Tacos, rattlesnakes and six-packs

Confusion over suit against Taco Bell, but none about rattlesnakes: Watch out!

Watch out for rattlesnakes!

Watch out for rattlesnakes!

She said, he said, they said
In February, I wrote about Amanda Obney, the woman who filed a class-action lawsuit against Taco Bell for false advertising. The “seasoned ground beef” in Taco Bell’s products, she charged, was only 35 percent beef; the rest, filler.

Obney dropped her suit in mid-April “following two months of negotiations,” according to one news source. It’s not clear, though, exactly what transpired in those negotiations.

“As a result of the lawsuit, changes in marketing and product disclosure were made by the company, allowing us to dismiss the case,” Obney’s lawyer, W. Daniel “Dee” Miles III, was quoted as saying.

Not so, said a recent Taco Bell press release: “[W]e want consumers to know that we didn’t change our marketing or product because we’ve always been completely transparent.”

Rattlesnake alert
The city of Chico’s Park Division put out a press release in late April advising the public that there have been several reports of rattlesnake sightings in Middle and Upper Bidwell Park.

As the weather warms up, rattlesnakes will be even more prevalent, and though they tend to shy away from humans and animals, hikers and bikers should pay attention to these tips when out and about in the park:

• The majority of snakebites occur on the feet, ankles and hands, so wear hiking boots when walking in the wild (even near water).

• Walk on well-used trails and avoid tall grass, weeds and brush where rattlers may hide.

• Stay aware: Look ahead along the trail, and don’t step or place your hands where a snake may be hiding.

• Hike with a friend. If bitten by a rattlesnake, call 911 immediately.

• Don’t touch a freshly dead snake—it can still inject venom.

Call 896-7800 for more info.

Six-pack heaven
I love the six-pack plant starts I have gotten from the Plant Barn (406 Entler Ave., 345-3121) and from GRUB, via its little stand in front of Chico Natural Foods (818 Main St., 891-1713). Denise Kelly and her fellow friendly “flower floozies” at the Plant Barn have a well-cared-for offering of seedlings—tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, herbs and more. GRUB’s equally well-tended (by Sherri Scott) six-packs of assorted starts, sometimes containing six different types of plant in one six-pack, are a super-fun cure for overkill—sometimes you just don’t need six plants that grow the same kind of eggplant or tomato. (You can also e-mail Sherri at <script type="text/javascript" language="javascript">{ document.write(String.fromCharCode(60,97,32,104,114,101,102,61,34,109,97,105,108,116,111,58,115,104,101,114,114,105,64,103,114,117,98,99,104,105,99,111,46,111,114,103,34,62,115,104,101,114,114,105,64,103,114,117,98,99,104,105,99,111,46,111,114,103,60,47,97,62)) } </script> to set up a time to go to the GRUB farm and see what’s available.)

The Bacon Brothers: California Dreamin’ at the El Rey

California Dream Week fest
Go to www.californiadreamweek.com to learn about this ambitious sustainability-focused contest/festival organized by Soroptomist International of Chico to be held May 5-8. Project ideas submitted by juniors and seniors from a number of North State high schools—including Chico High School student Matthew Hutter’s “Butterfly Roof Concept Vacation House” and Orland High student Cristina Calva’s interior-design concept using recycled storage containers—will be on display at various downtown-Chico venues after having been interpreted by international designers. Hollywood actor Kevin Bacon’s Bacon Brothers band will perform at the El Rey Theatre May 6-7 as part of the many festivities aimed to raise scholarship and other funds for participating students and schools.