The good, the new and the charitable

Covering the hard and the easy news, and businesses that give back

One of the things I love most about my job is that I’m always doing something different. One week I may be interviewing energetic new business owners in downtown Oroville and the next I’m in the Chico police chief’s office talking about why he opposes marijuana dispensaries. In that way, I can sort of balance out the heavy with the light, writing about an unsolved homicide and turning around and doing a restaurant review. It’s part of what keeps me sane, to tell the truth.

Last week’s issue included my review of Hudson’s Gastropub (see “Enter the gastropub,” Chow). In response to it, I got an email from the business offering a little bit of news. Christian Steinbach, owner of Christian Michaels Ristorante, California Pasta Productions and Hudson’s, recently acquired a fourth Chico restaurant: Forcella Italian Bistro.

According to spokesman Sean Murphy, the quality had dipped at Forcella, despite a strong local following. “Christian is dedicated to doing what he can to educate the kitchen and elevate the food quality with consistency once again,” he said. I look forward to checking it out!

Doin’ a whole lot of good My newsfeed and inbox seem to be flush with word of local companies and organizations doing good deeds this month. There’s no shortage of worthy recipients, so thank you to all who give back. Here’s a taste of the philanthropy happening in our community:

In the month of March, Jersey Mike’s Subs raised over $5.5 million for local charities throughout the country. In Chico alone, the Mangrove Avenue sandwich shop (at the corner of Vallombrosa Avenue) raised $3,550 for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the North Valley.

Just in time for Easter, UnitedHealthcare employees assembled baskets for needy kids throughout California (1,500 to be exact!). Here in Chico, local employees put together 80 Easter baskets filled with toys, snacks, books and art supplies for children at the Torres Community Shelter and Catalyst Domestic Violence Services.

Currently, tickets are on sale for a drawing for a “dream home” valued at $350,000 in Chico’s Wildwood Estates neighborhood. The three-bedroom, two-bathroom home, to be built by local Guillon Construction, will be approximately 1,700 square feet. Sounds pretty swanky to this gal, whose house is tiny by comparison. The drawing will be held June 22, with a bunch of other prizes to be won, and open house tours will start May 20. Tickets are $100 and the kicker here is that all the proceeds go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

For those who would like to donate to a worthy cause and clean out their closets at the same time, ARC of Butte County is holding a shoe drive with two cool purposes. First, the shoes will be bought by Funds2Orgs, which helps entrepreneurs in developing nations like Haiti and Honduras to become self-sufficient. The proceeds, then, will go to ARC’s Family Support Program to aid local families with special needs. Those interested in donating can do so at the Chico, Oroville and Paradise stores.