Talkin’ about local election news and CN&R’s annual music celebration

You’ll notice that we’ve expanded the space for letters to the editor this week in an attempt to accommodate the many we received. Despite our efforts, we couldn’t fit all of them into the paper’s print version. You’ll have to go our website (www.newsreview.com/chico) and click on “Letters” to read the remaining few. I expect that each week from here until the primary election we’ll have a similar problem.

In case you’re wondering, I’ve given priority to the letters written in response to stories printed in these pages, followed by timeliness of the issue. (For example, letters on Chico Scrap Metal and roundabouts take precedence over those on Measure E, since discussions on CSM and The Esplanade are coming before the City Council next week, while the primary is more than a month away). That’s going to irk some of the folks who wrote in to sound off on this or that candidate or this and that measure, but it’s the best I can do. If we have extra space in our next issue, I will print the letters (as many as will fit the space) that ran solely online.

Speaking of elections, Assistant City Clerk Dani Rogers confirmed this week that Chico City Councilwomen Ann Schwab and Tami Ritter have turned in candidate intention statements in recent weeks for the November general election. Another candidate, Lisa Duarte, has surfaced as well. She filed the paperwork this week. If her name rings a bell, it’s because she ran for a seat back in 2012. She came in last in a crowded field of 11 candidates, which isn’t surprising since, as Duarte told this newspaper at the time, she had no intention of raising money to fund her campaign. Considering some candidates during the 2014 race raised upward of $50,000, Duarte would be wise to rethink that tactic.

Of course, Schwab, Ritter and Duarte are just the latest community members to show interest in running for the four open seats next fall. Councilmen Sean Morgan and Randall Stone and community member Loretta Torres turned in their forms some months ago.

Rogers reminded me that filing the intention forms doesn’t guarantee a spot on the ballot. In fact, the period to submit candidate nomination forms—the required paperwork—doesn’t open up until mid-July (it goes through mid-August). Still, since it’s early, we now have a pretty good indication that this year’s council race will be competitive.

More election fun. Check out our Newslines section for Staff Writer Ken Smith’s report on the upcoming local Democratic caucuses. Yes, that happens here. And yes, you can partake in the action.

Clear your mind. If you’re like me and the constant barrage of national political coverage is driving you a little nutty, I have a suggestion for respite. Head to the beautiful Patrick Ranch in Durham this Sunday (May 1) for the annual CAMMIES Finale and Awards Show. Live music by 13 bands. Admission is free. All ages are welcome. Beer sales benefit the Chico News & Review Foundation’s investigative-reporting fund. It’s going to be a great day.