Highlights, lowlights from the week’s news

HIT — Looking for a great use of your time on a Saturday morning? Make a quick trip to Durham and pick up some fantastic gardening tips.

The UC Master Gardners of Butte County are holding a Plant Sale and Demonstration Garden at Patrick Ranch (10381 Midway) on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will be workshops at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.

If you think a water shortage is a reason to forego gardening — this is the event for you! The 10 a.m. workshop is about “Gardening With Natives,” plants that use very little water. A garden with natives also welcomes wildlife including “birds and other small critters,” according to the press release.

The 11 a.m. workshop is on “Berry and Grape Gardening.”

Proceeds from the plant sale will support the UC Master Gardener Demonstration Garden and public education programs. Only cash or checks are accepted.

Readers of our Home & Garden pages know all about the UC Master Gardener program. It’s a great day to support them and all they do.

HIT — Few things destroy public trust more than elected officials failing to keep promises in terms of how they spend public money.

Thus, when the funds are spent wisely, it’s worth applauding.

The Chico Unified School District said it needed funds to upgrade their sports facilities, put up new buildings and refurbish some old ones over the past 10-plus years. The community took them at their word and passed a variety of bond measures.

As anyone who witnessed last week’s thrilling Almond Bowl knows, mission accomplished.

Chico and Pleasant Valley’s high school football teams play on two of the nicest fields you’ll find anywhere in northern California. Construction projects remain ongoing at several local schools that benefit students and student-athletes alike all across the educational spectrum.

For all the heat our school board members and education administrators catch during these turbulent times, it’s nice to pause once in a while and thank them for all the things they get right.

If you need proof, just drive by any campus. Or, even better, support our local teams by attending some games.

HIT — What’s this? Three hits in a row, and only one miss this week? You’d better believe it!

(Besides, the lone “miss” is on us, and we’ve earned all the attention for this one.)

We had more things to applaud this week than complain about, so we’re rounding up a few items into one great big “Way to go, Butte County!” hit.

For example: PBM Supply and Manufacturing for assisting the Torres Shelter by putting together 50 new beds. And, just a couple of days before that, community members and Safe Space joining forces with First Baptist Church to provide shelter for dozens of homeless people after their Comanche Creek camp was flooded by Sunday’s huge downpour.

The new Maverick truck stop is doing steady business in Oroville, and Grocery Outlet has opened its doors in Paradise. That’s fantastic news for both communities.

Finally, the city of Chico for its transparency in holding a press conference to announce plans for how they’d spent federal COVID-19 dollars. And, the Chico police for providing updates on the status of two recent killings in our town. The open lines of communication and desire to share information with the public is noticed and appreciated.

It was a good week to be proud of our county and its citizens who continue to find ways to make good things happen. We’ll take a three-to-one “good news” ratio every week of the year.

MISS — “Don’t you know the difference between a rice field and watermelons?”

“What kind of city slickers do you have working there anyway?”

“Hey, just so you know, that picture you ran wasn’t a rice field. I think it might have been watermelons.” (Repeat several dozen times.)

Thursday was a day filled with phone calls and emails, and we had it coming. Our lead photo in Thursday’s paper, which ran with a story on Butte County rice farming, had a caption that said the photo was of a rice field. Only, as you obviously know, it wasn’t.

We could provide a long list of reasons why the mistake happened — yes, we actually can tell the difference between a grain of rice and a watermelon — but nobody wants to hear excuses. Bottom line, we blew it, we’re embarrassed and we’re sorry.

And at the end of the day …. we’re also happy.

Why? Because, based on the number of phone calls and emails we got about the photo, it’s obvious our readers continue to give our product a very close look every day. For that, we’re thankful, and we’ll redouble our efforts to give things a closer look before going to press next time.

Hits and misses are compiled by the editorial board.

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