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Our Mission: To publish great newspapers that are successful and enduring. To create a quality work environment that encourages employees to grow professionally while respecting personal welfare. To have a positive impact on our communities and make them better places to live.

Editor Jason Cassidy

Editor at large Melissa Daugherty

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Editorial Policies: Opinions expressed in CN&R are those of the authors and not of Chico Community Publishing, Inc. Contact the editor for permission to reprint articles or other portions of the paper. CN&R is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts or review materials. Email letters to cnrletters@newsreview.com. All letters received become the property of the publisher. We reserve the right to print letters in condensed form and to edit them for libel.

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CN&R INSIDE Vol. 46, Issue 9 • March 2–April 5, 2023
is printed at Western Web on recycled newsprint. CN&R is a member of Chico Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Chico Business Association, AAN and AWN. OPINION 4 Editorial 4 Editor’s Note 4 Letters 4 Guest Comment 5 This Modern World 5 Second & Flume 6 Streetalk 7 NEWSLINES 8 Briefed 8 Chico nursing students return from Nigeria 8 New community hub promotes body wisdom 12 FEATURE 14 Discover Upper Bidwell Park ARTS & CULTURE 20 March events 20 Scene 23 Chow 24 Reel World 25 Arts DEVO 26 Brezsny’s Astrology 27 ON THE COVER: PHOTO OF UPPER TRAIL IN BIDWELL PARK BY JASON CASSIDY PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY TINA FLYNN 24 MORE ONLINE Find content available only at chico.newsreview.com RECREATION 14 Bruce Jenkins Insurance & Financial Services | CA License #0B86680 FREE seminar to solve the mystery of Medicare & Individual Health Insurance Plans. Beverage & light snack provided Other topics include: • Retirement Income Planning • Life Insurance • Social Security Maximization Wednesday, March 15th First Session Noon to 1:00 PM Second session 5:30 to 6:30 PM Stoble Workplace, 418 Broadway, Chico Space is limited, please RSVP 530-781-3592 call or text, or email brucejenkinsinsurance@gmail.com | 708 MANGROVE AVENUE HEEL & SOLE SHOES 4th Anniversary! Join us March 4 • 12-2 for a huge TENT SALE $10 OFF *Excludes UGGs. Expires 3/31/23 A$50 PURCHASE *

Shining a light on hate

Do media outlets have a responsibility to alert the community to the presence, however small, of hate-group propaganda being distributed locally? To mention a group’s name in the news might raise its profile, which could lead to more discrimination. However, hate groups are often based on ideas that are extremely dangerous, and to bring such potentially harmful propaganda to light is the most appropriate response.

Over the past week, the Chico News & Review received distressing reports of fliers promoting a well-known whitesupremacist organization being inserted into copies of this newspaper and then distributed to homes in the Magalia area. A phone call to the Paradise Police Department revealed that several complaints had been filed, and that multiple local publications had reportedly been used in a similar manner to deliver the fliers to locations across Butte County.

It is very disturbing that this hate group’s ideology—which the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) calls “explicitly genocidal,” and promotes the “creation of an all-white homeland”—is being disseminated locally and especially so that the CN&R was used to distribute such nonsense.

As most locals know, the CN&R does not deliver. Its papers are freely available from news racks and boxes, and whoever did this stole copies and delivered them without the knowledge or consent of the News & Review. In the strongest terms possible, the CN&R condemns this action, as well as the hateful group featured on the flier and the horrific


Denounce hate

I am writing to express my concern about a flier wrapped around a copy of the Chico News & Review in a plastic bag and delivered to my door. The flier contained a message promoting white supremacist ideologies and included the phrase “Love Your Race.”

I was deeply disturbed to receive this, and I’m sure I am not alone. I am concerned about the this group’s deceptive tactics to reach a wider audience and promote its hateful message. The CN&R needs to address this issue and make a statement about its stance on hate speech and bigotry.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

[Editors note: The CN&R received several messages from concerned

ideas it represents.

Reporting on, without promoting, hate groups/speech has been a tightrope local news organizations have walked for decades. If this had been merely a disgusting prank that occurred in a vacuum, then maybe the CN&R doesn’t risk fanning the small flame. However, the volatile political/social climate and rise in hate and anti-governmental groups in this country in recent years has trained us to not dismiss any incident of hate as simply a fringe occurrence. The CN&R spoke to people who received the flier, and some of them were extremely upset, especially the Magalia resident who shared that there’s a home nearby with a Confederate flag outside and another in the area displaying what she described as Nazi symbols.

Butte County is obviously not a vacuum, which is the main reason the CN&R has written about this incident (as have at least two other local media outlets who interviewed the editor of this newspaper).

We’ve chosen to leave the name of the hate group in question out of this piece and not promote it further, but if you want to know more you can find a link to the SPLC profile of the group in the online version of this column (chico.newsreview.com).

If you’ve encountered hate groups in your area, please report the information to the Anti-Defamation League (adl. org), the SPLC (splcenter.org) and the police department. Ω

county residents regarding the dissemination of the hate-speech fliers. See our response in this issue’s Editorial, “Shining a light on hate,” above.]

Questions for Christians

Re: Guest Comment: “Missions to Serve” (By Donald Heinz, Feb. 2, 2023)

Guest Comment contributor and retired Professor of Religious Studies, Donald Heinz opines: “These days, ‘social justice Christians’ are determined to take the gospel out the church door and make it a social gospel.”

Here are a few questions asked after 10 years of pushing for homeless human rights, across an array of issues: Where were Christians when the Chico City Council passed criminalization laws on over a dozen occasions; and as the police, at our insistence, profiled, rousted and arrested the homeless, year

after year? And when a very small number of us fought for 24 hour portable toilets? And the city orchestrated the demolition of Chico’s only soup kitchen? And the city swept homeless camps, time after time? Or, just last month, when the city again barricaded restrooms and drinking water on City Plaza? Where were Christians during the seven years a small number of Chico citizens stood in solidarity with the unhoused on City Plaza, Sunday after Sunday? In all this, where was the Christian voice?

Where was your voice during our 10 year homeless holocaust? And here’s a question truly worthy of a scholar’s attention: What the hell is wrong with the moral DNA of Chico’s Christians?

As troubling as it might be to hear the recent grandstanding by U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene advocating for a “national divorce”—splitting up America into separate red and blue countries—the truth is she’s not alone in her thinking. Many of our elected officials, Republicans and Democrats, are committed to the right/wrong divide and represent only those with whom they agree. We see this with local leaders as well, as our councils and boards nearly always stick to the party lines of their majority.

Actually, most Americans see things this way. According to a 2021 poll by the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, more than half of both Trump voters and Biden voters strongly agree that elected officials from the opposing party present a “clear and present danger to American democracy.”

While President Donald Trump was in office, many on the left side of the political divide cried for secession of the liberal coastal states from the red middle. The same poll showed that 41 percent of Biden voters and 52 percent of Trump voters at least somewhat agree that things are so bad states should secede.

Is the solution to division more division? Almost certainly not. If not, how do we move forward together?

One of the most useful tools in my life for helping me build connection with others—everyone from my wife to people with whom I have fundamental disagreements on nearly every aspect of modern life—has been Marshall Rosenberg’s book Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life. Rosenberg draws inspiration from the principals of nonviolence popularized by Ghandi to create tools for communicating in a nonviolent manner.

The book starts with the author asking, “What happens to disconnect us from our compassionate nature?” Applied to to our current situation, the answer might be something like: We fear that our way of life is being threatened, that fundamental needs—safety, community, self-expression, physical health, freedom, etc.—are in danger of not being met, and this triggers intense feelings and habitual reactions. We lash out. We put up defenses. We get violent with our language (or worse).

So, how do we reconnect? To oversimplify the book’s advice: Listen with empathy; speak honestly.

Going into any communication with the understanding that the person on the “other side” shares our same fundamental human needs, and responding without judgement while speaking our own truth (and not parroting a predetermined worldview), is the only way to create a connection. But both “sides” need to be conscious of the process and take part.

The only other choice is violence, in one form or another.

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Send guest comments, 300 words maximum, to gc@newsreview.com or to P.O. Box 56, Chico, CA 95927. Please include photo & short bio. OPINION
Patrick Newman Chico Jason Cassidy is editor of the Chico News & Review


To protect and serve

I was walking on The Esplanade toward downtown just past dusk when I heard breaking glass, lots of it, in a crosswalk on the opposite side of the street near Bidwell Mansion. A slim, long-haired man, his bicycle frame laden with possessions, was nervously surveying the remnants of half a dozen bottles that had tumbled to shards from his towed baby carrier packed with recyclables.

honing in on the unbroken bottle. He picked it up and gently passed it to the man. He then began moving the shards of glass with the side of his boot as he directed the man to the safety of the sidewalk. Halfway through this chore, another man hustled over and handed him a push-broom.

With a head nod and thank you, the officer proceeded to sweep the intersection clear of glass—a two-minute job that ended with a courteous conversation with the recycler before he got back in his cruiser and left, his flashing lights now dark.

This guest comment by the late community advocate was originally published March 24, 2016, and is reprinted to once again remind Chicoans of our shared humanity.

I spied one lonely unbroken bottle in the midst as the light turned green; headlights glaring on a man caught in the middle of a fine mess. The flashing blues of a Chico police SUV sprung into view 30 yards away. I reached the crosswalk just as the policeman parked, straddling both lanes of the roadway as traffic piled up behind the blocked intersection. The police officer exited his vehicle,

Every character in this scene is vital. Removing any of them—the destitute man, the dozens of auto occupants, the police officer or the man with the broom—changes the demeanor and charm of the community humanely coming together. We all lead busy and often chaotic lives, be it gathering bottles for a meager handful of change, or patrolling the streets of Chico from the vantage point of a police cruiser. Opportunities like this underscore how kindness and courtesy in the face of adversity are what constitute the human race and what make Chico a place we are proud to call our own.

MARCH 2, 2023 CN&R 5

Chico’s new place for table top gaming. 530-354-2187

We offer both organized and open play. Hours, location, & gaming schedule can be found at: holeinthewallgames.com

Hunger games

One can only assume sweets shop heiress Kasey Reynolds has never been hungry. Same goes for Sean Morgan, the son of a doctor; Andrew Coolidge, whose father was an attorney; and caterer Deepika Tandon. These four privileged Chico City Council members made that clear when they shot down a motion to discuss so-called community fridges, including the absurdly exorbitant permit fee the city may charge individuals interested in running such mutual aid projects.

You’d think elected leaders wouldn’t be casually dismissive about something as serious as hunger, but their actions at the Feb. 21 council meeting proved otherwise. Indeed, the result may make it more difficult and expensive for Chicoans to help their neighbors fill their bellies. That’s a problem.

In Butte County, chronic food insecurity plagues 14 percent of residents. For context, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the national average is 10.5 percent. Worse yet, 18 percent of local families with children are food insecure. Put another way, roughly one in five kids in this region is regularly hungry. This isn’t exactly news, not to anyone paying attention. It’s precisely why so many local ad hoc groups have sprung up to fill gaps that remain despite federal safety net programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (aka food stamps); the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC); and the National School Lunch Program (free school lunches).

The Chico Community Fridge is one such citizen project. It opened at the height of the pandemic, just over two years ago, in a neighborhood east of downtown. There, people could freely give to and take from the small refrigerator. The appliance has been relocated twice since that time, most recently set up in an alleyway off Hemlock Street. According to the volunteers who help stock and maintain the fridge—including unlocking and locking it at 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., respectively—it has been a resource for hundreds of people in need.

That hasn’t stopped some folks from complaining to the city about the effort, so now the community fridge is caught up in bureaucratic red tape that may require its organizers to shell out nearly $1,700 for a use permit.

Obviously, the council ought to have a conversation about it, giving the public an opportunity to weigh in, as it has in the past with other outmoded permitting fees. One that comes to mind immediately is how the city books used to call for residents to pay over $1,500 to raise chickens and other fowl.

Interestingly, community fridges have been embraced in many other cities, both on residential properties and through partnerships with private businesses and publicly funded agencies, such as local libraries (e.g., Des Moines, Iowa). In fact, such projects are basically the food equivalent of the “little free libraries” in front of so many homes in Chico.

I personally don’t have a problem with the city requiring fridge operators to go through a permitting process, but making it prohibitively expensive for something that provides a community benefit is not a good look. That goes for the city generally, but especially so for the four aforementioned city leaders.

Who looks the worst? It would’ve been a toss-up, but Vice Mayor Reynolds gets the “What were they thinking?” award. Immediately after giving a thumbs down, she attempted to agendize discussion on another permitting issue: to allow the Downtown Chico Business Association to sell alcohol at City Plaza—something prohibited per city code. Evidently, changing the books to allow booze sales in a public park to boost private businesses is acceptable, but making it easier to feed the poor isn’t. That’s nice.

One last point: Reynolds’ ice cream shop is a stone’s throw from City Plaza and would benefit from the DCBA’s event. How is her lobbying for that discussion not a conflict of interest?

Find us online chico.newsreview.com CHICO’S NEWS & ENTERTAINMENT SOURCE
Melissa Daugherty is editor-at-large for the Chico News & Review


What do you for outdoor fun?

Asked in downtown Chico

Ryan Reaves

Mountain biking— in Upper Park. I like to go uphill on the south side, and then cross the creek and come back on the north side.

Growing pain

Re: Editorial: “We decide Chico” (Feb.2, 2023)

When I read what’s happening (and has happened) to Chico, I have to remind myself that I can’t go back to the 1970s. And for those who can’t remember or weren’t born yet, Chico was a small town that grew quiet, dusty and blistering hot in the summer.

My tiny apartment needed air conditioning, so I went to Bidwell Park to cool off. I liked Five Mile best at first, and often met friends there. But once I discovered Upper Park, there were days I found myself alone, basking on a water-worn rock in the middle of Big Chico Creek. Soon, I started taking a canteen with me, staying until the shadows fell in the canyon. There were days when not a single person shared Salmon Hole with me. Now there are houses overlooking Upper Park.

Kim Hamberg

Go to the park, ride my bike in the park. I usually go to Lower and Middle [Bidwell Park]. And we love going to the farmers’ market every Saturday.

Jose Trujillo

When we have outdoor fun, [we head] to the park. We have a little one, and parks around our place are pretty clean. Maybe Upper Park later when she’s old enough to handle it.

Frankie Granberry

I ride a Harley, so I do a lot of riding my motorcycle for fun. It’s one of my biggest hobbies. I want to go ride by the coast. The scenery would be the best part.

I am trying to remember the names of all the housing projects that have come and gone in Chico, but developers stopped building one when I was there because of environmental concerns (at least in part). But now, more bulldozing and ecological destruction is coming? Given the housing crisis in Chico and elsewhere in California, opposing this may be selfish, but I would have signed the [Valley’s Edge] referendum petition if I could. I loved watching trout jump as the shade drifted closer to me on a late afternoon. It saddens me that more and more places like that are being destroyed.

I am writing this after the petition deadline, but the Butte Environmental Council office was once just a few blocks from where I lived. Finding affordable housing was a nightmare even then, and Chico needs answers. Still, I studied what we needed to be doing in 1975 when I took a class at Chico State on the environment and man, Geography 114. Sadly, what I learned in 1975 is trumpeted today as breaking news: The things needed to save ourselves and our planet from environmental destruction.

Good luck, my friends.

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 April 6 print publication is March 27. LETTERS RECREATION



FREE FOOD DISTRIBUTION: Free food distributions every second and fourth Saturday. Sat, 3/11 & 3/25, 2pm. South Chico Community Assistance Center, 1805 Park Ave. southchicocac.org

MAGALIA RESOURCE CENTER: Food, clothes, and household items distributed Thursdays and Saturdays. Donations of non-perishable food and small household items accepted. Magalia Community Church, 13700 & 13734 Old Skyway.

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

SPRING GARDEN BLITZ: Purchase or apply for a scholarship for a garden package, and volunteers will come out and install a raised bed, healthy soil, hardware cloth, plants and mulch. Visit site to sign up for a garden package or to volunteer to help. March 10-12 (Chico/Gridley) and March 24-26 (Paradise/Magalia/Oroville). Presented by Butte County Local Food Network. bclocalfood.org/garden-blitz

Nursing in Nigeria

next to a smaller, previously existing clinic called Upon This Rock, that was founded by James Umekwe, a Nigerian living in America who wanted to help bring medical care to his home country. It continues to be funded through charitable efforts organized by Chesterman’s parents, David and Sandra.

Since then, four groups of Chico State nursing students have traveled to the clinic to volunteer their services. It was an annual pilgrimage at first, but the COVID crisis broke that streak. Five current students and Darcy Hostetter-Lewis—an instructor who was one of Chesterman’s teachers, and who designed the volunteer program and has been on every trip—made the first post-pandemic trip recently, from Jan. 4-15.


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, 3/14 & 3/28, 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, 3/16 & 3/30. 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, 3/7 & 3/21, 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, 3/9, 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, 3/7 & 3/21, 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, 3/14 & 3/28, 6pm. Paradise Town Hall, 5555 Skyway. townofparadise.com

As a Chico State nursing student, Kristina Chesterman dreamed of traveling to developing nations where she could use her skills to help those in desperate need. Sadly, while biking home from a marathon study session in September 2013, she was hit by a drunk driver on Nord Avenue. After two days in the hospital, the 21-year-old succumbed to her injuries.

Help the cause: https://kristina.foundation

But Chesterman’s dreams have lived on. In 2017, the Kristina Chesterman Memorial Clinic opened in Ozu Abam, Nigeria. It was built

The students not only volunteer to work long hours at the clinic, but they also pay for most of their plane fare and other travel costs. Some of the cost for each student is subsidized by the ongoing memorial fund, and Umekwe housed those who came to volunteer. The flight, plus the drive from the airport to rural Ozu Abam on poorly built roads, takes between 30 and 40 hours. Rather than packing lots of extra clothes and comfort items, each of the students takes only what they can fit into their carry-on bags, reserving their checked luggage to pack 100 pounds of medical supplies per bag—donated by Chico non-profit group Project S.A.V.E.—for the clinic.

Nigeria is an economically depressed country where the government provides no health care and few social programs, and medical aid—even life-saving emergency care—must be paid for up front. Medical facilities are few and far between, and the doctor-to-patient ratio is abysmal. The Chesterman clinic, however, provides affordable care for the

8 CN&R MARCH 2, 2023
Chico State nursing students return from medical clinic dedicated to memory of fellow student
Chico State nursing students and locals in Ozu Abam, Nigeria, held a candlelight vigil in January to honor the birth date of Kristina Chesterman, the namesake of a medical clinic that provides affordable, accessible health care to the surrounding area.

equivalent of about one U.S. dollar as well as free, non-narcotic medications. The services at the clinic range from basic medical care to surgical emergencies.

“Americans can’t really understand what health care in Nigeria and other countries is actually like,” said Hostetter-Lewis. “It’s a great chance for nursing students to get to see that. We may not have the best health care here, but it’s far from the worst, and it gives them a chance to appreciate what we have so that we can keep making it better.”

In a recent interview, three of

the students—Katrina Tully, Natalie Chu and Alvaro Banuelos—shared their enlightening, valuable and sometimes harrowing experiences in Nigeria. All three are in their fifth and final semester of the university’s nursing program, and scheduled to graduate in May. Anna Carter and Jonah Hostetter-Lewis

(Darcy’s son, who has made three trips to Nigeria with her, though this was his first as a nursing student) were also on the trip, but unavailable for the interview.

Warm welcomes and cold realities

The students said witnessing the poverty and poor living conditions in Nigeria was shocking, but all were impressed with how friendly, welcoming and positive the people were. Chu said they felt like celebrities arriving in Ozu Abam, with everyone waving and even cheering when they first saw the students.

“Everyone was so welcoming,” Banuelos added. “One of first nights we walked through the village, and everyone says, ‘Hi.’ In their culture it’s kind of rude not to greet everyone. And everyone who came to the clinic who was treated was so grateful and really made that known.”

“Some of my best memories were the people,” Chu said. “Even though they’re living in so-far-fromideal situations, they still find ways to put smiles on their faces.”

On just their second day in Nigeria, while still reeling from jet lag and the long journey, the students were preparing for their work day when they received a call saying that there was an urgent trauma situation, and to hurry in to the clinic. They arrived to find a young girl who’d sustained a serious head injury in a car accident.

“Her head was split open from front to back,” Tully said. “By the time we arrived the other nurses there had already medicated her

and were in the process of closing her up. We tried to stop them, and to tell them that they needed to take her to a bigger medical center, because there’s a lot that needs to be done before that. Then there was a language barrier that made the communication a lot more difficult.

“In the U.S., if someone goes to the hospital, and especially if there’s trauma, you get everything off the bat … tests, imaging, bloodwork. But the parents said this was all they could afford and that is all we could do.”

Hostetter-Lewis noted that one patient died while the students were there because he couldn’t afford to travel to or pay for care from a larger medical center, and the clinic simply didn’t have the oxygen he needed to keep him alive.

Chu said that, with limited resources available, the students were regularly forced to “think outside of the box” in order to meet patients needs. As an example, she said the child from the accident needed to keep her head elevated, but the hospital bed was broken. So she thought to fold up an extra mattress and insert it beneath half of the mattress on the bed to raise it.

The student nurses rotated stations at the clinic—doing triage, helping patients in the waiting room, dispensing medications in the pharmacy and assisting doctors in surgeries. They said the most common ailments were waist and back pain, heartburn, undiagnosed hyper-

tension and blood sugar issues, and a lot of hernia repairs. Banuelos said many patients also had cataracts and other vision issues, and that at times he felt powerless because there wasn’t much they could do to help them.

Despite the hardships, the students said the trip was a fantastic experience, and expressed appreciation for their exposure to Nigerian culture beyond just health care, and forging real friendships with many locals. They all nodded emphatically when asked if it’s something they would recommend to other students.

“[Nursing in impoverished countries] wasn’t something I’d thought much about or was super passionate about doing,” Tully said. “But now that I’ve gone, I 100 percent want to return, and I hope to have the opportunity to do something like that again.”

Chu agreed, saying she plans to do more work in developing countries: “It’s so heartwarming and eyeopening to see how we can help.”

“It felt so good to help people that it didn’t even feel like work,” Banuelos said. “We worked eight days straight, but the whole time I felt like I just wanted to keep going and going and help as many people as I possibly could.”

MARCH 2, 2023 CN&R 9
The students prepare to start an IV on a child visiting the Kristina Chesterman Memorial Clinic. PHOTO COURTESY OF DARCY HOSTETTER-LEWIS Jonah Hostetter-Lewis stands next Kristina 1, one of the two ambulances the clinic provides. PHOTO COURTESY OF KRISTINA CHESTERMAN CLINIC Natalie Chu (center left) and Anna Carter (far right) pose with staff and volunteers at the clinic, including Dr. Gideon Ukueje (center with headlamp). Ukueje worked at the Chesterman clinic full-time for several years, and returned there in January to help guide the Chico State nursing students. PHOTO COURTESY OF NATALIE CHU
10 CN&R MARCH 2, 2023

Welcome Home

CHIP puts stable housing within reach

Home ownership is arguably the keystone to the American dream. But whether due to finances or life circumstances, home ownership is not always a viable option for everyone. For some, the responsibility and costs of upkeep make renting a better choice. The good news is you don’t have to own the building to create a stable home.

Since 1973, the Chico-based Community Housing Improvement Program has been helping families and individuals build a path to home ownership. Through their Self Help program, thousands have literally had a hand in building their own homes. But CHIP also recognizes that housing is not one-size-fits-all.

“There’s a shift and a greater awareness of the need for rental housing, I think particularly here in California,” says Theresa Nantor, director of CHIP’s rental housing development. “The cost of home ownership is steep, even if we can cut the cost of building some of it yourself. We have slightly shifted, there have been more resources poured into multi-family development and we see our portfolio growing. We anticipate it’s going to double in the next five to seven years.”

California is in the midst of a housing crisis. Not only are costs and rents soaring across the state, but housing stock in the Chico area was decimated after the Camp Fire destroyed thousands of homes in 2018. Additionally, rural communities typically offer less rental housing opportunities than urban and suburban areas. Nantor points out that in some communities, CHIP-run apartment complexes are the only apartment buildings in town.

“At CHIP, one of our missions is to develop affordable housing, apartment communities, in rural areas. That’s different than most for-profit developers. You don’t think of rural areas as somewhere you can make a lot of profit,” Nantor

says. “As we look to develop more housing, we’re always looking in those rural communities where there are few opportunities for apartment living and we can offer that to families and individuals.”

As important as affordable and accessible housing is, CHIP offers even more. Tenants can take advantage of on-site vaccination clinics, food assistance, rental assistance, tutoring and summer programs and healthy living workshops.

“Before the pandemic we saw the need to offer more services to our residents. We already had health services come onsite, offer food assistance, things like that. But after the pandemic, there was a much greater need.

We have a resident services department that’s been there for about 20 years, (and) we’ve increased the staff,” Nantor explains. “We also as much as possible try to bring them on-site to have a physical presence at our properties as well. Most of our properties have a community room and we offer services there

in addition to your regular holiday events, the things that build community.”

Studies have found that stable housing improves health outcomes, educational attainment and subsequent income earning potential. Yet despite those beneficial outcomes, affordable housing unfortunately gets a bad reputation. In contrast, CHIP actively works to ensure their apartment communities—and tenants—thrive.

“Not only are there property managers who live on-site, we have maintenance that’s there, we’ve got resident services coordinators who bring those services in and who are engaged in activities there. It’s not that we build it and leave it for someone else to manage, we build it and manage it ourselves. We’re invested in those communities,” Nantor says. “Anyone can develop housing, it’s whether or not you have a commitment to the community, it’s whether or not you have a commitment to the residents who live in that property.”

Anyone can develop housing, it’s whether or not you have a commitment to the community, it’s whether or not you have a commitment to the residents who live in that property.”
For more information, including available apartment complexes, visit CHIP online at chiphousing.org or call 1-888-912-4663
Theresa Nantor Director, CHIP rental housing development
Creekside Place in Chico, for seniors 62+, is CHIP’s newest development. PHOTO BY RAY LAAGER Theresa Nantor is CHIP’s director of rental housing development. PHOTO BY ANNE STOKES

Body wisdom

The Art of Play series, which continues this month, is just one of the collective’s offerings (see infobox), which include one-on-one sessions, group gatherings and community events focused on subjects such as mindfulness, meditation, bodywork (e.g., massage, acupressure therapy), community building and art.

and joyful, Sisk added. All of Chico Body-Wise’s offerings are focused on integrative embodiment work that acknowledges and explores the intimate connection between the body and mind.

Building community

At the collective’s grand opening in late January, attendees were invited to share their thoughts on the organization’s location (1430 Esplanade, Ste. 17A). They wrote words and phrases on a white board such as the joy den; sanctuary; refuge; retreat; the halls of healing

For the founders, this was wonderful to behold. They put a lot of care into creating a “confidential space where people can show up, let down their guard and try new things,” Shutz Fort said; a space where “people feel at home” and connect with one another, Sisk added.

Sisk, a biologist and certified massage therapist, has been dreaming of forming such a collective since at least 2016, but experienced road blocks in finding an ideal location and collaborators who shared her vision. Then, in 2021, Sisk and Schutz Fort, longtime friends, discussed their shared drive to do this kind of work in the community. At the time, Shutz Fort, who has a master’s in psychology, was working as a school counselor and had a desire to become an independent practitioner.

Similarly, Mascareñas, a licensed social worker, had been working in the public sector and wanted to move to private pracshifted after attending a class last month hosted by the newly opened Chico Body-Wise Collective


ately, single mother Santy Gray has been enjoying mini dance parties with her five-year-old son first thing in the morning. This is a new practice for them—Gray said she used to feel annoyed that he needed to dance at 7 a.m. before getting dressed and ready for the day.

However, her perspective

The event, part of the Art of Play series, encouraged attendees to express themselves through creative movement exercises—mimicking animals, objects in the room and natural elements, for example—all followed by reflective discussion and journaling.

Gray said the experience “opened up another avenue or way for me to process how I feel.”

“I can check in with my body,”

she continued. “There’s a deeper understanding with what your body is trying to communicate, and if your body doesn’t feel safe or seen—or maybe too seen in certain environments—you can listen to your body and protect yourself based on that.”

She has since applied this to daily life with her son.

“After this workshop, I was like, ‘You should absolutely be breakdancing,’” she said. “We wake up, we move our bodies. … It just feels so good.”

Chico Body-Wise founders Brae Onnah Sisk, Emma Schutz Fort and Christine Mascareñas are aiming to provide a safe space for selfreflection and -expression through somatic movement activities, which place an emphasis on helping individuals learn how to be aware of their body sensations and what they are feeling.

Mascareñas said that somatic practices create a connection to discernment and intuition, “which is really what guides us in healing ourselves” and overcoming toxic patterns.

Self-exploration can certainly be painful, but it can also be playful

Connect: Chico Body-Wise Collective 1430 Esplanade, Suite 17A 530-592-3943


Upcoming events:

March 7, 7-9 p.m.: Community Council talking/listening circle (held every other Tues.) March 12, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.: Community Clinic with mini sessions, $25-$40 March 18, 1-4 p.m., Art of Play Series: “The Poetic Body: Playing in the Human Wilderness,” 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., $50 (sliding scale), held

Story and photos by Ashiah Bird ashiahs@newsreview.com
New community hub provides space for self-reflection, expression through alternative wellness, movement, art classes
Chico Body-Wise Collective’s founders (from left): Christine Mascareñas, Brae Onnah Sisk and Emma Schutz Fort. at Yoga Center of Chico (250 Vallombrosa Ave., Ste. 150)

tice—she met Sisk and Shutz Fort through her brother, and the trio felt a kinship instantly, Mascareñas said.

“We got really honest and open,” she said. “That’s been our journey; it’s been really synergistic, with a lot of care … a lot of love.”

Since opening, the collective has launched several recurring events and featured classes at various price levels, including some free or donation-based and sliding-scale price points (see infobox). Each of them also offers individual sessions based on their specific specialties.

Every Thursday, Shutz Fort hosts a Mindfulness Sampler Class, sharing tools for grounding, connecting with the senses, nervous system support, and body awareness. During a recent class, she asked attendees to shake their arms and bounce. This is one way to ease the nervous system and release tension and stress, she said.

Sisk, in addition to co-facilitating the Art of Play Series with Shutz Fort, also offers Vital Chi Movement Meditation on Tuesdays. These classes combine the five-element theory of classical Chinese Medicine, somatic movement education and moving meditation practices based in qigong (an ancient Chinese healing art involving meditation, controlled breathing, and movement exercises).

Mascareñas’ offerings include tarot readings and individual sessions focused on intuition and embodiment. Later this year she plans to offer a Moon Circle class for women focused on reflective conversation and releasing shame and self-doubt; and Sensual Movement class that supports self-esteem and combats harmful objectification of women’s bodies.

Witnessing as healing

The group is working to gain nonprofit status for Chico Body-Wise and apply for grant funding to expand their offerings into more rural areas of the county. The founders also spoke of launching an equity fund to subsidize or cover costs for low-income individuals and members of marginalized communities (e.g., LGBTQ and BIPOC). They are interested in partnering with other local organizations offering different perspectives on ways of connecting with the land, one another and what is needed to be well, Sisk said.

In everything that they do, witnessing and listening to people expressing themselves, their feelings and what they have been through is a core value of Chico Body-Wise, the founders said. The community is still experiencing “extreme isolation” in the wake of the pandemic and several natural disasters, Mascareñas said. “People want to be witnessed, seen [and] understood,” she said. “They really can thrive with safe witnessing.”

Shutz Fort added that society can be oppressive and a significant contributor to the human struggle, especially for marginalized groups. Chico Body-Wise’s goal is to validate those experiences and the toll it takes on mental health.

“We don’t say we have all the answers,” she said. “[We ask], What’s your own internal wisdom?”

Chico Body-Wise’s community building groups, such as the Community Council talking and listening circle (held every other Thursday, 7-9 p.m.) and Trans Adjacent Group (held every other Wednesday, 5:306:30 p.m. beginning March 8), aim to create a safe space for people to talk about their lives and experiences.

These gatherings help people rebuild a sense of belonging, Sisk said. There isn’t a good template for grieving within western, white supremacist culture, she said, and many feelings are considered “taboo” or “offlimits.” But grief needs to be witnessed— even grief that arises from positive changes.

“It’s these subtleties in the complexity of human experience we’re trying to make room for,” Sisk said. “This is about filling a gap, interrupting the cycles of disconnection.”

What Chico Body-Wise is offering, Gray said, is “really exciting for Chico,” and she’s looking forward to attending more classes.

“[With the] Camp Fire, COVID [and] the murder of George Floyd, we’ve seen bodies go through things for years, and it can feel like we are at the whim of environmental factors or the human condition,” she said, “and to reclaim some of that is body wise.” Ω

MARCH 2, 2023 CN&R 13
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Journey to the other

You know Lower Park; It’s time to seek adventure on miles of Upper Bidwell trails

If you live in Chico and are looking for some outdoor recreation, nearly any activity you could dream up is just a day trip away.

The mountains of Shasta, Lassen and the Sierra Nevada; the lakes of Oroville, Almanor and Tahoe; the Sacramento River; the Pacific Ocean—all of it no more than a 4-hour drive away.

Or just head downtown, where Bidwell Park blooms from the heart of Chico and extends for miles into the Cascade/Sierra foothills. No planning needed. For the cost of getting on your bike or pulling on some hiking shoes, you could stand up, head out the door right now and jump on a trail and explore.

We often hear the boast of the park being 3,670 acres, roughly 11 miles in length, and one of the largest municipal parks in the country (more than three times the size of Golden Gate Park), but most people regularly visit only a fraction of that area. There’s a reason, of course: The Lower and Middle sections boast nearly all of the developed features in Bidwell Park—swimming pools, baseball diamonds, basketball courts, picnic tables, playgrounds, bathrooms, grass—and is situated in a stunning forest providing a protective canopy during the extended valley summers.

Upper Park is much more rugged, a huge canyon down which Big Chico Creek flows from its origins at Colby Mountain. To deliver you on your hiking, running, mountain-biking, horse-riding adventures, there are 30 miles of sanctioned trails (and just as many miles of bootleg ones) along both the north and south sides of the canyon.

Most of the main trails are clearly marked, but not always. Linda Herman, the city’s Park & Natural Resources Manager, says that “We definitely need more trail signs.” Wayfinding improvements are on her agenda, as are improvements to the parking areas in Upper Park, and rebooting the effort to create comprehensive trail plain,

which was paused during the COVID pandemic. What follows is an introduction to the main routes through Upper Park, but before that, a few things to consider before adventuring:

• Bring a phone and, if possible, a friend.

• Dogs are welcome in Upper Park, but they can be off-leash only on the trails on the north side of Upper Park Road.

• Trail etiquette: Bikes make way for people and horses; people make way for horses; horses keep on clopping.

• Pack a map of Upper Park trails. The one on these pages is the latest version. It’s available at the city’s website (see infobox), where you can also get updates on trail status. Trails are closed to bikes and horses after rains, and many park advocates suggest pedestrians voluntarily stay off muddy trails to avoid contributing to erosion.

• Ticks and rattlesnakes: For protection from both, keep to the trails as much as possible. To keep disease-carrying deer ticks off, wear socks and repellent and check yourself and your dogs often. During warm months, the snakes are out, and the City suggests wearing boots, keeping an eye on the trail ahead, and leashing dogs.

• Learn something! Members of park-enthusiast and -advocate groups and local authors have been there before and can provide insight into the many facets of the park. (see infobox).


Upper Park resources: City of Chico Bidwell Park page (with park maps and updates on trail/gate/facility status) chico.ca.us/bidwell-park

Friends of Bidwell Park friendsofbidwellpark.org

Chico Hiking Association chicohiking.org

Chico Running Club chicorunningclub.org/ Chico Equestrian Association chicoequestrianassociation.com/ Nature guides (books on wildflowers, trees and birds of Bidwell Park; click on “Stansbury Publishing”) heidelberggraphics.com


Upper, Middle, Lower Trails and Upper Park Road

The main road into Upper Park begins at Wildwood Avenue, which turns into Upper Park Road. The paved portion runs through Middle Park and turns into a dirt road at the Horseshoe Lake/Monkey Face parking lot and runs another 4.2 miles, almost to the end of Upper Park along Big Chico Creek. Just past the Diversion Dam parking lot, the road has been closed to motor vehicles for several years due to long-deferred maintenance, but it’s still accessible by foot or bike.

Three trails parallel Upper Park Road to the north—Lower, Middle and Upper. These are the go-to routes for the average trailgoers, frequented by mountain bikers, runners and hikers. The going gets progressively more rugged, and the trails less crowded, as you head up the canyon wall.

Lower and Upper are relatively short, while Middle covers varying terrain over the same rough distance as the main road.


MARCH 2, 2023 CN&R 15
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Bear Hole, off Upper Park Road. PHOTO BY JENNIFER LUNDBERG
A lone jogger on Lower Trail. 1

The challenge of uneaten food

Ju st about everything people throw away has a place at the Neal Road Recycling and Waste Facility.

Mattresses, appliances, bicycles and batteries are all systematically sorted and diverted into the proper recycling streams at the 200-acre landfill south of Chico.

Food waste, however, mostly goes into the landfill. But that is changing under California’s SB 1383, or Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Organic Waste Reductions, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions—namely, methane— produced by organic waste in landfills.

Under the law, which went into effect Jan. 1, 2022, local governments across California must reduce by 75% the amount of organic waste that ends up in landfills by 2025. That’s far easier said than done in Butte County, which does not have a composting facility that can handle food scraps mixed with yard trimmings.

“For my home in Chico, I have garbage collection, curbside recycling and a yard waste bin,” says Eric Miller, manager of Butte County’s waste management division. “Now, we’re supposed to theoretically put food waste in the yard waste bin, but the nearest place for it to be composted under California law is in Yuba County. The challenges to collect residential food waste commingled with yard waste at the municipal level are daunting. The complexities increase when you consider food waste collection from apartments.”

Indeed, the area needs a mixed composting facility that can handle both yard waste and food waste, or at least a system for transporting it to one. “We have yard waste facilities and composting facilities around us, and we have the rendering plant that handles food waste only, but we don’t have a facility close enough that can handle commingled yard

waste and green waste,” echoes Linda Herman, parks and natural resources manager for the City of Chico.

The nearest facility that can handle both is located just south of Marysville—a roughly 60-mile one-way drive. Chico is working with Butte County to develop a transload operation at the Neal Road Recycling and Waste Facility, where such waste could be brought to the landfill, loaded on trucks and transported for processing.

“Our biggest concern is that we do not have enough facilities locally to handle some of the components of the law,” Herman says. “The biggest one is residential food waste. We don’t really have the space. Homeowners don’t have the space for a fourth container, nor do we want to bring a fourth truck into the mix.”

As a result, many residents are confused about where things stand, especially if they have lived in more urban areas of California. In the Bay Area, for example, people are already used to mixing yard trimmings into compost. “Why can’t I mix my yard trimmings and compost in the same green bin?” Herman says. “Why can’t I put my lettuce head or my carrot sticks in there? It’s organic waste, right?”

Other municipalities are also gearing up for big changes. Oroville is on track to “start pulling organics out of the waste stream,” they have amended their franchise agreement with waste-hauler Recology, and are working on the expansion of their edible food collection program to include all commercial generators in 2023 and all residential generators in 2024, says Jennifer Arbuckle, a local consultant who helps local governments with SB 1383 compliance.

Chico is under a notice of intent to comply with SB 1383 and must be fully in line by March 2024, Herman says. Chico could face fines if it doesn’t hit that deadline, but the city has been working with CalRecycle on its compliance plan that it aims to execute by December.

Though local municipalities are facing a long process of developing infrastructure in order to comply with SB 1383, the time is coming soon when residents can mix their organic waste together in their green bins. In the meantime, Arbuckle encourages all county residents to be mindful of putting their waste in the correct bins and avoiding contamination. Under SB 1383, cities must also monitor trash bins to reduce crossover between waste streams—and possibly fine residents who aren’t in compliance.

“What goes where is very important,” she says. “If people are putting recycling in the trash, then we have a problem and it becomes the city’s responsibility to investigate. We can’t take food scraps at this point, but people do have to stay very diligent about putting the right material in the right bin.”

Uneaten food, or spoiled food, also ends up in landfills due to logistical problems with manufacturing, distribution, or storage. PPHOTO COURTESY OF NEAL ROAD RECYCLING AND WASTE FACILITY
How Butte County plans to comply with new organic waste laws
“Our biggest concern is that we do not have enough facilities locally to handle some of the components of the law.”
Learn more at www.buttecounty.net/publicworks 16 CN&R MARCH 2, 2023
Parks and natural resources manager for the City of Chico


●North Rim Trail

North Rim skirts the north edge of Big Chico Creek Canyon along the northwestern boarder of the park, and is one of the more popular Upper Park trails, with its convenient trailhead at Parking Lot B just below the Easter Cross. There are a few short (and often very rugged) trails that descend from the North Rim, including the far out B Trail, which offers a challenging descent for mountain bikers.

From the trailhead, North Rim is uphill all the way, starting at 304 feet elevation and continuing to 1,398 feet over the course of 4.5 miles. Within a half mile, the climb pays off with stunning views of Chico, the valley and the Coastal Range.

The North Rim Trail features the widest trail in Upper Park. It’s a bumpy ride over exposed rocks, but the space offers ample room for people, bikes and dogs as well as a wide view of potential hazards ahead—namely rattlesnakes.

Yahi Trail

Yahi is a pedestrians-only trail (no bikes or horses) that starts near the beginning of the dirt section of Upper Park Road and runs along the north side of Big Chico Creek. Constructed in 1967 by the local Yahi Group of the Sierra Club, the path is notable for its lush, shady greenery and access to numerous picturesque spots and swimming holes along the creek.

It’s two miles out to Bear Hole and the Diversion Dam, which features some of the best—and most popular—swimming spots on the creek. This is where most folks turn back after a cooling dip, but it’s only the halfway point. There are another couple miles of Yahi and some of the best features of the park, including a spectacular view of the bend of the creek at Salmon Hole from atop the canyon; a turkey vulture lookout; and an up close look at the impressive lovejoy basalt formations in Iron Canyon (e.g., the black spires of Devil’s Kitchen).

●Annie Bidwell Trail

The Annie Bidwell Trail is reminiscent of the Yahi. Similarly, it runs close to Big Chico Creek—only on the opposite shore—and follows the water through the lower part of the canyon. It’s

more rugged (i.e., “difficult”) in spots, and has fewer creek access points, but it too provides a measure of shady respite from the summer heat.

In the spring, the meadow flowers as you approach Bear Hole can be spectacular, and

further on the views over Iron Canyon are jaw-dropping. One big difference: Annie B. is not pedestrian-only like the Yahi, and mountain bikers and hikers/runners share the trail in equal numbers.

During low-water season, a fun option for a long hike (roughly 10 miles) is to take either Yahi or Annie B. out, cross the creek below Ten Mile House Road (or Parking Lot U on the Yahi side), and then head back via the other.

The trailhead for Annie B. is just beyond the Five-Mile Recreation Area, where Centennial Drive meets Chico Canyon Road. This is also the starting point for those continuing on to South Rim and Guardian trails.

MARCH 2, 2023 CN&R 17
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Panorama view from North Rim Trail. 2 Glacial-polished rock fragment, North Rim Trail. 2 PHOTO BY CHRIS FICKEN
View of Salmon Hole in Chico Creek Canyon from Yahi Trail. Scampering along rock wall next to creek, Annie Bidwell Trail. 4 4 Hiker on Annie Bidwell Trail. 4 Ducks in creek off Annie Bidwell Trail.

●Guardian Trail

Out here there be mountain bikers. High up the south canyon wall the Guardian Trail provides challenging riding and panoramic views of Upper Bidwell Park. There are many ways to attack it, with a popular option starting at the Green Gate entrance to the park (on Hwy 32, about 8 miles east of Hwy 99) and doing an 8.6 mile loop down

Guardian to South Rim Trail (at a junction that also includes a steep side trail leading down to Annie Bidwell Trail) and back.

This Guardian and South Rim (plus Annie B.) system is great for hikers and runners as well, featuring many ups and downs that can easily add up to more than 1,000 leg-burning feet of elevation gain.

This made the Chico News & Review the right choice as one of our partners to deliver our message to the entire community. The staff is always prompt when reaching out and answering all our questions. We think it is great having a printed, physical issue of CN&R, along with the digital copy that can be found on their website, allowing for a broader reach.

The partnership between Heel & Sole Shoes and the CN&R has been vital in our marketing strategy to continue to be Chico’s Best Shoe Store.

18 CN&R MARCH 2, 2023
Clockwise from top left: 5 Trail marker at intersection of South Rim and Guardians trails (as well as Annie Bidwell feeder trail). 5 Summertime panorama of Chico Creek Canyon from Guardian Trail. 5 Charred log from 2018 wildfire, South Rim Trail.
As a local business ourselves, we knew we wanted to advertise locally.”
MARCH 2, 2023 CN&R 19

Arts & Culture


Galleries & Museums

1078 GALLERY: A Snapshot Revisited, Sean Peeler’s investigation into the act of looking at photographs—via painting and images. Through 4/19. 1710 Park Ave. 1078gallery.org

B-SO GALLERY: BFA Culminating Exhibits, weekly rotating shows featuring student works. Through 5/12. Free. Chico State (Ayres Hall).

CHICO ART CENTER: Figure/Ground, group exhibit and demos by the center’s figure-drawing group. “Sit-ins” in the gallery 3/4 & 3/18, 1-3pm. “Draw-ins” in the classes, 3/8 & 3/22, 1-3pm. Reception: March 10, 5-7pm. Through 3/22. 450 Orange St. chicoartcenter.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 so wild, in conjunction with the annual Snow Goose Festival. Through 3/19. Next: Bike-Pedia, a group exhibition featuring biking-themed works. Shows in conjunction with the Wildflower Century bike race/ride. Through 5/14. $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 the works in this print exhibit. Through 4/1. Free. Arts & Humanities Building, Chico State. csuchico. edu/turner


FARMERS MARKETS: Butte County’s markets are open and selling fresh produce and more. Chico: Downtown (Saturdays, 7:30am-1pm); North Valley Plaza (Wednesdays, 8am-1pm); Chico State University Farm (Thursdays, noon-4 p.m.). Magalia: Magalia Community Center (Sundays, 10am). Paradise: Alliance Church (Tuesdays, 7:30am-2pm); “Farmers Market Mobile,” 1397 South Park Drive (Thursdays, 2pm).

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. goldcountrycasino.com

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

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.

THU2 Theater

CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION: Local musician Zac Yurkovic directs this story of a disparate group of amateurs who enroll in a community drama class, begin to experiment with acting games and end up revealing themselves through “tiny leaps of faith and creativity.” Showing through March 12. Thu, 3/2, 7:30pm. $18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. totr.org

PUFFS: Chico State’s Music and Theatre department presents this Harry Potter parody, subtitled Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic Thu, 3/2, 7:30pm. $8-$20. Wismer Theatre, Performing Arts Center. 530-898-3300. csuchico.edu/muta


BOB MCDANIEL: Acoustic Thursday. Thu, 3/2, 5:30pm. Free. Mulberry Station Brewing Company, 175 E. 20th St. 530-809-5616. BRITTANY AND THE BLISSTONES: Dinner-show trio. Thu, 3/2, 6pm. The Allies Pub, 426 Broadway, Ste. 130.

TAKE ME TO THE RIVER W/DUMPSTAFUNK: In celebration of Take Me to the River: New Orleans—a documentary on the eclectic musical city—funk-fusion crew Dumpstafunk WILL perform with a big band of the city’s best jazz, funk, R&B and soul players, including George Porter Jr. and Jon Cleary. Thu, 3/2, 7pm. $35-$55. Laxson Auditorium, Chico State. chicoperformances.com


Special Events

OH, HI MARCH!: A special screening of The Room with live commentary by Annie Fischer, Nick Stiles, & Chaz Kelley. Fri, 3/3, 7pm. $2. Gnarly Deli, 243 W. Second St. gnarlydeli.square.site

THE STARDUST REVUE: The burlesque/drag troupe celebrates its first year with a performance at the downtown dive bar where it all started. Fri, 3/3, 9pm. $10. Duffy’s Tavern, 337 Main St.


CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION: See March 2. Showing through March 12. Fri, 3/3, 7:30pm. $18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. totr.org

MAMMA MIA!: Inspire School of Arts & Sciences presents the modern Broadway smash. Showing through March 5. Fri, 3/3, 7pm. $8-$20. Paradise Performing Arts Center, 777 Nunneley Road, Paradise. 530-8913090. inspirechico.org

PUFFS: See March 2. Shows through 3/5. Fri, 3/3, 7:30pm. $8-$20. Wismer Theatre, Performing Arts Center. 530-898-3300. csuchico.edu/muta


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

JOURNEY’S EDGE: Journey covers. Fri, 3/3, 8:30pm. $10. Unwined Kitchen & Bar, 980 Mangrove Ave.

ORDINARY ELEPHANT: KZFR community radio presents the International Folk Music Awards 2017 artist of the year. Fri, 3/3, 6:30pm. $20$25. Chico Women’s Club, 592 E. Third St. kzfr. org

SECOND HAND SMOKE: Blues, rock and swing in the barn. Fri, 3/3, 4:30pm. Free. The Barn at Meriam Park, 1930 Market Place. (530) 3990753. meriampark.com


Special Events

FLUME STREET FAIR: Art, crafts, jewelry, stained glass, ceramics, live music and more. Sat, 3/4, 12pm. Free. Chico Art Studio, Corner of 8th & Flume Streets.


All month long Chico


CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION: See March 2. Showing through March 12. Sat, 3/4, 7:30pm. $18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. totr.org

MAMMA MIA!: See March 3. Showing through March 5. Sat, 3/4, 7pm. $8-$20. Paradise Performing Arts Center, 777 Nunneley Road, Paradise. 530-891-3090. inspirechico.org

PUFFS: See March 2. Shows through 3/5. Sat, 3/4, 2pm & 7:30pm. $8-$20. Wismer Theatre, Performing Arts Center. 530-8983300. csuchico.edu/muta


AMAROK, LEVEL: Chico sludge oozes onto the stage as Amarok returns to the lounge. Also, local power-violence crew Level. Sat, 3/4, 7pm. $10. Naked Lounge, 118 W. Second St.

CHAD BUSHNELL – SINGLE RELEASE PARTY: NorCal-raised Nashville singer/songwriter Chad Bushnell will be celebrating the release of his latest single,”Whiskey To Work.” Sat, 3/4, 9pm. Tackle Box, 379 E. Park Ave. tackleboxchico.com

CANA ROAD BAND: Live blues-rock. Sat, 3/4, 4:30pm. Free. The Barn at Meriam Park, 1930 Market Place. (530) 399-0753. meriampark.com

DRIVER: Classic rock. Sat, 3/4, 8pm. Free. Jen’s Place, 7126 Skyway, Paradise. 530-413-9130.

20 CN&R MARCH 2, 2023
Ordinary Elephant – March 3 Los Lobos – March 19 Old 97’s – March 27 Snow Tha Product – April 1 Sugarhill Gang – March 24


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

OBJECT HEAVY & SAUCETRONAUT: From Arcata, vintage, hard-hitting soul with modern funk and some gospel. Saucetronaut opens Sat, 3/4, 7pm. $15-$20. Gnarly Deli, 243 W. Second St. gnarlydeli.square.site

SOUL POSSE: Covers for dancing. Sat, 3/4, 6pm. The Commons Social Empourium, 2412 Park Ave.

WALK ON BOULEVARD: Live music. Sat, 3/4, 8pm. $5. Mulberry Station Brewing Company, 175 E. 20th St. 530-809-5616.




2. Showing through March 12. Sun, 3/5, 2pm. $18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. totr.org

MAMMA MIA!: See March 3. Showing through March 5. Sun, 3/5, 2pm. $8-$20. Paradise Performing Arts Center, 777 Nunneley Road, Paradise. 530-891-3090. inspirechico.org

PUFFS: See March 2. Shows through 3/5. Sun, 3/5, 2pm. $8-$20. Wismer Theatre, Performing Arts Center. 530-898-3300. csuchico.edu/muta


JIM, SUSIE AND BETH MALCOLM: The parents are joined by daughter Beth, recently awarded the Scots Singer of the Year by the BBC. Sun, 3/5, 5:30pm. $22. Arc Pavilion, 2040 Park Ave.

SURF NOIR KINGS: Eclectic surf soundtrack. Sun, 3/5, 3pm. Free. Secret Trail Brewing Company, 132 Meyers St., Ste. 120, 530-487-8151.



AETHEREUS & THE HALLOWED CATHARSIS: Heavy riffs from the Pacific Northwest (Aethereus and The Hallowed Catharsis). Cement Sarcophagus and Plague of Malice open with local death metal. Tue, 3/7, 7pm. $10. Naked Lounge, 118 W. Second St.

DIVA NIGHT @ MULBERRY STATION: Weekly showcase of local female singers. Tue, 3/7, 5:30pm. Free. Mulberry Station Brewing Co, 175 E. 20th St. 530-828-0912.



CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION: See March 2. Showing through March 12. Thu, 3/9, 7:30pm. $18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. totr.org


BART BUDWIG & PAT HULL: Bart Budwig “sounds like John Prine, plays like Hoyt Axton, and looks like well … Bart Budwig. He’s a cosmic country lawn gnome.” Chico crooner Pat Hull opens. Thu, 3/9, 8pm. Argus Bar + Patio, 212 W. Second St.

CHASE MATTHEW: Nashville-based singer/ songwriter known for his tune “County Line” comes to Chico. $22. Thu, 3/9, 7:30pm. Senator

Theater, 517 Main St. jmaxproductions.net

EARTHKRY: KZFR brings the roots reggae crew to Chico, with special guest Dalwayne. Thu, 3/9, 6:30pm. $20-$25. Chico Women’s Club, 592 E. Third St. 530-895-0706. kzfr.org

PINK MARTINI: The energetic, genre-hopping big band from Portland Oregon returns to Chico. Thu, 3/9, 7:30pm. $35-$55. Laxson Auditorium, Chico State. (530) 898-6333. chicoperformances.com

SUGAR PINE: Acoustic Thursdays. Thu, 3/9, 5:30pm. Free. Mulberry Station Brewing Company, 175 E. 20th St. 530-809-5616.




2. Showing through March 12. Fri, 3/10, 7:30pm. $18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. totr.org


DUFFY’S HAPPY HOUR: See March 3. Fri, 3/10, 5pm. Duffy’s Tavern, 337 Main St. 530-343-7718.

HOT FLASH: Six-piece female-fronted cover band. Fri, 3/10, 4:30pm. Free. The Barn at Meriam Park, 1930 Market Place. (530) 3990753. meriampark.com

MULLET MECHANIX: Biggest hits of the ’80s from—new wave, pop and heavy metal! Fri, 3/10, 8pm. $10. Unwined Kitchen & Bar, 980 Mangrove Ave.

ROCKHOUNDS: Rock covers. Fri, 3/10, 8pm. Free. Jen’s Place, 7126 Skyway, Paradise. 530-413-9130.

SAVANNAH DEXTER & BRABO GATOR: Country-rap couple live at The Box. Fri, 3/10, 9pm. $30. Tackle Box, 379 E. Park Ave. tacklebox chico.com


Special Events

FLUME STREET FAIR: Art, crafts, jewelry, stained glass, ceramics, live music and more. Sat, 3/11, 12pm. Free. Chico Art Studio, corner of 8th & Flume Streets.


CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION: See March 2. Showing through March 12. Sat, 3/11, 7:30pm. $18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. totr.org


THE GNARLY PINTS: Acoustic Duo. Sat, 3/11, 4:30pm. Free. The Barn at Meriam Park, 1930 Market Place. (530) 399-0753. meriampark.com

SECOND HAND SMOKE: Smokin’ grooves in a variety of styles. Sat, 3/11, 7pm. The Commons Social Empourium, 2412 Park Ave. thecommons chico.com

WHISKEY RIVER BAND: Live country. Sat, 3/11, 8pm. Free. Jen’s Place, 7126 Skyway, Paradise. 530-413-9130.

SUN12 Theater

CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION: See March 2. Showing through March 12. Sat, 3/12, 2pm. $18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. totr.org


MONOPHONICS: Chico Concerts brings the psychedelic-soul crew to the Women’s Club. Sun, 3/12, 7:30pm. $30. Chico Women’s Club, 592 E. Third St. eventbrite.com



SUNDAY SCARIES: Progressive EDM duo headlines a party that also features sets by Ramo b2b Deezy, Komac b2b Mayna, Sotelo b2b Boyan, and Woka. Mon, 3/13, 8pm. $15-$25. El Rey Theater, 230 W. Second St. elreychico.com

TIM KLIPHUIS AND JIMMY GRANT: Classical, gypsy jazz and traditional-folk violinist Tim Kliphuis, with.jazz guitarist Jimmy Grant. Mon, 3/13, 6pm. $20. Lili’s Brazilian Bistro, 147 Broadway.

TUE14 Music

DIVA NIGHT @ MULBERRY STATION: Weekly showcase of local female singers. Tue, 3/14, 5:30pm. Free. Mulberry Station Brewing Co, 175 E. 20th St. 530-828-0912.

JONATHAN RICHMAN: The original Modern Lover will perform two intimate shows in one night. Tue, 3/14, 7pm & 9pm. $20. Pageant Theatre, 351 E. Sixth St. Pre-sale at eventbrite.com.

THU16 Events

RED CROSS BLUES-DINNER FUNDRAISER: A dinner and concert by Big Mo & The Full Moon Band to raise money for the American Red Cross. $100. Thu, 3/16, 6pm. Manzanita Place, 1705 Manzanita Ave. redcross.org/celebraterc23


KIM GIMBAL, STEVIE COOK, THERESE CHUDY: Acoustic Thursdays. Thu, 3/16, 5:30pm. Free. Mulberry Station Brewing Company, 175 E. 20th St. 530-809-5616.

CRUZ CONTRERAS: Solo show with Black Lillies frontman. Thu, 3/16, 7:30pm. $20-$25. Chico Women’s Club, 592 E. Third St. cruzcontreras.com

FRI17 Music

BAD JOHNNY: Live rock Fri, 3/17, 8pm. Free. Jen’s Place, 7126 Skyway, Paradise. 530-413-9130.

DUFFY’S HAPPY HOUR: See March 3. Fri, 3/17, 5pm. Duffy’s Tavern, 337 Main Street. 530-343-7718.

ST. PATRICK’S DAY AT THE BREWERY: Funky party music with Sounds Good? You are not going to want to miss this! Fri, 3/17, 8pm. $10.

Mulberry Station Brewing Company, 175 E. 20th St. 530-809-5616.


Special Events

FLUME STREET FAIR: Art, crafts, jewelry, stained glass, ceramics, live music and more. Sat, 3/18, 12pm. Free. Chico Art Studio, corner of 8th & Flume Streets.


ALBINO CROWE: Live rock music. Sat, 3/18, 8pm. Free. Jen’s Place, 7126 Skyway, Paradise. 530-413-9130.

CANA ROAD BAND: Live blues and rock. Sat, 3/18, 8pm. $5. Mulberry Station Brewing Company, 175 E. 20th St. 530-809-5616.


March 3-5

Paradise Performing Arts Center

VULTURE FEATHER: Post/pre/future-punk band from the mountains of Northern Cali. Mercury’s Butterfly opens. Sat, 3/18, 8pm. $10. Naked Lounge, 118 W. Second St.

SUN19 Music

LOS LOBOS : The influential, Grammy-winning, East L.A. rockers are celebrating their 50th year as a band. Gaby Moreno opens. Sun, 3/19, 7:30pm. $40-$60. Laxson Auditorium, Chico State. chicoperformances.com

VICKY FAREWELL: Solo gig for producer known for her R&B and soul-laden jams. Sun, 3/19, 7:30pm. $10. Duffy’s Tavern, 337 Main St.

TUE21 Music

DIVA NIGHT @ MULBERRY STATION: Weekly showcase of local female singers. Tue, 3/21, 5:30pm. Free. Mulberry Station Brewing Co., 175 E. 20th St. 530-828-0912.

THU23 Music

STEVIE COOK: Acoustic Thursdays. Thu, 3/23, 5:30pm. Free. Mulberry Station Brewing Co., 175 E. 20th St. 530-809-5616.


Special Events

BANFF MOUNTAIN FILM FESTIVAL: Two evenings of films of remote journeys, groundbreaking expeditions, and cutting-edge adventures told through the eyes of photographers, filmmakers and explorers from around the globe. Each evening will feature different film selections. Visit website for details. Fri, 3/24, 7:30pm. $20. Laxson Auditorium, Chico State. chicoperformances.com

A SNAPSHOT REVISITED Shows through March 19 1078 Gallery

What do you think?

Have an opinion about a recent CN&R story or anything else happening locally? Then share it with us and the community. Send your letter or guest comment (200 or 325 words or less, respectively) to:


Deadlines to be considered for April print issue: March 23 (guest comment) and March 27 (letters).



DUFFY’S HAPPY HOUR: See March 3. Fri, 3/24, 5pm. Duffy’s Tavern, 337 Main St. 530-343-7718.

HEIRLOOM: Local rock quartet live. Fri, 3/24, 8pm. Free. Jen’s Place, 7126 Skyway, Paradise. 530-413-9130.

NIGHT KNIGHTS FACE THE MUSIC: Reunion show with old-school Chico rockers the Night Knights—featuring Ska-T, Kid Crash and Dick Slax, plus friends J. Morano and Dana Olsen. Fri, 3/24, 8pm. $10. Mulberry Station, 175 E. 20th St., Ste. 100. 530-809-5616.

RICK ESTRIN & THE NIGHTCATS: A long-time Chico fave, the Bay Area blues crew returns to town. Fri, 3/24, 7:30pm. $30.

Chico Women’s Club, 592 E. Third St. chico concerts.net

SPIRIT MOTHER, COLD BLUE MOUNTAIN, THE TIGHTYS: Long Beach psych-rockers from Long Beach (Spirit Mother) join local noisemakers at the lounge. Fri, 3/24, 7pm. Naked Lounge, 118 W. Second St.

SUGARHILL GANG: “Now what you hear is not a test, I’m rappin’ to the beat, and me, the groove, and my friends are gonna try to move your feet!” The OG’s are in the house! Fri, 3/24, 9pm. $30. Tackle Box, 379 E. Park Ave. tackleboxchico.com


Special Events

BANFF MOUNTAIN FILM FESTIVAL: See March 24. Sat, 3/25, 7:30pm. $20. Laxson Auditorium, Chico State. chicoperformances.com

FLUME STREET FAIR: Art, crafts, jewelry, stained glass, ceramics, live music and more. Sat, 3/25, 12pm. Free. Chico Art Studio, corner of 8th & Flume Streets.



OLD 97’S: The legendary bar-rock crew on the Senator stage. Caitlin Rose opens. Mon, 3/27, 8pm. $23. Senator Theater, 517 Main St. jmaxproductions.net



DIVA NIGHT @ MULBERRY STATION: Weekly showcase of local female singers. Tue, 3/28,

5:30pm. Free. Mulberry Station Brewing Co., 175 E. 20th St. 530-828-0912.




BIRD: Goth-folk Brooklyn duo Charming Disaster perform playfully dark songs inspired by death, crime, myth, magic, science and the occult. Locals Empty Gate and Henry Crook Bird open. Wed, 3/29, 7pm. $10. Naked Lounge, 118 W. Second St.


Special Events

BUTTE COLLEGE BIG TIME: A social gathering celebrating Native American peoples and cultures featuring traditional dancing, drum group, art, jewelry and food. Thu, 3/30, 9am. Butte College main campus, Oroville. butte.edu

CHICO STATE OPEN STUDIOS: Works by Chico State students on display at galleries, studios and workshops in Art Department buildings. Thu, 3/30. Free. Ayres Hall and Arts & Humanities Building, Chico State.


TROPA MAGICA, MAUSKOVIC DANCE BAND: Psychedelic cumbia-punk duo Tropa Magica returns to Chico with Amsterdam’s Mauskovic Dance Band. Thu, 3/30, 8:30pm. $15. Duffy’s Tavern, 337 Main St. eventbrite.com


FRI31 Music

CHICO LATIN ORQUESTA: Local Afro-Caribbean crew at the wine bar. Fri, 3/31, 8pm. $10. Unwined Kitchen & Bar, 980 Mangrove Ave. unwinedchico.com

DUFFY’S HAPPY HOUR: See March 3. Fri, 3/31, 5pm. Duffy’s Tavern, 337 Main St. 530-343-7718.


Special Events

CASABLANCA – NVCS FUNDRAISER: Northern Valley Catholic Social Services is hosting a Casablanca-themed fundraising event with live music by The Sun Followers. Sat, 4/1, 2pm. White Ranch Events, 214 Hagenridge Road.


SNOW THA PRODUCT: JMax Productions presents the young rapper/You Tube star. $30. Sat, 4/1, 8:30pm. Free. Senator Theater, 517 Main St.


Special Events

BOOK IN COMMON: A lecture by Thi Bui, artist/ author of this year’s Book in Common for Butte County, The Best We Could Do, a graphic novel about a family’s journey from war-torn Vietnam to the United States. Wed, 4/5, 7:30pm. $20. Laxson Auditorium, Chico State. chicoperformances.com


One of the most common band-bio clichés is the humble-brag that “Fill in the Blank Band is impossible to categorize.” It’s rarely true. Most bands can generally be summed up by mashing a two musical styles together. Charming Disaster is one of the rare bands that could be so bold if they chose. The Brooklyn-based group describes itself in many ways, starting with “dark goth-folk duo with songs about death, crime, myth, magic, science and the occult.” Others have chimed in with things like, “Truly madly creepy” and “Mystery infused pop,” and depending on the song, all of that works. Make up your own mind when the group plays Naked Lounge March 29 with locals Empty Gate and Henry Crook Bird.

22 CN&R MARCH 2, 2023
TROPA MAGICA March 30 Duffy’s Tavern
FORAPPOINTMENTS ChicoCommunityAcupuncture.com 1815MangroveAve.,Chico (530)345-5300

After six years spent sailing down the coast of Central America and around the South Pacific, Mike and Mary McCluskey considered three different cities—the homes of their children—to (figuratively) drop anchor and call home.

The couple, who’ve been married since 1969, came up with a short list of requirements while weighing each location: an art-house cinema; a good used book store; an adult enrichment program; and an alternative newspaper. In Chico they found, respectively, the Pageant Theatre, The Bookstore, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) and, of course, the publication you’re now reading. Since moving here in 2012, the couple has taken dozens of classes with OLLI, and even started one of their own, teaching tai chi—a

Chinese art of movement, meditation and controlled breathing that improves mental and physical wellness. That expanded to facilitating public practice sessions, free and open to everyone, on the south edge of Sycamore Pool in Bidwell Park two mornings each week.

In their landlocked home port, they’ve also found a community of like-minded music lovers. Folk music, especially but not exclusively of the Irish variety, has been a cornerstone of their shared passion since their college courtship.

On Valentine’s Day, the couple sat with the CN&R in their living room, surrounded by keepsakes from their sailing days and 50-plus years together, to talk about lifelong love and learning and the journey that brought them to Chico.

Mike and Mary’s relationship was an adventure from the beginning. They met for a blind date to his fraternity picnic while both were attending San Diego State College (now University) in the mid-1960s.

“I picked her up in my 1962 Volkwagon,” he recalled. “I had the duty of transporting the fraternity mascot that day, a 250-pound Saint

already experienced boat life for part of her childhood—wasn’t so game. Then, life happened. In the next four decades, the couple biked Europe, raised three children, tried farming and lived in Washington, Oregon and various cities in the California Central Valley. They worked several jobs, with Mary often teaching music and Mike working as a city engineer and eventually as a public works director. He eventually held that position for 10 years in San Luis Obisbo (SLO), where the couple also took tai chi lessons in the mid-1990s.

then to the Galapagos Islands. Then came the roughly 3,000-mile Pacific crossing to the Marquesas Islands.

Two days into that 24-day trek, the boat’s auto-steering went out. Mary explained this wasn’t a catastrophic situation, but it greatly complicated the voyage. Rather than leisurely six-hour watch shifts, the couple had to trade off every three hours and constantly steer the vessel. They had an mp3 player filled with sea shanties, folk music and Irish drinking songs, and they’d sing along during their solo shifts to stay awake and focused.

Bernard [named OX, for Theta Chi]. We sat next to each other in that tiny car with the dog’s huge head between us, drooling all over the place.

“We got to the park and there was a sign saying ‘No Dogs Allowed.’ So we had to drive around to the opposite side of a baseball field. Mary and I lifted and pushed the dog up and over a fence to my fraternity brothers.”

Mary was already an accomplished multiinstrumentalist by that point, playing flute, piccolo and violin. She bought a guitar her freshman year of college and started learning songs by her favorite artists, like Judy Collins and Joan Baez.

“It was the age of Bud & Travis, The Kingston Trio, all that great stuff, and it was just a part of us,” Mike said. Another formative event during those years, for Mike, was a sailing class he took. He was smitten and dreamed of sailing the high seas, but Mary—having

In SLO, Mike met regularly with other public works directors in the region to talk policy and offer mutual moral support. During one meeting, a member offered to take the whole crew of stressed-out civil servants sailing. Mike’s infatuation was reignited, so he began taking lessons, and soon was able to take their kids on the water. Mary eventually came along, saw the allure of more modern sailing vessels, and was likewise hooked. The couple decided to retire early and buy a boat.

The McCluskeys spent six months fixing up their 44-foot catamaran in Seattle and set sail in August of 2005. For two years they worked their way south, living and sailing off the coast of Mexico and returning to California for hurricane seasons. They made their way to Panama,

Although scary at times, both describe the crossing as transcendental. “It really affected my soul,” Mary said. “I spent hours steering that boat, alone at night, looking at the stars and following the constellations as they moved across the sky. It was very Zen, an introspective and beautiful experience that very few people have had, to be so at one with the elements.”

After the Marquesas, the McCluskeys spent roughly four years island-hopping around the South Pacific. Mary took her violin and would play with anyone she met.

“In some ports, like Tonga, she’d pull it out and the next thing I know she’s sitting around a campfire playing with a bunch of Tongans and drinking kava,” Mike said.

The couple sailed as far as Bundaberg, Australia, before they sold the boat in Brisbane and spent six months touring Australia and New Zealand by land. They returned to the US in 2010, and moved to Chico in 2012.

After taking OLLI classes for a few years, Mike joined the group’s membership committee, and eventually served as president of that panel. Then they started teaching their tai chi class, and expanded that to include the park sessions at the request of former students. They’ve also found musical outlets—Mary plays with Irish “kitchen band” Molly’s Favorite and Mike sings with The Celtic Knights of the Sea.

With their days of working and wandering behind them, the couple seem content with their feet on solid ground, active social life, OLLI classes and astonishingly youthful spryness.

“Now, we just have fun,” Mary said with a smile. Ω

MARCH 2, 2023 CN&R 23
Sign up OLLI class sessions occur in the spring, summer and fall. Registration is still open for spring. Call or visit site for more info. Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Chico State 530-898-6679 rce.csuchico.edu/osher
Ken Smith kens@ newsreview.com
story and photos by
‘Lifelong love and learning’
couple share their passion and talents for living full
Mike and Mary McCluskey in their Chico home. Mary McCluskey leads a tai chi class next to the Sycamore Pool in Lower Bidwell Park.

End of the five-buck meal?


Imiss Zot’s. When the Chico News & Review was still downtown (I miss that a lot, too), Zot’s Hot Dogs & Deli was the closest restaurant to our building. It was just a short walk across the city parking lot to grab a really good dog (the tomato slices were key), plus chips and an iced tea and then get back to the desk for the afternoon push.

All for five bucks.

That was the ceiling. If I needed a quick bite during the work week, the meal had to cost $5 or less, and it had to be good. No fast food chains. I actually had a rotation of faves that were all within walking or biking distance, but post-pandemic that loop has been broken. As I’ve eased back into grubbin’ in public, I’ve found that my faves are either gone (shedding a tear for Zot’s, closed after 50 years in business) or have raised prices—some significantly. I don’t fault any local restaurant for responding to inflation and rising food costs. It’s perfectly reasonable to now pay $10 for a good made-to-order lunch—though it is a bit jarring to see $15 sandwiches at some places (those have been moved into the “date night” category for me).

If there is a good $5 option available, however, I’m not going to pass it up. I surveyed some of my traditional haunts as

well as some new places and, without resorting to the fastfood spots (although chains aren’t so cheap these days, having raised prices by 13 percent overall last year), I found a handful of delicious, well-made, on-the-go, five-bucks-or-less items still available. (A quick shout out to one fast-food option: Costco and the unbeatable hot dog + soda for $1.50 deal. It’s too cheap, too delicious and remains one of my go-to lunches.)

A slice

One of Chico’s favorite restaurants also offers one of its best deals. A slice from Celestino’s (101 Salem St.) is no joke. Nearly as big as an individual pizza from from other parlors, most of the ready-to-go slices at the downtown staple are priced between $4 and $5. The


beans, rice, meats, etc.—and busted my gut last year), I found a handful of Costco and the unbeatable hot dog + soda for

This one is on everyone’s radar, right? In Chico, there are more than a dozen trucks/ taquerias serving cheap and insanely delicious food that’s as well-prepared and enjoyable as a meal you’d pay five times more for at a fine dining establishment. Most places offer three tacos worth of pollo, carnitas, pastor, carne asada, etc. for under $5, and there are always specials on other items using those classic street-food proteins. During my most recent trip to the walk-up window at Crazy Taco (1205 Park Ave.), I picked up a junior burrito (al pastor) on Tuesday Special for $4.50. It was a little smaller than the usual offering, but was built with the same choice of fillings— beans, rice, meats, etc.—and busted my gut nearly as effectively.

crust is among the best in

crust is among the best in town—light, chewy, and thin enough to properly fold over to eat on the run. Options in the price range include cheese, pepperoni, mushroom, Hawaiian and Oscar Spicy Luau (with pineapple, garlic, jalapeno and pepperoni).


If it’s cold out and I’m not too hungry, soup is the answer. On a recent chilly mid-February afternoon, I tried out one of the rotating offerings from the hot bar at Chico Natural Foods (818 Main St.) for the first time. The day’s special was the housemade Spiced

Lentil, a hearty nearly all-organic offering that is packed with lentils and vegetables (sweet potato, onion, carrot, celery, tomatoes and bell pepper) and big flavors thanks to a spice blend that included curry powder, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon and white pepper. The 12-ounce portion is only $3.99 and was enough to fill me up.

Asian grocery to-go meals

Both of the Asian food stores in town— MY Oriental Market (2550 S. Whitman Place) and Asian Market (343 Nord Ave., Ste. 3)—serve fresh, ready-made lunch items from a counter by the register. Items vary, and not all are $5 or less (including the incredible bahn mi sandwich that’s only $6), but they are all made with loads of fresh veggies and some with a little bit of meat (pork, cooked tiny shrimp, fish paste), including the fresh spring rolls. Three enormous rolls wrapped in rice paper and packed with bean sprouts, cilantro, carrots, lettuce, a little jalapeno and a tiny amount of seafood with a spicy dipping sauce for just $5.

24 CN&R MARCH 2, 2023
story and photos by Jason Cassidy jasonc@ newsreview.com Chico Natural Food’s Spicy Lentil Soup.
In Chico, there are only a handful of good super-cheap options left
Pastor burrito from Crazy Taco. Fresh spring rolls from Asia Market. A slice of Oscar Spicy Luau from Celestino’s.


Oscar season

Some pre-Academy Awards viewing at the Stream & Dream Lounge

I’m always interested in learning who and what wins the Oscars, but I probably won’t be watching much of the televised ceremony, again, this year (March 12).

That’s a reflection of my indifference toward the ceremonial ministrations themselves rather than the nominated films, there’s always some indifference there, too.

I do have some curiosity about what happens with the new German remake of All Quiet on the Western Front. It has already won big with the British equivalent of the Oscars (BAFTA), and it received several Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best International Film. For me, it’s not nearly the best in either category. It is an impressive production, but not a particularly

good movie. It’s a respectful adaptation of the classic Erich Maria Remarque novel, but even then only as a live action cartoon with a big budget and a load of caricatures and cliches.

In To Leslie, Andrea Riseborough, the semi-controversial nominee for Best Actress, does deliver a boldly immersive performance as an aging, alcoholic party girl. The movie’s best acting is in scenes that pair her character with the males in her life—her son (Owen Teague), an anguished and contentious relative (Stephen Root), and the motel owner (Marc Maron) who tries to help her redeem herself. She’s good, but no match for Cate Blanchett in Tár

Le Pupille, nominated for Best Live Action Short, is a 37-minute masterpiece from Italy. It’s directed by the esteemed Alice Rohrwacher

(and funded by Disney!), and the cast includes two major stars, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi and the director’s sister, Alba. But it’s best described as a fresh, stylish musical comedy centered on some rambunctious little girls in a Catholic boarding school, at Christmas time, circa 1940.

Close, a Best International Film nominee from Belgium, is a small but quite brilliant film about the intense, doomed friendship between two 13-year old boys, and the emerging relationship of the one boy and the other boy’s mother after tragedy strikes. The drama is subtle and intimate throughout, and it culminates in powerfully emotional moments in which almost no words are spoken.

The nominations pay homage to Stephen Spielberg’s The Fabelmans, but ignore another auteur’s quasi-autobiographical coming-of-age story and period piece—James Gray’s Armageddon Time. Gray’s film can’t match the bright performances and flashy entertainment of Spielberg’s film, but his pungently detailed family drama has a gravity and a richness that ought to have gotten greater

recognition than it has so far. Best original screenplay, maybe?

Alice Diop’s French language drama, Saint Omer, was shortlisted for Best International Film, but didn’t make the cut. It’s partly an offbeat courtroom drama, but ultimately it revolves around the fraught but mostly unspoken relationship between Rama, a writer and teacher of Senegalese descent, and Laurence, a Senegalese immigrant and student charged with murder for the death of her 2-year-old daughter. The courtroom is in the French town of Saint Omer, but the emerging drama is a richly intriguing tangle of immigrant heritage and assimilation, mixed-race relationships, and

the dynamics of mother-daughter bonds. In a way, it is a closet drama, but it has a large reach, emotionally and intellectually. A great non-Oscar pleasure of recent weeks has been the Poker Face TV series on Peacock. Charmingly raucous Natasha Lyonne plays a rough-and-ready working gal whose journey through a series of odd jobs keeps bringing her into the vicinity of major crimes on which her uncanny skills of observation will be brought to bear. Her character Charlie Cale’s preternatural ability to detect falsehoods (or, in her words, “bullshit”) contributed to so much success as a poker player that she’s now persona non grata in major casinos— hence her peripatetic career of odd jobs and volunteer crime-solving. The eight hour-long episodes in season one always begin with commitment of a crime, then shift gears to show Charlie getting drawn from the margins of the case and on toward the heart of the matter. Lyonne makes such an enchantingly brash heroine that I’m moved to binge, finally, on her previous series, the much-admired Russian Doll (Netflix). Ω

MARCH 2, 2023 CN&R 25
Close, the Belgian contender for Best International Film.



Just before the CN&R print deadline, I got word about the passing of beloved local musician Alan Rigg. He died in the early morning of Feb. 25 at Enloe Medical Center. He was 69.

Rigg had been playing music in Butte County from the summer of 2005—when he moved here from New Orleans after losing his home to Hurricane Katrina (he also lost a home in Paradise to the Camp Fire in 2018)— all the way up to a Mardi Gras party gig at the Chico Elks Lodge on Feb. 18.

According to his friend, Melissa Schuster, Rigg was surrounded by friends, loved ones and his dog Tipitina, all gathered in his room singing songs to the end.

In 2019, I wrote a feature on Rigg for this paper. Here’s an updated version of the section summarizing his musical life:

Rigg had been playing music since he was 6 years old. He was born in Kentucky and grew up in Indiana, where at age 14 he joined his first band, a regionally popular garage-rock outfit called The Weejuns. He moved around, touring the South with succession of groups—Cold Sweat, C.C. Express and a professional backup band called the Memphis All-Stars, which would provide musical accompaniment for touring performers—everyone from Little Anthony to Chuck Berry.

In 1995, fulfilling a lifelong dream, he moved to music-rich New Orleans and became a fixture in the scene, performing everywhere from street corners to major clubs like Tipitina’s and House of Blues. A couple of fellow performers he met while playing on the streets of that city actually lured him out West in 2005. Michael Borland (aka Zack Dragon) and Pablo Diablo—of one-time Butte County Cajun-rock crew the Double Zero Band—invited their friend to Butte County to join them in the scene. Once fate stranded him here, Rigg got right to work. He formed the Alan Rigg Trio—with him singing and playing keyboard and guitar—and began performing jazz whenever he could. As he established himself and started meeting other local musicians, the trio eventually grew into the Alan Rigg Band, featuring a large rotating crew of local ringers. The expanded cast helped Rigg beef up the jazzy sound, as he brought in elements of Zydeco, rock, funk and R&B to the band’s repertoire of covers and originals and making them regulars at restaurants, clubs and community events all over Butte County. A memorial for Rigg is being planned for later in March.


is still weeks away, but Chico has already sprung. The month of March is full of so many huge shows (Los Lobos! Old 97’s!) and a ridiculous number of rad-looking smaller ones (Tropa Magica, Charming Disaster, Amarok, Spirit Mother, Bart Budwig, Vicky Farewell). It’s almost daunting.

Two of the best musical developments come from maybe the two best local acts.

First, Surrogate has a new album called Space Mountain, and it’s streaming now on Spotify and Apple Music (with physical mediums planned for summer release). Fans of the tuneful rockers have heard all of the songs already as the band leaked each track as it was made over the past five years. It’s a bright, rockin’ collection filled with perfect melodies and great lyrics, and it might be this fanboy’s fave.

Also, troubadour extraordinairre, Jonathan Richman is playing a local gig! Two actually, an early (7 p.m.) and a late (9 p.m.) performance, March 14 at the Pageant Theatre. It’s a Valley Fever production and tix are available at eventbrite.com.

26 CN&R MARCH 2, 2023


ARIES (March 21-April 19): In 1993, I began work on my memoirish novel The Televisionary Oracle. It took me seven years to finish. The early part of the process was tough. I generated a lot of material I didn’t like. Then one day, I discovered an approach that liberated me: I wrote about aspects of my character and behavior that needed improvement. Suddenly everything clicked, and my fruitless adventure transformed into a fluidic joy. Soon I was writing about other themes and experiences. But dealing with self-correction was a key catalyst. Are there any such qualities in yourself you might benefit from tackling, Aries? If so, I recommend you try my approach.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Two Taurus readers complained that my horoscopes contain too much poetry and flair to be useful. In response, I’m offering you a prosaic message. It’s all true, though in a way that’s more like a typical horoscope. (I wonder if this approach will spur your emotional intelligence and your soul’s lust for life, which are crucial areas of growth for you these days.) Anyway, here’s the oracle: Take a risk and extend feelers to interesting people outside your usual sphere. But don’t let your social adventures distract you from your ambitions, which also need your wise attention. Your complex task: Mix work and play; synergize business and pleasure.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Astrologer Jessica Shepherd advises us to sidle up to the Infinite Source of Life and say, “Show me what you’ve got.” When we do, we often get lucky. That’s because the Infinite Source of Life delights in bringing us captivating paradoxes. Yes and no may both be true in enchanting ways. Independence and interdependence can interweave to provide us with brisk teachings. If we dare to experiment with organized wildness and aggressive receptivity, our awareness will expand, and our heart will open. What about it, Gemini? Are you interested in the charming power that comes from engaging with cosmic contradictions? Now’s a favorable time to do so. Go ahead and say, “Show me what you’ve got” to the Infinite Source of Life.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): “Only a lunatic would dance when sober,” declared the ancient Roman philosopher Cicero. As a musician who loves to dance, I reject that limiting idea—especially for you. In the upcoming weeks, I hope you will do a lot of dancing-while-sober. Singing-while-sober, too. Maybe some crying-for-joy-while-sober, as well as freewheeling-your-way-throughunpredictable-conversations-while-sober and cavorting-and-reveling-while-sober. My point is that there is no need for you to be intoxicated as you engage in revelry. Even further: It will be better for your soul’s longterm health if you are lucid and clearheaded as you celebrate this liberating phase of extra joy and pleasure.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Poet Mary Oliver wondered whether the soul is solid and unbreakable, like an iron bar. Or is it tender and fragile, like a moth in an owl’s beak? She fantasized that maybe it’s shaped like an iceberg or a hummingbird’s eye. I am poetically inclined to imagine the soul as a silver diadem bedecked with emeralds, roses, and live butterflies. What about you, Leo? How do you experience your soul? The coming weeks will be a ripe time to home in on this treasured part of you. Feel it, consult with it, feed it. Ask it to surprise you!

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): According to the color consultant company Pantone, Viva Magenta is 2023’s color of the year. According to me, Viva Magenta is the lucky hue and power pigment for you Virgos during the next ten months. Designer Amber Guyton says that Viva Magenta “is a rich shade of red that is both daring and warm.” She adds that its “purple undertone gives it a warmth that sets it apart from mere red and makes it more versatile.” For your purposes, Virgo, Viva Magenta is earthy and exciting; nurturing and inspiring; soothing yet arousing. The

coming weeks will be a good time to get the hang of incorporating its spirit into your life.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): If you are not working to forge a gritty solution, you may be reinforcing a cozy predicament. If you’re not expanding your imagination to conjure up fresh perspectives, you could be contributing to some ignorance or repression. If you’re not pushing to expose dodgy secrets and secret agendas, you might be supporting the whitewash. Know what I’m saying, Libra? Here’s a further twist. If you’re not peeved about the times you have wielded your anger unproductively, you may not use it brilliantly in the near future. And I really hope you will use it brilliantly.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Storyteller

Martin Shaw believes that logic and factual information are not enough to sustain us. To nourish our depths, we need the mysterious stories provided by myths and fairy tales. He also says that conventional hero sagas starring big, strong, violent men are outmoded. Going forward, we require wily, lyrical tales imbued with the spirit of the Greek word metis, meaning “divine cunning in service to wisdom.” That’s what I wish for you now, Scorpio. I hope you will tap into it abundantly. As you do, your creative struggles will lead to personal liberations. For inspiration, read myths and fairy tales.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21):

Many astrologers don’t give enough encouragement to you Sagittarians on the subject of home. I will compensate for that. I believe it’s a perfect time to prioritize your feelings of belonging and your sense of security. I urge you to focus energy on creating serenity and stability for yourself. Honor the buildings and lands you rely on. Give extra appreciation to the people you regard as your family and tribe. Offer blessings to the community that supports you.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): If you are like 95 percent of the population, you weren’t given all the love and care you needed as a child. You may have made adaptations to partly compensate for this lack, but you are still running a deficit. That’s the bad news, Capricorn. The good news is that the coming weeks will be a favorable time to overcome at least some of the hurt and sadness caused by your original deprivation. Life will offer you experiences that make you feel more at home in the world and at peace with your destiny and in love with your body. Please help life help you! Make yourself receptive to kindness and charity and generosity.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): The philosopher Aldous Huxley was ambitious and driven. Author of almost 50 books, he was a passionate pacifist and explorer of consciousness. He was a visionary who expressed both dystopian and utopian perspectives. Later in his life, though, his views softened. “Do not burn yourselves out,” he advised readers. “Be as I am: a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it.” Now I’m offering you Huxley’s counsel, Aquarius. As much as I love your zealous idealism and majestic quests, I hope that in the coming weeks, you will recharge yourself with creature comforts.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Piscean author and activist W. E. B. Dubois advised us to always be willing to give up what we are. Why? Because that’s how we transform into a deeper and stronger version of ourselves. I think you would benefit from using his strategy. My reading of the astrological omens tells me that you are primed to add through subtraction, to gain power by shedding what has become outworn and irrelevant. Suggested step one: Identify dispiriting self-images you can jettison. Step two: Visualize a familiar burden you could live without. Step three: Drop an activity that bores you. Step four: Stop doing something that wastes your time.

MARCH 2, 2023 CN&R 27
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