The bare minimum
As is its usual political stance, the Chico Chamber of Commerce is joining other chambers statewide in opposing an increase to the state’s minimum wage.
Calling it a “job killer” bill, the Chico chamber is urging Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to veto Assembly Bill 2832. The legislation would raise the minimum wage from $6.75 an hour to $7.25 in 2005 and up to $7.75 in 2006.
The chamber says that would “make California home to the highest minimum wage rate in the country because businesses of all sizes are already shouldering the heavy burdens of having to pay many of the nation’s highest business costs—all in the midst of a significantly slowed economy.” (The federal minimum wage has been $5.15 an hour since 1997.)
Also opposed by the chamber, because of fears it would raise insurance costs, is Senate Bill 1569, which would allow health care providers to sue health plans accused of violating the Knox-Keene Act. The 1975 act, part of the California Health and Safety Code, allows physicians to seek “fair payment” for services and also sets up a grievance process regarding quality care.
Meanwhile, the California Budget Project, a nonprofit think tank, wrote in a June 2004 report that a moderate increase in the minimum wage did not result in job losses in the retail and food service industries. One in six minimum-wage earners is a teen, while 61 percent of minimum-wage earners work full time—making an annual income of about $14,000.
To the disappointment of many, Provisions Catering on Park Avenue is closing its doors.
The to-go market is already shut down, and after honoring its catering commitments through October, owners Scott and Stacey Martinez are calling it quits “forever.”
In a note to customers, who reveled in Provisions’ offerings ranging from fried chicken to creative salads, the owners said that they’re closing “due to family circumstances and other opportunities.”
Art of the hut
The Burger Hut on Forest Avenue is adding something, and this time it’s not garlic fries.
Co-owner Priscilla Williams dropped me a note to let us know that within a week or so they’ll be adding a 20-foot painting of Northern California, the work of Jo Kusie (the mother of the general manager) and Judy Nofsinger.
Williams said the piece will add “a feeling of coolness and expansiveness” to the patio.
The Hut already boasts a burger-burst stained-glass piece and a “boat room” with rowing memorabilia. Last month, the family remodeled the original Burger Hut on Nord Avenue.