Pizza party

A new pizza place has thrown its pan into the ring, as a Papa John’s franchise sets up shop in the Mangrove Park Plaza, where the new, improved Safeway is located.

Owner Brian Chapman, who already owns Papa John’s businesses on the North Coast, moved to Chico with his wife a couple of months ago after tapping Chico as prime for the Papa John’s niche: the middle of the market. The quality is better than the cheapest pizza places, but the price isn’t as high as the fancier pizza parlors. “We’re trying to land in between,” Chapman said.

“We focus on free delivery,” he said, adding that having no sit-down area makes for a more efficient setup—lower overhead and drivers on the go all the time, not waiting around for orders. The orders arrive in 20-25 minutes, Chapman promised, and within a few days people will be able to order online.

He said families and college students alike form Papa John’s customer base. Another “bonus” is the garlic sauce that comes on the side. “It’s meant to complement the crust,” he explained.

I also took the opportunity to ask: Just what is an appropriate tip for a pizza delivery person anyway? He said it’s nice to give about $1 or $2.

LaMalfa country

I have returned from another sojourn to my homeland of Siskiyou County, or, as I have just renamed it, “The Land Where Doug LaMalfa is King.” I barely hear “boo” from the LaMalfa campaign front here in his home county, yet up north they can’t wait to bestow upon him the crown of 2nd District assemblyman. If you don’t believe me, take it from the Pioneer Press newspaper, which writes, “He was a political unknown when he showed up to the Fort Jones Christmas Parade in December. But, within a few short months, Siskiyou County fell in love with Doug LaMalfa, the rice farmer from Richvale.” In love? I’d say it’s pure, unbridled lust. The headline is “Richvale’s Wonder Boy,” which introduces two full pages of LaMalfa-worship, in which the reader can “meet Doug LaMalfa, as you’ve never seen him before.”

The paper’s editor got a “special invitation” to visit LaMalfa’s farm, and there are seven pictures, including one of LaMalfa’s cute kids on a toy tractor. The editor, Daniel Webster, describes the farm and writes about the Republican’s concern for water access, revising the Endangered Species Act and such. All political views aside, it’s nice to have someone paying attention to the real Northstate—and showing other candidates that California doesn’t end at Redding.

I called Doug Kinyon, LaMalfa’s Democratic opponent, who is suffering the fate of most Demos in this district: no support, and thus no money, from the statewide party. The Cottonwood electrician said he is “trying to get around” as best he can. “It’s name and face recognition,” he said, adding that it’s not so much that the 2nd District is a Republican stronghold but that the Democrats don’t vote. “If I can just get the Democrats out … it’d be a walkover for me.”

I admire Kinyon’s optimism, but he’d be hard-pressed to win over Siskiyou County at this point. I think they love LaMalfa even more than they do Congressman Wally Herger, R-Marysville.