Saved on radio

Seven is supposed to be some kind of cool biblical number—or maybe that’s 70 times seven. At any rate, Chico’s hip Christian radio station, Y-105, celebrated its seventh anniversary on Dec. 11.

The milestone is impressive, especially since the station started out with its owners intending it to be a commercial (read: money-making) venture but allowed it to transition into Reality Radio Ministries, a nonprofit that leases Y-105 from Butte Broadcasting Corporation.

“This is the first year that we’ve been able to pay all the bills,” said Randy Zachary, who both manages the station and serves as its main on-air personality (wife Monica hosts as well). A short-lived—but fun—experiment with an a.m. sports format ended more than a year ago.

But Zachary said Y-105—which recently found a new office on Longfellow Avenue—has many ideas in the works, including more local pastors doing shows. “They’re seeing it as a medium that can really be used.” Zachary himself is developing a half-hour program that could be syndicated—a Sunday-morning Christian show marketed to secular stations, with a music-and-student-interviews approach that could include criticism of “boring” church experiences as a way to “communicate Christ in a more relevant manner.”

Also, Zachary and fellow radio whiz Tony Kay are leading a broadcasting workshop for aspiring radio folk. It starts Jan. 7 and will run for a month of Tuesday and Thursday nights. “I’m really looking for folks that have some ability and aspirations—kind of the entry-level market,” said Zachary, who anticipates internship credit will be possible for the workshop, which will cost between $200 and $250. Besides having students learn technical skills and go on the air, Zachary will teach newswriting and sportswriting techniques and cap it off with job hunt assistance for those who turn out to be qualified.

Making the law

In recognition of the new year, a fresh slate with no misdemeanors or felonies on my record, here’s a heads-up on some of the new laws that took effect Jan. 1. There are few that make one wonder why it wasn’t a law already and just as many that beg the question: What happened to create the need for this?

SB 1278 lets Medicare beneficiaries without drug coverage get discounted rates, meaning about a 20 percent savings for seniors. Speaking of which, did you know that people can have their prescriptions filled at Costco, even if they don’t have a membership there? Just tell the keepers at the gate you’re there for that reason.

SB 1948 says warning labels on dietary supplements must be “clear and conspicuous.” It goes along with SB 1884, which requires warnings on products containing ephedrine and prohibits the sale of them to anyone under 18. (Ephedrine is hard-core stuff. You can use it to make meth, if you know how.)

Beware of AB 1155 if you’re into the fake-ID business. Any government employee who criminally conspires on that project can be charged with a felony or misdemeanor.

AB 1493, the bane of car dealers, is the one that will require the development of greenhouse gas standards for vehicles made starting in 2009.

Under SB 1411, an insurance company can’t charge a higher copayment or deductible for maternity services than it does for other medical services.

AB 2944 provides for enforcement of a federal law banning ads sent unwanted over fax machines.

Thanks to AB 2216, a domestic partner may inherit the property of a partner who dies without a will.

California is also the first state to: repeal immunity privileges of gun makers; authorize some embryonic stem cell research; and adopt a "Reproductive Privacy Act" that would keep abortion legal even if Roe v. Wade is one day overturned.