Of computers, bay-laurel ice cream and lichens

Low- and no-cost computers for seniors, and workshops on lichens and native-plant desserts

Computers for Classrooms president Pat Furr oversees operations inside the organization’s huge south-Chico warehouse.

Computers for Classrooms president Pat Furr oversees operations inside the organization’s huge south-Chico warehouse.

Photo By christine G.K. lapado-breglia

Beyond the classroom
Pat Furr, the powerhouse septuagenarian president of local nonprofit computer-refurbisher Computers for Classrooms Inc. (CFC), recently sent me a press release announcing that her organization “has initiated a new program to help seniors obtain a low-cost refurbished computer. CFC has been assisting schools and low-income families since 1991 and has recently added seniors age 65 and above as eligible to buy or earn computers.”

Senior citizens are now able to purchase an affordable refurbished desktop or laptop computer from CFC, or earn one at no charge in exchange for volunteering 50 hours at CFC’s south Chico facility. “Volunteers work with computers and we provide free training,” says the press release.

For those interested in buying a refurbished desktop computer, CFC sells them for “$100, $125 or $200, depending on the features you need. All have Microsoft operating systems and most have Microsoft Office, Home and Student. They can all go on the Internet. All systems have a 17-inch LCD monitor and a one-year warranty.” Laptops go for $250 and $300, with a 90-day warranty.

Furr encourages interested parties to stop by the CFC office at 315 Huss Drive, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays, to take a look at its different computer options. Also, as always, CFC welcomes donations of used computer-related equipment. Call 895-4175 or go to www.computersforclassrooms.org to learn more.

Wild desserts and lichens
Linnea Hanson, board member of the Friends of the Chico State Herbarium and retired U.S. Forest Service botanist, sent me a press release outlining two of the upcoming workshops in the herbarium’s 2013 series of interesting workshops.


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Coming up on Feb. 9 is “The Wild Dessert: Preparing Food from Native Plants,” taught by Nevada City’s Alicia Goldberg Funk, co-author of Living Wild: Gardening, Cooking and Healing with Native Plants of the Sierra Nevada, which is available at Lyon Books (121 W. Fifth St., 891-3338).

“Learn how to prepare unforgettable desserts made from backyard edibles such as manzanita berries, acorns and California bay [laurel],” offers the press release. “Taste California-bay ice cream and oak-nut bliss bars and discover how to turn acorns into a nutritious, gluten-free flour.”

The cost of the three-hour workshop—which will begin at 9 a.m. and take place in Chico State’s Holt Hall, room 129—is $45.

On Mar. 9, the herbarium is presenting its all-day “Introduction to Lichen Identification” workshop, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., also in room 129 of Holt Hall. Botanist and lichen expert Tom Carlberg is the instructor for this class; Carlberg is the past editor of the Bulletin of the California Lichen Society and a member of the Society’s conservation committee. Additionally, he belongs to the American Bryological and Lichenological Society as well as the British Lichen Society.

Cost for the lichen workshop ranges from $90 for Friends of the Chico State Herbarium members to $100 for non-member individuals to $125 for businesses.

Advance registration is requested for both workshops. For more information, contact the Chico State Biological Sciences Department office at 898-5356 or send an email to jbraden@csuchico.edu.

“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.” – John Burroughs