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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

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APRIL 6, 2023 CN&R 3 CN&R INSIDE Vol. 46, Issue 10 • April 6–May 3, 2023
for the truthful content of their advertising message. CN&R is printed at Western Web on recycled newsprint. CN&R is a member of Chico Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Chico Business Association, AAN and AWN. 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 Spotlight on Chico’s drag artists 8 FEATURE 12 CN&R’s 2023 Bike issue ARTS & CULTURE 20 April events 20 Scene 24 Reel World 26 Chow 28 Arts DEVO 29 Brezsny’s Astrology 30 ON THE COVER: PHOTO OF STEVI MITTMAN’S “SILVER STREAKER” SCULPTURE (FACEBOOK.COM/SSMITTMAN), PART OF THE BIKE-PEDIA EXHIBIT ON DISPLAY AT THE MUSEUM OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA ART THROUGH MAY 14. PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY TINA FLYNN 8 MORE ONLINE Find content available only at chico.newsreview.com 12 Bruce Jenkins Insurance & Financial Services CA License #0B86680 •Medicare Supplement Plans •Medicare Advantage Plans •Social Security Maximization •Retirement Income Planning •Life Insurance 530-781-3592 We will do the research for you! www.brucejenkinsinsurance.com 708 MANGROVE AVENUE | 530.899.0725 $10 OFF HEEL & SOLE SHOES Spring is in the air!

Unsafe politics

In this week’s news feature (“A home for drag,” page 8), Ashiah Bird shines a light on Chico’s vibrant drag scene. The performers interviewed share how this inclusive, supportive community offers a safe forum for self-expression and identity exploration. They also share their concerns over the efforts of 15 of this country’s Republican-controlled state legislatures to try and outlaw some drag performances. So far, Tennessee is the only state to pass such legislation via a bill that includes “male or female impersonators” in a list of what it describes as “adult-oriented performances that are harmful to minors,” banning drag artists from public performances where minors are present. Much of the inflammatory rhetoric in support of these laws takes aim at the popular drag queen story hours that largely take place in public libraries, characterizing them as attempts to sexualize children or groom them for an alternative lifestyle. As Bird’s interviewees point out, just as any artist performing in a public place, those doing drag cater their act to the audience. The kids are getting kid stories, not a bar act. Thankfully, the Tennessee law has already been blocked by a federal judge. However, civil rights advocates and drag performers point out that these efforts have already inspired violence as hate groups such as the Proud Boys have showed up at drag story hour events around the country and


No military equipment

A new law, AB 481 requires California police departments hold a yearly public meeting about “military equipment,” including what they have and how they use it. Our Chico Police Department’s presentation to be led by Chief Aldridge is currently scheduled for April 27, 6 p.m., in City Council Chambers.

If you can’t attend, read up on the policy at the city’s site (chico.ca.us/ post/ab-481-military-equipment-usepolicy) and send comments to the Chico Police Department Professional Standards Unit (CPDPSU@chicoca. gov) as well as the City Council (visit chico.ca.us/city-council-directory for contact info).

Read more on this issue at the Concerned Community for Justice site: cc4jchico.org

incited physical confrontations.

Out here in liberal California, we might be under the impression that the free expression of drag performers won’t soon lose its legal protections, but that doesn’t mean hateful groups won’t be inspired by the political rhetoric to act on their own. All we have to do is look at our District 1 U.S. Congressman Doug LaMalfa to take a cautionary pause. In a Tweet last October, LaMalfa wrote: “Our children’s classrooms are for reading, writing, and math. Not ‘Drag Show Storytime’.”

Instead of putting on a political show and pandering to his base, LaMalfa could endeavor to serve the well-being of all of his constituents. The drag community is the example of decency here, promoting the very freedom and liberty that these anti-drag laws would quash.

We suggest LaMalfa and those sponsoring these laws take a cue from the American Library Association, which stands by the branches who choose to host drag performers for story hours in the name of “creating a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive society. This includes a commitment to combating marginalization and underrepresentation within the communities served by libraries through increased understanding of the effects of historical exclusion.”

As a concerned Chico community member, I demand that the City Council not approve Chico Police Department’s Military Equipment Use Policy. We are not at war, and CPD has yet to explain why it is amassing these weapons in our small, rural northern California town. A lot of money is needed to train officers on how to use this equipment, as well as store, repair and upkeep military-grade weapons and equipment that our town does not need. This is a waste of precious funding that needs to be reinvested into our community, not into weapons. The police have no business bringing these military weapons into our community. Please attend the Community Engagement meeting April 27, 6 p.m., in City Council Chambers, and contact the city council demanding an end to the militarization of our local police department.

Pistols were the only weaponry needed by the Chico Police Department in the five most recent officer-involved fatal shootings of civilians in the city. I cannot understand why CPD needs military weaponry when the fact is that traditional pistols have been proven to be effectively lethal. I believe there is ample brainpower in Chico to organize and oppose the police department’s policy. In a time when officers are allegedly being trained to de-escalate and to embrace the preservation of life, it seems counterproductive to increase the lethal weapons available to the “peace officers” of CPD. Please show the Chico City Council that you oppose militarizing the police department. It is a matter of life and death.


For 38 years, the Pancakes for Peace fundraiser put on by the Chico Peace & Justice Center (CPJC) was one of our community’s signature spring events. The popular all-youcan-eat organic breakfast and Easter egg hunt at the CARD Center developed into a tradition for many over the years.

In 2020, the CPJC folded, and it seemed as though the annual event would disappear as well, that is until the Community Housing Action Team (CHAT) resurrected it last year. Some of the folks at CHAT, including President Leslie Johnson and Vice President Bob Trausch, were part of the group at CPJC who started the original event, and are among those leading its slight rebranding—and hopeful resurgence—as Pancakes for CHAT.

“This is a fun fundraiser,” said Trausch, as he hyped the event over a cup of tea one recent chilly morning. The upcoming fundraiser (April 9) comes during a year in which CHAT will be celebrating its 10th anniversary. In the years since Trausch, Johnson and just a handful of volunteers launched the organization with the Safe Space program—which provided shelter for unhoused individuals during a cold spell at the end of 2013—CHAT’s operations have grown to include nearly 100 houses for those in need and 32 paid employees, plus many more volunteers. The original Safe Space emergency shelter program has branched off on its own, as CHAT has focused its efforts on a variety of year-round programs providing immediate housing for those in need.

For groups like CHAT and Safe Space, a large part of their success comes from trying to stay out of the political fray, instead focusing energy on addressing immediate needs.

“If you see a problem, you don’t talk about it, you look for a solution,” said Trausch during our coffee shop visit, adding, “Arguing about which side is wrong, that doesn’t get you anywhere.”

Most important for those in need is the commitment that the folks at CHAT have made to building trust as they help them through their crises.

“People who have been broken, people living in the street, have lost faith in themselves and lost faith in the community. Our job, literally, is to get them to start trusting us,” said Trausch. “When they start trusting us and know that we’re not going away, that’s when I start seeing healing in them. Because they’ve had so many failures. When they see that you’re not going away, you can start seeing life changes.”

Pancakes for CHAT happens Sunday, April 9, 8 a.m.-noon (egg hunt at 10:30 a.m.), at the CARD Center (545 Vallomborsa Ave.). Tickets ($20/adults; $10/ages 6-12; under-6 free) are available at the door and on the CHAT site (chicohousing actionteam.net).

4 CN&R APRIL 6, 2023
Send guest comments, 300 words maximum, to gc@newsreview.com or to P.O. Box 56, Chico, CA 95927. Please include photo & short bio.
Jason Cassidy is editor of the Chico News & Review


Bully on the trail

“W ould you please restrain your dog?” my husband asks.

“My dog just wants to play with your dog! Leave him alone, you geezer!” is her response.

Atticus Amick Stites

The author is a retired University of Georgia faculty member who moved to Chico in 2018 to be near her grandchildren.

Red-faced with seeming rage, she grabs her dog’s collar, takes two steps, then lets go. Her dog bounds back and starts circling and barking at our dog, who crouches and whines, clearly not equal to nor interested in its approach.

“Please leash your dog. Can’t you see my dog is afraid?” he repeats.

“Go on, you old fart! I’m yelling really loud so I know you hear me. It’s all your fault! You upset my dog by telling me to put him on a leash! Take your cane and get out of here! This isn’t a place for old people!”

Regularly, we take our dog, Bonny, to

Upper Bidwell Park for a chance to go AWOL—on A Walk Off Leash. She is a Nervous Nelly who loves to run across a beach or wide-open fields, and is deadly afraid of strangers and other dogs. In the park, there is an unspoken etiquette for those with dogs going AWOL: If you see someone with their dog on a leash, control yours until they pass. In these cases on the trail, folks normally say, “Thank you,” and smile. This is why our recent morning encounter was so shocking. Such disrespect and bullying is simply not part of the Upper Bidwell experience.

We are a pair of white middle-class retirees who have become accustomed to not being harassed in public. We understand many people don’t enjoy such privilege. This morning’s collision of young vs. old was a minuscule taste of what others may face every day.

So, I have to ask: What is going on that makes a person believe it’s okay to yell at another person and see them as having less of a right to be in a place?

Hopefully, for Chico’s sake, this incident

It is with great sadness that the Amick family relates the death of Atticus Amick Stites. Atticus died on March 30, 2022 of fentanyl poisoning. He was 22. Easygoing and big-hearted, Atticus was born and raised in Chico, CA, and leaves behind many people in the community who cared deeply for him. He was a graduate of Chico High School, and had dreams that included a college degree in business and construction management, and running his own business. He was a great worker, companion, storyteller, and outdoor enthusiast. He is survived by his father, Kevin Stites, of West Liberty, IA, his aunt, Micki Amick, of Denver, CO, his uncle and aunt, Aaron and Cari Amick, of Yelm, WA, and his grandparents, Roger and Claire Amick, of State College, PA. He will be forever missed by his cousins Madeleine, Jack, and Andy Amick.

For those concerned about or who wish to learn about the prevalence of fentanyl in their community and the devastating effects it is having on especially young people, the Amick family encourages the review and/or financial support of the following resources:  www.songforcharlie.org • www.cdc.gov/stopoverdose/naloxone/index.html


Kathleen Elliott is a highly creative landscape designer and educator with over 40 years experience specializing in family-oriented environmentally sustainable landscape for residentail properties. She has expert knowledge of erosion control, drought-tolerant, and fire-safe landscape design and horticulture, including healing gardens.

APRIL 6, 2023 CN&R 5
925-209-7702 mountainviewlandscape2020@gmail.com

Picking Season


Melissa Daugherty is on break for this issue, so please enjoy this timeless column from 2018.

Fred Rogers was an evolved human being. I recognize that now—as an adult, as a mother, as a person who would have benefited from having someone like him around during childhood.

I didn’t see that as a kid. In fact, though I watched Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood countless times, I viewed him as the chief weirdo in his whacky Neighborhood of Make-Believe. To be honest, his puppetry creeped me out—especially Lady Elaine Fairchilde, the witch-like, rednosed puppet whose voice sounded like nails on a chalkboard. As for Rogers, I couldn’t quite wrap my head around his tender, deliberative style of talking to kids like me.

That’s not to say I disliked the show. Like other Gen-Xers, I watched it quite often, likely because there weren’t many options in the early 1980s. I may have tuned in as a warmup to Sesame Street. I can’t recall.

What I do remember is that Rogers was reliable. He started each show with his signature entrance: singing that cheesy yet catchy theme song while taking a stroll to the closet to swap his jacket for a comfy sweater, and then winding it down while changing from loafers to sneakers.

Clearly, he was a good person—predictably and perhaps unrealistically so. I mean, who talks to kids like that? Nobody in my life—that’s for sure.

Recently, I was drawn to the new documentary about the real-life Rogers, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? I watched it last weekend in a soldout Pageant Theatre with folks who, like me, were seeking relief from the news of the day. I was crossing my fingers that the guy I remembered was at least similar to the man on public television.

I discovered several things about Rogers, including the fact that he was an ordained minister. In hindsight, that makes sense. Mister Rogers didn’t preach religion, but he certainly preached love—for others and oneself. That whole “love thy neighbor as thyself” thing really stuck with him, it would seem.

Perhaps one of the stranger things the documentary reveals is that Rogers had a bit of an obsession with the number 143, which, when broken into three numbers, connotes the message “I love you.” For those who didn’t have pagers in the 1990s, I’ll translate: “I” is one letter, “love” is four letters, and “you” is three letters. He also prided himself on weighing exactly 143 pounds.

Eccentricities aside, Rogers was brave and his show resulted in breakthrough television. In one episode that originally aired in 1969, for example, he invites the local police officer, played by a black man, to join him in cooling his feet off in a mini pool. That was a big deal in the year after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

Indeed, for the millions of kids who got to know Mister Rogers during his show’s national run on PBS—from the late 1960s to 2001—Fred Rogers was a hell of a role model, a bold visionary with a calming presence in a chaotic world. We just didn’t realize that at the time—or at least I didn’t.

There are several takeaways from Won’t You Be My Neighbor? For me, the biggest is that America needs more people like Fred Rogers, especially now.

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

Do you remember your first bike?

Asked in downtown Chico

I think it was a purple Trek bike? It was a mountain bike. We would go sometimes on the trails around Chico and ride around, but nothing too crazy.

is the exception that proves the rule of friendliness, politeness and community that has marked 99.9 percemt of our experience during our walks in Upper Park.


Shelter from the war

Uniting for Ukraine is a federal program offering Ukrainian citizens Temporary Protected Status—to shelter in the U.S.— for two years, offering support for the war refugees, who may also be able to apply for asylum.

I do! It was a Huffy BMX bike. Dad got if for me, I think for a birthday gift when I was maybe 6, 7 years old. I was pretty proud of my bike.

The number of Ukrainians seeking to come here exceeds the number of approved sponsors. Sponsorship support can range from being a “Paper Sponsor” (submitting the required paperwork, Form I-134 Declaration of Financial Support, to U.S. Customs and Border Protection) to providing or helping refugees secure transportation and housing. Sponsors can decide for themselves the extent of support they are able or willing to provide; there is no obligation to host a Ukrainian individual or family in their home or to provide them with financial assistance.

If you’re in a position to help someone from Ukraine escape the destruction occurring in that country, visit u4u.com.ua for additional information.

My first bike?

Yeah, it was blue and had tassels and I got it for Christmas. It was two-wheel. That was my first big-girl bike.

Chandler Porter coffee shop manager

I rode a lot of 20-inch bikes behind the almond warehouse [on The Esplanade]—at the makeshift bike park.

Parking meter ripoff

Credit card companies charge merchants on average between 1 and 1.5 percent to process credit card transactions. Here in Chico, we have a new parking meter payment system in place. You can use quarters or your credit card, and for the latter you will be charged a 35 percent surcharge for the convenience. Swipe for one dollar and get charged $1.35!

Hannah Rott college student
GUEST COMMENT 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 May 4 print publication is April 24.



BIDWELL WILDLIFE REHAB EVENT: A wildlife “baby shower” and volunteer information event for the local organization that takes care of injured and orphaned wildlife. Sat, 4/22, noon-3pm. Barn at Meriam Park, 1930 Market Place. bidwellwildliferehab.org

CHICO SPRING CLEAN DAY: Volunteer to clean up in a designated area in the Chico community. Visit city site to sign up. Sat, 4/29, 9amnoon. chico.ca.us/chico-spring-clean-day

ENDANGERED EARTH EVENT: Butte Environmental Council hosts multiple Earth Day events: Walk 4 Earth walk and rally (9:30am); Heal Our Home climate-action projects (11am); community gathering (5-8pm). Visit site for more details. Sat, 4/22. becnet.org/bec-events

NVIH HEALTH FAIR: North Valley Indian Health hosts 4-hour health-screening and -education event. Fri, 4/7, 10am-2pm. Wildwood Park. nvih.org

SEED TO SHADE: To improve Chico’s urban forest, Butte Environmental Council has ambitious tree-planting programs in place through the spring. If you’d like to volunteer or would like a tree, visit the site to register. becnet.org


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, 4/11 & 4/25, 9am. Butte County Board of Supervisors Chamber, 25 County Center Drive, Oroville. buttecounty.net

CHICO POLICE COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT MEETING: The chief discusses CPD’s military equipment. Thu 4/27, 6pm. City Council Chambers, 421 Main St.

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/agendasminutes. Tue, 4/18, 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, 4/13, 6pm. City Council Chambers, 421 Main St. chico.ca.us

A home for drag

Chico artists, producers create safe spaces for their art, speak out against anti-LGBTQ laws

loved trying on his cousin’s communion dress.

Upcoming burlesque/drag shows

When Kar Solorio Ocegueda was five years old, he donned a wig made from yarn and got on his school swing set, relishing the feeling of his new locks blowing freely in the wind behind him. Though he had moments like these while growing up when he experienced the pure joy of self-expression, they were often bittersweet—he’d cry when other kids would tease him for being “feminine.”

The Stardust Revue: April 29, 10 p.m., Duffy’s Tavern, $10 Hypnotique Productions presents Nebula: April 20-22 and 26-29, 8pm, Mulberry Station, $20-40, Tickets: hypnotique-productions. ticketleap.com/nebula

The Malteazers & Atalanta Productions: May 5, The Naked Lounge

After years of practicing makeup in secret, his drag queen persona Klaudia Banks made her debut in 2019 at The Maltese, and she’s been performing at local venues ever since.

“Drag does something to me I can’t get anywhere else,” he said. When Solorio Ocegueda is performing as Klaudia Banks, “I am celebrated for everything that I used to hide. I’m celebrated for my femininity, being plus-size. … Drag heals my inner child a lot.”

fines and/or jail time. Similar bills have been proposed in over a dozen other states.

Solorio Ocegueda says he knew then that he was gay, and though he didn’t yet know what drag was, it’s clearly what he was drawn to— he’d also walk around in his mother’s heels, and

Despite the long history of drag and its popularity in mainstream culture, drag has become the latest target of anti-LGBTQ legislation. In Tennessee, a law was passed to prohibit drag on public property or places where minors could be present. Performers who violate this law (which has been blocked by a federal judge for now) can receive a misdemeanor, felony,

In Chico, the scene remains a vibrant part of the community, with drag and burlesque shows featuring drag performers presented regularly at venues around town by multiple production companies. The CN&R sat down with several local drag artists to capture what drag means to them—why it’s such such an important part of their identity and self-expression—and how they feel about what’s happening nationally. Local producers of drag shows also shared that they are committed to continuing to create safe spaces for the performers.

Drag for all

Wearing her finest church hat, pearls and lilac shawl, Titi the drag queen opened the pages of Gary the Unicorn and began to read. In this story (written by Michael

8 CN&R APRIL 6, 2023

Nicholson-Dick, the artist personifying Titi), Gary discovers his true identity and how to love and accept himself. Each time Titi triumphantly declared “unicorn,” colorful confetti rained down in celebration.

Titi read the story as part of a video event for children and families, hosted by Stonewall Alliance Center in collaboration with Faith Lutheran Church in 2020. The event also featured an art project, singalongs and breathing exercises.

Today, Nicholson-Dick is primarily known for his drag and burlesque performances as Mike Dee with local troupe The Malteazers, but this special moment he shared with the children of his church highlights the fact that drag is a versatile art form, he said. Drag artists know how to tailor a show for their audience, he said, whether it’s a daytime story-time event for children or a bawdy show at a bar for those 21 and older. Titi is a nurturing queen who wants children to know that “you can be whoever you want to be,” he explained. Whereas Mike Dee was “pulled out of a dumpster and thrown on stage.”

The term “drag” has been around since the 1800s and was solidified as a queer art form in the 1950s,

when drag artists began performing in bars. In 1969, drag performers were on the front lines of the Stonewall uprising in New York City, a six-day protest of the police harassment, discrimination and criminalization of the LGBTQ community. (At the time, it was illegal for members of the same sex to even show affection in public—e.g., holding hands, kissing, dancing).

Drag became a part of pop culture in the 1970s with prominent figures like drag queen and actor Divine, and its visibility and popularity grew from there. The award-winning television show RuPaul’s Drag Race, which aired its first season in 2009, catapulted drag into the mainstream. Recently, drag brunches and storytime events for all ages have become a fixation for protests and anti-drag laws proposed in states such as Texas, West Virginia, Nebraska and South Carolina. Proponents of these proposed laws argue that children need to be protected from drag, using homophobic tropes accusing LGBTQ performers of being predators grooming children.

Drag has long been a selfexpressive performance art form that encourages people to embrace and accept who they are. People want to demonize drag or say that it’s perverse, Solorio Ocegueda said, but “it’s not. It’s just art.

“It sucks that in this day and age we’re being targeted for being ourselves, [embracing] our queer identity and celebrating each other,” he said. “Is it really that you’re scared

about kids, or because we’re unapologetically queer and ourselves?”

All-ages events with drag queens were inspirational and affirming for Solorio Ocegueda when he was a teen—they allowed him to meet local drag queens, who he later did his makeup (or “painted”) with, he said.

“It made me go, ‘Wow, these are my people. I am not alone or a weirdo.’”

Drag is inspirational for other performers, too. Kasandra Partain, co-founder of The Stardust Revue and co-owner of Atalanta Productions, produces drag and burlesque shows. The drag artists she worked with at The Maltese— the now closed bar that used to be home to many of Chico’s drag events—inspired her and helped build her self-confidence as a burlesque dancer.

“I’ve been able to express myself because I’ve seen drag queens do it themselves, and it’s OK to have an outlet to do that.”

Freedom of expression

When Sierra Hall was a young actor, they often would be cast as a boy in musical theater productions, and the experience gave them “this sense of euphoria.”

“Since I was so little, a lot of people couldn’t tell I was actually a girl. They’d be like, ‘Great job, son,’ and ruffle my hair,” they said. “And I was like, Why does this make me feel so good?”

Their drag persona, LoverBoy (a Justin Bieber-esque performer), is a continuation of that journey of gender expression and identity they have experienced as an adult.

“It’s so freeing. I feel like I can tap into my masculinity. It makes me feel sexy, it makes me feel like a rock star—the girls screaming,” they said with a smile.

Hall recently did a routine where they began in an old-fashioned suit, bow tie and mustache and transformed into a woman. “Drag can be any creative expression of gender,” they said.

This support of gender expression extends to production companies, too. The folks behind Hypnotique Productions started organizing original cabaret bur-

lesque shows in Chico in 2022. Since its inception, owner and Mama Hypnotique herself, Kelsi Judge, has welcomed drag artists and encouraged all performers to explore their gender expression.

“I think my shows are better because they have these incredible drag personalities that are able to tell our stories,” she said. “Bringing in the element of drag is not only important for the performance, but it’s important for visibility and acceptance in our community. … especially during these times right now, where they’re coming under attack.”

Alex Garcia, (also known as drag queen Miss Ruby Alexander) first did drag when he was in eighth grade, playing Sharpay Evans in High School Musical Jr. He swapped the character’s blonde wig for a black one—which would later become Miss Ruby’s signature look. In fall 2021, Miss Ruby made her debut, and since then, Garcia’s passion for drag and performing has only grown.

“I’ve struggled my whole life with identity, and I think a lot of people have,” he said. Drag allowed him to find a platform to really be himself.

Quashing hate

All of the artists the CN&R spoke with shared their fears of existing in today’s world, where drag performers and the LGBTQ community continue to be targets of hate and violence.

“I, of course, have the constant fear that today is going to be the day someone brings a gun to a show or to Pride,” Nicholson-Dick said. “It’s a hard situation, because I can see how somebody can be turned off and not be who they want to be because they’re afraid … but at the same time, if we don’t have people being who they want to be, we can’t quash hate.”

Hall, who is nonbinary and has a transgender family member, and Nicholson-Dick, a trans man, both shared their concerns about how anti-drag laws could also further encourage discrimination against trans people, as well.

Nicholson-Dick said he can see a trans girl finally feeling comfort-

APRIL 6, 2023 CN&R 9
Chico drag queen Klaudia Banks is “a bimbolicious diva who loves to come out for a good time.” PHOTO COURTESY OF KLAUDIA BANKS Left: Drag queen Miss Ruby Alexander is “bratty, catty and always after someone’s daddy.” PHOTO BY MADESON RUBEL Titi the drag queen reads Gary the Unicorn by Michael Nicholson-Dick, a story about identity and self-love, as part of a drag storytime event for children at Faith Lutheran Church. PHOTO COURTESY OF MICHAEL NICHOLSON-DICK/TITI

able wearing a dress in public and being punished as a result. “I’d be concerned about somebody labeling that as drag and shutting it down. And where would that line be for everybody? Are they going to ban Bugs Bunny and Mrs. Doubtfire?”

“I think that the language is purposefully vague so that they can discriminate against trans people,” Hall added. “That’s why I feel as members of the queer community we really have to band together to protect each other.”

In light of what’s happening nationally, local organizations and production companies have been rallying around drag artists.

Justina Sotelo, events coordinator for Chico-based nonprofit Stonewall Alliance Center, said: “It’s beyond disheartening to see the drag community weaponized, especially considering this community has been the backbone to so many queer and LGBTQ+ spaces by promoting self-love, acceptance, joy and true authenticity.

“We fully support and love our drag king and queen community,” she continued. “We have hired these

talented performers in the past, and will continue to hire, spotlight, promote, uplift and, of course, wholeheartedly back them.”

Similar sentiments were also shared publicly on social media by Duffy’s Tavern, which hosts The Stardust Revue Shows: “Duffs and the many other supporting local venues LOVE our queens and kings. To hell with legislation and any notion to the contrary.”

Nicholson-Dick, who performs

with The Malteazers, said the troupe has found a welcoming, supportive home at Gnarly Deli.

“Drag is part of Hypnotique,” Judge added. It’s important for the public to see drag artists to promote “more visibility, more acceptance and awareness.”

“There will always be a home for drag within my company,” Partain said. “I am a very proud supporter of the drag community, and I’m not going to stop.”

Drag brings joy to people, Garcia said—he sees it on their faces and hears it in their laughter when he and his fellow drag queens, kings and “drag things” perform. Plus, it’s not uncommon for local shows to be sold out or standing room only.

“I think I was put on this Earth to make people happy,” he said. “I love making people smile and feel loved. And it brings me a lot of joy to do that.”

Moving forward, Solorio Ocegueda said that people can protect themselves and others in marginalized communities by voting and donating to LGBTQ and civil rights organizations.

More than ever, he encouraged fellow performers to “celebrate your drag.”

“Highlight drag and make it more visible. Don’t let it go back into the shadows.” Ω

10 CN&R APRIL 6, 2023
Sierra Hall, through their drag king persona LoverBoy, has been able to further explore their gender expression and identity. PHOTO COURTESY OF SIERRA HALL/LOVERBOY Drag queen Miss Ruby Alexander performs at Hypnotique Productions’ show Eden at Mulberry Station in February 2022.
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Bike ISSUE 2023

Spring showers bring promise of wildflowers and new cycling adventures

Bicycle races are coming your way, so forget all your duties, oh yeah

—“Bicycle Race,” Queen

This special issue might be a month early for National Bike Month (which is May), but it is just in time for Chico’s biggest cycling event of the year, the Wildflower Century, which takes place on April 30. The CN&R’s Bike Issue is meant to coincide with this spring tradition, with Chico Velo hosting thousands of cyclists for a scenic tour of Butte County.

To inspire the riding spirit, we have a trio of bike stories on tap this year, including a profile on the inclusive, welcoming Chico Corsa cycling club; an update on the construction of the new Silver Dollar BMX track; and a look at Bike-pedia, the current group art show on display at the Museum of Northern California Art.

Welcome to the bike club

Wildflower weekend

April 29: Wildfest, race pre-party with food trucks, bike demos, bike games and live music, noon-6 p.m.

April 30: Wildflower Century, start times between 5:30 and 9 a.m.

Silver Dollar Fairgrounds

2357 Fair St. wildflowercentury.org

Chico Corsa supports riders of all ages, interests, skill levels

When cyclist Jenn Alexander joined the Chico Corsa cycling club in 2013, she went on one of her first long-distance rides, setting out with a spirited group to tackle a 65-mile ride along the Unknown Coast on day one of the weekend trip. As she approached a particularly steep hill on the route, struggling to keep going, she listened to her body and stopped pedaling.

Alexander loaded up her bike and climbed into a Corsa support and gear (SAG) vehicle, there to provide snacks and water but also to pick up any riders who were unable to continue. Later that night, she joined her fellow club members for a lively dinner.

Though the rest of the ride continued the next day, Alexander wasn’t physically ready to finish the route. During the trip, she felt nothing but support for her decision, she said, and it’s why she has continued to ride for Corsa and became the club’s vice president.

“There was absolutely not any shame …. This group was happy I was there doing what I could do,” she said. “It’s what made me want to get more involved in it. I think there’d be a much higher level of interest in cycling if people felt supported instead of humiliated by what they can do.”

Indeed, the experience Alexander had exempli-

12 CN&R APRIL 6, 2023

fies one of the core values of Chico Corsa: creating an inclusive, supportive cycling community that includes riders of all skill-levels, body types, ages and interests, she said.

“[With Corsa], it’s not about being competitive. It’s about supporting each other,” she said. “It was a welcome relief to be seen by a group of people as somebody who wanted to be on a bike and be included. My weight or physical appearance was never a part of it. It was, ‘Yay, you want to be on a bike! Let’s go.’”

The first ride

When David Klein’s family first moved to Chico, he met the late Ed McLaughlin, former president of Chico Velo, who invited him to rides. Klein took him up on his offer, and quickly dove into the local cycling scene, racing for several clubs. He often ended up riding alone, however, and soon desired to form his own team for “the camaraderie and to get people who have been on the fence to start racing.”

In 2005, Klein, with the help of friend Dan Bogan, assembled a group of about 18 riders, and they trained together and rode in the Wildflower Century—which also garnered them their first major sponsor as the Chico

Corsa club. That year, the group also launched the Long Steady Distance (LSD) ride, which is still held every Sunday, October through January.

After that first year, under the leadership of former club president Geno Gruber, Corsa held a criterion race in downtown Chico, which eventually became the Chico Stage Race, later managed by members Michelle and Michael Painter. The club stopped hosting it a few years ago, passing it off to a racingbased club, Klein said.

Current Corsa President Shawn Hughes came on board in 2011, helping the group form a not-for-profit 501(c)(4). At the same time, they expanded their efforts to become a broader cycling club, with more offerings outside of racing.

When Hughes joined the club, he was a rusty cyclist dusting off the spokes after decades off of two wheels. In 2007, he hopped on his wife’s old bike and “hardly knew how to shift,” he said with a laugh.

But soon enough, one of his good friends got a road bike and the pair started riding together, which then evolved into a small, close group of riders. He started getting more involved in the local cycling community, riding every day with different clubs. The first he joined was Chico Corsa, and he discovered a “super friendly,” supportive group.

“I didn’t know anything, and there was a whole group of riders who were proficient and patient.”

Cycling for all

Over the years, Chico Corsa has maintained a social club vibe while also focusing on educating cyclists on safety and creating inclusive opportunities for folks to ride.

Today, Corsa has about 70 members, but membership is not required to join rides. Though some rides have a registration fee, many are free/donation-based. Optional memberships are offered at $40 a year, and cyclists of all ages and skill levels are welcome to join for a variety of rides.

Though most of their members are in their 40s and 50s, Klein said, with Corsa, college students will ride alongside business owners, and their members includes cyclists in their 20s up to those in their 80s.

Hughes added that the club often puts on rides or events to support the interests of their members. Corsa hosts multiple weekly rides, including the Thursday Night Cross (or TNX) gravel/dirt-based ride, the Friday Coffee Ride that ends with conversation and coffee, and the Women On Wheels (WOW) group ride.

Women on Wheels can be a great entry point for some female cyclists, Alexander said, because it gives them a chance to join a social, non-competitive group dedicated to women. Before joining Corsa, Alexander had been belittled for her experience or ability level during some predominantly male rides, which had a “culture of mansplaining.”

“I’ve never experienced that with Corsa or WOW,” she said.

Ride on

Chico Corsa’s next ride: Unknown Valley North, 76-mile loop, April 16. For more info, find Chico Corsa Cycling Club on Facebook or visit its site, chicocorsa.com

Contact: chicocorsa2020@gmail.com

APRIL 6, 2023 CN&R 13
Left: Cyclist Jenn Alexander, far left, said that she felt immediately welcomed when joining Chico Corsa (founded by David Klein, second from right). The group has created a culture of support and inclusivity among riders of all skill-levels. PHOTO COURTESY OF CHICO CORSA Chico Corsa members (from left) Steve Twist, Nolan Leupp and Jenn Alexander make a pit stop during the Tour of the Unknown Coast ride. PHOTO COURTESY OF CHICO CORSA Chico Corsa founder David Klein (second from left) launched the group in 2005 for “the camaraderie and to get people who have been on the fence to start racing.” PHOTO COURTESY OF CHICO CORSA


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For some women who have experienced those kinds of environments, it can be easier to ask another woman for coaching on how to tackle hills, for example, because it is “way less intimidating.”

WOW cyclists are “supportive of each other and getting women interested in the sport and maintaining those connections,” she said.

Corsa also puts on a two-day ride events, weekend events like the Tour of the Unknown Coast (which will be held in September this year) and the Bidwell Bump, an Upper Bidwell Park mountain bike race first held in 1970s. Through the Bidwell Bump last year, Corsa raised approximately $4,200 for On the Road to Rescue, a local nonprofit that helps dogs get fostered and adopted.

In the club’s more recent history (approximately the past four years), Corsa decided to bring back some old beloved rides that were no longer being organized by the local cycling community, Klein and Hughes said. This includes the Unknown Coast and Sutter Buttes rides. They also began working with multiple bike shops in town (rather than having one exclusive shop).

Corsa sponsors bike maintenance courses through local shops, as well, and as part of their Wildflower training course, cyclists learn how to safely ride on the road in a group. Every ride is an educational opportunity: with LSD, for example, cyclists who haven’t yet ridden in a group

can learn from experienced riders “at a set pace” that is about “being steady versus high intensity,” Klein said.

This applies across all rides with Corsa, Hughes added. Even with rides that are at a faster pace, he’s a big proponent of “no drop rides,” where no rider is left behind.

While on a bike ride last month with a small group of cyclists, he noticed someone falling to the back, pedaling at a slower pace. Hughes eased up on his speed and joined her, and the pair talked—she was just getting back into cycling.

“I stayed with her the whole time and I said, ‘Go at your own pace, it’s the only way you’ll get better. If you try to chase, you’re going to get frustrated or hurt yourself.’”

Alexander related to this moment: When she first started out all those years ago, it was empowering for her to be included regardless of her ability level: Chico Corsa treated her the same then as they do now that she is an experienced cyclist.

“Everybody has a starting point. One of the things that’s hardest to overcome as a new cyclist is feeling like you’re dragging everybody behind. We make sure we let people know that’s not the situation at all—we want you to continue to ride.” Ω

Last September, Chico Corsa cyclists set off on the Tour of the Unknown Coast, a two-day ride covering 100 miles. PHOTO COURTESY OF CHICO CORSA
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Getting back on track

Where other people may see nothing but a muddy tract of land past the Chico Regional Airport, Phil Wysocki and Jim Clancy—the track operator and board president of Silver Dollar BMX, respectively—envision a world-class bike racing facility and essential community gathering place.

“This will be the parking lot,” Wysocki said on the stormy afternoon of March 19, sludging through the wet muck around a puddle the size of a small swimming pool. He pointed across the field to a few industrial-sized mounds of dirt, and continued, “Our building will be over there, and the track over here.”

Wysocki led the way through more mud and puddles to the edge of a giant pit, where the track itself will be located.

“We’ve gotta wait for this to dry out, then we hope to start grading this spring.” he said, outlining the plan to properly transform the area—installing underground utilities, building infrastructure, track shaping— before offering his most optimistic estimate regarding when riders can hit the track.

“Were hoping for summer. That’s a pie-in-the-sky kinda hope, because it’s all dependent on timing and there’s obviously a lot of steps from grading to being able to ride.”

Force to move

Silver Dollar BMX is a nonprofit founded in 2000, and for most of its existence the organization’s home has been a plot of city-owned land in south Chico, adjacent to the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds and accessed from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway. The organization had a 30-year, no-cost lease with the city to operate there.

The property where the track was located was bandied about as a possible shelter

site for several years as Chico—and every other California city—grappled with the still-present and growing issue of homelessness. Prompted by the Warren v. City of Chico lawsuit, the city reclaimed the site to house the Chico Emergency Non-Congregate Housing Site, aka the Pallet Shelter. Wysocki said the city approached them in Sept. 2021, and the track closed in November of that year.

“We understand that was an emergency situation and needed to be done,” said Wysocki. “We had the options of throwing our hands in the air, complaining, giving up, or getting to work on rebuilding. So we’ve been working on this ever since.”

To mitigate the eviction from the BMX track, the city committed $600,000 to help the organization relocate and rebuild, and allowed it to take over a different city property located next to the Chico Westside Little League Park. The no cost, 30-year lease agreement remains the same as at the old site.

Still, the organization needs significantly more money for the new track and facilities to be fully realized. Construction of the track alone is estimated to cost $1.4 million. The design they’re using was devel-

oped by Mike McIntyre, a landscape architect whose company—Action Sports Design—specializes in BMX tracks, skate parks and action/adventure parks. His designs includes similar, highly lauded tracks in Houston, Texas, and Rock Hill, S.C. The latter will host the BMX World Championships in 2024.

Fundraising efforts are ongoing. Wysocki said the BMX group has partnered with a number of local contractors and other organizations to keep costs down, and hopes to do more of this. Significant contributors he mentioned, aside from the City of Chico, include the Chico Builders Association, which provided free design for a building at the track that will house Silver Dollar BMX’s office space, and the North Valley Community Foundation, which gave $5,000 from its Chico Children’s Endowment Fund.

Wysocki explained the track operates under the national organization USA BMX, which is both its govern-

16 CN&R APRIL 6, 2023
Plans are underway for building a new Silver Dollar BMX facility near Chico Regional Airport
A rider catching air the old Silver Dollar BMX track, now the home of Chico’s Pallet Shelter. CN&R FILE PHOTO BY KYLE DELMAR Silver Dollar BMX Track Operator Phil Wysocki (left) and Board of Directors President Jim Clancy hope to have a new BMX track near the Chico Municipal Airport operational by this summer. PHOTO BY KEN SMITH

ing body and its insurer. He said that organization has offered to help defray some costs and to help them get the track going as soon as possible.

He also noted that the new track could become operational before it’s 100 percent complete. “We think we can get riding [for] somewhere south of $700,000.”

Worth the effort

In its 20-plus years of operation, Silver Dollar BMX has helped thousands of riders of all ages live their bicycle-motocross-racing dreams. The BMX season is year-round, halting only for a few weeks in December, and is central to the lives of many participants. Without a track in Chico, the closest BMX racing facilities are in Sacramento and Shasta Lake City.

Silver Dollar BMX was not just affected by the forced move, but also struggled during the COVID-19 crisis. The track was closed for most of 2020, then reopened in Feb. 2021.

“Our ridership actually grew significantly

coming out of COVID because we were one of the first sports that was able to reopen,”

Wysocki said, explaining that BMX is held outdoors, riders wear full face helmets equivalent to face coverings, and that the organization instated social distancing rules so fans sat in the grandstands during competition, then stayed near their vehicles in the parking area between races.

The boon was short lived, as the track was closed down eight months after reopening. Wysocki and Clancy said the track’s erratic availability in recent years has hindered riders’ progress and advancement, and contributed to the fragmentation of a oncestrong strong community.

In addition to being president of the organization’s board of directors, Clancy has also been racing for nine years, competing in the sport’s 56-and-over class, and spoke firsthand about the effects of the closure.

“BMX is a tight community,” Clancy said. “You have families that are traveling together and a lot of relationships are built at the track. It becomes a social network and it sucks when you don’t have it.

“It’s frustrating,” he continued. “I started riding to get into and stay in better shape, and I use it to be in a better mental place. Riding takes my mind off stuff, off all the stresses of life, and without the track it’s been a little harder.”

APRIL 6, 2023 CN&R 17
Help the races go on Contact Silver Dollar BMX via Facebook to donate to the cause. facebook.com/sdbmx Renderings show what the new Silver Dollar BMX track will look like when completed.

Art on two wheels

Bikes are the subject and the object in new MONCA group show

Central to the efforts of the Museum of Northern California Art (MONCA) to “make art accessible and promote awareness of northern California artists” are its group exhibitions. Every couple of months or so, the theme changes and a new selection of works brings in another sampling of those making art in this part of the state.

To coincide with the Wildflower Century bike ride in Butte County (April 30) and National Bike Month (in May), the subject is bicycles for the current Bike-pedia exhibit—on display through May 14.

The place where bikes and art meet might just be our area’s sweet spot, and the show captures the dual creative and outdoorsy natures of Chico.

Many of the pieces in the show reflect the segment of cyclists who might be taking part in the Wildflower ride, with road bikes in different mediums on display throughout the two main rooms. One of the more striking in this vein is Asya Lesly’s “Spokes II,” which shows a blown-up detail of a multi-gear bike fashioned from blue and gold fabrics and

needlepoint lines. Also of note is “The History of the Bicycle,” an impressive ink-on-paper drawing by Katelyn Fitzgerald. Zoom in on the black-and-white image of three people on bikes—featuring a couple of vintage bicycles in the background and a central image of a modern road racer— and see the thousands of words that form the scene. The road, the mountains and the riders and their bikes are all drawn using letters from a range of sources, including lyrics from the Queen song “Bicycle Race” and a Wikipedia entry on the inventor of the flywheel.

The beauty of the bike, however, is that it’s not merely a specially designed tool for athletes. It’s our most egalitarian

18 CN&R APRIL 6, 2023
“Spokes II,” Asya Lesly “Bike Ride Home,” Richard Whitehead “The History of the Bicycle,” Katelyn Fitzgerald “Vintage Biker Jersey,” Nelson Wheeler

Bike art

Bike-pedia is on display through May 14.

Museum of Northern California Art

900 Esplanade monca.org

mode of movement through this world, and across our mostly flat valley landscape rides a range of humanpowered machines—from the kids bike with training push bar in Richard Baldy’s “Parental Support” photograph, to the cruiser with baskets overflowing with colorful flowers in Rickmers’ acrylic painting, “Wildflowers.”

There are a variety of whimsical bike-as-art sculptures that break up the mostly 2-D exhibit and are the most immediately engaging objects in the space—including The Wayward Box’s “Push Me – Pull You,” which faces in both directions simultaneously.

The piece of the show,

however, might be the rumpled “Vintage Biker Jersey” by Nelson Wheeler. Suspended on the wall with an old hanger, the starched and painted brown, light-blue and yel-

low piece of riding gear stands out. It hangs frozen in a road-worn state, perhaps after a challenging 100-mile ride among the wildflowers in the foothills of Butte County. Ω

APRIL 6, 2023 CN&R 19
“Push Me – Pull You,” The Wayward Box “On the Spot,” Judy Kane

Arts & Culture


Galleries & Museums

1078 GALLERY: I Love You, a show of all things craft and decoration by multi-disciplinary artist Jessica Perelman. Through 4/9. Next: Cumulations, works using flotsam gathered from San Francisco Bay as printing implements by Berkeley artist Tanja Geis. Shows 4/14-5/7, reception April 28, 5-7pm. 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). csuchico.edu

CHICO ART CENTER: Creative Fusion, annual exhibit featuring the works of local secondary school students chosen by their art teachers. Reception and award ceremony April 14, 5-7pm. Through 4/29. 450 Orange St. chicoartcenter.com

IDEA FAB LABS: In the 7th Year, the “evolutionary tale of the art of Joe Fenton.” Through 4/30. Idea Fab Labs, 603 Orange St. chico.ideafablabs.com

MUSEUM OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA ART: Bike-Pedia, a group exhibition featuring biking-themed works. Showing in conjunction with the Wildflower Century bike race/ride. Also: Northern California Wikipedia, photos by Fritz Schulenburg. Through 5/14. 900 Esplanade. monca.org

THE TURNER: Ink & Clay, Chico State’s 27th annual Juried Student Print Exhibition. Student Awards Ceremony April 21, 5:30pm. Through 5/13. Chico State.


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). And, opening April 27, the Thursday Night Market, downtown Chico (Thursdays, 6-9pm).

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.

WHAT IS ART?: Weekly open mic/stage for all performing artists. Thursdays, 6pm. Idea Fab Labs, 603 Orange St. chico.ideafablabs.com


Special Events

NIMESH PATEL: Stand-up set with the comedian and Emmy-nominated writer whose latest special, Thank You, China, is available on YouTube. Thu, 4/6, 6:30pm. $20-$30. El Rey Theater, 230 W. Second St. elreychico.com


25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE: California Regional Theatre presents William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin’s popular fast-paced musical-comedy centered on an eclectic group of spelling bee contestents. Shows through April 22. Thu, 4/6, 7:30pm. $31-$35. First Street Theatre, 139 W. First St. crtshows.com

NATIVE GARDENS: A disagreement over a longstanding fence line spirals into an all-out war of taste, class, privilege and entitlement. The hilarious results guarantee no one comes out smelling like a rose. Directed by Jerry Miller. Shows through April 23. Thu, 4/6, 7:30pm. $16$18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. totr.org


LIVE MUSIC AT THE PUB: Rotating acts. Thu, 4/6, 6pm. The Allie Pub, 426 Broadway, Ste. 130. thealliespub.com

RIVER ROAD DUET WITH HENRY CROOK BIRD: Live acoustic music. Thu, 4/6, 5:30pm. Free. Mulberry Station Brewing Company, 175 E. 20th St. 530-809-5616. mulberrystationbrewery.com

RONI JEAN EP RELEASE PARTY: A release party for Roni Jean’s debut EP When I’m Dancing. Locals Scout the Wise and Greyloom open. Thu, 4/6, 7:30pm. $10. Argus Bar + Patio, 212 W. Second St. ronijean.com


Special Events

MALICIOUS MONSTER TRUCKS: Malicious monster trucks come to Chico as part of the “Insanity Tour.” Fri, 4/7. $10-$25. Silver Dollar Fairgrounds, 2357 Fair St. silverdollarfair.org


25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE: See April 6. Shows through April 22. Fri, 4/7, 7:30pm. $31-$35. First Street Theatre, 139 W. First St. crtshows.com

NATIVE GARDENS: See April 6. Shows through April 23. Fri, 4/7, 7:30pm. $16-$18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. totr.org


DAVID BILINSKI: Live music for extended happy hour. Fri, 4/7, 5:30pm. Secret Trail Brewing


Company, 132 Meyers St., Ste. 120. secrettrail brewing.com

DUFFY’S HAPPY HOUR: The Pub Scouts bring traditional Irish music weekly to Duffy’s. Fri, 4/7, 5pm. Free. Duffy’s Tavern, 337 Main Street. 530-343-7718.

GOOD OL’ BOYZ: Live at The Box. Fri, 4/7, 8pm. $15. Tackle Box, 379 E. Park Ave. tackleboxchico.com

LIVE MUSIC IN THE LOUNGE: Live music and DJs for dancing in Spirits Lounge. Fri, 4/7, 8:30pm. Free. Gold Country Casino & Hotel, 4020 Olive Highway, Oroville. goldcountrycasino.com

NOSTALGIX: Bass DJ. Fri, 4/7, 8pm. $15-$25. El Rey Theater, 230 W. Second St. elreychico.com

RUNNING IN THE SHADOWS: Fleetwood Mac tribute. Fri, 4/7, 8pm. $10. Unwined Kitchen & Bar, 980 Mangrove Ave.

SOUL POSSE: Live music at the barn. Fri, 4/7, 4:30pm. The Barn at Meriam Park, 1930 Market Place. meriampark.com

STEELY DEAD: A musical mashup of the Grateful Dead and Steely Dan. Fri, 4/7, 8pm. $20. Chico Women’s Club, 592 E. Third St. eventbrite.com

Special Events

MALICIOUS MONSTER TRUCKS: Malicious monster trucks come to Chico as part of the “Insanity Tour.” Sat, 4/8. $10-$25. Silver Dollar Fairgrounds, 2357 Fair St. silverdollarfair.org


25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE: See April 6. Shows through April 22. Sat., 4/8, 7:30pm. $31-$35. First Street Theatre, 139 W. First St. crtshows.com

NATIVE GARDENS: See April 6. Shows through April 23. Sat, 4/8, 7:30pm. $16-$18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. totr. org


BOOT JUICE & SMOKEY THE GROOVE: KZFR present two jam/party bands, Davis-based Boot Juice and Chico’s own Smokey the Groove. Sat, 4/8, 7:30pm. $20. Chico Women’s Club, 592 E. Third St. kzfr.org

BRITTANY AND THE BLISSTONES: Island pop originals. Sat, 4/8, 4:30pm. Free. The Barn at Meriam Park, 1930 Market Place. 530-3990753. meriampark.com

JAZZ FOR 300 – WHAT IS SWING?: Chico State’s Jazz X-Press shares a night of fantastic jazz at its spring concert. Sat, 4/8, 7:30pm. $6$18. Harlen Adams Theatre, Chico State, PAC 144. 530-898-3300. www.csuchico.edu/soa

KAT & WHISKERS: Live music. Sat, 4/8, 1pm. The Allies Pub, 426 Broadway St Ste 130.

KELLY TWINS AKA DUELING PIANOS: Kelly Twins’ popular piano vs. Piano show. Sat, 4/8, 8pm. Argus Bar + Patio, 212 W. Second St. eventbrite.com

KIRK MATHEWS: Live at The Box. Sat, 4/8, 8pm. $5. Tackle Box, 379 E. Park Ave. tackle boxchico.com

LIVE MUSIC AT THE PUB: Rotating acts. Sat, 4/8, 1pm. The Allie Pub, 426 Broadway, Ste. 130. thealliespub.com

LIVE MUSIC IN THE LOUNGE: Live music and DJs for dancing in Spirits Lounge. Sat, 4/8, 8:30pm. Free. Gold Country Casino & Hotel, 4020 Olive Highway, Oroville. goldcountrycasino.com

20 CN&R APRIL 6, 2023
ETRAN DE L’AIR April 16 Argus Bar + Patio


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

LOKI MILLER BAND: Local old-soul rocker and crew. Sat, 4/8, 8pm. $5. Mulberry Station Brewing Company, 175 E. 20th Street. 530809-5616. mulberrystationbrewery.com



NATIVE GARDENS: See April 6. Shows through April 23. Sun, 4/9, 2pm. $16-$18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. totr.org


THE BANDIT QUEEN OF SORROWS: Folk singersongwriter, one-woman band from Montana. Sun, 4/9, 3pm. Secret Trail Brewing Company, 132 Meyers St., Ste. 120. secrettrailbrewing.com

DIVA NIGHT: Sets featuring female singers. Sun, 4/9, 5:30pm. Free. Mulberry Station Brewing Co, 175 E. 20th St. 530-828-0912. chicomu sicevents.com

SMIRK, THE WIND-UPS: Punk from LA’s Smirk, plus local garage rockers The Wind-Ups. Sun, 4/9, 7:30pm. $10. Naked Lounge, 118 W. Second St. eventbrite.com



25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE: See April 6. Shows through April 22. Thu 4/13, 7:30pm. $31-$35. First Street Theatre, 139 W. First St. crtshows.com

NATIVE GARDENS: See April 6. Shows through April 23. Thu, 4/13, 7:30pm. $16-$18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. totr.org


LIVE MUSIC AT THE PUB: Rotating acts. Thu, 4/13, 6pm. The Allie Pub, 426 Broadway, Ste. 130. thealliespub.com

LOS COYOTES: Live music at the pizza pub. Thu, 4/13, 5:30pm. Free. Mulberry Station Brewing Company, 175 E. 20th St. 530-809-5616. mulberrystationbrewery.com


in the basement with Texas/Oregon wild men Steaksauce Mustache and Texas crew Kroningsor playing with local boiz Aberrance and I Sank Atlantis. Thu, 4/13, 8pm. $10. Gnarly Deli, 243 W. Second St. gnarlydeli. square.site

FRI14 Theater

25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE: See April 6. Shows through April 22. Fri, 4/14, 7:30pm. $31-$35. First Street Theatre, 139 W. First St. crtshows.com

INSPIRE MUSICAL THEATRE & THEATRE SHOWCASE: Inspire of School of Arts & Sciences annual theater/musical theater showcase. Fri, 4/14, 6pm & 8pm. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Road, Ste. F. inspirechico.org

NATIVE GARDENS: See April 6. Shows through April 23. Fri, 4/14, 7:30pm. $16-$18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. totr.org


THE CALIFORNIA HONEYDROPS: The California Honeydrops draw on roots, Bay Area R&B, Southern soul, Delta blues. and New Orleans second line for vibrant live shows. Fri, 4/14, 7:30pm. $25. Senator Theatre, 517 Main St. jmaxproductions.net

DUFFY’S HAPPY HOUR: The Pub Scouts bring traditional Irish music weekly to Duffy’s. Fri, 4/14, 5pm. Free. Duffy’s Tavern, 337 Main St. 530-343-7718.

JAKE JACOBSON: A 25 year old “throwback kid” from the mountains. Country music has been in his blood since watching his Dad’s honky-tonk band growing up. Fri, 4/14, 9pm. $15. Tackle Box, 379 E. Park Ave. tackleboxchico.com

JOHN MAHONEY: Live music for extended happy hour. Fri, 4/14, 5:30pm. Secret Trail Brewing Company, 132 Meyers St., Ste. 120. secrettrailbrewing.com


April 21

Chico Women’s Club


April 6-23

Theatre on the Ridge

LIVE MUSIC IN THE LOUNGE: Live music and DJs for dancing in Spirits Lounge. Fri, 4/14, 8:30pm. Free. Gold Country Casino & Hotel, 4020 Olive Highway, Oroville. goldcountry casino.com

SURF NOIR KINGS: Original surf music. Fri, 4/14, 4:30pm. Free. The Barn at Meriam Park, 1930 Market Place. 530-399-0753. meriampark.com

VAN HAGAR: Van Halen tribute. Fri, 4/14, 8pm. Unwined Kitchen & Bar, 980 Mangrove Ave.


Special Events

COMEDY ON TAP – SAUL TRUJILLO: Trujillo is a child-like man ready to light up any room with his awkward energy. The Stockton-based stand-up won the 2018 Sacramento Comedy Competition. Sat, 4/15, 7pm. $20. Secret Trail Brewing Company, 132 Meyers St., Ste. 120. secrettrailbrewing.com


25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE: See April 6. Shows through April 22. Sat, 4/15, 7:30pm. $31-$35. First Street Theatre, 139 W. First St. crtshows.com

NATIVE GARDENS: See April 6. Shows through April 23. Sat, 4/15, 7:30pm. $16-$18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. totr.org


HEIRLOOM: Rock/jazz/country four-piece. Sat, 4/15, 8pm. $5. Mulberry Station Brewing Company, 175 E. 20th St. mulberrystationbrewery.com

LIVE MUSIC AT THE PUB: Rotating acts. Sat, 4/15, 1pm. The Allie Pub, 426 Broadway, Ste. 130. thealliespub.com

LIVE MUSIC IN THE LOUNGE: Live music and DJs for dancing in Spirits Lounge. Sat, 4/15, 8:30pm. Free. Gold Country Casino & Hotel, 4020 Olive Highway, Oroville. goldcountrycasino.com

MOONSHINE BANDITS: The Moonshine Bandits return on their Pour Decisions Tour. Sat, 4/15, 8pm. $25-$30. Tackle Box, 379 E. Park Ave. tackleboxchico.com

VIC STAR: Acoustic originals. Sat, 4/15, 4:30pm. Free. The Barn at Meriam Park, 1930 Market Place. 530-399-0753. meriampark.com


Special Events

WILDFLOWER SHOW: Wildflowers and other native plants on display. Plants, books, T-shirts, and posters for sale. Educational exhibits. Sun, 4/16, 12pm. $5. CARD Center, 545 Vallombrosa Ave. 530-588-1906. mountlassen.cnps.org


NATIVE GARDENS: See April 6. Shows through April 23. Sun, 4/16, 2pm. $16-$18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. totr.org


DIVA NIGHT: See April 9. Sun, 4/16, 5:30pm. Free. Mulberry Station Brewing Co, 175 E. 20th St. 530-828-0912. chicomusicevents.com

ETRAN DE L’AIR: The name Etran de L’Aïr translates to “the Stars of the Aïr,” the mountainous region of Northern Niger. The band brings the desert blues of the region to the patio at Argus. Sun, 4/16, 8pm. $15. Argus Bar + Patio, 212 W. Second St. eventbrite.com

MJB TRIO: Live music. Sun, 4/16, 3pm. Secret Trail Brewing Company, 132 Meyers St., Ste. 120. secrettrailbrewing.com



DEMUN JONES MUSIC & SAM GROW: JMax Productions presents the Georgia-based country artist at The Box. Tue, 4/18, 7pm. $20. Tackle Box, 379 E. Park Ave. jmaxproductions.net


Special Events

NEBULA: Hypnotique Productions is back with another original cabaret show, Nebula: An Evening with the Stars. Seven shows (runs through April 29). Thu, 4/20, 7:30pm. $35 (discount night, 4/26, $20). Mulberry Station Brewing Company, 175 E. 20th St. hypnotiqueproductions.ticketleap.com


25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE: See April 6. Shows through April 22. Thu, 4/20, 7:30pm. $31-$35. First Street Theatre, 139 W. First St. crtshows.com

NATIVE GARDENS: See April 6. Shows through April 23. Thu, 4/20, 7:30pm. $16-$18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. totr.org


LIVE MUSIC AT THE PUB: Rotating acts. Thu, 4/20, 6pm. The Allie Pub, 426 Broadway, Ste. 130. thealliespub.com


Special Events

NEBULA: See April 20. Fri, 4/21, 7:30pm. $35 (discount night, 4/26, $20). Mulberry Station Brewing Company, 175 E. 20th St. hypnotiqueproductions.ticketleap.com


25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE: See April 6. Shows through April 22. Fri, 4/21, 7:30pm. $31-$35. First Street Theatre, 139 W. First St. crtshows.com

D.B. COOPER THE INCREDIBLY TRUE STORY: A “tangentially related” comedy based on the story of the notorious 1971 heist of a 747 airliner by an anonymous hijacker who was never found. Written by locals Sam Lucas and Cohen Morano. Shows through May 6. Fri, 4/21, 7:30pm. Blue Room Theatre, 1105 W. First St. facebook.com/blueroomtheatre

NATIVE GARDENS: See April 6. Shows through April 23. Fri, 4/21, 7:30pm. $16-$18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. totr.org


ROY ROGERS & THE DELTA RYTHMN KINGS: Chico Concerts welcomes Nor-Cal bluesman Roy Rogers and his band The Delta Rhythm Kings back to town. Fri, 4/21, 7pm. $30. Chico Women’s Club, 592 E. Third St. eventbrite.com DUFFY’S HAPPY HOUR: The Pub Scouts bring traditional Irish music weekly to Duffy’s. Fri, 4/21, 5pm. Free. Duffy’s Tavern, 337 Main St. 530-343-7718.


JEFF COLEMAN: Original and traditional Americana songs. Fri, 4/21, 6pm. Hotel Diamond, 220 W. Fourth St.

LIVE MUSIC IN THE LOUNGE: Live music and DJs for dancing in Spirits Lounge. Fri, 4/21, 8:30pm. Free. Gold Country Casino & Hotel, 4020 Olive Highway, Oroville. goldcountry casino.com

STEVEN SCHULTZ: Live music for extended happy hour. Fri, 4/21, 5:30pm. Secret Trail Brewing Company, 132 Meyers St., Ste. 120. secrettrailbrewing.com

UNDERCOVERS: Live music at The Box. Fri, 4/21, 9pm. $5. Tackle Box, 379 E. Park Ave. tackle boxchico.com

WHISKEY RIVER: Live country music. Fri, 4/21, 8pm. Unwined Kitchen & Bar, 980 Mangrove Ave.


Special Events

NEBULA: See April 20. Sat, 4/22, 7:30pm. $35 (discount night, 4/26, $20). Mulberry Station Brewing Company, 175 E. 20th St. hypnotique-productions.ticketleap.com


25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE: See April 6. Shows through April 22. Sat, 4/22, 7:30pm. $31-$35. First Street Theatre, 139 W. First St. crtshows.com

D.B. COOPER THE INCREDIBLY TRUE STORY: See April 21. Shows through May 6. Sat, 4/22,


7:30pm. Blue Room Theatre, 1105 W. First St. facebook.com/blueroomtheatre

NATIVE GARDENS: See April 6. Shows through April 23. Sat, 4/22, 7:30pm. $16-$18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. totr.org


LIVE MUSIC AT THE PUB: Rotating acts. Sat, 4/22, 1pm. The Allie Pub, 426 Broadway, Ste. 130. thealliespub.com

LIVE MUSIC IN THE LOUNGE: Live music and DJs for dancing in Spirits Lounge. Sat, 4/22, 8:30pm. Free. Gold Country Casino & Hotel, 4020 Olive Highway, Oroville. goldcountry casino.com

MYSTIC ROOTS & DYLAN’S DHARMA: The two giants of the Butte County reggae scene in one night. Sat, 4/22, 9pm. $10-$15. Tackle Box, 379 E. Park Ave. tackleboxchico.com

OF WATER AND WIND: Join the Acappella Choir and Chamber Singers for an evening of songs invoking the four elements. Sat, 4/22, 7:30pm. $6-$18. Harlen Adams Theatre, Chico State, PAC 144. www.csuchico.edu/ soa

PAT HULL: A solo set by local fave. Sat, 4/22, 4:30pm. Free. The Barn at Meriam Park, 1930 Market Place. 530-399-0753. meriam park.com

VOKAB COMPANY: San Diego hip-hop, soul, electro crew comes to Chico. Local one-man band Modern Methods opens. Sat, 4/22, 7pm. $20-$25. Chico Women’s Club, 592 E. Third St. app.promotix.com

SUN23 Theater

NATIVE GARDENS: See April 6. Shows through April 23. Sun, 4/23, 2pm. $16-$18. Theatre on the Ridge, 3735 Neal Road, Paradise. totr.org


BALOURDET STRING QUARTET: The renowned chamber quartet are currently artists-inresidence at the prestigious New England Conservatory’s Professional String Quartet Program. Sun, 4/23, 2pm. $42. ARTS Recital Hall, Arts & Humanities Building, Chico State. chicoperformances.com

DIVA NIGHT: See April 9. Sun, 4/23, 5:30pm. Free. Mulberry Station Brewing Co, 175 E. 20th St. 530-828-0912. chicomusicevents.com

TUE25 Music

TWO SIDES TO THE COIN: Chico State Concert Band and Jazz Too Ensemble spring showase. Tue, 4/25, 7:30pm. Free. Harlen Adams Theatre, Chico State, PAC 144. 530-898-3300. www.csuchico.edu/soa


Gold Nugget Days, the annual celebration of The Ridge and its history, is back in full force, with four days of events, April 27-30: Rotary Bean Feed at Paradise Methodist Church (Th, 4pm); Gold Nugget Queen contest/revue at Paradise Performing Arts Center (Th, 7pm); Elks Hoedown at Elk’s Lodge (Fr, 5pm); Donkey Derby at Magalia Community Church (Sa, 9am); Gold Nugget Parade in Paradise (Sa, noon); Gem & Mineral Show at Gold Nugget Museum (Sa-Su); Crafts Faire at Terry Ashe Center (Sa-Su); Big Mo and The Full Moon Band with Volker Striffler at PPAC (Sa, 7-10pm); Gold Nugget Horse Festival at Paradise Horse Arena (Su, 11am-4pm).


Special Events

NEBULA: See April 20. Wed, 4/26, 7:30pm. $35 (discount night, 4/26, $20). Mulberry Station Brewing Company, 175 E. 20th St. hypnotiqueproductions.ticketleap.com


Special Events

GOLD NUGGET DAYS: The annual celebration of the life and history of The Ridge community. Four days of events (see Editor’s Pick, page 22). Paradise. paradisechamber.com

NEBULA: See April 20. Thu, 4/27, 7:30pm. $35 (discount night, 4/26, $20). Mulberry Station Brewing Company, 175 E. 20th St. hypnotiqueproductions.ticketleap.com

UNWINED COMEDY: Stand-up comedian “Chicago Steve” Barkley headlines. Thu, 4/27, 7pm. $20. Unwined Kitchen & Bar, 980 Mangrove Ave. eventbrite.com


LIVE MUSIC AT THE PUB: Rotating acts. Thu, 4/27,


April 22

Tackle Box


WILDFEST: A pre-ride party the day before the Wildflower Century, with food trucks, music, bike demos and bike games. Sat, 4/29. Silver Dollar Fairgrounds, 2357 Fair St. wildflowercentury.org


D.B. COOPER THE INCREDIBLY TRUE STORY: See April 21. Shows through May 6. Sat, 4/29, 7:30pm. Blue Room Theatre, 1105 W. First St. facebook.com/blueroomtheatre

FIRST DATE - A MUSICAL COMEDY: See April 28. Shows through May 20. Sat, 4/29, 7:30pm. $25-$28. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Road, Ste. F. chicotheater.com


Mystic Roots

6pm. The Allie Pub, 426 Broadway, Ste. 130. thealliespub.com


Special Events

GOLD NUGGET DAYS: Four days of events. See April 27. Fri, 4/28. Paradise, various locations, Paradise. paradisechamber.com

NEBULA: See April 20. Fri, 4/28, 7:30pm. $35 (discount night, 4/26, $20). Mulberry Station Brewing Company, 175 E. 20th St. hypnotiqueproductions.ticketleap.com


D.B. COOPER THE INCREDIBLY TRUE STORY: See April 21. Shows through May 6. Fri, 4/28, 7:30pm. Blue Room Theatre, 1105 W. First St. facebook.com/blueroomtheatre

FIRST DATE - A MUSICAL COMEDY: A blind date turns into a night of shenanigans as restaurant patrons break out in song in this musical comedy. Shows through May 20. Fri, 4/28, 7:30pm. $25-$28. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Road, Ste. F. chicotheater.com


DUFFY’S HAPPY HOUR: The Pub Scouts bring traditional Irish music weekly to Duffy’s. Fri, 4/28, 5pm. Free. Duffy’s Tavern, 337 Main St. 530-343-7718.

KYMMI & THE DIAMONDBACK: Live music at The Box. Fri, 4/28, 9pm. $5. Tackle Box, 379 E. Park Ave. tackleboxchico.com

THE TAYLOR PARTY: Taylor Swift-themed DJ dance party. Fri, 4/28, 8pm. $15. Senator Theatre, 517 Main St. jmaxproductions.net


Special Events

CHICO SPRING JAM: Live music by tribute bands playing the Eagles, Foreigner and the Cars. Plus, locals stage with Yurkovic, the Loki Miller Band, etc. Plus, food trucks, kids games and more. Sat, 4/29, 1pm. $35. Patrick Ranch, 10381 Midway, Durham. 949-891-3254. BlueSkyFestivalsAndEvents.com

GOLD NUGGET DAYS: Four days of events. See April 27. Sat, 4/29. Paradise, various locations, Paradise. paradisechamber.com

NEBULA: See April 20. Sat, 4/29, 7:30pm. $35 (discount night, 4/26, $20). Mulberry Station Brewing Company, 175 E. 20th St.

BIG MO & THE FULL MOON BAND: A Gold Nugget Days fundraiser for the PPAC with Big Mo & The Full Moon Band and Volker Striffler. Sat, 4/29, 7pm. $10-$20. Paradise Performing Arts Center, 777 Nunneley Road, Paradise. paradiseperformingarts.com

GNARFEST 2023: An all-day festival in the basement with 27 bands(!), 2 stages, and 14 hours of music, plus food, drinks, vendors, and all the good times. Performances by Infinite Kamikaze, Hank Duke, Sunny Acres, The Fed-Ups, Ants in My Eyes Johnson, Tite Nauts, Mars the Fine Poet and more. Sat, 4/29, 12pm. $30. Gnarly Deli, 243 W. Second St. gnarlydeli.square.site

LIVE MUSIC AT THE PUB: Rotating acts. Sat, 4/29, 1pm. The Allie Pub, 426 Broadway, Ste. 130. thealliespub.com

SYMPHONIC WINDS CONCERT GERSH-WINDS: Chico State Wind Ensemble celebrates the music of George Gershwin. Sat, 4/29, 7:30pm. $6-$18. Harlen Adams Theatre, Chico State, PAC 144. 530-898-3300. https://www.csuchico.edu/soa


Special Events

GOLD NUGGET DAYS: Four days of events. See April 27. Sun, 4/30. Paradise, various locations, Paradise. paradisechamber.com

WILDFLOWER CENTURY: Chico Velo’s annual Butte County ride. Rides from 30 to 125 miles long (and 12-mile options for kids). Registration: $10-$115. (See Saturday, for pre-race party.) Sat, 4/29. Silver Dollar Fairgrounds, 2357 Fair St. wildflowercentury.org


FIRST DATE - A MUSICAL COMEDY: See April 28. Shows through May 20. Sun 4/30, 2pm. $25$28. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Road, Ste. F. chicotheater.com


DIVA NIGHT: See April 9. Sun, 4/23, 5:30pm. Free. Mulberry Station Brewing Co, 175 E. 20th St. 530-828-0912. chicomusicevents.com

TUE2 Music

CLUTCH, AMIGO THE DEVIL, NATE BERGMAN: Maryland heavy rockers Clutch on tour with singer/songwriters Amigo the Devil and Nate Bergman. Tue, 5/2, 7pm. $35. Senator Theatre, 517 Main St. jmaxproductions.net

INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC CONCERT: Inspire School of Arts & Sciences annual musical showcase. Tue, 5/2, 7pm. CUSD Center for the Arts, 1475 East Ave. inspirechico.org

22 CN&R APRIL 6, 2023
APRIL 6, 2023 CN&R 23

‘I’m D.B. Cooper’

Blue Room hosts premiere of locally written comedy

Whatif we make a mumblecore play about D.B. Cooper?

chance at being realized.

jasonc@ newsreview.com

Preview: D.B. Cooper: The Incredible True Story shows Fridays and Saturdays, 8 p.m. (doors 7:30 p.m.), April 21-May 6.

Tickets $15 (eventbrite.com)

This is the kind of question that an artist can pose in Chico while having a legitimate expectation that the idea could be realized as a public production. Something about the intimate nature of the local arts scene plus the accessibility of small-town resources makes this a place where no idea is too weird to at least get a

Blue Room Theatre 1105 W. First St. facebook.com/ blueroomtheatre

Perhaps more than any other local presenter in the past few decades, the Blue Room Theatre has offered its stage for many of these wild ideas. It comes as no surprise then that there is indeed a mumblecore play about the notorious hijacker D.B. Cooper opening there. A couple of young Chico playwrights, Sam Lucas and Cohen Morano, are the artists who posed the what-if that turned into a script—D.B. Cooper: The Incredible True Story—that is now in production for an April 21 opening.

During a recent pre-rehearsal interview, Morano, who is also directing, expressed appreciation for being able to work with a theater that has been committed to presenting locally written works alongside its program of contem-

porary plays: “I feel like it’s the theater that lets you experiment,” they said.

The experiment in this case is a bare-bones presentation, a talkheavy two-act comedy about not

being able to solve a mystery.

being obsessing ing

Orient Airlines hijacker who parachuted

“D.B. Cooper is one of those random things you find out about and you start obsessing over,” Morano said, explaining that the enduring mystery of the Northwest Orient Airlines hijacker who parachuted from the Boeing 727 in 1971 and was never seen again. “In the Internet age, the idea of getting away with something and being completely anonymous and no one ever finding out seems like such a weird unique [thing]. How many mysteries really can’t be solved at this point in time? I think that’s kind of why I’ve been fascinated with him for so long.”

The set up features two FBI agents (played by Ben Kaiser and Morano) interviewing those who were on the plane in an attempt to recreate the crime, complete with an actor in the part of the hijacker (two actors, actually—played by Samuel Vizcarra and Nico Martin).

The story for this production lies in the lowkey comedy of errors that ensues when a disparate group of witnesses shares their sometimes divergent recollections during the attempts at reinactment. It’s safe to say that the case is unlikely to be cracked.

“I feel like telling a story about D.B. Cooper and trying to resolve it kind of doesn’t capture what makes D.B. Cooper interest-

ing. It’s not why we cared about him,” Morano said. “It’s because he’s a guy who hijacked a plane, he hurt no one, he got a bunch of money, disappeared, never spent the money, never showed up. There’s like 30 people who on their deathbed are just like, ‘I’m D.B. Cooper.’”

Morano and Lucas (who is now studying theater in Ashland) are longtime friends who have collaborated at the Blue Room many times before—including producing last summer’s The Twilight Zone episodes, the first shows to be presented at the theater’s current space near Chico State (1105 W. First St.). The COVID pandemic forced the Blue Room to abandon its longtime downtown home above Collier Hardware (which is now occupied by California Regional Theatre). After an extended homeless spell, the theater is attempting a comeback in smaller, and much humbler, environs. In addition to the D.B. Cooper show and an allalien edition of The Twilight Zone (opening May 26), the Blue Room has started hosting live music (currently booking through the summer). The theater is also bringing back its Teen Program, which Morano came up through at the old space and will now be directing for their second summer in a row.

To find out more about upcoming plays, classes and live music schedule, visit the Blue Room on Facebook (facebook.com/

24 CN&R APRIL 6, 2023 SCENE
blueroomtheatre). Parking lot view of the Blue Room’s new location. PHOTO COURTESY OF BLUE ROOM THEATRE The cast of D.B. Cooper: The Incredible True Story poses before rehearsal: (from left) Ben Kaiser, Jessica Jaymes, Samuel Vizcarra, Stephanie Ditty, Nico Martin, director Cohen Morano, LaShona Haskell and Jeffrey Patrick. (Not pictured: Alexandria Nalley and Lucy Pullyblank. PHOTO BY JASON CASSIDY Poster for D.B. Cooper: The Incredible True Story by Aye Jay Morano.
APRIL 6, 2023 CN&R 25

Austin Bragg and Meredith Bragg wrote and directed. Apple TV and other streaming services.

Babylon—A lavish 3-plus hours of movie-making extravagance adds up to not very much in this elaborately stylized account of Hollywood on the cusp of its Golden Years (1920s and early ’30s, roughly). The characters played by Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie are ostensibly based on actual stars of the era, but characters and big scenes alike come off as stampeded fantasies based on the skimpiest of historical facts. Billed as “a tale of outsized ambition and outrageous excess,” it comes across instead as facilely ambitious and excessively lightweight. Paramount+ and other streaming services.


Women Talking A major critic claims that Sarah Polley’s Oscar-winning screenplay “improves” the esteemed Miriam Toews novel on which it is based. Writer-director Polley and her engagingly devoted cast do generate an incisive and moving portrayal of the women in an isolated religious colony making common cause against the endemic sexual abuse within their community. The ensemble features fine performances by Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Judith Ivey, Kate Hallett, Sheila McCarthy, Jessie Buckley, Ben Whishaw, and, in two key moments, Frances McDormand. Polley and company maintain a gentle humanism alongside the feminist complexities of the story. Now streaming via Amazon Prime and other online services.

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed—This documentary portrait of the avant-garde photographer Nan Goldin is exceptionally rich in meaning and impact. It’s an extraordinarily intimate portrait of the woman, her career and her work that also presents urgent and nuanced reflections on an array of contemporary issues—sexuality and gender, drug culture, capitalism and art, with special attention to Goldin’s active role in the campaign against Big Pharma in general and the profiteering Sackler family in particular. Director Laura Poitras, a prolific documentarian (Citizenfour, etc.), makes Goldin an active presence in this fascinating meditation on things both public and private. HBO Max and other streaming services.

Empire of Light—An oldstyle movie palace in an English seaside town is the setting for this gently detailed drama about the

burgeoning relationship between a troubled and lonely woman and a younger man. Hilary (Olivia Colman) is the veteran manager of the Empire Cinema and Stephen (Michael Ward) is the young Jamaican newly employed at the theater. The quiet emergence of an increasingly strong bond between two rather isolated people is set against the racial and cultural turmoil of Britain circa 1980, and writer-director Sam Mendes (1917, Revolutionary Road) uses the multi-leveled interior of the grand old movie house to quietly operatic effect. Characters played by Colin Firth and Toby Jones have key roles, both in Hilary’s life and in the day-to-day operation of the Empire. HBO Max and other streaming services.

Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game—This sprightly little indie production is a delightful blend of docudrama, romantic-

comedy and love letter to the game of pinball. It’s the story of Roger Sharpe, the mustachioed freelance writer and pinball devotee who mounted a successful campaign to get New York City to rescind its laws against public pinball games in the 1970s. Mike Faist plays the Sharpe of the ’70s, and Dennis Boutsikaris plays the present-day Sharpe, with the latter sometimes making comments in the younger man’s scenes. Crystal Reed plays the young woman with whom the ’70s Sharpe has a mutually serendipitous romance. The team of

Please Baby, Please—In Amanda Kramer’s campy, genderbending farce, a flimsy pair of newlyweds played by Andrea Riseborough and Harry Melling fall under the spell of a leatherclad, gender-fluid street gang. There’s an inverted travesty of West Side Story running through it, with DIY musical performances included, and Kramer’s perverse direction and brainy screenplay are suitably challenging. Riseborough’s full-tilt performance here is much more impressive than the one that got her an Oscar nomination in To Leslie Mubi and other streaming services. Ω

26 CN&R APRIL 6, 2023
notes from the Stream & Dream Lounge
A nostalgic Pinball. Women unite in Women Talking.

A Win-Win!

In a society where so much food ends up in the dumpster—and then the landfill—millions live without access to enough food to meet their basic needs.

Somewhere between 30% and 40% of the U.S. food supply is wasted, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Such figures are particularly tough to swallow in places with high rates of food insecurity such as Butte County, says Sheila McQuaid, a program manager with Chico State’s Center for Healthy Communities.

“Conservatively, you could say one in five residents are food insecure in Butte County,” she says. “When you look at that data, it makes a lot of sense that we look into ways to recover edible food for our community.”

Recovery means collecting food that would have been thrown away and using it to feed people who would otherwise go hungry. Inevitably, some food that people could have eaten ends up in the Neal Road Recycling and Waste Facility, says Valerie Meza, recycling coordinator for Butte County. But efforts are underway to divert as much food as possible.

“Through grassroots efforts and the recovery program in Butte County, we are currently diverting 60% of food waste from the landfill,” she says.

Edible food recovery is part of a sweeping California law—SB 1383, or Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Organic Waste Reductions—which aims to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions produced by food and other organic material in landfills. Local governments across California are now compelled to reduce by 75% the amount of organic waste that ends up in landfills by 2025.

Local food businesses are also under pressure to drastically reduce how much of their food gets thrown away. Under the law, such businesses must donate all edible but unsellable food, with the deadline to comply for the first

tier of food-generators fast approaching.

“It’s a huge mandate,” McQuaid says. “People are just figuring this out. We’re working really closely with Butte County to help make sure they can comply.”

kind of rebuild the fabric of our community a little bit,” she says. “Every time somebody picks up a donation, they walk into a food business that cares a lot about the food they produce. They pick it up and they drop it off at a nonprofit or low-income housing site we partner with.”

The program has worked with about 50 food donors, which include local farms, restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops, caterers, grocery stores, school districts and organizations such as the North State Food Bank—an organization that works to distribute food to low-income people throughout the region that occasionally has a surplus of immediately perishable food.

Indeed, the program is helping fill gaps in the existing food recovery system and allowing existing nonprofits, food businesses and local government officials better coordinate their efforts. “530 Food Rescue helps connect the dots between all the different organizations,” says Meza.

One technology-based solution is the 530 Food Rescue App, which allows local food businesses that must comply with SB 1383 to donate their surplus food. A network of volunteers picks up donations and brings them to food pantries, homeless shelters and housing groups.

About 250 people have downloaded the 530 Food Rescue app since it launched last year, and there are some 70 active users who have picked up and dropped off at least one food donation, says McQuaid.

“We mobilize volunteers to transport food donations, and it’s really giving people an opportunity to help and

Meza also points to the grassroots efforts of Black and Hmong gardening communities in Oroville and Butte Environmental Council’s Drop in the Bucket household food waste-collection program as under-the-radar efforts that are already making a difference.

Of course, California law is forcing the issue. It remains to be seen whether the local system actually has the capacity to handle the huge increase in food recovery, McQuaid says, but there is also vast potential to better meet the community’s basic needs: “Getting surplus food—which is often fresh, perishable food that needs to be eaten right away—to people who have limited food access is a real win.”

Learn how Butte County is reducing organic waste by getting food to residents who need it
“Getting surplus food— which is often fresh, perishable food that needs to be eaten right away—to people who have limited food access is a real win.”
Learn more at www.buttecounty.net/publicworks APRIL 6, 2023 CN&R 27
A program manager with Chico State’s Center for Healthy Communities


A tasty scene

goals is to turn D’Emilios into a full-service Italian grocery store offering all manner of fine Italian foodstuffs. It’s already part-way there, with one corner stocked with premium olives and oil, canned tomatoes, artisan pasta, canned fish and other Italian delicacies. They also sell Italian meats and cheeses by the pound.

“When I want to cook Mexican food, I go get stuff from [Panaderia] La Michoacana, or if I want Asian stuff I’ll go to the Asian Market on Nord,” he said. “I want this to be like that for Italian food, for people to come in and get a sandwich or a coffee and a cannoli and walk out with a bag full of good, quality groceries.”


Bakery & Delicatessen

138 Main St. (530) 893-4344

facebook.com/ DEmiliosDeli

Open daily, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

The value of a windowed storefront in downtown Chico is— pardon the pun—clear, to business owners and patrons alike. This is especially true for eateries, as it offers built-in curb appeal and a natural sense of atmosphere, creating a scene where diners can either appreciate the city center’s Valleytown charm at face value or maybe imagine themselves transported to some other more metropolitan locale, at least for the duration of a meal.

I recently developed a new appreciation for these wide open views, as Chico and the whole of California was being repeatedly pounded by a series of storms with cool-sounding names—atmospheric river, Pineapple Express, bomb cyclone—throughout the month of March.

In search of sustenance and shelter, my dining companion and I were practically blown through the front doors of D’Emilios Bakery & Delicatessen. Inside, we were greeted by the comforting smell

of fresh-baked bread and spiced Italian meats. After we ordered, we took a seat by the window to watch as the storm buffeted downtown and befuddled be-sopped passersby. Ah, what a view.

D’Emilios sits in the space long-occupied by Kona’s Sandwiches, but was taken over by new owner Kaelen Davis last year. He operated it under that name for a few months before transitioning to the new deli last September. The interior has been updated nicely, with red tables and overall Italian flair. He said the space was under-appreciated and neglected for years, and a lot of effort has already gone into breathing new life into it.

My lunch date and I shared two sandwiches, the D’Emilios Caprese (featuring a thick hunk of fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, capicola, arugula, balsamic glaze and pesto mayo) and a Bonano (with Molinari salami, dry pepperoni, soppressata and provolone). They are available in regular and large versions ($9.95 or $13.95). The sandwiches are generously sized,

and even the “regular” ones require two hands to get a grip and were completely filling. The Caprese was especially good, with an unexpected, spicy bite to it. We washed them down with a delicious arancia and fico d’India (orange and prickly pear) Sanpellegrino soda ($4.95).

Davis said his inspiration for the place has been delis in places where rain and storms are more common, namely San Francisco and New York. D’Emilio is a family name, and he said the new place is a work-in-progress. On a sunny day following my first lunch there, he was on site installing an espresso machine. He said in the days and weeks ahead they’ll also be offering Italian-style coffee drinks and fresh cannolis.

In addition to the deli, the business continues to operate as a commercial bakery (as Kona’s had previously) providing various types of bread to other local institutions like Nobby’s, Chico Meat

Locker, B Street Public House, The Banshee and more. The bakery sells its exceptional, fresh-made sourdough and other breads to the general public as well ($8.99 a loaf).

Also among Davis’s primary

He also intends to offer croutons and bread crumbs made in house, as well as custom charcuterie trays, sandwich platters and catering. I look forward to trying more types of sandwiches in future visits, particularly the Giardiniera (turkey, salami, pepper-jack cheese, giardiniera mix, pepperoncinis and pesto mayo), as well as picking up some groceries when Italian food is on my menu.

28 CN&R APRIL 6, 2023
story and photos by Ken Smith kens@ newsreview.com
comforting downtown experience
New deli and bakery offers
Anna Detre (left) and Taylor Sheridan on the sandwich line at D’Emilios. Sandwiches with a view of rainy downtown Chico. Featured: D’Emilios Caprese (fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, capicola, arugula, balsamic glaze and pesto mayo) and a Bonano (Molinari salami, dry pepperoni, soppressata and provolone).


LIGHT THE BEAM!!! Music and basketball. That’s it. The extent of Arts DEVO’s passions. Longtime readers of this column already know this, even if the music has gotten far more play in this space. That’s mostly because my team, the Sacramento Kings, hasn’t done much to write about during all of the years that I’ve had this column.

The truth is, I love basketball nearly as much as music, and as I’ve written before, I’ve followed the sport since I was in the eighth grade when my parents gave me an old TV for my bedroom:

It was a little black-and-white set with rabbit ears and all I could tune in to was PBS and CBS. That first night—May 31, 1983—I sat with my face 1 foot away from the screen, mesmerized by what turned out to be the final game of the NBA Finals between the Lakers and 76ers. My jaw was on the floor as I watched players with superhero-sounding names—Magic, Dr. J, Moses, Kareem—do superhuman things. I was hooked.

I could not resist the mastery-plus-passion of Magic Johnson, so the Lakers were my first team. The Kings wouldn’t move to Sacramento (from Kansas City) for another couple of years. About a decade after the team settled in the North State, Chris Webber, Vlade Divac, Jason “White Chocolate” Williams, Peja Stojakovic and coach Rick Adelman all joined the Kings at the same time, and their combined showmanship and charm—and the appeal of a “home” team just 90 minutes away—converted me. I’ve been a loyal fan ever since.

It was a great choice for the first 8 years. No championships, but a lot of fun basketball—what Sports Illustrated called “The Greatest Show on Court.”

The Kings last playoff appearance was in 2006. Three months before this column debuted. That’s a 16 year playoff drought—the current longest streak in all professional team sports and the longest in NBA history. Had I conjured a curse?

Perhaps to make up for that possibility, the past couple of months, I’ve been mashing together my two passions in the creation of a song to celebrate the team and its loyal fans. The exciting truth is that the Kings are good again! They have another great coach (Mike Brown) and a couple of young all-stars (point guard De’Aaron Fox and center Domantas Sabonis), and a spot in the playoffs this season has been clinched.

The city of Sacramento has been rejuvenated, and a giant symbol of the community coming together has been the giant purple laser that the team projects into the sky from the roof of Golden 1 Center after each win.

Inspired by the beam and the excitement surrounding it, I got together with a bunch of band pals—Viking Skate Country, The October Coalition, Dan Greenfield and Todd Steinberg—and recorded and released a sing-along rock anthem called “Light the Beam.” It just came out (youtube.com/ watch?v=HXYts71ghos), so I can’t take credit for reversing any curse … unless they make it all the way to the championship. That would totally be some Chico-music-magic at work. Kings win! Roooooar!

STOP HAVING SO MUCH FUN! Before this April issue hits the streets, local fun-loving four-piece the Tite Nauts will have debuted the video for the band’s killer punk-meets-1980s-metal anthem, “Hard Heavy Habits” (from the 2022 Denim & Smoke album). The song’s dual meanings—a nun’s garment and a nun having fun—are also in play in this amazingly wellproduced video (conceived by the band’s Josh Indar, directed/edited by Moshiriously) featuring an inspired cast of locals playing goth nuns, skateboarders and one valiant, and frisky, werewolf.

Download Tite Nauts tunes on Bandcamp (titenauts.bandcamp. com) and watch the video on YouTube (youtube.com/@Indarsbecrazy).

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.

APRIL 6, 2023 CN&R 29
Sara, the Leather Nun, in “Hard Heavy Habits” Kings win!
As a local business ourselves, we knew we wanted to advertise locally.”

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Aries-born René Descartes (1596–1650) was instrumental in developing modern science and philosophy. His famous motto, “I think, therefore I am” is an assertion that the analytical component of intelligence is primary and foremost. And yet, few history books mention the supernatural intervention that was pivotal in his evolution as a supreme rationalist. On the night of November 10, 1619, he had three mystical dreams that changed his life, revealing the contours of the quest to discern the “miraculous science” that would occupy him for the next 30 years. I suspect you are in store for a comparable experience or two, Aries. Brilliant ideas and marvelous solutions to your dilemmas will visit you as you bask in unusual and magical states of awareness.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The dirty work is becoming milder and easier. It’s still a bit dirty, but is growing progressively less grungy and more rewarding. The command to “adjust, adjust, and adjust some more, you beast of burden” is giving way to “refine, refine, and refine some more, you beautiful animal.” At this pivotal moment, it’s crucial to remain consummately conscientious. If you stay in close touch with your shadowy side, it will never commandeer more than ten percent of your total personality. In other words, a bit of healthy distrust for your own motives will keep you trustworthy. (PS: Groaning and grousing, if done in righteous and constructive causes, will continue to be good therapy for now.)

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): “’Tis the good reader that makes the good book,” wrote Gemini philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson. “In every book, he finds passages which seem confidences or asides hidden from all else and unmistakably meant for his ear.” In the coming weeks, a similar principle will apply to everything you encounter, Gemini—not just books. You will find rich meaning and entertainment wherever you go. From seemingly ordinary experiences, you’ll notice and pluck clues that will be wildly useful for you personally. For inspiration, read this quote from author Sam Keen: “Enter each day with the expectation that the happenings of the day may contain a clandestine message addressed to you personally. Expect omens, epiphanies, casual blessings, and teachers who unknowingly speak to your condition.”

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Traditional astrologers don’t regard the planet Mars as being a natural ally of you Crabs. But I suspect you will enjoy an invigorating relationship with the red planet during the next six weeks. For best results, tap into its rigorous vigor in the following ways: 1. Gather new wisdom about how to fight tenderly and fiercely for what’s yours. 2. Refine and energize your ambitions so they become more ingenious and beautiful. 3. Find out more about how to provide your physical body with exactly what it needs to be strong and lively on an ongoing basis. 4. Mediate on how to activate a boost in your willpower.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): I won’t ask you to start heading back toward your comfort zone yet, Leo. I’d love to see you keep wandering out in the frontiers for a while longer. It’s healthy and wise to be extra fanciful, improvisatory, and imaginative. The more rigorous and daring your experiments, the better. Possible bonus: If you are willing to question at least some of your fixed opinions and dogmatic beliefs, you could very well outgrow the part of the Old You that has finished its mission.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): The Supreme Deity with the most power may not be Jehovah or Allah or Brahman or Jesus’s Dad. There’s a good chance it’s actually Mammon, the God of Money. The devoted worship that humans offer to Mammon far surpasses the loyalty offered to all the other gods combined. His values and commandments rule civilization. I bring this to your attention, Virgo, because now is an excellent time for you to deliver extra intense prayers to Mammon. From what I can determine, this formidable Lord of Lords

is far more likely to favor you than usual. (PS: I’m only half-kidding. I really do believe your financial luck will be a peak in the coming weeks.)

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): It’s an excellent time to give up depleted, used-up obsessions so you have plenty of room and energy to embrace fresh, succulent passions. I hope you will take advantage of the cosmic help that’s available as you try this fun experiment. You will get in touch with previously untapped resources as you wind down your attachments to old pleasures that have dissipated. You will activate dormant reserves of energy as you phase out connections that take more than they give.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): “The best revenge is not to be like your enemy,” said ancient Roman philosopher Marcus Aurelius. I’m tempted to advise every Scorpio to get a tattoo of that motto. That way, you will forever keep in mind this excellent advice; As fun as it may initially feel to retaliate against those who have crossed you, it rarely generates redemptive grace or glorious rebirth, which are key Scorpio birthrights. I believe these thoughts should be prime meditations for you in the coming weeks.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21):

Sometimes love can be boring. We may become overly accustomed to feeling affection and tenderness for a special person or animal. What blazed like a fiery fountain in the early stages of our attraction might have subsided into a routine sensation of mild fondness. But here’s the good news, Sagittarius: Even if you have been ensconced in bland sweetness, I suspect you will soon transition into a phase of enhanced zeal. Are you ready to be immersed in a luscious lusty bloom of heartful yearning and adventure?

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): What shall we call this latest chapter of your life story? How about “Stealthy Triumph over Lonely Fear” or maybe “Creating Rapport with the Holy Darkness.” Other choices might be “As Far Down into the Wild Rich Depths That I Dare to Go” or “My Roots Are Stronger and Deeper Than I Ever Imagined.” Congratulations on this quiet but amazing work you’ve been attending to. Some other possible descriptors: “I Didn’t Have to Slay the Dragon Because I Figured Out How to Harness It” or “The Unexpected Wealth I Discovered Amidst the Confusing Chaos.”

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): It’s swayswirl-swivel time for you, Aquarius—a phase when you will be wise to gyrate and rollick and zigzag. This is a bouncy, shimmering interlude that will hopefully clean and clear your mind as it provides you with an abundance of reasons to utter “whee!” and “yahoo!” and “hooray!” My advice: Don’t expect the straightand-narrow version of anything. Be sure you get more than minimal doses of twirling and swooping and cavorting. Your brain needs to be teased and tickled, and your heart requires regular encounters with improvised fun.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): When I was growing up in suburban America, way back in the 20th century, many adults told me that I was wrong and bad to grow my hair really long. Really! It’s hard to believe now, but I endured ongoing assaults of criticism, ridicule, and threats because of how I shaped my physical appearance. Teachers, relatives, baseball coaches, neighbors, strangers in the grocery store—literally hundreds of people— warned me that sporting a big head of hair would cause the whole world to be prejudiced against me and sabotage my success. Decades later, I can safely say that all those critics were resoundingly wrong. My hair is still long, has always been so, and my ability to live the life I love has not been obstructed by it in the least. Telling you this story is my way of encouraging you to keep being who you really are, even in the face of people telling you that’s not who you really are. The astrological omens say it’s time for you to take a stand.

30 CN&R APRIL 6, 2023
FREE WILL ASTROLOGY Fo R the week o F APRIL 6, 2023 by Rob bRezsny www.RealAstrology.com for Rob Brezsny’s EXPANDED WEEKLY AUDIO HOROSCOPES and DAILY TEXT MESSAGE HOROSCOPES. The audio horoscopes are also available by phone at 1-877-873-4888. Contact us today for a consultation! 916.498.1234 | ext. 729 | www.nrpubs.com | pubs@newsreview.com PUBLICATIONS Do you have a complex story that needs to be told? • Create social change • Elevate awareness • Simplify complex issues • Influence legislators • Increase enrollments • Raise dollars • Reach remote audiences Our custom publications have helped LET US
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Dreaming of Owning a Home

The Self-Help Housing Program builds homes and communities.

Running on the belief in the economic and social benefits of homeownership, the Community Housing Improvement Program helps North Valley residents become new homeowners.

To create these opportunities, CHIP’s Self-Help Housing Program partners with USDA Rural Development to develop land or buy finished lots to build subdivisions of about 10 to 50 houses for families whose income is at or below 80% of the area’s median income.

“We believe in extending home ownership opportunities to families with limited resources,” says Jill Quezada, CHIP’s Director of Homeownership. “We believe that all families should have the opportunity to benefit from wealth building, the possibility to grow equity to assure a more secure retirement, and the opportunity to pass on assets to future generations.”

Since 1981, the Self-Help Housing Program has helped build about 2,000 new, single-family homes, in mostly rural communities across Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Tehama, Shasta, Sutter, and Yuba counties.

In recent years, Quezada says, the program builds about 30 to 40 new, aesthetically-pleasing, energy efficient homes per year that remain affordable through “sweat equity”—the time and energy families invest in the construction of their home.

“Families are required to contribute 65% of the labor of building the home,” says Quezada. “On practical terms, it’s about 30 hours per week, per household until the construction is complete.”

New homeowners work on their home but also other families’ homes in their construction group so, from the start, the neighborhood is building itself up.

Construction can last for many months, with a Construction Supervisor training fami lies and ensuring quality and safety standards. In this time, families will work on tasks such as framing, raising walls, installing flooring, and general carpentry such as installing windows, doors, and fences.

While more complicated tasks—such as plumbing and electricity—are left to contractors, these new homeowners are often learning new skills that Quezada says can help them maintain or improve their homes or even find a new career in carpentry or construction.

The hundreds of hours of sweat equity the new homeowners put into building their neighborhood ultimately helps lower their own, no cash-down, fixed-rate mortgage as the contributed labor reduces the cost of building the home but not its appraisal value.

Aside from financial benefits for the homeowner and the community—as new homes bring in jobs and taxes for schools and infrastructure—Quezada says that building new homes in this manner starts the neighborhood off on a good foundation.

“They’re committed to their neighbors from day one, pulling out their hammers and putting up walls,” Quezada says. “It’s the community that’s keeping families in their homes for decades and investing in their neighborhood long after the homes have been built.”

Leo Romero, currently a Construction Foreman in the Self-Help Housing Program, agrees. Romero had been working with CHIP for four years when he built his Glenn County home through the program in 2004.

Spurred by wanting to give his growing family a place of their own, Romero found renting to be wasteful and buying in the area next to impossible outside of the Self-Help Housing Program.

“Paying rent is just throwing your money away,” Romero says. “When you own a house, it’s an investment. You’re putting your money into your own account.”

It’s an investment that paid off for his family and the community he helped build as most of his original neighbors from the program still reside in their homes.

“You create a friendship, a community, “Romery says. “And after you move in, you still help each other out. You can count on someone for when you need help.”

This community-building is evident in Orland, Quezada says, a town of about 8,000 where the program has built close to 500 homes over the years. She’s seen, first-hand, how this influx of safe and affordable housing can transform a neighborhood into a more healthy and vibrant community.

With long-standing impact throughout the area, CHIP’s Self-Help Housing Program proves that with some creativity, pride, and a lot of hard work, anyone can build a home. And a community.

To learn more about CHIP’s programs, visit
Photo caption
APRIL 6, 2023 CN&R 31
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