Disc war

There is a battle raging in Chico as I write these words. Disc golf players and the people who think the disc golf course in Upper Park is unwarranted have been filling the letters to the editor pages of both this paper and the Enterprise-Record. In fact the editor of that paper, David Little, visited the subject in his column last Sunday. (He weighs in on the side of the disc golf enthusiasts.) And here I have to say that I am completely ignorant of the facts, motivations and reasons for the intense emotions swirling around this issue. God knows I try to identify and keep on top of local issues, especially the controversial ones, and there is certainly no shortage of them here in Chico. Some of the minor ones, like whether Chicoans prefer live or artificial Christmas trees, do tend to escape the pages of this paper. Hey, we come out only once a week; we can’t cover them all. But this one, this disc golf war, deserves some ink, and I have no excuse for letting it start to whiz by without a word, save the ones on the letters page. The problem is that this paper tends to wait until matters come before the City Council, where the final decisions are made—the venue where it really counts. I suspect this one will in time. That is my fault. It is my duty to cover the many commissions and boards of city government.

The primary weapon used in this war and launched by those letters to the editor has escalated to name calling. It was a fast evolution. Normally the players in one of these Chico standoffs circle each other for a good while before they resort to labeling the enemy. But it’s happened. I walked into a downtown coffee house this week, spotted one of the disc golf proponents and overheard him tell his companion as I was pouring cream into my coffee, “There are a few people on a crusade to keep everybody out of Bidwell Park.” About 25 minutes later a person from the other camp came into my office and asked if there were any letters to the editor running in the paper this week condemning her actions. I told her I didn’t think so. She seemed a little shell-shocked by the whole thing. She’s never engaged in an old-fashioned Chico mêlée before. “We’re not against the disc golf course,” she said, shaking her head. “I guess I’m just naïve.” Obviously we can no longer allow the story to play out only on the opinion pages of the two papers. But to properly cover the issue, we have to start attending the Bidwell Park and Playgrounds Commission meetings. We missed this week’s, which I imagine was a dandy. (You like local theater? You like reality TV? Attend a local government meeting.) We’ll get on top of this in short order. These are the stories that define our town.

The Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. has officially hit the big time, according to occasional News & Review contributor and all around curmudgeon Miles Jordan. Seems in October “ale” was the answer in a New York Times crossword puzzle. The clue to 51 down: “Sierra Nevada, e.g.”

Here’s a Christmas gift idea you won’t want to miss—The Cohasset Men of 2005 calendar. According to Beth Spencer, 14 male Cohassians are artfully posed in the buff “amid the pines and black oaks of Cohasset, and all but one of them sport some kind of ‘fig leaf'—a guitar, say, or a chainsaw (careful there), a piece of garden art, a French horn, a potted plant, even a cast-iron frying pan (pictured).” The idea is to raise money through sales of the calendar for special projects like upgrading the Community Association Building. The photographer is Lisa Vegvary, who worked with assistant Lara Conkey-Wiebelhaus posing the men au natural. The models will be on hand, fully clothed, we presume, for a signing at the monthly community potluck, Saturday, Dec. 4. Signing begins at 4:30, the dinner is at 6. This month’s theme is "Roadkill & Leftovers." After this, calendars will be for sale on the ridge at the Cohasset Country Store and in Chico at Time Traveler Costumes, 1824 Mangrove Ave. All proceeds will benefit the Cohasset Community Association.