Radio rollover; bye-bye, pies

Local alt rock station goes conservative talk; Sweet Cottage closes; drink Dutch for kidney foundation

It’s with a heavy heart that I announce that Radio 101.7X is no more. I remember discovering the station upon moving back to Chico in 2013, and being so excited to find new alternative rock alongside all that great alt/grunge/rock from the ’90s that I immediately wrote a review for this paper. It’s been a go-to ever since. I later became friends with the station’s program director, Chris Singleton, and have been genuinely inspired by his love of music and passion for radio. “I truly loved being able to introduce people to a ton of great new music that they might have never heard without us here,” he wrote in a Facebook message to listeners. “Unfortunately, decisions were made, and it was decided that we move in a different direction with our radio station.”

The new format—it’s now Supertalk 101.7—actually requires that I remove it from my car radio presets. What could possibly be so horrible, you ask? Well, 101.7 is now home to conservative talk radio, not alt rock. Think Glenn Beck instead of … Beck. Dammit. Judging by the station’s Facebook page, reaction has been pretty negative. “We are just going through a period where we are going to have to fight hard to pick up a whole new listener base,” Singleton told me.

In related news, 101.7X’s sister station 100.3 Jack FM also has switched formats. That station is now 100.3 The Outlaw. As in, outlaw country. So, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Garth Brooks and the like. Apparently, this changeover has gone over quite well with local listeners. Maybe 100.3 will take the now-open spot on my preset dial. But, alas, it will never be the same … sigh.

Another sad farewell On Friday (March 3), downtown’s favorite pie shop announced it would be closing until further notice, due to personal family events. Sweet Cottage, which started as a mobile cart parked outside the Saturday Chico Certified Farmers’ Market, was one of those inspiring Chico success stories. The pies, teas and jams were so popular that owners Robin and Alvin Rowe opened up a brick-and-mortar location on Broadway downtown a few years ago. To the Rowes, my thoughts go out to you. May we see you slinging pies again soon!

Caffeine for a cause Chico’s Dutch Bros. locations, owned by Dan and Michal Richardson, have a long track record of giving back. In honor of World Kidney Day today (March 9), they continue that mission by donating proceeds from the day’s sales to the National Kidney Foundation. It seems this is a cause that’s particularly close to the Richardsons’ hearts. “We got involved with the National Kidney Foundation a few years ago when my neighbor decided to donate a kidney to a stranger, and then run a double-marathon to raise awareness about organ donation,” Dan said in a press release, adding that he also has multiple family members who have donated kidneys. I can see why he’d be inspired to give back!