The doctor is in

One of Chico’s own church leaders is headed to “Ground Zero” in New York to help raise the spirits of workers digging through the rubble left by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Bill Breunle plans to leave Dec. 18 and stay for three days, using his frequent-flyer miles to carry letters and pictures from children to the rescue workers.

Known as “Dr. Bill” (for his Ph.D., not his medical prowess), the gregarious ex-wrestler has been featured on the Christian radio station Y-105’s morning show and recently started the Church on The Esplanade, which is laid-back and nondenominational.

In New York, Breunle will connect with a pastor from Graffiti, a church that has been providing toys, blankets and other support to survivors. They’ll serve food to rescue workers and hand them the kids’ cards and drawings.

He said his trip is not about “preaching,” just helping. “Our motto is just sort of asking the question, ‘What does love look like?'”

Sure, he could have used his miles to fly to the Bahamas, but he said he wanted to do something more charitable.

Builders, start your search engines

A Chico native has unveiled a Web site designed to help builders and their cohorts connect with one another for projects.

Tom Wilson, who went through Sierra View Elementary, Bidwell Junior, Pleasant Valley High and Butte College before attending California State University at Hayward and settling in Castro Valley, said his Web site——lets him serve as kind of an intermediary to let those in the industry know, for a fee, where they might be needed.

“The main thing I’m selling is information,” he explained. For example, a subscriber like an architect can go online and search by county (Butte’s not one of them yet; most are Bay Area) and find projects that are in the works. They can then bid on them or just gauge the market. Wilson said his targets include folks in real estate, general contractors, movers, subcontractors, suppliers and the like—"anything that has to do with a facility being renovated or constructed.”

“That cuts down on their marketing time,” he added.

Ag dean goes all-state

Gov. Gray Davis announced Dec. 6 his picks for the state Board of Food and Agriculture. Among the 11 chosen for the prestigious, though unpaid, positions were Chico State University’s own Charles Crabb, the dean of the College of Agriculture.

Crabb, who’s been dean here since 1999, should be a great addition, bringing a Northstate perspective to the board. Besides being a genuinely nice guy, the dean has plenty of experience: He’s an expert on invertebrate pest management who used to direct the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources and was a leader at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Chico’s competition for the state’s best ag school.

According to the governor’s press release, the board “inquires into the needs of the agricultural industry of the state … and advises with the governor and the director as to how the agricultural industry and the consumer of agricultural products may best be served by the department.”

They need you, Dr. Crabb.