Food for thought

The clock is ticking on the future of the food services run by Chico State’s Associated Students. Last week, the A.S. got a letter from the university administration politely reminding it that the university has the right to take over any A.S. businesses that don’t turn a profit for three years straight. The bookstore makes bank, but the main eatery and various snack and coffee shacks have not. This is year three.

While the A.S. doesn’t see the university’s memo—setting a 2004 deadline for financial turnaround—as a threat (word is, Chico State doesn’t want the burden of running food services), student officials and A.S. staff are nonetheless committed to drawing in the dollars that will bring the business into the black.

“We are very, very close,” said Tiffany Yost, A.S. vice president for business and finance. “In past years the food service has lost a few hundred thousand dollars. However, this year we just scratched by, nearly breaking even. Next year we hope to have a net income of $20,000.”

Part of the problem is that the new BMU was finished a year late, and while it was down, the stopgap food services in Colusa Hall weren’t that great. Now, the new eatery is open, complete with guest chefs and a wider variety of fresh, made-to-order foods. Yves Latouche, director of food services, will be spending the summer formulating new strategies.

“We have also developed a business plan specific for the food service that will address issues of marketing, competition and new food items,” Yost said. “We at the A.S. are confident that sales will improve.”

No potty jokes, please

A Chico doctor of chiropractic medicine has found a niche treating a problem that isn’t often brought up at the dinner table: digestive disorders.

Dr. Patrick Giammarise’s Digestive Health Center of Northern California is the only such practice in the area, and in the past six months he says he’s helped hundreds of people with such disorders as diarrhea, irritable-bowel syndrome, heartburn and the like.

Giammarise says digestive disorders can lead to such chronic diseases as diabetes, arthritis and even cancer because “people become toxic when they’re not eliminating well.” He said that most of his clients have already had many medical tests to no avail. “By the time they come to me they’ve coped with it for a long time.”

What he usually does is test to see what they’re digesting and what they’re not, including what they may be eating too much of (say, fats). Then, he comes up with a diet-modification plan or adds the missing enzymes to help digestion. “The body kicks in and heals itself,” Giammarise said. “It’s pretty rewarding. I believe this is my calling.

“Generally speaking, insurance won’t pay for this because it’s preventative,” Giammarise said, adding that he doesn’t charge a whole lot.

By the way, May is Digestive Diseases Month.

On the run

Last week, intern José Hernandez reported on Chico State student Joe Schmidt’s Bay to Bidwell fund-raiser for the Chapman Elementary School music program, but we didn’t have room to print it. It’s for a good cause, though, so don’t miss out on the chance to support the 22-year-old liberal-studies student’s run from the Polo Fields in Golden Gate Park of San Francisco to downtown Chico over 10 days. Some supporters plan to join him for parts of the more-than-200-mile run that will start on May 29.

“A lot of the time we tell ourselves that we want to do something for our community, but we never do,” said Schmidt, who hopes to raise $7,500 for Chapman. “I tutored there last semester, and I saw so much talent but not enough resources. I thought a marathon would get people’s attention, and then this just manifested itself over the last few months into the Bay to Bidwell run.”

To make donations or contact Schmidt, you can call 321-4249 or visit the Web site at