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The long season ahead
by Jason Cassidy j a s o n c @ n e w s r e v i e w. c o m
nonprofit research organization, recently released a free tool that allows residents to gauge their personal risk. Analyzing data from past fires, current risks and projections from peer-reviewed research, Risk Factor vulnerability. (riskfactor.com)—which is searchable by city, zip Indeed, the North State is now in fire season in code or address—calculates a rating based on a fiveearnest and already has dodged a few bullets in the tier scale, from minimal to extreme. Unsurprisingly, form of several small grass fires. Consider them test in Butte County, what the CN&R has dubbed the runs for what’s to come over the next six months. wildfire epicenter of the West, We’ve heard a common thousands of residents face refrain in recent years: Much extreme wildfire risk. of Butte County is so badly Many portions In terms of preparations, a scarred from previous blazes that of the foothills helpful resource is the Butte there’s “nothing left to burn.” have remained County Fire Safe Council But that’s simply not the case. (buttefiresafe.net). Its website Many portions of the foothills unscathed, and is home to information on have remained unscathed, and this year, due to fire-prevention and recovery this year, due to severe drought, programs, as well as links to their landscapes are especially severe drought, evacuation maps and tips. Also tinder dry. Think Forest Ranch their landscapes check out Cal Fire’s evacuation and Cohasset. checklist (at readyforwildfire. Even Paradise, nexus of the are especially org). state’s aforementioned deadliest tinder dry. Finally, as local wildfires and most destructive wildfire, are a certainty, we urge has plenty of vegetation to fuel residents to always err on the side of caution. yet another disastrous blaze. Its topography—on a ridge Evacuations during both the Camp Fire and North between two canyons, particularly the Feather River Complex Fire were impeded by technological diffiCanyon (and the winds of the Jarbo Gap)—puts it at culties and delayed by sometimes inaccurate informagreat risk. Moreover, Pacific Gas & Electric remains tion from public safety agencies. years away from completing its pledge to bury the Our advice: If you feel even slightly threatened, town’s electrical utilities underground. get out. If it ends up being a false alarm, it’ll be easy The overarching takeaway for residents: Know to return home. Tragically, as we’ve learned, staying your vulnerability and be prepared. put can have deadly consequences. Ω First Street Foundation, a New York-based
sparked memories of the Camp Fire, serving as Ra reminder of our parched region’s ongoing wildfire ecent heat and blustery winds in Butte County have
LETTERS New rep rec The time has come to replace Congressman Doug LaMalfa. In this vast congressional district of northeastern California, the needs have long exceeded LaMalfa’s ability (or perhaps inclination) to deal with them, particularly in the case of disastrous forest fires. The U.S. Forest Service, once our first line of defense against forest fires, has apparently been de-funded to the extent that it’s operating on a part-time basis. I 4
JUNE 9, 2022
can never talk to a real person when I try to phone any ranger station. [Challenger] Max Steiner, new to our area, seems to have the energy and credentials to get things moving again. Let’s give him a vote. Robert Woods Forest Ranch
Fire still burns I’m seeing an environmental impact that will affect the future
growth of Butte County. Many of us who lost everything [due to wildfire] are being dragged through the process of attorneys [who] only have interests in settlements, and [then] get out. The offers are below inflation that was cause[ed] by the [impact of] fires that PG&E openly admitted [being] at fault. It is impossible to rebuild on the funds offered in the claims. The problem that exists is the LETTERS C O N T I N U E D
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Shelter in crisis One recent morning, I was on my usual bleary-eyed shufﬂe through Lower Bidwell Park for the dog’s ﬁrst constitutional of the day. I nursed my coffee, the good girl did her business, and we looped our way along our well-worn path: South Park Drive, Sycamore Pool, around the softball ﬁeld, then back home. Everything was just as pleasant and peaceful and mostly uneventful as it has been week after week for the past decade—from when Honey the poodle and I ﬁrst staked out this route in June of 2012 through my daily strolls with Rosie the mutt during the pandemic. The only difference this morning? I didn’t see any tarps or tents. As of last month, my unhoused neighbors in the park are gone, moved out of the wooded area between the bike path and Big Chico Creek as part of the transitioning-to-services and “enforcement” phases of the Warren v. City of Chico settlement; yet, I hardly noticed. Just as I rarely took notice when they were there. The park always seemed like the most sensible solution to me. Why waste so much time and money researching properties for temporary shelter or resting places when we have thousands of acres of land already available? It’s a public park, for crying out loud. That ship has already sunk, obviously. The park encampments have been moved out of sight of their former neighbors, and the campers have been moved along, but the work of getting people housed and providing services continues. Many have been guided to one of the two shelter options listed in the settlement: the city’s new Pallet temporary shelter site or the Torres Community Shelter. As of press deadline, those not meeting the criteria for the shelters had one option for an alternate camping site—a public lot at Eaton and Cohasset roads. The push to move unhoused folks from the encampments has created a lot of work all at once for the shelters. The Pallet site opened April 25 and as of June 1 was housing 95 guests at its 177-unit site, with the Torres Shelter providing for 90 residents (out of a possible 140 due to COVID-19 precautions). The latter is especially feeling the crunch, to the point that funding needed to meet the spike in the demand for services has reached a crisis point. In response, the Torres Shelter’s parent organization, True North Housing Alliance, launched an emergency fundraising drive on May 26 with the goal of raising $400,000 in 100 days. According to a press release, if the target isn’t met, the nonproﬁt will have to turn away people “who will have nowhere else to go.” If Torres is forced to limit services, once the Pallet site ﬁlls up, folks will of course go wherever they need to, which means park encampments again. If you like the work the shelter does on behalf of our unhoused neighbors, or if you just like to keep your social problems “out of sight,” get your checkbook out. For more details and to contribute to True North’s drive, visit truenorthbutte.org.
Jason Cassidy is editor of the Chico News & Review
No hotel a lot of changes in this community. AMostseenof them were well thought out and s a California Park resident since 1992, I have
compatible with the existing development. However, the proposed four-story hotel at Bruce Road and Highway 32 is not something that will blend in nicely in the neighborhood. There are not many tall buildings in Chico, and having one at that location will create a visual eyesore to the by surrounding landscapes. Nan Tofanelli Additionally, its lights The author is a Chico will be a constant source business owner and of pollution to those a 30-year resident of California Park. facing the facility. I know of many people who live on the lake who don’t use window coverings because they like to look at the water day and night. Traffic will be impacted as well. The installation of another traffic light at the
intersection of Bruce and Sierra Sunrise Drive is too close to the one at Bruce Road and Highway 32. As a result, traffic will get backed up at peak times. Most who use Sierra Sunrise Drive are senior citizens going to and from their homes in the adjacent senior communities—people who don’t need additional confusion on the roads. We live in a fragile ecosystem. I am sure that the surrounding natural environment will be impacted by the building. We will see more illegal usage of our lake by people who don’t have a vested interest in keeping it clean; perhaps even leading to a rise in crime. Our homeowners fees likely will increase because of the added cost of more private patrols to keep the intruders out. Members of the Chico Planning Commission, please reconsider this hotel’s location. Do we really need another hotel? If so, is there another place where it would make more sense to build it? Public hearings before the planning commission are scheduled to begin this summer. For information on opponent efforts, find the “NO HOTEL California Ω Park” page on Facebook.
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SECOND & FLUME by Melissa Daugherty m e l i s s a d @ n e w s r e v i e w. c o m
JC & the real WMDs God and guns. I’ve yet to figure out how so many people have convinced themselves that they go together. It’s delusional. Indeed, Jesus followers are kidding themselves if they think that their beloved peace-loving proselytizer—the guy who broke bread with the poor and healed the sick—would condone people arming themselves with murder weapons. I’m talking about the semi-automatic rifles that were used to slaughter little children at a Uvalde, Texas, school on May 24 and the mostly elderly Black shoppers gunned down at a Buffalo, N.Y., grocery store just 10 days earlier. If the son of God were around today, one can be certain that those recent heinous events would give new meaning to the phrase “Jesus wept.” I’m also sure he’d be quite pissed off. Remember the biblical parable of the money changers and shopkeepers who’d set up at the Temple? Jesus overturned their tables and chairs and drove them out with a whip, and that was because they were using his Father’s house as a market. Now think what his righteous anger would look like had he walked into the National Rifle Association’s annual convention, a gathering that took place in Houston, just three days after 21 people, including 19 children, were massacred at the rural Texas elementary school. The former president of the United States attended that event, read the names of the Uvalde shooting victims, and shortly thereafter danced on stage as though it wasn’t a big deal that some of the dead kids were so disfigured that authorities had to identify them through DNA. What a disgusting, shameful scene in a country in which a large portion of its residents care more about their purported right to own these killing machines—America’s real weapons of mass destruction—than they do the safety of children. This was not always the case. I grew up in a family with many hunters, mostly men but even a few women. I never winced around their deer rifles, shotguns and the occasional pistol. Back then, gun ownership was about camaraderie, marksmanship and food, not about stockpiling military arms. Personal protection was way down on the list of reasons to have a firearm, and nobody wielded semi-automatic rifles. But in recent years, many of those same Jesus-loving family members have gone on WMD buying sprees. Unsurprisingly, the height of their spending occurred after Barack Obama was elected president. When I asked one of the men in my family about it, he told me he was sure that the new administration would come for all guns. Others used the Second Amendment as justification, cherry-picking the part about a state’s “well-regulated militia,” which they’ve bastardized and taken to mean applies to them. It doesn’t. In fact, there is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that gives individuals a right to own assault rifles. Furthermore, it’s a fantasy to think they could stand up to a government with the largest weapons cache in the world. Not unlike how a fourth-grader doesn’t stand a chance against an armed psychopath. I walk my 10-year-old to his classroom every morning. The scary truth: No fence, metal detector or security guard is a sufficient barrier to someone who’s armed with WMDs. As we saw in Uvalde, not even cops can contain the threat. What we really need is for the government to ban assault weapons and create programs to buy back the 20 million already in circulation. The problem is that too many politicians are owned by the gun lobby. We can’t count on them to help, nor can we rely on Jesus. Nope, we’ll have to fix this mess the old-fashioned way: Vote the jackwagons out.
Melissa Daugherty is editor-at-large for the Chico News & Review 6
JUNE 9, 2022
Are you worried about wildﬁre?
C O N T I N U E D F R O M PA G E 4
values of existing properties, new and old, will decrease due to the lack of population. Businesses are hanging by a thread, and real estate is at a stand still. Citizens of Paradise and Magalia cannot rebuild nor will they leave. PG&E is ripping us off. Bradley Crain Paradise
Asked in downtown Chico
‘Peace movement?’ Michael Campi personal trainer
As part of a much larger picture, I am very concerned. As we’re witnessing right now, there’s New Mexico, there’s Texas, even Nebraska is on fire, and the chances of us getting out of the way are slim-to-none. I’m concerned enough to have a contingency plan in place because I got evacuated from a wildfire in Santa Cruz. I’m now in Chico.
Valerie Saldana student ( just graduated)
I remember my freshman year, I think, is when the fires happened. That was definitely daunting. I think it is a problem that needs to be [addressed].
Dan Anderson rice farmer
I’m certainly concerned. The last couple of years, there’s been a lot of smoke. It’s pretty nasty. Definitely concerned about that. Hopefully we don’t have another smoky summer.
Living Lightly Dude running for Congress Outside of Chico Nat, I sign his thing We get to talking, He says what’s your issue? I say peace, you know, peace on Earth, Are we talking the same language? Peace is not on the table. It’s a dangerous world he says. Yes, and who is most dangerous? In this enlightened age, How can we be living in a world that drops bombs? With the closure of our local peace center, I wonder, with the news of the day, Where is the peace movement? Maybe it has morphed and wizened, What can I control? Lifestyle: food, shelter clothing Spending, local Habits, simple, that others may simply live. Grow some food, love your neighbor, Peace begins within. I’m wanting common language and symbols For a life that supposes Peace on Earth. I have a friend who will remind me, The peace sign has murky symbology Perhaps a stylized tree of life Celtic mandala? Please visualize a world at peace Harmony and plenty abound. Become a more peaceful person, Meditate. Participate. Locally. Third and Main on Saturday, 12:30 – 1:30. Eartha Shanti Los Molinos
Nancy Leek retired librarian
Everybody always ought to be concerned about wildfire. It’s a problem every year. You get to wondering, “What’s left to burn?” Everybody ought to be careful.
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NEWSLINES DOWNSTROKE ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE PLAN The city of Chico is developing an environmental justice element of the general plan, for which the Planning Department is gathering community input. Under provisions of California Senate Bill 1000, the Planning for Healthy Communities Act, Chico must integrate environmental justice into the general plan when it updates the housing and safety elements—a process currently underway. The new element will address seven topics: pollution exposure and air quality; food access; public facilities; safe and sanitary homes; physical activity; “civil” or community engagement; and improvements and programs that address the needs of disadvantaged communities. City planners will hold the next public forum June 23 at 6 p.m. at Rotary Centennial Park. (The ﬁrst was June 8 at Chapman Park.) The city also has an online survey at chico.ca.us/ pod/participate-online for residents to share experiences. Visit chico.ca.us/ environmental-justice for more information.
ANTI-IMPERIAL BREW FORCE Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. has joined the resistance in Ukraine. As part of a worldwide fundraising effort organized by Drinkers for Ukraine, the brewery released RESIST, an “anti-imperial” IPA, and will donate all proﬁts from its sale to Red Cross humanitarian relief efforts as the country continues to suffer losses due to the Russian invasion. The beer is available on tap now in the Chico brewery’s pub, and eightpacks of 16-ounce cans can be preordered online at sierranevada.com/ beer/resist (shipments go out in early summer). Breweries from around the globe have joined the cause. Using a recipe created by Ukranian brewers—or a modiﬁed version of the recipe, as Sierra Nevada has done—the beer-makers so far have raised 65,000 euros, or roughly $70,000, according to Drinkers for Ukraine’s Facebook page.
JUNE 9, 2022
Darlene and Mark Lightcap lost their Butte Creek Canyon home in the Camp Fire and were able to rebuild—they moved back in September 2020. PHOTO BY ASHIAH SCHARAGA
Butte Creek Canyon residents focus on preserving history, staying connected amid Camp Fire recovery
Das shearound her husband, Mark, and smiled looked at the tapestry depicting the arlene Lightcap wrapped her arms
ashen rubble of their former home. The Lightcaps lost everyby thing they owned in Ashiah the Camp Fire, and Scharaga after they rebuilt their as h i a h s home in Butte Creek @ n ew srev i ew. c o m Canyon two years later, they decided to hang up a visceral reminder of that fateful day in November 2018. The image stands out in their bright and cheery home, where they also display colorful photos and artwork of birds and butterflies. For the Lightcaps, the depiction is a reminder of “how far we’ve come,” Mark said. “You can rebuild and go on,” Darlene added. Nearly four years after the fire, Butte Creek Canyon, a community in northern Butte County between Chico and Paradise, isn’t quite the same. Paradise suffered the greatest losses on Nov. 8, 2018, when
faulty PG&E equipment ignited the deadly blaze that killed 85 people, most of whom resided in the town. But other areas of the county—such as Concow, Magalia and Butte Creek Canyon (including communities in Centerville and Helltown)—were also significantly impacted. Canyon resident Gordon Dise pereished in the fire, and residents interviewed for this story estimate that 43 percent of the area’s approximately 460 homes were destroyed in the blaze. They told the CN&R that many of their neighbors have since relocated—some because they couldn’t bring themselves to come back, others because they were renters and had no other options. Still others are in a limbo, hoping to return home pending the results of their claim in the lawsuit against PG&E. Remaining residents have worked hard to hang on to the strong sense of community that has existed in the canyon for decades. They have focused on rebuilding—their homes and the historic Honey Run Covered Bridge—and preserving their slice of Butte County.
Staying connected In late 2018, after fire evacuation orders were lifted, canyon residents Nancy O’Neill and Teresa Kludt drove down the winding roads alongside Butte Creek. They were on a mission: to make sure they had an accurate record of the extent of the loss for the Butte Creek Canyon community. The magnitude of that loss is, in part, how Kludt ended up as president and secretary of the Centerville Recreation and Historical Association (CRHA). “We had fewer people to volunteer,” Kludt said. The nonprofit’s mission is to preserve and maintain the Colman Museum and historic Centerville Schoolhouse, the latter built in 1894 and still containing its original school bell. The organization’s focus today would be radically different if local residents had not stayed to fight back the flames and save both buildings during the fire. This has made a huge difference when it comes to the recovery of the canyon community. The schoolhouse, which stopped
functioning as a classroom in the 1960s, has been a tourism destination and hub for gatherings, inclucing fire safety and counseling resource meetings post-fire, as well as potlucks and other recreational events. On a recent afternoon, Kludt met up with several of her neighbors at the schoolhouse to prep for the canyon’s big annual event: the 49er Faire, featuring arts and crafts, music, food, gold panning and more. The group was jovial and shared friendly banter while getting to work. Darlene hammered grommets into a banner. O’Neill affixed patriotic garland to the porch railing. Julia Westlund moved tables and helped the group gather and sort faire gift sale donations, an eclectic mix of items from canyon residents including a handmade shawl, woven basket and a golden lamp made with a bicycle chain. Westlund grew up in the canyon and attended school there. It was “just like Little House on the Prairie,” she said. She shared the classroom with about 19 other students in first through sixth grades and recalled them playing on an old horse hitching post out front like it was a set of monkey bars. It’s these deep roots that led her to dedicate her time to the association and preserving the canyon’s history—and why she and her husband knew right away that they wanted to rebuild. “It’s a beautiful place to live and it is a great community,” she said. “We didn’t know where else we would go that we would love as much, so we just decided to take the plunge.” The faire (which happened June 5) is an annual CRHA fundraiser for the Colman Museum and Centerville Schoolhouse. Kludt said the organization is currently raising money to repair the schoolhouse porch and
Support the canyon: The Centerville Recreation and Historical Association is seeking volunteer docents and raising money to repair the deck of its historic Centerville Schoolhouse. Go to centervillemuseum.com or call 530-893-9667 to learn more. The Honey Run Covered Bridge Association is raising money to cover the cost of the bridge rebuild. Go to hrcoveredbridge.org to learn more.
Celebrating 12 Years! CHICO COMMUNITY ACUPUNCTURE
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also seeking volunteer docents for the museum (see infobox).
Bridging the gap Walt Schafer has lived in Butte Creek Canyon for 44 years. He and his wife, Kludt, live on 11 acres with a small farm, where they have enjoyed raising llama, alpaca and sheep. They bring in the animals every night to protect them from prowling cougars, Schafer said. He then chuckled to himself, because he’s not really known in the city for his small farming venture, but rather as the president of the Honey Run Covered Bridge Association (HRCBA), which has been working diligently to rebuild the historic bridge over Butte Creek after its destruction in the Camp Fire. The bridge, originally constructed in 1887, became pedestrian-only in 1965 and was the site of countless proposals, weddings, picnics and community events, as well as a popular recreation spot. Not long after the fire, the HRCBA decided to dedicate efforts to rebuilding the beloved bridge. In October 2020, Butte County officially transferred bridge ownership to the association, which is tasked with financing the rebuild with private donations. Schafer said the group is committed to doing all that it can to rebuild the bridge “because it has been an iconic symbol of beauty,
Walt Schafer (right), president of the Honey Run Covered Bridge Association, celebrates the phase one reconstruction of the historic bridge with an employee of Q&D Construction Company. PHOTO COURTESY OF WALT SCHAFER
history and community” for many decades. “It will provide not only a link to the past, but a setting for wonderful new experiences for visitors,” he said. “It will represent post-Camp Fire resilience, perseverance and unity for this entire region.” The new bridge will be reconstructed “as close as possible” to the historic original, Schafer said. (It will have to meet current construction standards.) The previous bridge had an emergency sprinkler system, but the power was cut off during the Camp Fire, rendering it useless. The HRCBA is looking into using a water tank or automatic generator to help protect against any future fires. So far, the association raised $1.2 million to complete phase one of the rebuild in November 2020, which included construction of foundations, pillars, abutments and slope protection. The engineering plans for the floor and trusses (phase two) were also completed. The project is currently stalled pending further funding. Schafer said the nonprofit estimates it needs to raise $1.5 million to complete NEWSLINES C O N T I N U E D
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Centerville Recreation & Historical Association board members (from left) Julia Westlund, Teresa Kludt, Nancy O’Neill and Darlene Lightcap are dedicated to maintaining the Colman Museum and historic Centerville Schoolhouse (built in 1894). PHOTO BY ASHIAH SCHARAGA
fessor, met via Zoom once a week with two Chico State interns to create a slide presentation and video to commemorate the phase 1 rebuild of the bridge. Their latest project is another video, featuring interviews with Butte Creek Canyon fire survivors, including Schafer and Westlund. All of these videos will added to an exhibit and accessible at the Colman Museum.
phase two and $800,000 to complete the final phase, which will put on the finishing touches with the bridge’s covering, siding and roofing. While the HRCBA has filed a claim in the lawsuit against PG&E, the association is unsure if it will receive a payout or when, Schafer said—and, even so, still would need donations to bridge the gap to cover the full project cost after covering attorney’s fees. The HRCBA is continuing to raise funds through
donations, merchandise sales and fundraising events (see infobox). At the same time that the HRCBA has been fundraising, Schafer has been working with Chico State students on projects to help preserve the town’s recent history and “create a legacy of the bridge and the fire and the recovery.” For many months during the pandemic, Schafer, a retired Chico State sociology pro-
The impacts of the Camp Fire are still visible in the canyon—damaged trees with twisted limbs pepper the landscape, and empty lots remain where people used to live. But Westlund said she’s been amazed by how many of her neighbors have been able to come back in these past four years. She estimates “well over 50” homes have been rebuilt, based on her observations. “It was devastated. When you’re looking at all the burnt ruins, you’re thinking, ‘Well, this will never get cleaned up,’” she said. “I am amazed at the progress in this amount of time.”
For many reasons, the rebuild has been slow for their community, Kludt added. Some canyon residents are still waiting for their PG&E lawsuit settlement checks, for example, a deciding factor as to whether they will be able to afford to return. Rebuilding is costly, between lot cleanup, insurance costs and the price of materials. But Kludt still has hope that more of her neighbors will find a way to come back home. “It does take a long time,” she said, “but the canyon is still beautiful, and we have a strong sense of community.” It’s that tight-knit community that propelled the Lightcaps forward in their mission to return home after the devastation of the Camp Fire, Darlene said. They, too, love the natural beauty and peacefulness of the canyon, and knew they could make it through the long years and stress of rebuilding because they had friends and neighbors whose homes survived and who chose to stay, like Kludt and Schafer. Darlene said in those early days, she told Kludt that “we need people like you to stay here, to be our hub, to keep [our community] going. “You’re still there, and that’s what’s bringing us back.” Ω
JUNE 9, 2022
NEWSLINES The drought has stunted grasses that Josh Davy’s cattle usually feed on, so he prepares hay for them at his ranch near Red Bluff.
from Shasta Dam are expected to die by the millions. For decades, water wars have pitted growers and ranchers against nature, north against south. But in this new California, where everyone is suffering, no one is guaranteed anything. “In the end, when one person wins, everybody loses,” Davy said. “And we don’t actually solve the problem.”
Portioning out the river
Drought triggers unprecedented water cuts for Sacramento Valley
Rachel Becker rac he l@ c almat te r s.org photos by
Miguel Gutierrez Jr.
Sproperty, where water is piped onto his Josh Davy wished his tanding on the grassy plateau
feet were wet and his irrigation ditch full. Three years ago, when he sank everything he had into 66 acres of irrigated pasture in Shasta County, Davy thought he’d drought-proofed his cattle operation. He’d been banking on the Sacramento Valley’s water supply,
About this feature: It was produced by CalMatters, an independent public journalism venture covering California state politics and government. For more info, visit calmatters.org.
JUNE 9, 2022
which was guaranteed even during the deepest of droughts almost 60 years ago, when irrigation districts up and down the valley cut a deal with the federal government. Buying this land was his insurance against droughts expected to intensify with climate change. But this spring, for the first time ever, no water is flowing through his pipes and canals or those of his neighbors: The district won’t be delivering any water to Davy or any of its roughly 800 other customers. Without rain for rangeland grass where his cows forage in the winter, or water to irrigate his pasture, he probably will have to sell at least half the cows he’s raised for breeding and sell all of his calves a season early. Davy expects to lose money this year—more than $120,000, he guesses, and if it happens again next year, he won’t be able to pay his bills. “I would never have bought (this land) if I had known it wasn’t going to get water. Not when you pay the
price you pay for it,” he said. “If this is a one-time fluke, I’ll suck it up and be fine. But I don’t have another year in me.” Since 1964, the water supply of the Western Sacramento Valley has been virtually guaranteed, even during critically dry years, the result of an arcane water rights system and legal agreements underlying operations of the Central Valley Project, the federal government’s massive water management system. But as California weathers a third year of drought, conditions have grown so dry and reservoirs so low that the valley’s landowners and irrigation districts are being forced to give up more water than ever before. Now, this region, which has relied on the largest portion of federally managed water flowing from Lake Shasta, is wrestling with what to do as its deal with the federal government no longer protects them. All relying on the lake’s supplies will make sacrifices: Many are struggling to keep their cattle and crops. Refuges for wildlife also will have to cope with less water from Lake Shasta, endangering migratory birds. And the eggs of endangered salmon that depend on cold water released
This parched valley was once a land of floods, regularly inundated when the Sacramento River overflowed to turn grasslands and riverbank forests into a vast, seasonal lake. Settlers that flooded into California on the tide of the Gold Rush of 1849 staked their claims to the river’s flow with notices posted to trees in a system of “first in time, first in right.” The river was corralled by levees, the region replumbed with drainage ditches and irrigation canals. Grasslands and swamps lush with tules turned to ranches and wheat fields, then to orchards, irrigated pasture and rice. The federal government took over in the 1930s, when it began building the Central Valley Project’s Shasta Dam, which displaced the Winnemem Wintu people. A 20-year negotiation between water rights holders and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation culminated in a deal in 1964. Today, under the agreements, which were renewed in 2005, nearly 150 landowners and irrigation districts that supply almost half a million acres of agriculture in the western Sacramento Valley are entitled to receive about three times more water than Los Angeles and San Francisco use in a year. It’s a controversial amount in the parched state. Before this year, the Sacramento River Settlement Contractors, as they’re called, received the largest portion of the federally managed supply of water that flows from Shasta Lake. It’s more than cities receive, more than
wildlife refuges, more even than other powerful agricultural suppliers like the Westlands Water District farther south. Their contract bars the irrigation districts’ supply from being cut by more than a quarter in critically dry years. During the last drought in 2014, federal efforts to cut it to 40 percent of the contracted amount were met with resistance, and deliveries ultimately increased to the full 75 percent allocation for the dry year. But this year, facing exceptionally dry conditions, the irrigation districts negotiated with state and federal agencies, and agreed in March to reduce their water deliveries to 18 percent for 2022. Other agricultural suppliers with less senior rights are set to get nothing. Growers understand that they have to sacrifice some water this year, said Thaddeus Bettner, general manager for Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District, the largest of the Sacramento River Settlement Contractors and one of the largest irrigation districts in the state. But he wondered why irrigation districts in the Western Sacramento Valley draw so much of the blame. “I understand we’re bigger than everybody so we catch the focus,” Bettner said. “We’re just trying to survive this year. Frankly, it’s just complete devastation up here. And it’s unfortunate that the view seems to be that we should get hurt even more to save fish.” Cutting deliveries to growers means that more water can flow through the rivers, which slightly raises the chances for more endangered winter-run Chinook salmon to survive this year. “They had the water rights to take 75 percent of their allocation instead of 18 percent, and we were anticipating another total bust,” said Howard Brown, senior policy advisor with NOAA Fisheries’ West Coast Region. “One hundred percent temperature dependent mortality (of salmon eggs) would not have been something out of reason to imagine.” Yet more than half of the eggs of endangered winter-run Chinook salmon are expected to still die this year, according to the National Marine Fisheries Service. State and federal biologists are racing to move some of the adult
salmon to a cooler tributary of the Sacramento River and a hatchery. “We’re spreading the risk around, and putting our eggs in different baskets,” Brown said. “The animal that’s on the flag of California is extinct. How many can we afford to lose before we lose our identity as people and as citizens of California?”
‘Nothing like I thought I’d see’ In any other year, Davy would run his cattle on rain-fed rangeland he leases in Tehama County until late spring before moving the herd to his home pasture, kept green and lush with spring and summer irrigation. Davy, who grew up roping and running cattle, supports his career as a full-time rancher with his other full-time job as a farm advisor with the University of California Cooperative Extension, specializing in livestock, rangelands and natural resources. Three years ago, he sold his home in Cottonwood, on the Shasta-Tehama county line, for a fixer-upper nearby with holes in the floor, a shoddy electrical system and windows that wouldn’t close. This fixer-upper had two inarguable selling points: a view of Mount Shasta
and water from the AndersonCottonwood Irrigation District, a settlement contractor. This year, without rain, the grass where his cows forage through the winter crunches underfoot. “This grass should be up to my waist right now,” Davy said, readying a chute he would soon use to transport his cattle. He unloaded hay from his pickup to feed the cows and calves until he could move them—unheard of, he said, in April. Forty miles away, his pasture, green from the April rains, is faring a little better—but the green can’t last without irrigation. Thinking about it too hard makes Davy feel sick. “I try to stick to what I can get done today, and then assume next year I’ll be okay. I think that’s the mantra for agriculture,” he said: “Next year will be better.” About 75 miles south of Davy’s ranch, rangeland and irrigated pastures open up to orchards and thousands of acres of empty rice fields. “Nothing like I thought I’d ever see,” said Mathew Garcia, gazing at one of his dry rice fields in Glenn. In any other year, he would have been preparing to seed and flood the crumbled clay. This year, he had to abandon even the one field he’d planned to irrigate from a well. The
ground was too thirsty to hold the water. Garcia’s water comes from two different irrigation districts with settlement contracts. This year, the roughly 420 acres he farms will see water deliveries either eliminated or too diminished to plant rice. He’ll funnel the water instead to his tenant’s irrigated pasture where cattle graze. “Without the water, we have dirt. It’s basically worthless,” Garcia said. “It’s very depressing.” California is one of the main rice producers in the United States, and almost all is grown in the Sacramento Valley. It’s an especially water-demanding crop: The plants and evaporation drink up about two-thirds of the flows; the rest dribbles through the earth to refill groundwater stores or flows back into irrigation ditches that supply other crops, rivers and wetlands. Garcia places some of the blame on the weather. But he also blames federal regulators, who allow water to flow from the reservoirs yearround for fish, wildlife and water quality. “Everybody says, ‘Well, you shouldn’t farm in the desert.’ Does this look like a desert to you? No. It looks like fertile, beautiful farmland with the most amazing irrigation system that’s ever been put in. And
Central Valley Project (CVP) and Related Facilities
Notes: Colored areas are based on water and irrigation district boundaries and do not correspond to the amount of water delivered from Central Valley Project or the State Water Project. For example, some large areas have relatively small contracts for water compared with other, smaller areas. MAP SOURCE: CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE (CRS)
Cattle feed on hay in Tehama County.
they’re just taking the water from it. They’re creating a desert.” In the depths of California’s last historic drought from 2012 through 2016, Garcia still could plant his fields. Even with last year’s reduced water deliveries, he planted—filling the gaps in water supply by pumping from his groundwater wells. Garcia will survive this year: He credits his wife’s foresight to purchase crop insurance years ago. Without it, he said, he’d be done— he’d have to sell land, maybe find another job. “If this drought sustains, I don’t know how long insurance is going to last. And then at what point do you throw in the towel?” said Garcia. “There’s a teetering point somewhere. Everybody’s is different. I don’t know where mine is yet.” Local water suppliers anticipate about 370,000 acres of crop-
land will go fallow in the western Sacramento Valley, the result of diminished deliveries to the settlement contractors. Most lie in Colusa and Glenn counties, where agriculture is the epicenter of the economy. Money and jobs radiate from the fields to the crop dusters and chemical suppliers, rice driers and warehouses. And, like the water, jobs for farm workers have dried up. For nine years, Sergio Cortez has been traveling from Jalisco, Mexico, to work in Sacramento Valley fields. This is the driest he’s ever seen it, and he knows that next year could be worse. “Aqui el agua es todo, pues,” he said. “Al no haber agua, pues no hay trabajo.” Water is everything, he said. If there’s no water, there’s no work. The parking lot at the migrant NEWSLINES C O N T I N U E D JUNE 9, 2022
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farmworker housing in Colusa County where Cortez and his family live for part of the year was full of cars and pickups that would normally be parked at the fields. Cortez hadn’t worked in two days. For Adolfo Morales Martinez, 74, it had been a month since he worked. And, at the end of April, his unemployment benefits were about to end. “Desesperados. Estamos desesperados,” he said. “Pues en el campo gana uno poquito, no? Y sin nada? No mas.” We’re desperate, he said. In the fields, he can earn a little. But now, nothing. Normally Morales Martinez drives a tractor, readying rice fields for planting. Now it’s like a desert, his wife, Alma Galavez, said. “Eso esta desértico, vea. Todo. Nada, Nada. Esta feo y triste,” she said. There’s nothing. It’s ugly and sad.
Extreme effects on wildlife Environmental advocates and California tribes have been fighting the growers’ and irrigation districts’ claim to California’s finite water supply for years, citing inadequate water to maintain water quality and temperatures for endangered fish and the Delta. “People who have built their farms in the desert, or in areas where their water has to be exported to them, need to think about changing. Because that’s what’s killing the state,” said Caleen Sisk, chief and spiritual leader of the An American bittern feeds at the Colusa National Wildlife Refuge on April 28, 2022.
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Winnemem Wintu, whose lands were flooded with the damming of Lake Shasta. To Sisk, the salmon that once spawned in the tributaries above the Central Valley signal the region’s health. “If there are no salmon, there will be no people soon.” Federal scientists estimate that about three-quarters of endangered winter-run Chinook salmon eggs died last year because the water downstream of a depleted Lake Shasta was too warm. Only about 3 percent of the salmon ultimately survived to migrate downriver. “It’s been clear for decades that there was a need to reduce diversions,” said Doug Obegi, senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council. “The consequences are just becoming more and more extreme.” In 2020, California sued the Trump administration over what it said were flawed federal assessments for how the Central Valley Project’s operations harm endangered species. The judge sent the federal plans back for more work and approved what he called a “reasonable interim approach” that called for prioritizing fish and public safety over irrigation districts. He called the contracts an “800 pound gorilla” that “make it exceedingly and increasingly difficult” for the federal government to be “sufficiently protective of winterrun (salmon).” U.S. Bureau of Reclamation spokesperson Gary Pitzer said the agency worked with the districts to reach an agreement on how much water to deliver because “it’s the
right thing to do, particularly during drought—one of the worst on record.” Environmental advocacy groups applauded the reduced allocations to the Sacramento Valley irrigation districts. But they also raised concerns that other irrigation districts with similar contracts elsewhere in the state would still see their full dry-year allocations and cautioned that the temperatures still will kill salmon by the scores this year. Wildlife refuges where birds can rest and eat during their 4,000-mile winter journeys along the Pacific Flyway also are receiving significantly less water this year. Curtis McCasland, manager of the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex, expects less than half a typical year’s water supply to be delivered to the refuges this year—cobbled together from purchased water supplies, federal deliveries and, he hopes, storm flows this winter. North of Sacramento, the five refuges in the complex are painstakingly tended wilderness in a sea of agriculture. More than a century ago, wetlands fanned out for miles to either side of the flood-prone Sacramento River. Now, more than 90 percent of the state’s wetlands are gone—drained for fields, homes, and businesses. Those remaining in these refuges now depend on
water flowing from Shasta Dam and shunted through irrigation canals. At the end of April, the Colusa National Wildlife Refuge offered an oasis among the barren rice fields, which normally provide about twothirds of the migrating bird’s calories. Dark green bulrushes rose from shallow ponds where shorebirds jackhammered their bills in and out of the muck. McCasland knows all this lush green can’t last. As he steered an SUV past black-necked stilts picking their way through the water and ducklings paddling ferociously, he braced for another dry year. “Instead of being those postage stamps in a sea of rice, we’re going to be postage stamps in a sea of fallow fields,” McCasland said. In a typical year, the refuge wetlands that depend on federal water get much less water than the settlement contractors are entitled to—about 4 percent of the total, McCasland estimates. And he worries that this year, whatever water they do receive won’t be enough to keep all these birds fed and healthy. More than a million birds descend on the refuges every winter to rest and find food. More stop in the surrounding rice fields, which are largely dry this year. “In years where Shasta is at a normal or average level, it should be no problem to get us the water,” he
Mathew Garcia, standing in one of his fallowed rice fields in Glenn, says he can’t plant anything this year because of reduced water deliveries.
said. “In years like this, certainly it’s going to be terribly difficult.” The drought already may have taken a toll. Last November, only 745,000 birds landed in the refuge, a decrease of more than 700,000 from November 2019, although some may have remained farther north because of unseasonably balmy weather there. The refuges are like a farm, where McCasland and his colleagues carefully cultivate tule, shrubs and grasses with pulses of summertime irrigations. With less water this summer, these wintertime food sources for birds will dry and shrivel. And with less water during the peak of fall and winter migrations, hungry birds will be packed together in the few remaining marshes—raising the risk of outbreaks from diseases like avian botulism or cholera. “There’s not a lot of places for these birds to go,” he said. “The Sacramento Valley has always been the bankable piece. … They do have wings, they may be able to move through.” But, he added, “the question is, what happens next?” Ω CalMatters Photo Editor Miguel Gutierrez contributed to this story.
Fight The Bite! • AVOID DAWN AND DUSK • DRAIN STANDING WATER • WEAR REPELLENT
Remembering Daisy Lane A long-forgotten black neighborhood was demolished for the Chico’s first public-housing project
indchime Park on Humboldt Avenue is known for many things. For starters, it has a giant wind chime created by former Chico artist Gregg Payne, which is why it is most commonly called Windchime rather than the official designation, Humboldt Neighborhood Park. Among the unhoused community, it’s also sometimes called “Dog Park.” Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has served as the location of one of the largest tent encampments in Chico. In 2020, the park was also the site protests and counter-protests of the syringe-distribution program that generated a viral spectacle of clowns, glittery butterfly wings and assault allegations. Note on sources: A thank you to the Special Collections department of Meriam Library for providing images and materials cited in this article.
JUNE 9, 2022
Windchime Park was also the site of Chico Scrap Metal prior to its relocation to the site on E. 20th Street, where it remained in operation until Feb. 28 of this year. In striking resemblance to its current situation, the company was required to move from Humboldt due to operations being incompatible with the surrounding Chapman-Mulberry neighborhood, notably the low-income housing across the street. That low-income housing—a row of cinderblock duplexes facing Windchime Park— was part of Chico’s first publichousing project, its origin intertwined with hydrological engineering, municipal-housing politics and racism. The area was called Daisy Lane, and there is very little known about the place or the people who used to live there. If you stand in the gravelly parking lot
of Windchime Park and turn towards Little Chico Creek, you’ll see a great big cottonwood tree jutting out of the embankment. Examine the ground surrounding the trunk, and you’ll see a pebbly concrete fill where a stream once entered the creek. This is the original confluence of Little Chico Creek and its largest tributary, Dead Horse Slough. Dead Horse Slough is a seasonal creek that runs out of the mountains just south of Big Chico Creek. It forms the gentle ravine where we now have Canyon Oaks Country Club, then is captured between a dam and a
Before-and-after images of the Daisy Lane neighborhood that was replaced with “Site A” of a public housing project built on Humboldt Avenue in the early 1960s. IMAGES COURTESY OF SPECIAL COLLECTIONS, MERIAM LIBRARY, CHICO STATE. TAKEN FROM REINETTE PORTER’S 1963 THESIS, HOUSING IN BUTTE COUNTY; A HISTORICAL AND SOCIAL SURVEY.
levee along Bruce Road to form the lakes of California Park. Dead Horse Slough in the area in question—commonly known as Chapmantown—is of a humbler origin, as the name would suggest. Humboldt Avenue was the first highway into town from the foothills and, as with much of the city’s outskirts, it formed the setting of a lot of industry. The Big Chico Creek V-flume terminated at a sawmill yard east of Pine Street. A slaughterhouse located farther east served the cattle ranchers in the foothills, and butchers were known to use Little Chico Creek as waste disposal. The building where Has Beans roasts its coffee once hosted, by some (possibly apocryphal) accounts, the nastiest saloon in town. After WWII, central Chico experienced
urban decay. Like other U.S. cities during that era, affluent segments of the population moved to new suburbs and commuted by car while Chico’s downtown and core neighborhoods declined in wealth and population. Several of Chico’s largest buildings would be demolished before the end of the 1960s. So, Chapmantown was not the only of Chico’s neighborhoods plagued with under-maintenance and neglect at the time, but it did have a special reputation. In 1957, sociologist Ritchie Lowry published a brief report called “Chapman Town: A Study of Substandard Housing.” Contrary to popular belief at the time, Chapmantown was only 9 percent nonwhite. However, around
Before-and-after images of Natoma Court that was replaced with “Site C” of public housing project built in Chico in the early 1960s. IMAGES COURTESY OF SPECIAL COLLECTIONS, MERIAM LIBRARY, CHICO STATE. TAKEN FROM REINETTE PORTER’S 1963 THESIS, HOUSING IN BUTTE COUNTY; A HISTORICAL AND SOCIAL SURVEY.
This 1949 fire insurance map shows the location of Daisy (spelled “Daysy”) Lane and an intact section of Dead Horse Slough before both were replaced with public housing. The green space is the site of Humboldt Neighborhood Park, commonly known today as “Windchime” Park. MAP COURTESY OF SPECIAL COLLECTIONS, MERIAM LIBRARY, CHICO STATE
Daisy Lane (spelled “Daysy” Lane in some documents), all but two families on the block were African-American. This same block was singled out as the most utterly dilapidated. Lowry described the area as “entirely blighted: families living in decaying and rotting one room shacks, open privies shared by three or four families, no paved areas and so on.” Both the concentration of poverty and the condition of the dwellings can be connected to its location along the edge of a swale in an area that remains at high risk of flooding today. Lowry’s work ignited support for public housing from the Chico City Council. Seven years earlier, the council had discussed accepting a round of projects, but their efforts were interrupted by the addition of Article 34 to the California Constitution, which mandates a local referendum be held before public funds can be committed to low-income housing. The issue thus
complicated, the council dropped it. Public housing in Chico only reentered public dialogue through the efforts of groups like the League of Women Voters (LWV), First Christian Church and the Chico Grange. In 1956, the LWV initiated a study of zoning with regards to creating new housing. The City Council soon after submitted a referendum to cooperate with the Butte County Housing Authority in the construction of 100 units of public housing. Like most public housing in the United States today, it would be low-rise and dispersed among different locales in the city. To assuage the concerns of local realtors—who had successfully tanked two public-housing referendums in the Oroville area in the previous years and organized a committee against this one—it was stipulated that within five years, at least as many housing units as are built would be demolished or renovated. On November 4, 1958, the referendum passed with support from voters in every precinct in Chico. A series of luncheon meetings to detail the execution of the agreement took place afterward at Hotel Oaks, by many historical accounts a whites-only establish-
Two cottonwood trunks grow below a concrete plug in the spot where Dead Horse Slough once met Little Chico Creek. PHOTO BY JASON CASSIDY
ment and the tallest building in Chico before it was demolished for a parking lot. Reinette Clark Porter, in her 1963 thesis for Chico State College on public housing in Butte County, recounts the meetings. The city government was fixated on ridding themselves of Daisy Lane by putting a portion of the new housing there, which the council believed was what motivated voters to support the referendum. The Housing Authority, however, loathed dealing with Daisy Lane’s many property owners and the slough running through, preferring instead to build in a field near the university. The city government was concerned about residents displaced from the demolition relocating near white and middle-class areas.
In the end, the city handled the
slum-clearance part of the program, bulldozing Daisy Lane and filling in Dead Horse Slough with refuse from another effort, the Esplanade reconstruction project, which created the gorgeous gateway to the city’s northern frontier. Because fewer than 12 of the residents of Daisy Lane were registered to vote, the city could push through annexation as an “uninhabited area,” bypassing the opportunity for them to contest the arrangement. Public housing duplexes of identical design were set out in three additional sites in south Chico: La Leita Court, Natoma Court and the southern end of Hazel Street. The Hazel projects were built last and after some delay because, as Porter put it, “it was hoped that the [AfricanAmericans] would move on rather than across town.” If the people from Daisy Lane did stay in Chico, it’s likely they remained in the neighborhood. In a 1964 survey of the Black population, 77 percent of Black residents in the city lived in southeast Chico, primarily between Little Chico Creek and Boucher, California and Guill streets. Black people were found to commonly live in lower-quality housing than their white neighbors of the time, and of those who expressed dissatisfaction with where they
A few houses in the Humboldt Avenue section of Chico’s first public-housing project. PHOTO BY JASON CASSIDY
lived, the most common factor cited limiting their relocation was their race. The study found that no Black people lived in northwest Chico and only four north of Bidwell Park. The primary intent of the projects may have been to demolish undesired housing, but 60 years on, the cinderblock duplexes actually remain a successful endeavor, providing good quality housing for low-income residents. Last year, when a resident of the Humboldt Avenue projects spoke to a local TV news outlet about frustrations with the homeless people living nearby, the newscast titled the story “Homeless vs Homeowners,” which in a way speaks to the dignity afforded to tenants of Chico’s public housing. As far as those displaced to make way for the projects, while working on this story, the CN&R did encounter one Black resident of the Chapman neighborhood who remembered moving from Daisy Lane as a young child. But overall, we know no more than Porter did in 1963 when she wrote, “It has been impossible to determine what has happened to the other former Humboldt area residents, or exactly how many there were.” Ω
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SAMPLE BALLOT ★GOODS &
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IT’S TIME TO VOTE: Come one, come all to the greatest show on earth—Best of Chico 2022! All you need to do is vote for the people, places and things that make Chico such a great place to live and visit.
HOW TO VOTE: The polls are open now and free voting takes place exclusively online where full contest rules are available. Categories are shown on this page.
VOTING ENDS MONDAY, JULY 18, AT 11:59 P.M. Best Motorcycle Dealer Best New Business (non-food service, open in last year) Best Nursery Best Outdoor Living (patios, pergolas, pools, etc.) Best Pet Groomer Best Piercing Studio Best Place For A Mani/Pedi Best Place For Electronics/ Computer Repair Best Place To Buy Books Best Place To Buy Home Furnishings Best Place To Buy Outdoor Gear Best Plumber Best Professional Photographer Best Property Management Best Real Estate Agent Best Reptile Store Best Roofer Best RV Rentals Best Shoe Store Best Solar Company Best Sporting Goods Best Tattoo Parlor Best Thrift Store Best Tree Service Best Wedding/Event Planner Best Window Treatments Best Women’s Clothier
★FOOD & DRINK★ Best Asian Cuisine Best Bakery Best Barbecue Best Breakfast Best Brunch Best Burger Best Burrito Best Caterer Best Cheap Eats Best Chef Best Craft Beer Selection Best Delivery Driver Best Diner Best Fine Dining Best Food Server (name and location) Best Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt Best International Cuisine Best Italian Cuisine Best Local Brewery — Regional (Butte/ Glenn/Tehama) Best Local Coffee House Best Local Restaurant — Chico Best Local Restaurant — Oroville Best Local Winery — Regional (Butte/Glenn/Tehama) Best Locally Produced Food — Regional (Butte/Glenn/Tehama) Best Lunch Best Mexican Cuisine
Best Munchies Best New Eatery (opened in last year) Best Patio Best Pho Best Pizza Best Sandwich Best Street Food Best Sushi Best Taco Best Takeout/Curbside Best Vegetarian Cuisine
★HEALTH & WELLNESS★ Best Acupuncture Clinic Best Alternative Health Care Provider Best Boutique Gym Best Chiropractor Best Dental Care Best Dermatologist Best Eye Care Specialist Best General Practitioner Best Gym Best Hearing Aid Specialist Best Local CBD Source Best Local Healthcare Provider Best Martial Arts Studio Best Massage Therapist Best Pediatrician
JUNE 9, 2022
Best Personal Trainer Best Physical Therapy Office Best Plastic Surgeon Best Veterinarian Best Yoga Studio
★NIGHTLIFE & THE ARTS★ Best Art Space Best Bar Best Bloody Mary Best Casino — Regional (Butte/Glenn/Tehama) Best Dance Company/Studio Best Happy Hour Best Local Music Act Best Local Visual Artist Best Margarita Best Mixologist (name and location) Best Museum Best Place To Buy Art Best Place To Dance Best Place To Drink A Glass Of Wine Best Sports Bar Best Theater Company Best To-Go Cocktail Or Bar Service Best Venue For Live Music Best Watering Hole For Townies
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Arts &Culture FRIDAY NIGHT CONCERT: Live local music in the downtown plaza. This week: Soul Posse. Fri, 6/10, 7pm. City Plaza. downtownchico.com MAX MINARDI: Local singer/songwriter entertains the happy hour crowd. Fri, 6/10, 4pm. La
Salles, 229 Broadway St. lasalleschico.com
Theater FLAMING IDIOTS: See June 9. Fri, 6/10, 7:30pm. $18-$20. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Road, Ste. F. chicotheater.com
FOOTLOOSE THE MUSICAL: See June 9. Fri, 6/10, 7:30pm. $15-$20. Birdcage Theatre, 1740 Bird
St., Oroville. birdcagetheatre.org
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER: California Regional Theatre presents the hit musical from 2014. Fri, 6/10, 7:30pm. $31.50$35. First Street Theater, 139 W. First St. crtshows.com
Art & Museums 1078 GALLERY: Pod, an exhibition presented by Chikoko fashion/art collective. Artists’ reception Fri, 6/24. Through 7/3. 1710 Park Ave. 1078gallery.org
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM: See June 9. Fri, 6/10, 8pm. $15. Cedar Grove, Bidwell Park. legacystage.org
CHICO ART CENTER: Sculpture and Print Work TOO MANY COOKS: See June 9. Fri, 6/10, 7:30pm. $18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal
by Andrea Bacigalupo, an exhibition of cast concrete sculpture and print work by the Bay Area artist previously exhibited in the California Contemporary Sculpture exhibit. Also: Second Saturday open studios and Second Sunday virtual visits, June 11-12. Visit CAC site for more info. Through 6/26. 450 Orange St. chicoartcenter.com
Road, Paradise. totr.org
MUSEUM OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA ART: Sisko Lives!
A Collectors Show, an exhibition of the life’s work of David Sisk, aka Sisko. Through 6/12. Also: Celebrate Red Yellow Blue, an exhibit featuring works by Nor-Cal artists that are dominant in the primary colors. Opening reception June 18, 6-8pm. Shows 6/16-8/21. 900 Esplanade. monca.org
BRITISH INVASION WEEKEND: See June 9. Sat, 6/11. The Allies Pub, 426 Broadway Ste. 130. thealliespub.com
CHICO MARKETPLACE KIDS CLUB: Crafts for kids at the mall, including creating cards for Father’s Day. Hosted by Jacqueline Patton of Arty Party Studios. Sat, 6/11, 1pm. Chico Marketplace, 1950 E. 20th St. shopchicomarketplace.com
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, 8am1pm); Thursday Night Market downtown (Thursdays, 6pm); Chico State University Farm (Thursdays, noon-4 p.m.). Magalia: Magalia Community Center (Sundays, 10am). Paradise: Alliance Church (Tuesdays, 7:30am2pm); “Farmers Market Mobile” in Paradise, 1397 South Park Drive (Thursdays, 2pm).
FLUME STREET FAIR: Art, crafts, jewelry, stained glass, ceramics, and more. Open mic 11am2pm and live music 2-4pm. Saturdays, 11am. Chico Art Studio, corner of Eighth & Flume streets.
CHICO PRIDE POP-UP FAIR & FESTIVAL: Local ven-
THE VELVET TEEN June 18 Naked Lounge
SECRET TRAIL OPEN MIC: Weekly open mic at the brewery. Wednesdays, 6pm. Secret Trail Brewing Company, 132 Meyers St., Ste. 120.
Weekly open mics
CASINO COMEDY NIGHT: Live comedy every
BRITISH INVASION WEEKEND: Live music on the
other Thursday at the Spirits Lounge in the casino. Thursdays, 8pm. Gold Country Casino & Hotel, 4020 Olive Highway, Oroville. goldcountrycasino.com
COMEDY THURSDAY: Weekly comedy show and open mic hosted by Dillon Collins. Thursdays, 8pm. Free. Bella’s Sports Pub, 231 Main St. 530-520-0119. Pershing. Sign up to perform two songs. All ages until 10pm. Fridays, 6:30pm. Free. The DownLo, 319 Main St.
OPEN MIC COMEDY: Open mic comedy night hosted by Dillon Collins. Sign ups 8pm, showtime 9pm. Wednesdays, 9pm. Free. The Studio Inn Lounge, 2582 Esplanade. 530-520-0119.
Music CHRIS BARON: Roots rock on tour from Oregon. Thu, 6/9, 6pm. La Salles, 229 Broadway St. lasalleschico.com
OPEN MIC AT THE DOWNLO: Hosted by Jeff
patio, games, and British brews from the local brewery. Thu, 6/9. The Allies Pub, 426 Broadway Ste. 130. thealliespub.com
JUNE 9, 2022
THROWBACK THURSDAY: Old-school jams from the ’80s, ’90s, and early ’00s with DJ cootdog and guests. Thu, 6/9, 9pm. The Commons Social Empourium, 2412 Park Ave.
WEBSTER MOORE, THE FED UPS: Show night on the back patio with two local bands. Thu, 6/9, 8pm. $7-$15. Argus Bar + Patio, 212 W. Second St.
Theater FLAMING IDIOTS: The play follows two unsuccessful restaurant owners who will stop at nothing to increase their popularity. It’s fast-paced and a bit like Weekend at Bernie’s in a restaurant. Thu, 6/9, 7:30pm. $18-$20. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Road, Ste. F. chicotheater.com
FOOTLOOSE THE MUSICAL: Local production of the hit musical based on the iconic Kevin Bacon film. Thu, 6/9, 7:30pm. $15-$20. Birdcage Theatre, 1740 Bird St., Oroville. birdcage theatre.org
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM: Legacy Stage presents Shakespeare in the park. Bring a blanket or a chair, have a picnic and enjoy theater outside. Thu, 6/9, 8pm. $15. Cedar Grove, Bidwell Park. legacystage.org
TOO MANY COOKS: A comedy by Marcia Kash & Douglas E. Hughes, directed by Jerry Miller. Irving Bubbalowe and his daughter, Honey, have risked everything to open a new gourmet restaurant. When their renowned singing chef, François LaPlouffe, fails to appear, the grand opening is suddenly in jeopardy. Thu, 6/9, 7:30pm. $18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. totr.org
dors, food, and activities in the Stonewall parking lot celebrating Pride Month. Sat, 6/11, 10am. Stonewall Alliance Chico, 358 E. Sixth St. stonewallchico.com
YART SALE: Includes games/puzzles, art, toys,
books, tools, yard items, furniture, kid’s items, jewelry, home decor, and more. Clothing and electronics are not accepted. For more information email contact@monca. org. Sat, 6/11. Museum of Northern California Art, 900 Esplanade. monca.org
BOB’S COMEDY SHOW: Local comedians Connor
MATEAS AVALOS & FAMILY: Live music with brunch. Sat, 6/11, 11am. La Salles, 229
Fitzgerald, Samantha Luger and Jared Carter open for Bay Area comics Luigi Diaz and Terrell “Big T” Butler. Fri, 6/10, 7:30pm. $20. Gnarly Deli, 243 W. Second St. gnarlydeli.square.site
BRITISH INVASION WEEKEND: See June 9. Fri, 6/10. The Allies Pub, 426 Broadway Ste. 130. thealliespub.com
QUEER ART SHOW: Queer Resource Center and Stonewall Alliance Chico present an art show as part of Chico Pride 2022. Artist and community mixer from 5-8pm. Fri, 6/10, 11am. Museum of Northern California Art, 900 Esplanade. stonewallchico.com
Music BRITTANY AND THE BLISSTONES: Live music with local island-pop crew. Fri, 6/10, 5pm. Free. Golden Beaver Distillery, 13464 Browns Valley Dr. 505-504-8426.
Broadway St. lasalleschico.com
MR. CROWLEY: Ozzy Osbourne tribute band. Sat, 6/11, 10pm. Free. Feather Falls Casino & Lodge, 3 Alverda Drive, Oroville. featherfallscasino.com
SWING SET: Local country group playing Western swing, jazzy blues, and groovy oldies. Sat, 6/11, 3pm. Free. Secret Trail Brewing Company, 132 Meyers St., Ste. 120,. secrettrailbrewing.simpletix.com
Theater FLAMING IDIOTS: See June 9. Sat, 6/11, 7:30pm. $18-$20. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Road, Ste. F. chicotheater.com
FOOTLOOSE THE MUSICAL: See June 9. Sat, 6/11, 7:30pm. $15-$20. Birdcage Theatre, 1740 Bird St., Oroville. birdcagetheatre.org
IS YOUR EVENT LIVE?
OLD BLIND DOGS
Submit events for the online calendar as well as the monthly print edition at chico.newsreview.com/calendar
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER: See June 10. Sat, 6/11, 7:30pm. $31.50-$35. First Street Theater, 139 W. First St. crtshows.com
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM: See June 9. Sat, 6/11, 8pm. $15. Cedar Grove, Bidwell Park. legacystage.org
TOO MANY COOKS: See June 9. Sat, 6/11, 7:30pm. $18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. totr.org
SUN12 PRIDE PICNIC: Live performances by Astronaut Ice Cream, Scout, Positive-I Dance and more. Sun, 6/12, 10am-2pm. Oak Grove Picnic Area, OneMile, Bidwell Park. stonewallchico.com
Music HENRY CROOK BIRD: Record release show for the local singer/songwriter. Also, hillbilly troubadour Jeff Coleman. Sun, 6/12, 3pm. Free. Secret Trail Brewing Company, 132 Meyers St., Ste. 120.
Theater FLAMING IDIOTS: See June 9. Sun, 6/12, 2pm. $18$20. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Road, Ste. F. chicotheater.com
FOOTLOOSE THE MUSICAL: See June 9. Sun, 6/12, 2pm. $15-$20. Birdcage Theatre, 1740 Bird St., Oroville. birdcagetheatre.org
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER: See June 10. Sun, 6/12, 2pm. $31.50-$35. First Street Theater, 139 W. First St. crtshows.com
TOO MANY COOKS: See June 9. Sun, 6/12, 2pm. $18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. totr.org
Events 3RD FRIDAYS @ MONCA: Journaling and poetry workshop with collage artist and poet Jean Varda. Fri, 6/17, 6pm. $5. Museum of Northern California Art, 900 Esplanade. monca.org
MICRO MANIA: Pro wrestling and comedy show. Fri, 6/17, 9pm. $15-$20. Tackle Box, 379 E. Park Ave. eventbrite.com
DUO QUARTET: Chico Concerts presents Nor-Cal four-piece with soulful acoustic guitar and vocal harmonies. Fri, 6/17, 7:30pm. $25. Chico Women’s Club, 592 E. Third St. 530-894-1978. eventbrite.com
FRIDAY NIGHT CONCERT: Live local music in the downtown plaza. This week: Brittany & The Blisstones. Fri, 6/17, 7pm. City Plaza. downtownchico.com
LOUIZA: Jazz, indie electro-pop and alternative rock out of Oakland. Fri, 6/17, 6pm. Free. Secret Trail Brewing Company, 132 Meyers St., Ste. 120, secrettrailbrewing.simpletix.com
TYLER DEVOLL: Local singer/songwriter entertains the happy hour crowd. Fri, 6/17, 5pm. La Salles, 229 Broadway St. lasalleschico.com
Theater FLAMING IDIOTS: See June 9. Fri, 6/17, 7:30pm. $18$20. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Road, Ste. F. chicotheater.com
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER: See June 10. Fri, 6/17, 7:30pm. $31.50-$35. First Street Theater, 139 W. First St. crtshows.com
TOO MANY COOKS: See June 9. Fri, 6/17, 7:30pm. $18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. totr.org
TUE14 Events FORK IN THE ROAD: A local food-truck rally. No pets, please. Tue, 6/14, 5:30pm. Meriam Park, 1930 Market Place.
THU16 Music KELLY TWINS: Dueling pianos, comedy, and singalongs. Thu, 6/16, 8pm. $15. Argus Bar + Patio, 212 W. Second St.
SOUL POSSE: Live music on the patio. Thu, 6/16, 6pm. La Salles, 229 Broadway St. lasalleschico.com
THROWBACK THURSDAY: See June 9. Thu, 6/16, 9pm. The Commons Social Empourium, 2412 Park Ave.
Theater FLAMING IDIOTS: See June 9. Thu, 6/16, 7:30pm. $18-$20. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Road, Ste. F. chicotheater.com
TOO MANY COOKS: See June 9. Thu, 6/16, 7:30pm. $18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. totr.org
Chico Women’s Club
casino. Sat, 6/18, 7pm. $45-$80. Gold Country Casino & Hotel, 4020 Olive Highway, Oroville. (800) 334-9400. goldcountrycasino.com
7:30pm. $18-$20. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Rd., Ste. F. tix6.centerstageticketing.com
PRIDE DANCE NIGHT: An official Pride dance night
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER: See June 10. Sat, 6/18, 7:30pm. $31.50-$35. First
featuring Fauna, Mikie Orange and Brick! A portion of the proceeds go to Stonewall Alliance Chico. Sat, 6/18, 9:30pm. $5. Duffy’s Tavern, 337 Main St. stonewallchico.com
TOO MANY COOKS: See June 9. Sat, 6/18, 7:30pm. $18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal
Street Theater, 139 W. First St. crtshows.com
Road, Paradise. totr.org
Music SUSAN SCHRADER: Live music on the patio. Sat, 6/18, 1pm. The Allies Pub, 426 Broadway Ste. 130. thealliespub.com
THE SWIZZLE STIX: Easy listening, pop, and soul covers. Sat, 6/18, 9pm. Feather Falls Casino & Lodge, 3 Alverda Drive, Oroville. featherfallscasino.com
THE VELVET TEEN: The bombastic power trio returns to town to perform brand new songs and highlights from their 20-plus years as a band. Joined by longtime Seattle homie Tomo Nakayama (of Asahi, Grand Hallway, Jeremy Enigk) and locals Surrogate and Black Magnet. Sat, 6/18, 7pm. $15. Naked Lounge, 118 W. Second St.
VIXEN: ’80s all-female hard rock group that sold over one million albums, had six numberone videos on MTV, and four songs on the Billboard Top 100. Aerosmith tribute band Rag Dolls opens. Sat, 6/18, 7pm. $30. Feather Falls Casino & Lodge, 3 Alverda Drive, Oroville. featherfallscasino.com
Theater FLAMING IDIOTS: See June 9. Sat, 6/18,
CHICO PRIDE POP-UP FAIR & FESTIVAL June 11 Stonewall Alliance
DUSTY RUCKUS AND PASTEL PANTIES: Visiting music from New Orleans. Fri, 6/24, 6pm. Free.
FRIDAY NIGHT CONCERT: Live local music in the
JOE PRATT: Live music by the singer/songwriter. Sun, 6/19, 3pm. Free. Secret Trail Brewing Company, 132 Meyers St., Ste. 120.
OLD BLIND DOGS: Chico Concerts presents the internationally renown Celtic band. Beer from Sierra Nevada. Tickets available without service charge at Pullins Cyclery and Music Connection. Sun, 6/19, 7:30pm. $20. Chico Women’s Club, 592 E. Third St. 530-894-1978. eventbrite.com
Secret Trail Brewing Company, 132 Meyers St., Ste. 120. secrettrailbrewing.simpletix.com downtown plaza. This week: Thunderlump. Fri,
6/24, 7pm. City Plaza. downtownchico.com OBE: Live music during happy hour. Fri, 6/24, 5pm. La Salles, 229 Broadway St. RUNNING IN THE SHADOWS: Local Fleetwood Mac tribute band. Fri, 6/24, 8pm. $10. Tackle Box, 379 E. Park Ave.
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER: See June 10. Sun, 6/19, 2pm. $31.50-$35. First
Street Theater, 139 W. First St. crtshows.com
FLAMING IDIOTS: See June 9. Sun, 6/19, 2pm. $18$20. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Rd., Ste. F. tix6.centerstageticketing.com
TOO MANY COOKS: See June 9. Sun, 6/19, 2pm. $18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. totr.org
KING OF THE CAGE DESTROYER: MMA fights at the
THROWBACK THURSDAY: See June 9. Thu, 6/23, 9pm. The Commons Social Empourium, 2412
ABERRANCE: The Butte County metal band is joined by Preacher from Reno, Alå from Woodland and fellow locals Wasteheart. Sat, 6/25, 7pm. $10. Naked Lounge, 118 W. Second St.
KYLE WILLIAMS: Local singer/songwriter serenades the brunch crowd. Sat, 6/25, 11am. La Salles, 229 Broadway St. lasalleschico.com
SLAUGHTERHOUSE ROAD: Nor-Cal country music. Sat, 6/25, 10pm. Free. Feather Falls
SOUL POSSE: Local cover band. Sat, 6/25, 1pm.
KEITH ANDREW: Jazz guitar during brunch. Mon, 6/20, 11am. La Salles, 229 Broadway St. lasalleschico.com
MISS LEO: Soulgrass trio from San Luis Obispo County. Mon, 6/20, 6pm. Secret Trail Brewing Company, 132 Meyers St., Ste. 120. secrettrail brewing.simpletix.com
Casino & Lodge, 3 Alverda Drive, Oroville. featherfallscasino.com The Allies Pub, 426 Broadway Ste. 130. the alliespub.com
SUN26 Events DIVINE SUNDAYS MARKET: Crystals, herbs, clothing, music, food, workshops and free popsicles. Follow the market on Instagram for updates. Sun, 6/26, 11am. Chico Women’s Club, 592 E. Third St. chicowomensclub.org
Music ALLEN RIGG BAND: Live band on the patio. Thu, 6/23, 6pm. La Salles, 229 Broadway St. lasalleschico.com
EVENTS C O N T I N U E D JUNE 9, 2022
O N PA G E 2 2
Events Insuring a Strong Community LICENSE #0680951
C O N T I N U E D F R O M PA G E 2 1
Music ABBY NORMAL: Jazz/prog rock trio. Sun, 6/26, 3pm. Free. Secret Trail Brewing Company, 132 Meyers St., Ste. 120.
DRAG BRUNCH: Kings and Queens take over every last
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Sunday of the month. Brunch is served all day and you don’t need to buy a ticket to eat. Sun, 6/26, 1pm & 4pm. $20. Gnarly Deli, 243 W. Second St. gnarlydeli. square.site
THU30 Music REGGAE JAM SESSION: Bring your instruments, sticks and vocal microphone. Comedy performances in between jam sets along with live art and an art showcase. Thu, 6/30, 5pm. Union, 2053 Montgomery St, Oroville.
RIVER ROAD: Live music on the patio. Thu, 6/30, 6pm. La Salles, 229 Broadway St. lasalleschico.com
THROWBACK THURSDAY: See June 9. Thu, 6/30, 9pm. The Commons Social Empourium, 2412 Park Ave.
JULY FRI1 Music FRIDAY NIGHT CONCERT: Live local music in the downtown plaza. This week: Sounds Good. Fri, 7/1, 7pm. City Plaza. downtownchico.com
TYLER DEVOLL: Local singer/songwriter entertains the happy hour crowd. Fri, 7/1, 5pm. La Salles, 229 Broadway St. lasalleschico.com
SAT2 Music THE BOB KIRKLAND TRIO: West coast mandolin jazz. Sat, 7/2, 9pm. Feather Falls Casino & Lodge, 3 Alverda Drive, Oroville. featherfallscasino.com
STEVE JOHNSON: Live music during brunch. Sat, 7/2, 11am. La Salles, 229 Broadway St. lasalleschico.com
MON4 Events 4TH OF JULY PARTY: BBQ, dunk tank, obstacle course, water slide. Mon, 7/4, 3pm. Free. Tackle Box, 379 E. Park Ave. OROVILLE 4TH OF JULY: A fly-in show in the morning (8am1pm), with aircraft, food & vendors. Then, fireworks 30 minutes after sunset (red-flag warning cancels). Mon, 7/4. Oroville Airport, 225 Yeager Way. visitoroville.com
SILVER DOLLAR SPEEDWAY FIREWORKS: Fireworks and 360 sprints. Mon, 7/4. Races 6pm; fireworks at sunset. $5-$20. Silver Dollar Speedway, 2357 Fair St. silverdollarspeedway.com.
Music MUMBLEFINGER: Live music on America’s birthday. Mon, 7/4, 6pm. Free. Secret Trail Brewing Company, 132 Meyers St., Ste. 120. secrettrailbrewing.simpletix.com
TUE5 Events FORK IN THE ROAD: See Tue, 6/14. Tue, 7/5, 5:30pm. Meriam Park, 1930 Market Place.
ART DAYS PHOTO BY SECOND SATURDAY ARTIST KARMA BOYER
The Chico Art Center is owning the art scene these days. In addition to its usual rotating exhibitions—this month featuring the sculpture and print work of Andrea Bacigalupo (through June 26)—and schedule of art classes, the busy center is promoting various pop-ups and special events around town. Every Thursday, during 22
JUNE 9, 2022
the downtown Thursday Night Market, the CAC hosts Chico Artists Block, with live artmaking and art for sale, and on a monthly basis, the center is putting on a mini open studios tours, with Second Saturday Art Walk (June 11) and a Second Sunday Virtual Visit (June 12). Visit chicoartcenter.com for more info.
Back in season in Nor Cal
Summer festivals fully return from COVID dormancy
ithout music festivals, it has been difficult for many Northern Californians to mark the passage of time. As schools let out and the sun heats up this part of the state, fun-seekers by are accustomed to Jason running away to cool Cassidy bodies of water and j aso n c @ shady forests to comnewsrev i ew.c om mune with nature and fellow music fanatics, but the COVID-19 pandemic robbed us of long-standing cultural milestones. Music festivals are back now— most of them, anyway. We lost the Guitarfish Music Festival in Cisco Grove, the Vans Warped Tour, and the longstanding Sierra Nevada World Music Festival in Boonville. Some new ones, however, have joined the party, including two at the Black Oak Ranch in Laytonville— Hog Farm Hideaway (June 10-12) 24
JUNE 9, 2022
and The Days Between (Aug. 5-7). The raucous Burger Boogaloo in Oakland has been rebranded as The Mosswood Meltdown (and, yes, John Waters is still the master of ceremonies), while the locally produced For the Funk of It fest has moved down from Belden to the Lake Concow Campground. The stages are set. Time to get back to tradition and take a road trip. The CN&R recommends packing face coverings and COVID tests with your hula-hoops and flasks. The pandemic may have waned, but big crowds still should be approached with caution. Have fun and stay safe out there.
Huichica Music Festival: June 10-11, Gundlach Bundschu Winery, Sonoma. Featuring: Allah-Las, Damien Jurado, ESG, Woods, Turnover, La Luz, Lilys, Mary Lattimore, more. Tickets: $85-$225 (single day) to $295 (two days). huichica.com Hog Farm Hideaway: June 10-12, Black Oak Ranch, Laytonville. Featuring: String Cheese Incident (three headlining sets), The Infamous Stringdusters, Hot Buttered Rum, Galactic, Holly Bowling, Pimps of Joytime, more. Tickets: $120 (single day) to $365
(three days). hogfarmhideaway.com
Father’s Day Bluegrass Festival: June 16-19, Nevada County Fairgrounds, Grass Valley. Featuring: Della Mae, Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band, Laurie Lewis & The Right Hands, AJ Lee & Blue Summit, more. Tickets: $20-$80 (one day) to $75$195 (four-day passes, camping included). fathersdayfestival.com Country Summer: June 17-19, Sonoma County Fairgrounds, Santa Rosa. Blake Shelton, Kelsea Burger Boogaloo in Oakland has come back as Mosswood Meltdown, happening July 2-3.
A stage-view shot from the 2019 For the Funk of It festival, which has moved from its former Belden location to the Lake Concow Campground. PHOTO BY TONY DELLACIOPPA
Ballerini, Lainey Wilson, Chris Young, Josh Turner, more. $35$159 (single day) to $279-$459 (three days); camping extra. countrysummer.com Kate Wolf Music Festival: June 23-26, Black Oak Ranch, Laytonville. Featuring: Taj Mahal, Iris Dement, Ani DiFranco, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Darlene Love, Bruce Cockburn, Tim Bluhm, Calexico, more. While officially sold out, there may be tickets available on the sanctioned resale site: katewolf musicfestival.lyte.com. General fest info: katewolfmusicfestival.com Stilldream Festival: June 23-27, Blue Mountain Event Center. Wilseyville. “Auditory lineup” for this EDM party is a surprise. Tickets: $149-$179. Parking and camping extra. stilldreamfestival.com High Sierra Music Festival: June 30-July 3, Plumas-Sierra County Fairgrounds, Quincy. Featuring: Femi Kuti & The Positive Force, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Greensky Bluegrass, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Lettuce, more. Tickets: $75.75-99.75 (single day) to $200.75-$335.75 (for two- to fourday passes, with camping). Parking extra. highsierramusic.com Mosswood Meltdown: July 2-3, Mosswood Park, Oakland. Featuring: Kim Gordon, John Waters, Bikini Kill, Dirtbombs, The Linda Lindas, Flipper, more.
Tickets: $99-$149 (single day) and $149-$249 (two day). mosswood meltdown.com California WorldFest: July 14-17, Nevada County Fairgrounds, Grass Valley. Featuring: Old Crow Medicine Show, Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, Monsieur Perine, Battle of Santiago, MaMuse, more. Tickets: From $70-95 (one day) to $155$245 (two to four days). Camping extra. worldfest.net Redwood Ramble: July 14-17, Camp Navarro, Navarro. Featuring: The Meters, The Mother Hips, George Porter Jr. & Dumpstaphunk, The Brothers Comatose, T Sisters, more. While officially sold out, ticket-holders have been reselling via the Ramble Gathering Place on Facebook: facebook.com/groups/ RambleGatheringPlace. Event info: redwoodramble.com Northern Nights Music Festival, July 15-17, Cook’s Valley Campground, Humboldt/Mendocino. Featuring: Claude Vonstroke, Troyboi, Clozee, SNBRN, David Starfire, QRION, Deep Groove Society. Tickets: $329 (includes general camping). northernnights.org The Days Between: Aug. 5-7, Black Oak Ranch, Laytonville. Dark Star Orchestra, Melvin Seals & JGB, Keller Williams’ Grateful Grass, Jackie Greene, Banana Slug String Band, more. Tickets: $310-$330 (three-day pass). daysbetweenfest.com Outside Lands: Aug. 5-7, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. Featuring: Green Day, SZA, Weezer, Mac DeMarco, Pussy Riot, Best Coast, more. Tickets: $175 (single day); $409 (three days). sfoutsidelands.com Petaluma Music Festival: Aug. 6, Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds, Petaluma. Featuring: Jackie Greene, Anders Osborne, Dustbowl Revival, Rainbow Girls, Joy & Madness, more. Tickets: $60. petalumamusicfestival.org For the Funk of It: Aug. 12-14, Lake Concow Campground, Concow. Featuring: Lyrics Born, Orgone, Jazz Mafia’s Grateful Brass, Sal’s Greenhouse, Smokey the Groove, more. Tickets: $100-$125 (single day); $250 (three days). Camping/ parking extra. ftffest.com Ω
Sprouting anew OChico,liningthePark Avenue in South 1078 Gallery—with its f the many colorful buildings
do a fashion show for sure, but I’m not sure [about this year]. It’s challenging because they’re so big, and vibrant orange exterior, sky-blue we want to look out for everyone’s trim and florid exterior murals—is best interests and health concerns.” among the most vibrant. Throughout Chikoko wasn’t completely out this month, the building’s colorful of the public eye, though. They held interior will rival an online costume show early in story & its kaleidoscopic the pandemic and a craft supplies photos by outer walls as art/ exchange at the Chico Women’s Ken Smith fashion collective Club in February. The Bizarre Chikoko commanBazaar, a flea-market-type event kens@ newsrev iew.c om deers the gallery with dozens of vendors, returned last space for its first December after a year-long COVID post-pandemic art hiatus. And, most recently, they ran On display now: event, Pod. a crafting station at Sierra Nevada Pod shows through The group is Brewery’s Beer Camp last month. July 3; reception transforming the “Beer Camp was great,” Hughes June 24, 6-8pm space into a “junsaid. “There were more than 5,000 1078 Gallery gle-like landscape people there over the course of the 1710 Park Ave. with unrecognizweekend, and it was a fun thing to 1078gallery.org able specimens,” do to interact with the public and get according to the creative with people.” official description of the exhibit. Hughes said Pod will be the Muir Hughes—who is one-third of first exhibit that Chikoko has held Chikoko, along with Nel Adams at 1078 Gallery, though the troupe and Sara Rose Bonetti—met with has appeared in support of other the CN&R about a week before the artists’ shows: “Sometimes friends installation to give more insight about and other artists reach out when what to expect. they want a performative “The name and idea is aspect, so we’ve showed meant to embody sort of up and [done] something Chikoko takes over 1078 Gallery with group installation emerging plant life, but … weird.” in an abstracted way,” In preparing Pod, she said. “People might recognize the three members of Chikoko own COVID pod in a with the COVID-19 plant-like shapes, but its going to mostly worked alone from home, virtual sense: “We met crisis. This double be sort of twisted and warped.” with larger pieces coming together often online and talked meaning is intentional, The art will be mostly made in at the group’s shared studio/storage about a lot of ideas and Hughes said. Chikoko’s primary medium—fabric space. Hughes said most of the show came up with a lot of “We came up with and textiles—with lots of recycled will be an installation with large plans for the future, but the theme during our material also incorporated. pieces that people will move around, we didn’t really physiannual beginning“It’s going to be very colorful, through and sometimes into. There cally see each other.” of-the year meeting, very bold, and we’re looking to transwill be an interactive section on the The group, which while talking about form the space,” she continued. “So stage where visitors can move pieces has been together since what we were feeling it’s not going to be a typical gallery to construct their own Pod-like cre2005, also mostly and what we could do show with paintings on the wall and ations. A few smaller pieces will be stepped away from the artistically,” Hughes lots of negative space ... some of the for sale. annual events it hosts. said. “Emergence was pieces are big enough for people to Though partly pandemic inspired, Hughes said she and the theme that kept climb inside. Hughes emphasized that Pod is not her cohorts are uncercoming up … the pod, “We want it to be like everything intended to be about the collective tain when their annual the seed, the creativis emerging, all tangled up, wild and trauma, sorrow, upheaval and confufashion show—a venerated local hapity that’s been just waiting. We know overwhelmingly abundant.” sion that’s run amuck the last twoTop: A cozy corner of the pening that typically draws crowds of we’re not through the pandemic, In addition to its relationship to plus years. Chikoko Pod exhibit at 1078 Gallery. more than 1,000—will return. but [Pod] is supposed to be upliftseeds and new growth, the word “It’s supposed to be fun,” she “All of our events are very public ing. Sprouting, emerging, flowering “pod”—as in a small group of family said. “There may be underlying Bottom: Chikoko member oriented … even when we do visual … something more hopeful than the and/or friends isolated together from issues we were working through in Muir Hughes poses at home arts, there’s always interactive eleplace we’re coming from.” the greater population—is one of making the art … but we want it to with pieces she worked on for the collective’s Pod exhibit. ments,” Hughes said. “We’ll eventually Hughes said Chikoko was in its those terms that’s become associated be fun.” Ω
JUNE 9, 2022
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ver the last couple of months,
Oappealing the film I’ve found most deeply is Navalny, the richly engaging documentary about the high-profile Russian by dissident who barely Juan-Carlos survived an apparSelznick ent state-sponsored poisoning and, after an extended period of recovery, returned to Russia in continued defiance, knowing full well that imprisonment or worse were likely awaiting. Alexei Navalny, now imprisoned in Russia, is—along with his wife, Yulia—an active participant in the making of the film, which combines archival and TV footage with filmmaker Daniel Roher’s up-close coverage of Navalny’s recovery and resumption of political activity. A particularly astonishing part of Roher’s footage involves real-time coverage of a tech-savvy investigative reporter, Christo Grozev, using phone records, online documents and other digital artifacts to track and expose figures involved in the poisoning. There’s a kind of movie-star glamour to the film’s dissident couple, which unmistakably enhances
their visibility in the world of 21st century media. Roher calls attention to the couple’s media savvy, including the willingness of both to acknowledge that a certain amount of role-playing is a necessary part of their dedicated activism. In a way, this surprisingly deft and powerful documentary is a tutorial on contemporary heroism—vivid personalities and shrewd daring-do, refusing to turn away from terrifying risks. Navalny premiered on CNN at the end of April and can now be streamed on HBO Max. In “Ave Maria” (2015), a 15-minute
short now streaming on Netflix, a squabbling family of Israeli settlers has their car break down just outside a Catholic convent somewhere on the West Bank of Palestine. The sisters in the convent have taken a vow of silence. With Sabbath looming, the Israelis want to phone for help but can’t. A Palestinian patrol car stops to investigate, and a brisk little comedy of cross-cultural manners ensues. Writer-director Basil Khalil, a native of Nazareth whose mother is British-Irish, brings a gently rowdy humor to this pungently humanistic concoction.
While browsing films from the early
1930s on YouTube, I came upon a classic of silent Soviet cinema, Alexander Dovzhenko’s Earth (aka Zemlya, 1930), that I hadn’t seen in nearly half a century. Along with Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera (1929), it’s my great favorite among the early Soviet classics, but what moved me to an immediate revisit is that it’s set in the Ukraine, and its celebration of revolution and working folk flourishes above all in terms of the Ukraine’s wheatland landscapes. It’s often described as a political poem in the form of a film, and I’d hasten to add that this film’s poetry radiates something akin to the ecstatic pantheistic lyricism of Walt Whitman. Ω
Seana O’Shaughnessy, CHIP president and CEO. PHOTO BY MICHELLE CAMY
Meet your local housing expert CHIP, a Chico nonprofit, has spent the past 50 years helping local residents find a place to call home BY ANNE STOKES
home is more than four walls and a roof: It is safety, the city was creating a redevelopment agency to revitalize it is security and it’s a foundation upon which people blighted neighborhoods,” says Dave Ferrier, former CEO who build lives and futures. Since 1973, Community started working with CHIP in 1983. “CHIP’s first efforts created Housing Improvement Program, better known as CHIP, has a program that assisted low-income homeowners in the south been helping individuals and families get into a home of campus neighborhood using student volunteer labor and small their own. loans or grants for materials. Many of the first CHIP clients “Our goals are to provide safe, quality housing for famwere elderly widowed homeowners who had no way to fix ilies in our communities, including special-needs their homes. Programs of housing rehabilitation populations such as seniors, farm workers to improve the existing housing stock were and people with disabilities. On the CHIP’s bread and butter during that first “With home ownership side, it’s really about decade and some form of housing escalating creating equitable access to housing ‘rehab’ program continued through to cost of housing for folks who wouldn’t have home the early 1990’s.” both for home ownership opportunities without Since then, CHIP has expanded us,” says Seana O’Shaughnessy, its services to include the conownership and renting, CHIP president and CEO. “With struction of new single-family it’s become harder and escalating cost of housing both home subdivisions and multiharder for folks to be for home ownership and renting, family rental properties in Butte, able to afford decent it’s become harder and harder for Glenn, Tehama, Shasta, Sutter, folks to be able to afford a decent Yuba and Colusa counties. In a place to live.” place to live.” few small, rural areas, CHIP has Seana O’Shaughnessy CHIP got its start in the 1970s as a been able to help communities build CHIP president and CEO partnership between CSU Chico and the safe water and wastewater infrastruccity. Its founders—Jim Jessee, Keith Hopkins, ture. Today, they’ve created a path to home Bill Murphy and Kevin Campbell—sought to help ownership for more than 2,000 families, built their community by rehabilitating houses for Chico resi800 multi-family homes, and currently manage 18 rental dents unable to upkeep their homes. properties. They also offer an array of resident services at those “CHIP, originally Chico Housing Improvement Program, properties, including after-school programs, financial educabegan as a joint effort of Chico State’s Industrial Technology tion, mothers’ groups and nutrition classes. program and the City of Chico. Chico State had students “The folks who are housed in our properties are health interested in existing and new construction techniques and aides, they’re working retail, they’re working in restaurants, PAID ADVERTISEMENT
there are so many jobs that people do that don’t pay enough for people to be able to afford housing,” O’Shaughnessy says. “In our community, that naturally occurring affordable housing just doesn’t exist anymore; it’s gone, particularly with the Camp Fire.” Former executive director Ann Harrington headed the nonprofit in the 1980s, but says the need for safe and attainable housing endures. She still has strong memories of working with communities and the impact it has on families. “I remember a young girl who was living with her family, there were maybe five kids in the family in a very small apartment, and she had nowhere to do her homework. They built a house through the self-help housing program—the first one we did in Gridley—and at the ribbon-cutting at the end, I remember her coming up to me and saying, ‘I have a place for my desk now,’” Harrington says. “It was so important for that family, for these kids, to have somewhere to do their homework. They didn’t need a whole library, they just needed some place to sit down and do their homework. Hopefully that helped them become more successful in school. Long-term reverberations happen when people have adequate, decent and affordable housing.”
For more information about CHIP, visit chiphousing.org or call 1-888-912-4663.
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BIRD IS THE WORD You’d never catch her dead disheveled/ She wore her buttons brassed and beveled/ Air host, Continental … Houston bound That’s how you start an album. Those scene-setting opening lines from the song “Race the Sun,” which kicks off Beyond the Gate, the new record by local singer/songwriter Henry Crook Bird, hooked me. The lyrics of the other ﬁve tracks have since tugged on my imagination as well, but “Race the Sun” (an airplane song about a stewardess outﬂying her home life, living new ones with each takeoff and landing … am I close?) has so many lines that have gotten under my skin:
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Up there time’s a foregone end/ They can race the sun and nearly win/ Every touchdown’s another one, amen, born again
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Dude ... Call her the shepherd of limbo with a seltzer in her hand You’re killing me, Hank! The stewardess/shepherd is joined by many other curious characters on the album: the stripper mom with “a wit like a straight razor held to your throat” (“Tracks of Silver”); Magnus the mole (“Magnus”); and a narrator insisting “deep down within me is a green meadow in bloom” (“Green Meadow”). Bird was raised in Marysville, and he delivers his words with plainspoken vocals in a familiar Cali-rural twang that suits the folk storytellin’ therein. His acoustic guitar ﬁnger-picking is as ﬁne as his lyrics, prettying up the mostly slow numbers and adding a lively solo over strumming uke on the only uptempo song, “Magnus.” This is a wonderful treat from a local artist—maybe my favorite record of 2022 so far— and I couldn’t recommend it more highly. Download a copy for only $5 at henrycrookbird. bandcamp.com and join Bird (and fellow local hillbilly troubadour Jeff Coleman) for the Beyond the Gate release party on June 12, at 3 p.m., at Secret Trail Brewing Co.
FROM JAMAICA TO HELLTOWN Dylan’s Dharma is killing it! Since 2019, the much-loved local rock/reggae crew has been working on music with the legendary Ducky Simpson of Black Uhuru, and last month, the collaboration yielded the album New Day, released in conjunction with the 50-year anniversary of the seminal Jamaican reggae/dub band. The album was recorded with Dylan’s Dharma collaborator King Hopeton at his studio in the Butte Creek Canyon community of Helltown (and hometown of many of the band members). The debut single, “Brand New Day,” is a rerecording of a tune by Dylan’s Dharma and features frontman Dylan Seid on vocals with Simpson. The accompanying video also stars a cast of Butte County characters and locales—including LaRocca Vineyards, the family operation of Dylan’s Dharma percussionist/co-namesake, Dharma LaRocca. Find the video on YouTube (tinyurl.com/uhuruvideo) and the album at law-records.com. Black Uhuru and Dylan’s Dharma
JUNE 9, 2022
Henry Crook Bird – Beyond the Gate
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FOR THE WEEK OF JUNE 9, 2022 ARIES (March 21-April 19): “It takes a spasm of love to write a poem,” wrote Aries author Erica Jong. I will add that it takes a spasm of love to fix a problem with someone you care about. It also takes a spasm of love to act with kindness when you don’t feel kind. A spasm of love is helpful when you need to act with integrity in a confusing situation and when you want to heal the past so it doesn’t plague the future. All the above advice should be useful for you in the coming weeks, Aries. Are there any other variations you can think of? Fill in the blank in the next sentence: It takes a spasm of love to _____________.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): “The great epochs of our life come when we gain the courage to rechristen our badness as what is best in us,” wrote philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. When I read that ambitious epigram, I didn’t know what he was referring to. By “badness,” did he mean the ugly, pathological parts of us? That couldn’t be right. So I read scholars who had studied the great philosopher. Their interpretation: Nietzsche believed the urges that some religions seek to inhibit are actually healthy for us. We should celebrate, not suppress, our inclinations to enjoy sensual delights and lusty living. In fact, we should define them as being the best in us. I encourage you Bulls to do just that in the coming weeks. It’s a favorable time to intensify your devotion to joy, pleasure and revelry.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): It’s an excellent time to correct and uplift your self-image. I invite you to speak the following affirmations aloud: “I am not damaged. I am not on the wrong path. I am not inept or ignorant or off-kilter. The truth is I am learning how to live. I am learning how to be a soulful human, and I am doing a reasonably good job at that task. I do a lot of things really well. I’m getting to know myself better every day. I constantly surprise myself with how skilled I am at adjusting to life’s constant changes. I AM AMAZED AT HOW MUCH PROGRESS I HAVE MADE IN LEARNING HOW TO LIVE.”
CANCER (June 21-July 22): In the Tibetan language, the term nyingdu-la means “most honored poison of my heart.” Many of us know at least one person who fits that description: an enemy we love to hate or a loved one who keeps tweaking our destiny or a paradoxical ally who is both hurtful and helpful. According to my analysis, it’s time for you to transform your relationship with a certain nyingdu-la in your life. The bond between you might have generated vital lessons for you. But now it’s time for a re-evaluation and redefinition.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): “Don’t pray for the rain to stop,” advises Leo poet Wendell Berry. “Pray for good luck fishing when the river floods.” That’s useful advice for you, my dear. The situation you’re in could turn out to be a case of either weird luck or good luck. And how you interpret the situation may have a big impact on which kind of luck it brings. I urge you to define the potential opportunities that are brewing and concentrate on feeding them.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Virgo writer Julio Cortázar (1914–1984) once remarked, “How tiring it gets being the same person all the time.” That’s surprising. In fact, Cortázar was an innovative and influential author who wrote over 30 books in four genres and lived for extended periods in five countries. It’s hard to imagine him ever being bored by his multifaceted self. Even if you’re not a superstar like Cortázar, Virgo, I expect you will be highly entertained and amused by your life in the coming weeks. I bet you will be even more interesting than usual. Best of all, you will learn many fresh secrets about your mysterious soul.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): The blogger Frogbestfriend says, “One of the biggest problems with society nowadays is that I am so, so sleepy.” Frogbestfriend is humorously
BY ROB BREZSNY suggesting that his inability to maintain good sleep habits is rooted in civilization’s dysfunctions. He’s right, of course! Many of our seemingly personal problems are at least partially rooted in the pathological ways the whole world operates. Our culture influences us to do things that aren’t always healthy and wise. I bring this to your attention, Libra, because now is a favorable time to meditate on society’s crazy-making effects on you. Now is also a pivotal moment to heal yourself of those crazy-making effects.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Poet Maggie Smith writes, “We talk so much of light. Please let me speak on behalf of the good dark. Let us talk more of how dark the beginning of a day is.” I offer her proposal as a fertile theme for your meditations. Of all the signs in the zodiac, you Scorpios are most skilled at teasing out the good stuff from shadows and secrets and twilight. And your potency in these matters is even higher than usual right now. Do us all a favor and find the hidden redemptions and potential regenerations.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): When actors and other creative people in film win Oscars at the Academy Awards ceremony, they come on stage and deliver short talks, acknowledging their honor. These speeches often include expressions of gratitude. An analysis revealed that over the years, Sagittarian director Steven Spielberg has been thanked by winners more often than anyone else—even more than God. Based on my reading of astrological omens, I believe you deserve that level of appreciation in the coming weeks. Please show this horoscope to everyone you know who may be willing to carry out my mandate. Be proactive in collecting tribute, credit and favors.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): In the ancient Greek story of Odysseus, the hero leaves his home in Ithaka to fight in the Trojan War. When the conflict is over, he yearns to return to the beloved life he left behind. But his journey takes 10 years. His tests and travails are many. The 20th-century Greek poet C. P. Cavafy offered advice to Odysseus at the beginning of his quest: “As you set out for Ithaka, hope your road is a long one, full of adventure, full of discovery . . . Keep Ithaca always in your mind. Arriving there is what you’re destined for. But don’t hurry the journey. Better if it lasts for years, so you’re old by the time you reach the island, wealthy with all you’ve gained on the way.” As you begin your new phase of returning home, Capricorn, I invite you to keep Cavafy’s thoughts in mind. (Read the poem: tinyurl.com/HomeToIthaka. Translated by Edmund Keeley.)
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): “I have never, ever, EVER met anyone who has regretted following their heart,” writes life coach Marie Forleo. But what exactly does she mean by “following their heart”? Does that mean ignoring cautions offered by your mind? Not necessarily. Does it require you to ignore everyone’s opinions about what you should do? Possibly. When you follow your heart, must you sacrifice money and status and security? In some cases, yes. But in other cases, following your heart may ultimately enhance your relationship with money and status and security. Anyway, Aquarius, I hope I’ve inspired you to meditate on what it means to follow your heart—and how you can do that intensely during the coming months.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Actor and author Jenny Slate testifies, “As the image of myself becomes sharper in my brain and more precious, I feel less afraid that someone else will erase me by denying me love.” That is the single best inspirational message I can offer you right now. In the coming months, you will earn the right and the capacity to make the same declaration. Your self-definition will become progressively clearer and stronger. And this waxing superpower will enable you to conquer at least some of your fear about not getting enough love.
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.