Taming Halloween with a petition
It’s no secret that Halloween in Chico, with its thousands of downtown revelers, has become somewhat of a monstrosity marred by drunkenness, crime, violence and vomit stains on the sidewalks. As a result city officials have stepped up efforts to control if not actually kill the annual October masquerade by setting aside thousands of dollars toward that end.

But at least one local woman does not care for the cost or game plan the city has laid out and is doing something about it—circulating a petition.

“My concern is how they are planning to spend our tax dollars,” said Christina Downer.

Her petition proposes “to have a variety of music with different bands, portable toilets, and well-lit areas in the Chico City Plaza, Halloween Night, October 31, 2002.”

It goes on to ask for a “volunteer citizen watch, as well as a police patrol to keep the peace.”

Her vision is to redirect Halloween into a “farmers’ market-type event” with “local ethnic groups dancing” and “lighthearted music.”

“I think [the Halloween celebration] can be handled in the spirit of fun,” Downer said.

Strip and wash for charity— but no takers
Hundreds of ogling Butte County residents turned out Sunday for a car wash out at Centerfolds strip club, causing a traffic jam on Highway 99 that extended for almost a mile.

Why all the excitement over a car wash? The washers, all dancers at the club, were topless. The event was a huge success and raised more than $1,100, but organizers are scratching their heads over what to do with the, ahem, booty.

That’s because no one seems to want the money. Manager Steve Clark, who helped organize the benefit car wash, said he’s been on the phone with “like maybe a hundred” local social-service groups offering them the cash, but no one will take it.

“It’s totally strange,” he said last week. “I say, ‘We’re having this car wash, do you want to have the money?’ And then I say where we’re from, and they almost hang up the phone. I can’t understand it. Just because the dancers are topless [while washing the cars].”

The money is still up for grabs, sitting at the club, waiting for someone to take it.

Supes deny ‘piecemeal’ zoning
Apparently taking the “all or nothing” route, the county Board of Supervisors denied an application to rezone a small piece of land at its meeting June 25.

David Halimi, owner of the Tree Breeze Motel on Highway 32, wanted to give the land, which is now zoned agricultural residential, commercial zoning so that “sometime in the future” he could build on it. Trouble is, he’s surrounded by struggling almond orchards, and orchard owner Wally Roney asked to be included in the rezone, telling the supervisors that it’s no longer profitable to farm on the land (he’s boxed in by Highway 32, the Greenline, Halimi’s motel, and a storage facility). Rezoning Halimi’s property, Roney said, without rezoning his own property so he could build there would make the historic orchard even less profitable.

“I’m all for allowing Mr. Roney to rezone his land and use his property the way he wants,” Halimi said. “But I’ve been working for this for a long time, and I hope you will see that.”

Three board members—Jane Dolan, Mary Anne Houx and Bob Beeler—were concerned that rezoning the area in a "piecemeal" fashion would make the area even spottier. They voted to deny the application, saying that the issue should be revisited later this year, when the county starts discussion on its General Plan.