The unusual qualities of Jonathan Richman

When I heard that KZFR was holding a benefit concert for Camp Fire victims with Jonathan Richman and MaMuse, I bought tickets right away. Jonathan Richman singer/song writer/guitarist is so surprisingly various that I can only describe him as kind, gentle, whimsical, modest, mischievous, friendly, and really talented. Like Jonathan himself, his songs are original, funny and meaningful. With a face of sober sincerity, I witnessed him singing from the stage of the Women’s Club about such profound concerns as “not being able to go back to cummerbunds” and “from the pitiful viewpoint of a lost dog in an animal shelter imploring the humans to please “not pass by, to choose me,” a plight that Jonathan presses until all of us in the audience are imploring someone to please choose me. Because of the quality of such story-telling, Jonathan’s narrative songs are like those of Leonard Cohen who was also strangely unconventional. I’ve always known Jonathan was a musician but was initially unaware of how famous he actually is around the world for his music. And to top his other diversities, Jonathan speaks five languages and does stone masonry on the side.

I first met Jonathan at the Pageant Theater where on Tuesday nights you can find him helping his wife, Nicole, sell tickets, where he might sing songs in Italian while giving out tickets or play classical guitar music for those of us in our seats awaiting the start of the movie. Besides at the Pageant, I also encountered Jonathan at the Sicilian Cafe where he strolled among the tables serenading customers in Italian – a scene just like those seen in period movies. On the night of the KZFR benefit, I overheard several people say they’d never really heard Jonathan perform before. I too had never heard him in actual performance, but was happy to remember his spontaneous “performances” at the Sicilian Cafe and the Pageant Theater.
Among his “peculiarities,” Jonathan has no cell phone or computer, so it’s unlikely he’ll ever read these comments of mine. But I doubt that he’ll regret missing this modest review, and will go on singing not for the notice it might bring him, but for the sheer fun of doing so.

Jonathan Richman


Jonathan Richman and his “percussionists” Jake Sprecher and Marty Parker (both members of the local Yule Logs band.)


Jonathan “thrumming” his his big guitar.


More guitar work.


Jonathan does a little dance for the audience.


“Choose me!”


Thank you Jonathan for being yourself.









Two new Butte County Supervisors and other county officials sworn in at friendly ceremony

The Butte County Board of Supervisors’ chamber was packed on January 7, 2019, when two new Butte County Supervisors were sworn into office along with several other county officials. In contrast to the Chico City Council swearing-in ceremony where attendees were under surveillance and where reporters and photographers were only allowed in designated areas and where, if you didn’t already have a seat when the meeting started, you weren’t allowed into the city council chambers at all, the Butte County swearing-in ceremony was a casual, open and friendly event where attendees could stand if they couldn’t find a seat and reporters and photographers were allowed unrestricted access to the procedure. And in a most notable contrast to the Chico City Council ceremony where only the City Clerk officiated over the swearing-in, the newly elected officials to the county offices were free to choose anyone they liked to swear them in and to have a friend or family member stand with them. Here’s a quick run-down:

The Supervisors’ chamber was packed with supporters and families of elected officials.


First, Superior Court Judge Stephen Benson administered the oath of office to re-elected, Candace Grubbs, Clerk-Recorder.  Judge Benson revealed that this would Grubbs’ 9th and last term.



Diane Brown was re-elected and sworn-in to County Assessor by Candace Grubbs.


Graciela Cano Gutierrez, Auditor-Controller, wanted to use her family Bible during her swearing-in.


Mike Ramsey chose to have his wife, Carol, stand beside him. He’s been Butte County Dist. Attorney for over 31 years.


Kory Honea was elected for a second term as Butte County Sheriff-Coroner. During his tenure, two major disasters occurred that he helped to over-see: the Oroville dam spillway collapse and the deadly Camp Fire.


Troy Kidd, sworn in as Treasurer-Tax Collector. Kidd thanked former Treasurer, Peggy Moak, for her years of service.


Mary Sakuma, sworn in as County Superintendent of Schools. Sakuma said she would continue to make sure the children who survived the Camp Fire would have as normal a school experience as possible.


In the November 2018 mid-term election, Debra Lucero won over incumbent Larry Wahl for Supervisor District 2. Lucero chose Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea to conduct her swearing in ceremony.


Last, but certainly not least, Tami Ritter (on right) was also elected in the November mid-term election,  replacing the retiring and ever popular District 3 Supervisor, Maureen Kirk. Ritter was sworn in by her sister, Lisa Ritter from Arizona.

Although he wasn’t there to be sworn in, newly appointed (by Gov. Jerry Brown) Butte County Superior Court Jesus Rodriguez, seemed to enjoy the ceremony.