I walked in on a Pig Party!

25 Jan

January is a tough month, dark and cold. It’s hard to fight that compulsion to hibernate.  I don’t like to leave my house, I like to be in my comfort zone in January. But, for some dumb reason, I fight it. 

So, yesterday I planned all day to go to the Economic Development meeting Downtown. There was an interesting item on the agenda – some folks from Glenn County are proposing a “solid waste converter” – simply put – a giant incinerator that turns trash of all kinds into electricity. The burning trash heats water, creates steam, and turns the turbines that run the generator. It’s been done in Europe and Asia for years. In fact, I read an article from Jennifer Arbuckle of Northern Recycling and Waste Services saying that alot of our trash, including recyclables, goes to China to be burned for electricity. Whether they buy it, or we pay them to take it, I don’t know.

NRWS is out of the Bay Area. A couple of years ago, they entered into a garbage franchise with the town of Paradise. They are in the business of sorting and diverting trash from the landfill. Here’s an interesting article on that:

http://www.newsreview.com/chico/northernrecycling-waste-services-reduces-waste-stream/content?oid=1932112

I don’t know why this option has never been discussed for Chico. All I’ve ever heard at the STF meetings is that Neal Road Dump is starving because our haulers have been driving to Yuba City for cheaper “tipping fees.” The city is considering “franchise zones” – meaning, town will be split up like a pie between Waste Management and Recology. This will mean guaranteed revenues for both companies, but they have to sign an agreement to bring all their trash to Neal Road. This will not be good for customers – rates will raise to meet Neal Roads’ higher tipping fees  and we will have no choice of hauler.

Bringing in an outside company with a different plan is sure to make this conversation waaaay more interesting. Right now, we are in the stone age of trash.

So, a gal named Kara Baker from KVB Inc was going to give the Economic Development Committee a little presentation, and I had really wanted to hear it, but last week Mayor Goloff had the meeting changed to Wednesday. 

Of course this was in the agenda, but these meetings have been on the same day at the same time for over 4 years now, without change, so I haven’t looked at the day on the agenda for at least that many years. I used to be on the notice list, but they drop you from those if you don’t keep asking to be added. So, I asked to be added again so I won’t miss out. 

It was an interesting trip anyway. Turns out, instead of the ED meeting, I walked into the city employee contract talks. Wow, ever walk into a barn full of brood sows? You know – momma pigs. Momma pigs are nasty creatures, with nasty sharp little teeth. They’ll attack you alright, and they’re omnivores – remember,  never trust a man who keeps pigs!

When I walked into that little room, as I fumbled around trying to get my notebook out of my bag, scarf off neck, etc, I noticed all this food on the table. I thought, “since when do they have food at these meetings? Little trays with bread or something – sandwiches? Before I could get a good look, Chico PD officer Linda Dye turned at me from her chair, like a momma pig, and said, very unfriendly, “There’s a meeting going on in here right now!” I was struck dumb – all I knew at that moment was, the room was hostile. I apologized, and she softened a little, then I left. Outside, in the breezeway between City Hall and the muni building, I encountered city clerk staff Debbie Presson and Dani Brinkley, clattering across the sidewalk and up that ramp with a wheeled catering cart, full of MORE FOOD. 

I have to go now, so I won’t speculate on this. But the word TROUGH keeps popping into my mind. 

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