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Entrepreneurs 2023

MERIAM PARK COMES TO LIFE New businesses bring energy to the neighborhood page 14







FEBRUARY 2, 2023



Bruce Jenkins

Vol. 46, Issue 8 • February 2–March 1, 2023


Insurance & Financial Services



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


•Medicare Supplement Plans •Medicare Advantage Plans


•Social Security Maximization

Briefed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Sensory-friendly films for kids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Chinook salmon: the return . . . . . . 11



•Life Insurance

Entrepreneurs 2023: Meriam Park comes alive



•Retirement Income Planning


February events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Scene . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Chow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Reel World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Arts DEVO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Brezsny’s Astrology. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27


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We decide Chico

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

Feb. 13 to add your signature in support of the Save IOuruntilHometown referendum. f you oppose the proposed Valley’s Edge development, you have

On Jan. 3, the Chico City Council approved the 1,448acre project by certifying an Environmental Impact Report and passing a specific plan plus a host of resolutions and ordinances related to the development. On Jan. 6, the Smart Growth Advocates and Valley’s Edge Resistance groups announced the signature drive. If 10 percent of Chico’s registered voters (which comes to roughly 5,600, though organizers are shooting for 8,000) add their names, the development will be blocked until its fate is decided by voters in a special election. Some of the chief criticisms of Valley’s Edge—which would add up to 2,777 new residences to the lower foothills on the east side of Chico—are the lack of sufficient affordable housing (just nine acres slated for mediumto-high-density residential); wildfire risk and evacuation concerns (this area was at the edge of Camp Fire); and environmental impacts due to the destruction of habitats, additional stress on the water supply and an estimated 23,000 additional automobile trips per day. Frankly, our biggest issue is with the thread of inevitability running through the comments of those on the Planning Commission and City Council who voted in

favor of the project. “I think it’s as good as it can possibly get” was the response of Councilman Sean Morgan, who also made a point during the meeting to question the fact that Councilman Addison Winslow was asking questions. During a public hearing! As the people in position to make decisions on the matter, they certainly could have enforced the standards set forth in the General Plan more rigorously, particularly those pertaining to greenhouse gases from cars (one of two items—the other being disruption of the foothill viewshed—that the EIR judged to be unmitigable in the project’s current form). There is a specific action put forth in Chico’s General Plan that would potentially help reduce the reliance on cars to and from Valley’s Edge: When planning or retrofitting roadways, consult with BCAG regarding the inclusion of transit stops. Councilman Winslow proposed this as an amendment to the motion on Valley’s Edge, but his motion died due to lack of a second. It’s plainly stated in The Charter of the City of Chico that legislative power is vested in the people through the initiative and the referendum. If our elected leaders won’t enforce the city’s plan, then it’s up to the citizens to do so. Find more information on the Valley’s Edge project and the referendum effort at: chicovalleysedge.com; smartgrowthchico.org; and valleysedgeresistance.org. Ω

LETTERS Voices against Valley’s Edge Except for the four years I spent attending UC Santa Cruz, I have spent my entire life in Chico. I was born at Enloe Medical Center. As anyone who’s been here over the past 30 years can attest, we are now seeing Chico grow faster than ever. Every time I drive around town I see new fancy apartment complexes and more shiny new housing developments. At the same time, rent prices are increasing at an alarming rate. At first when I saw all the new development, I thought, “Great, here is the additional housing we need to make the supply meet the demand so that prices can be affordable again.” Much to my dismay, none of these new places are affordable.

Even the smallest apartments are almost all over $1,000/month. When I was studying ecology in college, my teacher told us that oak grassland is an extinct ecosystem. I remember seeing the pictures of this “extinct ecosystem” and thinking that it looks just like home. Here in Chico we are blessed to be surrounded by this unique and absolutely beautiful open space. Are we going to allow economic interests take this away from us? Chico doesn’t need any more expensive homeowner associations badly enough to sacrifice such a precious ecological marvel. This is what it looks like to “pave paradise and put up a parking lot.” I hope my community will stand against the Valley’s Edge development.

If these developers truly care about the “respect and conservation of Chico’s natural landscape” then they would not pick the most beautiful oak grassland to bulldoze. Pearl DiGenova Chico

The true cost of Valley’s Edge foothill development: I care deeply about the damage Valley’s Edge will have on the environment and the creatures that live on the land, especially the birds and the blue oaks. But the damage will also be distinctly economic. Years ago, former Chico City Councilman Dan Nguyen-Tan told me that new LETTERS C O N T I N U E D



FEBRUARY 2, 2023

O N PA G E 7

Going downtown I am always caught off guard when I hear people say, “I won’t go downtown.” Mostly, I’m taken aback because not going downtown, for me, would be like not going to Chico. As I’ve blathered on more than one occasion in these pages, the city center has been the hub of my local life. I worked at the Upper Crust Bakery on Main Street for 11 years, followed by 17 years at the CN&R’s former offices on Second Street. Most of the 100s of rock shows I’ve produced, played or attended have taken place downtown, and most of the food, beer and coffee that I didn’t consume at home was enjoyed in the area as well. I’ve met countless friends for pints at Duffy’s; walked to the B Street patio many Friday nights for cocktails with my wife and dog; and have been known to drop a few cents on one screw or gasket at Collier Hardware when needed. This isn’t an exercise rosy picture painting. I’m sharing my history with “going downtown” to show that despite the many issues I’ve encountered there over three decades— aggro college dudes coming out of bars, homeless encampments, the closing of beloved businesses, people having sex in public, cover bands in the plaza—I still go downtown. Whatever the issues, I’m not abandoning my town. There’s no denying that the area is in trouble right now. On a cursory drive down Broadway and Main Streets recently, I counted more than 20 empty spaces. Chico State enrollment is down 17 percent since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. A report submitted to the Chico City Council by the Downtown Chico Business Association (DCBA), shows that downtown sales tax revenue dropped from $2.17 million in 2019 to $1.35 million in 2020, the first year of the pandemic, and was at only $1.58 million for 2021. That report was part of a DCBA request for financial support from the city for a “three-year plan to revitalize and bring new focus to Chico’s historical, social and cultural center while promoting the businesses that support the downtown district.” At the Jan. 17 meeting, the council agreed to award $422,400 in American Rescue Plan funds to the plan, starting with $140,800 for the first year with stipulations for periodic updates to show progress as well as buy-in from downtown businesses before further funds are released. At that same meeting, council approved a motion by Councilman Tom van Overbeek to have staff provide recommendations on potential pedestrian-only zones downtown. This is all good news. The city should be devoting resources to maintain the health of its core. But you don’t have to wait for any these plans to come fruition to enjoy it. All that “core” stuff is there right now. What downtown needs is you. Just come and things will get better.

Jason Cassidy is editor of the Chico News & Review


Can social-justice workers unite? determined to take the gospel out the Tchurch door and make it a social gospel. hese days, “social-justice Christians” are

Even more boldly, “Matthew 25 Christians,” who are determined to see Jesus in “the least of these” (unhoused, unhealthy, under-fed, unfriended), are encouraged to solicit alliances with social activists in the public sphere and to unite with them in lobbying the government—which does by not imply theocracy. Donald Heinz I found myself thinkThe author is a retired ing about the churches Chico State Religious taking the lead when I Studies professor and Humanities and read the heart-warming Fine Arts dean, and January print issue of the Emeritus Faculty Hall Chico News & Review of Honor member. He’s and the “Mission of also a Lutheran minmercy” feature on Project ister with an interest S.A.V.E., as well as a in social ethics and the church’s role in society. variety of stories on other civic “social ministry” efforts. Perhaps Chico social-justice activists would be leading the churches! I would not want to underestimate the

churches in their own social ministries. Wesleyan Methodists, for example, have from their very origins a commitment to a social gospel built into them. Hence: Salvation Army. Lutheranism is not necessarily distinguished in this area, but the local Faith Lutheran Church certainly is. I can hardly keep up with the amazing variety of social ministries that the pastor and versatile lay leader Douglas deSoto (who actively plays in both church and society) initiates. No doubt other local churches can tell similar stories, adding to the landscape portrait of local social-justice efforts. I leave off with these questions: Are local churches seriously interested in collaborating with local mercy missions? (The Jesus Center, both a ministry and a community organization, is an obvious answer: Yes!) Are local civic mercy missions interested in collaborating with the churches? And the big one: Are both groups actively lobbying government? The Warren v. City of Chico legal case brought on behalf of the unhoused changed everything about local approaches, and could be a sterling example of social-justice institutions seeking redress through government. Can social-justice workers of the world unite? Ω

FEBRUARY 2, 2023




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

Spring healing During a recent hangout with friends, one told me her goal for 2023 was to forgo buying things. She didn’t call it a resolution, but the intention sounded similar. A full year without spending money on “stuff.” My friend realized she’d been making purchases as a coping mechanism, something I found quite relatable. Ever the reporter, I started asking questions. Necessities don’t count, she explained. Think food, medication, personal care products, etc. Furthermore, she isn’t trying to deprive herself of pleasure. To that end, she’s still going to buy services. You know, get manicures, book massages, see her hairdresser, go to restaurants. “Can you accept gifts?” “Heck yes! My birthday is next month,” she said, wryly. I liked her reasonable take on consuming less. I’ve always found it pretentious and annoying when people get pedantic about their resolutions. I mean, it’s great to, say, commit to a diet of wholly organic food. But it’s another thing to then dine out and interrogate the server about the origin of every single ingredient in an entrée—allergies and medical conditions excepted. Coincidentally, I’ve been re-evaluating my relationship with spending for quite some time. Like my friend—post-pandemic, anyway—I, too, turned to material consumption as a coping mechanism. Big time. Indeed, one dopamine hit at a time, I filled my house. I started by swapping out my modern living room and bedroom furniture for vintage pieces. That was fine, but then I began bringing home loads of knickknacks, mainly décor, from local antique, thrift and consignment stores. Where I really went off the rails was when I started making online purchases. For the longest time, I didn’t understand why I was overconsuming. Eventually, I realized it was grief. My grandmother died of natural causes in 2015, but the coronavirus is what carried my grandfather to his grave at the end of 2020, just a few weeks before the vaccine was introduced to old folks’ homes, like the one he lived in. After that, my spending went into overdrive. By day, I’d scour store shelves for treasures. Then at night, I’d scroll through various online sales listings. Sometimes for hours at a time. Turns out “grief shopping” is a thing, but mine had a twist. Subconsciously I was collecting many of the things my grandparents had owned, items I didn’t even remember until someone mentioned them or I saw photographs of their house. Recently, for example, my mom sent me a picture of their fireplace mantle. She’d taken the photo right before the estate sale she set up when my grandfather decided to move to an assisted-living facility. Sitting there was a very specific type of vase, the same kind I now collect. She said it caught her eye only because I now own a few dozen of them. I can only assume that a memory of that vase was buried in the recesses of my mind. Interestingly, having figured out the genesis of my purchases has helped me cull the urge to splurge. As a matter of fact, nowadays I’m actually paring things down to my favorite collections. I’ll add to them here and there, but I’m no longer addicted to the hunt. With spring around the corner, that feels refreshing, healing even. I’m not going to beat myself up over the money I’ve spent, because I can think of a lot worse ways to cope with grief than being surrounded by pretty things that make me feel closer to people I’ve loved and lost. Plus, if Grandma and Grandpa could see my house, they’d be thrilled.

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


FEBRUARY 2, 2023


What business would you open? Asked in downtown Chico

Mitchell Benson self employed

The one I’m doing now. I do building remodels and stuff like that. I’m basically a handyman. [I’d like to expand into] the electronics field, rebuilding circuit boards—electronic repair kind of stuff.

Sean Amaral land steward

For me, I’d probably start a mountain bike business—rentals and also have the shuttle access to get people up there and ride.

Janelle Thomas dental assistant

Hair salon. I kind of want to cut hair. That’s what I think would be fun. I’ve been doing [my current work] for like 20 years.

Tristan Samaniego restaurant employee

It would probably be another juice shop. Live Life Juice Co.—everybody goes there—and Jamba Juice just closed, so there’s another opportunity. I like smoothies.


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

developments never pay for themselves. Valley’s Edge’s infrastructure costs will be huge due to the sloping, rocky terrain and the high cost of building materials that will continue to rise. Even if developer Bill Brouhard ends up paying for the initial infrastructure costs via development impact fees, all subsequent long-term costs will be borne by those home buyers who can afford such costs and by the Chico taxpayers who will subsidize Valley’s Edge for years to come. Meanwhile, down here in the flatlands of Chico, we’ll have to make do with our crumbling infrastructure with no hope of mitigation. Valley’s Edge supporters and local real estate salespeople keep telling us that this development is “just what Chico needs” to help cure our housing crisis. Of course it isn’t. They omit telling us the truth about how the infrastructure costs will price Valley’s Edge homes out of reach of the average Chico family or senior citizen who won’t be able to afford them. But that won’t concern those wealthy homeowners from out of town who will look down on us from above, nor bother Brouhard who stands to make a lot of money from this exclusive, sprawling development. Karen Laslo Chico

‘Water woes will never end’ Re: “Is California’s drought over?” (by Alastair Bland, chico.newsreview.com) These “lowest common denominator” headlines about drought have got to stop. There will always be more demand for water in California than there is water available. The idea that water demand/ supply is in any way related to a single storm or series of storms is exactly the kind of mentality that keeps Californians dumbed down on water issues in this state and how they really need to think about and respond to those issues. Why not this as a headline: “Despite copious amounts of precipitation, California’s water woes will never end.” Now you have set the table to educate—which you do in the article, but only for those who actually bother to read it. Peter Hernes Davis

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 March 2 print publication is February 20. FEBRUARY 2, 2023



NEWSLINES BRIEFED TAKE ACTION CHICO STATE PRESIDENT SEARCH OPEN FORUM: The CSU Board of Trustees has begun its nationwide search for a successor to Chico State President Gayle Hutchinson, who will retire at the end of the 2022–23 academic year. the committee will outline the search process and the community can share what they believe are the qualities and experience needed. Thu, 2/2, 12:30pm. Bell Memorial Union Auditorium, Chico State. www.csuchico.edu/pres/search/ FREE FOOD DISTRIBUTION: The SCCAC holds free food distributions every second and fourth Saturday. Sat, 2/11 & 2/25, 2pm. South Chico Community Assistance Center, 1805 Park Ave. southchicocac.org SAFE SPACE VOLUNTEERS: The shelter is operating through Feb. 25 and volunteers are always needed. Visit the site to sign up. safespacechico.org SEED TO SHADE: To improve Chico’s urban forest, Butte Environmental Council has ambitious tree-planting programs in place through the spring. If you’d like to volunteer or would like a tree, visit the site to register. becnet.org

LOCAL GOVERNMENT BUTTE COUNTY SUPERVISORS: Meetings are normally held the second and fourth Tuesday of the month. Visit site for posted agenda as well as current meeting calendar. Tue, 2/14 & 2/28, 9am. Butte County Board of Supervisors Chamber, 25 County Center Drive, Oroville. buttecounty.net CHICO PLANNING COMMISSION: The commission normally meets first and third Thursdays. Agendas are posted to the web the previous Friday. Thu, 2/16 & 3/2. City Council Chambers, 421 Main St. chico. ca.us CHICO CITY COUNCIL MEETING: The City Council meets on every first and third Tuesday of the month. Agendas, minutes and video archives are available at chico.ca.us/ agendas-minutes. Tue, 2/7 & 2/21, 6pm. City Council Chambers, 421 Main St. chico.ca.us CLIMATE ACTION COMMISSION: Commission normally meets second Thursdays. Agendas are posted to the web the previous Friday. Thu, 2/9, 6pm. City Council Chambers, 421 Main St. chico.ca.us OROVILLE CITY COUNCIL MEETING: Council normally meets first and third Tuesdays. Check site for latest agenda. Tue, 2/7 & 2/21, 4:30pm. Oroville City Council Chambers, 1735 Montgomery St. cityoforoville.org PARADISE TOWN COUNCIL: The town council normally meets on the second Tuesday of each month. Check site for agenda. Tue, 2/14 & 2/28, 6pm. Paradise Town Hall, 5555 Skyway. townofparadise.com



FEBRUARY 2, 2023

A big screen for all Chico mother launches sensory friendly movie events for children hree-year-old Charlie Iverson-Flournoy

Tingstood up in the movie theater, exclaim“Oh no! Oh no!” Hero Girl’s golden round-trip ticket to ride The Polar Express had just been whisked away by the snowy winter winds and out of her friend Hero Boy’s grasp. Charlie’s mother, Harvest, smiled as she recounted this moment they shared in December at Cinemark in Chico. It wasn’t just any day—it was the preschooler’s first time at the movie theater, and he was loving it. Charlie has autism, and he was able to share the experience with other children who also have sensory needs during a free, special event his mom organized and hosted. During the screening, the lights remained dim, the volume was lowered, and children were free to get up and roam when they needed to do so. Charlie, whom Iversonby Flournoy described as Ashiah “wiggly,” was able to Scharaga walk down the aisles from time to time while as h i a h s @ n ew srev i ew. c o m still enjoying the movie. “He was so into it,” his mother said. Movie time “He obviously enjoyed The next film screening going to the movies, for children and teens and it was in a way that with sensory needs worked for him.” will be Trolls, showing This was the first of March 25. To RSVP, donate, or for more what Iverson-Flournoy info, find “Sensory hopes will be many Friendly Events Chico” such events for the comon Facebook or email sensoryfriendly munity. She will host moviechico@gmail.com. another sensory-friendly

movie screening at Cinemark in March (see info box). Her long-term goal is to form a nonprofit that provides a variety of family events at places like museums and recreational facilities, all tailored for children and teens with sensory needs. “That’s the hope, that we can do a lot of these kinds of events. Obviously it’ll depend on what we can find for funding,” she said. “What I have to offer is the drive to keep trying to put them together.”

Making it happen Last year, Iverson-Flournoy began searching for local theater events for children with sensory needs. She wanted to take Charlie, her eldest son, to the movies and make sure he’d be able to have a comfortable, fun experience. Paradise Cinema 7 used to host such events regularly, but it closed after the 2018 Camp Fire. Her search

was fruitless, so she decided to host one herself by renting one of the screening rooms at Cinemark. The fee wasn’t cheap—over $700 for a room that seats about 140 people—and Iverson-Flournoy, who had never organized anything like this before, said she considered giving up. But she couldn’t get it out of her head. “That means no other kids that have sensory needs have the option to go to the movies,” she said. “And that’s not fair.” So she started spending her lunch breaks calling different businesses around town to see if they would help sponsor the event, which would be for families with children 10 and under. It went this way for several weeks, until a colleague suggested she ask their employer, Tri Counties Bank, if they might sponsor. The bank covered the entire fee. Other organizations in the community jumped in to help spread the word, including

Families enjoy a sensory-friendly showing of The Polar Express at Cinemark 14 in Chico in December. PHOTO COURTESY OF HARVEST IVERSON-FLOURNOY

Far Northern Regional Center and Little Red Hen, which each provide services for people with developmental disabilities. There was so much interest that IversonFlournoy had to create a wait list. For the second event, which will be held March 25 for those 17 and younger and their families, she created a GoFundMe page and successfully crowdfunded enough money to cover the fee.

Creating a comfortable space Sensory sensitivity varies for every person, and some can be over- or under-stimulated by their environment. Josie Blagrave, director of the Chico State Autism Clinic, has worked with local children with autism since 2003, helping them develop motor skills and embrace physical fitness. She is also a mother of two children who have autism. Blagrave described sensory sensitivity as the feeling that “the world is a little too much.” “Everything is too loud or too bright, or there’s too much visual stimuli going on,” she said. With sensory-friendly acommodations, however, children are able to acclimate to the environment so they can enjoy themselves, she said. Blagrave is also part of a local parent group that helped spread the word about the special movie screening at Cinemark, and said she was really excited to hear about it. Events like this not only help promote awareness but also create community for parents and families that could otherwise remain isolated. “It is really hard to take a lot of our kids on the spectrum to these events, because you’re not trying to ruin anybody else’s experience but you want your own kids to have those neurotypical experiences and be out in the community,” she said. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many parents Harvest Iverson-Flournoy and her son Charlie on his first day of the 2022-23 school year. PHOTO COURTESY OF HARVEST IVERSON-FLOURNOY

have been unable to access early intervention services or get connected to parental support groups, Blagrave said. This offers them a comfortable space to make those connections and be accepted. “That’s one of the important things that comes out of this—that sense of community being built back up again,” she said. “Sometimes you just want to be in a safe space with people who get you.” Iverson-Flournoy said that was one of the profound things she noticed at the sensoryfriendly screening—“that nervous energy” wasn’t there. Parents were able to relax and realize “nobody’s going to judge you,” and their kids were able to do the same. “The big thing was just getting to watch [Charlie] really enjoy something that was tailored to sensory needs—there was no, I’m going to get overwhelmed half-way through,” she said. “I like the idea of a world that [Charlie] can grow up in that will accept him.” It wasn’t just Charlie who had his first movie theater experience that day, she added. One boy was in tears when he arrived with his family because he was scared about the new experience. But by the time he left, he had a big smile on his face. Ω


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FEBRUARY 2, 2023

NEWSLINES Chief and Spiritual Leader Caleen Sisk of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe stands on the banks of the McCloud River with fishery and hatchery managers from CDFW, USFWS and NOAA Fisheries to celebrate the return of winter-run Chinook salmon eggs. PHOTO BY BRANDON S. HONIG, U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE

Saving salmon Chinook return to California’s far north— with a lot of human help by

Alastair Bland

ClastMcCloud River for more than 80 years. But summer, thousands of juveniles were born hinook salmon haven’t spawned in the

in the waters of this remote tributary, miles upstream of Shasta Dam. The young Chinook salmon—some now finger-sized smolts in mid-migration toward the Pacific Ocean—are part of a state and federal experiment that could help make the McCloud a salmon river once again. Winter-run Chinook were federally listed as endangered in 1994, but recent years have been especially hard for the fish. Facing About this story: This story was produced by CalMatters, an independent public journalism venture covering California state politics and government. For more info, visit calmatters.org.

severe drought and warm river conditions, most winter-run salmon born naturally in the Sacramento River have perished over the past three years. So restoring Chinook to the McCloud has become an urgent priority for state and federal officials. In the first year of a drought-response project, about 40,000 salmon eggs were brought back to the McCloud, a picturesque river in the wilderness of the Cascade mountains. Iconic in Northern California, Chinook salmon are critical pieces of the region’s environment. They are consumed by sea lions, orcas and bears, and they still support a commercial fishing industry. Chinook remain vital to the culture and traditional foods of Native Americans, including the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, whose historical salmon fishing grounds included the McCloud River. Conservation experts say the McCloud’s cold, clean water holds great promise as a potential Chinook refuge—and perhaps even a future stronghold for the species. Restoring salmon there is considered critical to the spe-

cies’ survival, since they now spawn only in low-lying parts of the Central Valley near Redding and Red Bluff, where it’s often too hot and dry for most newborn fish to survive. “We probably won’t be able to maintain winter-run Chinook on the valley floor forever,” said Matt Johnson, a senior environmental scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Johnson spent much of the past five months camped beside the incubation site on the lower McCloud River, guarding the eggs and emerging fry and overseeing the experiment, which is a collaboration between his agency, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Winnemem Wintu Tribe. So far, the project, biologists say, has gone well. About 90 percent of the eggs hatched, and the young fish have reportedly thrived in the McCloud, growing faster than hatchery fish. Recent rain storms have boosted river flows, which may increase the odds that salmon will reach the ocean this year, escaping the dangerous water pumps and predators of the Delta. The project is the first step in a long-term plan that may involve capturing adult winterrun Chinook in the lower Sacramento and transporting them to the McCloud to spawn. It’s a difficult and risky venture for the fish but it may be the best shot the species has at survival. “The winter run is headed for extinction, no question, if we don’t develop an artificial system for keeping it going,” said Peter

Moyle, a fish biologist at UC Davis who has studied Central Valley fish since the 1970s. He co-authored a report warning that many of California’s native salmon and trout are likely to vanish this century as the environment warms. A genetically unique run of salmon, winterrun Chinook once spawned in the McCloud in great numbers, along with other seasonal runs of the fish. Even though the Central Valley’s river system, which includes the McCloud River, marks the southern limit of the Chinook’s range, it was once their stronghold. Between 1 and 2 million fish, some weighing 50 pounds or more, spawned in the tributaries of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers each year before the Gold Rush. The fish have dwindled to a fraction of their historic abundance. Spawning numbers of winter-run Chinook dropped to fewer than 200 in the early 1990s. They’ve rebounded, but their future remains in doubt. The McCloud—a state-designated wild and scenic river—used to offer prime habitat, with deep gravel beds for egg-laying and year-round flows of clean, cold water from Mount Shasta. Construction of Shasta Dam in the 1940s—and Keswick Dam shortly after—changed all this by locking ocean-run salmon out of some 500 miles of productive high-elevation habitat. The salmon became confined instead to the lower reaches of the Sacramento River system, where they did not previously spawn. Blazing temperatures in the summer—when the winter-run fish lay and fertilize their eggs near Redding and Red Bluff—have made it difficult for salmon to thrive. Chinook, especially in their early life stages, are sensitive to high temperatures. Only with the support of hatcheries have California salmon remained abundant enough to be fished. For decades, fishing groups, agencies and Winnemem Wintu tribal leaders have pondered the possibility of reintroducing salmon into the McCloud. Finally, last spring and summer, after two poor spawning years in a row—and with a third one looking likely—federal and state agencies took action. Last year “temperature modeling going into the winter-run spawning season showed a lot of uncertainty—basically a 50-50 chance of being able to maintain suitable temperatures for winter-run eggs to develop in the river,” Johnson said. NEWSLINES C O N T I N U E D FEBRUARY 2, 2023

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More Than Housing: How CHIP Resident Services foster community and improve mental health BY RAUL CLEMENT


f you live in the North Valley, you may have heard of apartment communities in recent years is Promotores. Run by North CHIP. You may even know what it stands for: Community Valley Catholic Social Services, Promotores Housing Improvement Program. But while the name may aims to improve mental health in the Hmong and give you a clue about what CHIP does, it hardly paints the Latino communities through weekly educational support full picture. groups for adults and children. It’s true that CHIP provides housing for The word “educational” is important here. low-income and disadvantaged resiAs Norma Servin-Lacy, Program Manager dents. In fact, over its 50-year hisof Promotores, points out, “Mental tory, CHIP has built a staggering health is a big stigma in our com“They love it. 2,000 single family homes. They munity. People don’t want to seek I love it. It gets currently manage 18 rental help because they don’t want units across seven counties. them out of the house, to be seen as ‘crazy.’ There are But to say all CHIP does is also the language barriers and away from screens, and provide “housing” would be lack of access to service.” missing the bigger picture. interacting with other Promotores attempts to As Theresa Nantor, Director break down theses stigmas kids. During the pandemic, of Resident Services, puts it, through links to services, they became very isolated. CHIP believes in “treating the information, community whole person.” It affected their mental bonding and fun activities. One key to this is Resident The Kids Group meetings, held health.” Services. CHIP partners with twice weekly in the afternoons, over a dozen local nonprofits Guadalupe McNeil last between one and two hours, and service providers to offer Resident offer bilingual and mindfulness healthy eating, activities for chilactivities, and involve anything from dren, craft education, workforce mental health support to arts and development, college prep and summer crafts to help with homework. Resident programs. Most of these programs take place Guadalupe McNeil has seen firsthand the benat the apartment complexes themselves. This spares efits of these sessions for her two children, Marisela (17) and Marianna (13). residents the difficulties of travel and allows them to “They love it,” she says. “I love it. It gets them out of remain on familiar ground. the house, away from screens, and interacting with other A program that’s made a particular impact in CHIP

Resident Guadalupe McNeil (center) has seen firsthand the benefits of CHIP’s Promotores program for her two children, Marisela (17) and Marianna (13). PHOTO BY RAY LAAGER

kids. During the pandemic, they became very isolated. It affected their mental health.” It was the impact of the pandemic that Promotores wanted to address with one of their latest activities, Picture This: A Photovoice Project. Adults and children in CHIP residences were given cameras, instruction in photography, and told to shoot photos of their pandemic experience. The result was a series of posters combining text and image, a document of their experiences as Latinos in the U.S. during an uncertain time. These posters expressed their fears, anxieties, and the damage COVID-19 inflicted on their community—but also their hopes for the future and even the small moments of joy found during quarantine. McNeil feels it was an invaluable experience for her daughters, particularly Marisela. “She was able to express herself in a new way. It really brought her out of her shell.” So the next time you drive past CHIP housing, remember that you’re looking at more than an apartment complex. You’re looking at a source of connection. “You can get someone in housing,” Theresa Nantor says, “but if they don’t have the knowledge or tools to access resources in the community, and also be a part of the community, there’s a disconnect there.”

To learn more about CHIP, visit chiphousing.org PAID ADVERTISEMENT 12


FEBRUARY 2, 2023


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A bumpy trip for salmon eggs Because winter-run Chinook are listed as endangered, fishery agencies are scrambling to save the fish. Last spring they transported about three dozen adult winter-run Chinook trapped at the base of Keswick Dam, just north of Redding, about 50 miles southeast to the north fork of Battle Creek, a tributary near Red Bluff where waters typically run cool and clear. They also launched a more complicated effort: They took winter-run Chinook eggs from adult fish at a federal salmon hatchery and transported them up and over Shasta Dam to a remote national forest campground next to the McCloud River. They came in two batches of 20,000—the first by truck on a bumpy, 80-mile ride. A helicopter delivered the second clutch. “We wanted to make sure the transportation phase went smoothly,” Johnson said. The fertilized eggs were incubated in protective cages submerged in river water for weeks. The scientists even placed an electrified barrier around the eggs to protect them from foraging black bears. Of the 40,000 eggs, Johnson said, about 36,000 emerged as fry. In late summer, the biologists released them into the wild. The scientists wanted the fish to spend time in McCloud, both to utilize its invertebrate food sources and to undergo the olfactory imprinting process that enables migrating adult salmon to find their birth streams years later. Indeed, it is this process that gives salmon their remarkable homing powers and would truly make these fish McCloud River salmon. In an undisturbed ecosystem, the fish in the river would simply swim downstream, through San Francisco Bay, and out into the ocean. But this unique scenario, where a dam and reservoir block their migration, called on a different approach that required human help. State and federal scientists had to recapture the salmon and release them into the lower Sacramento River. The Fish and Wildlife team placed several traps on the McCloud about 20 miles below the release site and managed to capture 1,600 of them. They then drove the fish downstream and released them into the Sacramento River. If all goes well, some of the young salmon will return from the ocean in two to four years. The agencies plan to repeat the project next year, transporting more Chinook eggs up to the McCloud and again hauling the young fish back downstream. “We intend to do it again, and do it better,” Johnson said. To improve the program’s effectiveness, scientists are now addressing some unanswered questions from the experiment. Rachel Johnson, a biologist with NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center, wants to know how many of the salmon released at the incubation site made it as far downstream as

Left: A collection system is set up at Dekkas Rock at Shasta Lake. The pilot project will evaluate the viability of collecting juvenile salmon as they migrate out of the McCloud River upstream of Shasta Dam. PHOTO BY FLORENCE FLOW, CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF WATER RESOURCES

Above: Marine Sisk, a biologist with the Winnemem Wintu tribe, measures a juvenile winter-run Chinook salmon reared in the McCloud (top) compared to a similar age fish reared in the hatchery. PHOTO BY ERIC HOLMES, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, DAVIS

the fish trap array. This will reveal the survival rate of the released fish and help Johnson and her colleagues better understand the quality of the McCloud’s habitat. To do this, she is studying data on daily river flow rates and capture rates in the traps, then combining this information with known effectiveness of the types of gear they used. That, she said, would “give us the number that swam past.” From what they already know about the size of the fish upon recapture, it’s looking good. “The fish in the McCloud were 30 to 40 percent larger than the average winter-run fish that were being caught at the Red Bluff Diversion Dam,” she said, referring to a structure downstream of Shasta.

A gem in ‘a string of pearls’ A great deal of work has already been done to help Sacramento River salmon. State agencies and conservation groups have restored floodplains and side-channels, where slow-moving water provides young fish with abundant food and shelter from predators. This work often involves removing or carving notches in levees so that river water can flow over farm fields. Johnson sees this connected system of restored habitat parcels as a “string of pearls,” and says the McCloud might be one of its more valuable gems. Better still, the McCloud’s geographic location at the upper end of the watershed could have a beneficial trickle-down effect through the watershed and the early life stages of Chinook, ultimately improving their lifelong survival rates. “If you can have such highly productive, good-growth habitat so high in the system, it starts the fish off in such a strong condition,” she said. Protecting areas lower in the watershed are

important to Chinook, too. Research by Jacob Katz, a biologist with the group California Trout, shows that floodplains restored in the lower stretches of the Sacramento watershed have helped salmon. Smolts grow faster on inundated floodplains than they do in the river’s channelized mainstem. Katz said reintroducing Chinook to the high-elevation spawning areas in the McCloud will complement the work he has done, and vice-versa. “Both spawning habitat and rearing habitat are necessary, yet insufficient on their own,” he said. “We need to restore every link in the habitat chain.”

Ambitious future plans The summer’s salmon relocation effort was technically not a reintroduction project but an emergency drought action required by the state and federal endangered species acts and intended to shield winter-run Chinook from drought impacts. However, it’s likely that the McCloud effort of last summer will develop in years ahead into a full-fledged salmon reintroduction program. Randy Beckwith, head of the state Department of Water Resources’ Riverine Stewardship branch, said “the juvenile collection piece is the most difficult part” of a potential long-term McCloud River reintroduction plan. While the state and federal fishery scientists did their work a few miles upstream, Beckwith’s agency tested a $1.5 million contraption dubbed the Juvenile Salmonid Collection System in the narrow McCloud River arm of Lake Shasta. The setup is a floating array designed to deflect floating debris, like logs and trash, while a dangling synthetic curtain funnels the young salmon into a dead-end live trap. The trap component has not been installed yet due to regulatory constraints associated with handling

endangered species, but the agency has plans to do so, possibly next summer. While traps of the sort already used on the McCloud are designed to catch a sample fraction of a river’s fish, the system the state is working on will hopefully catch all of them. A successful McCloud River salmon reintroduction would also mean giving adult salmon access to the river. Currently, Keswick Dam, just upstream of Redding, marks the end of the line for free-swimming adult salmon. If they are to get beyond this point, fishery managers will need to do one of two things: build a stairway, called a fish ladder or fishway, which leads migrating salmon around a dam, or trap the fish and truck them upstream. Ladders would give the salmon autonomy to migrate on their own. But Shasta Dam is a 600-foot-high barrier, so hauling them instead would be much cheaper. It is generally considered the only feasible solution, although federal officials have no plans to do so yet. But scientists have questioned the effectiveness of trap-and-haul programs. In a 2017 paper, Moyle and a colleague, biologist Robert Lusardi, warned that it can cause high mortality rates in transferred fish, both adults going upstream and juveniles coming downstream. A trap-and-haul program for salmon “should proceed with extreme caution,” they wrote. There’s another option, too. Battle Creek, which flows off Mount Lassen’s south flank, could also serve as a lifeline for winter-run Chinook. It was once an important spawning stream and, like most California rivers, is now riddled with dams. But unlike Keswick and Shasta, they are small. One dam was removed in 2010, and Katz said there are plans to remove or modify the rest to provide Chinook with unassisted passage. “Battle Creek offers an opportunity to have a second population of winter-run fish that doesn’t need to be trucked—a completely volitional population,” he said. “Battle Creek could be the epitome of a 21st century reconciled watershed.” Ω FEBRUARY 2, 2023



Entrepreneurs 2023:

Cafe life

New flavors by

A slew of food-and-drink openings bring energy into Meriam Park neighborhood


ll of a sudden, Chico’s Meriam Park neighborhood has a lot of options for satisfying cravings. Since last summer, Farmers Brewing Co., Savor Ice Cream and Chico’s first cannabis dispensary, Sweet Flower, have joined the established caffeine hook-up (Daycamp Coffee), elevated comfort food destination (Burban Kitchen) and juice bar (Live Life Juice Co.’s second location). Soon, a new sushi place (Namasake Sushi) and hip cocktail spot (Roselle Bar & Lounge) will join them in Meriam Park’s “Tank District”. It has taken many years to get to this point but Meriam Park is starting to feel like a bustling community. The first plans for developing the east Chico neighborhood were approved by the City Council back in 2007, but were delayed once the Great Recession hit. A new master plan was launched in 2016 by a new partnership between developer Dan Gonzales, founder of Fifth Sun apparel company, and property owner Ken Grossman, founder/owner of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. The 2018 Camp Fire and the COVID-19 pandemic caused further setbacks, but Meriam Park is starting to approach the form imagined in the architectural renderings—a modern industrial style that’s distinct from Chico’s classic look, yet fitting for its peripheral location—and Gonzales’ vision of “creating a sense of place and connection.” For this year’s Entrepreneurs Issue, we highlight four food/drinkservice businesses that have chosen to set up shop in Meriam Park and bring some energy to the homes and office buildings already there.

Jason Cassidy j aso nc @new srev i ew. c o m


hen Daycamp Coffee opened in September of 2019, co-founder and general manager Kyle Nies says it was one of only a handful of businesses in the neighborhood. There was Da Capo Style House next door and the sinceclosed Pacific Culture fermented foods business across the parking lot. Plus, only one set of apartments had been finished in the surrounding development. “We were still a little frightened,” Nies said. “We were opening our doors to a place where there was nothing around us, no foot traffic.” Today, new entrepreneurs setting up shop in Meriam Park are moving into a much different situation, one with several pockets of homes, apartments and townhouses fully occupied, and an established local presence thanks in large part to public events at The Barn venue as well as the foundation that Daycamp has provided as a social hub for the neighborhood. “Daycamp adhered to the vision that he had,” Nies said, referring to cafe owner/co-founder and Meriam Park developer Dan Gonzales, “[that] Kyle Nies, co-founder of Daycamp Coffee, one of the first businesses to open in Meriam Park. PHOTO BY JASON CASSIDY



FEBRUARY 2, 2023

Before the current rush of new businesses, Daycamp Coffee set the scene in Meriam Park

the cafe environment and what coffee brings to a community is a great place to start.” During a recent interview in the cafe’s test kitchen, Nies admitted that those early guinea pig days went better than he’d expected. “We were really surprised by how many of these existing neighborhoods around us—like Doe Mill—came over and supported us,” he said. “That’s something I love about Chico, that desire to support local businesses.” The best picture of the cafe is seen in the light of a sunny day, when the giant roll-up door is open to the eastfacing patio, allowing the open concept design to extend into the fresh air to

take in the view of the foothills in the distance. On a typical morning, Daycamp is humming with a friendly crew of hiplooking baristas serving a mix of students camped at laptops, professionals meeting clients and young moms in yoga pants hauling kids in strollers. As busy as it gets, the scene inside the spacious cafe remains relaxed and inviting. After the first several months of business, Daycamp did endure a difficult patch. The cafe, like most every other business, had to close the doors during the COVID19 shutdowns. Nies said they weathered the pandemic by paring down the operation to takeaway only, setting up a coffee cart at the open roll-up door, which is something he has experience with. Before Daycamp, Nies was the roastmaster for Great State Coffee Company, and he used to serve his coffees from a cart posted up inside Chico Municipal Building. Daycamp’s coffee is roasted in-house as

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well, with the process on full display at a giant yellow roaster inside the space. In fact, the coffee-making—from sustainable, seasonal sourcing to roasting a few feet from where it’s brewed—is the focus, alongside the cafe’s communitybuilding mission. When asked about how he sees Meriam Park’s place in the greater community Nies said, “It’s feeling more and more like Chico. … We definitely see the Meriam Park locals a lot, and the teams that are working for our neighbor businesses. We are [also] seeing—and I’m surprised—a lot of students. I’ve been serving coffee in Chico for over a decade and I’m seeing faces I was serving coffee to downtown. So, people are starting to make the trek out here.” And within Meriam Park itself? Has a neighborhood vibe developed among tenants of the commercial Tank District? “I think it still has room to really take off,” Nies said, “I definitely see some more collaboration in the future.” As for Daycamp’s future, Nies says he’s expanding commercial coffee sales—both to local business and online customers—and the cafe will be ramping up its food program as well as starting to host live music. Ω

Daycamp Coffee 1925 Market Place, Ste. 150 daycampcoffee.com Open 7 a.m.-4 p.m. daily


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‘Farm to glass’ story and photos by

Ashiah Scharaga ashiahs@ n ew sr ev i ew. com


hen Bill Weller crafts a new beer recipe, he has an unofficial litmus test for its success. If his wife, Kristin, takes a sip, tilts her head, and politely says something along the lines of “Oh, it’s OK,” then he knows, “that’s not quite it,” he said. “Back to the drawing board,” Kristin added with a laugh. The couple, who own and operate Farmers Brewing Co., sat at a table in their newly built Chico taproom and restaurant in Meriam Park on a recent January morning and shared stories about their journey. Bill can’t exactly pinpoint why he wanted to start brewing back in 2011—but he enjoyed the comedy Strange Brew in his adolescence and is a fan of lighter beers, he said. (Natural Light was his go-to as a college student.) He attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where he received his bachelor’s in agricultural engineering technology. After Bill brewed his first successful batch, the Wellers knew they wanted to create a local brewery, an undertaking that involved renovating an old barn at their family farm in Princeton, a small town of about 300 located in Colusa County, approximately 30 miles southwest of Chico.

Grown and brewed in Colusa County, Farmers Brewing Co. opens Chico tap house They got their license in 2017 and sold their first glass in January 2020 at their taproom in Princeton, which is surrounded by the family farm. The Wellers’ beers are made “farm to glass.” They use the wheat and rice they grow and harvest—along with some of their other crops, like almonds, on occasion—to create their beverages. Rice can be more difficult to make beer with, Bill said, as it requires special equipment and techniques for brewing. “It’s a whole other animal,” he said, but “gives it a super clean, crisp taste.” When it came to their signature beer and best seller, Farmers Light, “it took around 50 batches to get it brewed exactly where we wanted it,” Bill said. The Wellers are both fifth-generation farmers. Kristin grew up on a family farm in Artois, and Bill on the Princeton farm—established by his family in the 1800s—where he started helping out with chores when he was 8 years old (e.g., cleaning shops, mowing grass, repairing combines and driving tractors). The two knew one another, but didn’t become close until their mothers (who were friends and went to the same hairdresser) made sure they reconnected. “It was a setup,” Kristin said with a playful smile. “They pulled a fast one on us!” Bill added. The couple have a son and daughter who, like their parents, have been involved with the family farm since they were young. Both are high-schoolers Valle Mexican Lager is one of four year-round beers made by Farmers Brewing Co., and was named by the company’s farm crew.



FEBRUARY 2, 2023

who participate in Future Farmers of America. In fact, their daughter was responsible for helping get the color just right for their limited release Daughters Wit. Bill and his brother started operating the farm in 1996, and it has since grown from 700 to 6,000 acres. “So it’s been busy there, then throw a brewery on top of it and a restaurant,” Bill said. The brewing company has grown rapidly since its founding in 2017, now with two taprooms, approximately 40 beers, and distribution spanning from just south of the Oregon border throughout California cities as far south as Fresno. During the interview with the CN&R, the Wellers were giddy with excitement over the fact that their first truckload of beer made it across state lines and into Nevada. Indeed, according to an analysis of data from the Brewers Association published by Axios, Farmers Brewing Co. was the state’s fastest growing brewery of those that produced at least 5,000 barrels in 2021, with a 140 percent increase in sales that year. They started out brewing eight-keg batches, and in 2022 sold 13,000 beer barrels (equivalent to 26,000 kegs), Kristin said. Overall, this year they’ll be focusing on expanding their distribution within current networks—adding more stores in regions where their beers are already sold, for example. But they also have a few exciting projects in the works: They’ll be releasing 19.2 ounce cans (of Valle Mexican Lager and Sun Up ’Til Sundown IPA, initially) and continuing to experiment with new brews that will be available in their taprooms. The limited releases are often playful, such as a brandy porter infused with cherries dubbed the Mariah Cherry, and a pickle beer, Ol’ Slapperman, a lager using cucumber and dill from their farm. “The pickle beer was kind of

Bill and Kristin Weller, owners of Farmers Brewing Co., opened their Chico Taproom in Meriam Park in summer 2022.

a joke, and then we [put] it on tap and people really liked it,” Bill said. “Everything we do is more on the subtle side.” The Wellers have also stayed local when hiring graphic designers, working with Chico artist/illustrator David Selkirk, as well as well-known Chicoraised screenprint artist Jake Early. The journey hasn’t always been easy, especially navigating opening a new business during a pandemic. It’s resulted in “a lot of gray hair that wasn’t there a few years ago,” Bill joked. “But Bill loves the challenge,” Kristin added. “It was perfect for him.” Plus, they’ve got a really good team, she said. “We feel humbled by how far we’ve come after three years of opening our production facility Farmers Brewing Co. and couldn’t have Chico Taproom 1950 Market Place done it without 530-399-7374 our talented team Upcoming event: of employees who Valentine’s Day Dinner work exceptionally Pairing for Two on hard every day.” Ω Feb. 14 (find Farmers Brewing Co. on Facebook for more info). farmersbrewing.com

Ice cream dreams by

Ken Smith kens@ n ew sr ev i ew. com


n 2013, Shenlyn and Martin Svec’s lives were changed by, of all things, a few scoops of ice cream. The couple were vacationing in Texas when they had their first taste of “artisan” ice cream from an Austin parlor called Lick Honest Ice Creams. For Shenlyn, a dream to create her own was born as they enjoyed bowls filled with exotic flavor combinations like goat cheese, thyme and honey and dark chocolate, olive oil and sea salt. Upon returning to Chico, Svec started making her own ice cream and hoped to someday share her creations beyond family and friends. Nearly a decade later, she’s realized that goal with Savor Ice Cream in Meriam Park. Savor, which opened in October,

Savor invites patrons to slow down and enjoy artisan frozen treats serves traditional dairy and vegan artisan-style ice cream in a variety of eclectic flavors of Svec’s own creation. All of Savor’s creams—and even the waffle cones—are gluten-free and made in-house. Popular flavors right now include dairy-made Earl Grey & Honey and Cookies & cream, as well as non-dairy delicacies like Vegan Orange Creamsicle and Vegan S’mores. Many of the varieties are seasonal, and Svec plans to offer options like Santa Rosa plum, balsamic strawberry and Thai basil come summer. “It takes ice cream to a more culinary level,” she said of the artisan tag. “It’s made from scratch and I like to see how far I can take each ingredient to make it work in ice cream. It’s kind of like a gourmet restaurant where they go the extra mile to focus on things like flavor pairing and layered flavors.” This distinction, she said, means Savor has a place in Chico’s already vibrant ice cream scene. “Other places in town all have their specialties that are different than ours, so I think there’s plenty of room for everyone.” Svec said this “community over competition” outlook is one of the driving forces behind Savor. To that end, several ingredients are sourced from other local businesses, including Daycamp Coffee, Chico Chai, Erickson Oranges, Alvarado Family Farms (almonds), Wofchuck Honey Co. and Heitkam’s Honey. The location also separates It took a decade to come to fruition, but Shenlyn Svec’s dream of making artisan creams has finally been realized at her brand new parlor in Meriam Park. PHOTO BY KEN SMITH

Savor from similar endeavors: “We’re out here where there wasn’t much before. There’s a lot of older homes on what used to be the outskirts of town, and now those people have a place they can walk to, which is one of the advantages of all the new businesses in Meriam Park.” The story of how Savor ended up opening in Meriam Park—after a 10-year-long rocky road to realizing Svec’s goal—is as fate-filled as those first bites in Texas. Over the years, she considered selling ice cream from a truck, a booth at the Chico Certified Farmers’ Market or a bicycle cart, but learned California law requires a brick-and-mortar location for vendors who make and sell creams. There were other obstacles as well, so she’d pretty much given up on making it a reality, though the idea resurfaced every few years. Svec said she was working parttime at the now-closed Meriam Park gardening store Plant Love Chico (her primary pre-Savor occupation was teaching) when a friend stopped in and asked if she still made ice cream. Plant Love proprietor Scott Peterson overheard the conversation, asked her about it and told her that, amazingly, Meriam Park developer Dan Gonzales was holding a space specifically for an artisan ice cream shop. She emailed Gonzales, received a reply within an hour, and set up Savor Ice Cream a meeting. 1905 Notre Dame Blvd., Ste. 100 savoricecream.com

Cups filled with Savor’s Meyer lemon and Rocky Road flavors. PHOTO BY KEN SMITH

“It wasn’t even on my radar to open a shop at the time, or to dive back into it,” she said. “I was barely making ice cream anymore, just every once in a while at home. Then things just started to line up.” She jumped at the chance, and the rest is history. She said business has been good so far, enabling her to hire nine part-time employees. In midJanuary, the store had its busiest hour to date, with people “lined up out the door,” which she hopes is an indicator of how things will shape up this summer. Svec said she trains her employees not to rush patrons, which is core to the creamery’s philosophy which she said is captured in the name Savor. The business was originally going to be called “Happy Corner,” but she was inspired to change it by a poem by Cleo Wade called “all of it,” which is about slowing down to love life and love oneself (it even reads, in part, “befriend your ingredients.”) “We tell our employees to just slow down, even if there’s a line out the door, to really be with each person,” she said. “This is their moment to taste all the flavors they want— really enjoy getting ice cream. It’s already meant to be a treat, so we want to provide a full, sweet experience.” Ω ENTREPRENEURS

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Building a ‘destination spot’ by

Jason Cassidy jason c @ new sr ev i ew. com


re you aware of the old children’s book with Ferdinand the bull?” It’s a sunny January afternoon, and Scott Barwick is talking as he walks up to the construction site that will soon be the bar he’s opening in Meriam Park with business partner Carlos Gonzales. Before we go through the door and into the dust and debris of the work in progress, he is trying to plant some visuals in this reporter’s head. The Story of Ferdinand, a classic children’s book by Munro Leaf published in 1936, is about a bull who would rather sit under a tree and smell flowers than fight matadors in a ring. “It’s kind of like, nonconformity-meets-strength and beauty,” Barwick explained. This concept is at the heart of the pitch given to the bar’s builders and designers, and it’s beautifully realized in the logo for the business drawn by Kansas illustrator Frank Norton, which features a tiger with a flower in its mouth. The flower is from the roselle plant—aka hibiscus—a nod to one of Barwick’s cocktail recipes and the name of the

Local duo prepares to open new bar and lounge in Meriam Park

business, Roselle Bar & Lounge. The tiger and the flower are the jumping off point for the rest of the bar’s intended look, which Barwick described as “mid-century modernmeets industrial-meets plant life, with a little bit of an artsy vibe” and what he stressed would be “subtle” jungle elements. Upon entering the corner space inside Meriam Park’s newly constructed steel-sided Market Building, none of those elements is readily apparent. The wavy zebra-striped tile floor is completely covered by protective tarps and the long bar is still a cinder-block skeleton. With a firm April deadline for opening, the build out is on a very compressed schedule. “I wanted to create a space that could be a spot for community interaction, and try to do bring something a little bit different—really focus on cocktails,” Barwick said. “It’s not going to be restaurant-forward, it’s going to be bar-forward.” It’s not surprising to hear that Barwick is about to open his own place. When it comes to the art of mixology in Chico, there’s perhaps no one more recognized in the local scene. Over the past decade or so, he’s crafted drink menus for and managed multiple bars—The Maltese, Argus, the Hotel Diamond and Duffy’s Tavern—and been voted as the top local mixologist in four of the last five Best of Chico contests. So, owning a bar would seem Roselle is scheduled to open its doors by April. PHOTO BY JASON CASSIDY



FEBRUARY 2, 2023

to be a natural progression of working on and refining a craft to the point that you’re recognized as one of the best. However, Barwick figured he never be able to raise the capital needed, that is, until he was approached by his would-be business partner. It was 2021, and Gonzales had recently shuttered Pacific Culture, his fermentation company of 7-plus years. Barwick said Gonzales was familiar with his work and initially approached him about opening a liquor store together. That idea was scrapped in favor of a bar in Meriam Park, and the two pooled resources and got to work on a concept that took over a year to come to fruition. “At first I was weird about not doing it downtown because my whole life has been downtown,” Barwick said. Given the post-pandemic regrowing pains that Chico’s city center has been experiencing, Barwick said

Business partners Scott Barwick (left) and Carlos Gonzales stand in front of the future home of Roselle Bar & Lounge, currently in the final phases of construction in the Meriam Park neighborhood. PHOTO BY MATT HUTTER

“It felt right to bring something somewhere else.” “Most towns you go to there are little neighborhoods and spots that pop off; Chico’s just always had the downtown,” Barwick added. “As much we have to be careful about development and how we expand as a city, I’m open to more neighborhoods getting [going].” Once the bar is up and running, Barwick will be the partner involved with day-to-day operations. “I’m excited to create a positive space and an environment that’s not a binge-drinking environment,” he said. Roselle Bar & Lounge “It’s going to be a Coming soon to: destination spot.” Ω 1920 Market Place, Ste. 140 Instagram@roselle.chico

FEBRUARY 2, 2023



Arts &Culture SLEEPING BEAUTY & PILOBOLUS Feb. 3-5 & Feb. 17 Laxson Auditorium

more. Sat, 2/4, 12pm. Free. Chico Art Studio, Corner of 8th & Flume Streets.

SLEEPING BEAUTY: See Feb. 3. Sat, 2/4, 1pm and 6pm. $23-$30. Laxson Auditorium, Chico State. (530) 898-6333 chicoperformances.com

Theater CINDERELLA: See Feb. 2. Sat, 2/4, 7:30pm. $25-$28. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Road. Ste. F. chicotheater.com

THE LARAMIE PROJECT: See Feb. 2. Sat, 2/4, 7:30pm. $12-$15. Birdcage Theatre, 1740 Bird St., Oroville. birdcagetheatre.org

Music HELLCAT MAGGIE: Live music. Sat, 2/4, 4:30pm. The Barn at Meriam Park, 1930 Market Place.

HIP-HOP NIGHT: Live MC’s at Gnarly Deli with Father Baker, Hap Hathaway, Big Slim and Max Ego. Sat, 2/4, 7pm. $10-$13. Gnarly Deli , 243 W. Second St. SMOAKLAND: A mix of Dubstep, weed and the Bay Area. Sat, 2/4, 8pm. $25-$35. El Rey Theater, 230 W. Second St. elreychico.com

SUN5 Special Events SLEEPING BEAUTY: See Feb. 3. Sun, 2/5, 6pm. $23-$30. Laxson Auditorium, Chico State. (530) 898-6333 chicoperformances.com

FEBRUARY goldcountrycasino.com

Galleries & Museums 1078 GALLERY: Rick Arnitz + John Ferrell, a two-person show featuring the works of two abstract painters who previously presented together at the 1078 Gallery in 1986. Through 2/12. Free. 1710 Park Ave. 1078gallery.org

CHICO ART CENTER: Member Showcase, submission-free, non-juried group exhibit featuring works by the 67-year-old center’s members. Through 2/20. Free. 450 Orange St. chicoart center.com

MUSEUM OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA ART: For the Love of Birds, a group show featuring works with the subject of birds, real or imaginary, wild or not, in conjunction with the annual Snow Goose Festival. Through 3/19. $5. 900 Esplanade. monca.org

THE TURNER: Documenting Dreams, two visiting artists, Juana Estrada Hernandez and Humberto Saenz, weave their life experiences as Mexican-Americans into this print exhibit. Through 4/1. Free. Arts & Humanities Building, Chico State. www.csuchico.edu/turner

Open Mics & Karaoke 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.


CINDERELLA: See Feb. 2. Sun, 2/5, 2pm. $25-$28. of the glass slipper fairy tale. Shows through Feb. 12. Thu, 2/2, 7:30pm. $25$28. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Road. Ste. F. chicotheater.com




FEBRUARY 2, 2023

COMEDY THURSDAY: Weekly comedy show and open mic hosted by Dillon Collins. Thursdays, 8pm. Free. Bella’s Sports Pub, 231 Main St. (530) 520-0119.

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. Wednesdays, 9pm. (Sign-ups 8pm.) Free. Studio Inn Lounge, 2582 Esplanade. (530) 520-0119.

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

WHAT IS ART?: Weekly open mic for all forms— music, poetry, dance, theater, etc. Thursdays, 7pm. Idea Fab Labs, 603 Orange St.


THE LARAMIE PROJECT: The Tectonic Theatre Project created this “verbatim theater” production that incorporates the words of townspeople in and around Laramie, Wyoming, interviewed in the aftermath of the murder of 21-year-old Matthew Shepard. Shows through Feb. 12. Thu, 2/2, 7:30pm. $12-$15. Birdcage Theatre, 1740 Bird St., Oroville. birdcage theatre.org

Bird St., Oroville. birdcagetheatre.org

Music DUFFY’S HAPPY HOUR: The Pub Scouts bring traditional Irish music weekly to Duffy’s. Fri, 2/3, 5pm. Duffy’s Tavern, 337 Main Street. 530-343-7718.

MELAINE KENDRICK: Live music. Fri, 2/3, 5pm. Odyssey Winery & Vineyards, 6237 Cohasset Road.

RITA HOSKING: Northern California’s Rita

FRI3 Special Events CHRISTOPHER TITUS: Veteran comedian featured on Comedy Central and HBO, plus his own sitcom on Fox. Fri, 2/3, 8pm. $25-$35. El Rey Theater, 230 W. Second St. elreychico.com

SLEEPING BEAUTY: Chico Performances presents this Chico Community Ballet production of the classic Tchaikovskyscored ballet. Four shows in three days. Fri, 2/3, 7:30pm. $23-$30. Laxson Auditorium, Chico State. (530) 898-6333 chicoperformances.com



CINDERELLA: The classic Rodgers and

CINDERELLA: See Feb. 2. Fri, 2/3, 7:30pm.

Hammerstein musical based on the story

THE LARAMIE PROJECT: See Feb. 2. Fri, 2/3, 7:30pm. $12-$15. Birdcage Theatre, 1740

$25-$28. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Road. Ste. F. chicotheater.com

Hosking sings of forest fires, culture clash, dishes, black holes and hope. Hannah Jane Kile and Dear Darling open. Tix available at Pullins Cyclery and Music Connection (cash only) or eventbrite.com. Fri, 2/3, 6:30pm. $22. Chico Women’s Club, 592 E. Third St.

SOULFISTICATION: Live music. Fri, 2/3, 4:30pm. The Barn at Meriam Park, 1930 Market Place.

YING YANG TWINS: Atlanta-born hip-hop duo returns to The Box. Fri, 2/3, 9pm. $35$40. Tackle Box, 379 E. Park Ave. tackleboxchico.com

SAT4 Special Events FLUME STREET FAIR: Art, crafts, jewelry, stained glass, ceramics, live music and

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

THE LARAMIE PROJECT: See Feb. 2. Sun, 2/5, 2pm. $12$15. Birdcage Theatre, 1740 Bird St., Oroville. birdcagetheatre.org

WED8 Special Events MAGIC & MYSTERY: Chico Magical Arts presents a trio of magicians for this evening: Dean Waters, Stephen Chollet and Kris Bentz. Wed, 2/8, 7pm. $20. Unwined Kitchen & Bar, 980 Mangrove Ave.

Music DAVID ROVICS: KZFR presents intimate evening in Studio 416 with the outspoken political singer/ songwriter. Wed, 2/8, 7pm. $20. KZFR, 341 Broadway. kzfr.org

THU9 Theater CINDERELLA: See Feb. 2. Thu, 2/9, 7:30pm. $25-$28. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Road. Ste. F. chicotheater.com

THE LARAMIE PROJECT: See Feb. 2. Thu, 2/9, 7:30pm. $12-$15. Birdcage Theatre, 1740 Bird St., Oroville. birdcagetheatre.org

Music BRIAN “GRAVY” ASHER: Gravy Brain guitarist Brian


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

“Gravy” Asher and his special guest. Thu, 2/9, 5:30pm. Free. Mulberry Station Brewing

and speakers. Sat, 2/11, 10am. Stonewall Alliance, 358 E. Sixth St.

Company, 175 E. 20th Street. 530-809-5616.

FRI10 Special Events THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES: Come support Chico State, Catalyst Domestic Violence Services, and WHS and let your vagina be heard! We want to hear your voice! Fri, 2/10, 7pm. $10$15. Rowland-Taylor Recital Hall, Chico State, Performing Arts Center 134.

Theater CINDERELLA: See Feb. 2. Fri, 2/10, 7:30pm. $25$28. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Road. Ste. F. chicotheater.com

THE LARAMIE PROJECT: See Feb. 2. Fri, 2/10, 7:30pm. $12-$15. Birdcage Theatre, 1740 Bird St., Oroville. birdcagetheatre.org

Music DUFFY’S HAPPY HOUR: The Pub Scouts bring traditional Irish music weekly to Duffy’s. Fri, 2/10, 5pm. Duffy’s Tavern, 337 Main Street. 530-343-7718.

KYLE WILLIAMS: Live music. No cover. Fri, 2/10, 4:30pm. The Barn at Meriam Park, 1930 Market Place.

LIVE MUSIC IN THE LOUNGE: Live music and DJs for dancing in Spirits Lounge. Fri, 2/10, 8:30pm. Free. Gold Country Casino & Hotel, 4020 Olive Highway, Oroville. goldcountrycasino.com

RUNNING IN THE SHADOWS: A tribute to the music of Fleetwood Mac. Fri, 2/10, 8pm. Unwined Kitchen & Bar, 980 Mangrove Ave.

SAT11 Special Events FLUME STREET FAIR: Art, crafts, jewelry, stained glass, ceramics, live music and more. Sat, 2/11, 12pm. Free. Chico Art Studio, Corner of

Annual Black History Month Pop-Up Event! Featuring a wildly talented lineup of local Black vendors, chefs, artists, performers,

gifts by local artisans for sale. Plus, live music! Sun, 2/12, 5pm. Argus Bar + Patio, 212 W. Second St.

Theater CINDERELLA: See Feb. 2. Sat, 2/11, 7:30pm. $25$28. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Road. Ste. F. chicotheater.com

THE LARAMIE PROJECT: See Feb. 2. Sat, 2/11, 7:30pm. $12-$15. Birdcage Theatre, 1740 Bird St., Oroville. birdcagetheatre.org

Theater CINDERELLA: See Feb. 2. Sun, 2/12, 2pm. $25$28. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Road. Ste. F. chicotheater.com

THE LARAMIE PROJECT: See Feb. 2. Sun, 2/12, 2pm. $12-$15. Birdcage Theatre, 1740 Bird St., Oroville. birdcagetheatre.org

Music GUERRA DE BANDAS: Estas invitado a celebrar el día del amor y la amistad en guerra de bandas adentro de El Rey. Bandas: Banda Perla Alegre de Jalisco, Banda Valle Alegre, DJ 50 Sat, 2/11, 8pm. $30-$40. El Rey Theater, 230 W. Second St. elreychico.com

LIVE MUSIC IN THE LOUNGE: Live music and DJs for dancing in Spirits Lounge. Sat, 2/11, 8:30pm. Free. Gold Country Casino & Hotel, 4020 Olive Highway, Oroville. goldcountrycasino.com

NORTH STATE SYMPHONY – MASTERWORKS 3: In this program titled Haydn’s Drumroll, the symphony highlights its Young Artist Winners, James Johnston and Sarah Harris. The evening will include the works of Haydn, Offenbach and more. Nor-Cal youth orchestras are also invited to the stage for Schubert’s overture “In the Italian Style.” Sat, 2/11, 7:30pm. $15-$45. Laxson Auditorium, Chico State. (530) 898-4636. northstatesymphony.org

TYLER DEVOLL: Live singer/songwriter. Sat, 2/11, 5pm. Odyssey Winery & Vineyards, 6237 Cohasset Road.

SUN12 Special Events LOVE YOU TO THE CORE: Lassen Traditional Cidery celebrates Valentine’s Day with local makers, artists and small business owners, plus cider tastings, food and tarot card readings. Sun, 2/12, 12pm. Lassen Cider, 643 Entler Ave., Stes. 52-53.

8th & Flume Streets.


STUPID CUPID: Unique and locally crafted

RICK ARNITZ + JOHN FERRELL Shows through Feb. 12 1078 Gallery

Music BROKEN COMPASS BLUEGRASS: Jamgrass crew returns to the brewery. All ages. Sun, 2/12, 3pm. Secret Trail Brewing Company, 132 Meyers St., Ste. 120. secrettrailbrewing.com



Feb. 19 Duffy’s Tavern

Special Events VALENTINE’S DAY DINNER & SHOW WITH THE MALTEAZERS: Experience the romance of a pre fixe four course meal with six burlesque performances throughout the night. Purchase includes show, meal with entrée of your choice, and 18 percent gratuity. Tue, 2/14, 6:30pm. $59-$88.50. Gnarly Deli , 243 W. Second St. gnarlydeli.square.site

THE EMO NIGHT TOUR: DJs will be spinning all

Music ALLIE COLLEEN: Oklahoma-raised, Nashvillebased singer/songwriter just released her album, Stones. Tue, 2/14, 8:30pm. $20. Tackle Box, 379 E. Park Ave.. tackleboxchico.com

THU16 Music TINY DUMPLING DESK: Brittany and Reid from the Blisstones will be playing a chill dinner show. Thu, 2/16, 6pm. Drunken Dumpling, 1414 Park Ave.

WARREN G: Regulators, mount up for this throwback G-Funk party with West Coast hip-hop legend Warren G. Thu, 2/16, 9pm. $35-$40. Tackle Box, 379 E. Park Ave. tackleboxchico.com

FRI17 Special Events ANTIQUES & VINTAGE SHOW: A second-hand swap meet at the fairgrounds. Three days. $6 entry. Fri, 2/17, 10am. Silver Dollar Fairgrounds, 2357 Fair St. tbcashows.info

PILOBOLUS : The cutting-edge dance company celebrates its half-century birthday with the BIG FIVE-OH! Tour, bringing audiences a mix of, often reimagined, pieces from its history. Fri, 2/17, 7:30pm. $38-$48. Laxson Auditorium, Chico State. chicoperformances.com

Music DUFFY’S HAPPY HOUR: The Pub Scouts bring traditional Irish music weekly to Duffy’s. Fri, 2/17, 5pm. Duffy’s Tavern, 337 Main Street. 530-343-7718.

the angst your teenage dirtbag heart desires all night long. Fri, 2/17, 8pm. $15$18. Senator Theater, 517 Main St. jmaxproductions.net

OFF THE RECORD: Live rock ’n’ roll. Fri, 2/17, 8:30pm. Unwined Kitchen & Bar, 980 Mangrove Ave..

PAT HULL: Local singer/songwriter live. No cover. Fri, 2/17, 4:30pm. The Barn at Meriam Park, 1930 Market Place.

TYLER DEVOLL: Live music. Fri, 2/17, 5pm. Odyssey Winery & Vineyards, 6237 Cohasset Road.

SAT18 Special Events ANTIQUES & VINTAGE SHOW: See Feb. 17. Sat, 2/18, 10am. Silver Dollar Fairgrounds, 2357 Fair St. tbcashows.info

local faves Mystic Roots & Blaze. Sat, 2/18, 9pm. $25-$30. Tackle Box, 379 E. Park Ave. tackleboxchico.com

KATIE BARRETT: Live music. Sat, 2/18, 5pm. Odyssey Winery & Vineyards, 6237 Cohasset Road.

BLÜ EGYPTIAN: Young Chico jammers throw a party in the barn. Music until 7pm. Sat, 2/18, 4:30pm. The Barn at Meriam Park, 1930 Market Place.

LIVE MUSIC IN THE LOUNGE: Live music and DJs for dancing in Spirits Lounge. Sat, 2/18, 8:30pm. Free. Gold Country Casino & Hotel, 4020 Olive Highway, Oroville. goldcountrycasino.com

SUN19 Special Events ANTIQUES & VINTAGE SHOW: See Feb. 17. Sun 2/19 10am. Silver Dollar Fairgrounds, 2357 Fair St. tbcashows.info

BURNS NIGHT WHISKY TASTING & DINNER: Butte County Scottish Society & ChicoLeland Stanford Lodge present a taste of Scotland, with single-malt whiskies, bagpipes, Robert Burns poems and more. Ticket includes one beverage. Event proceeds will benefit: Catalyst Domestic Violence Services, 6th Street Center for Youth and Shriners Helping Children. Sat, 2/18, 5pm. Chico Masonic Family Center, 1110 W. East Ave.. burnsnightcharity dinnerchico.ticketleap.com

FLUME STREET FAIR: Art, crafts, jewelry, stained glass, ceramics, live music and more. Sat, 2/18, 12pm. Free. Chico Art Studio, Corner of 8th & Flume Streets.

CHICO COMEDY: Comedy show at the Mulberry Station in Chico, CA Sun, 2/19, 8pm. Mulberry Station Brewing Company, 175 E. 20th St.

Music DETROIT COBRAS, LOSIN’ STREAKS, THE WINDUPS: The Detroit Cobras are reuniting for their first tour since the passing of singer Rachel Nagy. Marcus Durant of Zen Guerilla takes lead vocal duty, as he recently did onstage at Nagy’s memorial. The Losin’ Streaks and The Wind-Ups open. Sun, 2/19, 7:30pm. $20-$25. Duffy’s Tavern, 337 Main St. eventbrite.com

Music AFROMAN, MYSTIC ROOTS, BLAZE1: La da da da la da da la la da da, it’s Afroman! With


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C O N T I N U E D F R O M PA G E 2 1


FRI24 Special Events LOCAL NURSERY CRAWL: There are 12 nursery locations to visit over two days. Participants are encouraged to visit as many as they can and in any order that they like. Each visit earns a stamp on the Nursery Crawl Flier. Fri, 2/24, 9am. Free. See website for flier. (530) 894-5410. LocalNurseryCrawl.com

Music THE BILL MASH BASH: KZFR and Eve of Destruction are teaming up to throw a memorial rock show for our dear, departed friend, Bill Mash. Fri, 2/24, 7pm. $10. Chico Women’s Club, 592 E. Third St. kzfr.org

DUFFY’S HAPPY HOUR: The Pub Scouts bring traditional Irish music weekly to Duffy’s. Fri, 2/24, 5pm. Duffy’s Tavern, 337 Main Street. 530-343-7718.

LIVE MUSIC IN THE LOUNGE: Live music and DJs for dancing in Spirits Lounge. Fri, 2/24, 8:30pm. Free. Gold Country Casino & Hotel, 4020 Olive Highway, Oroville. goldcountrycasino.com

NEIL BERG’S 50 YEARS OF ROCK AND ROLL: Composer, lyricist, and producer Neil Berg shares songs and stories of the first 50 years of rock and roll, from its birth in the 1940s through the 90s. Fri, 2/24, 7:30pm. $36-$46. Laxson Auditorium, Chico State. chicoperformances. com

REECE THOMPSON: Live music. Fri, 2/24, 5pm. Odyssey Winery & Vineyards, 6237 Cohasset Road.

SAT25 Special Events FLUME STREET FAIR: Art, crafts, jewelry, stained glass, ceramics, live music and more. Sat, 2/25, 12pm. Free. Chico Art Studio, Corner of 8th & Flume St.

LOCAL NURSERY CRAWL: See Feb. 24. Sat, 2/25, 9am. Free. See website for flier. (530) 894-5410. LocalNurseryCrawl.com


Music CASEY DONAHEW: This Texas singer/songwriter’s last four albums charted on the Billboard Country top 10. Sat, 2/25, 9pm. $25-$30. Tackle Box, 379 E. Park Ave. tackleboxchico.com

CHUCK EPPERSON BAND: Live music. No cover. Sat, 2/25, 4:30pm. The Barn at Meriam Park, 1930 Market Place. DANIEL HIESTAND MEMORIAL CONCERT: Chico State’s Department of Music and Theatre presents the annual performance, this year titled “Past Empowering the Present.” Sat, 2/25, 7:30pm. Free. Harlen Adams Theatre, Chico State, PAC 144. 530-898-3300.

LIVE MUSIC IN THE LOUNGE: Live music and DJs for dancing in Spirits Lounge. Sat, 2/25, 8:30pm. Free. Gold Country Casino & Hotel, 4020 Olive Highway, Oroville. goldcountrycasino.com

SUN FOLLOWERS: Live music. Sat, 2/25, 5pm. Odyssey Winery & Vineyards, 6237 Cohasset Road.


BILL FEST A benefit for Safe Space Winter Shelter, featuring a marathon of Chico bands all presented by KZFR community radio. This is exactly how you memorialize Bill “Guillermo” Mash, with all of his passions and community work combined in one special event. The Bill Mash Bash will take place Feb. 24 at Chico Women’s Club, and will feature an eclectic lineup of Bill’s musician friends: Tite Nauts, XDS, Empty Gate, Loki Miller, Sons of Jefferson, Viking Skate Country, October Coalition Family Band, Second Hand Smoke, Cat Depot and Pretty Pills. 22


FEBRUARY 2, 2023

Special Events TREEOLOGY: Inspired by California’s epic wildfires chronicled by The New York Times journalist John Branch, Thor Steingraber and Etienne Gara have created a musical response and a tribute to these precious trees. Composers Billy Childs, Steven Mackey and Gabriella Smith—all with deep California roots—have composed original music for this three-part concert. Tue, 2/28, 7:30pm. $40. Laxson Auditorium, Chico State. chicoperformances.com

Music SUNDAYS AT TWO: Bay Area mezzo-soprano Shauna Fallihee joins soprano Dara Scholz and pianist Sandra Wright for an afternoon of solo and chamber music. Sun, 2/26, 2pm. Free. Recital Hall, Chico State, ARTS 279. 530-898-3300.

SCENE Maddie Quillin, aka Maevyn Corvid, began making art to work through her feelings after a major medical event and diagnosis changed the course of her life. Quillin’s first art work was “Beasts of a Feather” (detail pictured), featuring a pair of canvases using bones and other media to represent the circle of life, death and rebirth.

From the

‘Shed of the Dead’ Oincreasingly series of mysterious and concerning medical

n June 4, 2021, after suffering a

episodes, Maddie Quillin had a massive seizure in her car on the story and side of Interstate photos by Ken Smith 5, an experience she refers to as kens@ when she “died.” newsrev iew.c om Though she didn’t technicalVisit Maevyn: putrisimmoderata.com ly die that day, her word choice is understandable. Prolonged and severe seizures like she experienced can be fatal or cause permanent neurological damage, which she fortunately avoided. Exhaustive medical investigation led to a diagnosis of an extreme form of a rare, degenerative, hereditary disorder called Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. She was declared disabled, and had to leave her established career in the medical field and scrap plans to attend nursing school that fall. Her social life was impacted by leaving her job, and by necessary

Finding a new purpose in art after life-changing tragedy

lifestyle changes for her condition which, on bad days, necessitates the use of a crutch or wheelchair. In the midst of all that, her partner broke up with her. It was a lot for the then-27-year-old to handle. But in the wake of Quillin’s proverbial “death,” something unexpected happened: Maevyn Corvid was born. Maevyn Corvid is Quillin’s artist name, and her work is a mishmash of different media and found objects—including furs, feathers, skulls, bones and other animal anatomical bits—that can fairly be described as both macabre and marvelous. She uses only ethically sourced items that would otherwise be thrown away or left to rot, and her art—which she collectively calls Putris Immoderata (which she says is Latin for “decaying obsession”)—is informed by her unique perspectives. “It’s all centered around the circle of life and death and taking something that otherwise would be wasted or lost to the world, and giving it a

second chance at something new,” she said during a visit to Idea Fab Labs (IFL), where she was recently selected for the maker space’s Resident Artist Incubator Program. Before her diagnosis, Quillin said

she had no experience with art and never aspired to be an artist, yet her work displays the style and technique of someone who has been at it for years. Her first pieces were Quillin’s doll creations on display at Idea Fab Labs during the Open Studios Art Tour.

a pair of large canvases incorporating goat horns, turkey feathers and assorted bones called “Beasts of a Feather.” On one canvas, a strange beast is—in the artist’s words—“moving from the dark into the light, extending a hand with a flower to get what it needs from the universe.” Its counterpart on the second canvas “is moving from the light into the dark, leaving the trail of broken glass in its wake.” “[Making ‘Beasts’] was my way of working my way through my breakup and my frustration with the universe,” she said. “I’d worked so hard to get to a place where I was working a good job, loved what I was doing. … It had taken me a long time to get there, and it was all gone overnight for nothing, and I was mad.” A friend saw the pieces and encouraged Quillin to apply to be a vendor at the 2021 Bizarre Bazaar— an annual holiday art and craft showcase produced by the Chikoko art/fashion collective. She dismissed the idea at first, but eventually submitted and was accepted. Quillan said she was nervous. Not only had she never shown her work before, but she’d also told only a few people about her illness or having to use a wheelchair. Nevertheless, her premiere was a smashing success. “Chico gave me the biggest, warmest, friendliest hug in the world. I left that weekend given a purpose,” she recalled. Quillin threw herself into her art after that, creating a body of work that soon outgrew her house—a 240-square-foot tiny home she calls the “Shed of the Dead” and shares with two dogs and a goat—and

spurred her to rent space at IFL. She’s since exhibited elsewhere in Chico, and at events in Sacramento, Nevada City and the Bay Area. Quillin is working on a whole new

collection as part of the IFL residency program, which is meant to help artists incorporate digital fabrication tools and techniques—laser cutters, 3-D printing, electronics, LED lights, robotics, etc.—into their work. She’ll also conduct some free-to-the-public seminars and workshops on some of her established techniques (like taxidermy). The program will culminate with gallery exhibits and events this spring at IFL Chico and IFL Santa Cruz. Though much of Quillin’s work has an organic feel to it, she said the skills she’s learning will broaden her horizons. She uses only what she has or can ethically/legally attain. Since it’s difficult to source some animal parts and others are against the law to possess (“Fish and Game does not mess around,” she said), she makes useful facsimiles via 3-D printing. The IFL exhibition she’s planning will also incorporate sensors, LED lights she’ll program herself, interactive elements and even robotics. More than anything, Quillin’s artmaking has given her some direction and peace after a cataclysmic life— and death—event. “Once I accepted the fact I don’t have control over the majority of things in life, and none of us do, it was like the most freeing cathartic thing ever, because I was able to say ‘I’m gonna try to do what makes me happy.’ And realistically, that’s kinda playing with dead things, and other people seem to appreciate it.” Ω FEBRUARY 2, 2023




New flavor on the block Pakistani restaurant joins Chico’s growing international scene on Broadway

W taurant Sofi’z Kitchen and Bar, it is now possible to sample food and culture from ith the recent opening of Pakistani res-

around the world within just a few steps along the 100 block of Broadway in downtown Chico. In addiby tion to local Mexican cuisine Ken Smith staples Tres Hombres and kens@ Aca Taco and the longstandnewsrev iew.c om ing Thai Basil, Sofi’z—along with the established Alibaba Sofi’z Kitchen (Syrian/Mediterranean food) and Bar and opened-last-year Lili’s 134 Broadway Brazilian Bistro—completes (530) 592-3969 a trifecta of newer, exotic Open TuesdaySunday, eateries all lined up next 11 a.m.-9 p.m. door to each other. This new addition adds significantly to the developing cosmopolitan character of the block. The allwindow storefront offers an intriguing peek at the interior of Sofi’z, with its blue accents and bountiful strings of flowers and baubles dangling from the ceiling. The restaurant was near capacity when I visited recently—not bad for a drizzly weekday lunch-hour less than a month after its Dec. 17 opening—and several welcoming staff members invited me to take a seat at the bar, where one of two big-screen TVs played videos of elaborately dressed, beautiful women doing synchronized dances. I resisted temptation to have a glass of wine or a beer from Sofi’z wide selection, and instead enjoyed a sip from a glass poured from a decanter of cold water delivered by a friendly waiter. Within minutes, a woman I soon discovered was owner Sofia Ahmed herself placed a small dish of nimco—a trail mix-like blend of spicy salty peanuts, lentils, garbanzo beans and crispy noodles—in front of me and said, “Thank you for visiting my little restaurant,” before returning to her cooking duties. I’ll admit I don’t have much experience with Pakistani food. Several of the dishes are regional variations of Indian and Mediterranean entrees I’m more familiar with, and the menu provides paragraph-length descriptions of each item. I opted for a shami chicken kebab appetizer (a small, fried patty of ground chicken, lantum and spices served with a vegetable and yogurt sauce called raita, $2.99); cheese-stuffed paratha (flour naan-like bread which includes 24


FEBRUARY 2, 2023

meat or potato filling options, $8); and hot and spicy chicken and rice (breaded chicken cubes in a thick, sweet sauce served with basmati rice, $11.99). The food was all superb, and a welcome diversion from the norm. The chicken dish was especially delicious, with the portion substantial enough for me to enjoy it again for that night’s dinner. It certainly lived up to its name, and I was thankful for that bottle of water. The woman behind the bar—Sofia’s sister, Maira—was very pleasant, and she had a great sense of humor. When I asked if the movie that started was Indian or Pakistani, she confirmed it was a Bollywood production, which she explained tend to be more lighthearted. “In Pakistan the films are a lot more serious. We’re Muslim so when we get sad we read the Koran. When Indians get sad they sing and dance,” she joked. As I sat enjoying the meal and the movie, Chico lawyer/luminary Denny Latimer and a friend also bellied up to the bar, and began extolling the restaurant’s virtues. Latimer said he’d brought his whole family the previous weekend. (I don’t personally know him, but I have seen him perform at Bloomsday

Sofia Ahmed on the job at Sofi’z Kitchen and Bar, which she opened in downtown Chico in December. Right: The “rice and spice” plate (breaded chicken with sweet sauce served with basmati rice), a shami kebab appetizer and a bowl of raita at Sofi’z. PHOTOS BY KEN SMITH

events with Irishmusic choir Celtic Knights of the Sea. I told him as much, which led to an a discussion about the James Joyce book Ulysses, during which he told me the secret to finishing the notoriously difficult book is reading it backwards.) As the lunch rush died down, Ahmed joined

the conversation and shared her history, a story as unexpected and intriguing as the rest of my visit to the restaurant. It turns out she

is a celebrity in her home country, a veteran actress of more than 20 years who, after several visits to America, decided to move here with her father, sister and son. She landed in New Jersey three years ago and opened a restaurant, at the time not even knowing how to speak English. Then the pandemic started, leading to that venture’s closure and concerns about her family’s health. During one previous tour of America—while serving as an emcee for efforts to raise money for breast cancer (she mentioned she’s a cancer survivor herself, and donated her appearance fees back to the organization)—she’d met and befriended Chico’s Farshad Azad, owner of Azad’s Martial Arts Center. Azad suggested she come to Chico, which she said she’d previously visited and fell in love with, so she did. With the world in COVID lockdown, Sofia studied English and received a GED and certification to be a medical assistant, and got a job at Chico Eye Center, where she said she loved the work but continued to dream of opening her own restaurant. Since that dream came true these past couple of months, she said she’s been working constantly, losing sleep, and loving every minute of it. When asked which of her recipes visitors should try first, she strongly recommends the qurma (goat curry, $19.50) and the paya curry (made with goat’s hooves, $20). She said some of the most popular dishes are the chicken biryani ($17) and the lunch I had (which she calls “spice-and-rice” and said she invented for her son). The biggest raves she hears, though, are for her samosas. “Everyone is loving my samosas and people tell me a lot of stories about how it is the best they’ve ever had,” she said. “Last Saturday night alone we sold 233 of them!” All in all, it was an extraordinary visit to downtown Chico, enjoying a lunch of new flavors while discussing Irish literature with a local icon and cracking jokes with an internationally famous actress/model. Not bad for a rainy Tuesday afternoon. Ω

REEL WORLD An epic journey with EO.

Meanwhile, some further highlights

‘Fundamental cinema’ A special new film, plus streaming odds and ends

A Portland movie house feeling I’d just witnessed something truly

few weeks back, I walked out of a

extraordinary—Jerzy Skolimowski’s EO. This beautifully unhurried by account of a Juan-Carlos donkey’s epic Selznick journey through bits and pieces of the modern world left me feeling a glowing sort of exhilaration, a kind of awe for which there are few adequate words. What I will say, nevertheless— on the film’s behalf—is this: the donkey (the eponymous “EO”) is the film’s main character and the implicit nucleus of its prevailing point of view. But there is no anthropocentric sentiment in play:

the donkey is a donkey throughout, and that hovering point-of-view is a kind of richly contextual awareness, casual and inclusive, and large enough to embrace EO and much else, including creatures and circumstances, “human” and otherwise. And the poetic power of that alertness and awareness in the film resides as much in immediate sight and sound as in anything that is said or done in the onscreen action. The color cinematography is richly expressive without ever being arty or conventionally “pretty.” And the sound, ambient and otherwise, gives the film a strangely compelling musicality that has little to do with conventional movie music. As such, EO is something bet-

ter, and different, than a “must-see” movie. It’s fundamental cinema— alive to the best watching, listening and feeling a viewer can bring to it.

from the Stream & Dream Lounge: Tár (Prime Video) is a sleekly seductive, subtly ironic character study. Cate Blanchett, with Todd Field directing, gives a brilliantly sustained performance as the eponymous orchestra conductor, whose blindness to the effects on others of her own high-minded manipulations leads to personal and professional crises that she repeatedly fails to fully recognize. It’s the portrait of a mad genius, but it’s also something more than that—the tragedy, let’s say, of a charismatic soul, a life in which genius and madness feed, disastrously, on each other. Elvis (HBO Max) is Oscar-bait that has succeeded in getting an armload (8) of nominations. But it’s also a spectacular and rather unwieldy jumble—a prestige biopic, by the chronically overamped Baz Luhrmann, about an overexposed show-biz immortal who is in no particular need of further introduction. What I do like about it, however, is that it also tries to be a portrait of Presley’s oddly manipulative manager, Col. Tom Parker with the latter (queasily played by Tom Hanks) also serving as the film’s not entirely reliable narrator. There’s a very interesting movie waiting to be made in all that, but for the most part, it’s still waiting. The Fabelmans (Prime): Steven Spielberg’s portrait of the artist as a young boy is smartly entertaining throughout, but it comes most fully to life with the adults in

the story—the boy’s father (Paul Dano), his parents’ “best friend” (Seth Rogen), a fiercely irascible uncle (Judd Hirsch), and — best of all, by far—the fledgling filmmaker’s conflicted, angelic mother (Michelle Williams). The great Hollywood director John Ford is also a presence in the story, mostly by way of allusions to his films, but ultimately “in person” in a memorable scene where he’s played incognito by someone you probably know but may not recognize at first. Slow Horses (Apple TV, two seasons), based on the spy novels of Mick Herron, chronicles the tragicomic escapades of a group of misfit British spies. Gary Oldman has an iconic role as the uproariously rumpled and fearsome leader of the group, but a charmingly gritty ensemble of supporting players has every bit as much to do with the series’ prickly, roguish, antically rank appeal. A raspy theme song by Mick Jagger is an apposite part of the overall mix. God’s Crooked Lines (Netflix), a Spanish production directed by Oriol Paulo, is a brilliantly convoluted psychological mystery in which a glamorous heiress (Bárbara Lennie) gets herself checked into a posh psychiatric asylum, ostensibly for purposes of investigating a recent inmate death. But she soon finds herself challenged by doubts about the place and its imperious leading doctor—as well as by uncertainties about her own motives and mental state. All in all, it’s a richly engaging character study, steeped in social psychology and emerging from a slow-burning psychodrama fueled by mysteries within mysteries. Honorable mentions: (1) Harry Melling as Edgar Allan Poe in Pale Blue Eye (Netflix), an atmospheric period piece and mystery tale that falls flat after a very promising start; (2) the vivid existential fragmentation of Decision to Leave (Prime), Park Chan-wook’s South Korean tale of a detective falling in and out of love with the suspect in a murder case—and with much else in his life; (3) Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren as Montana ranching royalty in 1923 (Paramount+). Ω

Tár—genius, madness, music. FEBRUARY 2, 2023



ARTS DEVO by JASON CASSIDY • jasonc@newsreview.com

YOU APPRECIATE MUSIC? YOU CHALLENGING ME!? We are right in the middle of the season, and things are starting to get pretty intense. As a professional Music League player, sharp focus and decisive action is required: What is my “Road Trip” pick—the first song to play as the car hits the highway? “Roadrunner” by The Modern Lovers? Too obvious? Or obviously the best choice for inspiring adventure and “going faster miles an hour”? You’ll have to excuse Arts DEVO if he isn’t very present. I’ve found the best kind of distraction in the Music League app, which has me picking songs to fit fun categories in a good-natured competition with fellow music nerds. Why am I talking about this here in a local arts column? Because Music League is fun. Yeah, it’s another smartphone time suck, and you have to use Spotify to do it, but it’s a better choice than most of the virtual junk— but I want you to have fun, to listen to curated playlists and chat with friends about the music you love. Top five people you’d ask to join Music League? Time out is over. Gotta get back in the game, back to this road trip song. An Andrew W.K. banger? Wanderlusting with The Boss? Maybe something with a ton of F-bombs to holler along with … N.W.A?! No. Wait, Die Antwoord. Yes! “Jump motherfucker, jump motherfucker, jump!”

LOCAL STREAMING It seems impossible that 15 years have passed since legendary Chico-via Hamilton City-music legend Matt Hogan passed away. To honor the man and mark the anniversary (Jan. 13), another righteous local-music stud (and former CN&R stud), Charles Mohnike, has tracked down a bunch of dusty cassettes and CDs featuring the old-school rock/rockabilly recordings of Hogan and his band The Incredible Diamonds, cleaned up the sounds and posted an 18-song compilation, For the Tough and the Tender, for streaming and/or download at theincrediblediamonds.com. It’s a great tribute and an energetic shot of nostalgia. Also now on the web: Over the past couple of years, local playwright Wade Gess has been trying to get his works onto local stages. COVID-19 and the usual challenges of breaking through as a young writer have made this a chore, but Gess has not simply left the production of his plays to fate. For the past year, he’s been uploading videos of performances to YouTube. So far, there’s the pandemic-era Stuff N’ Things filmed at an empty, locked-down Blue Room Theatre, as well as a garage performance of last year’s The Death Clock Paradox. Last month, Gess added Some Script, a scene from a movie he’s been writing. It’s a low-key affair, starring Gess, a couple of out-of-touch roommates and a silent boulder. Watch all of it at youtube.com/@wadegess5440 (and look for an in-person rendition of The Death Clock Paradox opening at the new Blue Room May 26). DEVOTIONS: • What is art? That’s the guiding question for the new weekly What is Art? open mic series debuting Feb. 2 at Idea Fab Labs (603 Orange St.). It’s happening every Thursday, at 6 p.m., and is open to music, poetry, dance, performance art and theater—any art you have to offer.

Matt Hogan



FEBRUARY 2, 2023

• Live at the Goose: The Winchester Goose is finally starting to put its beautiful big stage to use. It’s been a mostly local calendar thus far—with Surrogate and Lish Bills already playing shows. Next: two Chico bands—Solar Estates and Greyloom—plus Redding’s Belda Beast Feb. 25, at 8 p.m.

FREE WILL ASTROLOGY ARIES (March 21-April 19): Theoretically,

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): In esoteric

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): The ingredient

are mostly ready for the educational adventures and experiments that are possible. The uncertainties that accompany them, whether real or imagined, will bring out the best in you. For optimal results, you should apply your nighttime thinking to daytime activities, and vice versa. Wiggle free of responsibilities unless they teach you noble truths. And finally, summon the intuitive powers that will sustain you and guide you through the brilliant shadow initiations. (PS: Take the wildest rides you dare as long as they are safe.)

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Fate has decreed, “Leos must be wanderers for a while.” You are under no obligation to obey this mandate, of course. Theoretically, you could resist it. But if you do indeed rebel, be sure your willpower is very strong. You will get away with outsmarting or revising fate only if your discipline is fierce and your determination is intense. OK? So let’s imagine that you will indeed bend fate’s decree to suit your needs. What would that look like? Here’s one possibility: The “wandering” you undertake can be done in the name of focused exploration rather than aimless meandering.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): I wish I could

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): I can’t definitively predict you will receive an influx of cash in the next three weeks. It’s possible, though. And I’m not able to guarantee you’ll be the

Revamped and refurbished things are coming back for another look. Retreads and redemption-seekers are headed in your direction. I think you should consider giving them an audience. They are likely to be more fun or interesting or useful during their second time around. Dear Sagittarius, I suspect that the imminent future may also invite you to consider the possibility of accepting stand-ins and substitutes and imitators. They may turn out to be better than the so-called real things they replace. In conclusion, be receptive to Plan Bs, second choices, and alternate routes. They could lead you to the exact opportunities you didn’t know you needed.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Author Neil Gaiman declared, “I’ve never known anyone who was what he or she seemed.” While that may be generally accurate, it will be far less true about you Capricorns in the coming weeks. By my astrological reckoning, you will be very close to what you seem to be. The harmony between your deep inner self and your outer persona will be at recordbreaking levels. No one will have to wonder if they must be wary of hidden agendas lurking below your surface. Everyone can be confident that what they see in you is what they will get from you. This is an amazing accomplishment! Congrats!

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): “I want to raise up the magic world all round me and live strongly and quietly there,” wrote Aquarian author Virginia Woolf in her diary. What do you think she meant by “raise up the magic world all round me”? More importantly, how would you raise up the magic world around you? Meditate fiercely and generously on that tantalizing project. The coming weeks will be an ideal time to attend to such a wondrous possibility. You now have extra power to conjure up healing, protection, inspiration, and mojo for yourself.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Before going to sleep, I asked my subconscious mind to bring a dream that would be helpful for you. Here’s what it gave me: In my dream, I was reading a comic book titled Zoe Stardust Quells Her Demon. On the first page, Zoe was facing a purple monster whose body was beastly but whose face looked a bit like hers. On page two, the monster chased Zoe down the street, but Zoe escaped. In the third scene, the monster was alone, licking its fur. In the fourth scene, Zoe sneaked up behind the monster and shot it with a blow dart that delivered a sedative, knocking it unconscious. In the final panel, Zoe had arranged for the monster to be transported to a lush uninhabited island where it could enjoy its life without bothering her. Now here’s my dream interpretation, Pisces: Don’t directly confront your inner foe or nagging demon. Approach stealthily and render it inert. Then banish it from your sphere, preferably forever.

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.


help you understand and manage a situation that has confused you. I’d love to bolster your strength to deal with substitutes that have been dissipating your commitment to the Real Things. In a perfect world, I could emancipate you from yearnings that are out of sync with your highest good. And maybe I’d be able to teach you to dissolve a habit that has weakened your willpower. And why can’t I be of full service to you in these ways? Because, according to my assessment, you have not completely acknowledged your need for this help. So neither I nor anyone else can provide it. But now that you’ve read this horoscope, I’m hoping you will make yourself more receptive to the necessary support and favors and relief.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21):


CANCER (June 21-July 22): I trust you

signment, Scorpio, is to cultivate a closer relationship with the cells that comprise your body. They are alive! Speak to them as you would to a beloved child or animal. In your meditations and fantasies, bless them with tender wishes. Let them know how grateful you are for the grand collaboration you have going, and affectionately urge them to do what’s best for all concerned. For you Scorpios, February is Love and Care for Your Inner Creatures Month.


you would need to fulfill the next stage of a fun dream is behind door #1. Behind door #2 is a vision of a creative twist you could do but haven’t managed yet. Behind door #3 is a clue that might help you achieve more disciplined freedom than you’ve known before. Do you think I’m exaggerating? I’m not. Here’s the catch: You may be able to open only one door before the magic spell wears off—*unless* you enlist the services of a consultant, ally, witch, or guardian angel to help you bargain with fate to provide even more of the luck that may be available.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Your as-


astrology, Taurus rules the third eye. Poetically speaking, this is a subtle organ of perception, a sixth sense that sees through mere appearances and discerns the secret or hidden nature of things. Some people are surprised to learn about this theory. Doesn’t traditional astrology say that you Bulls are sober and well-grounded? Here’s the bigger view: The penetrating vision of an evolved Taurus is potent because it peels away superficial truths and uncovers deeper truths. Would you like to tap into more of this potential superpower? The coming weeks will be a good time to do so.

beneficiary of free lunches and unexpected gifts. But who knows? They could very well appear. Torrents of praise and appreciation may flow, too, though trickles are more likely. And there is a small chance of solicitous gestures coming your way from sexy angels and cute maestros. What I can promise you for sure, however, are fresh eruptions of savvy in your brain and sagacity in your heart. Here’s your keynote, as expressed by the Queen of Sheba 700 years ago: “Wisdom is sweeter than honey, brings more joy than wine, illumines more than the sun, is more precious than jewels.”

C H I C O ’ S

you could offer to help a person who doesn’t like you. You could bring a gourmet vegan meal to a meat-eater or pay a compliment to a bigot. I suppose you could even sing beautiful love songs to annoyed passersby or recite passages from great literature to an eightyear-old immersed in his video game. But there are better ways to express your talents and dispense your gifts—especially now, when it’s crucial for your long-term mental health that you offer your blessings to recipients who will use them best and appreciate them most.


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FEBRUARY 2, 2023



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