Chamber picks faves
Three of the six people running for Chico City Council this year are businesspeople running as a business-friendly slate, so it’s not much of a surprise that the Chamber of Commerce endorsed them last week. They are Dan Herbert, who runs a property management firm; Mark Sorensen, who owns a satellite TV company, and Michael Dailey, a loan officer with Bank of America.

Herbert has served on the council for eight years, but the other men are making their first runs for public office.

Not endorsed were candidates Mary Flynn, a high school math teacher; Scott Gruendl, the Glenn County health services director; and Tom Nickell, a CHP officer. Gruendl has served four years on the council, the past two as mayor; Flynn and Nickell are making their first runs for office.

Chamber Board of Directors Chairman Dan Neumeister said the 25 directors had made the endorsements after interviewing all of the candidates and discussing the choices for three hours. The directors believed the three men selected would do the best job of fostering a healthy business climate in Chico, he explained.

Mosquitoes pick Butte
This was supposed to be the year when the West Nile virus was to be a lessened threat, remember? Earlier this summer, in fact, the state wanted to reduce WNV prevention funding because it was believed, based on cyclical patterns, that the virus would be less dangerous this year than last.

Well, it hasn’t turned out that way, at least in Butte County. The county recently recorded its 28th case of the virus this season, three more than the 25 people infected last year, reports Dr. Mark Lundberg, the county health officer.

Of the 28 cases, 19 have been in Chico. Lundberg said most victims have lived west of Highway 99, but that’s not necessarily where they got bit. Backyard barbecues, soccer practices and football games all take place at times when mosquitos are about.

“We’re not out of the woods yet,” Lundberg warned. “Last year the cases declined at this time of year, but we’re not seeing that this year.”

Residents should continue to avoid being out at dawn and dusk, use DEET-containing repellent and cover as much of their skin as possible.

Chico picks planner
Chico will have a new planning director beginning Oct. 16, City Manager Greg Jones announced Tuesday (Sept. 12). He’s Stephen Peterson (pictured), who brings more than 28 years of experience to the position.

This will be a return to Chico for Peterson, who got his bachelor’s degree in public administration from Chico State University. He went on to Fresno State, where he got a master’s in city and regional planning. He was a planner for Contra Costa County before moving to the city of Sacramento’s Planning Department, where he’s worked for 18 years, the past five as its division manager/principal planner.

Chico, Peterson said in a press release, “faces many growth challenges … including ‘How do you maintain the small-town qualities and accommodate future growth?’ ” It’s the job of the planning director to “bring together different perspectives to shape an achievable vision about how to grow in a way that benefits the whole community,” he added.