EGYPTIAN: Local jam band. Cosmic Frog opens. Sat, 2/12, 9pm. $10. Om on the Range, 301 Main St. 530-566-3852. bluegyptianband.com
CAMELOT: See Feb. 3. Sat, 2/12, 7:30pm. $22-$25. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Road, Ste. F. chicotheater.com
COMPANY: See Feb. 4. Sat, 2/12, 7:30pm. $31.50$35. First Street Theater, 139 W. First St. crtshows.com
EDEN AN EVENING OF SHEER TEMPTATION: See Feb. 10. Sat, 2/12, 8:30pm. $30-$180. Mulberry Station Brewing Company, 175 E. 20th St. (530) 591-9124.
EMMA AND WILL: Local singer/songwriter duo. Sat, 2/12, 11am. Free. La Salles, 229 Broadway St. lasalleschico.com
FRONTMEN OF COUNTRY: Richie McDonald, formerly of Lonestar; Larry Stewart of Restless Heart and Tim Rushlow, formerly of Little Texas, join forces to bring 1990s country music to 2022. Sat, 2/12, 8pm. $45-$95. Gold Country
IS YOUR EVENT ONLINE? in addition to your monologue. Sat, 2/19, 8am. Stoble Coffee, 418 Broadway St. lega-
BLACK HISTORY MONTH PARKING LOT POP UP
COMPANY: See Feb. 4. Sat, 2/19, 7:30pm. $31.50-
$35. First Street Theater, 139 W. First St. crtshows.com
Stonewall Alliance Chico
EDEN AN EVENING OF SHEER TEMPTATION: See Feb. 10. Sat, 2/19, 8:30pm. $30-$180. Mulberry Station Brewing Company, 175 E. 20th St. (530) 591-9124.
PARTY FAVOR: EPIC Productions presents the LA-based electronic music producer along with B3NII, KYLER, RAMO, Cood Dog and APTTUS. Sat, 2/19, 8pm. $20-$30. El Rey Theater, 230 W. Second St. elreychico.com
THE SUN FOLLOWERS: Local singer/songwriter duo entertains the brunch crowd. Sat, 2/19, 11am. Free. La Salles, 229 Broadway St. lasalleschico.com
TYLER DEVOLL: Local singer/songwriter. Sat, 2/19, 9pm. Feather Falls Casino & Lodge, 3 Alverda Drive, Oroville. featherfallscasino.com
SUN20 ALO: The San Francisco-based rock group tours the West coast with support from Anna Moss. Sun, 2/20, 6:30pm. $45. Chico Women’s Club, 592 E. Third St. facebook.com/ Chico-Concerts-103339212014371
COMPANY: See Feb. 4. Sun, 2/20, 2pm. $31.50-
Casino & Hotel, 4020 Olive Highway, Oroville. goldcountrycasino.com
MASTERWORKS 3 FINDING INSPIRATION: The North State Symphony program features Mendelsshon’s Hebrides Overture, Double Bass Concerto No. 2 by Bottesini, Pelleas and Melisande by Sibelius, and Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin. Acclaimed double bassist Kurt Muroki is featured along with MTAC Youth Orchestra & Shasta College Youth Strings. Sat, 2/12, 7:30pm. $40. Laxson Auditorium, Chico State. northstatesymphony.org
SOULFISTICATION: Local funk/soul jams. Sat, 2/12, 5pm. Free. The Barn at Meriam Park, 1930 Market Place. meriampark.com
VALENTINE’S DAY POP-UP: Paintings, music boxes, clothing, CDs, Illustrations and jewelry from local artists Lola, Zak Elstein, High Anxiety, Scout the Wise, Valerie Rose, Dylan Tellesen, Kindred Creations and Michael Bone. Sat, 2/12, 11am. Naked Lounge, 118 W. Second St. nakedloungechico.com
SUN13 CAMELOT: See Feb. 3. Sun, 2/13, 2pm. $22-$25. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Road, Ste. F. chicotheater.com
COMPANY: See Feb. 4. Sun, 2/13, 2pm. $31.50$35. First Street Theater, 139 W. First St. crtshows.com
JEFFREY OBSER: Local singer/songwriter. Sun, 2/13, 3pm. Free. Secret Trail Brewing Company, 132 Meyers St., Ste. 120.
WED16 OPEN MIC COMEDY: See Feb. 9. Sign ups 8pm. 2/16, 9pm. Free. The Studio Inn Lounge, 2582 Esplanade. 530-520-0119.
THU17 COMEDY THURSDAY: See Feb. 3. 2/17, 8pm. Free. Bella’s Sports Pub, 231 Main Street. 530-520-0119.
EKALI: Canadian electronic music producer live on tour. Thu, 2/17, 8pm. $22.50. Senator Theatre, 517 Main St. jmaxproductions.net
KITCHEN DWELLERS: Chico Performances presents the Montana-based four-piece bluegrass and psych rock (a genre the band has dubbed “galaxy grass”) group on tour in support of its new album, Muir Maid. Thu, 2/17, 7:30pm. $20 - $30. Laxson Auditorium, Chico State. 530-898-6333. chicoperformances.com
FRI18 COMPANY: See Feb. 4. Fri, 2/18, 7:30pm. $31.50$35. First Street Theater, 139 W. First St. crtshows.com
EDEN AN EVENING OF SHEER TEMPTATION: See Feb. 10. Fri, 2/18, 8:30pm. $30-$180. Mulberry Station Brewing Company, 175 E. 20th St. (530) 591-9124.
INSANE WAYNE: The Stockton comedian headlines Comedy at the Barn. Fri, 2/18, 7pm. $10-$15. The Barn at Meriam Park, 1930 Market Place. meriampark.com
TYLER DEVOLL: Local singer/songwriter entertains the happy hour crowd. Fri, 2/18, 5pm. La Salles, 229 Broadway St. lasalleschico.com
SAT19 A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM AUDITIONS: Perform a one minute comedic Shakespeare monologue. If you sing or play an instrument, you may include a short 15-30 second sample
$35. First Street Theater, 139 W. First St. crtshows.com
MAX MINARDI: Local singer/songwriter. Sun, 2/20, 3pm. Free. Secret Trail Brewing Company, 132 Meyers St., Ste. 120. simpletix.com
WED23 OPEN MIC COMEDY: See Feb. 9. Sign ups 8pm. 2/23, 9pm. Free. The Studio Inn Lounge, 2582 Esplanade. 530-520-0119.
THU24 COMEDY THURSDAY: See Feb. 3. 2/10, 8pm. Free. Bella’s Sports Pub, 231 Main Street. 530-520-0119.
THUMPIN’ THURSDAY ROCK N BLUES JAM: Join the Loco-Motive Band and special guests on stage to play your favorite blues and classic rock songs (all genres welcome). All musicians welcome. Must have ability and willingness to play with other musicians. Drums, PA, amps provided. Thu, 2/24, 7pm. Free. The Tackle Box, Chico, 379 E. Park Ave.
FRI25 GRAND HOTEL: Inspire School of Arts & Sciences presents a musical that takes place in the roaring ’20s at the illustrious Grand Hotel, Berlin. Featuring a live orchestra, monochromatic designs, singing and dancing. Four performances Feb. 25-27. Fri, 2/25, 7pm. $10$50. Paradise Performing Arts Center, 777 Nunneley Road, Paradise. 530-891-3090. inspirechico.news/grand-hotel
JT LAWRENCE: Local live music during brunch. Fri, 2/25, 5pm. Free. La Salles, 229 Broadway St. lasalleschico.com
LOCAL NURSERY CRAWL: Visit a dozen independent local nurseries over the course of two days (Feb. 25-26). Go to website for the flier and
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
list of participating venues. Fr, 2/25, 9am4pm. localnurserycrawl.com
SAT26 GRAND HOTEL: See Feb. 25. Sat, 2/26, 2pm & 7pm. $10-$50. Paradise Performing Arts Center, 777 Nunneley Road, Paradise. 530-8913090. inspirechico.news/grand-hotel
JEFF FOXWORTHY: Blue Collar Comedy superstar live at the casino with two shows. Sat, 2/26, 7pm & 9pm. $45-$85. Gold Country Casino & Hotel, 4020 Olive Highway, Oroville. etix.com
LOCAL NURSERY CRAWL: See Feb. 25. Sa, 2/26, 9am-4pm. localnurserycrawl.com STEVE JOHNSON: Live local music during brunch. Sat, 2/26, 11am. Free. La Salles, 229 Broadway St. lasalleschico.com
THE SPAZMATICS: 1980s tribute band originally formed in LA. Sat, 2/26, 10:30pm. Feather Falls Casino & Lodge, 3 Alverda Drive, Oroville. featherfallscasino.com
YING YANG TWINS: The Atlanta hip-hop duo is on tour keeping it crunk. Local support TBA. Sat, 2/26, 9pm. $25-$30. Tackle Box, 379 E. Park Ave. eventbrite.com
SUN27 GABE JOHNSON: Local singer/songwriter. Sun, 2/27, 3pm. Free. Secret Trail Brewing Company, 132 Meyers St., Ste. 120.
GRAND HOTEL: See Feb. 25. Sun, 2/27, 2pm. $10$50. Paradise Performing Arts Center, 777 Nunneley Road, Paradise. 530-891-3090. inspirechico.news/grand-hotel
THERE THERE, BY TOMMY ORANGE: A lecture by the Oakland author, whose bestselling novel follows 12 characters from Native communities en route to the Big Oakland Powwow, all
connected to one another in ways they may not yet realize. Tue, 3/1, 7:30pm. $20. Laxson Auditorium, Chico State. chicoperformances.com
THU3 COMEDY THURSDAY: See Feb. 3. Th, 3/3, 8pm. Free. Bella’s Sports Pub, 231 Main Street. 530-520-0119.
FRI4 TYLER DEVOLL: Local singer/songwriter entertains the happy hour crowd. Fri, 3/4, 5pm. La Salles, 229 Broadway St. lasalleschico.com
SAT5 LYNN BROWN: Local singer/songwriter for happy hour. Sa, 3/5, 5pm. La Salles, 229 Broadway St. lasalleschico.com
SUN6 CHEAT CODES: Los Angeles-based EDM DJ trio of KEVI, Trevor Dahl and Matthew Russell. Su, 3/6, 8pm. $22. Senator Theatre, 517 Main St. jmaxproductions.net
TUE8 SAID THE SKY: AKA EDM producer and Colorado native Trevor Christensen. Tu, 3/6, 8pm. $29.50. Senator Theatre, 517 Main St. jmaxproductions.net
WED9 FIT FOR A KING: Texas metalcore crew comes to town with openers Silent Planet, Hollow Front and Avoid. 3/9, 7pm. $22. Senator Theatre, 517 Main St. jmaxproductions.net
EDM CITY Chico’s historic theaters will be bumpin’ this month with a string of electronic dance music parties featuring visiting performers. JMax Productions kicks off the fun with Swedish-born dubstep/dub/ downtempo/drum-and-bass musician Liquid Stranger (pictured) at the Senator Theatre Feb. 9, followed by Vancouver, BC, EDM/trap DJ/ producer Ekali at the same venue the following week (Feb. 17). Across downtown, EPIC Productions is back at the El Rey Theater Feb. 19 with DJ/producer Party
Favor. Then in March, JMax picks up again at the Senator with LA trio Cheat Codes (w/ KEVI, Trevor Dahl and Matthew Russell) on March 6 and Colorado’s Said the Sky on March 8. FEBRUARY 3, 2022
e h t for
t n e v e n i a m y d a e R
Chico MMA fighter puts perfect pro record on the line in Vegas got his big break on COct.Maximov 6, 2018. He was fighting on
hico mixed martial artist Nick
the undercard of a King of the Cage match at Gold County Casino in Oroville, and he wasn’t in the cage for long. It took him 23 seconds to knock out his opponent, Nick Piecuch, and start off his professional career with a win. Three-plus years later, Maximov is still undefeated, and this weekend he takes his 7-0 professional record to Las Vegas to fight Punahele Soriano (8-1) as part of UFC Fight Night on ESPN. It’s his second official bout with the UFC—MMA’s premiere league. Maximov’s ascent through the ranks of the popular sport has been swift. Within a year of high school— and a very successful run on the Chico High wrestling team, with 137 wins against by 37 losses—he Jason Cassidy was already fighting in j asonc @ newsrev iew.c om amateur MMA bouts. At the Watch the fight same time, he Nick Maximov vs. was wrestling Punahele Soriano on UFC for programs Fight Night, Saturday (Feb. 5), 4 p.m., ESPN+ at Clackamas plus.espn.com Community College and, briefly, at Oregon State, earning All-American honors during his second season at the former. Maximov turned pro a couple months shy of his 21st birthday. He now trains four to five days a week at the Nick Diaz Academy (NDA) in Stockton, which is owned by the brother of well-known MMA star Nate Diaz. That is where the CN&R
FEBRUARY 3, 2022
Clockwise from left: Nick Maximov dispatching Bruno Casillas in 2019.
caught up with Maximov, 24, by phone to talk about his journey to becoming a professional fighter.
do contact sports, but I didn’t know what. I just fell into wrestling and fighting.
PHOTO BY ELIJAH GUTIERREZ
After winning your first fight in such dramatic fashion, you must have felt like you were doing something right?
You have two brothers—are they into fighting? You guys fight with each other growing up?
PHOTO COURTESY OF JUSTIN MAXIMOV
It was just, like, “Wow!” Stuff was just falling into place. Like now, everything is falling into place. It’s a weird feeling when you notice it—like the rhythm that I feel … watching myself progress through videos and whatnot.
What was your jumping off point? What got you started down the road toward MMA?
I started when I was like 11 or 12 years old. I started at a karate/taekwondo gym … branched off to do jujitsu, and then I started wrestling.
Where did you go for lessons?
I went to Azad’s Martial Arts Center when I was hella young.
Was there a point where it clicked that you might have talent for fighting?
The second I stepped on the mat, it just felt like it was the thing for me. I quit baseball to do karate and stuff at the time. I knew I wanted to
They are [into it] now, but at the time, I don’t think they were as into it as I was. My younger brother and I would wrestle all the time—my older brother not so much, but my younger one, we would fight all the time. Now he’s big. He’s taller than me, and when I’m losing weight [before a bout], he’s probably just bigger than me, too. It’s kind of funny. Yeah, him and I would go at it.
Any fighters inspire you early on?
Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan. I watched a Bruce Lee marathon, and it motivated me. I remember being in seventh and eighth grade and reading his books on philosophy. When he went to America, he was preaching and studying philosophy, and I was reading all about it. Whatever he did, I wanted to do.
How’d you get hooked up with NDA?
Funny enough, Randy Spence [former MMA fighter from
The family: (from left) Nick with his brothers, Alexei and Isaac, and parents Stephanie and Justin Maximov. Nick gets some help with his gloves from his father, Justin, after a fight. PHOTO BY ELIJAH GUTIERREZ
Redding; now head trainer at NDA] and my dad used to work together. He went to train with Nick and Nate … and I’d say around 2013 or ’14, we saw Randy at a jujitsu tournament and he offered for us to come train, and we have been coming ever since.
In addition to the training at NDA, is being with them like being on a team? I would say even more than a team. We’re just like homies; we’re just like friends with each other. If one of us gets married, we’ll be there.
You’re up to more than 22,000 followers on Instagram. Are you feeling that more people are starting to pay attention to you as a fighter? Yeah. I don’t even focus on it like that. It’s cool, but it’s weird when people on the street kind of
start to know you. You don’t know them, but they know you. When I was in L.A., I got that a little bit, and in Vegas. Being with Nate and stuff helps a lot. He puts my name everywhere. But I don’t really focus on that.
Is this a hard job?
Every since COVID, the UFC has become really popular, it seems like, and a lot of people want to fight. I tell people that I wasn’t really that great at school, so I know I really couldn’t get a job. I was good at sports. I tell these people all the time, “If you don’t have to fight, you probably shouldn’t.” It’s fucking intimidating. Like, walking in the ring and they lock the cage, that’s scary. When you go to another gym to spar and box people, it’s like, if you don’t want to get punched in the head, I suggest most people shouldn’t.
What are your goals with the sport?
Just try to be the best in the world and the best that I can be. Try to motivate and inspire people to train and be healthy and watch the sport. Hopefully, put Chico on the map. Aaron Rodgers is doing it—hopefully, I can fill his shoes. Ω
FEBRUARY 3, 2022
Touring the art of Chico cafes on a sunny winter day captions and photos by
jasonc@ n ew sr ev i ew. com
“Rombo Verde,” one of Jenny Valdivia’s macrame wall hangings now on display at Naked Lounge. The Peru native calls her body of macrame fiber art “p’itakuy,” a Quechuan word that means “to knit.” Find Valdivia’s work on Instagram @pitakuy_macrame
Four unnamed pieces from Cameron Harry’s Mutant exhibit of drawings and paintings, now showing at Daycamp Coffee (in the Meriam Park neighborhood). Reception and pop-up: Feb. 26, noon-4 p.m. cameronharry.com
“K St.,” by Marisa Segovia. One of 21 prints now hanging at Tin Roof Bakery & Cafe as part of Segovia’s Cover Ups exhibit (showing through Feb. 28). The show title refers to street art and each print is a photo transfer that’s been selectively covered up with acrylic ink. mnsegovia.com
Art tour: Daycamp Coffee 1925 Market Place, Ste. 150 daycampcoffee.com Naked Lounge 118 W. Second St. nakedloungechico.com Tin Roof Bakery & Cafe 627 Broadway Ste. 170 tinroofbakeryandcafe.com
FEBRUARY 3, 2022
REEL WORLD Petite Maman
Film overflow New batch of 2021’s best movies now streaming
Ostreamed are yielding up a good many films that, if just a little bit sooner, might have nce again, the first weeks of the new year
been included in my musings on last year’s best (“Film Flood 2021,” by Reel World, Jan. 6). Juan-Carlos The best of that lot Selznick includes four films from established auteurs: The Card Counter (USA) just might be the true masterpiece of director Paul Schrader’s career. The title character, played with smoldering conviction by Oscar Isaac, is a gambler and loner with an austere code of conduct. He becomes a strangely taciturn mentor to a troubled young man (Tye Sheridan) who is plotting revenge against a shared antagonist (Willem Dafoe). All in all, the film is a strangely compelling character study, darkly reflecting Schrader’s Calvinist background and his deep investment in film noir. The French Dispatch (USA): Like The Grand Budapest Hotel and much else in Wes Anderson’s oeuvre, his latest is a dazzling blend of art film, period piece and coruscating entertainment. Its premise is the visualization of stories from the final issue of a fictional New Yorker-like magazine published in Paris and distributed in provincial middle America. While the stories seem to have no particular axe to grind, the film as a whole takes flight in ways that suggest free-flowing entertainment and as ends in themselves.
A large wry-humored cast (Bill Murray, Benicio del Toro, Owen Wilson, Frances McDormand, Léa Seydoux and many more) proceed through it all in wistful high spirits. A Hero (Iran): Rahim (Amir Jadidi), on leave from debtors’ prison, attempts to find enough cash to gain his creditor’s approval. The creditor refuses, and Rahim attempts to return the cash to his female benefactor; but nothing goes as planned, and soon he and everyone involved—family, fiancée, bankers, prison officials, charity groups, TV reporters—are entangled in the Kafkaesque crossfire of suspicions, falsehoods and misguided good intentions. Asgar Farhadi (A Separation, The Salesman) tells the tale with gentle irony and even-handed concern, and gets a fine nuanced and understated performance from Jadidi. Petite Maman (France): Céline Sciamma, the creator of Portrait of a Lady on Fire, tells fairy tale-like story of two little girls who meet while playing alone in the woods near their homes. What ensues is a kind of wonder tale in which the girls emerge as versions of each other and of their respective mothers. Time and identity loop back and around on themselves, but—more’s the wonder—the basic settings remain the same throughout. Cinematographer Claire Mathon mixes earth colors with motifs of scarlet and blue, all to magical effect. Twin sisters Gabrielle and Joséphine Sanz are superb in the lead roles, a literal doubling that works beautifully with the
more mystical doublings of the story. More honorable mentions: Don’t Look Up (USA) is a funny, stingingly satiric comedy about human beings’ inability to respond in any adequate way to impending global disaster—in this case, the threat of a super-sized asteroid hurtling toward Earth. Leonardo DiCaprio is very good as a flummoxed research scientist who tries and fails to make a significant dent in the self-serving “narratives” of the national media and the federal government. Mark Rylance is especially fine as a billionaire “visionary” with touches of Zuckerberg and Musk. Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Timothée Chalomet and Jonah Hill have their moments as well, but Adam McKay’s production can’t help but be partially caught in its own trap—a symptom of the very dilemma it portrays. The Lost Daughter (USA/Greece), directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal and based on an Elena Ferrante novel, features a quietly powerful performance by Olivia Colman as a middleaged college professor who, in seeking some relief from her personal life at a Greek beach resort, finds herself running into memories and reminders of her conflicted relationships with her own daughters. Nuanced performances in supporting roles (Dakota Johnson, Jessie Buckley) add to the rich emotional textures in this drama of mothers, daughters and personal identity.
The Hand of God (Italy) has some religion in it, but the title actually refers to a moment in the history of European football, a moment that reverberates significantly in this offbeat semi-autobiographical coming-of-age tale. Filippo Scotti is a delight as the youthful protagonist, and the esteemed Toni Servillo is charmingly antic in the father role. Paolo Sorrentino’s festively exuberant direction confirms his claim to the seminal influence of Federico Fellini. In Mike Mills’ C’mon C’mon (USA), a downcast loner (Joaquin Phoenix) finds himself put in charge of his sister’s young son while she’s out of town tending to a particularly dramatic family crisis. It’s no great surprise that the ensuing miscellany of small adventures brings the kid and his uncle out of their respective doldrums and into a renewal of family bonds. But their struggles, filmed in moody black and white, seem genuine, and there is a fresh surprise in the way the kid (a very lively Woody Norman) becomes a spirited mentor to his uncle. Vicky and Her Mystery (France): Young Vicky (Shanna Keil) has moved into a wilderness cabin with her recently widowed father (Vincent Elbaz). An animal-loving geezer (French star Tchéky Karyo) gives her a pup from his barn—“a gift from the forest,” whom they name “Mystery.” The pup turns out to be a wolf. Mystery gets along just fine with Vicky, but the local sheepherders are out to eliminate all wolves from their territory. What began as a sweetly innocent tale verges on stark calamity before turning to a more equitable (and surprisingly lucid) resolution. Pig (USA): Nicolas Cage plays a burnt-out Portland chef who lives alone in the woods with his prize pig, raising pigs and supplying upscale restaurants with prime pork delicacies. When his pig is kidnapped, he storms back to old Portland haunts in search of it. That may sound like the makings of yet another Cage revenge pic, but what actually emerges is a bristling portrait of a profoundly alienated artisan and the mostly urban “underground” he’s tried to get clear of. In a way, it’s Portlandia with none but the darkest glimmers of humor. The Electrical Life of Louis Wain (UK): With its eccentric humor and snippets of animation, this zesty, fanciful biopic and period piece is playful and ornate in something like the Wes Anderson manner. Wain is an archetypal weird genius, known especially for his paintings of cats and his theories of psycho-spiritual electricity. Benedict Cumberbatch gives a marvelously quirky performance in the title role, frivolously mannered yet not without moments of emotional depth. If there’s a resemblance to Anderson here, there’s also the feeling that Will Sharpe is channeling some of the British film comedies of the Alec Guinness era. Ω FEBRUARY 3, 2022
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LAST CALL To scroll back through the photos of fliers, performers and people at shows on the Facebook page for the Maltese Bar & Venue is to see the recent history of Chico flash before your eyes. The volume and breadth of events hosted at the dive bar over its dozen years is overwhelming—from drag shows and Malteazers burlesque to stand-up comedy and concerts of every genre. Chicoans of all stripes have been represented. The Maltese is us. The COVID-19 pandemic has made a mess of everything, and this beloved venue is the latest casualty. This weekend, the dive bar is hosting a “final farewell and dance-party weekend,” titled “Maltese is for Lovers,” with a drag show/dance party spanning Friday and Saturday nights (Feb. 4 & Feb. 5, 9 p.m.—tickets at eventbrite.com). I’ve said it in these pages before: Maltese owner Archer Lombardi and The Maltese the hard-working staff have created a warm, welcoming and always fun environment where musicians, hipsters, artists, students, queens, kings, punks, hippies and townies of every sexual identity, race, faith and gender could cut loose and feel safe to be exactly who they are. Lombardi nurtured the best of Chico in his funky space. I love the Maltese with all my heart. Some of my fondest memories of the past 12 years are of performing or partying or just communing with the community in the south Chico bar, and I know many of you would say the same. Thank you for everything, Archer, and best of luck with whatever kick-ass endeavor you dream up next. The Maltese now takes its rightful place alongside the Blue Room, Juanita’s, Cabos, Burro Room and all the other forever-revered, retired, iconic Chico venues. SEASON TWO The arts folks at Chico State have so far taken a cautious approach to publiciz-
ing public gatherings during the pandemic, including Chico Performances, which announced only a partial summer/fall calendar—instead of its usual full academic year of shows—before school started. The second half has just dropped, and winter/spring brings a fresh schedule to the Laxson Auditorium stage. There are two Grammy-winning heavy hitters on the roster: iconic musician/activist Melissa Etheridge (March 20) and blues guitarist/singer Robert Cray (April 8). And there’s a very eclectic range of choices among the lesser-known offerings, starting with The Queen’s Cartoonists (tonight, Feb. 3). The concept involves a sextet of jazz/classical musicians playing live along with a reel of classic and contemporary cartoons projected on a screen behind them—everything from Bugs Bunny and black-and-white Mickey Mouse films to more abstract modern works. Others that look intriguing to me include comedian Demetri Martin (Feb. 6); Nobuntu (March 10), an all-female a-cappella group from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe; and the trippy, groovy duo Black Violin, featuring violinists Wil Baptiste and Kev Marcus mashing up classical, hip-hop, bluegrass and whatever else for a style they refer to as “classical boom.” (Feel the boom March 22.) Find more info and the rest of the schedule at chico Nobuntu performances.com.
FREE WILL ASTROLOGY For the week oF FeBrUArY 3, 2022 ARIES (March 21-April 19): Aries actor
Bette Davis said that if you want to improve your work, you should “attempt the impossible.” That’s perfect advice for you right now. I hope to see you hone your skills as you stretch yourself into the unknown. I will celebrate your forays into the frontiers, since doing so will make you even smarter than you already are. I will cheer you on as you transcend your expectations and exceed your limits, thereby enhancing your flair for self-love. Here’s your mantra: “I now have the power to turn the impossible into the possible and boost my health and fortunes in the process.”
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Ancient
Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu wrote, “Opportunities multiply as they are seized.” You’ll be wise to make that your motto during the next five months, Taurus. Life will conspire to bring you more and more benefits and invitations as you take full advantage of the benefits and invitations that life brings. The abundance gathering in your vicinity may even start to seem ridiculously extravagant. Envious people could accuse you of being greedy, when in fact, you’re simply harnessing a crucial rule in the game of life. To minimize envy and generate even more benefits and invitations, be generous in sharing your plenitude.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): “‘Because
there has been no one to stop me’ has been one of the principles of my life,” wrote Gemini author Joyce Carol Oates. “If I’d observed all the rules, I’d never have got anywhere,” said Gemini actor Marilyn Monroe. “Play the game. Never let the game play you,” advised Gemini rapper and actor Tupac Shakur. “Who I really am keeps surprising me,” declared Gemini author Nikki Giovanni. I propose that we make the previous four quotes your wisdom teachings during the next four weeks.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): Your animal
symbol is usually the crab. But I propose we temporarily change it to the tardigrade. It’s a tiny, eight-legged creature that’s among the most stalwart on planet Earth—able to live everywhere, from mountaintops to tropical rainforests to the deepest parts of the sea. In extreme temperatures, it thrives, as well as under extreme pressures. Since it emerged as a species half a billion years ago, it has survived all five mass extinctions. I believe you will be as hardy and adaptable and resolute as a tardigrade in the coming months, Cancerian. You will specialize in grit and resilience and determination. PS: Tardigrades are regarded as a “pioneer species” because they take up residence in new and changed environments, paving the way for the arrival of other species. They help create novel ecosystems. Metaphorically speaking, you could be like that.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): I regularly ask my-
self how I can become more open-minded. Have I stopped being receptive in any way? What new developments and fresh ideas am I ignorant of? Have my strong opinions blinded me to possibilities that don’t fit my opinions? In accordance with astrological omens, Leo, I encourage you to adopt my attitude in the coming weeks. For inspiration, read these thoughts by philosopher Marc-Alain Ouaknin: “If things speak to us, it is because we are open to them, we perceive them, listen to them and give them meaning. If things keep quiet, if they no longer speak to us, it is because we are closed.”
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Like all the
rest of us, Virgo, you have limitations. And it’s important for you to identify them and take them into consideration. But I want to make sure you realize you also have fake limitations; you wrongly believe in the truth of some supposed limitations that are, in fact, mostly illusory or imaginary. Your job right now is to dismantle and dissolve those. For inspiration, here’s advice from author Mignon McLaughlin: “Learning too soon our limitations, we never learn our powers.”
BY roB BrezsnY LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): “Develop enough
courage so that you can stand up for yourself and then stand up for somebody else,” counseled poet and activist Maya Angelou. Author Toni Morrison said, “The function of freedom is to free someone else.” Author and activist Nikki Giovanni wrote, “Everybody that loves freedom loves Harriet Tubman because she was determined not only to be free, but to make free as many people as she could.” I hope the wisdom of these women will be among your guiding thoughts in the coming weeks. As your own power and freedom grow, you can supercharge them—render them even more potent—by using them to help others.
TELL YOUR STORY Do you need a credible way to get information out there?
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): “Man,
sometimes it takes you a long time to sound like yourself,” testified Miles Davis, one of the most unique and talented jazz trumpeters and composers who ever lived. Popular and successful author Anne Lamott expressed a similar sentiment: “I’m here to be me, which is taking a great deal longer than I had hoped.” If those two geniuses found it a challenge to fully develop their special potentials, what chance do the rest of us have? I have good news in that regard, Scorpio. I believe 2022 will be a very favorable time to home in on your deepest, truest self—to ascertain and express more of your soul’s code. And you’re entering a phase when your instinct for making that happen will be at a peak.
Do you have a complex story that needs to be told?
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): In
the course of human history, three million ships have sunk to the bottom of the Earth’s seas. At one extreme have been huge vessels, like the Titanic and naval cruisers, while at the other extreme are small fishing boats. Many of these have carried money, gems, jewelry, gold and other precious items. Some people have made it their job to search for those treasures. I believe there could and should be a metaphorical resemblance between you and them in the coming weeks, Sagittarius. Now is a favorable time for you to hunt for valuable resources, ideas, memories and, yes, even treasures that may be tucked away in the depths, in hidden locations and in dark places.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): “It is
astonishing what force, purity, and wisdom it requires for a human being to keep clear of falsehoods,” wrote author Margaret Fuller. That’s the bad news. The good news is that your capacity for exposing and resisting falsehoods is now at a peak. Furthermore, you have a robust ability to ward off delusions, pretense, nonsense, inauthenticity and foolishness. Don’t be shy about using your superpowers, Capricorn. Everyone you know will benefit as you zero in and focus on what’s true and genuine. And you will benefit the most.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): “All things
are inventions of holiness,” wrote poet Mary Oliver. “Some more rascally than others.” I agree. And I’ll add that in the coming weeks, holiness is likely to be especially rascally as it crafts its inventions in your vicinity. Here are the shades of my meaning for the word “rascally”: unruly, experimental, mischievous, amusing, mercurial, buoyant, whimsical and kaleidoscopic. But don’t forget that all of this will unfold under the guidance and influence of holiness. I suspect you’ll encounter some of the most amusing and entertaining outbreaks of divine intervention ever.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): The year 1905
is referred to as Albert Einstein’s “Year of Miracles.” The Piscean physicist, who was 26 years old, produced three scientific papers that transformed the nature of physics and the way we understand the universe. Among his revolutionary ideas were the theory of special relativity, the concept that light was composed of particles and the iconic equation E = MC squared. With that information as a backdrop, I will make a bold prediction: that in 2022, you will experience your own personal version of a Year of Miracles. The process is already underway. Now it’s time to accelerate it.
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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• Be a Phone Buddy to a lonely older adult • Help provide transportation to medical appointments & the grocery store • Help deliver Senior Meals Call (530) 898-6642 to learn more. Or go online to sign up at: www.passagescenter.org
Join AmeriCorps Seniors Volunteers today!