A.S. campaign trail: It’s not Bush-Kerry, and Howard Dean won’t be hooting from the wings, but the Associated Students elections could still generate some excitement this year.
Graduate student Bob Ray, who was disqualified one year and lost the next, is back, this time facing off against current A.S. Executive Vice President Adam Dondro.
They’re among 16 qualified candidates vying for student government seats April 14-15.
Executive VP is a three-way race this year, with current Commissioner of University Affairs Thomas Whitcher facing off against Jonathan Maples and Sidney Poritz. Mike Palotay and Amee Nelson both want to be vice president of business and finance, and Keegan Warren is running for facilities and services VP. Eight commissioner seats are also open, but the candidates are running unopposed.
Rumble at Big Al’s: Nobody seems to know why, but a group of as many as 20 men were fighting in the parking lot of Big Al’s restaurant around midnight Tuesday morning.
According to a Big Al’s employee who witnessed the melee, “It was weird. They were just all in a circle fighting. It was like they were taking turns beating on each other.”
Police and sheriff’s deputies responded to break up the fight, which they were able to accomplish without much trouble. But about an hour later, Chico officers were called out again to deal with a complaint of the same subjects fighting near a residence on West Lassen Avenue, where one of the combatants apparently lives.
When that combatant was followed home by a car containing at least two assailants, he drove them away by smashing their windshield with a bat. Police stopped the car less than a block away and searched it, finding a loaded 12-gauge shotgun. The occupants, Brandon Logan, 19, and David Thomas, 18, were arrested on weapons charges.
Saving our sols: The Chico City Council took another step toward putting electricity-generating solar panels at the city’s wastewater treatment plant, City Hall and the public works yard. Those three projects will probably cost about $8 million to build, but that figure could be cut in half if the city qualifies for PG&E rebates. After a few years, the city hopes to save millions on electricity and may even end up making money on the deal.
The city looked at 52 city-owned properties for their solar-power potential but found that only 19 were feasible. A few sites, including the Stansbury House and the old municipal building, were turned down because of their historic status, while others, such as the police station, were turned down because there were too many tall trees in the area that would shade the panels.
The city is already installing solar panels at the parking structure on Salem and West Third and may pursue more such projects at the Chico Municipal Airport.