Dump deal: Those inconsiderate jerks who think it’s OK to leave old refrigerators, air conditioners and TVs by the side of the road now have one less excuse to litter, thanks to the Butte County Board of Supervisors.

At its regular meeting Tuesday the board unanimously voted to lower the dumping fees for freon-containing appliances from $45 to $15 and cathode ray tubes from $45 to $5.50 (the first one is free).

The change came about when Public Works employees reported that dump customers were getting so miffed at having to pay $45 to dispose of the items that many would simply leave the dump and toss them out down the road. Those items require special handling because freon from fridges and lead from old TVs are considered hazardous waste.

Senatorial approval: Wearing ankle socks and bowling shoes, local developer Eric Hart faced the Chico Architectural Review Board on July 2 to have his project of renovating the Senator Theater evaluated. Hart’s proposed color scheme of red, gold and neon elicited some crinkling of noses from a few of the board members—the board also didn’t seem too enthusiastic about the proposed installation of yellow glass windows—but in the end the project was approved and sent to the planning director for further evaluation.

Chico State history professor Michael Magliari voiced his concerns about the Senator project during the public-comment portion of the meeting, questioning why the style of renovation was being set to 1942 instead of the 1928 build date. Magliari stressed that the building should be restored to the original Timothy Pflueger design from the Art Deco era.

Hart said he chose 1942 as the year to recreate because a lot of high-quality photographs exist from that time, and that will make the renovation process easier. Hart, in a demonstration of his devotion to the original and historic design, said that he had traveled more than 700 miles looking at Pflueger designs.

The plans were approved as submitted, but Hart was given the suggestion to adhere to the original design and submit the Senator project to the State Office of Historic Preservation for approval.

Jesus just left the chambers: For years Chico City Council and Butte County Board of Supervisors meetings have begun with an invocation that often summons the name of Jesus Christ. No more, at least in Chico, based on advice from Lori Barker, an assistant city attorney.

In a memo to the council, Barker cited the decision of Sept. 9, 2002, by the Second District California Court of Appeals that upheld a ruling by the Superior Court of Los Angeles that an invocation given before the Burbank City Council and ending “in the name of Jesus Christ” violated the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution. It did so because of the reference to Jesus, which to the court’s interpretation endorsed a certain religion—Christianity—over all others that do not recognize Jesus. Such an endorsement, the court ruled, “sends a message to non-adherents that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community.”

Based on the case, Rubin v. City of Burbank, Barker recommends the city clerk notify upcoming invocators not to get too specific with their prayers. Citing “God” is allowable, according to the court, because that entity is generic and common to a number of religions.