Rodents in the roundabout?

Our columnist suggests yet another alternative to grace the empty Second & Flume roundabout

Capybaras in the roundabout?

Capybaras in the roundabout?

Editors’ picks cont’d
As you can see by turning to page 42 (“Editors’ picks”), one of my colleagues chose the new roundabout at the Second and Flume intersection as Chico’s Best Blank Canvas (we all agreed).

“We don’t have an aversion to wood chips, but we’d like to see some sort of decorative or landscaping feature in the roundabout at Second and Flume streets,” this CN&R editor wrote, before suggesting that perhaps an addition of rocks, shrubs or a sculpture might be nice.

Heck yes—something in addition to what looks like guinea-pig- or hamster-cage litter filling the roundabout circle would indeed be nice. I did like the way-back-when idea of local chiropractor Deborah Penner (whose office also looks out onto the roundabout); Penner was working back in 2011 toward the erection of a 12-foot-tall bronze statue of Ishi in that spot, a project that unfortunately did not come to fruition (see “Ishi in the roundabout,” April 21, 2011).

Why not just take a cue from what’s already there, and bring in a capybara or two (surrounded by a little fence, of course, so they can’t go running into traffic)? After all, they look just like guinea pigs—only much, much bigger. The capybara (pictured) is, in fact, the largest rodent in the world, with the beaver coming in a distant second.

On second thought, hanging out with a bunch of pesky cars and humans probably wouldn’t be too much fun for the poor old capybara.

Sac River Madgic
I was perusing the October/November issue of White-tailed Kite, the newsletter of the local Altacal Audubon Society, and came across this timely water-related event: On Monday, Oct. 21, at 6:30 p.m., Bob Madgic, author of The Sacramento: A Transcendent River, will present a free, open-to-the-public multimedia program at the Chico Creek Nature Center (1968 E. Eighth St.).

Madgic “will begin with an instructional segment on the elements of a natural river, degradations the Sacramento River has experienced, and ongoing efforts to preserve and restore many of these elements,” the newsletter said. This will be followed by “a presentation of striking images, music, and video that convey the power and beauty of this magnificent river and the birds and wildlife it supports.”

The Sacramento River is indeed magnificent, as anyone who has spent any time on some of the more unpeopled sections of it can attest to.

Go to for more information.

Sustainability Days screening
Dena Moes, a local certified nurse-midwife, sent me an email announcing a screening of the film Birth Story in the student lounge of the Butte College Chico Center (2320 Forest Ave.) tonight (Oct. 10) at 6 p.m.; the event wraps up the school’s Campus Sustainability Days.

Birth Story is a 2012 film about “pioneer midwife Ina May Gaskin, and how she and her friends gave birth to the modern natural-childbirth movement on a hippie commune in the 1970s,” as Moes described it. Gaskin, who is now 73 years old, is also the author of Spiritual Midwifery and Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth.

A tea-and-cookies reception will be held at 5:30 p.m., prior to the film’s screening. Following the movie, Moes and fellow home-birth midwife Paula Emigh will lead a discussion. Free to Butte College students; others are asked for a suggested donation of $5-$10.

A thank you
I want to say thanks to Kirk Johnson, co-owner of downtown clothing boutique Konjo (112 W. Second St.) for the awesome green-and-yellow State of Jefferson flag he gave me the other day. It hangs proudly above the bulletin board in my office.

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. –Mahatma Gandhi