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FROM THE EDITOR Our cover story features Reading Pals, a nonprofit doing remarkable things. I hope the response to the article will overwhelm Rory


Rottschalk and Michelle Anderson Curran, Directors of the program. Their work strikes to the core of my heart—reading. Reading is sacred.

AVEED KHAKI Publisher/Owner

Reading is fundamental to human nature. Reading is cherished, revered, rebuked, avoided, and can be both a challenge and

KEVIN DOLAN Editor-in-Chief

challenging. Reading offers excitement and enrichment, while serving as a guilty pleasure. Certainly not difficult to buy into the importance of the First 5 California campaign calling for adults to talk, sing, and read to children at a time when language comes naturally. Reading Pals will not be difficult to buy into either. What will be difficult is the alarming nature of the statistics. What will be delightful is the simplicity of the solutions changing alarming to astounding. Therein lies my belief in the response to this “community call to action.” Listen to your heart and head and answer the call. I am fascinated with what research offers about reading. They include insights into its power and magic. It reveals the fact two kinds of readers exist in this world—those who are actively engaged and those who stop reading. Do not think this includes people who do not read. Nonreaders have never given themselves permission to become disengaged. Unfortunately, these two readers only exist in the real



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Product Integration & Mobility Strategy



world. In classrooms, students do not have the luxury to stop reading


when not engaged. Research further says that success in college calls


for the ability to read 85 words a minute and speak about, question, or summarize the piece. At 1,275 words each 15 minutes, the amount of comprehension is staggering.


FRANK REBELO Photographer MICHAEL MEJIA Photographer MICHELLE CAMY Photographer

Reading carries with it remarkable remedies. Want to be a better writer or speller? Read—from how to’s to classified ads, novels to memoirs, poetry to stream of consciousness. Reading can teach you things, take you places, and allows you to gain perspective. None of this happens, in the same way from a screen or stage.


The color motion picture going on in my head while reading has never been matched by the movie. To Kill a Mockingbird and the original Godfather came close. Reading’s remedies also come in the form of healing, affirmation, and humility. From children’s books to Shakespeare, Faulkner to Thoreau, Conroy to Courtenay, Plath to Sexton, reading is my steadfastness. It combines my head, heart,





HRiQ Human Resources JASON CORONA

and soul.


Attempted to show how I read on the Backpage. I collect Lifelines— lines, sentences, up to entire paragraphs that resonate. Resonate means that which continues to sound, like a struck gong or plucked guitar string. My mind resonates these lines until I take note. The Backpage contains lines harvested from three summer reads, placed together, representing their combined effect. Enjoy and ponder.








Backpage MELISSA SNOW Interior Design

Kevin Dolan Editor-in-Chief

For advertising or editorial inquiries, please contact: Upgraded Living at 530.591.2634




10 Meet Cool Kid Evan Enserro, a BMX rider

40 Special touches to make your home

supreme with his eyes set on the 2024 summer games in Paris.

14 Our nonprofit features Do-It Leisure, an organization focused on helping its clients become self-sustainable in everyday society.

18 We shine our local spotlight on Jorge Salas, counselor at Chico Junior High and so much more.


63 Our Editor-in-Chief offers a glimpse

much more inviting for your guests.

45 Proper pointers to properly propagate succulents.

FOOD & DRINK 50 Learn the ins and outs, ups and downs of all things apricot.

51 No words needed to get you to try our no bake Oreo Cookie cheesecake.

of how he goes about reading.



28 Important information regarding the

20 Do not miss out on our cover story

benefits of vaccinating your child.

30 The absolute need-to-knows before getting a tattoo.

32 Detailed answers to frequently asked

about the Reading Pals endeavor and your opportunity to be a part of it!

48 Meet Aaron Hansel, our local Cornhole Guru.

questions about the lash lift procedure.




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His Sights Set on Paris When asked what he’s most proud of, Evan Enserro pauses, thinks and then humbly says, “Well, I won the National Championship last year and am going to compete in the World Championships”. Yes, Evan, I’d say that definitely qualifies! What BMXers call the “Greatest Race on Earth”, the Grands in Tulsa, OK; Evan was able to come out as a National Champion after starting to ride just seven years ago. How did it all start? He was at a party when his friend mentioned he was going to BMX Olympic Day and Evan decided he would check it out. The Silver Dollar BMX track holds an “Olympic Day” every year towards the start of summer. It is a worldwide celebration of the gathering of the first International Olympic Committee and the founding of today’s Olympic games. Its hope is to promote Olympic values and participation in the sport for all people, a way to celebrate the inauguration of the BMX sport into the Olympics that occurred just 11 years ago. The day offers a great way to expose families to the sport and welcome in new riders. The track has a BBQ and anyone is welcome to come borrow a bike and give the sport a try. Evan said he still remembers that first day when prime BMXer Kyle Leiber teamed up with him and lead him to the top of a very steep hill. Looking down, Evan wasn’t sure about it but thinking 10

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back he states, “it’s not as scary as you think and it’s a lot cooler than you’d expect”. His workout schedule is intense, as you’d expect for a top athlete. He rides on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and heads to the gym on off days. He runs Track and Field at PV and enjoys it since it’s “basically the same movement as pedaling except your feet are on the ground”. The dedication this sport requires transmutes across other aspects of Evan’s life, helping him focus on his schoolwork. The great thing about BMX is that while it can be a team sport, there’s always that individual drive, that individual accountability. You are competing with your team but it’s all you. The individuality of the sport by no means translates to isolation. Evan has traveled all over the US and met and befriended people from around the globe. The BMX community is truly a family of families supporting their athletes in the sport. This summer will find Evan traveling to Belgium to compete with Team USA in the World Championships where he’s sure to develop new skills and friendships. He has his sights set on the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris and then further into the future, Evan hopes to open a biker specific gym and incorporate into that space his work as a sports physical therapist.

Traditions F I R S T D AY O F S C H O O L

The first day of school is a fun and exciting time for both you and your children. Although the sun-filled summer days are coming to an end, your kids are entering a year full of education, expression, and friendship. As a parent, you may want to come up with some new activities to start with your kids that will last throughout their education. Fear not—we’ve created this list of fun traditions to start from kindergarten all the way to 12th-grade graduation.

Back-to-School Fashion Show

Your kids are probably growing up much faster than you thought they would. You’ve probably had to buy a whole new wardrobe for the school year. Have your kids pick out outfits and parade them around the house to show off their style. Your reactions and encouragement could greatly affect their confidence when going to school with their new clothes.

First Day Photos

When you look back through these photos over the years, you’ll be shocked at how much your kids have grown and how their styles have changed. To make these photos even more special, you can buy a reusable first day of school chalkboard from retailers or online. With the chalkboard, you can fill out your kid’s name, age, grade, interests, favorite things, and more.

Rose, Thorn, and Bud

Most of these traditions have been preparing for the first day, but this one's for when your kids get home from school. It’s perfect for the first day, but it can also be repeated daily. While you’re having dinner, reflect with your children: the rose is the best part of their day, the thorn is the worst part, and the bud is what they are looking forward to tomorrow. By reflecting with them, you’ll teach them critical thinking skills and emotional intelligence while learning things that you might not have known otherwise.

Mom’s (or Dad’s) Brunch

You deserve a tradition for you! Separating from your kids can be a challenging experience. Whether you feel like partying or crying because your kids are in school, take some time to talk about it. Get a group of your mom and dad friends together and start a tradition by meeting for brunch post drop-off. Traditions for the first day of school can be very rewarding for both you and your kids. Some of these traditions are just fun memories to share between a parent and a child, and others are morale-building activities that could help your kids excel. Either way, we hope you have fun sending your kids off to school in your own special way!

Set Goals for the Year

Though this might not be quite so exciting, it could be very beneficial to your children’s growth. Sit down with your kids and ask them what they want to do better and how they could reach their goals. Make a plan to talk about goals every few weeks or months, depending on what the goals are. At the end of the year, look back at the original goals and discuss what they have accomplished and what they could still work on. As your children get older, this could teach them a lot about hard work, long-term planning, and motivation.

Make a Time Capsule

On the first day of kindergarten, start a time capsule for your kids that they will open when they graduate high school. Each year, on the first day of school, add one thing that is meaningful to them. When they graduate high school, they will be able to look through and see their memories since kindergarten.

If you have a garden or even just a yard, this is the perfect first day of school tradition to start. Each year, get a cement paver kit and imprint your kid’s footprint. Decorate the cement with their grade and any other symbolism you deem worthy. Each year, place the new footprints in front of the former year’s footprints. Before you know it, you will have a path to success starting from kindergarten all the way to graduation.


Create a Path to Success


Moment I realized I had made it: My student teaching professor’s son was placed in my class. Worst excuse ever from a student: My mom/dad/grandma forgot to put my homework/lunch/permission-slip in my backpack. First three songs listed on my life playlist: This Must Be the Place, Talking Heads; Imagine, John Lennon; Murder in the City, the Avett Brothers. Single biggest indulgence: Dark chocolate! Still on my bucket list: Touring the U.S. by train. My “go to” Chico spot: My backyard or my friends’ backyards.








Jennifer Rossovich has taught at Hooker Oak Elementary School for 31 years. She has taught every level and loves 1st grade. She admits it’s the hardest year as they are “a bunch of renegades” who can make forming a line feel like solving algebraic equations. She loves their active brains, wired to absorb so much in such little time. She understands that teachers “don’t stop thinking until everyone’s out the door and it is shut.” She also believes, as far as education goes—enrichment is the basics. Upon retirement, she’s forming a “Friends of Hooker Oak” network of volunteers comprised of retired teachers to meet all needs. We celebrate her longevity, recognize her invaluable contribution to the Mighty Oaks, and wish her a productive retirement when she feels the time seems right. 12

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If I weren’t a teacher, I’d be: A travel writer, getting paid to see the world. The inspiration to teach came from: My Grandmother, who was also an elementary school teacher. Biggest challenge I face each day: Getting to work on time—I am not a morning person!

What gets me out of bed each morning: Some project, at school or home, that I’m eager to start or finish. What my life will look like in five years: I’ll be in my final year of teaching, looking forward to the next chapter. Teacher I remember the most from being a student: My 6th grade teacher Miss Duckhorn kept us interested and challenged. Summer break is for: Napping, reading, gardening, travel, and enjoying my morning coffee while it’s still hot. Book that left a lasting impression on me: All the Light We Cannot See, by Michael Doer. One thing I am exceptionally good at: Staying calm under pressure (most of the time). One thing I am especially bad at: Water skiing. I have zero tolerance for: Cruelty of any kind.

Three qualities that got me where I am today: Curiosity, perseverance, willingness to work hard.

My personal billboard would read: Life is what you make it!

One change education needs tomorrow: More emphasis on in-depth learning, less time spent on testing.


Forgot to grab a magazin e? All of our previous publications can be found on!

Proper Planning Saving for retirement is often one of those things that you hear about in your 20s, you think about in your 30s, start in your 40s and regret not starting earlier when you reach your 50s. I tend to repeat myself about this subject but it’s important. Humans are living longer. In 1940 the life expectancy of a 65 year old was 79 years. Today it is 85. 1Six years may not seem like much but consider the extra income you will need. If you are living on $40,000 a year, that means you need an additional $240,000. Social Security. 39% of the income of the elderly is received from social security benefits. You are responsible for making up the 61% difference. As you save for retirement, it is important to understand how much you need as well as how much you want. This takes a little time and can be changed as often as needed. If you


haven’t already, you should sit down with a financial advisor and calculate how much income you will need to generate annually in order to live the retirement lifestyle you desire. A great line I heard recently is “When you retire, you want to retire TO something not just FROM something.” The “TO” is different for everyone which is why you should not use a generic formula for calculating your retirement income needs. Do not let sheer luck or an unexpected windfall be your retirement savings plan. Most of us will want to begin early with a disciplined, goal driven plan focused on what you want to retire “TO.”

Source: Social Security Fact Sheet, Social Security Administration, 2018


Renée Michel, MBA and Joe Sweeney, CFP® | 2452 Lakewest Drive, Chico, CA 95928 (530) 487-1777 | | | Advisory services also offered through Sweeney & Michel, LLC, a registered investment adviser. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Sweeney & Michel, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. No advice may be rendered by Sweeney & Michel, LLC unless a client service agreement is in place.


For people with developmental disabilities, support and education typically ends with their K–12 schooling. Special education classes disappear, community support vanishes, and developmentally disabled people are left to navigate adult life on their own. Without real-life training, it can be hard to prosper after 12th-grade graduation. That’s where the Work Training Center, and, more specifically, the Do-It Leisure program comes in. The Do-It Leisure program is a nonprofit organization focused on helping its clients become self-sustainable in everyday society while enhancing the “quality of their lives through increased independence in work and leisure activities.” The different programs teach workplace development, general life skills, social skills, and more. In the past, the developmentally disabled could join programs or workshops that would keep them separated from general society in a sheltered workplace. Recently, with new laws in place, there has been a great shift for Do-It Leisure’s clients and their integration into the community. Andrea Moriarty, Director of Community Services, has been with the Do-It Leisure program for 22 years and has happily watched the progression, seeing her clients slowly gain more and more respect in the public eye. Andrea loves “seeing clients achieve things 14

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we take for granted.” These achievements include finding job opportunities, working alongside coworkers, receiving paychecks, finding sustainable living situations, and paying bills. Through Venture Services with Far Northern Regional Center, clients can do all of this and more. Executive Director Donald Krysakowski’s son is currently looking for employment after working in the Paid Internship Program. Donald is thrilled to “facilitate the ongoings of an organization” where people like his son could prosper. Through the Paid Internship Program, Do-It Leisure helps set up interviews, then assists the client on the job, hoping clients can gain experience and good recommendations. Venture Services also has a new program called Opportunities, Partnerships, and Transitions (O.P.T.). O.P.T. training is a 10-hour facilitated strategic goals session where the client is able to develop their desired achievements and plan how their path to success. Another program, called Independent Living Skills, helps clients find housing outside their family homes while developing independent living skills. All of the programs within Venture Services go hand-in-hand to ensure a better life for clients and their families. Donald is confident that these programs will “give others the peace of mind that their kids have a place in this world.”

After one meeting with the hard-working team at Do-It Leisure, it’s perfectly clear that this team wouldn’t give up their jobs for anything. Their dedication shines through as Andrea recalls, “we’re always there for them.” One client has even been meeting with staff members for one hour a week for the past 20 years. Though it is definitely a challenging and stressful job, these hard-working individuals get to see direct enhancements to their clients’ quality of life.



Do-It Leisure Better Quality of Life with

The Do-It Leisure office may seem a bit small to host so many programs, but that’s because “most of the work is done out in the community.” The Community Program offers structure and organization to many clients at once. Up to 300 clients join the Community Program for dance parties, weekend trips, bingo nights, movie viewings, and more. Jackie Glazer, the Community Program Coordinator, loves working for Do-It Leisure because “providing these experiences increases their quality of life.” Working with CARD, Feather River Recreation, and Paradise Recreation, the Community Program provides an array of activities and outings for a tight-knit group. Clients can have an exciting and fun time with this program while also learning social and survival skills. “Advocating for our clients because they cannot advocate for themselves” is one of the greatest responsibilities for the seven-person in-office staff and 38 field staff. Providing accessibility for all types of developmentally disabled including the mobile, hearing, and sight-impaired on these trips is just one way the staff advocates for its clients.


Coming into Chico as a new student can be intimidating. Although the city is small, it’s full of beautiful nature, restaurants, and stores that are open and inviting to everyone who lives in the town. Here are 10 spots you should visit if you’re new to Chico State.

6. BLACKBIRD CAFE As you walk up the stairs and through the doorway of Blackbird on Park Avenue, a library full of books, art and, zines made from the community introduces itself to you and lines the walls of the small cafe. The cafe has a variety of options on their menu including tea, coffee, and beer as well as vegan pastries and snacks. The space is often used for community events such as art shows, open mics, and a market for local vendors to sell their products. There’s always something new to learn and see at Black Bird Cafe.

1. CHICO CERTIFIED FARMERS MARKET The Saturday Farmers Market is one of the best parts about living in Chico. One can get a sense of the people and personalities that make up this community by talking to the vendors and listening to their stories. Along with vendors, there are always artists playing music and information booths on local organizations. The market is a great way to learn about where your food is coming from and connect with the farmers who share that food with us.

7. SENATOR THEATRE The Senator Theatre is one of Chico’s historical landmarks, dating all the way back to 1927 when the building was first created for vaudeville theatre. Following its transition into a musical venue during the early 2000s, big acts such as Tyler the Creator have graced the stage as well as many other notable artists including Avenged Sevenfold, Schoolboy Q, and Snoop Dogg. Be prepared to purchase tickets soon as the legendary group Bone Thugs-n-Harmony is coming to Senator Theatre on September 11.

2. TIN ROOF BAKERY & CAFE Tin Roof Bakery has everything you could imagine. From the fresh bread, their sweet and savory pastries, the tasty lunch menu, and wide drink menu, it’s hard to decide on getting just one thing. The space has indoor and outdoor seating where you can enjoy your drinks, read a book, or work on homework. The best part about Tin Roof is their staff who are always warm and welcoming, making early morning coffee runs a truly enjoyable experience.

8. ORANGE STREET CONSIGNMENT Orange Street Consignment is a place full of stories, artifacts, and everything vintage. Denim jeans from the 80s hang on the clothing racks and decades-old furniture fills an entire second room. It’s a great place to find beautiful items to furnish your home while being sustainable by giving new life to older products. Be sure you’re not in a rush when you go, because you’ll be looking around at everything the consignment has to offer for a long time.

3. BEAR HOLE One of the best parts about living in Butte County is the easy access to Bidwell Park. Bear Hole, a local swimming spot in Upper Bidwell, is a bit more secluded and less populated than One Mile. The water is cool and refreshing, and there are rocks to jump from for those who are more adventurous. Make sure to bring some water and good walking shoes for your trip, as the path to the swimming hole is rocky and rough.

9. INDAY’S FILIPINO FOOD Located on West 8th is Inday’s restaurant where you can find some of the most delicious food in town. Their breakfast menu is filling and great for the price, and the coffee cake will have you wanting more every time. They are known for their Kamayan dinner, where visitors can choose from 12 different authentic dishes from three preset menus. Following Filipino tradition, food is served family style over banana leaves and eaten with hands.

4. PAGEANT THEATRE Pageant Theatre is a family owned theatre that screens independent, foreign, and documentary films for the Chico community. The seating is limited, allowing viewers a more intimate and personal screening. The theatre allows outside food and drink, but they also have a snack bar where you can order beer, organic popcorn, and other healthier alternatives to the usual movie foods. It’s the perfect place for those looking for something new at an inexpensive price.



5. WILDCAT RECREATION CENTER The WREC is open to all students for free and is a great place to work on your personal health goals. The WREC has something for everyone including weights, an indoor track, climbing walls, and courts to play basketball or soccer. The WREC also hosts an intramural sports league where you can join teams such as volleyball, dodgeball, or even inner-tube water polo.

10. PARADISE To understand the community that we are a part of, I believe that it is necessary to visit Paradise and learn about the damage the Camp Fire has done to our area. Talking to the city’s residents will give you a sense of the strength and resilience our community has and will allow you to have a greater appreciation for everything that we may take for granted in our everyday lives. 15


in it his individual sense of design, tone, and spirit. All of his Falcone pianos were built in the USA in small numbers until production stopped here in 1995. 169 pianos were built in Massachusetts while Falcone was with his company, and then another 480 after he left.

Original Falcone Your Own

It was 1992, and Dr. Morgan was at a medical retreat on the East Coast. He found himself wandering down the streets of Haverhill, Massachusetts and walked into a small piano shop. Eyeing a beautifully crafted, gleaming black Grand Piano, he sat down to try his hand at playing it. He was so enamored, he continued to play until a man came out of the shop and asked, “What are you doing? This is my shop.” He then asked if Dr. Morgan played and, after listening for a while, stated, “I’m going to sell you this piano.” That man was none other than Santi Falcone, the renowned Italian born piano technician-turned-builder who helped build 169 pianos by hand slowly and with painstaking care over the course of his time with the Falcone Piano Company. Falcone pianos are known for their purity, sweetness of tone, evenness of scale, and 16

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big sound. Their all one-piece ivory keys and said to have a touch like butter. The pianos are crafted using German music wire and scaling techniques, surrounded by cabinetry made with beautiful exotic woods from all over the world. Santi Falcone is a piano tuner technician who became inspired to build the finest handmade American piano he could. He was born in Sicily and attended the Santa Cecilia Conservatory in Rome where one day he wandered the halls and observed an elderly tuner working on one of the school’s pianos. His singing career soon fell by the wayside as he discovered his true calling. It is said that the piano “fascinated him and he didn’t know how anyone could ever make such a complicated instrument.” He was later hired by the Boston Conservatory as their piano tuner. In 1982, he completed his first piano with a special character all its own, instilling

The seven foot Falcone grand piano in a glossy ebony finish, the very same one Dr. Morgan bought from Mr. Falcone, is being raffled off this year. Dr. Morgan’s wife, Marilyn, has generously donated the piano to Gary Smith and his company, Correlare. Dr. Morgan was an avid musician as well as a brilliant and caring surgeon. Gary and his wife decided to hold a raffle for the piano to honor Dr. Morgan’s memory and his musical legacy in order to benefit the children of Chico. The raffle will begin in August and run until the end of the school year. Gary hopes to have Santi Falcone come out to Chico mid year to play at Apollo Piano and Music and then sign the inside of the piano. The proceeds from the yearlong raffle will go to Inspire School of Arts, Wildflower Charter School, and the remainder will go to fund partial scholarships for Apollo Music classes. Tickets for the raffle will be available at Inspire, Wildflower, and at Apollo Music. The showroom is open Monday through Friday 12:00–5:00 p.m. Here, the public can come and take a look at the Falcone, as well as other instruments and accessories. Apollo will also be hosting various recitals and concerts for schools and individuals where purchasing a raffle ticket will be the entrance fee in the hopes of raising even more money for the various music programs in Chico. CHECK OUT APOLLO PIANO’S WEBSITE AT APOLLOPIANO.NET FOR CONTINUED UPDATES ON THE RAFFLE AND BUY A TICKET FOR YOUR CHANCE TO OWN ONE OF THE FEW ORIGINAL FALCONE GRAND PIANOS IN THE WORLD.




From the moment he left Costa Rica, Jorge Salas was on a path to become a school counselor. He just didn’t know it. Jorge believed his destiny was to be a house painter like his Grandfather. Enrolling in the local high school where his Aunt lived in Florida began his real journey. As he puts it, “It was the worst two years of my life.” One would think the culture shock alone would be enough, but when it comes with prejudice and isolation, the shock had little to do with the culture. The language barrier, the blatant racism were somehow softened by Jorge’s ability to play soccer. The pride he felt, the confidence to “hang in there” led to hope and the wisdom to counsel future lost souls. High school came to an end, without anyone to talk to about what was next. Just when Jorge was about to join the Navy, his mom called from Redding inviting him to come out and go to school. He thought, “I can do that.” Jorge’s excitement about moving to his dream of California was squashed upon the descent to the Redding airport. The plane’s captain came over the loudspeaker with the news it was 114 degrees, adding “it is not humid!” Shasta College “went ok,” though he admits he was not a good student. Then, upon enrolling in a Biology class, Shasta College became great. As only Jorge can put it, “It was a biology class—but there was chemistry in there!” The class is where he met his wife, Jennifer, and yes, it was love at first sight. With general education requirements being met, the couple planned to enroll in Chico State. Jorge still had no idea what he wanted to pursue. Shasta college helped with what he did not. He started a power plant mechanics program on how to fix airplanes. In a group working on a plane’s engine, he took a step back, realized 300 passengers could die if something went wrong, and walked away. Idea or not, Chico State was beckoning. The couple commuted at first, and their marriage in 1987 came with a move to Chico. An inspirational teacher in a Chicano’s studies class asked Jorge what he wanted to do. He said, help people. The teacher pointed to a Social Work 18

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major and Jorge instantly became a good student. An internship at a group home with its demands and challenges allowed Jorge to see the path before him, with the understanding to “be me.” He already knew kids would respect that. When the universe knows what you want, it is like the whole world conspires to make it happen. Upon graduation, Jorge obtained a job in the parent education network placing him in schools like Chapman and Shasta. An opening at Chico Junior left Jorge falling in love with the age group who laugh at jokes and need the help. He also knows he will forever draw from his past but never question his future. The only thing topping a college degree was earning a Pupil Personnel credential. Of course, being hired as a counselor at Chico Junior High brought his destiny full circle. His wife, Jennifer, looks at his job “Not as a rollercoaster, not the fun kind of twists and turns.” She marvels at the weight of the things that come along on a daily

basis, simply mind boggling. Jorge combats the weight with lighthearted approaches and innovative changes. Jorge visits every class at the beginning of the year, teaching “the wave.” Followed by unannounced visits to random classes to set off the wave. Jorge immediately moves on to other matters like solving a mediation with a mini cornhole set. He simply requires each student to talk while tossing the tiny bags. Smiles easily take the place of whatever brought them there in the first place. Jorge’s innovative Zen Den, a place for frustrated kids to calm down and gain control, is already being adopted by other middle schools. He is quick to credit the support of the entire staff he refers to as a “well oiled machine.” Certainly, the staff will point their fingers right back at this goofy guy with shorts, kicks, and his cream colored Giants jersey, who is the glue that keeps these kids together. We celebrate Jorge Salas and are excited to shine our local spotlight on him. After all, he was put on earth to deal with “pretty heavy stuff” just by being himself.


The Weight of Reading Nearly 60% of children enrolled in elementary schools in Chico do not read at grade level. One needs to pause a moment to let the gravity of that statement sink in. It is a nationally understood statistic that two-thirds of students who do not read at grade level by fourth grade end up in jail or on welfare. 20

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Rory Rottschalk understands, in a National Crisis such as this, communities will not tolerate the idea that 60% of their kids cannot read. He was certainly right about the community of Chico. Chico is one of those places when faced with a challenge, it will meet it head on. This community is fortunate to have members like Rory Rottschalk and Michelle Anderson Curran. Through their efforts, Reading Pals was founded as a partnership between the Chico Community and Chico Unified School

District. A community based, nonprofit literacy program with a common message “You have what it takes”, uniquely crafted so it can be heard by each student as well as each volunteer. Reading Pals did not happen overnight. It happened through the unwavering efforts of Rory and Michelle. Though this dynamic pair differs in motivation, they both say to themselves, “I want to see my community thrive.” Michelle was inspired by trips to


Uganda where the educational needs are overwhelming. Upon hearing the stunning statistics about the local students, her heart and head posed the same question, “Why not in my own backyard?” Rory has a more straightforward path. He believes communities need proper stewardship and governance. Stewardship is “the responsible overseeing and protecting something worth caring for.” Similarly, governance requires “frameworks built into relational contracts that foster long-term collaboration and innovation.” Thus, Reading Pals becomes a model of governance by bridging the gap between the enormous number of students who need help with the strength of a community's heart. Rory recognizes the good fortune of having the school district on board in a spirit of partnership, declaring, “Let’s get this done together.” As the story goes, Rory contacted Michelle in 2010 and told her he wanted to do something to make a difference in Chico and asked her to partner with him. Michelle’s “yes” started an experiment in the efficient partnering of community volunteers with students struggling in school. Year one saw the launching of “Bigs in Schools" which focused on community volunteers acting as mentors. In year two the program was revised to strategic tutoring, with Noon Rotary volunteers committing for six weeks to help a student with a specific learning objective selected by the student’s teacher. The beauty of this approach was that citizens had the opportunity to watch teachers in action, gaining the understanding that, “Wow, these teachers are amazing!” Year three saw the adoption of a “Reading Partners Program.” The one-on-one model, pairing a volunteer and student together with reading as the focus, laid the groundwork for the formation of Reading Pals. Reading Pals changed the relationship between the community and the school district to a determined “we,” ready to lower that 60% of elementary age reading below grade level. Together, they are determined that every child reaches Middle School able to read at grade level. The challenge can appear daunting, however the solution is quite the opposite. Reading Pals provides every student who does not read at grade level an opportunity to “catch up” through one-on-one reading sessions

with a committed volunteer. The results are nothing short of remarkable. In just four months of work, students gain as much as one year of literacy skills. Those students involved in the program see a significant upward trajectory, even after they “graduate out” of the program. 86% of students enrolled in Reading Pals for one year achieve “at or near” grade level reading aptitude. 89% of students who catch up their grade-appropriate reading level by 3rd grade graduate from high school on time. Two things will ensure Reading Pals continued success—people and money. The growing “volunteer army” of community members, now 250 strong, can provide each student with the confidence that says, “I can do this!” Chico Unified School District provides reading center space, the curriculum used for Reading Pals, and a credentialed teacher at each site. Reading Pals recruits, trains, and organizes the volunteers.

Reading Pals operates under the umbrella of the North Valley Community Foundation, allowing them to keep overhead costs down and secures a surefire way for donations to be made on a tax-deductible basis. The financial request is simple: “Partner with us to change lives.” The cost per student for one year is $470. Thus far, private and corporate donations have kept the program going. The list of local business sponsors includes Nelsen Family Dentistry, Chico Nissan, MJ Shelton, Morgan Stanley, Chuck Patterson, Dutch Bros, Ray Morgan Company, Roster/Carlsen and a host of others. As Rory says, Chico is a perfect starting point for this cutting-edge program. We live in a community where people, be it volunteers or donors, feel both inspired and encouraged by having a way to communicate to children that they are important. Volunteering can take on an empty connotation. As a volunteer—“I show up, I do my thing, I leave.” Michelle prefers the 21

phrase “investment of time,” suggesting the reality that you will “make time” rather than telling yourself you “have time.” Rory takes it to another level. He believes initiatives such as Reading Pals are really a call to citizen led stewarding of our community. He also understands people are already wired to be heroes. He points out, “If a stroller with a baby is in the street— no one needs to be told what to do.” Big problems like this can too often feel like “spitting in the wind” until a person becomes part of the solution and can say, “I am the one who rescued that child.” Solid innovations like Reading Pals can often be difficult to grasp much like people’s inability to understand the magic of a marathon if they think it is nothing more than a “good idea.” Here is a program offering authentic assessment, developing an organic relationship between the challenge and the solution. In this particular case, stewardship is measured both in terms of time and money. We have a community blessed with folks who have one or both. Subjects like achievement gaps are hard, but Reading Pals offers a simple process—the district provides the space, curriculum and expert, the community provides committed folks to go one-on-one and folks who can help fund. In this whole bodies-versus-dollars scenario, it becomes important to recognize kids need to be 22

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revered, and the one-on-one solution to facilitate this takes money. It remains the first thing and the first need. The caveat to all of this is the student who, on the first session with a community member, is going to fidget and fuss and act out in any way possible to avoid demonstrating that “I can’t read.” Three months later, that kid, with a beaming smile will announce—“It’s time for my Reading pal!” What is the motivation for this student? Maybe nothing more than someone pointing to the books adorning the wall and asking, “How ‘bout we go there, to the end?” 86% of the students will recover their deficiency in that timeframe.

Michelle’s global awareness coupled with Rory’s mindfulness of proper governance within a community, forges them as the perfect pair to continue to lead the way. Rory has a dream that the start of periodic City Council meetings would begin with the same question—“Is the percentage down to 30, maybe 20 by now?” Reading should be celebrated with care, cultivated at every turn, and fostered to the fruitful end. Capturing the community’s heart remains crucial in leading the way to the finish line. After all, the message that can change a child’s life “You have what it takes” is the same message that can change a community’s life.



Hooked On


A visit to the SunPower by Hooked on Solar showroom in Rocklin proved worthwhile. Just the mere fact that distance does not place a business out of reach was reassuring. The conversation went directly to how tied they are to the town of Paradise. Their support of nonprofits by SunPower “owning the equipment” is an example. The Paradise Alliance Church had their solar installed and up and running prior to the Camp Fire. The church survived and now understands how important the benefits of solar actually are. On the morning of the fire, Hooked on Solar trucks were enroute to install the same system in another Paradise church. Unfortunately, their trucks were told to turn around and later were given the news the church did not survive the devastating fire. In recent issues of our magazine, we have featured the key people involved in this company. That was the who. We now turn the focus to the what. What makes Hooked on Solar so critical to the rebuilding process on the Ridge? What products, services, and human touches can this caring team bring to ease the transition? The recent Home Builders 24

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Resource Expo at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds offered a worthy glimpse. The Expo was not your typical sell your products to the masses, but rather the chilling truth that thousands of homes need to be rebuilt, and with a project of that size, people are going to need help. SunPower by Hooked on Solar was present with real answers for how to support long term rebuilding efforts. Hooked on Solar is adamant about providing power options for Paradise. The options are: SunPower products, the Tesla Powerwall, and the Generac generator. The package ensures customers the ability to “keep their lights on when the utility doesn’t.” The answers to just what each of these are includes the fact that Hooked on Solar is equally adamant about utilizing research and experience to assure the information is up to date and clear. The SunPower products are the components making up the solar PV (photovoltaic) system, that is, the sizing of the stand-alone products necessary for a proper energy audit. This varies from small to big homes and commercial to farming

The change to required solar beginning in 2020 is explained in a 400 page document. Hooked on Solar and its alliance with the California Solar and Storage Association has a two page explanation with real people to walk you through the entire change in regulations. Power outage itself, is taking on a whole new look. PG&E has many reasons to shut off power to customers such as wind, extreme usage times, fire danger and the like. The simple change in these outages remains disconcerting at best. Now, due to changes, once PG&E cuts the power to any sector, they must first inspect all lines and connections before they are able to restore the power. In most cases, this could take up to three or four additional powerless days for their customers. Not those customers who have all of the power options provided through SunPower by Hooked on Solar, including the top of the line products available on the market. To be sure, the Campfire left Hooked on Solar with a torrid focus to help these hapless fire victims with the rebuilding efforts. They also understand with these two big changes, their help, including the fact that what makes SunPower by Hooked on Solar so crucial to providing the answers to the now chilling truth that homes need to be prepared to keep their energy on when PG&E turns it off. Their battery solutions “will provide you peace of mind knowing your lights will be on, refrigerator running, and well pumping when the power goes off in your area.” If you or someone you know is looking to rebuild and is interested in clean, affordable, renewable energy, call SunPower by Hooked On Solar at 855.466.5332 or visit them online at You will discover that distance in no way places a business out of reach!


needs. The Tesla Powerwall is a smart battery designed to store the excess amount of power generated by the solar panels, offering a place for the homeowner to store it, rather then the power returning to the grid itself. The stored energy in the wall saves homeowners from having to purchase from the grid or power company. Like the Tesla Powerwall, the Generac generator is the absolute best product Hooked on Solar can find. All three of these invaluable products team together so customers will never be without power. With the changes in required solar coming in 2020, coupled with the changing manner PG&E must heed when turning the power off, makes all three necessary standard fair in all homes, especially in Paradise.



College Transition You’ve witnessed your child's progress through the many milestones of growing older. From that first day of kindergarten to their high school graduation, they’ve been under their loving and protective parental wings guiding them through the experiences of their studious years. And now, the time has come—that big leap where they’ll spread their wings wider than ever and start to fully claim their independence. It’s time to send them off to college. What an exciting time this is! Let’s be real, it can also cause some stress. As a parent, it can be hard to let go, and for a college bound kid, it can feel overwhelming mitigating all the responsibilities and logistics of adulthood. Summer will whiz on by and come fall, many families will be sending their children off to college. Here are a few tips on ways to help both you and your student feel better prepared as you ease into the transition:

The Bare Necessities

It’s so tempting to make sure your student has ‘all the things’. You want them to feel prepared for anything. You want them to feel secure. Instead of splurging on much of what may very likely become unnecessary and obsolete, wait. Wait a few weeks for your student to live in their new space, then checkin to see what they need after they’ve had some time to settle into their college life. This will eliminate unnecessary spending, and you can get your student what they truly need. Plus, it’s always nice receiving a package in the mail—Win! Win!

Create Space

Space? That’s right. S p a c e. And this likely will be difficult because when you send your student off to college, you’ll naturally miss the heck out of them! Never the less, try to avoid excessive texting, Facebook messaging, phone calling, etc. After all, this is their time to create autonomy and independence just as they’ve been preparing for their whole lives. Hopefully, at this point in the game, they have a solid foundation which they’ll be able to make sound decisions from. While you may want to communicate with them every day, try scheduling a time in the week to connect over a phone call.

Mistakes are Inevitable

It can be unsettling to merely observe our childrens’ failures. Some parents may naturally want to swoop in and hold their kid’s hand to help them along. Doing so may rob them of the beauty of developing their character—their strength, their resilience, their fortitude, and their determination. This is all part of their years-long development into adulthood. Making mistakes, learning from their consequences, and getting the opportunity to make a different decision next time are how we humans grow.

Homemade Care Packages

Care packages are a simple, tangible, and oftentimes delicious way of saying “I love you!” and “I’m thinking about you!”. These days, there are companies who have managed to capitalize on this homegrown tradition, but don’t be fooled—they lack the personal touch that only a parent can translate. Some things to consider placing in a care package: their favorite home baked goodies, their favorite personal hygiene products, over-thecounter cold & flu medicine, first-aid items, gift cards, office supplies, cleaning supplies, a few pictures, and a personal note. Care packages are a great way to help your student’s ventures into adult-land. When fall comes and vehicles are packed up with all the essentials for college bound kids, remember parent and child are experiencing this transition together with emotions running the full spectrum from delight and excitement to sadness and fear. Let these tips help you and your student ease in the transition towards navigating life on their own. 25

some time considering the level of progression and development in each. In fact, they were surprised at how it could have been missed at all. She returned home and spoke to her granddaughter, who told her unequivocally, “You’re going to my ophthalmologist.” Kristina made an appointment for Marjorie at North Valley Eye Care in Chico, and the two arrived one week later to have her eyes assessed. Just as the first optometrist in Chico had said, both conditions had progressed to the point where they required surgical intervention. Normally, the signs of glaucoma and cataracts are spotted early on and watched over time to find the optimal time for treatment, but Marjorie’s condition had already exceeded those limits. Her doctor treated her for dry eyes to help alleviate symptoms in the meantime, and scheduled her surgery for the following week. Marjorie arrived at North Valley Eye Care’s surgical center one week later and met with Dr. Isaac Barthelow. He explained the surgery to her and stated that he would both remove her cataracts and treat her glaucoma at the same time, something made possible through laser surgery. From entering the waiting room, to being released from surgery, the entire process took just one hour, and Marjorie doesn’t remember most of what happened in between—a lack of memory she seems rather fond of. They scheduled her second eye for one month later, and her granddaughter drove her home. “It took a couple days for the effects to become noticeable.” Marjorie said, “I noticed I could see a lot better, and I could read things easily again. I still had to wear my glasses for a bit, but everything was so much clearer. It felt so good!”


Marjorie “Nana” Berglund Originally from Valencia, California, Marjorie Berglund moved to Live Oak some years ago, staying with her granddaughter, Kristina, to help raise her great grandson. Experiencing eye issues from an early age, Marjorie began wearing glasses at the age of 14, as she found it difficult to see objects at a short distance. As the years passed, her eyes became worse, increasing her vision’s reliance on glasses, and eventually requiring bi-focals for clarity. “I couldn’t see well enough to drive at night.” Marjorie said, “I didn’t drive any further than the store in the evening. I used to get these dots in my eyes and I would see flashes of light. Objects would be blurry and there were halos around lights. I’d go to the movies and try to see the film, but even with a big screen it was blurry. I would have to close my eyes for awhile and then look up, which focused my eyes for a bit, but the blurriness would return shortly after.” Just prior to her move to Live Oak, she visited an eye doctor in Palmdale, California, who checked her eyes and advised that her prescription was sufficient—nothing was in need of changing, and nothing else was worthy of note. After arriving in Live Oak, she visited Chico to replace her glasses, and the optometrist found that she had both glaucoma and cataracts, something that should have been easily noticed during her prior office visit. Not only did she have both conditions, but the optometrist noted that she had had both for quite 26

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Marjorie returned to have her second operation one month later and, just as the first, it went off without a hitch. Within one week of the surgery, both eyes were functioning at a level that reminded her of her vision as a child. “Everything was so clear and was finally able to drive at night again!” Marjorie exclaimed, “It had been at least five years since I was last able to do that. Colors were so much more vibrant, and I could make out lines better. I could see further in the distance, and everything has just become so much easier. I couldn’t be happier!” Marjorie was quick to note that not only was the surgery a complete success, but that her doctors were extremely thorough in making sure that every possible issue with her eyes were addressed. “They saw a shadow behind one of my eyes,” Marjorie said, “and they’re still working on that. They said if it moves or gets bigger, they’ll do something. If not, it’ll be ok. It was just something they noticed that I haven’t noticed any effects from yet, but it’s so much better to know about something ahead of time rather than when it becomes a problem like my glaucoma and cataracts did.” Asked about her advice for anyone else experiencing eye problems, Marjorie replied, “Go to the eye doctor often, and find yourself one that truly cares. I would recommend the doctors at North Valley Eye Care and their medical group, because not only are they wonderful, but they’re also available in many locations including Marysville & Yube City. My experience was excellent, and I feel that I receive the very best treatment when I go to them. My friends tell me they receive the same when they visit!” IF YOU’RE LIKE MARJORIE AND HAVE EXPERIENCED CHANGES IN YOUR VISION, CALL NORTH VALLEY EYE CARE TODAY AT 530.891.1900.

THE MENDOCINO COAST If you did not have the time to plan a summer vacation, we’ve got you covered! With such a high-stress, busy lifestyle you will need some time to relax and enjoy nature’s glory. We highly recommend the Mendocino Coast for your perfect lastminute getaway. Take a stroll through the downtown areas of Mendocino and Fort Bragg, both of which offer charming bookstores, beautiful gardens, stunning ocean views, historical museums, and delicious food. Where Mendocino brings romance and beauty, Fort Bragg offers a wide variety of family fun. If you’re looking to vacation on a budget, Fort Bragg would be a better option than the pricier Mendocino. Rugged cliffs give amazing views during hikes and waterfront walks but there are

also many beaches to choose from. Some of our favorites are the Noyo, Agate, and the Van Damme beaches, which offer swimming along with other activities. You can try out surfing, kayaking, or paddling while you’re out on the waves this summer. The cliffs are also the perfect place for the areas historic and iconic Point Arena and Point Cabrillo lighthouses. These Pacific Coast icons provide us with rich history paired with gorgeous views. Learn more about the town’s history in the Kelley House, the Sea Glass, and the Model Railroad Museums. You’ll also want to stop by the Ford House Museum, which was Mendocino’s founder’s home and now serves as a visitor’s center. Do not miss out on all the hiking opportunities while you’re in town! Russian Gulch State Park, located just north of Mendocino, offers headland trails

overlooking the ocean, canyon trails, and views of impressive waterfalls. Within Jackson State Forest, you’ll find incredibly tall redwoods, elegant hiking and biking trails, and remote camping areas. For a more relaxed experience, the Coastal Trail in Fort Bragg is a beautiful walk that takes you past Glass Beach as well as other alluring coastal sights. If you desire an even more relaxing experience, check out Fort Bragg’s iconic Skunk Train. This hour-long ride will show you all the outdoor wonders of the area from the comfort of your seat (or the open-air cabin).


Your Perfect Last-Minute Getaway:

Though there is no shortage of hotels, one of my favorites is located about three miles south of Mendocino. The Little River Inn has great dining options with beautiful views of the ocean and a beach directly opposite it. If you want to go “glamping,” check out Mendocino Grove. The modern Mendocino camping will offer you superb views of the coastal redwoods within the comfort of a roomy tent with a comfy bed, fresh linens, and a hot shower. Traditional camping sites are available throughout the Mendocino area, located in, but not limited to Hendy Woods, Russian Gulch State Park, and the Mendocino Headlands. THAT’S JUST THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG! IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR MORE INFORMATION, BOTH MENDOCINO AND FORT BRAGG HAVE AMAZING WEBSITES WITH VISITOR INFORMATION: MENDOCINO.COM AND VISITFORTBRAGGCA.COM. 27


Vaccines are an essential component in keeping your child safe and healthy. The first vaccine was developed by Edward Jenner in 1796 to protect people against smallpox. The 20th century was a time of significant vaccine research and development leading to the creation of many childhood vaccines including those that protect against polio, measles, mumps, and rubella. There are multiple recommended vaccines for the pediatric population, many of which are administered during infancy. While routine vaccination has led to a dramatic reduction in many diseases, vaccines remain necessary today. Vaccines prevent children from catching common infections such as whooping cough and infections that could easily reemerge like we are seeing with measles and mumps. Although some vaccine-preventable infections have been eliminated from this country, it is important to remember that they still cause devastating disease in other parts of the world and international travel could easily lead to outbreaks in the US. Some parents are worried that children receive too many shots, and wonder if they should be split up to only receive one or two at each visit. We understand that children have robust immune systems constantly working to protect them from millions of different bacteria and viruses. As a result, the vaccines are comparatively miniscule for their immune systems! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) vaccine schedule is developed to provide children with the most protection against diseases as early as is safe to do so. Spacing out vaccines means that children are susceptible for longer periods of time. Studies have shown that the stress 28

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experienced when children receive two shots is not increased when compared to receiving one shot. Separating vaccines leads to additional doctor’s visits and potential for exposure to other sick children and, unfortunately, administration errors. Many parents have questions about vaccine safety and want to make certain the pros of vaccination outweigh the cons. Vaccines are exceedingly safe and the main side effects include redness, swelling, pain, and fever. Vaccines are rigorously tested prior to becoming available, and ongoing monitoring continues to identify adverse events. In addition, some parents are concerned that vaccines, such as MMR, or vaccine additives such as thimerosal, may cause autism. It is important to note many studies have disproven any link between the MMR vaccine and autism and the original paper that raised this concern has been withdrawn and the author’s medical license has been revoked. Similarly, thimerosal- a mercury-containing additive found in multidose influenza vials, has not been shown in numerous well-conducted studies to cause autism. What we do know vaccines prevent infections, reduce the risk of certain cancers, and are safe and effective. Thus, vaccines have become one of the most important things you can do for your child.




Dr. Khaki is an academic general pediatrician who is particularly interested in the areas of preventative care in pediatric medicine. She graduated from California State University, Chico in 2007 and received her medical degree from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC. After completing her pediatric residency at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, OR, Dr. Khaki joined the faculty where she has been an assistant professor for the past five years.


The Origin of Beautiful Skin! Laser Genesis is a breakthrough rejuvenation treatment targeting the deeper layers of the skin where collagen production begins. The heat from the laser promotes new collagen to be formed and remodeled to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, age spots, and redness. Your youthful glow returns, subtly but noticeably. Pores are visibly reduced; skin texture becomes smoother and more even-toned. All this with little to no downtime, and the treatment itself is less than 40 minutes in duration. The skin's natural processes are stimulated to reverse the signs of aging and improve the overall complexion. By stimulating new cell growth, Laser Genesis can also be used for scar revision, especially red or hyper-pigmented scars from acne. The scar itself will absorb more laser energy than the surrounding tissue, concentrating the cell regeneration only in the desired area. There may be some slight redness after your treatment, but it resolves quickly, and you can put on sunscreen and makeup right afterwards. We recommend a series of three to six Laser Genesis treatments to get the best possible result, and to give you the look you want. We can't stop the aging process, but we can stimulate new collagen growth to achieve a more youthful, smooth complexion. Treatments are quick, painless, and reasonably priced, and you can get right back to your normal routine immediately! Call the DermBar Med-Spa at 530.342.2672 to begin your beautiful skin!! DERM BAR MED-SPA 85 Declaration Dr. Suite 100 Chico, CA 95973 530.342.2672



You’ve done your research on the shop, artist, and design, and you’re finally ready to invest in that tattoo you’ve always dreamed of—but are you properly prepared to care for your new artwork? Let’s discuss the less glamorous side of tattoos—specifically in regards to health, the immune system, and its involvement with achieving the vibrant, IG worthy body art you desire. Your tattoo is actually an open wound—which is why it’s important to follow the care instructions provided by your artist to avoid infection. When you get a tattoo, the pigment is injected by a needle into the middle layer of the dermis, your skin, about a millimeter deep by an artist using an electrically powered tattoo machine. The body immediately begins the healing process. The artist will apply a thin layer of ointment when finished before bandaging your new art. We recommend leaving the bandage on for at least three hours. Wash the area with soap and warm water and pat dry with a clean towel. Do this two to three times per day, followed by a few drops of a waterbased, unscented lotion, such as BLAXX Tattoo Lotion, available exclusively at 12 Volt Tattoo, but no other ointment or products. Fresh tattoos may burn or sting—this is your body’s normal response to inflammation 30

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and is to be expected. Yes, pain really is part of getting tattooed! As your skin heals, it will itch but—and this is important—do not pick or scratch your tattoo. As tempting as it is, just let your body heal itself. For the first three weeks do not go in the sun—tanning ruins tattoos! Stick to showers only—do not submerge your tattoo in water. As the tattoo advances in the healing process and dries out, your skin will begin to peel and your new, smooth skin will appear—and, with it, your beautiful, vibrant tattoo. Once healed, your tattoo needs to be protected with sunscreen forever because—say it with us: “Tanning ruins tattoos!” Your artist wants your tattoo to heal well, and should provide you with a complete list of after-care instructions, including signs and symptoms of infection. If at any time you feel that you are showing signs of infection it is important to seek medical care. The better prepared you are for caring for your tattoo, the better your tattoo will turn out. 12 Volt Tattoo uses 100% disposable equipment and hospital-grade sanitation. Be sure to ask your artist any questions you may have at any point in the process.




Zac & Karen Acker are the owners of 12 Volt Tattoo. Their artists are available seven days a week for walk-ins and appointments. Visit them at 194 E 8th Street in Downtown Chico, call 530.592.3074, or email Follow them on Facebook or Instagram: @12VoltTattoo




The following offers detailed answers to frequently posed questions about a lash lift procedure. • What is a lash lift? A lash lift is a semi-permanent curl that lifts your eyelashes for a gorgeous eyeopening look. The upward sweeping curl may make your lashes appear longer. Every lash lift is customizable depending on your eyelashes and the look you are going for. • Will a lash lift damage or break my eyelashes? Each solution applied during the lash lift procedure is carefully timed according to your lash size and durability in order to protect your lashes. Most importantly, professional solutions are made to be gentle enough not to harm your lashes. Additionally, the last step of the lash lift includes nourishing oils that rehydrate and strengthen, leaving you with healthy, curled lashes. • How long do lash lifts last? Lash lifts typically last for six to eight weeks. Because your lashes are on a natural shedding cycle of about two weeks, they will gradually phase out the perm as new lashes grow in. • Can you get a lash lift if you have fake eyelashes or use a lash serum? Lash lifts work best on your natural lashes as it is not advised to use any chemical solutions in combination with lash extensions due to possible reactions with the lash adhesive. Lash serums are safe to use if you’re getting a lash lift, but keep in mind your curl may grow out faster. Just be 32

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sure not to apply any serums within 24 hours after your appointment to maintain best results. • What are the side effects associated with lash lifts? Side effects are very rare due to the gentle nature of the perm solutions which are formulated with eye safety as a priority. Sensitivity to the solution can cause mild side effects such as temporary redness, dry eyes, watery eyes, and inflammation. In the rare event of an allergic reaction to the solution, additional side effects may occur. These may be more likely if the solutions are being mishandled or attempted at home; thus, it is important to have the service done only by a licensed professional. • How do you maintain your lash lift once the professional process is done? After care is very simple, just avoid getting your lashes wet for the first 24 hours after the service is complete. • Can you wear mascara or curl your lashes after you get your lash lift? Mascara is safe to wear any time after the first 24 hours. A little mascara goes a long way once you’ve had a lash lift. However, it is advised to stay away from water-proof mascara. We do not recommend using an eyelash curler as it can cause the lash lift to break down sooner. Hopefully, you’ll love your lash lift so much you won’t find yourself reaching for that lash curler anymore.




Kami is a Cosmetologist at Powder Room Beauty Bar. Visit her at 239 Broadway Street in Downtown Chico.


Estate & Long Term Care Planning: Why it is important. Wednesday, September 11 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Butte Creek Country Club 175 Estates Drive, Chico Seating is limited. Reserve your spot online at: or call 530.898.5923 Refreshments will be provided.

THE IMPORTANCE OF PLANNING Nicole Plottel, Certified Elder Law Attorney


park. He alerted the rest of the seniors of the impending fire and facilitated their exit through the entrance to the mobile home park.

LOCAL LEGEND: Stephen Murray

Andrew Bernstein once said, “Nothing is given to man on earth—struggle is built into the nature of life, and conflict is possible— the hero is the man who lets no obstacle prevent him from pursuing the values he has chosen.” Defined as such, it is without exaggeration that one would recognize Stephen Murray as a hero. It is our position that one would be hard pressed to describe him as anything less. Between his actions on November 8th of last year, and his efforts to continue providing aid in the months since, Stephen’s values are crystal clear, and he has let no obstacle prevent him from achieving them. A Paradise resident since 1987, Stephen was the maintenance manager of a senior mobile home park with 167 homes and 281 seniors ranging in age from 55 to 93 years old. Tasked with keeping the mobile home park in good repair and ensuring easy access for its members since 2013, the last thing he ever expected was the need to evacuate the entire 25 acre mobile home park. “I heard reports of a small fire outside of Paradise,” Stephen said, “and saw the smoke in the distance.” Listening to the news for updates, he quickly realized that the fire was moving and growing at a rate far greater than he had originally anticipated. His phone began to ring incessantly as caretakers at the mobile home park realized they wouldn’t be able to reach the seniors in time. Knowing that 18 of those seniors would not be able to get out of bed on their own, Stephen began kicking in the doors to their homes, waking and dressing each one, and carrying them out to his truck to evacuate them from the

By the time the fire entered the park at 8:40 a.m., the main entrance had been gridlocked, preventing any further seniors from leaving. He jumped in his work truck and barreled through the back fence, creating another path for the 43 remaining seniors to escape the flames. Stephen drove back into the park and remained there until 10:10 a.m., searching the area to make sure that all 281 seniors had successfully escaped. He drove to Chico with seniors in his truck and delivered every last one to safety. When he finally reunited with his family, which included his newborn daughter, he drove them to Reno to escape the smoke. Once his family was situated, he resolved to return to town and continue helping however he possibly could. Although his own home had burned and his family had lost all of their possessions, his focus remained on those that were still less fortunate than he. During the weeks that followed, Stephen drove to Chico every morning to provide assistance wherever he could and returned to his family in Reno every evening, determined to use his skills for the good of the community. Eventually, Stephen began posting his videos from the day of the fire on Facebook, and his posts went viral. As viewers across the country received a firsthand view of what it was like to be in his shoes that morning, donation offers began pouring in. He humbly accepted the donations and began working with businesses in Chico to host events where evacuees could obtain necessary items like propane and gift cards at no charge. Stephen didn’t stop there though—he worked tirelessly addressing the individual needs of any of the 52,000 people impacted that asked him for assistance. “We can do what I cannot,” Stephen said as he pulled out a large box filled with receipts. “The phrase has become my motto over the past months. There’s only so much I can do as one person, and I’m definitely going to do everything that I possibly can, but I wouldn’t be able to do what I’ve done so far without the incredible support of

donors both here at home and across the United States. These receipts are proof of the help they’ve sponsored.” In total, since the first video went live, he has raised nearly $300,000 and has distributed the money directly to evacuees over the seven events he has hosted, in addition to serving the different needs of survivors scattered across the United States. “People have really been incredible throughout this whole thing.” Stephen said, “It really reassures you that there’s so much goodness in the world, and people seem to naturally be inclined to help others. Beyond money and gift cards, people started donating actual trailers when I posted about the number of evacuees that were left homeless. That really blew my mind.” The donated trailers have certainly kept Stephen busy, as he has not only delivered them to many evacuees without homes, but has also offered to tow the trailer and transport the family to wherever they have the most support from family and friends. On July 12th, he took off on week long journey, towing a trailer to Texas to help a family of evacuees relocate and connect with loved ones. His gas was funded by an anonymous donor; the rest out of the kindness of his heart. “We have to do what we can.” Stephen stated, “Each of us has the ability to help in one way or another. Some of us have time, and others have resources. By bringing the two together, we can truly make things easier on those affected by the fire.” Stephen’s nonprofit, Coral Apple Foundation— named after Coral Avenue, where his house burned, and Apple Tree Village mobile home park—is geared to continue providing help to those who need it most. “We’re working on a number of projects including rehoming for those who have been left without anywhere to turn and continuing to ensure that no one is left in the cold or without the necessary supplies as colder seasons arrive.” Stephen’s work through his recently established 501c3, Coral Apple Foundation, relies on donations to continue providing services to Camp Fire survivors. While it’s been eight months since the initial devastation, the recovery is still only in its beginning phases. Despite being small geographically, Paradise was an immeasurable community that Stephen is determined to rebuild. TO DONATE OR TO CONTACT HIM DIRECTLY, PLEASE VISIT CORALAPPLE.COM. 35



Car Upgrades We all love the feel of an old, classic, and timeless car. Whether it be your grandpa’s cherished Oldsmobile, the Mercedes from the 80s, or the Toyota Corolla you have been driving around since high school, every car is due for some upgrades. Here are some simple upgrades to make your old car feel fresh and ready for that next adventure.

• Clean It Out

Cleaning out your car is the easiest (and cheapest) way to make your old car feel new. Time to get rid of that plastic to-go cup full of trash and the seemingly endless amount of water bottles that keep piling up in the back seat. Take a moment to clear out the debris, vacuum between the seats, and wash those old mats for a whole new feel to an old school car. With the addition of new-car-smell air freshener, you won’t even know the difference.

• Replace Outdated Parts

Getting your car fixed at an autoshop can be expensive and timely. An affordable and sustainable option for replacing your car’s old parts can be your local scrap yard or online on websites such as Craigslist. These options can be great for replacing that scratched car door or a rearended bumper as well as interior replacements such as a new seat for the cracking leather that’s seen a bit too much sun. If you’re lucky, you may even be able to find parts and pieces for your engine or a vintage set of rims.


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• Shower, Soap, And Shine

The quickest way to turn a vehicle from ragged to refreshed is a standard car wash. Getting rid of mud, dirt, and bugs that accumulate on your car after long miles, not only helps to prevent paint deterioration but also improves the value of your car if you’re looking to sell or trade it in. Also, make sure to take the time to restore those foggy headlights and finish the whole thing off with a nice polish and wax for that extra spark of life.

• Upgrade The Audio

Upgrading your audio does not have to mean replacing your car’s factory speaker systems or installing a new subwoofer. One of the simplest and most convenient additions to any car is a bluetooth audio receiver. Bluetooth audio receivers are relatively inexpensive and allow for anyone in the car to connect to the speakers without the hassle of cables from auxiliary cords and cassette adapters. This will also allow you to clear out all those cassettes and CDs you have stuffed into the glove box and door compartments as well.

• Daily Maintenance

We’re all guilty of ignoring that pesky check engine light. However, maintenance and upkeep of your car will make your car safer and smoother for the long haul. Routine checks of things such as fluid levels and tire pressure only take a few minutes out of your day and will ensure that your car feels as good as it looks.

Old cars are beautiful and can take some work to take care of, but with a few simple upgrades, your old beater can feel like a newly leased ride in no time.

Upgraded Living's

Staff Picks “I wadn’t aware that words could hold so much. I didn’t know a sentence could be so full.” “...judgement had no place here. Evil was not in play, just life pulsing on, even at the expense of some of the participants. Biology sees right and wrong as the same color in different light. Nothing seemed too indecorous as long as the tick & the tock of life carried on. She knew this was not a dark side to Nature, just inventive ways to endure against all odds.” favored by Jessica Dolan Clarendon

Contrary to the title, the book’s six stories are soft and intimate, taking a glimpse into the human psyche of everyday people. Whether it be a teenage girl attempting standup for the first time or lovers who meet at a 12-step recovery program, Tomine has the ability to tell any story with grace and honesty. favored by brian luong

“It is a very funny thing that the sleepier you are, the longer you take about getting to bed.” favored by aveed khaki


Baked Chicken Thighs with Herb Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Here is an easy dinner that will leave your whole family hailing your culinary prowess. The best part—it’s incredibly easy. Make the seasoning ahead of time and store it in your cupboard. It’s great on many kinds of vegetables too. For this recipe the skin is left on, but it’s just as yummy if you prefer to remove the skin. The oven temperature is the same for the chicken and the sweet potatoes with only a slight difference in baking time which means you can throw it all in the oven at the same time—easy-peasy.

Simple Back-to-School Weekday Dinners When school is in session and our schedules are packed to the brim, easy and delicious dinners packed with nutrition are what many busy families are craving. Try these three appetizing dinner recipes that are easy to whip up and guaranteed to win bellies over!

Chili Con Carne Deluxe

This recipe has got to be one of the easiest recipes ever. The ground cloves and allspice give it that special something that will make hungry palates rejoice. It’s not spicy so kids will love it. Serve with a simple salad and cornbread. Ingredients: • 2 tablespoons olive oil • 1 pound lean ground beef • 6 cloves garlic, minced • 1 red bell pepper, chopped • 1 large onion, chopped • 1 can black beans, rinsed • 1 can pinto beans, rinsed • 1 can cannellini, rinsed • 1.5 tablespoons chili powder • 3 teaspoons dried oregano • 2.5 tablespoons ground cumin • 1/8 teaspoons ground allspice • 1/8 teaspoons ground cloves • 1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce • 1 can (28oz) diced tomatoes Place the oil in a large pot and heat. Add the ground beef and cook until the meat has just lost its red color. Add the garlic, red bell pepper, and onion to the meat. Sauté the mixture until the onions are translucent. Stir in chili powder, oregano, cumin, allspice, cloves, diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Simmer on low heat for 15 38

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minutes; add the black, pinto, and cannellini beans. Cook the chili for an additional 20 minutes. This recipe makes six servings.

Baked Ziti with Shredded Zucchini

Who has a difficult time getting their kids to eat vegetables? Here is a cheesy recipe packed with zucchini that will have your kids asking for seconds! You can keep the recipe vegetarian or, opt to add lean ground beef for the added protein and iron. This recipe often creates leftovers that make easy lunches for the next day. Ingredients: • ½ pound ziti pasta • 16 ounces ricotta cheese • 3 cups mozzarella cheese, grated • 3 cups of your favorite pasta sauce • 2 shredded zucchinis • 2 teaspoons of oregano • 2 teaspoons of garlic powder • 1 pound ground beef (optional) • ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated Preheat the oven to 350°F. Season the ground beef with salt, and pepper; cook thoroughly, and set aside. Boil ziti until cooked. Drain the ziti and place it in a large bowl. Stir together the ziti, ricotta cheese, oregano, garlic powder, shredded zucchini, and ground beef with half of the mozzarella. Lightly oil a 13 x 9 pan and cover the bottom half of the pan with half of the sauce. Spread the ziti mixture on top of sauce and pour the remaining sauce on top of the ziti. Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese, and finally, top the dish with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake it for 20–30 minutes until the cheese is melted and it is slightly golden.

Chicken Ingredients: • 6 chicken thighs • Seasoning • 1 tablespoon sage • 1 tablespoon oregano • 1 tablespoon onion powder • 1 tablespoon garlic powder • 1 tablespoon ground coriander • 1 tablespoon paprika • 1 tablespoon salt • 2 teaspoons ground cumin • 2 teaspoons turmeric • 2 teaspoons ground pepper Preheat the oven to 450°F. Season both sides of thighs and cook for 20 minutes skin side down. Flip the thighs after 20 minutes. Sprinkle a little more of the seasoning on top and cook for another 20 minutes. Sweet Potato Ingredients: • 1 ½ pounds sweet potatoes • 2 teaspoons ground rosemary • 2 teaspoons thyme • 1 teaspoon sea salt • ½ teaspoon paprika • ½ teaspoon garlic powder • ¼ cup coconut oil or butter Preheat the oven to 450°F and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the sweet potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Melt the coconut oil or butter and stir in the seasonings. Massage the sweet potatoes with the mixture. Spread the sweet potatoes on the parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 30–40 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked thoroughly. Give all these recipes a try. They’ll conserve your time, leaving you with a little less stress and happy tummies.

The Perfect Time For A Remodel Originally from Capay in Glenn County, Sharon Barnhart met her husband when they both attended California State University where she studied health science and he, education. When they purchased their Chico home 22 years ago, it was only six years old. With their first-born son only one year old at the time, their daughter was born shortly after they bought the home. Now that the kids are all grown up and in college, Sharon and her husband have decided it’s time to remodel their kitchen. “I’m at that place in my life where I’m ready for things to be cleaned up!”, explains Sharon. “I started looking into getting a new kitchen years ago and I was told it was going to cost me $50,000, so I just started saving”, says Sharon. She later started exploring alternative ways to remodel her kitchen by asking a few general contracting companies who quoted her at around $24,000.00. She’d decided to go with one contractor, but they had no design ideas. “I didn’t know what I wanted. The general contractor had me calling around to CONNECT

the cabinetry places, the granite and quartz shop, and also to decide on hardware. There were so many different things and I was just so overwhelmed!,” explained Sharon. She called another designer who said it would cost her at least $10,000 or more on top of the quote from the general contractor. Feeling overwhelmed, and at a loss, Sharon was in a granite shop looking at potential material for her new kitchen when she noticed the New Again Kitchen and Bath showroom in the same complex. After speaking to Ric Powers, the store manager and resident designer, the two made plans for him to come to her home, take measurements, and offer her some ideas. She received a quote that could not be beat and the papers were signed. The team arrived on time and ready to work and Ric was always available to answer and address any concerns along the way. The team tore out a four foot closet that separated the living room and kitchen, as well as the old cabinetry and tile countertops. Before adding anything new, they patched, repaired, and textured the sheetrock. The team removed the old fluorescent lights and replaced them with six recessed can lights, and two pendant lights that perfectly highlighted the brandnew peninsula. They decided on Estar white shaker cabinetry that really lends a clean and sophisticated look to the kitchen. The hardware for the cabinets are Elements door and drawer hardware, while the countertops are a clean and crisp white quartz with subtle grey veining throughout. The beautiful Bedrosian’s Provincetown gloss dolphin grey

4 x 16 tile backsplash perfectly complements the brand-new stainless-steel sink. New Again also installed the kitchen’s vinyl plank flooring. Feeling initially apprehensive about the timing of the project, because she’d heard of kitchen remodels taking upwards of six months to complete, Sharon was ecstatic the kitchen only took a week to complete from start to finish. When asked about how she felt about her experience with New Again, Sharon said, “If there were any concerns, they were right there ready and willing to take care of them. Ric gave me ideas that I didn’t even ask for. I trusted him entirely! The workers are amazingly hard workers. Jin, New Again’s owner, makes sure things get done right. Ric definitely knows his design! They got here on time, they were here when they said they were going to be here, and they did exactly what they said they were going to do. As soon as they came in, they closed the work area off entirely so the home did not get dirty from the remodeling work. They put it all the way from floor to ceiling keeping the dust isolated to the workspace. They were so communicative. Who wouldn’t trust these guys?”



With another remodeled kitchen on the books, New Again continues to set the standard for kitchen and bathroom renovation in Chico. If you’re looking to start a home improvement project and are seeking personalized customer service that’s timely and comes with an unbeatable price, like Sharon was, call New Again Kitchen Remodeling at 530.899.2888.



everything for toiletries. So keeping a stocked “guest pharmacy” is something every guest would be thankful for. A few items to include in your guest pharmacy might include:

Be Our Guest: A Hosting Checklist

Summer is officially here. Traveling and hosting guests during this season, in some capacity, tends to be inevitable. I know I personally don’t like to feel like I’m intruding when I’m staying with someone, so I always try to think ahead when we have guests. What does this person like? What could they need? What would make them feel most at home while they’re staying with us? What would I enjoy? Guests will differ and have different needs, so how about a few ideas for when you have guests staying with you! I think one of the most important and a personal favorite guest essential is posting your Wi-Fi name and password sign. You can find downloadable images to fill-in and print. After printing the image, you can pop it in an extra frame you have or pin it to that central corkboard most households adorn. Creating a gift basket for the guest room with some fun treats and extra products is another way to spoil those guests. Some items you could put in there are: • magazines or a favorite book of yours • bottles of water • little snacks for those nighttime munchies • moisturizer • lip balm • hand sanitizer • mints • tissues So, Confession time...I tend to be an over packer! I am getting better but because of that, I so appreciate when I’m traveling to know that I might not have to pack 40

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• shampoo and conditioner • toothbrush, toothpaste, floss • mouthwash • facial cleanser • makeup remover • soap • wet wipes • Tylenol • deodorant • qtips • lint roller • razors for shaving and creams • hair brushes Think travel sized items or even extras that you have hidden in that bathroom drawer no one uses. You can keep all of these things tucked away in the cabinet. Once your guest/guests arrive, you can show them where everything is. Make sure you mention it before they visit too. A guilty pleasure of mine when traveling is high quality towels and bed linens. Most personal towels may have been through 100+ washes and are starting to see better days, so it’s nice to have towels designated just for your guests that look and feel great. High quality bed sheets are also a nice touch. Spraying them with an essential oil like lavender before making the bed is also a treat! A few other things that are often overlooked when creating a guest space are: • a hamper • extra hangers in the closet • a seat or bench of some sort • extra blankets, sheets, pillows • an essential oil diffuser with oils • a fan Ultimately, your guest are really coming to enjoy time with you but creating an environment that helps your family and friends to feel pampered and relaxed is a bonus gift of love. Hope these tips finds you inspired for hosting your next guest.




Melissa is the Founder/Senior Designer of Dolce Home & Design.



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MOVING FOWARD Kerry and Vince Alaimo are the quintessential American couple. Pioneers in Silicon Valley, the two built venerable careers for themselves in the Bay Area before retiring to Paradise in 1994. Taken by the landscape and the more peaceful pace of life, they purchased a custom home in a beautiful, tucked away neighborhood on The Ridge and decided it would be theirs forever. Vince joined the Mountain Ridge Singers, a group of Paradise and Magalia vocalists who devoted their time to entertaining those in nursing and assisted living facilities throughout Butte County, while Kerry spent her time promoting the arts and humanities throughout Paradise. The situation was exactly what they had envisioned for their retirement.

Though the two have lost so much since the Camp Fire—including neighbors, loved ones, possessions, and much of the landscape they were so fond of—they remain stoic in their resolve to see the positive and look to the future, rather than dwell on the past. In fact, they made a point to request leaving that part of their story out, even though it is of considerable impact and relevance. No, again, as with everything else, they would rather focus on the future, a trait that is a true breath of fresh air when there are so many other things that remind them of the past. “Life doesn’t move backwards.” Kerry stated, “It doesn’t move sideways either. It only moves forward. You better be moving with it, or you’ll get steamrolled.” Kerry and Vince have made new lifelong friends in many of the vendors that have arrived to assist them in reclaiming their property in Paradise. “These are our brothers and sisters climbing into bunny suits and ventilator masks.” Kerry began, “They’re putting themselves at risk for us so that we can learn to live again. They’re family now.” Four of these extended family members are Marc and Shuree Wesley, Aundrea Baker, and Jason Throop of M&S Wesley Tree Service. They were some of the first helping hands

at the Alaimo’s home which, though still standing, is a far cry from the arboretum it used to be.

“We focused on local.” Kerry stated, “Vince and I had been thinking about reaching out to M&S Wesley Tree Service before the fire to do some trimming and pruning. We had seen their ads in Upgraded Living and found their take on life and business to be in line with our own, so we figured when the time was right, we would reach out to them.” The couple moved back into their home on April 1st to find that a good deal of their landscape had been scorched, with a good number of trees clearly compromised. Out of necessity, rather than convenience, they reached out to M&S Wesley Tree Service to have their landscape assessed. Kerry enthused, “Marc arrived on April 16th, and we were taken with him immediately. He was incredibly professional in every manner and spent a good amount of time taking everything in—the soil, safety concerns, the health of the trees, how each tree impacts the others around it. He basically left no stone unturned and was clearly interested in saving everything he possibly could. He marked the trees and shrubs that were beyond saving, but made sure that anything with potential was given time to regenerate. There was a tree we thought was totally gone, and he told us that he would leave it to revisit in a year as he wasn’t convinced it was beyond saving. It just made us so happy to see him care for the nature we fell in love with as much as we did. We did get other estimates, but we knew right out of the gate that he was who we felt most comfortable with.”

through hand signals. They were just a perfectly oiled machine! Before they fell the largest of our compromised trees—which was over 100 feet tall— they created a huge bed of debris and managed to have the tree fall directly into it. We were preparing all day for the concussion that would come from that tree hitting the ground, but not only was there nearly no sound at all, but barely any dust either!”

“Their whole attitude was just incredible.” Kerry stated, “We think of M&S as professional guardians of our trees and landscapes. Their goal is to maintain good health and safety while saving whatever trees they can. They’re qualified, adept, thorough, and their cleanup was just as impressive. We had a wonderful experience and couldn’t have asked for more. I highly recommend them to everyone.” With the sound of birds filling the air, it’s clear to see that nature is also hard at work in breathing new life into an area wrought with destruction. The tree that Marc refused to remove in April, with the intention of revisiting in 2020, has already started coming back to life, refilling its branches with pine needles. Truly, it is a sight to behold. “Please consider the result of dead trees on the environment.” Kerry concluded, “Not only are they dangerous for people, wildlife, and structures, but they also serve as a breeding ground for pests that can then destroy healthy trees nearby. Call M&S Wesley Tree Service and have your trees assessed to ensure that you’re helping with the recovery process, rather than hindering it.”

Vince continued, “Everyone from M&S Wesley Tree Service was incredible—from Marc and Shuree to Aundrea, Jason, and their workers. It was incredible to watch them work. They all knew what their roles were and did everything perfectly as a totally cohesive team. Even with all of the equipment noise, they communicated with each other constantly


4. Once dry, place leaves on top of dry cactus soil, or a rooting medium of 50/50 compost and fine pumice or grit. Do not bury or semi-bury them. The roots will find their own way into the soil. 5. Spray with water sparingly every day or two for four to six weeks. Do not soak. 6. After a few weeks, pink roots will emerge from the leaf ends, and baby plants will begin to grow.


Succulents are one of the easiest plants to propagate. Methods include removing “pups,� or offsets, taking a leaf or stem cuttings, and division. Propagation is most successful in autumn and spring. Offsets are small plants growing at the base of the plant. Aloe, Echeveria, and Sempervivum produce offsets. To propagate: 1. Remove offsets with sharp clippers, or by twisting gently. Avoid damaging any emerging roots. 2. Place offsets into cactus mix, or a sand and perlite blend. 3. Spray water directly, but gently and sparingly, daily. Do not soak the soil. 4. Wait three to four weeks for strong roots to develop. Sedum, Crassula, and Graptopetalum are best propagated by leaf cuttings. Each leaf can become a new plant. To propagate these species:

7. Once small plants have developed, separate and plant them in welldraining cactus soil, then water well once a week. Division or stem cutting is most efficient for Aeonium, Sedum, Cotyledons and Sansevieria. To divide these plants: 1. For Aeonium, cut rosette from stem. For Sansevieria, cut a leaf in sections, marking which way is down. For Sedum and Cotyledon, cut sections of the plants with leaves attached. 2. Let all parts dry out and create a callous at the cut. 3. Once dry, put sections into cactus soil. 4. Spray on top of cuttings regularly but sparingly. Do not soak. 5. They are rooted when you see new growth. From one plant you can propagate enough succulents to plant them in masses. They require little care and only small amounts of soil to thrive. Some are able to take short dry freezes and hot sun, although most need some filtered shade in the heat of the Sacramento Valley. Enjoy the plant magic of propagating succulents!

1. Choose a healthy leaf. 2. Pull it off neatly. Healthy, plump leaves that drop from the plant can be used. If you use clippers be sure the end of the leaf is not cut off. 3. Let dry for one to three days to allow the wound to seal and to keep pathogens out during rooting. Do not water.




Barbara Ott is a volunteer with the UC Master Gardeners of Butte County. She is an avid gardener for 50 years and constant plant propagator for 30 years. Butte County Master Gardeners are part of the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) system, which includes 4-H, farm advisors, and nutrition and physical activity programs, among others. Our mission is to enhance the quality of life and environmental and economic well-being of Californians by bringing practical, scientifically-based knowledge directly to our community. To learn more about UCCE Butte County Master Gardeners and upcoming events, visit: 45

Lettuce Celebrate the Last Days of Summer With the beginning of school right around the corner it’s time to host your final summer bash! Whenever you throw a party, be it large or small, one of the most important aspects of your soiree is the food. Below are a few simple, yet delicious, appetizers that will be sure to please your guests. BRIE & BLACKBERRY CROSTINIS Place the Brie cheese on a baking sheet then place in the oven until the inside is warm and gooey. Remove from the oven and cut the white top off the Brie so that the soft melted interior is showing. Top the cheese with fresh blackberries and drizzle with honey. Serve alongside sliced, toasted crostinis or thick crackers. CAPRESE SALAD SKEWERS Assemble cherry tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella balls together on a skewer. Once skewered, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Top off your dish with salt and pepper then serve! CHEESY GARLIC KNOTS Using premade biscuit dough, create a ball and stuff chopped garlic and mozzarella cheese inside. After filling the dough, seal off the ball so that the cheese and garlic can’t escape during the cooking process. Place the stuffed biscuits in the oven and bake according to the instructions on the package. In a separate bowl, mix together melted butter, dried oregano, dried parsley, and salt. Once the biscuits are baked, remove from the oven and brush the butter herb mixture on top. Before serving, finish off the biscuits with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.


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WATERMELON FETA MINT SKEWERS Slice a large watermelon and feta cheese block into 1 inch x 1 inch squares. Once cut, stack the sliced feta on top of the watermelon then top with a mint leaf. Skewer the stack with a toothpick and drizzle with balsamic dressing. ZUCCHINI TOTS Using a cheese grater, grate your zucchini into shreds then place onto a paper towel. Using the same towel, squeeze all of the water out of the zucchini shreds then place them into a bowl. If you do not squeeze out your excess water then your tots will get soggy. Next, combine the zucchini shreds with cheese, bread crumbs, garlic powder, and eggs. Transform your mixture into tiny balls and place onto a baking sheet. Bake your tots until then are golden brown then top them off with a sprinkle of salt. Serve with marinara sauce, ranch, and blue cheese dressing for dipping! Note: This dish can also be fried! If frying is more your forte, heat a pan with about a half inch of oil in it. Once the oil is hot slowly add your tots in. Cook both sides until they are golden brown then let rest on a paper towel. This will help absorb some of the excess frying oil. Spending time with family and friends eating good food is what summer is for! Hopefully you find pleasure in some of these treats at your next party. Enjoy!


GRILLED PROSCIUTTO PEACHES Cut the peaches into thick quarter slices then wrap them with a strip of prosciutto. Use a toothpick to hold the prosciutto and peach together. Spritz the wrapped peaches with olive oil then grill on high heat. (Tip: Brush a bit of olive oil onto your grill so that the peach doesn’t stick to the grill face.) Once grilled, drizzle the peaches with balsamic and top with sliced basil.

SALTY DARK CHOCOLATE DIPPED MANDARIN SLICES Lay a piece of parchment paper on a platter then set aside. Peel the mandarin oranges into individual slices. Using a double boiler or the microwave, melt and stir the chocolate until the consistency is even and smooth. Dip each slice halfway into the chocolate then place on the parchment paper. Sprinkle each slice with sea salt and let harden. Once the chocolate is firm, enjoy! (Tip: place in the fridge for a few minutes to help the chocolate harden faster.)


Best Dumbest Idea Ever From the moment of being escorted through the open garage and perusing the balanced combination of wood working tools and lumber, alongside dirt bikes and their random accessories, two things become clear. Aaron Hansel is at ease with the diametrically opposed image of organization and chaos. Exiting the garage and taken next to the small, homemade office in back sets up yet another acute awareness. Sitting across from Aaron, it is as if you must decide between his humble “Aw shucks” nodding or the way his eyes take on an impish sparkle saying “If you can’t keep up and get my corny jokes, this conversation is over.” It proved best to buy into both. The conversation unfolded with Aaron sharing his upbringing in a remote sector of the Napa Valley outside of Calistoga. The tiny town came with tiny schools and a huge playground filled with fishing and exploring and having fun. Aaron admitted, in time, the 48

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playground seemed less enchanting and bleakness crept in, bringing with it the urge to move. The one constant bright light remained the fact his dad was always around. In 2002, Aaron chose Chico State, with the clear intent of earning a journalism degree. He enjoyed writing, fancied himself a writer, and his pursuit of the degree, placed a huge stamp of approval on Aaron the journalist. From the moment he arrived on campus, his single intent was landing a job with Racer X, a motocross magazine out of West Virginia. His love of motocross also paved the way to a job at Chico Motorsports, helping him pay the bills. He readily admits his affinity for organization stemmed from working in disorganized places. He earned his degree in ‘05 and, at the same time, was promoted to Product Manager at the shop.

He continued working until 2009 when he was laid off. Immediately, Aaron realized, “I forgot I wanted to write.” At the same time, he remembered his Mom had always told him he was a good writer. He remembers believing her. Without hesitation, he went about following his initial dream. So, how does one get the attention of a magazine in West Virginia? Aaron did it by driving to races across the western half of the United States. He understood the need to grow relationships, the reality of doing lots of jobs for free, and the hopes an internship may emerge. One did, with Racer X. In the time he spent as an intern, they got to know him and got to know his writing. As a result of someone quitting his job, the magazine “did some shuffling around, along with the welcoming news—guess we’ll have to start paying you.” The Racer X position soon became one of four Editors-


at-Large, allowing Aaron to do two things. One fulfil his dream, and, two live anywhere he wanted. His wife, Jadi, and family, not surprisingly, selected Chico. With a house on a cul-de-sac and wonderful neighbors abound, Aaron also realized he too, could be like his dad, and “be around.” As most stories go, being around led him right into an unexpected fortuitous place. Neighborhoods come with neighbors, and this cul-de-sac came with a tight knit group of friends. Aaron’s penchant for fine woodworking did not go unnoticed. First came a “really cool treehouse” for a neighbor’s kids. Then a request for a dog house, one made Aaron’s way, with a hinged roof for easy cleaning. Then, his neighbor said, “Hey, let’s start building Cornhole sets and selling them.” Aaron’s reply, “Dumbest idea ever. No demand, no—just no.” His neighbor quickly retorted with “I’m telling you it will work.” It did. Based on their first names, B. A. Back Yard was born. The name is one of the jokes Aaron believes everyone should get. Doesn’t matter, what did matter was the first sale came on August 1st, 2017. The initial sale went at the request of a friend. Friends of that friend saw it and wanted a set for themselves. Selling to neighbors and friends meant a steady stream of Cornhole sets assembled in Aaron’s garage. People, not accustomed to the finer points woodworking, find out they are not cut out for any form of mass production. The result of this notion left Aaron as a one man team. The time he spent with his Dad instilled in him the fact that if people want something, and want you to make it, then produce a product you would like to own. Each set satisfies a lesson well learned. B. A. Back Yard launched a Facebook page, and that was it. With marketing and a meticulous set of plans, the rest was left to word of mouth, and a call from the next client. The clients came in many forms. A realtor ordered a set for his clients, Sohnrey Farms, resulting in The Commons calling to request their very own set which led to an order from Secret Trail. The list includes InterWest,, Butte Creek Country Club, and a host of private parties with their very own personalized Cornhole set. Each set is unique to the wishes and wants of each individual client. Aaron’s process of building and assembling the Cornhole sets gives life to the aforementioned meticulous

set of plans. Everything Aaron does, every detail, every tool, saw, paint, and sealer coat clearly separates his products from any other. Each regulation Cornhole set follows the same steadfast approach.

a client wishes to adorn their deck can happen. These products are not just of high quality, they appear to be finished with a flair. Probably could see an “Aw shucks” from Aaron right about now.

The plywood is not only of the highest grade but goes through several grids of sanding paper. The regulation hole is, of course, perfectly placed. The framing is the absolute game changer. It is one thing to stand and pull two by four boards out, one at a time, checking for straightness and quality. Aaron does this. It is another thing altogether to put each one through a planer, several passes each, “taking the pain out of questionable wood.” To see the stacked tops beautifully smoothed, hole readied, alongside myriad prepped two by fours, all gleaming with sameness, is nothing more than a wild tribute to a neighbor who knows organization. To top it all off, literally, Aaron purchased a Cutter, to “satisfy his creative urge.” The Cutter allows for customization, personalizing, really “allows for anything.” Company logos, family crests, whatever

The one thing Aaron does not assemble are the bags. He tried his hand at sewing until his wife, Jadi, asked him to move over one seat. Yes, Jadi’s approach and products mirror her husband’s. The bags did not come without the same attention and detail. The addition of a freezer, due to the purchasing of actual corn from Tractor Supply, was only part of the overall learning curve. The result is a wonderful partnership, one including the ability of a dad to be around. Aaron said of his “side hustle,” 90% goes into taking the kids camping.” The other percentage went to the purchase of a bike for his wife for Christmas. We celebrate Aaron and are happy to point our local spotlight on him. Just in case you wondering how to contact him about securing your own Cornhole set, either use or message him on facebook at @babackyard. 49


The Fuzzy Fruit with a Sweet Taste Apricots are quite a delicate fruit when it comes to the touch as well as the taste. Known for their soft, fuzzy texture and sweet taste, the apricot’s prime growing season in California is early May through August, making it a desirable commodity for the Summer. The apricot’s origins are unknown, with many believing the fruit originated either in China or Armenia. The fruit is extremely popular in the Middle East and is often used in combination with meat dishes in order to liven up the taste, such as in a lamb and dried apricot stew. Apricots were also served in a paste form called amardeen, a sweet snack that is extremely popular in Syria. Apricots are also consumed in the form of drinks such as Qamar al-Din, an apricot juice drink that is typically consumed during the holy month of Ramadan. Due to its delicate texture and sensitivity to frost damage, California’s warm climate is ideal for growing the fuzzy fruit. The fruit is commonly hand picked due to its delicate nature, resulting in a higher price than most other fruits in the fresh market. California is the United State’s leading provider of apricots, accounting for over 85% of the nation’s product. The remainder of the fruits in the United States either come from Washington or Utah. A majority of apricot farms are located within the San Joaquin Valley, with some others dispersed throughout northern and southern California. Apricots that are not used in the fresh market are either frozen, canned, or dried. 50

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Apricots are eaten in a variety of ways, mainly fresh, without any modifications. The apricot can serve as a great addition to morning oats and can be diced and added to pancakes or cereal. For an afternoon meal, apricots can add a bit of sweetness to a savory salad and works great with the addition of other toppings including crushed almonds and feta cheese. For your next backyard barbeque, the apricot can be glazed with honey, butter, and cinnamon and lightly grilled for a simple and quick dessert. Other sweeter options for the apricot include a crunchy apricot crumble or apricot jam on top of your favorite muffin or yogurt. The apricot is extremely beneficial to health as well, packed with a large amount of fiber to help with digestion, lowering blood cholesterol, and maintaining healthy sugar levels. Apricots also contain contain a good amount of Vitamin C and E, both of which are beneficial for protecting your eyes against damage. The fruit is also a great hydrator, containing a high volume of water. One cup of fresh apricots contains roughly ⅔ cup of water. Make sure to get your apricots before they are out of season this summer at the Chico Certified Farmers market from vendors, such as Dhillon Farms or your local grocery store, for a great healthy addition into your everyday meal plans.


No Bake Oreo Cheesecake CRUST: • 2 rows of Oreo Cookies • 4 Tbsp salted butter • Pinch of salt

FILLING: • 2 packages of cream cheese • 1 tsp vanilla extract • ½ cup powdered sugar • 2.5 cups of whipping cream or Cool Whip • 8–10 Oreo cookies chopped

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS: • Oero cookies & crumbles • Whipped Cream • Chocolate Syrup • Hershey’s Cookies and Cream Chocolate bar pieces

DIRECTIONS: First make the crust. Use your food processor or hands to crush the Oreo cookies into small pieces. Once the cookies are crushed, mix them with melted butter until the cookies create a wet sand texture. If desired, add a small pinch of salt to your crust. Place a piece of parchment paper into your cheesecake mold and press the crust mixture firmly into the bottom of the dish creating an even layer. Begin your cheesecake filling by combining the cream cheese, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar together. Blend until the filling is smooth, then set aside. Next, whip your whipped cream until peaks form, then fold into your cheesecake filling. Finish the mixture by folding in chopped Oreo cookies of all sizes, then add the cheesecake filling into the mold. Finish off your cheesecake with Oreo cookie crumbs or whole Oreos and place into the fridge for at least six hours. Slice, eat, and enjoy!


Tuition Reimbursement vs.

Student Loan Repayment There are different ways to compensate employees for getting their college degree, something that can add a lot of value to your business. Luckily, there are different strategies that could have a healthy impact for your workforce in distinct ways. Tuition reimbursement is something you can offer as an incentive to employees that are currently working on their college degree. Typically, this type of program is designed for internal promotion purposes. An example is an employee who is working in an entry level position and, in order to advance into a more career type role, needs a college degree. They can work and go to school simultaneously, and after they earn passing grades, can be reimbursed for their tuition. Student loan repayment is something a business can offer to prospective employees in their benefits package. Not only does this attract educated applicants, but it motivates them to have longevity with your company. An example would be offering $2,000 every six months to someone applying for a position requiring a degree. The longer they are in the position, the longer your company will help them repay their loans. Each option adds value to your compensation package, and having both is an even better perk. Different strategies have healthy impacts leading to a happy and fulfilled workforce. HRIQ–HUMAN RESOURCES + PAYROLL 236 Broadway Suite #B Chico, CA 95928 | 530.680.4747


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(Not) Lost in Translation If your lips “taste like Sangria,” you’re probably enjoying the beloved famed drink from Spain’s Rioja region. Its name bearing the color of blood, or sangre. This very simple cocktail is our subject for a very good reason, you can study up on it all you want, mess up and still get it right. There is no textbook way to make this cocktail as its roots simply state the basics. The mathematical equation probably shows as such: wine + fruit + sugar = yum. Historically, this drink dates back to the early 1100’s B.C. by Greeks and Romans who planted the grapes while making their way along the southern border in modern day Spain. The water was considered unsafe for drinking, so it was fortified and flavored by the alcohol along with whatever sugar and spices that were handy. Spanish wine, and sangria, had disappeared during the Moors’ rule (~711AD–1492), and reappeared at its end. It came to the U.S. officially at the 1964 World's Fair in NYC, thanks to the Taberna Madrid booth. Geographically speaking, while mostly along its southeastern coast, the wine traditionally used is grown in northern Spain’s Rioja region, namesaked as Rioja, made primarily from Tempranillo grapes. What’s great about Tempranillo and Rioja wines is that they have a neutral profile and take well to being blended with other items, in this case sugar and citrus. This is why you might often find Tempranillo in a red blend. The wine is perfect for someone who enjoys a Cabernet Sauvignon, but also likes the subtle cherry in

a Pinot Noir or Grenache. You should find, in both varietals, cherry, dried fig, plum, vanilla and dusty leather notes. Everyone who decides to explore the science of this drink will find its imperfect nature. Besides the traditional red sangria, there’s white, berry, rose and many more. Again, so long as its basic components are there, it is as much a Sangria as any. If you’re making a large batch at home, cut orange slices and add with your favorite berries and leave them in your mixture. In a vessel that holds 16 ounces, my single serve recipe as follows: • 5 oz Tempranillo (Straw House or New Clairvaux for local) • .5 oz simple sugar • .5 oz brandy • .5 oz grenadine • .5 oz peach schnapps (or triple sec if you don’t like peach) • 3 oz orange juice I hope you all enjoyed this closer examination of Sangria, and that you decide to incorporate a glass with your friends and family as we give way to the end of our summer break. Please note, you can garnish with an orange slice and luxardo cherry, or simply, your lips. Note: no Blake Sheltons were harmed in the writing process, maybe a Tim McGraw or two.




For more cocktail tips, give Jason a call at 530.591.2634.



Crossing Off the “To Do’s” As the lazy days of summer wind down, the preparations for the new school year begins. Boots and jackets, backpacks and school supplies, replace the aisles of swimsuits and summer toys. The stores are full of families getting ready for the classroom. However, there’s a lot more to do than just buy the necessities. Back to school checklists are not just for school supplies and they’re not just for kids. Setting up checklists for school items and important “to do’s” will go a long way in helping to ensure a smooth start to the 54

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2019/2020 school year. If parents and guardians are ready and organized, this preparation trickles down and helps the rest of the family feel confident in facing the first day. Here are just a few ideas for the adults to consider when getting ready for the school year: • An Appointment Calendar Schedule and record the necessary physicals, eye exams, and haircuts before school starts. The first days of school are challenging enough without discovering you’re behind in getting

that sport’s physical or that your child is having trouble reading the board from their seat. • A Form File Having all your information ready and consolidated makes filling out all those school forms much quicker and easier. Make a file with your insurance info, emergency contact names and numbers, necessary medications, etc. and keep it handy for when your little one gleefully gives you your “homework” for the day.

• A Drop Station Setting up a space for kids to leave their backpacks and sports gear helps to keep you and them a little more organized. Some heavy duty hooks on the wall or just a bench near the door makes coming home and leaving for the next day a little easier and less harried. A chalkboard nearby to jot down daily reminders or notes is a quick and simple way to keep track of last minute “to do’s” and little cubbies or labeled clipboards are great for keeping permission slips, parent notes, or daily homework pages at the ready.

• The Body Moving from the flexible schedule of summer into the regimented days of school can be shocking to the system, much like jet lag after crossing different time zones. Adjusting bedtimes gradually a week or so in advance means that waking up for that first day of school won’t be such a dramatic and possibly traumatic experience. Setting the alarm just ten minutes earlier each day a week before school starts will allow a more natural shifting of the time schedule and help to ensure a rested child after a long day of school.

• A Mobile Store School days inevitably mean more time spent driving to and fro in the car, so it helps to have some extra necessities stocked. Spare contacts, ponytail holders, pain medication, lunch money, snacks, water bottles, and tissues are just a few things you can keep in a bag in case you’re in a time crunch and need a spare.

Summer also often results in sliding breakfast times; sometimes early, sometimes late and sometimes even into the afternoon, which then pushes lunch later and so on. Using meals as a timeline will help the body adjust to the new schedule. Breakfast acts like a signal to switch from sleep and decreased metabolism to the new phase of increased metabolism and wakefulness. Having breakfast, lunch, and dinner around the same time each day will help to get the body on a better sleep/wake cycle and aid in acclimating to the new school calendar.

Now that you’re organized, it’s time to turn the attention to the kids. The long and often idle days of summer can be hard to snap out of and jump right into the school-day state of mind. If you begin gradually, that transition will be a little easier on everyone. • The Brain Start by addressing their mental preparedness. Take a trip to the bookstore or library to spark their reading and maybe grab a book their class will be using next year. Play some board or card games to engage the brain or take a trip to one of our local museums. As the first day of school gets closer, help them plan by setting up an organization method for their homework. There are so many apps, whiteboard calendars, and paper planners available making it hard to choose, but the searching and exploring is part of the fun. Once they’ve decided on a strategy for addressing homework, it’s a great idea to tour the school and map out their classes, especially if it’s their first year there. Having an idea of where to go and what everything looks like takes some anxiety away from that first day.

• The Backpack The first thing to check off the list is the bag, whether it be a backpack, a rolling bag (because those Chromebooks add a lot of weight!), or a cross body bag. There are so many styles and colors to choose from, this often becomes the most time consuming search of the school year. The various supplies to fill up that backpack will vary from Elementary to Middle to High School. It’s expected that each child will need pencils, erasers, and a notebook or binder with loose leaf paper. Once they’ve been to each class you’ll have a much better and more specific idea of what they’ll need for the year. Then it’s off to the store to search for and check off all the items on their prospective lists. With the dwindling down of the free days of summer, there comes a sadness but it always seems to be tempered by the subtle excitement of back to school preparations. Dust off those checklists, sharpen those pencils, and start crossing off those “to do’s.”

Behold The Wonder “Wow, that’s amazing!” “It feels a lot different than I expected.” These are words and phrases I often hear spoken when I bring a variety of reptiles to a special event. If I do not hear the words, I can often see it in the eyes of the audience or the expressions on the faces of those in attendance. Animals, especially exotic animals, have a way of charging the spirit of a crowd, and gaining the interest of folks both young and old. I have educated and entertained kids, adults, and people from all walks of life, from professors and doctors to field workers at migrant labor camps, and the results are pretty much the same. That is, they all exhibit a desire to learn more and enjoy what very well may be a once in a lifetime experience. Seniors at residence facilities have told me that they learned something from my presentation that they did not know; clearly demonstrating you are never too old to learn. Some of our patrons started coming to see us when they were kids and their parents brought them. Today, those young people are now bringing their kids to see our strange and exotic animals from around the world. Often we hear these young adults tell their children that “Mr. Ron let me hold my first snake or lizard,” an experience that some will never forget. For me personally, being able to educate people is a great motivator. I know that I was very fortunate to have teachers and other adults willing to share their passion with a kid that most likely asked way to many questions. That became the catalyst, making me the man I am today. My goal is to pass on the passion, so that these special animals can have a “voice” for many generations to come. RON'S REPTILES 44 Rock Creek Road Chico, CA 95973 530.893.2095



MUSIC For Your Ears and Health Music is one of the most precious things we have as a collective whole. Through music, we have the ability to connect with one another, portray a message, and set the tone for the future. Music benefits our health in multiple ways. Music and dance have a symbiotic relationship, each art form elevating the other. Many cultures use music and dance together as well to tell stories about their values and beliefs, such as the Chinese Dragon Dance. The traditional dance, created in the Han Dynasty, celebrates the dragon as a symbol of prosperity and was used to worship ancestors and pray for rain for crops. The dance itself requires a team of skilled dancers, moving in unison to the rhythm of the drum beat, cymbals, and gongs. The drum not only sets the pace for the dance, but is believed to scare off evil spirits and monsters. The music and dance also draw in the crowd as part of the performance.The dragon often weaves in and out of the audience, all the while interacting with different members, a sign of good luck. Music is also a natural stress reliever. Studies have shown that singing itself releases endorphins, hormones located 56

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inside of the brain that reduce pain levels and trigger positive feelings. To this day, I still have yet to find something more relieving than blasting your favorite song and singing at the top of your lungs without fear of anyone hearing. Different kinds of music can be used in a variety of exercises as well. Gentler activities, such as yoga, benefit from meditative sounds while exercises such as weightlifting may require something more upbeat and intense. Playlists can be curated for cardio and used to pace your run as well, giving you something to focus on and helping with reducing pain tolerance. Sometimes, music is the only way in which people are able to cope with hardships in their life. Whether it be a heartbreak or the loss of a close family member, music can be used in order to help one move on and honor those of whom we have lost. Music can also be used as a tool of remembrance, bringing us back to different times periods and positive memories within our lives. As much as music allows us to look back, it equally allows us the opportunity to move forward and stay hopeful for the future. One of the most valuable lessons that music can teach us is how to listen, both literally to the sounds and internally to the way it makes us feel. By listening to the way music affects and the messages that artists are trying to portray, we can find solutions to issues in our lives and look at things through a new perspective. With open ears and hearts, music can change the ways in which we live and love.

Upgraded Living's

Staff Picks

"It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live." favored by Nerissa Quinn

This deeply heartbreaking novel, based in Kabul, follows two brave women through their marital and societal struggles. Join Mariam and Laila's stories of love, fear, and sacrifice in this pageturning story.

This is my favorite book because I enjoy reading about a time that is so completely different than our lives today but it is still relatable in it’s own way.

favored by Emily Leblanc

“It is the hour of pearl—the interval between day and night when time stops and examines itself.” I would have to choose the book I can read over and over again whenever I want to get lost; Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. The author draws you in and allows you to wander into the lives of the Fraser clan and a nurse from the Second World War who is swept back to 18th century Scotland. The novel paints a dramatic portrait of Scotland, it’s history and it’s people thru the eyes of both the future and the past. favored by shelly brandon

“And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming” favored by jason corona

favored by MIchelle camy

“The skill I was learning was a crucial one, the patience to read things I could not understand yet.” “I call it an education.” favored by kevin dolan

“Is After the last shovel of dirt was patted in place, I sat down and let my mind drift back through the years. I thought of the old K. C. Baking Powder can, and the first time I saw my pups in the box at the depot. I thought of the fifty dollars, the nickels and dimes, and the fishermen and blackberry patches. I looked at his grave and, with tears in my eyes, I voiced these words: "You were worth it, old friend, and a thousand times over.” favored by frank rebelo

Life Through a Different Lens

Entering Jason Halley’s home, you’re immediately struck by the relative absence of one thing: photography. It comes as a surprise considering his position as one of our area’s most well regarded photographers. True as that statement is, the walls are not littered with photography. There are no large framed photos of his work at home or abroad, no indication that his photography has won numerous awards or that he has risked his life to capture many of those moments. In fact, the only real photography to speak of are selfies of he, his wife, and two kids adorning a small area near the kitchen. Though surprising at first, the mystery certainly wears off as his mission becomes more evident.

University, Chico, he holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Design from his hometown and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Fascinated by photography from a young age, he joined The Orion, Chico State’s award winning newspaper, during his sophomore year in 2003. During his five semesters at the paper, he gained considerable experience and continually found himself covering the same events as Bill Husa, the chief photographer for the Chico Enterprise-Record. The two became fast friends, and Jason realized that his passion for photography could eventually lead into a career rather than remain a hobby.

Those of us who grew up in Chico tend to believe we know everything there is to know about the area and have seen everything there is to see. Jason’s work over the years quickly disproves that theory. If anything, it proves that the world is full of fleeting moments each and every second that disappear just as quickly as they arrived, and that we are privy to very few of those moments existing beyond what is directly in front of us.

When a position opened at the Chico ER in 2005, Bill reached out and discussed the position with Jason. “Of course, I applied.” Jason said, “They hired me and worked with my schedule as a student; I was able to gain experience in the field before I even left college. I couldn’t have asked for anything better! The whole experience was incredible. I was able to see the best of everyone’s job without any of the paperwork, and the camera became a passport for me to experience Chico in a way that most others don’t. It truly allowed me to build a greater passion and appreciation for my hometown. It was a front row seat to history and I consider

Jason moved to Chico at the age of five and has been here ever since. A graduate of Chico Christian, Champion Christian, Pleasant Valley, and California State 58

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myself pretty fortunate to have had the opportunity.” In total, He remained with the Chico ER for nine years, before returning to Chico State in 2014 as their first full-time campus photographer after the position experienced a several year hiatus at the University. Jason had a unique vision for the position. Rather than simply catalog the programs and departments at Chico State, he wanted to bring something new to the table. “I spent my time at the Chico ER exposing Chico and Butte County to the outside world.” Jason explained, “I wanted to bring that same kind of outreach to Chico State. Even locally, people perceive these imaginary walls between the campus and the rest of the community. I offered my skills to bring windows to those walls so people could have a look inside and see what we have going on—locally, regionally, and nationally alike.” He’s been delivering on that vision for the past five years. “I recorded the history of our town for nine years, and it was a very special time in my life. Now I get to help build that history for my alma mater.” Jason said, “I tell student photographers that none of them are photographers, but visual historians. The value of what we do isn’t in producing pretty pictures, it’s capturing the history contained in the moment.”

Everything Jason has created is new to Chico State. Through his vision, the campus has seen a significant increase in visibility and transparency to the world beyond its borders. “The first five years of my work here has been about awareness.” Jason said, “It’s been my mission to put Chico State back on the map by reflecting on the good that’s happening on campus, and believe me, there’s a lot of it.” Recently, Jason was afforded the opportunity to bring on an additional staff member to the team. “Jessica Bartlett has been an incredible addition and brings the same enthusiasm to the table for Chico State.” Jason explained, “The two of us look at what we can with photography for the campus rather than search for what we can shoot. There’s so much happening on campus that it can be daunting to tell the whole story. Many get news from other media outlets which tend to put a negative spin on things. Highlighting the good is difficult to sell in media. We’re working to change that perception by highlighting great stories of people doing amazing things on a beautiful campus. We do stories that are authentic and the campus supports that. As a result, the community realizes that it isn’t receiving staged or filtered content; it’s authentic and really uplifting. We tell stories of struggle and how it was overcome. People seem to appreciate that.” Other campuses have taken notice of Jason’s mission as well. On the day of our interview, he was preparing to meet with members of CSU Sacramento’s

Communications Department who are interested in bringing his vision to their campus. “Many other university photographers simply provide campus PR.” Jason stated, “There isn’t a lot of room for creativity there. You’re really just reporting a story. I’ve been afforded a lot of creativity on this campus, and it’s allowed me to build what I have here. I’ve never had to fight or struggle for it—it’s always been provided. As a result, it’s given my artistry the ability to be at the forefront of what I do. There aren’t many people at all dictating how I should do my job.” When asked what his favorite photo has been throughout the years, Jason replies, “I really don’t have just one. That would be like asking which one of my kids is my favorite.” Prying further I replied, “Well, which two photos are your favorites then?” Accepting the humor, he laughs and explains, “Photography shouldn’t be about the picture, at least, it isn’t for me. I’ve always been more concerned about the feelings and the emotions evoked—not specifically from the picture itself, but from the memory of my time spent capturing it. I understand that’s different for viewers of my photography, they may certainly have their favorite. As the photographer, the experience is different though; I feel like I have a new favorite every other hour.” As part of the University Photographers Association of America (UPAA), Jason and Jessica recently represented photographers throughout California at the associations conference on the East

Coast. Jason took home 2nd prize for best publications cover, and Jessica won first place for the shoot-out competition—both huge honors. “There were only a couple California photographers there, so it was especially exciting to represent our state.” The two have spent their time together building a collection of work for Chico State that will help them better tell the stories on campus for years to come. “We’re most excited about what our roles are at the university and what that means for universities outside of our own.” Jason concluded, “We’re trying to lead the way in pushing the campus forward and proving the necessity of this position on other campuses for university photographers who are leaders rather than just photographers. I have Chico State’s support to pursue that, and I couldn’t be more thankful. It really is the best job I could have ever asked for.”




“Chico has so much to offer in the way of color.” Whether it’s the hundreds of birds in Bidwell Park, the manicured gardens of Chico’s homeowners or the farmland surrounding the town, you cannot argue with that statement. Talking and laughing in Candy’s kitchen, three good friends, Candy Matthews, Dolores Mitchell, and Eva Farley, exemplify Chico’s color perfectly. These three artists want to share with Chico their interpretations of the “Local Color” in their upcoming art show. Each of these women had “to balance lifelong creative passions with work and family responsibilities” throughout their lives but are now able to expand their passion after retirement. Eva vividly remembers trying to draw a chicken at just four years old. Even though her mother recognized her drawing as a chicken—which is a remarkable feat for a young girl—Eva was not satisfied. This began her journey into realism with her watercolor paintings of animals, insects, and birds. Similarly, Dolores began her artwork at a very young age, beginning with crayons and quickly moving into oil paint, which is her preferred medium today. Her beautiful artwork depicts local homes, rice fields, and landscapes of the area. Candy had a bit of a different start. Though she’s been drawing her whole life, she only started painting at 25 and truly began honing her skills with painting fruits and vegetables, local birds, and flowers after her retirement in her 50s. From ages 67 to 87, these ladies are finally able to focus on their passion, and they love that there’s “no age limit imposed on what we do.” 60

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Candy and Dolores have known each other for a long time, after being featured together in Chico’s Avenue 9 Gallery for eight years. Dolores and Eva have a long history as well, though they aren’t sure exactly how they met. That’s the beauty of the art scene here in Chico: “you’ll know and admire an artist’s work long before you know the artist.” Though Eva and Candy have only known one another for three years, “it feels as though we’ve been friends forever,” Candy said. After Candy bought one of Eva’s paintings at a show, they created a strong connection. Each of these women brings meaning to one other, and are able to share the overwhelmingly rewarding practice of being an artist. Though other people are constantly trying to find solutions to their unhappiness, these women have found it. They are always happy because they are “always learning.” Located in Candy’s backyard, the art show is meant to give the general public a “sense of pride in living in a place that’s so fertile with such unique characteristics.” These women want to offer every person in Chico a relaxing, non-threatening art experience. The garden will be filled with old and new friends, just so people “can celebrate what could be overlooked.” Beautiful homes, gardens, trees, birds, rice fields, and orchards can all be easily passed without a second glance when you’re going through the everyday motions. Candy, Dolores, and Eva are encouraging you to slow down and take in the beautiful colors all around you. These ladies want to “let people appreciate the beautiful color Chico has to offer.” “Local Color” will be held on Saturday, September 7 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. It will be held in Candy Mathews’s garden at 665 Bryant Avenue. Everyone is welcome to join and talk to the amazing artists who want to bring some local color into your home. If you’re interested in learning more about local art and the creative process, you are welcome to join Dolores Mitchell’s free monthly “Art Talk” newsletter. To receive it, send a request to:

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Stansbury Home Ice Cream Social 307 W 5th Street, Chico 6:00–9:00 p.m. Info: Enjoy the warm weather at the annual Stansbury Home Ice Cream Social. We'll have ice cream and all your favorite toppings. Bring the family and thank you for supporting the Stansbury Home! More info,


Murder at the Hoedown 5:00–11:00 p.m. 1705 Manzanita Ave, Chico Cost: $50 per person, adults only Info: This is an old west who done it murder mystery dinner! Cocktails at 5:00 p.m., Dinner and a show at 6:30 p.m. Come dressed the part! Pick who done it and win $100 prizes for best dressed.


Paradise Community Meeting 6491 Clark Road, Paradise 6:00 p.m. Info: These meetings allow for the town to effectively communicate what projects are of utmost importance and what future projects are being looked at.


16th Annual Hot August Day Car Show & Barbecue 8:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. 1705 Manzanita Ave, Chico Cost: $15 pre-registration, $20 at the gate, free admission to the public Info: This year there will be a special Camp Fire "Car" memorial for photos of classic cars, trucks, and hot rods that were lost in the fire. There will be a shaded picnic area, vendors, music, raffles, and a silent auction. An awards presentation will take place at 3:00 p.m. with an ice cream social. More info, Student Health & Wellness Fair Chico Mall, Chico 12:00–3:00 p.m. Info: We are excited to welcome community organizations supporting student health, education, and wellness. Chat with experts about the hazards of tobacco use, efforts to discourage distracted driving, gather information about support and educational


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programs available to your students, and more! Be sure not to miss the Kinetics Academy of Dance performance at 2:00 p.m.! Plus, this is your last chance to bring Back to School donations and enter to win a $500 gift card to the Chico Mall retailer of your choice! Winner will be announced at 3:00 p.m during the event.


41st Annual Chico Concours d’Elegance Car Show 175 Estates Drive, Chico 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Cost: Free to spectators Info: The 41st annual 2019 Chico Concours d’Elegance promises to be a full day of music, refreshments, entertainment and, of course, beautiful automobiles in the park-like atmosphere of Butte Creek Country Club. We sincerely hope that you will choose to attend as either a participant or spectator. More info, Chico Pride: Dance Night 592 E 3rd Street, Chico 8:00 p.m.–midnight Cost: $5–10 Info: As part of Chico's Annual Pride Weekend, Stonewall Alliance hosts a Pride Dance Night. This night of music, lights and fun includes: live special guest DJs, costume themes, a no host (21+) bar, delicious refreshments, a photo booth and is open to all 18 and older. The theme is "Stay Gold" so arrive gilded, glittered, and ready to werk! Chico Pride: Downtown Festival Downtown Plaza, Chico 10 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Cost: $5–10 Donation Info: This festival will include live bands, a sidewalk float parade, over-the-top performances, speakers, booths and vendors, activities, food, dancing, and live music. Stop by anytime to check out the fun. This event is family friendly and appropriate for all ages. Meanwhile, Duffy's Tavern will be serving PRIDE drink specials to patrons, with a portion of the proceeds going to Chico PRIDE. All donations support Stonewall’s nonprofit programs such as free HIV testing, counseling, advocacy, and support groups. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Lifelines: resonating words on mindfulness, education, and enduring.

HARVESTED FROM: Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Wherever you go There you are, Paulo Friere’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed, & Henry David Thoreau’s Walden.

The weather of our own lives is not to be ignored or denied. It is to be encountered, honored, felt, known for what it is, and held in high awareness since it can kill us. To affirm that men and women are persons, and as persons should be free, and yet do nothing tangible to make this affirmation a reality, is a farce. We are all sculptors and painters, and our material is our own flesh and blood and bones. Love is at the same time the foundation of dialogue and dialogue itself. The question is not what you look at, but what you see. But you cannot have harmony without a commitment to ethical behavior. In the long haul men hit what they aim at. Ask yourself, what is my vision, my map for where I am and where I am going? ...Don’t believe your first answers…Continue asking yourself. Those who authentically commit themselves to people must re-examine themselves constantly. Being whole and simultaneously part of a larger whole, we can change the world simply by changing ourselves. The presence of the people in the historical process, no longer as mere spectators, but with the first signs of aggressivity, is sufficiently disquieting to frighten the dominant elites into doubling the tactics of manipulation. Do not stay to be an overseer of the poor, but endeavor to become one of the worthies of the world. Education is suffering from narration sickness. It is not enough to be industrious; so are the ants. What are you industrious about? You can all too easily get out of

touch with your own true feelings behind the intoxicating shield of image and aura. This isolation happens a lot to people in positions of relative power everywhere. If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment. Experiment with being soft when your impulse is to be hard, generous when your impulse is to be withholding, open when your impulse is to close up or shut down emotionally... between being spectators or actors; between acting or having the illusion of acting; between speaking out or being silent, their power to change the world. Just watch this moment without trying to change it. Mindless giving is never healthy or generous. Awareness is not the same as thought. Human beings are not built in silence, but in word, in work, in action, and in reflection. Hope, however, does not consist in crossing one’s arms and waiting. The teacher is of course an artist, but being an artist does not mean that he or she can make the profile, can shape the students. What the educator does in teaching is to make it possible for the students to become themselves. ...if one designs to construct a dwelling— house—consider first how slight a shelter is absolutely necessary. Most of the luxuries, and many of the so-called comforts of life, are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind. Things do not change, we change.


Profile for Upgraded Living

Upgraded Living August 2019  

Upgraded Living August 2019