Everybody’s business

Naughty nursing home?
Chico Creek Care & Rehabilitation has the dubious distinction of being the only area facility to be included on Consumer Reports’ 2004 Nursing Home Watch List released last week.

Using data from the federal government and state inspection surveys, Consumers Union analyzed nursing homes across the nation based on five criteria: high-severity deficiencies, substandard quality-of-care deficiencies, high numbers of repeat deficiencies, high numbers of total deficiencies and citations for failing to provide access to the survey results. The level of severity was also taken into account.

The News & Review has reported on Chico Creek’s troubles several times, including in 2002, when regulators cited and fined the facility after two men died, the state found, because of improper care. The deaths sparked lawsuits from the patients’ families.

The facility was repeatedly targeted for improvement by the state when it was owned by SunBridge Healthcare Corp. (In 2003, SunBridge—which had been in Chapter 11 bankruptcy—gave up its lease to a group of Stockton investors called Helios Healthcare, which had investors in common with a previous corporation that owned the facility.)

Consumers Union advises, “If you have a relative in one of the facilities on our Watch List or find that you must use one of them because no alternatives are available, you should carefully monitor the care that is given, making frequent visits and working with the facility’s family and residents’ councils to oversee the care and services.”

The local Chico Creek administrator did not return a call for comment by press time.

Oberon’s out
No sooner does a News & Review editor (OK, it was me) name Oberon’s Bistro the best-kept dinner secret in Chico than we learn that the tasty eatery is skipping town.

Owner Thomas Rider called to say that Oberon’s has shut down its Ninth and Salem location. Rider is moving to the Kelly Ridge Country Club in Oroville, where he will also run a catering business.

“I’m thinking this is going to be a big opportunity if I play it right,” Rider said. But he’ll miss Chico after seven years in town.

The new gig starts the first or second week of October. “Things tend to point the way they guide you,” Rider said, philosophically.

Here’s wishing him the best.

Goodbye grill
Also leaving the Chico restaurant scene is Azteca Grill, located at 1141 Forest Ave.

Vanessa De La Torre, who owns the restaurant with her husband, Onesimo, cited a common reason small-business owners decide to call it quits: family life. Their children are 10, 7 and 10 months.

They don’t want to just disappear, however. The De La Torres are offering the business for sale. “With an owner-operator that has restaurant and lots of managerial experience, this sky is the limit with this turnkey operation in an awesome location with never-ending growth around it.” The asking price is $89,000.

Best wishes to the De La Torres as well.