Some real winners here

Lore lament:
Mark Lore is leaving the CN&R on Friday—and Chico by the end of the month—to follow his heart to Portland, Ore. He’ll be missed, though it’d be far worse if Jason Cassidy weren’t sliding back over to the arts editor’s chair. Check out the final Days of Lore column and just try not to get a little weepy …

I’d like to extend my personal thanks to everyone who participated in Best of Chico voting this year—not just because we got a third more ballots than in 2007 (not even counting Best of Oroville and Best on the Ridge), but because readers gave us some smiles and chuckles with their creative choices.

See, every vote gets cast online in a fill-in-the-blank format. Pull-down menus or auto-corrections could influence results, so we think free expression is important, even though it takes time and care to count every variation of each name in all 144 categories. (Interns as well as staffers took part in the tally—thanks Katie, Laura, Robin, Sarah and Stephanie!)

Each year brings its share of distinctly worded picks. Here are some of my favorites—call ’em the editor’s pick of reader picks.

Place for auto supplies/accessories: In or on cars, presumably. (Ah, literalists!)

Tanning salon: It’s bad for you; haven’t you heard?

Pet store: Jones Pet Shop, Fontana, CA, with the Gibbon Monkey … woot woot!

Car dealership: Suppershopper. (For meals on wheels?)

Bike shop: Greenline in Oroville (employees of Chico bike shops have bad attitudes).

Men’s clothier: It’s a wasteland.

Restaurant: Big Lem’s BBQ in Oroville (drive!!!).

Pizza: Left Coast—they get my vote for offering gluten-free pizza crust.

Asian food: Don’t have a liking for this food.

Mexican food: Meehos—I know it’s in Paradise, but it takes less time for me to drive there than it does to drive across town in Chico and it’s worth the drive!

Bakery: Place across from Peet’s and next to Subway; can’t remember name. (Hmm, don’t think they mean Kona’s Sandwiches—Upper Crust, perhaps?)

Place to view art: Underpass by S&S.

Place for a glass of wine: My couch with a date.

Place for a beer: I don’t drink beer—Mexico?

Place to play basketball: Indoors—don’t ruin your knees like I did!

Place for kids: Grandma’s!

Place to pray/meditate: Wherever Bob Speer is.

Place to pick up video games: pluuuubbbbbbb. (Alrighty then!)

Local media personality: The lady who sings in the Kremer Dental commercial.

Leader in sustainability: Melissa Daugherty. (Two votes— right on!)

Community event: Students leaving for summer.

Inaugural ballots for the Oroville and Ridge areas had some real winners, too …

Oroville public servant: Riverbend Park. (Any relation to Bob or Linda Park?)

Oroville place to work out: NorCal Waste Systems.

Oroville health-care provider: God. (Presumably transcends city limits …)

Oroville clothing/shoe store: In Oroville? You mean Wal-Mart.

Oroville bar/nightspot: Chico ;-)

Ridge place for coffee: Smog Busters (which, oddly, also got a vote for antique store—but not auto shop!).

Ridge public servant: Our firefighters! (Hard to argue with that.)