Everybody’s business

Up for grabs

Up for grabs

Photo By Tom Angel

Hey, Joe, what do you know?
In news too big to be “buried” in my column, Trader Joe’s is definitely planning on coming to Chico. Check out the story on page 8.

The worst part is, I found this out last Thursday after last week’s issue was already out, and I had to keep my big mouth shut for an excruciating eight days.

The biggest rumor in Chico: confirmed.

Shooting stars
The CN&R isn’t the only publication in these parts shining in the 2004 California Newspaper Publishers’ Association Better Newspapers Contest.

Chico State’s The Orion has again taken top honors among university newspapers in California. That makes it eight out of 11 years that The Orion has snagged the award—a record.

Judges said The Orion showed “very good sectioning, impressive covers in design, well done calendar presentations. Complete informational packaging, great local columnists, and overall a very strong effort.”

Also, over in Glenn County, our buddy Tim Crews’ paper, the Sacramento Valley Mirror, took home first place in the Freedom of Information category. Crews spent time in jail for refusing to reveal his sources, which I think is so cool, especially in light of what’s been happening with journalists and confidential sources on a national level. I bet he’d even protect Karl Rove.

Unnatural habitat
Rather than the usual “sweat equity” deal it works out with low-income families who want to buy a home, Habitat for Humanity of Butte County is selling a house outright.

The organization oversaw the building of two houses on lots donated by developer Tony Symmes. One went to a traditional Habitat client, but the other will be sold at market value to someone who qualifies under the city of Chico’s first-time-homebuyer program.

While a low-income family may be missing out on this particular home, the money it raises will go to help Habitat build even more houses. (The organization expects to partner with the city to develop a parcel of land that will include 10 to 12 houses.)

Lechia Dickinson, director of development and volunteer coordinator for Habitat for Humanity of Butte County, stressed that this is very unusual and not something Habitat plans to do very often. “This is a unique opportunity,” she said.

Based on an appraisal, the organization expects to sell the house for approximately $230,000.

Prospective buyers must be pre-approved through the city, a process that includes attending a first-time homebuyer workshop (there are two coming up, on July 23 and Aug. 27). They must also get pre-qualified for a home loan via a private lender.

The buyer must have lived in Chico continuously for at least 12 months and meet certain income requirements. More information and application forms are available at City Hall or the Community Housing and Credit Center.

The name of a qualified buyer will be drawn at random on Aug. 28, unless 10 more buyers attending the July 23 workshop qualify, in which case Habitat will go ahead and have a drawing on Aug. 6 at the house, which is located at 5 Skywalker Court.