Our take on the week in news

HIT — The final tally is in for the proceeds from the Run for Food on Thanksgiving morning, and the total is astonishing.

Nearly $60,000 was raised when more than 2,000 runners and walkers showed up for a fun run in Bidwell Park. In just two years, the event has become enormous.

It started with a group of volunteers who wanted to raise money for the Jesus Center, which feeds the hungry and provides shelter for homeless women and children. More than 1,000 people took part that first year.

The event grew this year with new volunteers helping out the holdovers, and 58 businesses donating food, prizes and other supplies for the runners.

We're amazed at how successful this grass-roots effort has become, and we're sure the Jesus Center is grateful as well.

MISS — When the new, expanded Costco opened in September, we complained about the fact that improvements to the parking lot known as Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway should have preceded the grand opening.

Not to worry, the city said: Costco plans to widen MLK Parkway and said the retailer hoped to have the work done before Christmas.

Hmmmm.

Costco moved with dispatch to demolish its old building and get its gas station nearly built. But the road work? There's no sign of it even getting started.

The city should make Costco deliver on its promises, and should keep this fiasco in mind when approving any retail in the future. There's no accountability.

HIT —


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It sounds like the word about fraud and scams may be sinking in.

When local Realtor Debbie Brodie reported that someone was attempting to rent a house she was trying to sell for an owner, Brodie said some people suspected fraud, and took a few more steps before jumping.

Drawn in by a great rental price, the potential renters were able to connect to Brodie by finding her phone on the Internet. She was able to identify the rental scam, thwarting the scammers' intent to get a month or two of rent.

The Butte County District Attorney's office has a listing of scams going around Butte County, and a visit to the Web site www.buttecounty.net/da is worth the time.

If someone suspects fraud or identity theft, they can also call the DA's toll-free number, 1-866-323-7283.

MISS — Every year on Jan. 1, we get to sample the work the state Legislature did last summer and fall as new laws take effect.

Some are helpful, like the law requiring drivers with cell phones to use a hands-free device. (Unfortunately, that law doesn't take effect Jan. 1, but July 1, a date that can't come too soon.)

Then there are some downright goofy laws that should make everyone wonder whether the Legislature has nothing better to do.

The best example is a law by Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, D-La Canada Flintridge. That law is designed to ensure that music fans who buy tickets to oldies concerts are not victims of deceptive advertising. The legislation requires performing groups to meet one of several standards to be able to legally use the name from the groups' recording days. One example: The group must include at least one member who has the legal right to use the name.

Isn't it wonderful to know that starting Jan. 1, we can all sleep a little easier knowing we won't be scammed by tribute bands?

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