Flynn seeks council seat
Chico High School algebra teacher Mary Flynn (pictured) is the first person to formally jump into the November City Council race. She says she’s considered Chico home since she first moved here in 1974, though work twice has taken her elsewhere. For a while she was a publisher at Creative Publications, in Mountain View, where she supervised a 60-member product development team and oversaw the company’s $40 million annual budget.

An active volunteer in many groups, including Habitat for Humanity and the League of Women Voters, she chaired the board of directors of the Chico Community Shelter Partnership and coordinated the effort to establish the Torres Community Shelter.

“I believe Chico is in a position to become one of California’s model communities,” she said in a press release. “To make this happen, our city needs leaders with vision, integrity and strong leadership ability. I believe I am well qualified to be one of those leaders.”

Leftover a-monds
It looks like Chico farmers will have more nuts “to knock the ‘l’ out of” come harvest season. The 2006-07 USDA forecast is for a 23 percent increase from last year’s harvest, thanks to sunny weather during the bloom (the rains arrived shortly afterwards) and an absence of insect damage, said Marsha Venable of the Almond Board of California. It is too early, however, to determine the quality of the crop, which is a large factor in pricing, said Susan Brauner of Blue Diamond Growers. But prices will almost certainly be lower than they were during the record 2005 peak, which was caused by a small harvest worldwide.

Caffeinated program
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Butte County got the fundraising equivalent of an espresso shot when Starbucks awarded the organization $20,000. The grant—one of 30 totaling $1 million from the coffee company’s California Giving Fund—will allow Big Brothers Big Sisters to double the size of its in-school mentorship program. Interim Executive Director JoAna Brooks says “Big in Schools” will branch out to Rosedale Elementary on top of the two grade schools involved this past academic year, Chapman and Parkview; the group hopes to add 20 to 30 more mentors overall. For more information on the program, check or call 343-8407.

Big jump by George
We learned recently that George Thurlow, CN&R editor from 1981 to ’91, has been appointed assistant vice-chancellor for alumni affairs at UC Santa Barbara. It’s the latest big career jump for a guy we knew as an ace reporter and editor. After the CN&R he taught part-time at Chico State and was adviser to the Orion; then he became a publisher, heading up the business side of the alt-weekly Santa Barbara Independent for 12 years. A 1973 grad of UCSB, he’s long been active in the university’s Alumni Association, serving as its board president. More recently he was treasurer of the Alumni Associations of the University of California.