Bikes and chickens (what else?)

New green bike-courier, and moratorium on chicken fees

Green Cycle Couriers’ Jen Thompson

Green Cycle Couriers’ Jen Thompson

Green biking machine
A local green business called Green Cycle Couriers is making its debut on Friday (Oct. 1). Avid cyclist Jen Thompson (pictured) and her behind-the-scenes business partner Chetta Lafitte were busy last week visiting businesses around town with brochures announcing the rates for the innovative, fledgling company’s services.

“Our company’s goal is to provide a green alternative to transporting packages and documents in a matter of minutes,” the brochure offers.

Green Cycle Couriers’ focus is on working with businesses to transport documents from one place in Chico to another—“things that are actually time-pressing,” as Thompson told me—in a timely fashion for affordable, competitive prices. (Delivery of lunches is another option; Thompson will accept packages up to 10 pounds.)

“I’ll be working on all the holidays,” said the fit, friendly 23-year-old, who does all the biking, “and times when the post office is closed, or FedEx is charging an arm and a leg.”

Thompson says that she is fast—able to deliver to most places in Chico in 15 minutes (for $19.50). Her rate goes down if a customer is willing to opt for a two-hour delivery time ($8.50), and there are in-between times/rates as well.

Look for Thompson in her crisp green shirt with the word “COURIER” in black on the back.

Call 321-3933 for more info, and to request a brochure entitling the bearer to “one free 30-minute delivery of any package.”

Backyard hens: Don’t ask, don’t tell

Chicken debate progresses
Chico City Councilman Tom Nickell deserves praise for taking a stand regarding the institution of a moratorium on the ridiculously costly fees imposed by the city just to own a few backyard hens. Nickell thankfully spoke up at a recent council meeting in defense of suspending the permit fees (up to $2,799, for renters), calling it “morally wrong” to charge Chicoans so much money to keep chickens, as CN&R News Editor Melissa Daugherty reported last week (“Fowl rules,” Newslines).

The issue, which likely will be agendized for the Oct. 19 meeting of the City Council, is apparently now being treated as a “don’t ask, don’t tell” issue—if nobody tells on you chicken owners, code enforcement isn’t going to be going around looking for you.

While that is some sort of progress, I agree with a permitless chicken owner I spoke with recently who argues that the city’s requirement of a use permit to own a chicken (which is curiously in the same category as cows and other large livestock) is wholly at odds with its stated sustainability goals.

Communities around the country are amending their city codes to give their citizens the right to keep chickens either without charge or with the purchase of a low-cost “administrative” permit similar to a dog license.

No one is asking for rampant, unregulated chicken ownership—rules about such issues as number of hens and reasonable setback from property lines and dwellings need to be worked out.

But, for goodness sake, it doesn’t make a bit of sense that a person can erect a dog run housing a barking, crapping and sometimes dangerous dog (or two or three) right next to a neighbor’s fence, but one is not allowed to own a relatively quiet, productive hen except at an utterly excessive price.