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Our take on the week in news

HIT — We”re so glad to see there will be fireworks back over Lake Oroville on the Fourth of July. It”s the most spectacular show in Northern California — period — with each aerial burst mirrored on the lake surface.

When the show didn”t happen in 2009, there was a noticeable void in the holiday. But since then the community has stepped up to raise the money to revive the event. The Oroville Area Chamber of Commerce lists Feather Falls Casino, Lodge and Brewing Co., Forever Resorts that runs the marinas on the lake, and the city of Oroville among the big sponsors that will make it happen this year.

It”ll be even better than ever this year, as the lake will still be full, and the reflections of the explosions won”t be a few hundred feet down in the canyon.

Unfortunately the shuttle bus service that”s been offered in the past won”t happen this year, and parking is limited up at the dam. Carpooling and patient driving will be required.

MISS — While voters have to approve tax increases, it”s incongruous that the city of Chico can raise sewer fees 22 percent with just one minor obstacle.

By law, if the city wants to raise sewer rates, more than half of the city”s parcel owners have to protest the increase — in writing. It can”t be a petition with signatures, an email or a fax. The protest format is very specific, accepted only by U.S. mail or dropped off in person.

Few are going to go to that trouble and the city knows it. So at the 45-day deadline on Tuesday, when only about 1,000 of the necessary 9,000 had filed formal protests, the increase became official. The monthly fees will rise from the current $16.75 per month to $22.74 monthly in two years.

Almost as disturbing as the forced gouging is the reaction of Mayor Ann Schwab, who admonished Councilor Mark Sorensen at the meeting for asking valid questions about why the increase was so large and what it would be used for.

She scolded him for getting people “riled up.” Ahem. Councilors are supposed to ask clarifying questions, particularly when it comes to taxpayer money. Schwab should do the same.

HIT — Without time to brainstorm over cool but inexpensive home decor, the general public can harvest those kinds of ideas from the Frugal House. Today”s the last day to go by the Chico house at 1660 Vallombrosa Ave. The house is filled with inexpensive but appealing living areas created by student teams from Butte College and Chico State University, plus local design professionals.

The sales of the tickets and items in the house will benefit North State Symphony, but the great part about the house is the design ideas it generates. Take your notebook and be prepared to scribble down ideas.

Locally made art pieces are also scattered throughout the house and are available for purchase. Tickets are $15 and are available by calling 898-6692.

MISS — What”s wrong with this picture? Residents in Hamilton City voted to tax themselves and have been holding fundraisers for years to prove to the government they”ll help provide funding to replace an aging levee on the Sacramento River.

The federal government, seemingly convinced, finally identified the project as worthy, but now Congress is backing off. Now the tax money from Hamilton City landowners is being used to pay a Washington lobbyist $7,500 a month in an attempt to keep lawmakers focused on the levee project.

It”s hard to believe $7,500 a month has to be wasted on a lobbyist when there”s a local person sitting in Congress — Rep. Wally Herger, R-Chico — who has trumpeted the necessity of the levee for years. If he can”t deliver, the lobbyist will try to hit up the Senate.

There”s just one winner here so far — the lobbyist. Apparently they”re the ones in charge in Washington.

“Hits and misses” appears each Saturday. Items are compiled by the editorial board.

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