Glad hatter

So, who is that eccentric-looking fellow with the tall, Tom Petty-style hat and plastic toy keys at his hip? The one you may have seen downtown? He’s spent the last few weeks making the windows at Brooklyn Bridge Bagel Works sparkle by restoring the Statue of Liberty/New York scene and adding some new touches, such as a leprechaun Grinch.

He’s Dan Roszell, who goes by the moniker of Cartoon Dan and travels the globe—usually Chico to Arcata to Hawaii and back again—filling the demand for his style of art. He had a bunch of offers to go to New York City and spruce up some windows for the St. Patrick’s Day season but decided to forgo the opportunity because the weather looked bad. Instead, he plans on painting “a couple of bars” for the holiday before moving on to Hawaii for a project airbrushing concrete to look like lava rock. “The places kind of pick you after a while,” he mused.

He uses acrylics but plans on switching to animation cell paint, which better suits his method of working from the back of the piece (inside the window) and adding highlights to the base design. The glitter effect, he reveals, is “leprechaun dust.”

Roszell, a chain of Happy Meal-type toys dangling around his neck, adds: “I have a number of different magic hats. It’s just all part of my manna,” which he defines as, “in Hawaii, your energy and power.”

Ask Roszell, 40, if he makes a ton of dough from his efforts, and his grin reveals money’s not a top priority: “When you just pour your whole heart into it, it comes back in other ways."Picture, if you will, 600 Future Farmers of America from 55 Northstate high schools blowing away agriculture industry judges and sponsors during a weekend of competition, fun and—yes—even faux job interviews. These are the young people ag wants on board, and the annual meeting of the FFA Superior Region on March 9 and 10 saw them debating such controversial topics as biotechnology and e-commerce that weren’t even on the radar screen a generation ago.

Jamie Johansson, an Oroville farmer who serves on the California State Board for Young Farmers & Ranchers (of course, the now-32-year-old was once in FFA himself), said later that the event was a success. YF&R hosted the Discussion Meet part of the weekend, at Butte College. Johansson said the discussion got “heated” at times, and that was a good thing. “We had a good turnout of people in the industry getting to see the enthusiasm of these kids,” he said. “It was real-world discussion.”

Still hungry for FFA? The Chico State University College of Agriculture is hosting the 33rd Annual Statewide FFA Field Day on March 17 at the University Farm.Today (Thursday, March 15) is the day to head down to Chico State’s Free Speech Area for the annual Ag Day celebration, put on in Chico State University’s Free Speech Area by Students for Responsible Agriculture. There will be animals for elementary school kids to pet, cow milking, a speech by Bob Krauter of the California Farm Bureau Federation and plenty of information booths. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.