Shattering the rumors

There’s a rumor of the urban legend variety that’s become so prevalent I decided to find out its origins and prove or dispel it. People have been hearing that the 29-year-old local art glass studio Orient & Flume is closing, a victim of rising gas prices. Not so!

Katherine Warner, the bookkeeper at the Park Avenue shop, says folks have been calling worried, but “We have no intention of closing. We hope to be in business another 30 years.”

She suspects the rumors started when Orient & Flume’s gas bill started going up, quintupling in size before dipping back down some. The glory holes where the vases and other glass pieces are made run only during the day, but the gas-fed, 2,200-degree melting pots must be on 24 hours a day or the molten glass will harden and be useless, she explained.

The economy’s not so hot, either, so the studio reduced its workforce from 25 to about 18, which may have helped feed the rumors. “We’re just trying to get lean,” Warner said.

She said of owner Douglas Boyd, “It’s his passion. He’s not in it for making money. There’s not a lot of people in the world doing this kind of work.”

Friendly skies

Chico Municipal Airport Manager Bob Grierson can hardly believe it, but the number of people getting on planes there continues to rise. A preliminary count by the Federal Aviation Administration found 32,418 enplanements in 2000, an 8-percent increase over the previous year.

“Last year, more airports showed a decline,” Grierson said. And Chico even lost a flight, with SkyWest pulling back from six to five a day.

“It’s telling me that this airport is growing and we have to take the steps to make sure it keeps growing,” he said. “These are good things to happen for an airport. [The more enplanements] the better likelihood we have of getting larger aircraft and additional passengers.”

Name game

Hey! My name’s different. What’s up with that? Well, I got married last weekend. It was really fun. We had about 45 people up to Patrick’s Point State Park in Humboldt County. That evening, we all went to see the semi-pro Humboldt Crabs play a baseball game in Arcata. They announced us over the loudspeaker while the Crabgrass Band played “White Wedding” by Billy Idol and took our picture for the paper, which was a switch for us, a reporter and shy photographer.

Now we’re back at work, and I’m brimming with advice for other brides-to-be, as follows:

Don’t expect the folks at the Butte County Clerk-Recorder’s Office to be romantic when you get your marriage license; ours just barked: “Picture ID and $64.” For a huge hit, order vintage soda from Pop the Soda Shop at Have your mommy arrange as much as possible. If mine hadn’t classed it up, we’d be sitting in the parking lot opening bottles with our teeth. Borrow your buddy’s Mazda Miata for a drive along the ocean. Make sure you don’t have to have the tux back by 5 the same day. And if you marry after being together 10 years, expect a little ribbing from your guests.