Community cycling cooperative
Chico Natty’s Ron Toppi wants to start local bike co-op
“Does Chico want a community bicycle co-op?” asks Ron Toppi, grocery manager at Chico Natural Foods. Toppi wants to start a local bike co-op similar to the one he founded in the state of Washington, where he moved from in October 2009.
Everett, Wash.-based Sharing Wheels Community Bike Co-op (http://sharingwheels.org) offers an array of charitable bike-related services such as its Teen Earn-a-Bike program in which at-risk teens get to keep the recycled bicycle they have learned how to fix, and Work4Wheels, which allows low-income adults to earn a bike by volunteering at the co-op. The co-op also provides bike-maintenance classes and “open-shop nights.”
“A co-op, or community shop, is owned by the community of people who invest their time and energy in it,” explains former bike-shop employee Toppi (pictured).
Toppi has secured a small shed in Chapmantown for the co-op and has already started a neighborhood-youth bicycle-safety program there. He hopes to start an Earn-a-Bike program for teens in the spring.
HELP needs help
Bridgette Brick-Wells, executive director of the Healthy Lunch & Lifestyle Project (HELP), which provides freshly prepared, healthful lunches to more than a dozen schools in Chico and Redding, is putting the word out that she needs help to purchase much-needed new “catering bags.” The bags are used to keep lunches warm while they are transported to their destinations.
Ask a Master
Butte County Master Gardeners will be on hand at the downtown Chico Certified Farmers’ Market from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. on Dec. 11 and 18 to answer questions about the use of “dormant spray” for fruit trees. Dormant spray—often an organic lime-sulfur spray or neem-oil spray available at nurseries—helps prevent damage to wintering trees caused by insects and fungal diseases such as peach-leaf curl. Also, the Master Gardener holiday calendar—full of year-round gardening tips and information—will be available for purchase.
Are you sure it isn’t pronounced “boner”? Read the Nov. 22 New Yorker piece by widely known climate-change expert Elizabeth Kolbert (who spoke at Chico State in March 2009) on the impending climate-hostile takeover of the U.S. House of Representatives by Republicans. Worth seeking out, “Uncomfortable Climate” includes such gems as this quotation from incoming speaker of the House John Boehner: “The idea that carbon dioxide is a carcinogen, that it is harmful to our environment, is almost comical.”
Opportunivore? Freegan? Wild forager?
Talk to me …