Bring on the declaration, Mr. Lear!
Butte County Supervisor Jane Dolan fired off a letter to television producer Norman Lear this week, asking him to bring his original copy of the Declaration of Independence to Chico.

Lear, founder of People for the American Way, sent his print of the declaration on a cross-country educational tour last month. In her letter to Lear, Dolan told him that Chico State University could house the document, which Lear bought at an auction last year for $8.14 million.

“I think it would be of great and important educational use for the people (especially our youth) … to see an original print of the Declaration of Independence,” Dolan said in a prepared statement.

Council works to resurrect Senator Tower
Chico has been missing a piece of its heritage in the form of the Senator Tower and the City Council isn’t giving up on helping to bring it back.

The decorative tower atop the former movie theater was removed and sent to a city storage facility in 1999 after it was judged unsafe and the then-owners United Artists wanted little to do with restoring it. But the new owners, Alison and Eric Hart, are more community-minded. So at its July 10 meeting, the council unanimously voted to have two of its members, Coleen Jarvis and Rick Keene, plus the city attorney, meet with the Harts and their lawyer to hammer out an agreement.

The goal is to secure a license agreement that would allow the city to return or recreate the tower, which it would then own. A fund-raiser by the Chico Heritage Association has already raised $12,000 toward the estimated $80,000 cost, and City Manager Tom Lando mentioned that the city might be able to use Redevelopment Agency funds to help, too.

Jarvis pointed out that “entering into discussions does not commit us to a dollar amount. It is the first step in putting the tower back on.”

Stuff those bags; trash rates are rising
Trash-collection rates will go up 4.46 percent for customers of Waste Management after the Chico City Council agreed July 10 that the company’s increased costs justify the hike—the first in two years.

The council gave the increase its unanimous approval. The new rates will bring the cost of collecting trash from a 32-gallon container from $9.21 per month to $9.62, with similar increases for larger loads. And customers can always choose to put out special, $2.50 bags to be picked up as needed instead.

In a subcommittee role, Councilmember Rick Keene had looked through the company’s books—which made him somewhat uncomfortable since Waste Management is privately owned and he prefers a free market—and found that, indeed, health insurance, parts and fuel costs are taking a bigger bite out of profits. “It seemed to be reasonable,” Keene said.

At the request of Waste Management’s representative, the council briefly batted around the idea of someday creating a methodology through which, by plugging in variables, rate changes would be automatic.