Cops usher homeless off triangular island Intervention aimed at getting them to a Chico winter shelter

photo by Dave Waddell
Cindy Hurt

by Dave Waddell

While some who had been living outside for months on a triangular island of city land seemed quite worried about their uprooting, 42-year-old Cindy Hurt said Monday’s intervention led by Chico police provided the prospects of a “solution.”

With the arrival of very cold and rainy weather, Chico PD’s so-called Target Team, along with Butte County Behavioral Health and Torres Shelter personnel, tried to usher an estimated 20 residents off the land, which is bordered by Little Chico Creek and Pine, Cypress and East 12th streets. Some residents were still packing up this morning. read more

Camp Fire was a “climate disaster” Tiny temperatures changes mask dramatic changes underway that call for action

photo by Leslie Layton
Chico State Professor Mark Stemen

by Leslie Layton

2.3 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s how much – or how little, depending on your viewpoint – that the daily average temperature increased in recent years in the Paradise area.

That little temperature increase is what it took to create the environment for a deadly fire that would stun Butte County with its heat and swiftness, demolish almost 18,800 structures, kill 88 people and change the lives of almost every area resident.

Sure, there were other factors that contributed to the devastating character of what is now considered California’s deadliest fire. There was, for example, an increase in the number of sweltering days in recent years, reflecting our longer summers and shorter winters. Warmer nights, too, helped parch vegetation, making the Camp Fire unusually hot and explosive. read more

Camp Fire changed lives: a survivor’s story "This is what being a climate change refugee feels like..."

photo by Andrew Meyer

Allan Stellar with Angel

by Allan Stellar

That awful, awful day.

On that awful day, when Paradise was engulfed in flames, I hugged my yellow lab Angel goodbye. I woke up early, 5 a.m., and decided to leave for work without our normal early morning hike. I lived in the foothills, at 2,000 feet, some 37 miles from Chico where I had work to do as a home health RN.

I had lived in this off-grid solar house for a decade, enjoying the yip yap of coyotes in the country and sleeping on the deck under the stars on hot summer nights. Angel watched me dress that morning with an eerie gaze. It was as if she knew something was going to happen. As I left, I promised I would be back in the afternoon to take her for a hike. read more

Council outlaws price gouging in wake of Camp Fire Dearth of rental housing is big problem in and for Chico

photo by Karen Laslo

Steve Depa

by Dave Waddell

Chico landlords who price-gouge in the aftermath of the devastating Camp Fire will be in violation of an emergency ordinance passed unanimously today by the City Council.

Chico City Manager Mark Orme told the Council that “city staff received multiple reports of significant price increases on rentals and other goods and services” in the wake of the inferno that has annihilated Paradise and become the most destructive fire in California history. The Camp Fire has consumed more than 140,000 acres, destroyed 9,700 homes and left at least 63 people dead and in excess of 600 missing. More than 52,000 people were evacuated. read more

Parking lot now a pop-up encampment County residents struggle to help tide of people displaced from Camp Fire

photo by Karen Laslo

First day of Camp Fire

by Leslie Layton

At Chico’s Walmart parking lot, you see the new homeless: Several hundred people, some living out of RVs, some out of cars, some out of tents, some with nothing more than a few blankets. This is what a community borne of disaster looks like: Food vendors who want to give, not sell. Guitar-strumming teenagers, scientologists, massage chairs and chaplains.

This is where many displaced people who were already living on the edge – of canyons, of finances, of California’s blue political culture –lodged when the Camp Fire swept through their communities, and here as elsewhere, disaster response has been underway. Chicoans pull in with boxed donations and trailers hauled from other cities deposit piles of used clothing and worn shoes. read more

Huber, 141 votes ahead, confident of Council win Expects to take office in December for 5-2 liberal majority

photo by Karen Laslo

Scott Huber

by Dave Waddell

Newly elected Chico City Council members will be sworn in Dec. 4, and Scott Huber expects to be there, raising his hand and reciting the oath of office.

According to the latest vote tallies, the liberal Huber holds a 141-vote lead over incumbent Andrew Coolidge for the third and final Council seat contested in the Nov. 6 election. With nine candidates vying, conservative Kasey Reynolds finished on top with 12,758 votes, while progressive Alexandria “Alex” Brown was second with 12,128. Huber currently is in third with 11,521 votes, while the conservative Coolidge is fourth with 11,380. read more