Issue: December 12, 2013

Good morning, Chico News & Review readers!

I hope everyone is staying warm in this chilly weather (though I must say it feels more like the holidays now than it did about a week and a half ago, when it seemed more like Christmastime in Arizona--I mean, I still had peppers and tomatoes growing in my backyard until the Arctic cold front killed them).

With no risk at all of sounding like I am exaggerating, I am telling you that Staff Writer Ken Smith's cover story, "Cottonwood constitutionalists," rocks so hard that if you do not read it (or just skim over parts of it, like the excellent photographs), you will truly be missing out on one of the best feature stories we have run it quite some time. If you want to know what's up with militia folks in the North State, Smith's story will give you the proverbial lowdown as well as the proverbial inside poop. (And, as if laboring intensively and time-consumingly over a fabulous cover story weren't enough, Smith also weighs in with two other top-notch pieces in this issue of the CN&R: his Newslines story, "Protesters target Target"--gold for its headline alone!--and "Dames of the dead," in Arts & Culture, about the new Undead Beauties of Chico zombie-style calendar.)

Other Newslines stories: Contributor Alastair Bland leads off the section with "Feds kill baby salmon" ('nuff said--read it!); Assistant News Editor Howard Hardee covers the latest supes meeting and their wrangling of pot-related issues in "Chronic issues"; and yours truly penned "Out of the cold," about the newly formed Chico Homeless Action Team's efforts to shelter a particularly at-risk segment of Chico's homeless population inside and away from below-freezing temperatures.

Regular contributor Evan Tuchinsky's Healthlines feature, "Psychiatrist on safari," is about a local physician who practices psycho-oncology; he shared his thoughts with Tuchinsky about his recent trip to Africa. And I wrote the Greenways feature story, "New growth," about Prestige Landscape Services Nursery, which employs the developmentally disabled, and recently opened to the public as a retail nursery.

Also in A&C: Contributor Stacey Kennelly's useful and timely Chow piece on making gingerbread houses, "Tastes like home," and contributor Robert Speer's enlightening review of the very first show at The Rendezvous, "Road-testing The Rendezvous."

Go to Arts DEVO's column and my Greenhouse column for info on two festive holiday events at two different local nurseries this weekend...

And I'll say it again: Pick up the print version and peruse that Calendar section, which is packed full of great stuff to do this week!

Here's wishing you lovely holiday fun...

Christine G.K. LaPado-Breglia, associate editor