Everybody’s business

Alec Merced Angel

Alec Merced Angel

While I was out
Yes, it’s me, Devanie, and the triumphant return of my column. Many thanks go out to Mark Lore, who gamely carried on while I was on maternity leave. Five months later, I have sufficiently bonded with my baby and can now begin to distance myself from him emotionally. Just kidding, Dr. Laura. Motherhood has not dulled my twisted sense of humor.

While pregnant, in labor and taking care of my baby I was constantly on the lookout for business story ideas. (I could also launch into an analysis of the relative merits of Regis and Kelly, Ellen and Tony Danza, but we won’t go there.) It’s amazing how many stores can close—and open—in a five-month period. I have a lot of catching up to do. Please call with news tips.

I noted in the last column before my leave that when you’re pregnant pretty much any store will let you use its restroom. Now I notice that the older your child gets, the less likely it is that someone will hold the door open for you. And the people who touch your belly when you’re pregnant (without asking) are the same ones who will touch your baby when they have a cold. Carrier monkeys!

I want to give major props to the following: Dr. Ron Ainsworth, everyone at Feather River Hospital’s Birth Day Place (except the traveling anesthesiologist who billed me $480 for an epidural that never took effect), Stacie and Tracy from La Leche League, Lorna Humphreys, who is the lactation consultant for the WIC program, and my loving husband, or, as I like to call him, my “baby daddy.”

What would Jesus drink?
It could be seen as a little ironic that what was once a gay bar is now a Christian-themed coffee shop. But Manager Jim Saxton said that, while Matthew’s Café lives up to its tagline of “more than just a coffeehouse,” anyone is welcome to hang out and enjoy coffee, lunch items, pastries and other treats in the extensively remodeled shop that even offers free wireless Internet access.

“So far it’s working out great,” Saxton said of the shop in the Almond Orchard Shopping Center. “It’s a coffeehouse that allows church on Sundays.”

He said that Terry Walling, the pastor of his church, which was in the Veterans Hall on The Esplanade for two years, came up with the idea. Services are held Sunday mornings, and there is a little table where visitors can make prayer requests.

The café is also available for rental for wedding parties, concerts and the like. Chico State’s Battle of the Bands will be held there.

Feast on this
After searching twice for a new human resources director, the Chico Unified School District has settled on an internal candidate who didn’t even apply for the job until he was asked.

Bob Feaster, currently the district’s director of pupil personnel services, will start work as an assistant superintendent on April 4.

“I’m humbled and honored. I’ve got a lot to learn,” he said. “This can be a very interesting and rewarding field.”

Feaster, 51, joined the CUSD as a school psychologist back in 1986 and says that experience will come in handy as he works with various people and personalities. (The position includes hammering out union contracts.) He’s confident that a little training in the technical aspects of HR will get him up to speed.

Also in CUSD employment news, Joel Adema, food services director, has announced that he will leave the district.