Hot sauce, bikes and buns

Sriracha, life on two wheels, and a bootie on the cover

I get a lot of press releases in a day. When I say a lot, I’m talking several hundred. Most of them go into the round file, but I received one on Tuesday that caught my eye.

First of all, it was a local pitch. Second, it had to do with Sriracha, the hot sauce I, and many others, love eating despite its oh-so-fiery punch. This particular press release came from the Oroville Economic Alliance. Like other communities around the nation, Oroville is attempting to woo Huy Fong Foods, the makers of Sriracha, which is considering relocating its hot-sauce-making factory.

Now this is an effort I can get behind.

The embattled Huy Fong Foods is currently located in the rural Los Angeles County community of Irwindale. That city is suing the hot-sauce company for stinking up the town, and there have been talks for many months about the potential for relocation.

I’d say Oroville has a strong case as to why this area of far-Northern California would be a great place to set up shop. As Oroville Economic Alliance Director Michael Glaze notes, the region is affordable and near prime agricultural lands where water is plentiful. Most years, anyway. Peppers are obviously a key ingredient to the sauce.

Oroville business leaders are evidently unconcerned about the stench the factory creates during its process of making that scorching and delicious sauce. They have competition, however; cities in 10 states are said to be vying for the business. I have a feeling company owner David Tran will keep his factory in the southern part of the state, but it’s nice to dream.

In completely unrelated news, it’s hard to believe this is our sixth annual Bike Issue. Bicycling has grown more popular than I could’ve imagined over the last six years. I’m a leisure rider myself, especially now that my son is old enough to enjoy riding in his toddler seat on the back of my husband’s ride. When I was growing up, kids weren’t required to wear a helmet. I never adopted the practice as an adult. But after a gnarly little spill a few weeks ago, that’s going to change. I didn’t hit my head, fortunately, but I did scrape up my knees. I knew better, of course, having written about cycling safety numerous times.

Speaking of issues, I want to thank readers for seeing last week’s cover photo (the guy with the bare derrière who’s hugging the tree) as it was intended—as an artistic take on celebrating Earth Month. We received exactly two phone calls in response as of deadline. The first caller was a woman who joked that she wanted the model’s phone number. The second was a woman torn on how to feel, but who ultimately got the bigger picture. Go nature!

Last but not least, a few weeks ago I wrote that we were adding a couple of voices to the paper. Flip to page 21 to check out the first entry in our new section (The Goods), and stay tuned next week for the other columnist.