Heroism on the Ridge

I got a call this week from Linda Lyons, of Paradise, alerting me to a press release from the Paradise-Magalia Republican Women, Federated. According to the release, written by Betty Hanner, the group’s PR chairwoman, on Saturday, Jan. 25, Pam Herger, wife of Rep. Wally Herger, R-Marysville, was the guest speaker at the annual coffee get-together of the Ridge Republican Women at the Apple Tree Village Mobile Home Park clubhouse. “She was delighting the audience of about 60 with details of life in Washington, D.C., as the wife of a congressman,” the release said. “Suddenly the meeting was stopped when a lady in the back of the audience needed medical attention.” The press release described the woman as “unresponsive and very pale.”

Now a lesser columnist—a smart aleck, if you will—would say that the words “unresponsive and very pale” describe 98 percent of the people in Paradise, if not Butte County. I, however, refuse to stoop to such crass and sophomoric rhetoric and pick up the story where I left off: When the woman went down, Mrs. Herger, a trained nurse sensing trouble, stopped her speech and began rendering aid to her fallen fellow Republican. Lyons told me that Mrs. Herger took the woman’s pulse, leaned in to see if she was breathing, and then “started asking the important questions, like, ‘Who should we call?’ “ Some clear-thinking person apparently suggested dialing 911, and within minutes the Paradise Fire Department arrived. Mrs. Herger directed the emergency response team to the downed woman, who was whisked off to Feather River Hospital for treatment. According to the press release, Mrs. Herger finished her speech and then “even remained to help with the clean-up.”

“But the story doesn’t end there,” the press release continues. “Pam Herger had already done more than anyone would have asked; given medical assistance in the middle of a speech, resumed the speech, and helped with clean-up. Reports from the hospital assured that the lady was doing well and apparently had not had a heart attack or stroke. And yet, later that evening, Pam Herger took time out of her very busy schedule to visit the lady in the hospital.” I applaud Mrs. Herger. She responded admirably. But I can’t help but think that the wife or husband of a Democrat would have done pretty much the same thing. It’s human nature. What else would she do? The Republican women, looking to turn a near-tragedy into good PR, have tried to make the best of the situation. Hey, it’s politics.

Let’s get ready to rumble. The City Council this week approved another $250,000 for court costs in the Andy Meghdadi lawsuit. Meghdadi is the developer who the city says greatly exceeded the number of oak trees he could take down on his Terra Bella subdivision in southeast Chico. When the council slapped him with some potentially costly requirements to continue the project, Meghdadi filed a lawsuit. The city reportedly just rejected a Meghdadi offer to settle that included clustering the houses but apparently didn’t include making up for the loss of trees. I thought maybe he could offer the city some well-seasoned firewood. Now the parties are headed to court.

I was watching television last night, a new show on UPN 30 (Channel 22 by antenna measurements), when an advertisement for Hershey’s came on. The ad showed some young guy watching a guy in a cowboy hat yodeling on TV. That yodeler was none other than Paradise’s own Sourdough Slim. Problem was the ad insinuated that Slim’s act was dull and the boy watching the show could be saved from abject boredom only by eating some Hershey’s candy. I beg to differ. Slim, a.k.a. Rick Crowder, is a talented showman who’s performed locally as well as in some of the great theaters, including New York’s Carnegie Hall. Obviously Slim went along with the idea, but he deserves much better. Here’s hoping Slim gets the recognition he deserves.

A few weeks ago I reported in this column on the PR firm that put together the anti-Halloween ads that ran last October and were part of the package the city got when it forked over $40,000 to help kill the popular autumn event. Barnett Cox, I reported, had not paid either the News & Review or the Butte College Roadrunner for publishing those ads. Chet Woods, the affable city public-information technician, brought me a copy of the invoices that show the PR firm has paid our paper. I’m still not sure about the Roadrunner. In fairness to the firm and, more important, to Woods, I hereby stand corrected. As Woods told me this week, "Hey, when we screw up we deserve it, but when we don’t …" Chet, you are correct, sir.