Foxes in February?

The year has just begun, so it’s time to round up a new calendar. If you didn’t get one for Christmas, or even if you did, consider this unique, local offering by Pleasant Valley High School art students: the full-color, 2002 Butte County Wildlife calendar.

The limited-edition calendar features original work—reproduced from watercolors and pen drawings—that includes foxes, hummingbirds, bald eagles and more. It was created by the advanced placement Studio Art/Drawing II class in conjunction with the school’s art club. Meanwhile, the Drawing I students put together a wildlife coloring book with accompanying information on the animals.

You can pick up a calendar ($10) or coloring book at the Chico Library or at PV (when it reopens). The Chico Creek Nature Center has the coloring books for $5. You had better hurry, because the library only had five calendars left when I called.

The money raised goes toward art scholarships.

Awards galore for ED community

The Tri-County Economic Development Corporation handed out a host of awards last month, honoring people, businesses and agencies for their impact on ED (that stands for economic development, Bob Dole) in Butte, Glenn and Tehama counties.

Lauded for their contributions to economic progress were: SunWest Milling Company, which recently reopened its rice facility in Biggs; Butte Community Bank’s Government Guaranteed Lending Division in Chico; Ron Tackett of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s rural development division (he helped facilitate loans); the County of Butte (for its commitment to the Southside Oroville Community Center); and Amanda Sherman (she’s worked for TCEDC tirelessly as finance director and grant manager for 10 years). Also recognized specifically for their help with the Community Center were Jon Gregory, who was the project manager and deputy director at TCEDC, and Star Brown, assistant county administrative officer.

Who let the names out?

A lot of folks who are into researching their relatives are miffed at a Dec. 5 order by Gov. Gray Davis that the state Department of Health and Human Services stop selling birth and death records to private companies. “The confidential information the state collects about Californians should be kept private,” Davis stated in a press release.

The executive order effectively yanked the indices from genealogy Web sites like as people reading about the governor’s order flipped out that others could steal their identities, or perhaps find family skeletons best kept in the closet.

The searches were free and simple, and I was able to find out things like how many people in California are named “Devanie.” Less self-centered citizens like my friend Peace Gardiner used the Rootsweb index to construct her family tree. Since specific census data isn’t released until 72 years after the fact, the pulling of the public records “makes it really hard to find out anything that’s happened in the last 72 years,” she said.

Davis’ order, which was prompted by inquiries by Sen. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, lasts 45 days while the state reviews whether non-relatives should ever have access to the birth and death indices.