The search is (almost) over: Months of waiting and double-secret meetings have yielded three finalists for the position of president of Chico State University.

The California State University Chancellor’s Office announced them Oct. 8, and they are (pictured top to bottom): Lois Muir, provost and vice president for academic affairs, University of Montana; Paul J. Zingg, provost and vice president for academic affairs, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo; and Karen S. Haynes, president, University of Houston-Victoria.

The finalists will, one per day, do their little turn on the catwalk at Chico State Oct. 20-22, in the above listed order, answering questions posed by faculty, staff, students, the community and even the media. And do we have some doozies for them.

Plan to attend the open forum each day from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. and the reception at 5:15. The search committee will make a recommendation, and on Oct. 30 the CSU Board of Trustees will interview them. Shortly after, the successor to Manuel Esteban will be named.

It’s OK to doff your duds: The Chico City Council voted this week not to criminalize public nudity, with opponents to such an ordinance arguing that there are already rules on the books to cover lewd behavior and that the cops have more than enough laws to enforce right now. Councilmembers supporting a nudity law argued there is nothing on the books right now to stop people from walking down the streets naked as the day they were born.

Police Chief Bruce Hagerty, under questioning from Councilmember Coleen Jarvis, said to his knowledge the police had only received one complaint about public nudity. Greg Tropea, a professor at Chico State University, told the council banning nudity could be an infringement on religious rights and that passing such a law could lead to a lawsuit. Councilmember Scott Gruendl suggested those who are offended by public nudity could try to resolve the matter without bringing in the law. “Take it up yourself,” he said. “Why put it on the police?”

A motion to move forward with the ban failed 3-4, with Dan Herbert, Larry Wahl and Steve Bertagna on the losing end.

But this is Chico: A kids’ zoo is coming to town. Longtime school district employees are getting the ax. Builders are disputing fees for schools. They’re privatizing the waterfront. And a whole bunch of people have been shot. That’s all according to the online version of the daily Enterprise-Record, which disconcerted readers for nearly a week with Oakland news stories mixed in with the usually tamer Chico fare.

Apparently, it’s some kind of glitch involving their corporate sister, The Oakland Tribune, also owned by the Denver-based Media News Group. The problem seems to have cleared up, but it was interesting while it lasted.

The Oakland paper also last week withdrew its earlier endorsement of Arnold Schwarzenegger, but the E-R stood firmly behind the muscular power-groper.