Back to work

Trying to play catch-up after some time off; and other updates

No vacation time goes unpunished. That’s what I kept thinking as my days out of the office started winding down. Indeed, the thought of all of the emails and other tasks piling up gave me an uneasy feeling at least two days prior to returning to Second and Flume streets.

But I can’t complain too much. I was able hang out with my 6-year-old—mostly just the two of us. A lot of that precious time was spent snuggled on the couch together, reading Pete the Cat books and watching movies.

I’m generally not one for New Year’s resolutions, but I’ve made a few for 2018. Among the biggies: savoring the moment. More accurately: being present in it. Oftentimes at home, I find my mind wandering to work.

But back to newspapering. You’ll see this first week of the new year is our annual Whom to Watch issue, in which we highlight a handful of folks we believe will make headlines in 2018. As per usual, there’s a lot to keep tabs on.

In addition, I’m looking forward to seeing what happens with some of the more hot-button issues—think Chico Scrap Metal, the Jesus Center’s proposed move, and, of course, the Chico City Council race. Speaking of which, that forthcoming contest is the subject of one of the write-ups in this week’s cover package (starting on page 16).

I’ve been trying to get a handle on the possible campaigners. One of the folks who wasn’t mentioned in the story—because he either hasn’t filed the paperwork or the city hasn’t updated its list—is Scott Huber, a longtime local real estate agent who, according to an online profile, now works in the solar industry.

Recently, as I was driving down Main Street, I saw Huber at City Plaza surrounded by a bunch of people, including a man taking photos of him. I actually didn’t realize it was him, though he briefly worked in the CN&R’s advertising department many years ago. It was only when I saw a Facebook post about that photo shoot—one for his purported run at a council seat—that I recognized him.

I’m curious to see the final cast of candidates, though it’s going to be quite a while until it’s solidified. In the meantime, I’m all ears for those who’d like to tip me off to likely contenders (

Other news Savvy readers may have noticed a lack of bylines attributed to Kevin Fuller, who came to the CN&R by way of New York back in September. Well, Fuller, whom we got along with famously, longed for the East Coast, so he headed to North Carolina, where he’s previously lived.

The good news is Ashiah Scharaga joined the CN&R team this week. Scharaga, who interned with us when she was studying journalism at Chico State, graduated in 2015 and spent a summer as an intern at The Sacramento Bee. From there she went straight to the Chico Enterprise-Record, where she’s spent the past couple of years as a city beat reporter.

You can welcome her at

Speaking of email, as you may have surmised, I have literally hundreds of messages to try to get to after this week’s deadline. So, if you’ve written to me and haven’t heard back yet, now you know why.