Tim Crews

Tim Crews

Sheriff shenanigans in Glenn: Glenn County muckraker Tim Crews is again calling for a government entity to give up public records—this time the name of applicants to the county’s interim sheriff job.

Crews, publisher of the Sacramento Valley Mirror, logged a big win in Superior Court May 13, when Judge James F. Dawson ruled that Glenn County must produce a list of applicants.

Since the sheriff is elected, the names of applicants would normally be available to public scrutiny. But Sheriff Bob Shadley retired before his term was up, so the Board of Supervisors appointed a replacement. The county’s personnel director apparently told applicants their names would be kept confidential and then refused to release them—a decision backed up by the board.

“It says more about their attitudes toward open government than anything else,” said Crews, who estimates the battle will cost the county $80,000 to $100,000. “It should have been public from the beginning.

“It’s not enough for us to see the sausage at the end of manufacture. We want to see what goes into the sausage,” Crews said. “We wanted to see who was allowed to apply, and who was rejected.”

Harriet Steiner, the attorney hired by Glenn County, argued that once county officials realized the process required public airing, it changed its ways.

‘Cats gone wild: School is almost out at Chico State, which of course means the men’s baseball team is once again swinging for a spot in the Division II College World Series. The Wildcats are in Grand Junction, Colo., for the Western Regionals of the NCAA Division II National Men’s Baseball Championship May 19-21.

Despite losing twice in one day to UC San Diego last Saturday in the CCAA conference championship at Nettleton Stadium (in an 11-inning/12-inning double-header—nine hours of baseball in one day!), the Wildcats still had an impressive-enough record (39-14-1) and high-enough national ranking (No. 7) to be selected as the second seed in the four-team double-elimination tournament. This is Chico’s eighth trip to the Western Regionals in 10 years.

How green is Tom’s Valley? The City Council rejected two appeals of the Planning Commission’s approval of developer Tom Fogarty’s Oak Valley housing project slated to construct 1,324 residential units on 340 acres near the infamous Humboldt Road Burn Dump in southeast Chico. It is the largest development in Chico in more than two decades and will push houses one and one-quarter miles farther east into the foothills.

One appeal was filed by Francis Farley, who said the project does not go far enough in protecting the historic value of the old Humboldt Wagon Road, where wagon ruts are still visible in some areas. The council denied the appeal, saying the trail would be protected as well as could be expected.

The second appeal was filed by seven people, including some who have long fought the project. That appeal said the project will not properly mitigate the negative impacts of traffic, the destruction of the foothill viewshed and open space as well as effects of allowing people to live in an area once contaminated by the presence of a burn dump.

While denying the appeals, the council did make a few changes to the development, including halving the number of units to be built on the easternmost edge to 80.