A Big Ol’ Portion Of Local Food And Activities

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I’m pleased to see growers, retailers and consumers in the Redding area joining the local and slow food movements. I’m no zealot, but I don’t know how anyone can deny that fresh, locally grown food tastes better than processed or frozen food-like substances shipped in from god knows where.

I see the enthusiasm at the crowded Saturday morning farmers’ market at Redding City Hall and in the way that some grocery stores around here are promoting local produce, meat, eggs and other items. Earlier this week, of course, Jim Dyar featured the planned North Valley Co-op, which I’m hoping achieves great success.

All of this reminds me of a story I wrote last year for Planning magazine about various communities’ access to fresh, healthy food. While researching that story, I learned that, until very recently, farmers’ markets were essentially illegal in the City of Fresno. That’s right, the seat of one of the most productive agricultural counties in the United States prohibited farmers’ markets in all but a few corners of town.

The city finally changed its policy in 2008. As a recent Fresno Bee story indicates, farm-to-table efforts finally are growing (pardon the pun) in the San Joaquin Valley. Gosh, this stuff just seems so obvious.

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• If you’re an archer, you already know all about the Straight Arrow Bowhunters’ Western Classic Trail Shoot, which runs today through Sunday, April 30 through May 2, at the 40-acre Straight Arrow range. The facility is located on Swasey Road, about one mile north of Placer Road, in the Centerville area. If you’re not an archer but have even a whiff of interest, go check it out. These people are good and serious, and, if you want to get involved, they’ll help you out.

• I’m on board with the movement to retire the penny. It costs more to manufacture than the coin is worth, and it clutters up my desk drawer. But, then, I realize that if we did away with the brown coin, kids would never get to experience a penny drive. Students at Cypress Elementary School recently proved that pennies add up to real money, as their penny drive netted $667 for UNICEF efforts in Haiti. Good for you, kids. Want a few more from my desk?

• Congrats to some local businesses that have won awards recently. The SMART Business Resource Center recently named the best businesses to work for in Shasta County: Turtle Bay Exploration Park, Bank of Commerce–Redding, Shasta QA, and Ochoa and Shehan Builders. Also, Scotts Valley Bank recently won national plaudits from the Independent Community Bankers of America for employee involvement and community service.

• Friends of Phil Ewart, who runs the gymnastics center in Anderson, have organized a bake sale, car wash, “flip-a-thon” and “kick-a-thon” from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Saturday, May 1, at the athletic club to raise money for Ewart’s medical expenses. Ewart recently suffered a massive stroke and, with no medical insurance, he has racked up huge bills. A flip-a-thon and a kick-a-thon? They seem ideal for a guy who has long provided space for young gymnasts and martial arts practitioners. Watch them in action while getting your car washed. The gym is at 2250 Barney Road, off Highway 273, in Anderson. Call 378-1169 for details.

shigley-mugshotPaul Shigley is senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a frequent contributor to Planning magazine and limits his flipping to burgers on the grill. He lives in Centerville. Paul Shigley may be reached at pauls.anewscafe@gmail.com.

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Paul Shigley

has been a professional journalist since 1987. For 12 years, he served as editor or senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a statewide trade publication for land use planners, real estate development professionals and attorneys. Prior to that, he worked as a reporter or editor at newspapers in Redding, Grass Valley, Napa and Calistoga. Shigley's work also has appeared in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Planning magazine, Governing magazine, California Law Week, National Speed Sport News and elsewhere. In addition, he is co-author of Guide to California Planning, a college text and reference book, and is currently working on a book for the American Planning Association about the Bay Delta and California water resources. A graduate of California State University, Sacramento, Shigley has contributed to A News Cafe since 2009. He and his wife, Dana, live in western Shasta County.