What happened?

Geez, you leave town for a week’s vacation, and the place goes nuts in your absence. The Chico City Council—or at least three of its members—decide that six councilmembers is enough until the November elections. Six is an even number, and with the council divided as it is, especially since the last meeting, we can expect 3–3 votes on every issue including approval of the minutes from the previous meeting. And what’s this I read in a local daily newspaper about some sort of spitting incident after a council meeting? Sounds like something from the World Wrestling Federation or a Mike Tyson fight. To think I was just in San Diego and Phoenix telling everyone what a wonderful town Chico is, how it’s peaceful and sleepy and we all get along just fine.

People in Phoenix are kind of conservative. The flags are still flying half-staff at the Kentucky Fried Chicken/Taco Bell combo franchises. Locals complain that the ATMs offer directions in Spanish. And they say we should turn the Middle East into a parking lot because the people there don’t appreciate what we are doing for them in Iraq. Parking lots are popular in the Valley of the Sun. Phoenix is made up of strip malls, gas stations, freeways, apartment complexes, fast-food franchises and ranch-style houses. And a whole lot of pavement. The people in Phoenix say bomb the Middle East back to the parking lot era because the Middle Easterners display their discontent by beheading Americans. Maybe we should turn Hollywood into a parking lot as well, I suggested. A couple of weeks ago a transient broke into the Hollywood home of a 91-year-old screenwriter and beheaded him. He then took his trophy to a 67-year-old neighbor’s house and stabbed the neighbor to death while he was on the phone making flight reservations. Bomb Hollywood back to the days when it made good movies, like Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein.

Also, while I was away, I received many e-mail correspondences including this one from a guy named Dan Brady: “I thought you and your publication would be interested in photos taken of a local Butte business person with Representative Wally Herger on June 2, 2004, in Washington, D.C. One of the attached pictures shows Congressman Herger posing with local New York Life agent William Kyle. The second photo shows Rep. Herger and Mr. Kyle along with New York Life chairman and chief executive officer Sy Sternberg.” Brady even offered captions for the photos: “Suggested Caption (Photo # 2): Agents from New York Life Insurance Company met with Representative Wally Herger (R-2-CA) on June 2, 2004, in Washington, D.C. to discuss current legislative issues. Posing with Congressman Herger are (from left to right): William Kyle of Chico; Congressman Herger; and Sy Sternberg, chairman and chief executive officer, New York Life. Photo by John Harrington, John Harrington Photography.” There you go.

There will be a Kerry For President meeting Thursday, June 24, at 7 p.m. in Conference Room 1 (aka the Ted Hubert Room) of the City Council Chambers building, 421 Main St. According to the organizers, “This is a time for concerned Americans to come together for the good of the country—and the world. If you want to see some positive changes, if you’re concerned about the direction our country has taken, then join with us. Learn what you can do to effect a regime change in Washington.” For more information call Marla Crites at 345-4346. The lineup includes Jeffrey Vance, failed congressional candidate, who will “be offering tips on winning the swing states.” This from a guy who couldn’t even win Butte County?