Beeler dealer
With not a bit of pomp and not all that much circumstance, County Supervisor Bob Beeler, who represents Oroville, took over as chairman of the Board of Supervisors from outgoing chairman Curt Josiassen.

Beeler was nominated by Josiassen and voted in unanimously. Josiassen, who was soon after voted in as vice-chairman, with Supervisor Jane Dolan opposed and Supervisor Mary Anne Houx abstaining, was matter-of-fact in handing over the post.

“It is now yours. Here is your gavel,” Josiassen said. “This next year is probably going to be the wildest ride any of us [on the board] has ever had.” Josiassen was referring to impending state budget cuts, not to Beeler’s sometimes George W. Bush-like command of the English language.

Beeler, a retired PG&E worker who joined the board in 1996, said one of his priorities would be to continue his work with the Joint Powers Authority, which is negotiating the relicensing of Oroville Dam. In the past, he has taken a low profile at meetings and focused his efforts on economic development and county water issues.

Josiassen was given a gavel and a souvenir paperweight for his service.

Duck, duck, snow goose
For those who enjoy getting goosed, there’s plenty of time to sign up for the Fourth Annual Snow Goose Festival, to be held Jan. 24-26.

This year, there’s a reception, a banquet and plenty of workshops. Professionally led field trips will feature migratory waterfowl, including those at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, Llano Seco and Lundberg Farms. Most tours cost $5. There’s also a hike to Sutter Buttes offered, for $30.

On Saturday, there’s a $24 banquet featuring Bay Area author/actor David Geisen, who dresses up like it’s the 19th century and talks about John Audubon and other naturalists. “The banquet is a place for [those who attended the workshops and tours] to chat up what they’ve seen,” said Sharon Wallace, the volunteer coordinator of the event. John Cowan will be there signing his book with photos and history of Gray Lodge.

The event also recognizes the Centennial Celebration of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Refuge System, which was going to be a feature of the Duck Days in Davis, but after many years that festival has been discontinued.

The Snow Goose Festival is now the premier waterfowl event of the Northstate. “We’re picking up where ecotourism has really not taken off yet,” Wallace said.

More information is available at or by calling the Sacramento River Preservation Trust at 345-1865.

Flying chopsticks of pain
Details are sketchy on the arrest Jan. 10 of a 12-year-old Oroville boy accused of attacking a fellow Central Intermediate School student with a pair of chopsticks.

The incident occurred on a school bus that was parked near Oakdale Elementary School in East Oroville, where the bus driver had stopped and exited the bus to make sure his passengers could safely board.

According to a Butte County Sheriff’s Office press release, the boys were arguing over a bus seat when the suspect produced a pair of chopsticks and attempted to stab the victim, who is 14, in the neck. When that didn’t work, the suspect then attempted to choke the victim with the aforementioned chopsticks. Another juvenile on the bus intervened and was able to stop the assault.

The suspect was booked into Juvenile Hall on charges of assault with a deadly weapon. The victim suffered only scratches and did not require medical assistance.

Chopsticks, or kuai-zi, meaning "quick little fellows," were invented 5,000 years ago in China. They are most often used as eating utensils, but it is said that in the hands of a kung fu master chopsticks can be deadly weapons. It is unknown whether the chopsticks involved in the attack were the pointy, Japanese kind, the wooden, disposable kind or the longer, unsharpened, Chinese variety. The suspect is not believed to be a kung fu master.