Chico State paid former VP to work elsewhere Hoffman grossed nearly $325,000 in severance deal

photo by Jason Halley/CSUC photographer

Lorraine B. Hoffman in 2014

by Gabriel Sandoval

Lorraine Hoffman, Chico State’s former vice president for business and finance, hasn’t worked on campus since June 2016.

But for the last 16 months, she’s remained on Chico State’s payroll – first while on vacation, then on administrative leave and finally as a “special assistant” for California State University’s Office of the Chancellor in Long Beach – collecting employee benefits and grossing $324,256. The total compensation Hoffman received from Chico State for the 16-month period exceeded $418,000, including about $5,500 a month in retirement system payouts. read more

Chicoans pack meeting to discuss homeless City Council will consider moving the Jesus Center

Bill Such

photos by Karen Laslo

The Chico City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to consider moving the Jesus Center and consolidating services to the homeless in southeast Chico. But Chicoans packed the meeting, some in favor of the plan, some opposed and some warning that the homeless shouldn’t be merely shuttled from downtown unless more services will be provided.

Bill Such, former Jesus Center executive director, said he fears the move could “compromise the identity” of the center. Such compared the homeless to Jesus of Nazarene, who he said was “intentionally homeless” and rejected by his family. “In Christian terms, Jesus, with nowhere to rest, is the homeless god,” Such said. read more

Stately Blue Oak a Chico Heritage Tree Tree probably took root after end of Civil War

photo story by Karen Laslo

This Blue Oak (Quercus douglassi) is one of 10 Chico Heritage Trees. It has a 53-inch diameter, quite large for a Blue Oak because they grow very slowly. Chico’s urban forester, Richie Bamlet, estimates the Oak is about 150 years old. It can be viewed at the east end of Baroni Park or by bicycling down to the end of Preservation Oak Drive off East 20th Street.

If Bamlet is correct about the tree's age, it took root during Reconstruction after the American Civil War. For more information about Chico’s Heritage Tree Program click here or watch for more ChicoSol photo features on this topic.

DA: Deputy killed armed man in self-defense Sniper Calkins was almost 130 yards away from Jensen

Butte County District Attorney’s slide

by Dave Waddell

A Butte County sheriff’s sniper was nearly 130 yards away from a drunken, pistol-waving Mark Jensen when the officer shot him dead with a rifle Aug. 17 in the roadway in front of his Durham residence.

The distance between the two men was about the same as from the back of one end zone to the back of the other end zone on a football field.

Jensen never fired his .45 caliber Glock semi-automatic, but the sniper, deputy Matt Calkins, peering through his rifle’s scope, believed Jensen was pointing the handgun at him and fired in self-defense, Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey ruled this week. Calkins was in a prone position behind a tree in an orchard wearing camouflage clothing, including a dirt-colored helmet, when he pulled the trigger on his .308 caliber rifle. read more

Desmond’s dad: Meeting set with AG Civil rights attorney reached out to Xavier Becerra

photo courtesy of the Phillips family

by Dave Waddell

A prominent lawyer representing the family of Desmond Phillips, a mentally ill young black man killed March 17 by Chico police, has arranged a face-to-face meeting with state Attorney General Xavier Becerra to discuss the shooting, according to David Phillips, Desmond’s father.

The meeting will be held Nov. 9 at the AG’s office in San Francisco and include David Phillips and his attorney, John L. Burris of Oakland, Phillips said.

“Mr. Burris was the one who got the meeting with Xavier Becerra,” David Phillips told ChicoSol this week. “The purpose is to present our evidence … to have those officers fired and brought up on murder charges.” read more

Migrant Ed students present to BCOE A summer institute changes lives

by Leslie Layton

Five teenagers from this area who have participated recently in Migrant Education summer leadership programs described a transformational experience in presentations Monday to the Butte County Office of Education board.

Migrant Ed student presentations

Oct. 16 Butte County Office of Education board meeting

Marco Antonio Villa Cruz

"One of the most interesting things I learned was about how Martin Luther King fought for the freedom of African Americans. He wanted a new way of living and he believed we could do it."

Angel Barrera

The 14-year-old Gridley student visited sites in Washington, D.C., including, he said, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Marine Corps War Memorial and Lincoln Memorial.

Noemi Chavez

"I was forced to get out of my comfort zone and make friends."

Victor Jimenez

He couldn't get into the flamenco guitar elective, because it was full, but liked theater "even better."

Janet Velazquez

"My parents work their butts off and I have to make them proud."

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Noemi Chavez, a Gridley High School senior, said the Migrant Student Leadership Institute (MSLI) program at California State University, Sacramento (CSUS), “taught me how to be myself.”

“Three or four years ago, I never would have said I was born in Mexico,” Chavez told the board. “MSLI taught me not to hide where I came from. It gave us hope. Now I’m applying to college.” read more