Scatter-shot thoughts

So much to say, so little space. So, welcome to Short Attention Span Theater, Text Version:

• Lookout Point is finally becoming … a real lookout point! The Board of Supervisors made a wise decision in buying this Skyway vista that’s doubled as a launch pad for Thelma & Louise copycats. The county got the land cheaply and has grant money to transform it into a safe public space. Good use of public funds.

• As part of the deal, the county is responsible for removing all the crashed cars from cliffside lands. One word: recycle. Five more words: at a nontoxic junk yard.

• Greg Jones cleans out his desk today (Sept. 13) after 20 whirlwind months as Chico’s city manager. Amid all the deficit talk, it’s understandable to expect his epitaph to read, “$56 million—suck it up!” His lasting legacy more likely will be the way he reinvented city government a la Reinventing Government: treating City Hall like a business and empowering staff to make changes.

• The success of his interim successor, likeminded deputy Dave Burkland, will reflect on Jones, too. Burkland is an accessible, understated guy whom I’ve never caught in a bluff. If he takes up no-limit hold ’em, keep that in mind.

• Chico’s “disorderly events ordinance” has created a gulf of opinions, in the community and in this issue (see Guest Comment and Editorial). It seems strange that a City Council chaired by a lawyer would approve a legal code with so much ambiguity …

• Last meeting’s 4-3 vote is not the last word, though. Mayor Andy Holcombe and his nonlawyerly colleagues must ratify their decision Tuesday (Sept. 18), and opponents are not going down without a fight (metaphorically speaking … though this could become a disorderly event, I suppose).

• What might give Holcombe pause: Both landlords and tenants disagree with him—an unusual spot for the rental-rights advocate.

• Speaking of scrutinized lawyers, only four shopping days left till Alberto Gonzales departs. Maybe I’ll just re-gift some Christmas socks …

• Powell, Ashcroft, Tenet, Rumsfeld, Miers, Wolfowitz, Ridge, Card, Hughes, Rove, Snow (and don’t forget “Brownie”)—only Donald Trump has had more boardroom exits, and at least he fires ’em.

• Last one out gets stuck with the checks and balances!

• I know the Republicans want to recapture the Reagan mojo, but I’m not sure their new actor is the man to do it. “Win one for the Gipper”—inspirational. “Sometimes the good you do won’t do you any good”—not quite the same.

• Thus, Fred Thompson hasn’t altered my February forecast: Edwards-Obama vs. McCain-Giuliani. Wager accordingly.

• Back to the homefront: There’s a move afoot to modify downtown Chico’s metered parking. No, not pull out the meters—expand the hours of enforcement to include nights and weekends. Why? To keep people from tying up spaces for hours, thus creating more parking opportunities.

• When someone explains how a 36-minute meter makes sense during the day, I’ll consider plinking 30 cents into one at night.

• I’m sure there’s a consultant study stating that 36 is the optimal number on First. To me, it’s as random as … say … lucky number 19. I’ve never spent that much time at Celestino’s and that little time on campus—what over there takes precisely 36 minutes?!?

• I suppose a half of basketball might, depending on the fouls called …

• Ah, yes—this is the Sports Issue. Better say something on point. Let’s see: Barry Bonds is asterisked until proven innocent; the Chico State women’s basketball team has its own provin’ to do; and, Tiger Woods for president.