Everybody’s business

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A longtime Chico business has suddenly closed its doors.

Multi-Image Network shut down Friday, Jan. 6, and the News & Review learned through an employee that workers were told to report to the Holiday Inn, where most of them were issued final paychecks by a lawyer.

The company had various contracts in video publishing, including one with cable companies allowing them to tailor channel content to local markets.

It’s also the company, lauded in the mid-1990s for its innovative approach to TV programming and advertising, that was sued in 1996 by eight former employees who alleged discrimination and sexual harassment. (They later settled for relatively small amounts.)

A call to Multi-Image Network elicited the recorded message that it is “permanently closed for business.” Reached via email, company President Kathy Schifferle would only say, “I regret the business closure.”

Dave Perras, who had been the company’s general manager for 10 years, told the News & Review he was as surprised and disappointed as everyone else at the “unceremonious” closure. He said the owners blamed both family crises and economic downturns in the decision. “But the company was financially stable at the time it was shut down,” Perras said. “It was a good company; a good product.

“Several people are left being owed money, including myself,” he added.

The business, located in the business park on Otterson Drive, had been operating for 20 years, employing at least 40 people. In 1995, the Chico Economic Planning Corp. had named it one of Chico’s “top five companies.”

Meet the new Costco, similar to the old Costco
It sounds like the epitome of corporate waste to tear down a building to build another one, but Costco seems to be successfully making a case for it in Chico.

Representatives of the warehouse chain went before the city’s Architectural Review Board on Jan. 4, which gave some feedback and asked Costco to come back with some minor revisions to landscaping and parking, said Senior Planner Claudia Sigona.

Costco’s plan is to build another, bigger warehouse west of the existing store—staying open during construction—and then tear down the store that’s there now. City staff believes the new building is an improvement, both in appearance and in the layout of the parking lot.

The new warehouse will be 148,663 feet, about 26,000 square feet bigger, and will include a 16-pump gas station. And instead of 564 parking spaces, a reconfigured lot would include 744 spaces.

Zingg to swing in Scotland; where’s Abramoff?
Chico State President Paul Zingg will lead students and others on a golf tour to Scotland in July, where they will play some of the most celebrated courses in the world.

Zingg, a sports historian and the author of A Journey through the Landscapes and Memory of Golf, will be the “faculty in residence” for the nine-day tour, which he described in a press release as “an experience of a lifetime.”

At nearly $4,000, including the golf package, the trip includes: airfare, first-class hotels, breakfasts, three dinners, sightseeing tours, a Chico State cap, a jigger of single-malt and an autographed copy of Zingg’s book.

“I can’t wait to share my love of Scotland with those who make this trip,” Zingg stated.