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OF CH ICO ★ 2022

Bruce Jenkins


Vol. 46, Issue 3 • September 1–October 5, 2022 OPINION


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


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Cal State’s data obscures Black graduation rates . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

•Retirement Income Planning BEST OF CHICO


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September Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Scene . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 & 50 Reel World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Arts DEVO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 Brezsny’s Astrology. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55


Mailing Address P.O. Box 56, Chico, CA 95927 Our Mission: To publish great newspapers that are successful and enduring. To create a quality work environment that encourages employees to grow professionally while respecting personal welfare. To have a positive impact on our communities and make them better places to live. Editor Jason Cassidy Editor at large Melissa Daugherty Contributing Editor Evan Tuchinsky Staff Writers Ashiah Scharaga, Ken Smith Contributors Alastair Bland, Howard Hardee, Ken Pordes, Juan-Carlos Selznick, Robert Speer Managing Art Director Tina Flynn Publications & Advertising Designers Cathy Arnold, Katelynn Mitrano, Jocelyn Parker Sales & Business Coordinator Jennifer Osa Advertising Consultant Ray Laager

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

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Council ballot moves don’t measure up grant $12.4 million to Chico for disaster recovCerywould from the Camp Fire. Those funds, for infrastructure ity officials got word in mid-August that the federal government

projects, follow $22.1 million in COVID stimulus money from the American Rescue Plan Act. The city’s coffers would seem to be flush with cash. After all, the City Council conservatives passed a budget for fiscal year 2022-23 totaling $211 million—up from $142.9 million last year. They nearly doubled the spending on projects, from $44.4 million to $97.4 million, and bumped up operating expenses to $113.6 million. But don’t let the figures fool you: Chico is not rolling in dough. That should be obvious by the condition of our roads, which are years behind in maintenance; same with the wastewater treatment system. Federal doles are temporary. The city can’t bank on bailouts. That’s why the same conservatives who went bullish on the budget also placed a sales tax measure on the ballot. Chicoans will decide in November whether to add 1 percent on purchases to boost the general fund. The city estimates gaining $24 million a year. Ironically, conservatives opposed an increase put forward under the previous, progressive majority. They

by Jason Cassidy j a s o n c @ n e w s r e v i e w. c o m

flipped even while, as if by reflex, expressing a position against taxes. And there certainly are compelling arguments not to support a sales tax, such as disproportionately impacting lower-income citizens. The measure comes as families grapple with higher costs of goods and services. That’s a big hurdle: How many want to pay even more? The economy is, for the most part, beyond the city’s control. But council conservatives did this effort no favors by focusing on another measure: a “quality of life” initiative rushed for the general election. At the ballot deadline, they went ahead with an ordinance that, if voters approve, would force the city to respond to complaints of nuisances on public property within 20 days. Progressive Councilwoman Alex Brown—who opposed the budget, the sales tax measure and the nuisance abatement measure—called the quality of life proposal “a performance art piece” aimed to appease the conservatives’ supporters. It’s hard to disagree, given the lengths the council went to get something—anything—on the ballot. Which measure would truly improve the quality of life in Chico? Ω

LETTERS Don’t ignore; help It has been said: “The quality of mercy is not strained” (Shakespeare); “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” and “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (The Bible). Why should we be concerned with ancient wisdom? Because it is to our advantage. Think about it: If you help someone who is desperate, they are typically grateful. If you ignore someone who is desperate, they get more desperate! I find gratitude more rewarding to deal with than desperation. This is why I volunteer with the North State Shelter Team (NSST), because it has a fruitful purpose and it is rewarding. NSST has a plan before the Chico City Council now for a managed and monitored campground on the outskirts of town (that needs no city money) 4



based on successful programs that have been working in other towns for years. Why not give it a try? There is vacant land. NSST has a plan. We have a crisis. Charles Withuhn Chico

Protect watershed Only 4 percent of Plumas National Forest has permanent protections. Friends of Plumas Wilderness aims to change that. The Feather River is headwaters of the State Water Project, supplying water to 27 million Californians. The rugged Middle Fork Feather is one of eight rivers protected in 1968. Plumas National Forest staff have identified another 200 miles along 21 more rivers for Wild and Scenic designation. This would ensure our free-flowing rivers remain without dams or diversions. The Upper Feather River

watershed’s biodiversity is exceptional: conifer forests; mammal, bird, and insect diversity; and the potential for protection are all special. California’s only gray wolves make their home here. It’s a hot spot for three rare or endangered frogs and a stronghold for western bumble bees. Fuels reduction is essential to maintain and restore healthy conifer forests of Northern Sierra Nevada, as is protecting large, fire-resilient trees that capture most carbon. Fires on private industrial forest land are nearly twice as likely to be high severity as fires on public lands. Humans start more than 80 percent of wildfires, and more than 4,000 miles of roads in Plumas National Forest provide abundant access. New roads are unnecessary. If you like the forests, rivers and canyons of the Upper Feather River LETTERS C O N T I N U E D

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Y’all are the best As one of the editors who has been privvy to the spreadsheets of Best of Chico tabulations for many years, I can tell you there is a lot of love from the community for a lot of y’all, buried in the numbers. Just because someone’s name or business isn’t in the CN&R for this annual issue doesn’t mean they weren’t chosen. In the category of Best Local Personality, there are so many single votes; this year, nearly 70 of them. Yours truly even got one. (Thanks, Mom? Connie?) Below I’ve gathered as many of them as I could dig up info on, and all these ones add up to a colorful picture of our fun, funky little community. Congratulations! Aaron Rodgers—Pleasant Valley High grad; pro athlete Adam White—aka ALO, bass-music producer/promoter Angela McLaughlin—Stand Up For Chico founder Ashley Brooks—loan officer at Brooks Lending Team Austin Farwell—funky bassist for Smokey the Groove “Big-colorful-hat guy dancing on bike” Bob Backstrom—For the Funk of It co-founder; comedy guy Cootdog—DJ, sound engineer, MC for Mystic Roots Band DJ Amburgers—KZFR host (“Funky Reservation,” “Feral Radio”) DJ Jigga Julie—radio personality, Power 102 FM Doug Love—realtor at Century 21 Doug Stein—frontman for Swamp Zen and Low Flying Birds Greg Hopkins—plumber; bassist for West by Swan, Tite Nauts Guillermo Mash—KZFR host (“Imagining Community”) Hayden Hill—real estate photographer Jake Sprecher—rocker; rock promoter (Valley Fever) Jenna Fink—Action News Now sports reporter/director Jeremy V—radio personality (Z-Rock) and local theater dude Jesse Grigg—The Commons Social Empourium co-owner Joel Robinson—registered nurse Joey Moshiri—videomaker, probably wearing a costume Kathleen Makel—attorney Kevin Jaradah—craft beer enthusiast; Spike’s Bottle Shop owner Logan Alaways—manager at Focal Point Discount Landscaping Maurice Huffman—aka Big Mo of Big Mo & the Full Moon Band Orval Hughes—loan officer at Summit Funding Patrick Newman—Chico Friends on the Street founder Preston Powers—cobbler (Preston’s); KZFR host (“Blues Bayou) Rafiki Webster—KZFR host (“Funky Reservation,” “All Mixed Up”); Safeway dude Randy Taylor—Chico History Museum volunteer Rocky Winslow—trumpeter; Chico State jazz man Ron Woodward—radio personality, Thunder 100.7 FM Russell Damien—radio personality, KZFR and NSPR Ryan Nelson—beertender at Chico Taproom Sawyer Goodson—goth; drummer for all the bands Sheriff Kory Honea—lawman; press conference boss Steve O’Bryan —Pullins Cyclery owner; KZFR host (“Celt Radio”) Sue Reed—Bootleg consignment owner and hella Cali girl Teri Dubose—Broadway Pawn owner; Citizens for a Safe Chico Will Watje—guitarist at Decades

Jason Cassidy is editor of the Chico News & Review


Don’t risk fire-victim funds of more than 30 manufactured-home M parks in Paradise that burned in the Camp

y wife and I own Oak Hill Mobile Estates, one

Fire caused by PG&E. We were the first park to accept new tenants and the first full. We are proud of the job we have done to provide housing for Paradise fire victims and others in need. Like so many other business owners, because the fire victims’ trust by fund has prioritized busiRichard Stach ness owners last, we have The author is a received no offers or Camp Fire survivor and co-owner of a compensation for our loss manufactured-home after almost four years park in Paradise. of struggle. In the last quarterly update from our attorneys, we learned that the trust fund still owns roughly 377 million shares of PG&E stock, currently valued at a little more than $4 billion. This is roughly 30 percent of the total funds dedicated to reimburse fire victims for their losses. Claimants are receiving no more than 45

percent of the total money due to them in a first pro-rated payment. So far, roughly two thirds of victims have received some money. All victims are to receive their 45 percent allocation before the remaining balance of the money is distributed. It was made clear in the meeting with our attorneys that the administrators of the fund are planning to hold the bulk of the stock because of several long-term factors favorable to increasing its value. Their logic went something like this: So far, PG&E has not caused any fires this season, and if they don’t over the rest of the summer or fall, values should go up. Do you see the $4 billion risk here? We do, and we are extremely concerned. Since PG&E burned down Paradise in 2018, the company has continued to burn down towns every year with outdated equipment and gross mismanagement. Administrators are taking a dangerous risk. We are being asked to wait longer for our payments while they hope PG&E causes no fires that would tank the value of stock and significantly reduce victims’ compensation. GUEST COMMENT C O N T I N U E D

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SPTEMBER 1, 2022




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C H I C O ’ S

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


N E W S & E N T E R T A I N M E N T S O U R C E

Over the past three weeks, my son has been convalescing at home from surgery on his foot and leg. We’d go stir crazy if we were stuck in the house all day, so we use his wheelchair to go for neighborhood strolls. Our street is part of Chico’s Bikeway 99 route, and though greatly traveled by vehicles as well as cyclists, thanks to grant funding related to biking, it’s one of the better-paved streets in what I like to call our “city of potholes.” The sidewalks are another story. The neighborhood dates back to the 1950s and ’60s, and its infrastructure looks like it. There are massive cracks and juts in the concrete, and in some places, there are no sidewalks at all. It makes our route a bit challenging, requiring me to manually dodge obstacles. It’s reminded me of a story I wrote years ago about a woman in a motorized wheelchair who took the city to task over accessibility problems. The woman was encyclopedic about the Americans with Disabilities Act, the federal civil rights law that protects disabled people from discrimination, and she got my attention by the pointed yet polite way she addressed the City Council on such matters. While doing background research for the story, I was told off the record by an ADA compliance expert that Chico had a reputation for doing little to no proactive accessibility work. Fixes generally came only as the result of big projects—say, major grant-funded improvements or private infill development—or in response to lawsuits. I listened to my source’s complaints, but what was really eye-opening was shadowing her around town. It wasn’t an exaggeration to call the trip from downtown to her home, roughly five blocks away, dangerous for her and other people in wheelchairs. In fact, around that same time, my husband and I helped another woman get back into a motorized chair after taking a bad spill from hitting a raised downtown sidewalk. The story generated positive feedback from several readers who were either disabled or had loved ones with disabilities. However, overwhelmingly, the response from local people without disabilities was unsympathetic. Some made excuses for the city, the most ridiculous of which was linking ADA noncompliance to the Great Recession and the subsequent straitened coffers. At the time, that was a recent development, whereas the federal law had been signed by former President George H.W. Bush in 1990, more than 20 years earlier. Worse, though, was how so many viewed the woman as a pariah. Ultimately, I came away deeply disappointed in my community. It’s been a full decade since that story was published. Some excellent improvements have been completed in that time, namely the reconfiguration of First and Second streets, including the roundabouts, and the state’s work on Eighth and Ninth streets, which now have fully connected sidewalks. But, again, those were big projects reliant on grant funding. Elsewhere, Chico’s infrastructure remains largely outmoded. As for the city’s sympathy quotient, one would hope that local society has evolved on the issue. If it has, I’ve not seen the evidence. Anecdotally, based on my recent experiences, people are clueless. On my aforementioned strolls with my son, we encounter cars parked over the sidewalk, forcing us into the street. In other places, rogue vegetation has taken over the path of pedestrian travel. I give a lot more leeway to neglectful gardeners than I do oblivious drivers, but the feral plants are still an annoyance. Thing is, my son gets his cast off in another five weeks. What we’re experiencing is a temporary inconvenience. But that’s not the case for a lot of folks in this community, and they deserve better.

Melissa Daugherty is editor-at-large for the Chico News & Review 6




Your definition of a “best day?” Asked in downtown Chico

Pritam Chakraborty student

For me, a best day would look like: meeting with people that you really love and having fun with them. And, doing anything that you love. I love to play soccer. I love to paint. I love to go on adventures anywhere.

Melissa Glover dental off ice manager

No work. Food, friends and fun. Recreation outdoors: camping, fishing, going to the ocean.

Ariana Lopez student

Doing something that makes me really happy—like hanging out with friends, playing my favorite sports like softball.


For fire victims, a PG&E-caused fire and corresponding loss of stock value would be catastrophic. The fire victims’ trust fund must stop playing with our money. Administrators should move quickly to sell as many shares of PG&E stock as fast as possible without causing a significant drop in value. The trust fund represents victims. Our attorneys need to send a strong message to the trust to stop taking risks with our money. Ω


C O N T I N U E D F R O M PA G E 4

watershed, now is the time to protect them. Protection doesn’t restrict existing access or prevent forest health work, fire fighting and post-fire restoration. Explore Friends of Plumas Wilderness website (plumaswilderness. org) and join the field trip series to learn more about increasing protections. Darla DeRuiter Quincy

Editor’s note: The author is the executive director of Friends of Plumas Wilderness.

Grateful for Joe Right-wing pundits discuss President Biden’s “dementia” as fact. These folks were not concerned when their President Trump was throwing spaghetti sauce against White House dining room walls or ignoring the COVID-19 threat. But they like to spread rumors about any Democratic president. Joe Biden continues his presidential duties in orderly fashion, meeting each problem as it occurs with intelligence and logic. We owe this president a debt of gratitude for bringing common sense back to Washington after a chaotic four years of Trump. Appreciate President Biden’s steady leadership. He will get us through the severe challenges. Robert Woods Forest Ranch

Chris Allen craft store employee

One where I have free time. I’m trying to learn how to do computer programming, so if I have time during the day to devote to that. If it’s a day that I’m learning, then that’s a good day.

Write a letter Tell us what you think in a letter to the editor. Send submissions of 200 or fewer words to cnrletters@newsreview.com. Deadline for October 6 print publication is September 26. SEPTEMBER 1, 2022




Dipping to the lowest level in at least 20 years, fall enrollment at Chico State was 13,850 at the start of the semester. In the past two decades, the university’s enrollment has ranged between 15,500 and 17,800 but has been declining since 2017, when there were 17,789 students. Jerry Ross, Chico State’s vice president for enrollment management, said myriad factors have contributed to the decline, including impacts of wildfires, the pandemic and a strong labor market. In response, the university has added admissions staff and focused on recruitment data and analytics, he said, and is encouraged by a 4 percent increase of incoming freshmen compared to last year.


With four of the seven Chico City Council district seats up for grabs in the Nov. 8 election—each with a conservative and a progressive candidate—there is potential for a shift in the balance of the current 6-1 conservative majority. In District 2, Vice Mayor Kasey Reynolds, owner of Shubert’s Ice Cream & Candy, is seeking another term. She is challenged by progressive Morgan Kennedy, a community organizer with a background in social services and reproductive health. In District 3, Dale Bennett, appointed to fill a council vacancy last summer, is seeking to fill out the remaining two years of the term. A former planning commissioner, he faces Monica McDaniel, an educator, arts commissioner and founder of the Chico Arts & Culture Foundation. The other races feature newcomers. District 4 has Nichole Nava, a senior case manager with the Butte County Department of Employment and Social Services, and Addison Winslow, a progressive local activist and housing consultant, squaring off. In District 6, progressive Jesica Giannola, a housing case manager, is running against conservative Tom Van Overbeek, a business owner.




Hidden figures Cal State’s Black students fall behind, with poor graduation data obscuring the crisis

A Juneteenth Symposium this summer, the CSU’s top executive laid out an agenda for improving the Black

t the close of the first-ever California State University

student experience at the nation’s largest public university system. by The first item on Interim Chancellor Mikhail Jolene Koester’s list? “We need to disZinshteyn aggregate the data,” she said. Huh? That might sound dry, but there’s a About the article: This story was good reason why it’s top of mind: Cal produced by CalMatters, State’s struggle to graduate its Black an independent public journalism venture students often goes unmentioned in the covering California system’s public reporting about graduastate politics and tion rates. government. Combined, the system’s 23 campuses graduate just half of Black students who enter as freshmen over a six-year period—well below the overall six-year average of 63 percent, according to the latest data from 2021. But you wouldn’t know it from looking at how Cal State reports. In its marquee data tool showing the system’s efforts to close achievement gaps among ethnic and racial groups, Black, Latino and Native American students are lumped into a single category of “underrepresented minorities.” With Latino students comprising about 91

percent of all students in the “underrepresented minority” category—in keeping with the size of their population in the system and state—that makes the data almost entirely a reflection of the success of Latino students. Consequently, the deeper inequities faced by Black students remain hidden. On average, Cal State graduates 57 percent of its first-time students who are underrepresented minorities within six years, a gap of 12 percentage points compared to White, Asian and other students who don’t fall into that grouping. But the graduation gap between Black students and students outside the underrepresented-minority category is 20 percentage points—and has been that way for 15 years. Last year, across the system, Cal State graduated 770 fewer first-time and transfer Black students after six and four years, respectively, than its targets for 2025.

In other words, Cal State’s default method of presenting minority data suggests the system is much closer to closing the achievement gap for Black students than it actually is. “We’ve been pushing the chancellor’s office for years about disaggregating and giving us the data,” said Michele Siqueiros, president of the Campaign for College Opportunity, a student advocacy organization. “We’ve always been critical of that.” Yet at the November 2021 Board of Trustees meeting that discussed the gaps in graduation rates, Cal State senior officials never mentioned the deeper equity gaps Black students experience or disaggregated any data by specific racial groups. Instead, both the publicly available written material and oral discussion focused solely on the underrepresented minority student gap. No one from the Cal State’s Office of the Chancellor made themselves available for an interview for

Commencement in May at Chico State, where the achievement gap for Black students was statistically significant last year. PHOTO COURTESY OF CHICO STATE

this story. Interim Chancellor Koester turned down a CalMatters request for an interview. So did Jeff Gold, interim associate vice president of student success for the system. In a written statement, Gold explained that the Cal State system adopted the underrepresented minority metric in 2009 and built it into the 2025 goals of its graduation initiative that launched in 2015. “Despite the problematic nature of the term ‘URM’ and the limitations of the underlying methodology, the CSU decided not to abandon this metric and/or change the goalposts midstream,” he wrote. In other words, the system won’t change its approach to measuring equity gaps because of a decision it made seven years ago and won’t change until 2025 at the earliest. The Cal State system “is committed” to moving away from the underrepresented minority metric for future graduation initiatives, Gold said. Gold then noted that individual campuses “regularly disaggregate student retention and graduation rate data by race, gender, ethnicity” and other descriptors, such as household income levels. However, CalMatters research found nine of the 23 campuses had either no functioning graduation rate data tool, tools with outdated data or tools that didn’t reveal graduation rates by race or ethnicity. The remaining campuses do present their graduation rate data by race and ethnicity, but most share the information in cumbersome ways. Take Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, for example. To compare the graduation rate gap between Black students and white students, an internet user would have to click on each group individually, record the information manually and then spot the equity gaps. The Cal State system’s own in-depth graduation rate portal also presents the data in a way that requires users to record each racial and ethnic group individually, such as by downloading the data as spreadsheets to enable mathematical comparisons. Some of the campus websites, such as Cal Poly’s, don’t even allow the user to download the data as spreadsheets, further limiting the public’s ability to easily spot equity gaps. It doesn’t have to be that way. The graduation rate websites for San Diego State and San Jose State, for example, show each racial and ethnic group’s success side by side, allowing users to instantly notice the depth of the equity gaps across demographic groups.

Extreme variation Cal State’s approach of bundling various identity groups may run afoul of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, said Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, a civil rights legal group that has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. “I would say as a matter of legal compliance with federal law, you should not be over-aggregating data like that,” he said. The university system’s website dedicated to closing the achievement gap compares the aggregated groups to each other, not individual racial groups that would have clearly illustrated the much wider equity gaps Black students experience. While separate data about Black student success is attainable, the numbers are tucked away in large datasets that lack the simplicity of the system’s other digital displays of student progress. To determine the equity gaps facing Black students, CalMatters analyzed systemwide and campus-specific graduation data by race. CalMatters also recreated the underrepresented and non-underrepresented categories to compare them to Black student graduation rates. As part of its ambitious 2025 goal to increase graduation rates, Cal State says it wants to eliminate the graduation rate gap between certain students of color and their peers. In 2015, the system launched

Graduation Initiative 2025, which also includes goals to bring CSU graduation rates up to 70 percent for first-time students and 85 percent for transfers in a six-year window. Since the graduation initiative’s inception, the six-year graduation rate for Black students who entered as freshmen increased from 41.9 percent to 49.7 percent systemwide, part of an overall 15-year trend of more students finishing. But over those 15 years, the six-year graduation rate gap between Black and white students who entered as freshmen has actually widened slightly. It was 21.9 percent in 2006; in 2021, it was 22.2 percent. Though the system is poised to reach its overall graduation targets, “we are not yet on track in eliminating the equity-gap part of the challenge,” said then-Chancellor Joseph Castro during last November’s Board of Trustees meeting. Still, he added: “I believe that we can still do it.” Drill down to individual campuses, and the disparity between Black student success and the larger underrepresented minority grouping is more extreme. At Sonoma State, the six-year graduation achievement gap for underrepresented and non-underrepresented first-time students has practically closed— there’s a difference of just 1.4 percentage points. But the gap between Black students and their non-underrepresented peers is 20 percentage points. Only one Cal State campus, San Diego

CSU graduation rates by race and ethnicity over time

State, has effectively closed its six-year freshman graduation achievement gap, both between underrepresented and non-underrepresented students and between Black students and non-underrepresented students. At least one Cal State legislative report painted an incomplete picture of its efforts to close equity gaps. Last year, the system wrote to lawmakers that Cal State Northridge narrowed its achievement gap by 4 percentage points between underrepresented and non-underrepresented minority groups between 2019 and 2020. That’s true, but only because the non-minority group graduation rate dropped by 3 points. The graduation rate for Black students actually declined by a percentage point in that time—something the report does not mention. While the report mentioned equity gaps between underrepresented and nonunderrepresented student groups, it never broke out the data by individual racial and ethnic groups. Equity gaps are even more pronounced for community college transfer students across the system, who make up almost half of all Cal State undergraduate students. After four years, the graduation gap between underrepresented minority transfer students and their non-underrepresented peers has been between 2 and 3 percentage points the past six years. But the graduation gap between Black transfer students and non-underrepresented students has ranged from 9 to 12 percentage points in the same period. That works out to about 1,200 fewer Black transfer students earning degrees during that time. Deeper equity gaps exist among transfer students at individual campuses. At Cal State Bakersfield, the gap in graduation rates after four years between underrepresented and non-underrepresented transfer students is 2 percentage points. But the gap between Black students and their non-underrepresented peers is 18 percentage points. In fact, 22 of the 23 Cal State campuses were within single digits of closing the achievement gap between underrepresented transfer students and their non-underrepresented peers. But the same was true for just seven Cal State campuses when comparing Black student graduation rates to their nonunderrepresented peers.

Race isn’t only factor There’s little excuse to have graduation rates that low, given how small the Black student population is at each of Cal State’s 23 campuses, experts said. In 2015, out of an average freshman class of nearly 2,800, only NEWSLINES C O N T I N U E D SEPTEMBER 1, 2022

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118 were Black students, roughly 4 percent. “You would think that they would have enough energy to devote to a small cohort,” said Lesa Johnson, a Black sociology professor at Chico State who’s studied campus race relations. At Chico State, the Black student versus non-underrepresented minority student achievement gap is 26 percentage points for the most recent year. Among all Cal States, only Channel Islands, with a gap of 31 percentage points, has a wider gap—even as its gap between underrepresented minority and non-underrepresented minority students is 8 percentage points. An 8 percent gap “doesn’t seem so severe,” said Siqueiros. But the “strategies that we’re going to do to close an 8 percent gap versus a 31 percent gap are obviously going to be super different.” Some campuses have just a few dozen entering freshmen who are Black. As a consequence, a slight change in the number of Black students graduating can lead to big swings in the graduation rate. Cal State Channel Islands enrolled just 25 Black freshmen in 2015, graduating only eight Black students after six years, for a graduation rate of 32 percent. Had the campus graduated eight more Black students, its graduation rate for Black students would have been 64 percent— enough to completely close the equity gap with non-underrepresented students. The president of the Cal State with the largest share of Black students doesn’t see deception in how the system is portraying the data. “I think there is a very sincere and intentional effort to close these equity gaps,” said Thomas Parham, president of Cal State Dominguez Hills and one of three Black campus presidents at the Cal State system. “If I had a question about whether we were really committed to the work, then I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing.” Parham also cautioned race isn’t the only factor in understanding the data behind the achievement gaps. Whether a student is lowincome and first in their family to attend college can also affect the likelihood that they graduate. Dominguez Hills has a large share of students who fit some or all of those demographic profiles, as well as those who come from communities that endure systemic racism. Like others with similar student-body profiles, Dominguez Hills has to work harder to see students cross the finish line than campuses with more affluent students and who aren’t from underrepresented backgrounds, Parham said. Still, for both transfer and first-time students, Cal State Dominguez Hills has a nar-

“You would think that they would have enough energy to devote to a small cohort.” —Lesa Johnson, chico State professor

rower equity gap for Black students and underrepresented minority students than the system average for the most recent year. Dominguez Hills also has a narrower equity gap than Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, whose student body is 1 percent Black, 19 percent URM and 16 percent low-income—data points that are far below the system average and well under the share of high school graduates in California who took college-ready courses. On the other hand, Cal State Dominguez Hill’s equity efforts have regressed. Four years ago, there was virtually no six-year graduation rate gap between Black first-time students and non-underrepresented minority students. Since then, the grad rate for Black students fell about 5 percentage points while the rate for non-underrepresented minority students grew nearly 10 percentage points. To James Minor, former assistant vice chancellor at the CSU’s systemwide office, any help for struggling students at the system directly improves the academic fates of Black students. He highlighted various efforts underway to improve graduation rates for all students, including re-enrolling students who stopped attending and lowering the share of students earning Ds and Fs. Cal State is also trying additional software, and contacting students in the spring who haven’t signed up for fall classes—a clear sign they may drop out. All those efforts benefit Black students, too, he said. But the university system needs to target Black students specifically, experts and students told CalMatters. While CSU leader Koester explicitly called out disaggregating data as a goal for improving the Black student experience in the Cal State system, that would appear to conflict with other goals she and the system share. If Cal State doesn’t want to disaggregate the data regarding Black student achievement until 2025 because of the 10-year goal it set in 2015—as interim associate vice president Gold told CalMatters—then it probably won’t do so under Koester. When Koester took the position of interim chancellor in March, she told CalMatters she doesn’t want the job permanently, that she was “150 percent commitΩ ted” to the interim position. SEPTEMBER 1, 2022



LICENSE #1024110


Come one, come all! Big winners under the big top




tep right up, ladies and gentlemen! Best of Chico, the Chico News & Review’s greatest show of the year, is back in town! The big tent is pitched, and the annual celebration of the most outstanding goods, spectacular services, amazing restaurants and astounding people begins right now! You voted for your favorites (and the CN&R editorial staff did, too). Now, read on to see the best of our community get their time in the spotlight.

READERS’ PICKS Goods & Services ...........................14 Food & Drink ....................................22 Nightlife & The Arts ......................28 Health & Wellness.........................33 Community........................................36



Bonus acts ..........................................40

Best bites ...........................................41




RS’ E D 2 REA 202 KS


Goods & Services

Auto Repair Shop

FIRST Place: Affordable Automotive FIRST Place: Northern Star Mills 510 Esplanade, 342-7661 See Best Feed Store/Farm Supply.

2106 Park Ave., 892-1774 Affordable Automotive can handle any repair, from preventive maintenance to transmission work to diagnosing and fixing those mystery rattles we all know too well. With the shop’s guarantee and warranty promise, customers know they’re getting service they can trust.

SECOND Place: Chico Ag Mart 1334 Park Ave, 809-2367

SECOND Place: Spencer Automotive 2540 Dominic Drive, 345-5600

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

THIRD Place: Guido’s Auto Precision 135 W. Eighth Ave., 891-8313

Antiques Store

Baby/Kids’ Clothier

Ag/Growing Supplies

Best stuff under the big top

FIRST Place: Eighth & Main Antiques

745 Main St., 893-5534 Eighth & Main is huge! Across two buildings, it spans 29,000 square feet, housing vendors selling everything from antiques and collectibles to vintage clothing and vinyl records. SECOND Place: Little Red Hen 215 Main St., 894-1311 THIRD Place: Country Squyres Antiques 164 E. Third St., 342-6764

Appliance Store

FIRST Place: Ginno’s Kitchen & Appliance Center

2505 Zanella Way, 342-2182 Ginno’s is Chico’s largest independent appliance dealer, family-owned and -operated for more 50 years. The friendly and knowledgeable staff help customers navigate a wide selection of styles from leading manufacturers and also come to homes for installations and trusted repairs. SECOND Place: Hudson’s Appliance Center 2525 Dominic Dr., Ste. D, 877-6312 THIRD Place: Collier Hardware 105 Broadway, 342-0195


FIRST Place: Rooney Law Firm

1458 Esplanade, 345-5678 As a former probation officer and public defender, Michael Rooney has a lot of experience with the criminal justice system. But his practice isn’t limited to defense—Chicoans also trust him with cases in other areas, such as personal injury and family law. SECOND Place: The Law Office of Nikki Farris 2607 Forest Ave., Ste. 120, 898-1488 THIRD Place: Law Offices of Aaron J. Stewart 2571 California Park Drive, Ste. 100, 345-2212

Auto Paint/Body Shop

FIRST Place: Concours Elite Collision Center

2267 Esplanade, Ste. D, 891-0234 Bob and Linda Fitzgerald opened Concours Elite in 1982. When it comes to painting, structure repair and getting people’s rides into competition shape, theirs is the go-to shop for Chicoans. Once Upon a Child

SECOND Place: JP’s Paint & Body Works 1840 Park Ave., 342-1328 THIRD Place: Mike Knight Customs 2961 Hwy 32, Stes. 54-56, 214-9949




FIRST Place: Once Upon a Child

801 East Ave., Ste. 106, 592-3824 Once Upon a Child boasts being North America’s No. 1 children’s resale franchise, and the Chico store is stuffed with ready-to-wear, gently used clothes along with toys and equipment that meet current safety standards. SECOND Place: Apple Blossom Baby 977 East Ave, Ste. 90, 345-1617 THIRD Place: Kat’s Meow 138 W. Third St., 899-8811

Bank/Credit Union

FIRST Place: Tri Counties Bank

Multiple locations The first branch of Tri Counties Bank opened in Chico on March 11, 1975, at the current 2171 Pillsbury Road location. There are now branches all over the state operated by more than 1,500 employees. Customers have come to know the bank by its core values of trust, respect, integrity, communication and opportunity, or TRICO. SECOND Place: Golden Valley Bank 190 Cohasset Road, Ste. 170, 894-1000 THIRD Place: Members 1st Credit Union Two locations: 969 East Ave. & 550 Salem St., 222-6060


FIRST Place: Liberty Barber Co.

240 Main St., Ste. 180, 630-7313 Open for just a year and a half, the hip, warm and welcoming Liberty Barber Co. shop already can boast two Best of Chico awards. A traditional shop offering cuts, beard trims and hottowel straight-razor shaves, Liberty also features a complimentary beverage and a shoulder massage with each visit. SECOND Place: Danny’s Barbershop 544 Broadway St., 332-0553 THIRD Place: Gentlemen’s Barbershop 151 Broadway, 774-2157

Bike Shop

FIRST Place: Pullins Cyclery

801 Main St., 342-1055 Pullins Cyclery opened in Chico in 1918; Steve and Katy O’Bryan took over in 1984. During their tenure, the shop has become a regular stop for locals looking get a new or restored ride or just chat up Steve, who regularly holds court on the worn, wooden floors on topics ranging from local politics to Irish music.

Happy Campers RV Rentals

“. . . A T H OME A WA Y F ROM H OME ! ”

SECOND Place: Greenline Cycles 515 Main St., 894-7885 THIRD Place: AMain Cycling 2070 E. 20th St., 894-6075

dealership in 1961 and added the Hyundai half 30 years ago. Many of the employees have been with the company for years, even decades, contributing to Chico Nissan Hyundai’s reputation for customer service.

Cab Company

SECOND Place: Courtesy Automotive Center 2520 Cohasset Road, 345-9444

FIRST Place: Taxi Dave

514-8770 It’s just Dave and his plain white cab, taxiing locals around town every day but Sunday. Now a winner two years in a row. SECOND Place: Chico Yellow Cab 893-4444 THIRD Place: G-Ride Pedi-Cab & Trolley 354-9885

Cannabis Dispensary

(within driving distance of Chico) FIRST Place: Zente Farms

420-9001 With approved Chico dispensaries in the process of getting up and running, local patients still need to order their flowers and edibles from delivery services such as this year’s favorite, Zente Farms. SECOND Place (tie): Organic Care of California (916) 476-5702 SECOND Place (tie): Perfect Union 691-7199

Car Dealership

FIRST Place: Chico Nissan Hyundai

2562 Cohasset Road, 893-1777 This locally owned business started with the Nissan

THIRD Place: Chuck Patterson Toyota 200 East Ave., 895-1771

Car Wash

FIRST Place: Surf Thru Express Car Wash

Two locations: 2470 Forest Ave., 801-6479; 2573 Esplanade, 774-2363 This year marks the fifth anniversary of the arrival of the fast-growing chain of Surf in Chico. The two local locations offer quick, full-service, watersaving washes, plus self-serve vacuums and a floor-mat-washing station. SECOND Place: Scrubbs 1020 Skyway, 893-4885 THIRD Place: California Car Wash 150 Commercial Ave., 894-3017

Consignment/SecondHand Threads FIRST Place: Labelz Upscale Consignment Boutique

974 Mangrove Ave., 345-1615 As the name suggests, Labelz Upscale Consignment Boutique trades in a curated selection of women’s clothing. Owner Jamie Withrow took over the shop in 2019 and has kept it stocked with seasonal/current clothing and accessories.

SECOND Place: Bootleg 126 W. Second St., 895-1426

Happy Campers RV Rentals is a small family business in Chico providing clean and comfortable RVs for any occasion. Travel in style and comfort this summer and leave the tent at home!

THIRD Place: 2econd Life 641 Nord Ave., Ste. B, 466-6966

Convenience Store FIRST Place: 7-Eleven

Multiple locations The convenience-store chain now known as 7-Eleven started in 1927 as a little storefront of Southland Ice Company in Dallas. The 7-Eleven name didn’t come until after World War II, and the iconic Slurpee (the store’s version of the Icee drink) arrived in 1966. Today, there are more than 78,000 locations worldwide, including four stores in Chico.


SECOND Place: Power Market Multiple locations THIRD Place (tie): Sierra Market 1646 Park Ave., 342-4579 THIRD Place (tie): PDQ Market & Deli 156 Eaton Road, Ste. A, 345-9966

Day Spa

FIRST Place: Angels Nail & Spa

965 Nord Ave., Ste. 100-A, 487-7322 Open the door of the unassuming West Chico business on any given day, and inside the place will be packed with customers and nearly as many manicurists at work. The spa offers more than just nail services, too, with eyelash extensions, waxing and complementary glasses of wine (or soda, or water) on the menu as well. SECOND Place: SkyLab Nails & Spa 611 Walnut St., 518-6908 THIRD Place: Urban Medspa 3221 Cohasset Road, 891-8772

Dry Cleaner

FIRST Place: 3rd Generation Cleaners

1380 East Ave., 899-0333 Full-service “wet cleaning” specialists, these cleaners do alterations, pickup and delivery. One online reviewer sums up 3rd Generation’s popularity: “I live two towns away and happily drive to use them. Very nice counter people, good customer service, prompt service, and they clean and press my clothes beautifully.” SECOND Place: Flair Custom Cleaners 660 Mangrove Ave., 345-0522 THIRD Place: Chico Express Cleaners Two locations: 641 Walnut St., 343-6013; 752 East Ave., 343-8844

Esthetician/Waxing Studio



FIRST Place: Silhouette Waxing Studio

1803 Mangrove Ave., 342-7131 Silhouette opened the doors of its small Mangrove Avenue studio 15 years ago; since then, owner Courtney Spangler and her staff of estheticians have offered “efficient, comfortable and affordable” eyebrow grooming, facial fuzz removal and a range of waxing options. Labelz Upscale Consignment Boutique


*After you read it! SEPTEMBER 1, 2022



LICENSE #0G55496

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READERS’ PICKS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15 SECOND Place: The Eyebrow Goddess 260 E. First St., 680-2569

risk management and insurance—with an “objective, unbiased” advice.

THIRD Place (tie): European Wax Center 728 Mangrove Ave., Ste. B, 433-4003

SECOND Place: Renée Michel & Joe Sweeney Sweeney & Michel, 196 Cohasset Road, Ste. 100, 487-1777

THIRD Place (tie): Waxed – Skin & Waxing Boutique 225 Main St., Ste. F, (415) 994-7014 THIRD Place (tie): Angel’s Nails & Spa 965 Nord Ave., Ste. 100-A, 487-7322

Feed Store/Farm Supply FIRST Place: Northern Star Mills

510 Esplanade, 342-7661 Since 1898, Chicoans have trusted Northern Star Mills with their farming needs, especially when it comes to their animals. That’s because the store—operating at its location across from Bidwell Mansion since 1933—stocks everything from dog and cat food to poultry and cattle feed. Northern Star Mills also carries fertilizer, soil and seeds for the garden. SECOND Place: C Bar D Feeds 3388 Hwy 32, 342-5361 THIRD Place: Wilbur’s Feed and Seed 139 Meyers St., 895-0569

Financial Planner

FIRST Place: Miste and Steve Cliadakis

Altum Wealth Advisors, 1074 East Ave., Ste. T-1, 924-0110 Miste and Steven Cliadakis’ team sets itself apart from large firms with a no-pressure approach that’s not beholden to proprietary products. They help clients achieve their individual financial goals—from retirement plans and investments to

Gift Shop

FIRST Place: Hubbs & Co.

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

956 Mangrove Ave., 892-4940 The eclectic, ever-changing selection of not just gifts, but stationary, women’s fashion and home goods as well, has many customers calling Hubbs their “happy place.” Find everything from scented candles and garden flags to purses and gourmet foods.


SECOND Place: Little Red Hen 897 E. 20th St., Ste. B, 897-0100

FIRST Place: Flowers by Rachelle

2485 Notre Dame Blvd., Ste. 260, 345-2661 This marks the 25th year that Flowers by Rachelle owner/namesake Rachelle Nyswonger-Neal has been making Chico’s weddings and other special occasions beautiful with gifts and fine floral arrangements. SECOND Place: Christian & Johnson 1098 E. First Ave., 891-1881 THIRD Place: Chico Florist 1600 Mangrove Ave., Ste. 145

General Contractor

FIRST Place: Proframe Construction

11128 Midway, Ste. 3, 636-4574 Proframe has been building just about everything— custom homes, rebuilds, patio covers and more— since it opened for business in 2008. SECOND Place: Slater & Son General Contractor 3753 Morehead Ave., 893-3333 THIRD Place: Holt Construction 37 Bellermine Court, 899-1011

THIRD Place: Made in Chico 127 W. Third St., 894-7009


FIRST Place: S&S Organic Produce & Natural Foods

1924 Mangrove Ave., 343-4930 The one-time roadside produce stand is now an established full-service grocery—with an impressive selection of organic produce plus breads, wines, herbal supplements and a butcher shop. SECOND Place: Trader Joe’s 801 East Ave., Ste. 100, 343-9920 THIRD Place: Chico Natural Foods Co-Op 818 Main St., 891-1713

Hair Salon

FIRST Place: Da Capo Style House

1925 Market Place, 715-7183 This popular salon in the Meriam Park neighborhood offers cuts, styling, coloring and extensions in a beautiful space. SECOND Place: Society Style Lounge 627 Broadway, Ste. 120, 487-7066 THIRD Place: The Hair Co. 1229 E. Ninth St., 894-2002

House Cleaning Service FIRST Place: C&A Cleaning

514-7738 Established in 2008, C&A Cleaning offers residential and office cleaning services (including window washing!) using “environmentally friendly products, equipment and systems.” SECOND Place: Deb’s Detailed Cleaning 570-3561 THIRD Place: Cleaned to Perfection 520-6465

House Painter

FIRST Place: Hawkes Painting

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


Chico Nissan Hyundai

Insurance Agent

Liquor Store

290 Airpark Blvd., 894-3276 Heritage Insurance has operated as an independent agency since 1978. Steve and Kelly Mora head a team with expertise spanning agribusiness, commercial accounts, personal insurance, employee benefits and workers’ compensation.

1270 E. First Ave., 893-8410 Spike’s owner Kevin Jaradah is committed to keeping his shelves stocked with interesting finds—from hard-to-find craft beers, ciders and whiskeys to the trendy libations such as premium canned cocktails— and Spike the shop dog is committed to keeping watch … unless he’s napping.

FIRST Place: Heritage Insurance Agency

SECOND Place: Eddy Rodriguez (State Farm) 45 Jan Court, Ste. 165, 899-0100 THIRD Place: Joni Ginno (State Farm) 1915 Esplanade, 891-5881


FIRST Place: Kirk’s Jewelry

246 W. Third St., 891-0880 Jeweler/metalsmith Kirk Bengtson opened shop in downtown Chico in 1973 in a small second-story space. He soon expanded, moving down Third Street to a corner store at Salem, where Kirk’s Jewelry became a fixture—acclaimed especially for custommade engagement and wedding rings. Dazzling earring, pendants and rings make the cases like a museum display. SECOND Place: Julianne’s 1925 Market Place, Ste. 120, 342-3117 THIRD Place: Olde Gold Estate Jewelry 225 Main St., Ste. O, 891-4610


FIRST Place: Vega Landscape & Irrigation

SECOND Place: SM Painting 321-1592

514-3972 Got a swimming pool that’s too demanding to keep up? Isaias Vega and crew can convert it to a garden with water feature. Vega Landscape & Irrigation also can update a current yard, start from scratch with a fresh concept and replace irrigation with waterconserving sprinklers.

THIRD Place: Joe Shaw Painting 891-5563

SECOND Place: Dawson Landscaping 343-0384 THIRD Place: Hanson & Hanson 343-9906

FIRST Place: Spike’s Bottle Shop

SECOND Place: Star Liquor 933 Nord Ave., 891-4842 THIRD Place: Mangrove Bottle Shop 1350 Mangrove Ave., Ste. 160, 342-7575

Local Pet Store

FIRST Place: TrailBlazer Pet Supply

752 Mangrove Ave. & 1352 East Ave., 892-1848 At TrailBlazer, pets are the stars of the show, with grooming services and workshops focused on caring for and better understanding fur babies. Plus, the shelves at its two locations are stocked with a wide selection of foods, treats, toys and pet-care products. SECOND Place: Chico Pet Works & Pet Salon 2201 Pillsbury Road, Ste. 186, 345-0934 THIRD Place: Northern Star Mills 510 Esplanade, 342-7661

Men’s Clothier

FIRST Place: 2econd Life

641 Nord Ave., Ste. B, 466-6966 How dope can you really be if your wardrobe doesn’t include some vintage basketball shoes and a pair of Bape glow-in-the-dark shark shorts? Follow @we_the_best_thrift on Instagram to stay up on the latest finds. SECOND Place: Upper Park Clothing 122 W. Third St., 487-7118 THIRD Place: Men’s Wearhouse 1950 E. 20th St., Ste. 501, 342-1769





Sierra Steel Harley-Davidson

SECOND Place: Eye of Jade 1238 Mangrove Ave., 343-5233 THIRD Place: Pure Gold Studio 250 Vallombrosa Ave., Ste. 560, 804-2722

Place For A Mani/Pedi FIRST Place: Angels Nails & Spa 965 Nord Ave., Ste. 100-A, 487-7322 See Best Day Spa.

SECOND Place: SkyLab Nails & Spa 611 Walnut St., 518-6908 THIRD Place: Lily’s Nails & Spa 208 W. East Ave., Ste. E, 898-8765

Dining Room Open Now

Place For Electronics/ Computer Repair

Authentic Chinese Cuisine


$5 OFF $30 OR MORE

Dine In or Take Out Only No other discounts, expires 9/30/22

2201 Pillsbury Rd, #100 • 530-345-8862 • Delivery Minimum $30 Open all Holidays, closed Tuesdays

FIRST Place: Chico Computer Clinic

Motorcycle Dealer

FIRST Place: Sierra Steel HarleyDavidson

1501 Mangrove Ave., 893-1918 The lot at Sierra Steel Harley-Davidson on Mangrove Avenue is the unofficial gathering spot for Chico’s motorcycling enthusiasts, and the attached shop is the official home of the king of American road bikes. SECOND Place: Ozzie’s BMW Center 2438 Cohasset Road, 345-4462 THIRD Place: Chico Motorsports 1538 Park Ave., 345-5247

New Business

(non-food service) FIRST Place: SkyLab Nails & Spa

Panthera Exotics

BENGAL CATS A Leopard For Your Couch Well Trained Kittens Available

530-433-6483 | TICA Registered Cattery 18



611 Walnut St., 518-6908 Did Chico need another nail salon? There are a lot of hands here, so why not?!? SkyLab’s online reviews suggest that the year-old shop is already making its mark, with one online commentator saying, “[I] love the bright, clean and friendly atmosphere. All work done professionally and to perfection. So happy to have found my favorite nail place.” SECOND Place: Love Skate Shop 1380 East Ave., Ste. 100, 809-0689 THIRD Place: Magnolia Downtown 830 Broadway, 809-4196


FIRST Place: The Plant Barn & Gifts

406 Entler Ave., 345-3121 Open since 1980, the Plant Barn is the longest-running nursery in Chico. Denise Kelly and Rolf Weidhofer have owned it since 2006 and have expanded the operation into a veritable nursery theme park, with sprawling grounds of vegetable starts; plants and trees of all types; and a wide range of garden art and other plant-related gifts and supplies.

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

Outdoor Living

(patios, pools, etc.) FIRST Place: Patio Pros

11128 Midway, Ste. 3, 924-6400 The folks at Patio Pros build everything from pergolas to sun rooms to help Chicoans make the outside of their home as comfortable as the inside. SECOND Place (tie): Lowes 2350 Forest Ave., 895-5130 SECOND Place (tie): Perfection Pools & Spa 172 E. 20th St., 895-0437

Pet Groomer

FIRST Place: Carol’s Dog Grooming

975 East Ave., Ste. 160, 343-1554 Sixty years of grooming Chico’s pooches?!? Some locals have been customers of Carol’s Dog Grooming for their whole lives—and for multiple pets’ lives. That kind of loyalty is earned with decades of skill, patience and love for the dogs of Chico. SECOND Place: Mutt Cuts 2991 Esplanade, Ste. 130, 592-3156 THIRD Place: Coature Pet Spa 1411 Mangrove Ave., 899-8433

Piercing Studio

FIRST Place: Red Room Tattoo

231 Nord Ave., 342-1287 Septum? Belly button? Whatever body part body is getting outfitted, Red Room’s well-trained piercers have it covered with experience and quality hardware. The studio advertises that all its jewelry is ethically sourced, “American made, implant-grade titanium, steel and solid gold.”

1450 Mangrove Ave., Ste. 140, 636-1337 The “on-call nerds” of Chico Computer Clinic specialize in computer repair, cleaning and upgrade installation. The work is done fast, too, with average turnaround being less than 24 hours. SECOND Place: Best Buy 2005 Forest Ave., 566-1012 THIRD Place: PCI Computer Services 225 Main St., 891-4152

Place To Buy Books FIRST Place: The Bookstore

118 Main St., 345-7441 The wood-floored, overfilled Bookstore is warm, inviting and a foundational part of what it means to many to be a Chicoan. There’s a wide range of used and new books, with impressive selections of children’s books, cookbooks, history, gardening, religious, art books and classic literature. The Bookstore is a Chico institution. SECOND Place: Barnes & Noble 2031 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, 8941494 THIRD Place: ABC Books 950 Mangrove Ave., 893-4342

Place To Buy Home Furnishings

FIRST Place: Esplanade Furniture

1750 Esplanade, 891-4788 Owner Dan Moser opened Esplanade Furniture 40 years ago and specialized in building a lot of the unfinished-wood items sold at the store. The shop no longer cranks out its own custom pieces but instead showcases a variety of American-made unfinished wood pieces, including bedroom furniture, dining tables, cabinets and more. SECOND Place: Finds Design & Decor 1341 Mangrove Ave., 892-1905 THIRD Place: Nantucket Design & Home 603 Broadway St., 895-1038



Place To Buy Outdoor Gear

FIRST Place: Mountain Sports

176 E. Third St., 345-5011 Chico is perfectly situated for outdoor adventures. The Sierra Nevada mountains, Cascade range and Bidwell Park are all in our back yard, and Mountain Sports is here to outfit local outdoor enthusiasts with clothing, footwear, equipment and accessories for whatever adventure awaits along the trails. SECOND Place: Chico Sports Ltd. 698 Mangrove Ave., 894-1110 THIRD Place: Sportsman’s Warehouse 765 East Ave., Ste. 170, 897-0500


FIRST Place: Earl’s Performance Plumbing

2264 Park Ave., 343-0330 Earl’s Performance Plumbing techs arrive in fully stocked vans, answering calls 24/7 to fix everything from water and sewer lines to pumps and water heaters. For more than two decades, Earl’s has kept Chico’s pipes in order. SECOND Place: Accurate Plumbing 2288 Park Ave., Ste. A, 894-1800 THIRD Place: Able Plumbing 551 Country Drive, Ste. 150, 899-9009

Professional Photographer

SECOND Place: The Hignell Companies 1750 Humboldt Road, 576-5376

44 Rock Creek Road, (310) 993-5459

SECOND Place: Goodwill 765 East Ave., Ste. 100, 893-8578

THIRD Place: Blue Oak Property Management 2889 Cohasset Road, Ste. 5, 636-2627


THIRD Place: Thrifty Bargain 2432 Esplanade, 774-2158

Real Estate Agent

11025 Midway, 342-1631 Owner Michael Baird’s company covers residential homes and commercial buildings, doing everything from attic ventilation and skylights to new roofs in a variety of materials.

Tree Service

FIRST Place: Sabrina Chevallier (RE/MAX)

1834 Mangrove Ave., 718-9115 RE/Max agent Sabrina Chevallier is perennially voted the Best Realtor in Chico. What puts the born-andraised Chicoan over the top is her personable, friendly communication style as she stays in frequent contact while going above and beyond for her clients. SECOND Place: Danielle Branham (Century 21) 1101 El Monte Ave., 570-8402 THIRD Place: Kelsey Wakefield (RE/MAX) 1834 Mangrove Ave., 518-6609

Reptile Store

FIRST Place: Nor Cal Reptile Adventures 43 Dacy Ave., 228-5011 In addition to selling reptiles and reptile supplies, Nor Cal Reptile Adventures owners Kenni and David Huff also sell, well, adventures. Locals can hire them out to bring lizards, snakes and a gigantic turtle to birthday parties, school and other special events. SECOND Place: Chico Pet Works & Pet Salon 2201 Pillsbury Road, Ste. 186, 345-0934 THIRD Place: Killer Clutches

FIRST Place (tie): Baird Roofing

FIRST Place: Tree of Eden

513-6574 Joshua Guy worked as a wildland firefighter for years before starting Tree of Eden Tree Services, where he specializes in limbing, trimming, removals, fire-fuel breaks, lot clearing and general tree maintenance.

FIRST Place (tie): Powell & Sons Roofing

43 Norfield Ave., Ste. 4, 892-1410 From patching the smallest leak to a full roof construction, Powell & Sons Roofing provides both residential and commercial service.

THIRD Place: Chico Roofing Co. 3030 Thorntree Drive, Ste. 2, 892-9071

SECOND Place (tie): North Valley Tree Service 893-9649 SECOND Place (tie): About Trees 343-4533 Sabrina Chevallier (RE/MAX)

370-3597 Erin Lackey specializes in taking special memories out of the digital realm by making custom-designed portraits to hang on a wall. She says she is “ready to give you a fully-catered boutique experience that gives you unique art pieces of the people you love the most in this world.” SECOND Place: Ashley Carlascio hello@ashleycarlascio.com THIRD Place: Park Avenue Photography 521-4340

The Outlet

Sporting Goods

329 Southgate Ave., 321-8180 Like many RVers, Matt Dunckel and his family started their adventures in nature as tent campers. However, after experiencing the ease of execution in hitching up a camp trailer and just heading out, he started Happy Camper RV Rentals, offering hitch trailers of all sizes as well as small-scale motorhomes for rent.

698 Mangrove Ave., 894-1110 For 37 years, this locally owned institution has offered a warehouse-sized selection of essentials for camping, hiking, cycling, backpacking, running, yoga, swimming, snowboarding, disc golf and more.

FIRST Place: Happy Camper RV Rentals

SECOND Place (tie): Mike Friend RVs 2933 Esplanade, 343-0245

Shoe Store

FIRST Place: Heel & Sole Shoes

708 Mangrove Ave., 899-0725 Funky boots, swanky high heels, easy-breezy flipflops and classic canvas sneakers—Heel & Sole is packed to the ceiling, literally, with seemingly endless boxes of every style of footwear. SECOND Place: 2econd Life 641 Nord Ave., Ste. B, 466-6966 THIRD Place: Fleet Feet 241 Main St., 345-1000

Solar Company

FIRST Place: Alternative Energy Systems

Property Management FIRST Place: Madsen Properties

2607 Forest Ave., 570-6192 Alicia Madsen is licensed real estate broker whose Madsen Properties oversees the management of a variety of single-family homes, apartments, townhouses and duplexes in Butte County.

FIRST Place: North State Events

RV Rentals

SECOND Place (tie): R&M Trailer Rentals 895-1794

FIRST Place: Erin Lackey Photography

Wedding/Event Planner

13620 Hwy 99, 345-6980 This locally owned business brings the resources, materials and manpower of a national company to the projects for solar systems and battery storage that keep local residential and commercial properties in power. SECOND Place: Urban Design Solar 4742 Skyway, 809-1079 THIRD Place: Royal Aire Heating, Air Conditioning & Solar 2530 Zanella Way, 899-9999

FIRST Place: Chico Sports Ltd.

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

Tattoo Parlor

FIRST Place: Tanner Drake Tattoo Studio

250 Vallombrosa Ave., Ste. 560, 965-5842 There are so many Chico tattoo studios with talented artists that receive votes from loyal customers for Best of Chico. This year, rising to the top of the pack is the Tanner Drake Tattoo Studio. One of many positive reviews: “I recently got a tattoo from Tanner and had an amazing experience! He is very professional, made me feel super comfortable in the shop, and was fast, precise and just an overall talented artist!” SECOND Place (tie): Eye of Jade 1238 Mangrove Ave., 343-5233 SECOND Place (tie): Red Room Tattoo 231 Nord Ave., 342-1287

Thrift Store

FIRST Place: Arc Store

2020 Park Ave., 343-3666 The huge Arc Store is packed with a wellorganized, clean selection of clothing, jewelry, toys, weird nick-nacks, furniture and sweaters (ugly and not) for your holiday parties. Bonus: All proceeds fund a good cause—services for developmentally disabled people.

801-1275 Owner Ashley Smith’s North State Events will take care of just about any special occasion: weddings, of course, but also bridal showers, corporate parties, reunions and any other celebrations. “Tell me what your vision is, and I’ll make it a reality,” she says. “I will take care of even the tiniest elements, so you can enjoy your event as much as your guests.” SECOND Place: CES Weddings & Events 592-0728 THIRD Place: The 530 Bride 988-8344

Window Treatments FIRST Place: Budget Blinds

2525 Dominic Drive, Ste. C, 343-3400 Local owners Tim and Kim Long have been consulting on and installing window treatments in Butte County and beyond for 15-plus years, and they pride themselves on detail-oriented customer service. SECOND Place: Nantucket Design & Home 603 Broadway St., 895-1038 THIRD Place: Miller Glass 745 Cherry St., 343-7934

Women’s Clothier FIRST Place: The Outlet

232 Broadway, 999-2254 The Lulus website (lulus.com) is one of this area’s local-business success stories, selling women’s clothing all over the world. In Chico, we’re especially spoiled by getting a brick-and-mortar discount brand-name outlet to visit in real life, where the prices range from $4 to $40. SECOND Place: For Elyse 228 Broadway, 893-0106 THIRD Place: 5th Street Clothing Co. 328 Broadway St., 345-5754




Fight The Bite!



Food & Drink

’ ERS D A RE S 2022 K


Concession stands—all you can eat!

Asian Cuisine

featuring everything from Benedicts to chickenand-waffles.

FIRST Place: Ginger’s Restaurant

2201 Pillsbury Road, Ste. 100, 345-8862 Huge portions of Chinese restaurant standards, served by an attentive staff, make Ginger’s a local go-to spot. Fast and friendly service during the pandemic has made the restaurant a popular choice for to-go orders as well (see Best Takeout/Curbside and Best Delivery).

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

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

FIRST Place: Burgers and Brew

THIRD Place: Cafe Coda 265 Humboldt Ave., 566-9476


301 Broadway, 879-9100 One of Burgers and Brew’s big burgers not only delivers a fine half-pound slab of Niman Ranch beef; there’s also the bun, which soaks up savory juices by the time it reaches the table. It’s two meals in one. Add a side of fries—regular, curly or sweet potato—and it’s three meals. That’s before selecting one of the craft-beer choices from the seemingly endless line of taps … or, for the designated driver, hard-to-find Abita root beer.

THIRD Place: Happy Garden Restaurant 1880 Cohasset Road, 893-2574


FIRST Place: Upper Crust Bakery & Cafe

130 Main St., 895-3866 Upper Crust has been a downtown Chico staple for decades, but these days it might be best known for … vegetarian chili? The word “cafe” is in the name, after all, and Guy Fieri himself gave the dish a stamp of approval on his Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives show. The downtown icon has a full menu of savory lunchtime faves in addition to its wedding cakes and case full of pastries. SECOND Place: Tin Roof Bakery 637 Broadway, Ste. 170, 892-2893 THIRD Place: Lovely Layers Cakery 131 Meyers St., 828-9931


FIRST Place: Smokin’ Mo’s BBQ

131 Broadway, 891-6677 At Smokin’ Mo’s, the secret is in the sauces—four 22



SECOND Place: Nobby’s 1444 Park Ave., 342-2285 THIRD Place: Burger Hut Two locations: 3211 Cohasset Road, 342-4555; 2451 Forest Ave., 891-1430

New Clairvaux Vineyard

distinct signature flavors that can be slathered on just about anything on the menu, from the mouth-watering pork ribs to shredded pork, beef or chicken sandwiches to the crave-worthy tri-tip salad. SECOND Place: Kinder’s BBQ 1369 East Ave., 342-3354 THIRD Place: Bootleg BBQ 1184 East Ave., 521-3284


FIRST Place: Cafe Coda

265 Humboldt Ave., (530) 566-9476 Chilaquiles? Pork belly Benedict? Yes, please! Cafe Coda’s inventive menu filled with Mexican/American/ farm-fresh fusion breakfasts draws the crowds to the outskirts of downtown. Now open seven days a week and featuring a beautiful outdoor patio. SECOND Place: Morning Thunder Cafe 352 Vallombrosa Ave., 342-9717

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


FIRST Place: Nash’s Restaurant

1717 Esplanade, 896-1147 Nash’s always serves up a mean breakfast—but on the weekends, it takes things a step further with bottomless bubbly alongside its huge morning menu,


FIRST Place: Aca Taco

Two locations: 133 Broadway, 894-0191; 1000 W. Sacramento Ave., Ste. D, 343-0909 In Chico, you can get a real fight arguing over who makes the best burrito. There are as many opinions as there are food trucks, taquerias and sit-down Mexican restaurants. Aca Taco could



Reservations – 5thstreetsteakhouse.com




13 17


15 19

16 21






Sicilian Cafe

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

THIRD Place: Door Dash doordash.com

THIRD Place: Drunken Dumpling 1414 Park Ave., 774-2173


Italian Cuisine

1695 Mangrove Ave., 895-1195 Whether it’s breakfast at suppertime or a broasted chicken at lunch, Cozy Diner serves an extensive menu of down-home comfort food 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

1020 Main St., 345-2233 Part of what makes the Sicilian Cafe’s food so perfect is consistency. Chef James Taylor has been at the stove in South Chico for 38 years! Soon, though, the local favorites—Calamari Originale, Chicken Americana—will be created in a bigger downtown location (with a full bar!) when the restaurant makes a big move in the coming months.

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

SECOND Place: Crush 201 Broadway, Ste. 200, 342-7000

345 W. Fifth St., 891-6328 See Best Fine Dining.

FIRST Place: Cozy Diner

SECOND Place: Morning Thunder Cafe 352 Vallombrosa Ave., 342-9717 THIRD Place: The Roost Cafe 1144 Park Ave., 892-1281

Fine Dining

FIRST Place: 5th Street Steakhouse

345 W. Fifth St., 891-6328 The answer to the “I feel like a steak” craving in Chico is 5th Street Steakhouse. The perennial fine dining champ is a local icon (see also, Best Local Restaurant), a favorite destination for special-occasion splurges and regular-occasion beef hankerings. SECOND Place: Red Tavern 1250 Esplanade, 894-3463 THIRD Place: Crush 201 Broadway, Ste. 200, 342-7000 make a stand against all comers, however, as its oversized burritos hold onto the title for the eighth straight year. SECOND Place: Gordo Burrito 1295 E. 8th St., 809-1211 THIRD Place: Tacos Mary 429 Ivy St., 892-8176


FIRST Place: Bacio Catering

1903 Park Ave., 345-7787 For anyone who’s attended a local wedding or work party, odds are Bacio was probably there. Owner Erika Montanez’s business is the go-to catering company in town, feeding Chico revelers with creative, fresh-made and beautifully presented spreads. SECOND Place: Butte Creek BBQ 14 W. Eaton Road, Ste. 160, 990-0023 THIRD Place: Special Times Catering 2500 Floral Ave., Ste. 10, 865-4866

Cheap Eats

FIRST Place: La Comida

954 Mangrove Ave., 345-2254 The lines out the door don’t lie. For more than 50 years, this institution of institutions has served gut-busting plates of Mexican food to generations of Chico families at very affordable prices. SECOND Place: Aca Taco Two locations: 133 Broadway, 894-0191; 1000 W. Sacramento Ave., Ste. D, 343-0909 THIRD Place: In-N-Out Burger 2050 Business Lane, (800) 786-1000





FIRST Place: Ann Leon (Canyon Oaks Country Club)

999 Yosemite Drive, 343-2582 Chef Ann Leon made a name for herself locally with her former restaurant, Leon Bistro, where she won over Chico with Mediterranean-influenced dishes and frequent cooking classes. Leon now creates feasts at Canyon Oaks Country Club, where she’s been the executive chef since December. SECOND Place: James Taylor (Sicilian Cafe) 1020 Main St., 345-2233 THIRD Place: Jason Colabove (Crush) 201 Broadway, Ste. 200, 342-7000

Craft Beer Selection

FIRST Place: The Chico Taproom

2201 Pillsbury Road, Ste. 114, 774-2943 The Chico Taproom has become the hub of an Almond Orchard scene that includes fellow Best of winners Ginger’s (Best Asian Cuisine) and El Guayacan Mexican Restaurant (Best Mexican Cuisine), both of which can be enjoyed at the beer bar that allows outside food to go along with its 40 taps of craft beer focused on West Coast breweries. SECOND Place: The Commons Social Empourium 2412 Park Ave., 774-2999 THIRD Place: Secret Trail Brewing Co. 132 Meyers St., Ste. 120, 487-8151


FIRST Place: Ginger’s Restaurant 2201 Pillsbury Road, Ste. 100, 345-8862 See Best Asian Cuisine.

Local Coffee House

SECOND Place: Entree Express chicoentreeexpess.com

Food Server

FIRST Place: Sicilian Cafe

THIRD Place: Italian Cottage 2234 Esplanade, 343-7000

Local Brewery Regional

FIRST Place: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

1075 E. 20th St., 893-3520 If your beers are considered among the finest on the entire planet, it’s safe to say your brewery will be looked upon favorably, if not reverently, on your home turf. Chicoans adore Sierra Nevada and its community-minded approach to creating great beer.

FIRST Place: Myah Firch – Mom’s Restaurant

SECOND Place: Secret Trail Brewing Co. 132 Meyers St., Ste. 120, 487-8151

Though she left the restaurant this summer, Myah Firch made a big impression on her customers and Mom’s, which marked her six years at the downtown brunch spot with a glowing farewell on its Facebook page.

THIRD Place: Farmers Brewing Co. 1950 Market Place, 982-2016

SECOND Place: Josh Smith – The Rawbar THIRD Place: Amanda Blankenship – Deja Vu Breakfast Company

Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt FIRST Place: Shubert’s Ice Cream & Candy

178 E. Seventh St., 342-7163 Nothing paints a nostalgic picture of Chico like a summer-evening hangout on the benches in front of Shubert’s, the ice cream and candy shop that’s been in business since 1938. SECOND Place: Jon & Bon’s Yogurt Shoppe Multiple locations THIRD Place: La Flor de Michoacan Paletería y Nevería Multiple locations

International Cuisine FIRST Place: Priya Indian Cuisine

2574 Esplanade, 899-1055 To say that Priya is a staple of the local food scene is an understatement. The impressive menu features both north and south Indian dishes, and the exceedingly popular lunch buffet is just plain irresistible.

FIRST Place: Stoble Coffee

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

THIRD Place: Bidwell Perk 664 W. First Ave., 899-1500

Local Restaurant – Chico FIRST Place: 5th Street Steakhouse SECOND Place: Ginger’s Restaurant 2201 Pillsbury Road, Ste. 100, 345-8862 THIRD Place: Grana Wood Fired Foods 198 E. Second St., 809-2304

Local Restaurant – Oroville

FIRST Place: Union Patio Bar & Grill

2053 Montgomery St., Oroville, 693-4388 The Union is still killing it! This spot in historic downtown Oroville, featuring one of the most beautiful patios in the county, serves up decadent elevated pub fare, cocktails and a wide variety of live music. SECOND Place: Tong Fong Low 2051 Robinson St., Oroville, 533-1488 THIRD Place: Ethan’s Eatery 2275 Myers St., Oroville, 854-4348

La Comida

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



your purchase of $30 or more Offer good through September 30, 2022

FOOD TO GO! Closed Monday





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


40 taps of Craft Beer from Nor Cal & West Coast Breweries. OPEN EVERY DAY AT 2PM IN THE ALMOND ORCHARD AT 2201 PILLSBURY RD #114, CHICO

Fraud Alert

Live Life Juice Co.

Local Winery – Regional FIRST Place: New Clairvaux Vineyard

26240 7th St., Vina, 839-2200 The winery/vineyard within the Vina monastery celebrated the recent harvest with the annual Blessing of the Grapes ceremony in July, and New Clairvaux also is celebrating the success of its wines. Between its own portfolio and the collection of its sister line, Aimée Wines, a dozen varieties have received a score of 90 or more in competitions. A box with the whole dozen is now available for purchase. SECOND Place: Almendra Winery & Distillery 925 Midway, Durham, 343-6893 THIRD Place: LaRocca Vineyards 12360 Doe Mill Road, Forest Ranch, 899-9463

Locally Produced Food – Regional FIRST Place: Live Life Juice Co.

220 Broadway, 566-3346; 2279 Springfield Drive, Ste. 150, 809-2635 Freshly squeezed, 100 percent organic, in-season

fruit and vegetable juices: the recipe for success in Chico. Live Life is available at local farmers’ markets, online and at two local shops—including a new location at Meriam Park. SECOND Place: GRUB CSA Farm 11630 Dairy Road, 680-4543 THIRD Place: Chico Chai 1919 Park Ave., 897-0822


FIRST Place: Tea Bar & Fusion Cafe

Two locations: 250 Vallombrosa Ave., 895-8100; 555 Flying V St., Ste. 1, 809-1545 Both Chico locations of Tea Bar (also in Sacramento and Redding) are regularly packed for lunch by folks who want hearty, healthful meals, which the menu of wraps and bowls provides. Oh, and there’s tea! Lots of teas!

Mexican Cuisine

FIRST Place: El Guayacan Mexican Restaurant

2201 Pillsbury Road, Ste. 124, 893-3777 El Guayacan is the place for sit-down Mexican food in North Chico. Nestled in the heart of the Almond Orchard shopping center, its relaxed vibe and big plates of nearly every classic dish available have online reviewers raving: “We have tried about everything on the menu and it is all delicious! Our go to: chicken enchiladas with beans and rice. You cannot go wrong!” SECOND Place: La Hacienda 2635 Esplanade, 893-8270

CN&R will never contact a person or business with intentions to sell a Best of Chico winner’s plaque. Any company attempting to do so is NOT associated with the Chico News & Review or the Best of Chico contest.

THIRD Place: Aca Taco Two locations: 133 Broadway, 894-0191; 1000 W. Sacramento Ave., Ste. D, 343-0909

SECOND Place: Broadway Heights 300 Broadway, 899-8075 THIRD Place: Spiteri’s Deli 971 East Ave., 891-4797

Important message to all area businesses, CN&R advertisers and potential winners in CN&R’s 2022 Best of Chico competition:






FIRST Place: Midnite Munchies

234 W. Third St., Midnite Munchies started in 2010 as a late-night snack-delivery service, moved into the kiosk in the Nord Safeway center in 2019 and as of this past May is slinging its cookies, cheesecakes and other treats from a new spot in downtown Chico. midnite-munchies.com SECOND Place: Crumbl Cookies 855 East Ave., Ste. 220, 230-9361 THIRD Place: Insomnia Cookies 305 Main St., 364-5220

best of times, but opening during a pandemic would seem impossible. Owner Christian Griffith and his Deja Vu Breakfast Company have seemed to defy the odds, capturing Chico’s imagination and packing its dining room with breakfast/brunch-lovers taken with their creative take—everything from cookies-and-cream pancakes to chorizo-andcheese waffles. SECOND Place: Om on the Range 301 Main St., 487-8150 THIRD Place: Gnarly Deli 243 S. Second St., 433-4415


FIRST Place: The Pour House

New Eatery

(opened in last year) FIRST Place: Deja Vu Breakfast Company

3221 Esplanade, 287-5660 Opening a new restaurant is a challenge during the

855 East Ave., Ste. 270, 893-3000 With its Jumbotron-sized TV and outdoor bar, the lively Pour House patio is the place to be when a big game is on. SECOND Place: La Salles 229 Broadway, 487-7207

THIRD Place: Red Tavern 1250 Esplanade, 894-3463

Pho C&C


FIRST Place: Pho C&C

3211 Cohasset Road, Ste. 110, 892-1415. Pho—the Vietnamese noodle soup of broth, meat, vegetables and herbs—is a thing of beauty. The gorgeous, fresh ingredients at Pho C&C are especially fetching, aromatic and tasty, a great complement to the rest of the simple menu of grilled meats and egg rolls. SECOND Place: Vietnam Bistro 788 East Ave., 433-7108 THIRD Place: The Banshee 134 W. Second St.


FIRST Place: Celestino’s New York Pizza

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


FIRST Place: Spiteri’s Deli

971 East Ave., 891-4797 Spiteri’s might be kind of a “hidden gem,” tucked into an out-of-the-way strip mall on the north side of Highway 99, but the longstanding local icon has been around for 44 years. Huge, traditional sandwiches served with a wide selection of deli sides have made this shop a Chico institution. SECOND Place: Fast Eddie’s Sandwich Shop 1175 East Ave., 342-8558 THIRD Place: The Redwood Sandwich Co. 1354 East Ave., Ste. U, 965-5293


2201 Pillsbury Road, Ste. 100, 345-8862 See Best Asian Cuisine.

SECOND Place: Japanese Blossoms 2995 Esplanade, Ste. 104, 891-9022

Two locations: 275 E. Park Ave.; Esplanade & Tonea Way With trucks on the north and south ends of town, El Pinolero is always near. The menu is diverse; standout fare includes the perfectly prepared carnitas tacos topped with onions and cilantro. What makes the little pork nuggets even tastier is the sauce, a red concoction that has just the right amount of spice.


THIRD Place: Gnarly Deli Locations vary (facebook.com/gnarlydeli)


1722 Mangrove Ave., Ste. 18, 345-4571 Yes, Big Tuna is a sushi joint, and the award here is for Best Sushi, but feast on this: the Japanese taco, with a choice of crab mix, spicy tuna, avocado or tofu in a tempura eggplant shell with sriracha, spicy mayo and cheese. Of course, Big Tuna has all the nigiri, rolls and sashimi anyone could want, with chefs who love to get creative.

FIRST Place: Big Tuna Sushi Bistro

Street Food

SECOND Place: Gordo Burrito Eighth & Pine streets



THIRD Place: The Rawbar 346 Broadway, 897-0626

FIRST Place: Tacos El Pinolero

Deja Vu Breakfast Company


FIRST Place: Aca Taco

Two locations: 133 Broadway, 894-0191; 1000 W. Sacramento Ave., Ste. D, 343-0909 See Best Burrito. SECOND Place: Aztlan Two locations: 1645 Park Ave., 487-7062; 2599 Esplanade, 965-5984 THIRD Place: J’s Tacos and Beer 900 Cherry St., 717-6300

FIRST Place: Ginger’s Restaurant SECOND Place: La Hacienda 2635 Esplanade, 893-8270 THIRD Place: Tea Bar & Fusion Cafe Two locations: 250 Vallombrosa Ave., 895-8100; 555 Flying V St., Ste. 1, 809-1545

Vegetarian Cuisine

FIRST Place: Om on the Range

301 Main St., 487-8150 Chico’s favorite vegetarian restaurant has grown again, in size and in name. OM Foods is in a new downtown spot under the banner of Om on the Range. The local staple still specializes in fresh, organic and GMO-free foods, with a menu that is largely meat-free—now with more room in its corner spot. Another addition: a packed calendar of live dance-friendly music. SECOND Place: Live Life Juice Co. 220 Broadway, 566-3346 THIRD Place: Priya Indian Cuisine 2574 Esplanade, 899-1055


’ ERS D A RE S 2022 K

Crowdpleasers in the center ring

Nightlife & the Arts


Art Space

FIRST Place: 1078 Gallery

1710 Park Ave., 630-7522 The 1078 Gallery’s community-building efforts seem to have hit full-stride in the post-lockdown era. By partnering at the Park Avenue space with Equilateral Coffee and Harvests & Habitats Nursery, the gallery has created a de facto community center in South Chico where artsy types can socialize and check out the latest exhibits of “contemporary an experimental artworks” beyond the previously limited hours. SECOND Place: Museum of Northern California Art (MONCA) 900 Esplanade, 487-7272 THIRD Place: Chico Art Center 540 Orange St., Ste. 6, 895-8726

North State Ballet PHOTO BY KEN PORDES


FIRST Place: Argus Bar + Patio

212 W. Second St., 332-9914 The low-key, swanky atmosphere inside Argus Bar + Patio is just about perfect, and the back patio, with its vine-covered stone walls and wide-open seating, is even better. Also a favorite live venue for an eclectic range of local and visiting musicians.

Mary’s the way their mom made them. Er, wait, maybe that’s potato salad. Regardless, Mom’s offers the beloved libation four different ways, including classic and cucumber-heavy versions.

SECOND Place: Duffy’s Tavern 337 Main St., 343-7718

THIRD Place: Unwined Kitchen & Bar 980 Mangrove Ave., 809-2634

THIRD Place: The Banshee 134 W. Second St.

FIRST Place: Mom’s Restaurant

209 Salem St., 893-3447 They say that people always prefer their Bloody


Casino – Regional

FIRST Place: Rolling Hills Casino

Bloody Mary


SECOND Place: Duffy’s Tavern 337 Main St., 343-7718


2655 Everett Freeman Way, Corning, 528-3500 It’s more than just games of chance that make Rolling Hills Casino a valley favorite. The casino also offers excellent lodging, a variety of dining experiences

(from fine cuisine to Fatburger) and kick-ass live entertainment at its Obsidian Spirits Amphitheater. SECOND Place: Feather Falls Casino 3 Alverda Dr., Oroville, 533-3885

from acro (acrobatic dance) to hip-hop to tap. SECOND Place: Hype Dance Studio 1033 Mangrove Ave., 898-8789

THIRD Place: Gold Country Casino Resort 4020 Olive Hwy, Oroville, 334-9400

THIRD Place: Kinetics Academy of Dance & Gymnastics 627 Broadway, Ste. 100, 345-2505

Dance Company/Studio

Happy Hour

2400 Notre Dame Blvd., 774-2364 In addition to intensive, professional-level training for future prima ballerinas, North State Ballet offers lessons and programs for dancers of all ages and skill levels. It’s not just ballet, either, as the studio also offers opportunities to learn styles ranging

855 East Ave., Ste. 270, 893-3000 If you want to get into semantics, then The Pour House should win for best happy hours; the place offers two separate multi-hour happy times, 3-6 p.m. and 9 p.m. until closing, featuring discounts on drinks and appetizers.

FIRST Place: North State Ballet

FIRST Place: The Pour House

SECOND Place: Crush 201 Broadway, Ste. 200, 342-7000 THIRD Place: La Salles 229 Broadway, 487-7207

Local Music Act

FIRST Place: Smokey the Groove

facebook.com/smokeythegroove For the second year running, energetic jammers Smokey the Groove have clinched the title of Chico’s best Local Music Act. The half-dozen strong band continues to wow audiences at venues and festivals throughout the region with their delightful, hornheavy, danceable “rage funk.” SECOND Place: Hot Flash tinyurl.com/hotflashchico

THIRD Place: Blü Egyptian bluegyptianband.com

banana, etc.)—plus more than 120 types of tequila and seasoned mixologists, perpetual local favorite Tres Hombres remains El Rey de Margaritas in Chico.

Local Visual Artist

SECOND Place: La Hacienda 2635 Esplanade, 893-8270

FIRST Place: Janet Lombardi Blixt

chicoartschool.com Janet Lombardi Blixt is not just beloved for her colorful paintings but also for sharing her knowledge. She has offered art classes to children and adults at her Chico Art School and Gallery (261 E. Third Street) for more than a decade. SECOND Place: Ama Posey amaposey.com THIRD Place (tie): Caitlin Schwerin facebook.com/artworkbycaitlin THIRD Place (tie): Zak Elstein shadow-boxes.com


FIRST Place: Tres Hombres

100 Broadway, 342-0425 With it’s expansive list of varieties of the classic— including various fresh-fruit flavors (peach, melon,

THIRD Place: Casa Ramos 216 W. East Ave., Ste. C, 894-0119


FIRST Place: Pablo Trenado Jr.

Parkside Tap House, 115 W. Third St., 636-4239; Tres Hombres, 100 Broadway, 342-0425 The talented and smiling Pablo Trenado Jr., Chico’s new top mixologist, is a beloved mainstay at two downtown hot spots. You’ll find him behind the bar at both Parkside Tap House and Tres Hombres, making drinks as well as friends. SECOND Place: Stephanie Sosa Argus Bar + Patio, 212 W. Second St., 332-9914 THIRD Place: Wendy Reid Studio Inn Lounge, 2582 Esplanade, 343-0662


Kinetics Academy of Dance & Gymnastics Dance Gymnastics Birthday Parties Private Lessons

$45/MO More than 5 weekly class options. Come to one or come to all. • • • • • •

Argus Bar + Patio

Ballroom Tap Ballet Barre Fitness West Coast Swing Contemporary

530-345-2505 | www.KineticsAcademyofDance.com Downtown Chico next to Tin Roof Bakery SEPTEMBER 1, 2022




THIRD Place (tie): Oasis Bar & Grill 1007 W. First St., 343-4305

Secret Trail Brewing Co.

Theater Company

Did readers vote your business among the “BEST” in our “Best of Chico” issue? Brag about it in our





FIRST Place: Chico Theater Co.

166 Eaton Road, Ste. F, 894-3282 Chico Theater Co. has a solid grasp on what local theatergoers like—namely musicals and other community-playhouse stples—and delivers them in a way that keeps audiences coming back. Recent productions include a rendition of The Spitfire Grill that received sizzling reviews, and a well-received run of the blockbuster Jesus Christ Superstar. SECOND Place: California Regional Theatre 139 W. First St., 722-4522 THIRD Place: Legacy Stage legacystage.org

To-Go Cocktail or Bar Service

FIRST Place: Argus Bar + Patio

212 W. Second St., 332-9914, argusmonstercrate. com See Best Bar. SECOND Place: Tres Hombres 100 Broadway Street, 342-0425


FIRST Place: Museum of Northern California Art (MONCA)

900 Esplanade, 487-7272 Housed in the beautiful and historic Veterans Memorial Hall (a landmark since it was built in 1927), the Museum of Northern California Art (MONCA) celebrated its fifth anniversary this year. The top-of-the line institution features a fine permanent collection of Nor-Cal art and hosts a varied schedule of rotating special exhibits and community events. SECOND Place: Chico History Museum 141 Salem St., 891-4336 THIRD Place: Chico Children’s Museum 325 Main St., 809-1492

Place To Buy Art

FIRST Place: Chico Paper Company

345 Broadway St., 891-0900 Collecting art shouldn’t be a hobby reserved for the rich and well-heeled; Chico Paper Company knows this. From original works by established and up-and-coming artists to local-nostalgia prints by Jake Early, this downtown art store has something for everyone. SECOND Place: Chico Art Center 540 Orange St., Ste. 6, 895-8726 THIRD Place: Art Etc. 256 E. First St., 895-1161

To Advertise Contact: Ray Laager 530-520-4742 rlaager@newsreview.com 30



Place To Dance FIRST Place: The Beach

191 E. Second St., 898-9898 There’s nary a seashell or a grain of sand to be found at Chico’s beach, but what the local nightclub does offer—abundant drinks, driving beats and

beautiful people—once again puts it at the top of the list of where locals go to get their groove on. SECOND Place: Crazy Horse Saloon 303 Main St., 894-5408 THIRD Place: North State Ballet 2400 Notre Dame Blvd., 774-2364

Place To Drink A Glass Of Wine FIRST Place: Wine Time

26 Lost Dutchman Dr., 899-9250 Downtown’s dives and dance clubs serve their purposes well, but there is a refined sensibility that reigns at North Chico’s Wine Time. Here, wine lovers can find a wide array of varietals—from California, Europe and more—as well as meals paired to enhance the experience. SECOND Place: Unwined Kitchen & Bar 980 Mangrove Ave., 809-2634 THIRD Place: Grana Wood Fired Foods 198 E. Second St., 809-2304

Sports Bar

FIRST Place: Bella’s Sports Pub

231 Main St., 893-5253 Bella’s Sports Pub offers a variety of entertainment options—like regular dance nights, open-mic comedy and trivia contests—but at heart, it’s a sports bar. All the elements for a good game day—beer, bar food and big screens—can be found in abundance at this downtown institution. SECOND Place: The Pour House 855 East Ave., Ste. 270, 893-3000 THIRD Place (tie): Buffalo Wild Wings 845 East Ave., 592-3251

THIRD Place: Banshee 134 W. Second St.

Venue For Live Music

FIRST Place: Secret Trail Brewing Co.

132 Meyers St., Ste. 120, 487-8151 A few short years ago, Chico’s new “booze district” on Meyers Street, far removed from downtown’s traditional gathering spots, seemed like a novel idea. Today, Secret Trail Brewing Co. is drawing huge crowds to South Chico with its stacked calendar of local and touring acts booked to its indoor and outdoor stages. SECOND Place: Sierra Nevada Big Room 1075 E. 20th St., 893-3250 THIRD Place: Argus Bar + Patio 212 W. Second St., 332-9914

Watering Hole For Townies FIRST Place: Duffy’s Tavern

337 Main St., 343-7718 Chico may now contain prettier, trendier and more modern establishments, but the bar closest to the hearts of many locals remains Duffy’s Tavern. With it’s kitschy-come-iconic art work, old-school jukebox, Friday Irish-music happy hours, and an interior that hasn’t been spruced up since sometime in the last century, Duffy’s is a dive unlike any other. SECOND Place: Secret Trail Brewing Co. 132 Meyers St., Ste. 120, 487-8151 THIRD Place: Studio Inn Lounge 2582 Esplanade, 343-0662


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Thank you for voting for us! Located in the Chico Marketplace at 1950 20th Street, Unit E523 530.309.0671 • privvyhealth.com

Health & Wellness

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Acrobats, strong (wo)men and the safety net

Acupuncture Clinic

FIRST Place: Chico Community Acupuncture

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

Alternative Health Care Provider FIRST Place: Privvy Modern Health

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


FIRST Place: Preference Chiropractic 1635 Magnolia Ave., 895-0224 Situated in a converted house, Preference Chiropractic is a family-oriented clinic run by a family of practitioners. They offer treatment to people from early to late stages of life, including expectant mothers. SECOND Place: Joyce Family Chiropractic 9 Frontier Circle, 899-8500 THIRD Place: Chico Chiropractic Center 1140 Mangrove Ave., Ste. C, 345-3043

Dental Care

FIRST Place: Nelsen Family Dentistry

1307 Esplanade, Ste. 4, 898-8511 A perennial Best of Chico winner, Nelsen Family Dentistry is a true family affair. Dr. John Nelsen and Dr. Missy Nelsen met the first day of dental school and moved to Chico to start their practice, which has been going strong for 22 years.

1950 E. 20th St., Ste. E-523, 451-3373 Located in the Chico Marketplace, Privvy provides therapeutic infusions and injections in a spa setting. The team features registered nurse Morgan Hatzis, a competitive athlete with extensive experience in IV therapy, and Dr. Nerissa Prieto, a board-certified anesthesiologist and critical care physician with over 15 years in practice. Open daily, Privvy offers appointments and walk-in services.

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

SECOND Place: Creating a Sustainable You 811 E. Fifth Ave., 521-7328

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

THIRD Place: Chico Naturopathic Medicine 196 Cohasset Road, Ste. 260, 332-9355

Boutique Gym

FIRST Place: Sweet Fitness Kickboxing


FIRST Place: Hodari MD Dermatology & Rejuvené

1390 E. Ninth St., Ste. 170, 521-8495 “This is NOT a professional fighters gym!” Sweet Fitness Kickboxing makes crystal clear that it’s a place to get fit, not get hit. The gym has 36 prograde punching bags that aren’t shared, which makes the workouts sanitary as well as face-saving. Make no mistake, participants feel the burn!

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

SECOND Place: Basis Health & Performance 177 E. 20th St., 636-0850

SECOND Place: Chico Dermatology 774 East Ave., 280-7529

Privvy Modern Health

THIRD Place: Argyll Skincare Center 110 Independence Circle, 899-9393

THIRD Place: Family Eye Care 2565 Ceanothus Ave. Ste. 155, 899-3939

THIRD Place: Dr. Vimali Paul 85 Declaration Drive, Ste. 110, 894-6600

Eye Care Specialist

General Practitioner


114 Mission Ranch Blvd., Ste. 50, 891-1900 Ahead of its move to Meriam Park, North Valley Eye Care has a new plaque. CN&R readers recognized the practice, with three of its nine clinics in Butte County, for comprehensive vision care—from eye exams to new glasses and contact lenses to laser surgeries. Starting Sept. 6, the Chico office will be located at 1700 Bruce Road.

Chico Primary Care, 1645 Esplanade, Ste. 1, 896-0386 Honored as a Living Legend last year, this internal medicine physician has repeatedly topped Best of Chico voting. A patient’s online review gives Dr. Archer “high marks for the skilled, attentive and dependable care she has provided” both for him and his wife for more than two decades—and he’s obviously not alone.

1293 E. First Ave., 343-5678 Spanning five acres, In Motion Fitness encompasses eight pools; seven areas for weight training and cardio exercises; and six spaces dedicated to yoga and other mind-body activities. Members use those facilities on their own or in classes, which include programs for kids and youth. A routine Best of Chico winner!

FIRST Place: North Valley Eye Care

SECOND Place: Chico Eye Center 605 W. East Ave., 895-1727

FIRST Place: Dr. Julie Archer

SECOND Place: Dr. J. Randal Sloop 2068 Talbert Drive, Ste. 150, 809-0009

FIRST Place: In Motion Fitness




READERS’ PICKS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 33 SECOND Place: Sweet Fitness Kickboxing 1390 E. Ninth St., Ste. 170, 521-8495 THIRD Place: Orangetheory Fitness 260 Cohasset Road, Ste. 190, 345-9427

Hearing Aid Specialist

FIRST Place: Chico Hearing Aid Center

1600 Mangrove Ave., Ste. 160, 342-8132 Chico Hearing Aid Center has served the community’s auditory needs since 1949. Deanna McCoy has been there 19 years, the past 15 leading the team. The office specializes in digital and open fit hearing aids along with providing exams, hearing tests, device cleaning and repairs. SECOND Place: Costco 2100 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Pkwy, 332-1742 THIRD Place: UpState Hearing Instruments – Chico 676 E. First Ave., Ste. 12, 893-4327

Local CBD Source

FIRST Place: S&S Organic Produce & Natural Foods

1924 Mangrove Ave., 343-4930 In business 55 years, S&S has grown a reputation for quality fruits, vegetables, meats, groceries,

Azad’s Martial Arts Center

vitamins and supplements. It’s no surprise, then, that Chicoans extend their trust to the store for CBD products and have chosen S&S as Chico’s best.

In Motion Fitness

SECOND Place: Fresh Twisted Cafe 156 Eaton Road, Ste. E, 809-2489 THIRD Place: Serenity CBD serenitycbd.com

Local Healthcare Provider

FIRST Place: Argyll Medical Group

100 Independence Circle, 899-0295 For 21 years, Dr. Roy Bishop and practitioners at Argyll Medical Group have delivered primary care to thousands in Chico and neighboring communities, along with addiction medicine and skin care. Argyll has been an early adopter of technology, such as electronic prescribing and telemedicine appointments, without compromising on treating patients as people. SECOND Place: Mission Ranch Primary Care 114 Mission Ranch Blvd., Ste. 10, 894-5000 THIRD Place (tie): Enloe Medical Center 1531 Esplanade, 332-7300 THIRD Place (tie): Mangrove Medical Group 1040 Mangrove Ave., 345-0064

Martial Arts Studio FIRST Place: Azad’s Martial Arts Center

313 Walnut St., Ste. 150, 892-2923 Grandmaster Farshad Azad is acclaimed for his hands as well as his heart. He is a 10th degree black belt in both Hapkido and Tai Chi; holds master rank in Jung SuWon and Kali; and created multiple martial arts forms. He’s also widely recognized for his philanthropy, a model he sets at his studio (see Best Volunteer in “Community” section). SECOND Place: Haley’s Martial Arts Center 260 Cohasset Road, 895-3114 THIRD Place: Morning Sun Martial Arts 181 E. Ninth Ave., 342-5833

Massage Therapist FIRST Place: Creating a Sustainable You

811 E. Fifth Ave., 521-7328 Candi Williamson and her massage therapy team take a holistic approach. “What I provide is the ability to assess and put the pieces together in order to see the bigger picture and provide a comprehensive solution,” Williamson says on the website of what she calls “A True Wellness Center.” From reiki to myofascial to trigger point and more, Creating a Sustainable You offers a wide range of treatment options. SECOND Place: Wendy’s Massage Chico 1351 Mangrove Ave., 342-2222 THIRD Place: Babette Maisse 13 Williamsburg Lane, 321-5668


FIRST Place: Chico Pediatrics

670 Rio Lindo Ave., Ste. 300, 343-8522 Dr. Ejaz Ahmed, last year’s winner, repeats as Best of Chico alongside his colleagues at Chico

Pediatrics—Dr. Evbu Ogbeide and nurse practitioners Jill Berry, Rebecca Konkin, Monica Riccomini and Suzanne Wang. The practice, which marks its 45th anniversary this year, cares for newborns up to age 18. SECOND Place: Dr. Patrick Tedford 643 W. East Ave., 342-0502 THIRD Place: Dr. Kathleen Sullivan 194 Cohasset Road, 893-2303

Personal Trainer

FIRST Place: Nate Carlascio

Basis Health & Performance, 117 E. 20th St., 636-0850 As owner of Basis, Nate Carlascio has a lot on his plate. But he hasn’t strayed from his roots: training clients. Carlascio’s dedication has earned him loyal devotees—and a second straight Best of Chico award. SECOND Place: Elaina Zinko OrangeTheory Fitness, 874 East Ave., 722-4000 THIRD Place: Nico Willis OrangeTheory Fitness, 874 East Ave., 722-4000

Physical Therapy Office FIRST Place: Coast Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine

1044 Mangrove Ave., 892-2966 Coast Physical Therapy adapted to COVID times with appointments by phone or on videoconference. Yet the clinic kept its firm foundation with owners Chad Layland and Kevin Vaughn, the physical therapists who opened the office in 1998 and remain its owner-operators. SECOND Place: Enloe Rehabilitation Center Outpatient Therapy 340 W. East Ave., 332-6110 THIRD Place: Avail Physical Therapy 2555 Ceanothus, Ste. 150, 892-2810

Plastic Surgeon

FIRST Place: Dr. Emily C. Hartmann

1930 Notre Dame Blvd., 487 5020 Dr. Hartmann brings a wealth of training to her hometown practice, Beauty Eternal Medspa, where she offers surgical and nonsurgical procedures. Her expertise includes female-to-male and male-tofemale top surgeries. SECOND Place: Dr. Daniel Thomas 619 W. East Ave., 891-4391 THIRD Place: Dr. Kafele Hotari 80 Declaration Drive, 894-6832


FIRST Place: Darling Veterinary Clinic

2520 Dominic Drive, 892-8910 As construction and renovations transform the area around his clinic, Dr. Gary Darling continues to look after the community’s animals as he’s done for years. His is a single veterinarian practice, open weekdays, for pets and large animals alike. SECOND Place: Chico Animal Hospital 3015 Esplanade, 342-0518 THIRD Place: Chico Creek Animal Hospital 3449 Highway 32, 343-3516

Yoga Studio

FIRST Place: Hot Yoga Club Chico

1140 Mangrove Ave., Ste. B, 321-0611 Hot Yoga is a hit. The Chico club, which has a sister location in Granite Bay, draws rave reviews from practitioners for its amenities, classes and, most importantly, instructors. SECOND Place: In Motion Fitness 1293 E. First Ave., 343-5678 THIRD Place: Yoga Center of Chico 250 Vallombrosa Ave., Ste. 150, 342-0100




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We’re all in this circus together

Charitable Cause

FIRST Place: Butte Humane Society

13391 Garner Lane, 343-7917 Butte Humane Society has focused on providing humanitarian care to dogs, cats and other animals since 1911. The nonprofit offers a wide variety of services, including a veterinary clinic, pet re-homing, behavior and training resources, animal-assisted wellness visits and an animal fostering program. Butte Humane also assists low-income pet owners by providing a spay and neuter clinic with low-cost options and a pantry with pet food and supplies. SECOND Place: Chico Housing Action Team (CHAT) 399-3965


THIRD Place: Jesus Center 2255 Fair St., 345-2640

SECOND Place: Live Life Juice Co. Two locations: 220 Broadway St., 566-3346; 2279 Springfield Dr., Ste.150, 809-2635, 636-4693 (deliveries, both locations)

Community Event

THIRD Place: Camina Bakery 321-8417

FIRST Place: Saturday Farmers Market

Saturdays, 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Second & Wall streets, 893-3276 There’s no shortage of delicious, locally grown produce and eclectic, handmade goods offered at the Saturday Farmers Market, a Chico tradition and family-friendly event that draws crowds weekly.

as public health, social and racial justice, diversity and inclusion, and LGBTQ rights. She consistently receives high ratings from students for her passion, the quality of her engaging lectures and her feedback. SECOND Place: Janet Lombardi Blixt – Chico Art School

Golf Course – Regional

THIRD Place: Sanjay Dev – Butte College

FIRST Place: Bidwell Park Golf Course

Local Personality

SECOND Place: Thursday Night Market Thursdays, 6-9 p.m. May through September, downtown, 345-6500

3199 Golf Course Road, 891-8417 The Bidwell Park Golf Course celebrated its 100th year in 2020 and is known for its sprawling, varied layout amid the stunning wilderness views of Upper Park. No membership is required for country club amenities, including the 18-hole course, pro shop and Bidwell Bar & Grill.

THIRD Place: Woofstock June, Butte Humane Society, 343-7917

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

G-Ride Pedi-Cab & Trolley It’s impossible to miss Mike “G-Ride” Griffith and his rockin’ pedi-cab when venturing into downtown Chico. This Best of Chico Living Legend is known for his friendly demeanor, festive outfits and dedication to the community, often volunteering at local events.

Farmer’s Market Vendor

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

SECOND Place: Linda Watkins-Bennett Action News Now anchor and producer


11630 Dairy Road, 680-4543 GRUB Community Supported Agriculture is motivated to provide local, healthy food to the community. In addition to its appearance at multiple farmers markets, the farm delivers fresh produce to local restaurants, offers a CSA membership program and regularly donates produce to nonprofit organizations that serve seniors, people with disabilities and the unhoused.

FIRST Place: Mike “G-Ride” Griffith

THIRD Place: Dillon Collins Host of Comedy Thursday (Bella’s Sports Pub)

Instructor/Professor FIRST Place: Lindsay Briggs – Chico State

Place For Family Fun

Lindsay Briggs, a former winner in this category, is a tenured professor in the department of Public Health and Human Services acclaimed for her dedication to her students. She is also well-known for her outspoken, unapologetic activism in areas such

chico.ca.us/bidwell-park Bidwell Park—with its array of hiking, running and

FIRST Place: Bidwell Park Bidwell Park






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CARE PROVIDERS Needed! Earn Money From Home Adult(s) with special needs lives with you in your home, and you mentor them towards a better future. Must be at least 21, have a spare bedroom, clean criminal record and vehicle.

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Butte Humane Society

mountain-biking trails, picnic areas and swimming holes—is considered the crown jewel of Chico. The 3,670-acre park offers the whimsical playground Caper Acres, fishing at Horseshoe Lake, horseback riding opportunities, stargazing at the Chico Community Observatory, swimming at Sycamore Pool, many picnic and barbecue spots perfect for birthdays and other get-togethers, and settings beneath shady trees nurturing quiet contemplation. SECOND Place: FunLand/Cal Skate Chico 2465 Carmichael Dr., 343-1601 THIRD Place: Rare Air Trampoline Park 1090 E. 20th St., 433-5557

Place To Pray/Meditate FIRST Place: Bidwell Park chico.ca.us/bidwell-park See Place For Family Fun.

SECOND Place: Center for Spiritual Living Chico 14 Hillary Lane, 895-8395 THIRD Place: Bidwell Presbyterian Church 208 W. First St., 343-1484

Radio Station FIRST Place: KZFR

90.1 FM, kzfr.org KZFR has been a community platform for Butte County for 32 years with a variety of shows covering topics such as local news, public affairs, peace and social justice, environmental issues, local music




and an eclectic range of themed music programs, including jazz, reggae, Native American, folk, Zydeco, Celtic and more. KZFR is also a nonprofit and active participant in its community. SECOND Place: The Blaze 103.5 FM, 1035theblaze.com THIRD Place: Z-Rock 106.7 FM, zrockfm.com

Teacher (K-12)

FIRST Place: Jennifer Rossovich – Hooker Oak Elementary School Jennifer Rossovich has been a teacher in the Chico Unified School District for more than 30 years. A previous winner in this category, she is known for being a kind and gentle leader while also holding her students to high academic standards. SECOND Place: Linda Holm – Wildflower Open Classroom THIRD Place: Anne Chik – Chico Country Day School


FIRST Place: Farshad Azad

Thanksgiving Basket Brigade, Gimme-Some-Sole shoe drive Farshad Azad, founder of Azad’s Martial Arts Center, is not only known in the Chico community for his expertise in martial arts, he has made an incredible impact with his philanthropic endeavors. For 30 years, he has spearheaded distributing

Thanksgiving meals to families in need, and he also hosts the Gimme-Some-Sole drive, collecting shoes and school supplies for low-income children. SECOND Place: Shelly Rogers Animal activist, Neighborhood Cat Advocates, Friends of the Chico Animal Shelter and Bidwell Wildlife Rehabilitation THIRD Place: Charles Withuhn North State Shelter Team, Chico Housing Action Team, Chico Tree Advocates

Youth Organization

FIRST Place: Boys & Girls Clubs of the North Valley

601 Wall St., 899-0335 The nonprofit Boys & Girls Clubs of the North Valley was founded in 1995 to “inspire and enable all young people to reach their full potential as responsible, productive and caring citizens.” Today, the organization serves more than 2,000 children and teens, ages 6-18, across 10 locations in Butte and Glenn counties—offering a variety of educational and mentorship programs in areas such as academics, health and wellness, character and leadership. SECOND Place: Youth for Change 260 Cohasset Road, Ste. 120, 877-1965, 877-8187 THIRD Place: Chico Area Recreation & Park District (CARD) 545 Vallombrosa Ave., 895-4711


BEYOND Affordability How CHIP’s Maple Park Apartments in Live Oak help seniors find their community BY RAUL CLEMENT


kyrocketing inflation has made it harder than ever for unsubsidized housing. Smith lived in the Bay California residents to afford housing. This is even Area for 13 years, paying over $1600 a month more true for seniors, who are more likely than young- for a tiny two-bedroom. Most of the units in Maple er Californians to be on a fixed income. According to the Park Apartments are one-bedroom, but they are spaUC Berkeley Labor Center, roughly one in four senior housecious and come with a dishwasher and central air and heat. holds face a “housing cost burden,” defined as spending An elevator makes access easy, even on the third floor. A more than 30% of their income on housing. shared laundry facility is just across the parking lot in the Fortunately for residents in seven counties in the Central family apartments. There is a reading room as well Valley, an organization exists to ease as a game room. their burden. Community Housing But more than amenities, it’s the Improvement Program, known as sense of community that keeps CHIP, has been in operation Maple Park seniors happy. “Inflation since 1973 and has built Residents engage in is coming. more than 2,600 housregular commuing units. nity activities, from Backwards, upside One of CHIP’s movie night to down and sideways. I most recent venbingo night to might gripe about the tures is Maple Park seminars. Apartments in Live “We do cake cost of gas and groceries. Oak, California. and ice cream for But as for my rent? You’d An apartment for birthdays,” Sheila have to drag me up out low-income families Pitts says. “We don’t opened in 2013, want to miss anybody. If we of here.” and in April of 2016 a know their birthday’s coming, we’re Stephanie Smith 35-unit community for having cake and ice cream.” Maple Park Apartments seniors aged 55 and up Ramona Tabares, who was homeless resident followed. Every unit in Maple when she was finally admitted into Maple Park Senior Apartments is now full Park in 2019, appreciates the way residents look and the wait list can be years long. out for each other. The reason for that is obvious to Maple Park “If they know you’re sick, they’ll come over and bring you residents Sheila Pitts, Stephanie Smith, and Ramona Tabares. food. They’ll ask you if you need anything. Do you need a “You won’t hear anyone here say they’re looking to move,” ride? Do you need food?” Stephanie Smith says confidently. “We’re like one big family here,” Pitts adds. “We welPart of this is the affordability: Rent is determined by come everybody.” income. Smith, Pitts, and Tabares all pay between $215 and This sense of care extends to the CHIP employees who $258, an amount that would be unfathomable in standard manage the property. An on-site manager makes sure that

Maple Park residents pictured topbottom, Stephanie Smith, Sheila Pitts, and Ramona Tabares PHOTOGRAPHY BY RAY LAAGER

everything is in working order, while a part-time services coordinator helps arrange activities. “If something breaks, they fix it right away,” Tabares says. “It’s beautiful.” While the wait list is long, Pitts, Smith, and Tabares all agree that the best thing for seniors to do is to put their name on the list and call regularly to check on their application. Something will eventually open up, and when it does, you’ll find yourself with at least one less worry. “Inflation is coming,” Smith says. “Backwards, upside down and sideways. I might gripe about the cost of gas and groceries. But as for my rent? You’d have to drag me up out of here.”

For more information about CHIP rentals in Butte, Glenn, Tehama, Shasta, Sutter and Yuba counties, see https://chiphousing.org/rentals PAID ADVERTISEMENT

EDITORS’ PICKS Bonus acts courtesy of the CN&R crew


BEST RESPONSE Rallies in City Plaza

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

When a development on the national or world stage seems too monumental to impact as an individual, too seismic to process alone, what’s a person to do? In Chico, the response is often communal—and that was the case May 3 after news broke that the Supreme Court would overturn Roe v. Wade. Hundreds of Chicoans, across demographic lines, gathered at City Plaza as the City Council met across the street; their chants supporting women’s right to choose echoed through the chambers. People returned to the plaza for rallies and marches, including a protest June 24 following the court’s final decision. Peacefully, cathartically, en masse, the community found strength in solidarity.

Staging A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the edge of a meadow at Bidwell Park’s Cedar Grove for the return of Shakespeare in the Park was a grand-slam play by the Legacy Stage theater company. So, too, was the production’s sparse staging, which put the focus firmly on the natural surroundings. Spotting fairy folk flitting among the trees; hearing a gentle musical accompaniment of harp and violin; watching Athenians strutting about the stage as day turned into night—all combined for a transcendent theater experience not to be found within four walls.

BEST FIGHTER Alex Brown The three progressives representing Chicoans in local government sit in minority positions. At least Butte County Supervisors Debra Lucero and Tami Ritter have each other (through the end of the year); City Councilwoman Alex Brown has been on her own since Scott Huber resigned last summer and got replaced by a conservative appointee. Nonetheless, Brown has fought as hard and vocally for underserved Chicoans as she did when she was Vice Mayor in a 5-2 majority. She challenges assumptions, questions her colleagues and consistently dissents—usually alone—on council votes she considers bad policy or contrary to data-driven decision making. A lightning rod for the right, Brown will not seek a second term this November, which is a loss for Chico. We hope her fighting days aren’t over, that she continues to serve the community in other arenas. 40



BEST FANCY WALKING PATH Labyrinth at St. John Need a quick escape to focus your spiritual energy? Check out the labyrinth located on the park-like grounds of St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church (2341 Floral Ave.)—outside of normal church hours, you’re likely to find yourself the only one there. The labyrinth is located behind the main church buildings and is set near a grove of trees and a seasonal crick, making it the perfect place

for quiet contemplation. The labyrinth is a winding circular pathway, meant to represent the Stations of the Cross, and was built in 2017 as an Eagle Scout’s project. Regardless of one’s personal beliefs, walking such mazes is said to be meditative and a good way to focus spiritual energies, and the beautiful surroundings certainly won’t hinder one’s search for peace and well-being.

Labyrinth at St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church


Dog and beer at Burgers & Brew

BEST PAIRING Dogs and beer Amid the destruction of so much of “normal life,” a few advancements to good living have come out of the pandemic: namely, patios that allow dogs. During COVID, drinking beer outside with a pooch was one of the few acceptable public indulgences. Now that everything has opened back up, and the patios in front of Duffy’s Tavern and The Banshee have joined pre-existing spots at the likes of B Street and Burgers & Brew, there are so many options for that most ideal date night: beer with your dog.

BEST REVIVAL OF A COMMUNITY EVENT Chico Art Festival The return of this beloved community event is one of the highlights of 2022. The Chico Art Festival (formerly Art at the Matador) rebooted and relocated to St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church for its ninth edition; it featured an impressive collection of art and handmade creations from dozens of artists and makers working with various materials—paint, ceramics, stained glass, leather, felt, wood and more. The two-day festival drew a crowd ready to return to in-person events—wandering in and out of artist booths, tapping their feet and dancing to live local music, sipping on coffee in the morning and margaritas in the afternoon. Nonprofit art groups also offered interactive experiences, like a weaving lesson for children and live screenprinting demonstrations. We’re thrilled that Chico Visual Arts Alliance (ChiVAA), the group behind this delightful event, is already planning next year’s festival: Put May 12-13, 2023, on your calendar!

BEST RESTAURANT AT THE EDGE OF THE UNIVERSE Scotty’s Landing There’s nothing typical about Scotty’s, the bar/restaurant on the Sacramento River run by a former rodeo clown. The CN&R referred to the joint as a “ramshackle paradise” roughly a decade ago, and that description still stands, because not a damned thing has changed at this haven for river rats and would-be honky-tonk heroes. The place might actually be some sort of interdimensional space/time vortex: You can sit quietly on the river-facing back patio and somehow imagine yourself at any point between 1975 and some indeterminate year in a post-apocalyptic future. Not convinced? Check out the menu: With its 1990-something prices, it’s possible to get a tasty meal for two and a pitcher of beer for about $25 bucks!

Scotty’s Landing

CN&R editorial staffers pick their absolute favorite, fight-you-for-the-last-crumb, showstopping flavors to savor Al pastor, Crazy Taco 1205 Park Ave. For at least two decades, my greatest Chico food craving has been the al pastor from Crazy Taco, the walk-up taqueria connected to Duke’s Bottle Shop. During times of peak fiending, I’d measure my amount of pork ingested—sitting on the curb outside the liquor store—in pounds per month. The pork is prepared in adobada fashion, with a semisweet marinade of chilis (guajillo is the star), vinegar, oregeno and (maybe?) cinnamon. It’s all grilled with onions before being finished in oil on the flat-top, creating a reddish-orange river dripping from the corn tortillas or, better yet, pooling at the bottom of the burrito for that truly best last bite.


Prawns scampi, Sicilian Cafe 1020 Main St. Lemon Brick Chicken at the Sierra Nevada Taproom. Hamachi Sunrise at Rawbar. Creme Fraiche Panna Cotta at Grana. I could go on—this town boasts so many kitchens creating a bounty of flavors that leave indelible impressions. If I’m choosing one, however, I’ll go with a dish my wife and I love to start our celebrations at a Chico mainstay we choose for our most special occasions. Sicilian Cafe chef-owner James Taylor has perfected his recipes and preparations over decades. His scampi appetizer is sublime: Prawns always perfect, sauce always rich yet somehow delicate, not heavy. A mysterious masterpiece. You can get it as a main dish, but as a starter, it’s the perfect few bites to tantalize. Magnifico! —EVAN TUCHINSKY

Shahi paneer, Taj Fine Indian Cuisine 995 Nord Ave. There’s something about the shahi paneer at Taj that inspires a craving so intense that even when I’m at my most hermetic, I will venture way across town and even (eek!) into the busy Nord Avenue college neighborhood to taste it. The mild paneer cheese cubes swim in a warm and creamy spiced tomato sauce, pairing perfectly with butter naan and rice. On any day, it’s delicious—but especially after a hard day when comfort food is a necessity, the shahi paneer hits the spot. —ASHIAH SCHARAGA

Cheese skirt, Nobby’s 1444 Park Ave. The salty, crunchy-yet-gooey fried cheese skirt surrounding its burgers is Nobby’s signature move, putting it in the conversation for the best of Chico’s burgers. But here’s a secret: Cheese skirts aren’t just for burgers. For an even more skirt-heavy experience, check out Nobby’s downright decadent steak taco. It’s marinated steak with tomatoes piled into a mid-sized corn tortilla, but separating the filling from the wrap is a cheddar cheese skirt that often outsizes the tortilla itself. If you’re watching carbs or just prefer your fried cheese flavor front and center, ditch the wrap for a hardcore, unadulterated dose of yummy meat and cheese. —KEN SMITH





Andan Casamajor (with performer Jim Brobeck)

BEST SMALL TALKERS The dudes at Downtown Liquor & Market

BEST MUSICIANS’ ADVOCATE Andan Casamajor Andan Casamajor, the music coordinator for Secret Trail Brewing Company, has long been dedicated to supporting local musicians. As the host of Secret Trail’s Wednesday open mic night, launched in September 2021, Casamajor has cultivated a welcoming and encouraging setting for up-and-comers as well as longtime performers. Of course, Secret Trail (132 Meyers St., Ste. 120) is just the latest spot where Casamajor has produced the very popular open mic that has been going on in Chico for decades—most recently at Tender Loving Coffee and before that at the old downtown location of Has Beans Coffee. Always professional and clearly passionate about her work, Casamajor is an attentive, expert sound engineer, as well as a talented local musician and singer-songwriter (she heads folk-rock cover band Channel 66). She’s also provided sound engineering for various community events, such as Stonewall Alliance’s Chico Pride. Our town is lucky to have Casamajor. The important work she’s done for years has uplifted local musicians and helped the Chico music scene grow and flourish.

Whether at a party or in an elevator, the best way to smooth over the awkwardness of being around other humans is simply to ask a question. Everyone likes to feel as though someone is showing interest in them, and just saying something like “What are you up to this weekend?” can make a stranger open up, sparking a conversation that leads to connection. Elie Ibrahim and Frank Deshler at Downtown Liquor & Market (598 E. 8th St.) are masters of this sort of engagement. With a “Hey, Boss” when a regular walks through the door, followed by a casual question posed as money is exchanged for a bottle, the dudes brighten the days of more Chicoans than many shopkeepers in town.

BEST WEEKLY PARKING LOT PARTY Flume Street Fair There’s always something new to see at the Flume Street Fair, a colorful, eclectic weekly celebration of art, music and local creators on the corner of Eighth and Flume streets, hosted by Chico Art Studio in collaboration with the Chico ART Collective. Every Saturday (except during the hottest months; June-August this year), vendors show off a range of goods—handmade jewelry, stained glass, ceramics, paintings and more. It’s an intimate, comfortable space, where artists and fair-goers can strike up a conversation easily and local musicians can show off at the event’s open mic or as a featured act. The fair also offers local food and beverage vendors. The addition of this lively outdoor event to Chico’s Saturday festivities has been a breath of fresh air, especially during the ups and downs of the pandemic. Here’s hoping the fair will become yet another local tradition.

Flume Street Fair Rotary Centennial Park

BEST FULFILLED PROMISE Rotary Centennial Park North Chico residents waited 25 years for a park at the corner of Ceres Avenue and Whitewood Way. That’s what they were promised when the neighborhood was developed in the 1990s. Instead, decades passed with a giant field of weeds and rocks as a reminder. But Chico Rotary, a service organization that marked its 100th anniversary last year, partnered with the Chico Area Recreation and Park District 42



to transform the five-acre lot into a lush park with a playground, basketball court, picnic areas, grass fields and walking trail. Hundreds of volunteers from Chico, Paradise and Durham worked on the project. Lined with split-rail wooden fencing and accessible to the public, Rotary Centennial Park opened in December and continues to take root, recently adding a new climbing apparatus for kids.

NRRWF’s Kody Koeplin loads mattresses to be recycled. The Neal Road facility receives more than a thousand mattresses every month. PHOTO COURTESY OF BUTTE COUNTY PUBLIC WORKS

How recycling mattresses makes more room Neal Road landfill annually recycles 18,000 mattresses. Next push: Organic waste. BY DEBBIE ARRINGTON


operators. NRRWF has participated in the ow do you squeeze in more stuff? Mattress Recycling Council’s Bye-Bye That’s not only an issue for residents Mattress program since 2016. with overstuffed closets and packed “NRRWF’s mattress recycling program garages; it’s a constant puzzle at Neal Road is a huge success,” says Eric Miller, manager Recycling and Waste Facility (NRRWF). of the Waste Management Division for Butte Like a closet, Butte County’s primary County Public Works. “Consumers pay landfill has only limited capacity. One around $10.50 per mattress – $21 per solution: Reduce the stuff that needs to mattress and box spring – at the fit into that space. point-of-purchase when In particular, the buying a new mattress. facility focuses on This fee covers recycling, especially the cost of labor, large, bulky items. transportation and That dramatically recycling. The reduces waste MRC Bye-Bye volumes and Mattress provides program is an materials for excellent model useful products. for end-ofNRRWF life product operates a selfstewardship.” service recycling ERIC MILLER Manager, Waste Management Division, Mattresses drop-off area that Butte County have always been a accepts mattresses Public Works challenge at landfills. and box springs, large “Landfill operators appliances, water heaters, dislike burying mattresses,” Miller carpeting and electronic waste says. “The springs entangle equipment. Plus such as TVs and microwaves. It also accepts mattresses float through the waste, like tires flattened cardboard, scrap metal, auto that spring back, and can pop out of side batteries and bicycles. slopes (in the landfill).” Mattress recycling has been a popular Waste collectors don’t like them either. program for both residents and land

“A kingsize bed takes more than 54,000 cubic inches of space, about the same volume as four medium-sized trash cans.”

“Mattresses are a menace to commercial garbage truck drivers,” Miller notes. “A kingsize bed takes more than 54,000 cubic inches of space, about the same volume as four medium-sized trash cans.” The Neal Road facility accepts about 18,000 mattresses a year, Miller says. Stacked atop each other, those mattresses nearly reach the height of Lassen Peak. Lined end to end, they stretch 23 miles – the distance between Oroville and Chico. “The mattresses are sent to a recycling facility in Woodland,” he adds. “NRRWF exports six to nine semi-trailer loads of mattresses each week. The textiles are removed and sent to rag markets, coils are separated for scrap metal markets, and wood can be used as biomass fuel to produce energy.” The landfill benefits, too, says Miller. “At NRRWF, we save a lot of airspace when we recycle mattresses.” For residents, the mattress drop-off service is free, says Miller. “Still, we find (mattresses) illegally dumped on County roads. Why? It’s disappointing that some people have this attitude. It’s an eyesore, bad for the environment and wastes County resources to clean-up the mess.” Like mattress recycling public outreach, Butte County Public Works is now working on educating residents about recycling


organic waste, says Craig Cissell, deputy director of Butte County’s Waste and Recyling Division. Recycling food waste into compost can extend landfill life and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “Recycling and trash collection keeps evolving,” Cissell notes. “Until the ’90s, you filled one trashcan and didn’t think about pulling anything out except aluminum cans.” Communities gradually added green or brown bins to collect green waste, he adds. “That meant three bins, one for trash, one for recyclables, and one for green waste. It was another small change to sort trash. CalRecycle will soon require food waste to be placed into the green waste bin, another change – and we’re still educating people about what goes where. Sure, there’s some initial shock and anxiety, but over a short period of time, sorting food waste will become as second nature.”

Learn more at www.buttecounty.net/ recyclebutte/

Arts &Culture SEPT.


Theatre on the Ridge

9/4, 7pm. $10-$40. Gnarly Deli, 243 W. Second St.


EVERCLEAR: The 1990s rock band from Portland is on tour to celebrate turning 30. Sun, 9/4, 8pm. $30. Rolling Hills Casino, 2655 Barham Ave, Corning. rollinghillscasino.com

SUNDAYS AT TWO: Enjoy an afternoon of the next generation of musical theater featuring music from composers around the country. This event will be live-streamed. Sun, 9/4, 2pm. Free. Recital Hall, Chico State, ARTS 279.



Art & Museums


1078 GALLERY: Members Show 2022, each member

BEACH BOYS: Wouldn’t it be nice to start the

gets a 2-foot square or 2-foot cube space to display their work(s). Reception and 41st birthday celebration: Sept. 17, 6–8pm. 9/16-10/20. Free. 1078 Gallery, 1710 Park Ave. 1078gallery.org

school year with some fun music? The universal tunes from Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and the rest of the California sons will fill the Laxson hall courtesy of Chico Performances. $64-$85. Wed, 9/7, 7:30pm. Laxson Auditorium, Chico State, (530) 8986333. chicoperformances.com

CHICO ART CENTER: Introspection Paintings by Heather Martindale, photorealistic oil paintings depicting movement of the human body by the Idaho-based artist. Through 9/23. Free. 450 Orange St. chicoartcenter.com


GATEWAY SCIENCE MUSEUM: From Earthquakes to Epidemics, an exploration of the impact of natural and manmade disasters and pandemics in California, using the humanities as a lens to give context to the impacts of recent and historic disasters in the Golden State. Through 12/17. $5-$7. 625 Esplanade. csuchico.edu


HIPPY HAPPY HOUR: See Sept.1. Thu, 9/8, 4pm. Free. Om on the Range, 301 Main St.


THE TURNER: First Impressions, a curator’s choice


show to open the school year. Curator talk: Sept. 15, 5:30pm. Through 10/15. Free. Arts & Humanties Building, Chico State.

tation for the stage written by Amber Miller with musical direction by Ben Ruttenburg and Samantha Francis A melodic telling of Bram Stoker’s classic. Shows through Sept. 25. Thu, 9/8, 7:30pm. $14-$18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. (530) 8775760. totr.org


FARMERS MARKETS: Butte County’s markets are open and selling fresh produce and more. Chico: Downtown (Saturdays, 7:30am-1pm); North Valley Plaza (Wednesdays, 8am-1pm); 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, 7:30am-2pm); “Farmers Market Mobile” in Paradise, 1397 South Park Drive (Thursdays, 2pm).

Open Mics & Karaoke BILL’S KARAOKE: Hosted by Reba Gray. Sundays, 7:30pm. Free. Bill’s Towne Lounge, 135 Main St. CASINO COMEDY NIGHT: Live comedy every 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. Bellas Sports Pub, 231 Main St. (530) 520-0119.

GNARAOKE: Karaoke hosted by Donna & Mike. Thursdays, 7pm. Free. Gnarly Deli, 243 W. Second St.

OPEN MIC AT THE DOWNLO: Hosted by Jeff 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.

SECRET TRAIL OPEN MIC: Weekly open mic at the brewery. Wednesdays, 6pm. Secret Trail Brewing Company, 132 Meyers St., Ste. 120.




THU1 Music

ACOUSTIC THURSDAYS: Music by Steve Johnson. Thu, 9/1, 6pm. Free. Mulberry Station Brewing Company, 175 E. 20th St.

ALTERNATE SUNDAE + OLDEGUARD + SNUFF: A mixed bag of solo artists, playing fast punk, chill anarchist vibes, and hardcore chaos. Thu, 9/1, 7:30pm. $10. Naked Lounge, 118 W. Second St.

HIPPY HAPPY HOUR: Doug Stein, Bryan Gravy and a rotating cast of local musicians. Thu, 9/1, 4pm. Free. Om on the Range, 301 Main St. RUZZ GUITAR BLUES REVUE: Live music from the UK on the patio during Thursday Night Market. Thu, 9/1, 6pm. Free. La Salles, 229 Broadway. lasalleschico.com

FRI2 Music

BROTHERS OF THE OVEN: Blues rock two-piece from Northern California. Sounds Good? opens. Fri, 9/2, 8pm. Argus Bar + Patio, 212 W. Second St. DUFFY’S HAPPY HOUR: The Pub Scouts bring

FRI9 traditional Irish music weekly to Duffy’s. Fri, 9/2, 5pm. Free. Duffy’s Tavern, 337 Main St. (530) 343-7718.

FRIDAY NIGHT CONCERT: Live local music in the downtown plaza. This week: Soul/funk/rock with Chuck Epperson Band. Fri, 9/2, 7pm. City Plaza, downtown Chico.

OLIVIA HARMS: Live music at The Chico Taproom in Chico. Fri, 9/2, 8pm. Chico Taproom, 2201 Pillsbury Road, Suite 114. bandsintown.com

THE SUN FOLLOWERS: Singing songs to break, melt and mend the heart. Fri, 9/2, 4:30pm. Free. The Barn at Meriam Park, 1930 Market Place. meriampark.com

TYLER DEVOLL: Local singer/songwriter during happy hour. Fri, 9/2. Free. La Salles, 229 Broadway. lasalleschico.com

SAT3 Events

DOWNTOWN ART TOURS: Chico Arts and Culture tours of downtown public art on first Saturdays. Sat, 9/3, 10am. Free. Chico Municipal Building, 411 Main St. (530) 8646279. chicoartsandculture.org

MILE LONG YARD SALE: Every year Montgomery residents open their yards and parking lots for one big sale. Sat, 9/3, 9am. Along Montgomery Street in downtown Oroville.


AFTERTHOT: Singer/songwriter duo. Sat, 9/3, 5pm. Free. Rock House Dining & Espresso, 11865 Hwy 70, Yankee Hill. (530) 532-1889.

ALMENDRA MUSIC: Live at the winery. Sat, 9/3, 6pm. Almendra Winery & Distillery, 9275 Midway Road, Durham.

LYNN BROWN: Live music during brunch. Sat, 9/3, 11am. Free. La Salles, 229 Broadway. SHORDIE SHORDIE: The Baltimore rapper known for his hit single “Betchua” is on tour. Sat, 9/3, 7pm. $20-$35. El Rey Theater, 230 W. Second St. elreychico.com

YURKOVIC: The Chico blues-rock trio is back. Sat, 9/3, 8:30pm. $5. Mulberry Station Brewing Company, 175 E. 20th St.

SUN4 Events

GNARLY COMEDY: Stand up from Central

California-based comedian Anthony K. Sun,


BOBBY BROWN: The R&B/hip-hop star (remember “My Prerogative?”) comes to Oroville. $45-$79. Fri, 9/9, 7pm. Gold Country Casino Resort, 4020 Olive Hwy, Oroville. goldcoun trycasino.com

DEBAJITO: Live Latin music. Fri, 9/9, 8pm. Argus Bar + Patio, 212 W. Second St.

DUFFY’S HAPPY HOUR: See Sept. 2. Fri, 9/9, 5pm. Free. Duffy’s Tavern, 337 Main St. (530) 343-7718.

FRIDAY NIGHT CONCERT: Live local music in the downtown plaza. This week: young jammers Blu Egyptian. Fri, 9/9, 7pm. City Plaza, downtown Chico. downtownchico.com

JIM LAUDERDALE AND DUSTBOWL REVIVAL: Grammy-winning troubadour Jim Lauderdale teams up with LA folk-rock crew Dustbowl Revival to bring a rip-roaring trip through the history of Americana, from the honky-tonks of Nashville to the blues dives of Chicago and beyond. $40. Fri, 9/9, 7:30pm. Laxson Auditorium, Chico State, (530) 8986333. chicoperformances.com

LANGDON KENNEDY: Live music for happy hour Fri, 9/9, 4pm. La Salles, 229 Broadway. LOW FLYING BIRDS: The long-running Chico jamgrass crew drops a new album. Come party with them. Fri, 9/9, 8pm. Om on the Range, 301 Main St.


Submit events for the online calendar as well as the monthly print edition at chico.newsreview.com/calendar

TYLER DEVOLL: See Sept. 2. Fri, 9/9. Free. La Salles, 229 Broadway. lasalleschico.com

WATER TOWER: Live music. Fri, 9/9, 6pm. Secret Trail Brewing Company, 132 Meyers St., Ste. 120.


DRACULA - A MUSICAL WITH BITE: See Sept. 8. Fri, 9/9, 7:30pm. $14-$18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. (530) 877-5760. totr.org

SAT10 Events

WORD CHURCH: A spoken word poetry open mic. Sign up to perform from 6-6:30pm. $3 suggested donation at the door. Mon, 9/12, 6:30pm. Free. 1078 Gallery, 1710 Park Ave.


BASSMINT: Dance to bass music every second Saturday night. Sat, 9/10, 9pm. Om on the Range, 301 Main St.

DYLAN’S DHARMA CD RELEASE: Fresh from a tour with local reggae legends Black Uhuru, the local party crew celebrates its new recording. Sat, 9/10, 9pm. $10. Tackle Box, 379 E. Park Ave.

KOOL & THE GANG: Get down on it at Gold Country. Kool and the funky disco gang are still at it. $45$85. Sat, 9/10, 7pm. Gold Country Casino Resort 4020 Olive Hwy, Oroville.

LANDERS DRIFTERS: Music for brunch Sat, 9/10, 11am. Free. La Salles, 229 Broadway. TH’ LOSIN STREAKS: The Sacramento garage punk band along with locals Similar Alien and others TBA. Sat, 9/10, 9pm. $10. Duffy’s Tavern, 337 Main St. YULTRON: Rave DJ. Sat, 9/10, 10pm. El Rey Theater, 230 W. Second St. elreychico.com


THU15 Theater

DRACULA - A MUSICAL WITH BITE: See Sept. 8. Thu, 9/15, 7:30pm. $14-$18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. (530) 877-5760. totr.org


Special Events

COMEDY IS GAY: An LGBTQ comedy showcase. Headliner: Sac comedian Melissa McGillicuddy. Fri, 9/16, 9pm. $15. Gnarly Deli, 243 W. Second St.


BLADE TRIP: The DJ’s theme for the night: “One Direction.” Fri, 9/16, 8pm. $12. Senator Theatre, 517 Main St. jmaxprodutions.net

DUFFY’S HAPPY HOUR: See Sept. 2. Fri, 9/16, 5pm. Free. Duffy’s Tavern, 337 Main St. (530) 343-7718.

FRIDAY NIGHT CONCERT: Live local music in the downtown plaza. This week: Chico Latin Oquestra. Fri, 9/16, 7pm. City Plaza, downtown Chico. TYLER DEVOLL: See Sept. 2. Fri, 9/16. Free. La Salles, 229 Broadway St. lasalleschico.com


DRACULA - A MUSICAL WITH BITE: See Sept. 8. Fri, 9/16, 7:30pm. $14-$18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. (530) 877-5760. totr.org

SOMETHING ROTTEN: A comedic mash-up of 16th century Shakespeare and 21st century Broadway. Fri, 9/16, 7:30pm. $22-$25. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Road, Ste. F. chicotheater.com

TWAIN TRIBUTE – THE SHANIA EXPERIENCE: Shania Twain cover band. Sat, 9/17, 9pm. $10. Tackle Box, 379 E. Park Ave.

SOMETHING ROTTEN: See Sept. 16. Sat, 9/17, 7:30pm. $22-$25. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Road, Ste. F. chicotheater.com

DRACULA - A MUSICAL WITH BITE: See Sept. 8. Sun, 9/11, 2pm. $14-$18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road,


Paradise. (530) 877-5760. totr.org



STEVEN SCHULTZ: Local singer/songwriter. Sun, 9/18, 3pm. Secret Trail


NEGATIVLAND & SUE-C: Legendary sound collage group

Brewing Company, 132 Meyers St., Suite 120.

Negativland and live cinema visual artist SUE-C collaborate in a live audio-visual performance about our minds, the world we live in and the evolving forms of media and technology that orchestrate our perceptions. $25-$30. Tue, 9/13, 8pm. Pageant Theatre, 351 E. Sixth St. pag eantchico.com


DRACULA - A MUSICAL WITH BITE: See Sept. 8. Sun, 9/18, 2pm. $14-$18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. (530) 877-5760. totr.org

WED14 TRIPLE TREE: Local reggae crew on the patio. Thu, 9/15, 5pm. La Salles, 229 Broadway.

Secret Trail Brewing Company, 132 Meyers St., Ste. 120.

on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. (530) 877-5760. totr.org


Om on the Range, 301 Main St.

St. jmaxproductions.net

SAMARIA QUARTET: Local singer and her crew of of ringers. Sat, 9/17, 6pm.

DRACULA - A MUSICAL WITH BITE: See Sept. 8. Sat, 9/17, 7:30pm. $14-$18. Theatre


SOMETHING ROTTEN: See Sept. 16. Sun 9/18, 2pm. $22-$25. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Road, Ste. F. chicotheater.com

1078 MEMBERS SHOW 2022 Sept. 16-Oct. 2 1078 Gallery

Sept. 9 & Sept. 10

Om on the Range & Tackle Box

TUE20 Events

A SYMPHONY OF HORROR: For the 100th anni-

Broadway. lasalleschico.com

RAINBOW GIRLS & SEAN HAYES: Visiting folk artists from the North Bay. $22. Fri, 9/23, 8pm. Argus Bar + Patio, 212 W. Second St. eventbrite.com

BAD BUNNY: DJ party at the Senator. Sat, 9/17, 8pm. $12. Senator Theatre, 517 Main


Road, Paradise. (530) 877-5760. totr.org

HIPPY HAPPY HOUR: See Sept. 1. Thu, 9/15, 4pm. Free.



DRACULA - A MUSICAL WITH BITE: See Sept. 8. Sat, 9/10, 7:30pm. $14-$18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal




versary of Nosfaratu, multi-instrumentalist quintet Invincible Czars perform a live original soundtrack along with the film. Tue, 9/20, 7pm. Pageant Theatre, 351 E. Sixth St. pageantchico.com



BLACK MAGNET & CAT DEPOT: Two-band local bill with noisemakers Black Magnet and loop-maker Cat Depot. Thu, 9/22, 8pm. Argus Bar + Patio, 212 W. Second St.

HIPPY HAPPY HOUR: See Sept. 1. Thu, 9/22, 4pm. Free. Om on the Range, 301 Main St.

LOCOMOTIVE: Live music on the patio. Thu, 9/22, 5pm. La Salles, 229 Broadway.


DRACULA - A MUSICAL WITH BITE: See Sept. 8. Sat, 9/22, 7:30pm. $14-$18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. (530) 877-5760. totr.org

SOMETHING ROTTEN: See Sept. 16. Thu, 9/22, 7:30pm. $22-$25. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Road, Ste. F. chico theater.com


DRACULA - A MUSICAL WITH BITE: See Sept. 8. Fri, 9/23, 7:30pm. $14-$18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. (530) 877-5760. totr. org

SOMETHING ROTTEN: See Sept. 16. Fri, 9/23, 7:30pm. $22-$25. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Road, Ste. F. chicotheater.com

WEST SIDE STORY: California Regional Theatre presents one the most-loved musicals/love stories of all time, featuring score by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Arthur Laurents. Shows through Oct. 9. Fri, 9/23, 7:30pm. $20-$35. Center for the Arts, 1475 East Ave. (800) 722-4522. crtshows.com

SAT24 Music

BORGORE: Israeli EDM producer at the Senator. Sat, 9/24, 8pm. $23.50. Senator Theatre, 517 Main St. jmaxproductions.net

O.B.E.: Music for brunch. Sat, 9/24, 11am. La Salles, 229 Broadway St. lasalleschico.com

PESADO: Grammy/Latin Grammy-award winners. $59-$109. Sat, 9/24, 8pm. Gold Country Casino & Hotel, 4020 Olive Highway, Oroville. goldcountrycasino.com


STRIZZO & PETEY PABLO: North Carolina rapper

DUFFY’S HAPPY HOUR: See Sept. 2. Fri, 9/23, 5pm. Free. Duffy’s Tavern, 337 Main St.

DRACULA - A MUSICAL WITH BITE: See Sept. 8. Sat, 9/24, 7:30pm. $14-$18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735


(530) 343-7718.

FRIDAY NIGHT CONCERT: Live local music in the downtown plaza. This week: Off the Record. Fri, 9/23, 7pm. City Plaza.

MANDY STACHOTA: Live music for happy hour. Fri, 9/23, 4pm. La Salles, 229

Petey Pablo and producer Strizzo at the Box. Sat, 9/24, 8pm. Tackle Box, 379 E. Park Ave. tackleboxchico.com


Neal Road, Paradise. (530) 877-5760. totr.org

SOMETHING ROTTEN: See Sept. 16. Sat, 9/24, 7:30pm. $22-$25. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Road, Ste. F. chicotheater.com

WEST SIDE STORY: See Sept. 23. Sat, 9/24,


O N PA G E 4 6




C O N T I N U E D F R O M PA G E 4 5

7:30pm. $20-$35. Center for the Arts, 1475 East Ave. (800) 722-4522. crtshows.com


THU29 Music

DYLAN’S DHARMA: Local reggae/rock crew on the patio. Thu, 9/29, 5pm. La Salles, 229 Broadway.


REPO MAN COVER NIGHT: Local bands cover the punk soundtrack from Alex Cox’s 1984 sci-fi cult classic. Featuring Severance Package, Tite Nauts, Viking Skate Country, Jake & The Tightys and more. Sun, 9/25, 6pm. Naked Lounge, 118 W. Second St.


DRACULA - A MUSICAL WITH BITE: See Sept. 8. Sun, 9/25, 7:30pm. $14-$18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. (530) 877-5760. totr.org

SOMETHING ROTTEN: See Sept. 16. Sun, 9/25, 2pm. $22-$25. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Road, Ste. F. chicotheater.com

WEST SIDE STORY: See Sept. 23. Sun, 9/25, 2pm. $20-$35. Center for the Arts, 1475 East Ave. (800) 722-4522. crtshows.com


HIPPY HAPPY HOUR: See Sept. 1. Thu, 9/29, 4pm. Free. Om on the Range, 301 Main St.


SOMETHING ROTTEN: See Sept. 16. Thu, 9/29, 7:30pm. $22$25. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Road, Ste. F. chicotheater.com

WEST SIDE STORY: See Sept. 23. Thu, 9/39, 7:30pm. $20$35. Center for the Arts, 1475 East Ave. (800) 722-4522. crtshows.com

FRI30 Music

DUFFY’S HAPPY HOUR: See Sept. 2. Fri, 9/30, 5pm. Free. Duffy’s Tavern, 337 Main St. (530) 343-7718.

FRIDAY NIGHT CONCERT: Live local music in the downtown plaza. This week: The Retrotones. Fri, 9/30, 7pm. City Plaza, downtown Chico. downtownchico.com


HIGH PULP: A seven-piece drawing on bebop, punk, shoegaze, hip-hop, electronic music and experimental jazz. Tue, 9/27, 8:30pm. Duffy’s Tavern, 337 Main St.


OVERTIME: The country-rap artist and his Blue Collar Soldiers Band at the Box. Fri, 9/30, 7pm. $20 Tackle Box, 379 E. Park Ave. tackleboxchico.com

TYLER DEVOLL: See Sept. 2. Fri, 9/30. Free. La Salles, 229 Broadway St. lasalleschico.com


SOMETHING ROTTEN: See Sept. 16. Fri, 9/30, 7:30pm. $22-


DAKHABRAKHA: Chico Performances brings Ukrainian experimental folk trio to Laxson. $40. Wed, 9/28, 6:45pm. Laxson Auditorium, Chico State, (530) 898-6333. chico performances.com

$25. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Road, Ste. F. chicotheater.com

WEST SIDE STORY: See Sept. 23. Fri, 9/30, 7:30pm. $20-$35. Center for the Arts, 1475 East Ave. (800) 722-4522. crtshows.com



Rainbow Girls

To chill on the patio behind Argus Bar, surrounded by ivy covered brick buildings under an evening sky, is one of the best ways to enjoy live music in Chico. Matthew Garcia, the promoter behind Outpatient Records, hosts the bulk of his eclectic calendar on the 46



Argus patio and has a great one to kick of the fall season. Two folk visiting folk acts— Sonoma County troubadour Sean Hayes and Bodega Bay’s Rainbow Girls (“A gang of sweet angels punching you in the heart”)—both visit on Friday, Sept. 23.


Leave your troubles outside Local theaters go heavy on musicals for the fall season

Ifulgointothere—even the theater. Everything is beautithe band! Taste that

f life is a cabaret, then yeah, sure, just

wine! Blow your horn! Headlined by Chico State’s production of Cabaret, this fall’s theater season by in Butte County Jason Cassidy is made up almost jason c @ entirely of musical new srev iew.c om productions. Could it be that things are a little tense out here in America? Maybe we Birdcage Theatre all could stand to lose 1740 Bird St., Oroville ourselves in a song? (530) 282-5603 (Just not completely— birdcagetheatre.org remember that Cabaret Blue Room Theatre is a metaphor for real1005 W. First St. ly, really bad times). facebook.com/ blueroomtheatre Here’s what’s on the California Regional marquee in the coming Theatre months:

First Street Theater (139 W. First St.) Center for the Arts (1475 East Ave.) (800) 722-4522 crtshows.com Chico State, Department of Music and Theatre PAC 144, Chico State (530) 898-5152 www.csuchico.edu/muta Chico Theater Company 166 Eaton Road (530) 894-3282 chicotheater.com Theatre on the Ridge 3735 Neal Road, Paradise (530) 877-5760 totr.org



Dracula: A Musical with Bite, Theatre on the Ridge (Sept. 8-25): A “gothic jukebox musical” with a stacked cast of local actors and musicians playing out a melodic version of Bram Stoker’s classic vampire tale. Adapted/directed by Amber Miller with musical direction by Ben Ruttenburg and Samantha Francis. SEPTEMBER 1, 2022

The Twilight Zone, Blue Room Theatre (opens Sept. 9): Nick Anderson directs stage versions of “It’s a Good Life” and “The Fever” episodes of the classic sci-fi/horror TV series. Something Rotten, Chico Theater Co. (Sept. 16-Oct. 9): It’s Shakespeare vs. the Bottom brothers, who are endeavoring to create the world’s first musical. West Side Story, Center for the Arts (Sept. 23-Oct. 9): The Jets vs. The Sharks to the tunes of Bernstein and Sondheim! Presented by California Regional Theatre (CRT). Cabaret, Harlen Adams Theatre (Oct. 7-16): Matthew Teague Miller

directs the student production of the musical set in 1920s Germany that he says is “timeless, but it is also timely. There are fascinating parallels to the depressed time [in which] it is set and the era in which we are currently living.” Evil Dead: The Musical, Birdcage Theatre (Oct. 27-Nov. 5): What could be added to the funny violence of the campy horror franchise to make it even better? Let the demons sing! Rent, First Street Theater (Oct. 27-Nov. 11): CRT presents the rock musical that tells the story—loosely

based on the opera La Bohème—of a group of Bohème struggling musicians living in New York City. We promise, it will be at least five hundred, twenty-five thousand, six hundred minutes until you get that song out of your head. Hogfather, Theatre on the Ridge (Nov. 3-20): Jerry Miller directs one of the only non-musicals of the season, a stage adaptation of a book in Terry Pratchett’s comic-fantasy Discworld series, this one starring the God/Santa-like Hogfather, Death, Death’s granddaughter and an assassin named Mr. Teatime. Another Night Before Christmas, Chico Theater Co. (Nov. 25-Dec. 18): Santa is staying the night, whether you want him to or not, in this modern holiday musical. Ω

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Stories that move people. SEPTEMBER 1, 2022



SCENE Clockwise from far left: “Siren,” a life-size sculpture resembling a ship’s figurehead, is artist Sharon Swingle’s statement on the fight for women’s equality; detail of “Siren”; a flash-style design on the interactive paint wall; Julianna Rose’s “The Illustrated Man” shows off his ink.

Those are really the museum’s main goals.” The multimedia exhibit features the work of more than 20 artists and includes sculptures, photography, paintings, handmade tattoo machines and much more. In line with the education goal, MONCA includes information about the cultural and historical value of tattoos and other body art, in America and in other societies. There are also interactive aspects, like a wall of outlines of popular tattoo motifs (a heart, an anchor, a snake, a rose—typical “flash” designs found on the walls of most parlors) that museum-goers can

Body of artwork MONCA celebrates contemporary art of tattooing


Tales of the Tattoo, through Oct. 9. Sept. 9, 6-9 p..m.: The Tattoos of Chico book signing, with live music by Empty Gate. Cost: $5 Sept. 17, noon-7 p.m.: street party outside the museum, with live mural painting, music, “crochet jam” and more. Museum of Northern California Art 900 Esplanade (530) 487-7272 monca.org



story and photos by

Ken Smith

ken s @ n ew sr ev i ew. com


ailors famously love ’em; nowadays, so

do soccer moms. Walk into a coffeehouse, and you’re likely to find a barista with more art on one arm than the average biker gang. You might even find as much ink at a PTA meeting as you formerly would only in a prison yard. In the past few decades, tattoos have moved from society’s fringes to the mainstream. Along the way, the artwork has


gained its due respect. For evidence, one need look no further than the current exhibit at Chico’s Museum of Northern California Art (MONCA), Tales of the Tattoo. “They’re pretty popular right now, and it’s a different art form than anything we’ve had here at MONCA before,” said Pat Macias, the museum’s executive director. During a tour on the exhibit’s opening day (Aug. 25), she added that anyone who questions the showcase’s focus will change their mind when they see it. “People are always taken aback by something new, and that’s what we love to do … we love to present something new so it challenges people to think differently, and we love to educate people.

MONCA Executive Director Pat Macias stands in the museum’s library/tattoo parlor. The exhibit will feature a book signing of The Tattoos of Chico by Karen McHenry on Sept. 9 (see info box).

A collection of homemade tattoo machines, including a replica of a jailhouse model.

paint however they like. Tales of the Tattoo, which runs until Oct. 9, kicked off Aug. 26 with an opening reception titled “Show Up and Show Off.” For that event, the museum’s library was transformed into a tattoo parlor so attendees could watch local artist Tanner Drake practice his craft. This effort, which Macias hoped would be “particularly interesting for people who’ve never seen it done before,” required museum staff to meet strict health department requirements. A photo booth was set up inviting attendees to show off their own body art, tag the museum and post their pictures to social media. Two more events will be held this month in conjunction with the exhibit. Sept. 9, the museum will host a panel and book-signing featuring Karen McHenry, author of The Tattoos of Chico (2020), which features 19 locals talking about and showing

off their body art. There will be a bar set up, and local band Empty Gate will perform. Sept. 17, E. Washington Avenue (on MONCA’s south side) will be closed noon to 7 p.m. for a street party. This event will feature live painting by a local tattoo artist, a “crochet jam” with Bay Area artist Ramekon O’Arwisters along with other demonstrations and activities. Visitors can purchase temporary tattoos (“People might want to try one out before they dive in,” Macias joked), including some featuring MONCA logos: the official red, yellow and blue design, plus two others designed by local students. Macias said readying the exhibit has been “eye opening” and expressed heartfelt appreciation for the art form, prompting a question: “Are you inked?” “No, I don’t have any tattoos,” she replied, “but boy, it is tempting.” Ω SEPTEMBER 1, 2022



REEL WORLD Left: Irma Vep Below: Nope

are reason enough to see this series/ film, but there’s a fine, large supporting cast (including Hippolyte Girardot, Pascal Greggory, Jeanne Balibar, Carrie Brownstein, Alex Descas and a hilariously obnoxious Lars Eidinger) as well. And Assayas’ multifaceted concoctions are post-modern entertainment of the first order. I came out of a matinee screening of

Nope saying it was the most fun I could remember having at a sci-fi/ horror film. I still feel that way but hasten to add that a great deal of that “fun” has everything to do with the ways writer-director Jordan Peele’s feisty genre hybrid layers in so much besides those generic tropes. It’s also a comedy and a western. It has the mother of all “flying sau-

Infinity mirrors Stunning new releases push boundaries of preconception

Icalled Assayas made a feature film Irma Vep with a cat-suited n 1996, French auteur Olivier

Maggie Cheung starring in the title role. It was a comic by drama about Juan-Carlos the making of Selznick a “remake” of a classic of French cinema, Louis Feuillade’s Les Vampires, a 1915-16 serial featuring a cat-suited lady villain named Irma Vep (played with balletic and darkly angelic grace by the legendary Musidora). The new Irma Vep series currently playing on HBO is Assayas’ remake of the remake, this time as eight hour-long episodes with Alicia Vikander in the title role— or, rather, in the role of the actor who plays the title role in the remake. As in the previous version,




she emerges as an unexpectedly dynamic creative force in getting the beleaguered production into completed form. And she also finds herself somewhat overtaken by the character she’s playing, which results in some clandestine Irma Vep-like adventures with cast and crew in their off-hours. The result is a species of intricately comical backstage drama, which slides, quite casually, into scenes of Feuillade-style fantasy, most of which proves fascinating, provocative, and—at times—quite moving. Assayas keeps things moving freely among a rather rollicking set of segments: scenes from the work in progress, beautifully preserved excerpts from Feuillade’s silent-era original, scenes from the autobiography of Musidora (with Vikander and other cast members playing the

roles), an assortment of backstage episodes and after-hours vignettes, etc. Vincent Macaigne is a seriocomic delight as the remake’s grungily erratic director (Jean-Pierre Léaud had that role in the 1996 version), and in the Musidora sequences, he plays Feuillade as a fastidiously unapproachable eccentric. His performance and Vikander’s

cers,” and it has a hip-hop heroine. It has a hero on horseback, but the guy with the cowboy hat is a former child actor who runs a glitzy Wild West theme park. It has Black history and the history of cinematography mixed in as well. The key characters are people of color, and its desert settings are part of what makes it a richly evocative take on several varieties of Southern

California “culture.” Nope is post-modern entertainment of a high order. Back on the Home Screen, we’re

bingeing Longmire, via Netflix. I had seen and liked episodes from the first two seasons of the series, which ultimately ran for six seasons (2012-17). Somehow I didn’t stick with it back then, but now— four seasons in—I’m liking it more than ever. It is based on Craig Johnson’s series of western-style detective novels, in which the eponymous Longmire is a small-town sheriff who wears a cowboy hat but hasn’t much use for uniforms. Longmire shines as a modern western, a police story in which the mythic Old West runs smack up against the realities and contradictions of the New West. Walt Longmire himself (Robert Taylor) is something of a lone hero type, but the stories put empathetic focus on a considerable array of personal dramas and social entanglements. These involve Longmire’s deputies (including three played by Katee Sackhoff, Adam Bartley and Bailey Chase), the widowed sheriff’s daughter (a bright-eyed law school graduate played by Cassidy Freeman), Longmire’s office manager (Ruby, played by Louanne Stephens) and Longmire’s sardonically aging predecessor (played by Peter Weller, who directed five episodes). Just as crucially, since a Cheyenne reservation adjoins Longmire’s jurisdiction, it involves a host of Native American characters including a combative entrepreneur (A Martinez), the reservation lawman (Zahn McClarnon), a corrupt ex-lawman (Graham Greene) and, most importantly of all, Henry Standing Bear (Lou Diamond Phillips), proprietor of the Red Pony saloon and Longmire’s closest friend since childhood. Existential uncertainties, moral ambiguities, spiritual crisscrossings, intimations of mortality and much else shimmer in the vicinity of these stories. It’s an old, reliable kind of storytelling that seeks out comforts and contentment but remains wary of anything that smacks of total comfort or pure bliss. Ω

ARTS DEVO by JASON CASSIDY • jasonc@newsreview.com

MOVIES AND MUSIC, AND MOVIE MUSIC I have no recollection of how I came into a copy of Escape From Noise, S.F. experimental band Negativland’s 1987 damaged-pop sound collage, but

I know that repeated listenings of the cassette did things to 18-year-old me. It’s one of the handful of unexpected sparks of weirdness introduced during my teens that made me burn for something different. Negativland has persisted with its various sonic pranks for more than four decades’ worth of avant-garde social commentary, and its latest project has the band coming to Chico! Sept. 13 (8 p.m.), Negativland will be at the Pageant Theatre to collaborate with “real-time cinema” artist SUE-C on We Can Really Feel Like We’re Here, a live audio/live cinema performance. Tickets are $25 ($30 at the door) and available at pageantchico.com. And that’s just one of three film-music mashups on the September calendar. Also at the Pageant, Sept. 20, the Austin, Texas, instrumental crew The Invincible Czars returns to town to perform a live soundtrack along with the silent vampire classic Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror. Last, Sept. 25 at the Naked Lounge, it’s Repo Man, a cover night presented by Josh Indar’s KZFR radio show, “Eve of DestrucRepo Man tion.” Local bands Tite Nauts, Severance Package, Jake & The Tightys, Ken the Revelator, Tom Little and more will make the punk soundtrack to Alex Cox’s 1984 cult classic come back to life.

FAREWELL TO TWO LOCAL ICONS Last month, after the paper’s press deadline, I got the word that Chico lost one of its brightest souls. Dan Grover died on July 27. He was 59. Those locals who attend the many concerts and festivals in Nor Cal, have seen Grover a lot. He’s been one of the most visible music fanatics in Chico, and as a man confined to a wheelchair at an early age due debilitating muscular dystrophy, he devoted much of his life to helping others in his situation have the chance to see the shows. In fact, See The Show is the name of the business he started with the goal of working with promoters as an ADA accessibility coordinator/consultant to ensure everyone has a clear line of sight to performers on stage. Friend to many, Grover was beloved by his community, many of whom have been opening their hearts on social media. Here’s a snippet from Grace Senoglu: “There will never be another you, but your magic and the impact you made on every single person you loved will stay with us forever. You were, and will always be, the LIFE of the party.” Dan Grover A memorial for Grover will take place Oct. 8 at 3 p.m. at Campfire Council Ring in Bidwell Park. The following month saw another local great go down. Aug. 21, longtime local arts supporter Reed Applegate died after a reported heart attack. He was 79. Applegate was perhaps best known in recent years as one of the early benefactors of the Museum of Northern California Art, gifting large number of pieces to MONCA’s permanent collection. A recognizable figure around town, the lifelong Chicoan was a patron of many of Chico’s arts institutions, including the North State Symphony, Chico Community Ballet and The Turner print museum. There will be a special tribute honoring Applegate at MONCA’s Works from the Beginning and Beyond show (Oct. 13-23), an exhibit that will focus on works from the museum’s permanent collection. Reed Applegate




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FREE WILL ASTROLOGY “Autobiographia Literaria,” Aries-born Frank O’Hara wrote, “When I was a child, I played in a corner of the schoolyard all alone. If anyone was looking for me, I hid behind a tree and cried out, ‘I am an orphan.’” Over the years, though, O’Hara underwent a marvelous transformation. This is how his poem ends: “And here I am, the center of all beauty! Writing these poems! Imagine!” In the coming months, Aries, I suspect that you, too, will have the potency to outgrow and transcend a sadness or awkwardness from your own past. The shadow of an old source of suffering may not disappear completely, but I bet it will lose much of its power to diminish you.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): In his poem

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): “The time

curiosity and interest are insatiable,” wrote Cancerian author Emma Lazarus (1849–1887). Inspired by the wealth of influences she absorbed, she created an array of poetry, plays, novels, essays and translations—including the famous poem that graces the pedestal of America’s Statue of Liberty. I recommend her as a role model for you in the coming weeks, Cancerian. I think you’re ripe for an expansion and deepening of your curiosity. You will benefit from cultivating an enthusiastic quest for new information and fresh influences. Here’s a mantra for you: “I am wildly innocent as I vivify my soul’s education.”

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Blogger Scott Williams writes, “There are two kinds of magic. One comes from the heroic leap, the upward surge of energy, the explosive arc that burns bright across the sky. The other kind is the slow accretion of effort: the water-on-stone method, the soft root of the plant that splits the sidewalk, the constant wind that scours the mountain clean.” Can you guess which type of magic will be your specialty in the coming weeks, Leo? It will be the laborious, slow accretion of effort. And that is precisely what will work best for the tasks that are most important for you to accomplish.

free to be myself, who am I?” Virgo-born Mary Oliver asks that question to start one of her poems. She spends the rest of the poem speculating on possible answers. At the end, she concludes she mostly longs to be an “empty, waiting, pure, speechless receptacle.” Such a state of being might work well for a poet with lots of time on her hands, but I don’t recommend it for you in the coming weeks. Instead, I hope you’ll be profuse, active, busy, experimental and expressive. That’s the best way to celebrate the fact that you are now freer to be yourself than you have been in a while.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): In her book Tales From Earthsea, Libra-born Ursula K. Le

thor Zadie Smith praised Sagittarian writer Joan Didion. She says, “I remain grateful for the day I picked up Joan Didion’s Slouching Towards Bethlehem and realized that a woman could speak without hedging her bets, without hemming and hawing, without making nice, without sounding pleasant or sweet, without deference, and even without doubt.” I encourage Sagittarians of every gender to be inspired by Didion in the coming weeks. It’s a favorable time to claim more of the authority you have earned. Speak your kaleidoscopic wisdom without apology or dilution. More fiercely than ever before, embody your high ideals and show how well they work in the rhythms of daily life.

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

ricorn novelist Marcia Douglas writes books about the history of her people in Jamaica. In one passage, she writes, “My grandmother used to tell stories about women that change into birds and lizards. One day, a church-going man dared to laugh at her; he said it was too much for him to swallow. My grandmother looked at him and said, ‘I bet you believe Jesus turned water into wine.’” My purpose in telling you this, Capricorn, is to encourage you to nurture and celebrate your own fantastic tales. Life isn’t all about reasonableness and pragmatism. You need myth and magic to thrive. You require the gifts of imagination and art and lyrical flights of fancy. This is especially true now. To paraphrase David Byrne, now is a perfect time to refrain from making too much sense.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): To be

the best Aquarius you can be in the coming weeks, I suggest the following: 1. Zig when others zag. Zag when others zig. 2. Play with the fantasy that you’re an extraterrestrial who’s engaged in an experiment on planet Earth. 3. Be a hopeful cynic and a cheerful skeptic. 4. Do things that inspire people to tell you, “Just when I thought I had you figured out, you do something unexpected to confound me.” 5. Just for fun, walk backward every now and then. 6. Fall in love with everything and everyone: a D-List celebrity, an oak tree, a neon sign, a feral cat.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): A blogger who calls herself HellFresh writes, “Open and raw communication with your partners and allies may be uncomfortable and feel awkward and vulnerable, but it solves so many problems that can’t be solved any other way.” Having spent years studying the demanding arts of intimate relationship, I agree with her. She adds, “The idea that was sold to us is ‘love is effortless and you should communicate telepathically with your partner.’ That’s false.” I propose, Pisces, that you fortify yourself with these truths as you enter the Reinvent Your Relationships Phase of your astrological cycle.

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.


VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): “Now that I’m

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Au-


CANCER (June 21-July 22): “My own

novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky was rarely guilty of oversimplification. Like any intelligent person, he could hold contradictory ideas in his mind without feeling compelled to seek more superficial truths. He wrote, “The causes of human actions are usually immeasurably more complex and varied than our subsequent explanations of them.” I hope you will draw inspiration from his example in the coming weeks, dear Scorpio. I trust you will resist the temptation to reduce colorful mysteries to straightforward explanations. There will always be at least three sides to every story. I invite you to relish glorious paradoxes and fertile enigmas.


you enjoy wasting is not wasted time,” said philosopher Bertrand Russell. I will add that the time you enjoy wasting is often essential to your well-being. For the sake of your sanity and health, you periodically need to temporarily shed your ambitions and avoid as many of your responsibilities as you safely can. During these interludes of refreshing emptiness, you recharge your precious life energy. You become like a fallow field allowing fertile nutrients to regenerate. In my astrological opinion, now is one of these revitalizing phases for you.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): As a Scorpio,


“Auguries of Innocence,” William Blake (1757–1827) championed the ability “to see a World in a Grain of Sand. And a Heaven in a Wild Flower. Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand.” According to my reading of the astrological omens, Taurus, you are primed to do just that in the coming days. You have the power to discern the sacred in the midst of mundane events. The magic and mystery of life will shine from every little thing you encounter. So I will love it if you deliver the following message to a person you care for: “Now I see that the beauty I had not been able to find in the world is in you.”

Guin wrote, “What goes too long unchanged destroys itself. The forest is forever because it dies and dies and so lives.” I trust you’re embodying those truths right now. You’re in a phase of your cycle when you can’t afford to remain unchanged. You need to enthusiastically and purposefully engage in dissolutions that will prepare the way for your rebirth in the weeks after your birthday. The process might sometimes feel strenuous, but it should ultimately be great fun.

C H I C O ’ S

ARIES (March 21-April 19): In his poem


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