Jesus has just left the building: The historic Senator Theatre will not be purchased and renovated by City Light church after all.

“The deal is off,” Pastor Eric Enns confirmed.

Negotiations with owner Eric Hart were always amicable, Enns said, but the more church leaders inspected the property, the more they realized what it would cost to fix it up. “We had come to an agreement on price and rent,” he said. But when they tried to renegotiate so that the church would occupy the building rent-free for five years, putting a “significant chunk” into renovations that would revert to the owner if the church backed out later, “we couldn’t come to agreement.”

“I hope someone can get it and make it happen, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to be us,” Enns said.

State agents have feelings, too: James Pedri, assistant executive officer for the Regional Water Quality Control Board, the state agency pushing the city to clean up the toxic Humboldt burn dump, wrote a letter of protest to Mayor Maureen Kirk last week decrying a quotation in this paper attributed to Councilmember Coleen Jarvis.

The quotation in question concerned the recent transfer of the RWQCB’s Phil Woodward off the Humboldt case after 14 years. Jarvis told this paper that Woodward “was less than objective” about the best way to clean up the dump and was not open to alternatives. Pedri objected and came to his co-worker’s defense.

“Over the years, Mr. Woodward has been constantly subjected to unwarranted verbal abuse and criticism from the public, media and elected officials,” Pedri wrote. “In the face of all this, Mr. Woodward has maintained a professional and courteous attitude toward all involved during his management of this difficult project.”

Part of that “courteous attitude” included calling the Chico police and having Barbara Vlamis, general director of the Butte Environmental Council, forcibly removed from a Humboldt dump meeting earlier this year.

Responsibility, unmasked: Student government leaders at Chico State University are doing everything they can to make sure students aren’t to blame for any dangerous spookiness that may go on Friday night.

With a Halloween budget of $4,230, the Associated Students is hosting a Fright Fest on campus from 8:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. in the Bell Memorial Union Auditorium, including a “Last Band Standing” competition with a $500 grand prize, a costume contest and, to dilute the effects of the anticipated alcohol consumed off-campus, a midnight breakfast of waffles, eggs, sausage and coffee. The group has also printed thousands of fliers encouraging revelers to “keep it local, keep it safe.” The A.S., which put in $2,480 of the total, had some extra money to spend due in part to donations from the President’s Office and the city of Chico, as well as the fact that the other traditionally drunken holiday, St. Patrick’s Day, will fall during spring break 2004, when the young quaffers supposedly will be home with their mommies and daddies or auditioning for Girls Gone Wild in Tijuana.

Seriously, though, it’s that kind of party-and-pillage stereotype leaders such as A.S. President Michael Dailey are trying to quash. “No one can say we’re not doing anything for the students this year,” he said.