The Greenline prevailed at Tuesday’s City Council meeting

Tuesday night, as I watched the Chico City Council meeting, listening to the arguments of those supporting ag interests and the preservation of the Greenline, and hearing over and over again as the word almond was pronounced amond, or, in some cases, amin, I couldn’t help but think back to grade school in the Bay Area.

My hometown of Livermore was a semi-agricultural region—but the crop of choice was wine grapes. So, when I talked to some of my friends about visiting my grandparents’ amin farm outside of Chico, nobody knew what I was talking about. The conversation went something like, “They farm what?” “Amins. You know, the nuts.” But, no, they didn’t know. Where I grew up, they were all-monds. “Oh, right,” I realized, thinking of how to pronounce Almond Joy candy bars.

Livermore was a nice place to grow up. Today, the city’s wine industry is booming. It probably would be even more robust had city officials worked harder to protect its open space, rejecting some of the cookie-cutter McMansions now abutting the vineyards.

Growing up, I used to ride my horse Ginger from a stable on the edge of town through the vineyards—to the dismay of the winegrowers who couldn’t catch my galloping mare—and into the suburban neighborhoods and the downtown commercial district. But the edge of town is much farther out these days. About a decade ago, the pastureland where Ginger lived out her days was swallowed by a development.

That dismantling of my childhood memories would be a lot easier to swallow had the property been planted in grapevines instead of garish million-dollar homes. Indeed, Livermore needed a Greenline, or, considering the region, perhaps Redline would be a better term.

But back to the here and now. I was pleased to see the leaders of my adulthood home of Chico putting the interests of the local agriculture community and longtime Greenline neighbors ahead of the infusion of cash that would entice some shortsighted officials. Check out our coverage of the council meeting (“Greenline holds fast,” page 10) to learn about the panel’s unanimous decision that effectively rejects a proposed annexation of county property on which developers planned to build what essentially would’ve been a dormitory.

Candidate update: We’ll soon get a look at the final pool of City Council candidates. The deadline to file paperwork with the City Clerk’s Office—Aug. 13—is fast approaching. One of the new names is Wes Holt, who, on his official Elect Wes Holt Facebook page, shares this insightful tidbit: “I’m not someone who feels strongly about, or even has a rudimentary understanding of, the issues facing our locality. I’m certainly no career politician, I have only a vague concept of the form and function of our government.

“I am, however, a local man looking to collect whatever compensation is due a City Council member and use said compensation for things like credit card bills and liquor.”

It’s going to be an interesting campaign season.