Mann marches on: We at the News & Review are sometimes on the outs with Jim Mann (pictured), the longtime director of the local chapter of the Building Industry Association. He advocates for developers, and we print how much they donate to City Council campaigns. Anyway, we heard a rumor he was retiring and gave him a buzz.
“Yes, I am retiring from the BIA on Dec. 31,” confirmed Mann, sounding as happy as a fairy shrimp in a vernal pool. He’ll continue with his own business, Rural Consulting Associates. Taking over at the BIA will be 28-year-old Jason Bougie. Although three of the BIA’s clients have died in less than two years, there are still several landowners represented.
Of his retirement, Mann said, “It’s going to be really nice. I can go golfing without any guilt.”
Real trouble: The Real 420’s Christopher Mikell was MIA when drug officers found evidence of an alleged methamphetamine lab at his home and recording studio. He’s since turned up.
“His attorney called last week and negotiated him turning himself in,” said Commander Vic Lacey of the Butte Interagency Narcotics Task Force (BINTF). “He is being cooperative in that he turned himself in, but he didn’t want to talk.”
Lacey said Mikell’s fingerprints are all over glassware found in the alleged lab, and BINTF now wants to question Jason LaRose regarding his association with Mikell. They’ve also spoken with Mikell’s business partner, Mark White, who will not be charged with anything.
Mikell quickly posted $95,000 bail, and a court date is set for July 18. Added to various charges related to meth manufacturing is a charge of possession of stolen property (a computer).
Mikell’s Berkeley attorney, Colin Cooper, said his client didn’t know there was a warrant out on him when he left town. “In the end he’s going to be cleared of this,” Cooper asserted.
Tower of Power: The Senator Theatre has been topless (What’s this? A burlesque show?) since United Artists removed its slightly leaning tower a couple of years ago. And it’s temporarily faceless as the marquee is off being restored. That’s due to change.
Now, current owner Eric Hart has applied to “fully restore” the building of 12 residences and five commercial spaces—at least the outside of it. His plan, executed by Nichols, Melburg & Rossetto (which designed the building going up next door at Fifth and Main streets) includes rebuilding sections of the tower and putting it back up, including the globe that’s also being stored in a city maintenance yard. They want to tear off the awnings and replace them with mesh screen and return the nonexistent windows above the storefronts to the way they were in the 1940s. The structure will be painted a beige tone, and the words “Senator Building Est. 1927” will be placed on the corner above the Has Beans coffee shop.
The city’s Architectural Review Board will decide if it likes the idea at its July 2 meeting.