Days of Lore

An orderly event by City Hall.

An orderly event by City Hall.


Party fouls
OK, the students are back. Awesome. The streets are again filled with dudes stumbling over their flip-flopped feet on their way to the next dollar pint. There’s the fresh sheen of vomit on the sidewalks. And, of course, students are hitting the books again … right? That leaves zero time for them to immerse themselves in local politics.

The proposed “disorderly events” ordinance was brought back before the City Council this week after councilmembers, in particular Vice Mayor Ann Schwab, decided to wait until students returned before they voted on something that essentially affects the kiddies and their ragers.

There actually were fewer people at Tuesday’s meeting than back in July, when the ordinance was first introduced. However, the same members of the local music community continued their opposition to the proposed ordinance Chico police first presented to the City Council in July. Even after language about moshing and slam-dancing was stricken, some still believe the ordinance is too general.

Last week, they posted fliers, and even approached Chico State’s Interfraternity Council in an attempt to rally more people. Unfortunately, they were told by members of the Greek community that due to their own issues with law enforcement over the past few years, it would be in their best interest not to get involved right now—even though it probably affects them the most. Wow.

I’m not sure it would have mattered anyway, as the ordinance passed 4-3 on its first reading.

Chico Police Capt. John Rucker was on hand to answer any questions about the ordinance, which is modeled after a similar one in Santa Barbara. Rucker said it was actually a better method that wouldn’t require officers to make any arrests before shutting things down, explaining the volatile nature of arresting kids at larger shindigs.

Some people weren’t buying it. Charlie Preusser—founding father of the Tau Gamma Theta fraternity, and Chico’s oldest frat boy—said he didn’t like the idea of police being able to cite a property owner for illegal activity occurring on “adjacent property” as it states in the ordinance.

Councilman Scott Gruendl agreed. Schwab and Councilwoman Mary Flynn also had concerns and wanted to hear how many citations had been issued since the ordinance passed in Santa Barbara. Although Gruendl, Flynn and Schwab were the only dissenters, even the conservative Larry Wahl was quick to note that any lingering questions should be answered at the Sept. 18 meeting, before the council votes on the final reading.

This thing should definitely get another look-see. I find this little nugget a bit troubling: “Circumstantial evidence of violations of these state laws or city ordinances shall be sufficient to invoke the provisions of this chapter.” Essentially, you throw a party, and if an officer thinks he sees something going down at the neighbor’s place he can shut it down. The language also states that an event can be labeled “disorderly” without arrests or the issuance of citations. If someone is not cited, how can they fight it in court? I want to be a cop.

Getting labeled
Plenty of us think big record labels are just churning out product rather than nurturing musicians and their art. Well, stop bitching and start your own damn label.

One guy’s got the right idea. Karol (pronounced “Carl”) Gajda, a 26-year-old out of Florida, is hell-bent on staring a label with you by firing up his Web site He’s hoping he can recruit 50,000 people who think corporate music sucks. Those who join him will have a say in the label’s name, and the first five bands signed (bands will ink $200,000 contracts).

He says once he gets the 50,000 people signed up, they’ll be required to contribute a cool $25. Do the math (I know, it hurts) and the pot adds up to $1.25 million, which will go toward business expenses and staff (and $1 million of that for signing bands). All decisions, he says, such as where to tour, etc., are up to the 50,000 owners.

Could it work? Don’t eat a burrito every day for five days and find out.

A thing of the past?
It’s the damndest thing. I had just fixed the wing on my time machine, and I was ready to take it out on a whirlwind gallivant into the past to try to right some of the wrongs and social injustices in recent history—and someone actually took a hack saw to it. Can it be reconstructed? I am a genius, so probably. I think the person responsible for the sabotage is squirming in their seat right now.