Redistricting battle heats up Two supervisors protest the slice-up-Chico map as gerrymandering

photo by Karen Laslo
Supervisor Debra Lucero (left), and Supervisor Tami Ritter (right), at Nov. 17 press conference.

District 2 Supervisor Debra Lucero, speaking today at The Hands in a press conference, warned that the Butte County Board of Supervisors’ conservative majority may attempt to pass a gerrymandered map at a special 1 p.m. Nov. 22 meeting.

The county spent some $80,000 on consultants who drew up several redistricting maps, but instead are considering a map proposed by Paradise Supervisor Doug Teeter that slices the city of Chico into four parts and the city of Oroville into three. Lucero says Teeter’s map was designed by a Republican strategist and she and District 3 Supervisor Tami Ritter argue it would dilute Chico’s representation and give lopsided power to agricultural interests.— Leslie Layton read more

On the 3rd anniversary of the Camp Fire, a message to COP26 Allen Myers: "People are dying"

photo by Allen Myers

by Leslie Layton

Several days prior to the third anniversary of the devastating Camp Fire, a group of Paradise residents and former residents hoisted a banner with their message to the world painted in charcoal: “COP26: WE ARE ON FIRE. DO SOMETHING!”

Gathered in the Plumas National Forest in the Dixie Fire burn scar on Nov. 6, the demonstrators said their message was directed to world leaders at COP26, the United Nations Climate Change Conference underway in Glasgow, Scotland. “The climate crisis is here. We are on fire,” said Allen Myers, executive director of nonprofit Regenerating Paradise. read more

DA Ramsey, Chico PD skirt sunshine laws Information withheld in Butte County officer-involved killings

photo by Karen Laslo
2017 Desmond Phillips vigil at Chico Police Department.

by Leslie Layton
story updated at 4 p.m. Nov. 4

Local law enforcement agencies violated the law when they failed to respond fully and promptly – the Butte County District Attorney’s Office didn’t respond for months — to public record requests made by a local journalist.

District Attorney Mike Ramsey didn’t respond to a pair of public record requests made by ChicoSol contributor Dave Waddell during the 10-day period required by the California Public Records Act (CPRA), and in fact didn’t respond at all until Waddell hired an attorney. read more

Grass-roots activism rescues some Comanche residents Homeless encampments flooded; many have nowhere to go

photo by Chris Nelson
Activist Chris Nelson found Teichert’s rising pond water seeping into tents and the path out flooded.

by Leslie Layton

The winter sheltering organization Safe Space jumped into high gear today as a ferocious early storm flooded homeless encampments. But Safe Space said it was only able to shelter 35 of the hundreds of unhoused people living in encampments.

Siana Sonoquie, a Safe Space board member, said she was contacted early today by an unhoused resident of the Comanche Creek encampment who reported that the area was flooding, tree limbs were falling down and one person was missing. “We started looking for a church,” Sonoquie said. “We’re used to doing this now and have a pretty quick system, with protocols in place and a lot of practice.” read more

County supervisors endorse new water district Tuscan Water District creates water oligarchy, critics say

photo by Karen Laslo
Supervisor Tod Kimmelshue: “I believe we should use all of our county resources, including surface water.”

by Leslie Layton

The Butte County Board of Supervisors voted 3-1 Tuesday to endorse the formation of a new, landowner-run water district in which members will get one vote per acre of land they own. Members may also have to pay a hefty fee to belong to the governing body that will have authority to implement projects affecting the region’s aquifer.

The proposed Tuscan Water District (TWD) was endorsed by board Chair Bill Connelly and supervisors Tod Kimmelshue and Doug Teeter after hearing more than two hours of impassioned testimony from dozens of members of the public. (District 2 Supervisor Debra Lucero cast the lone vote in opposition and District 3 Supervisor Tami Ritter left the meeting early because of a personal emergency.) read more

Desmond’s killers told inconsistent stories DA's interview dubbed incompetent by cop expert

Desmond Phillips was killed by police on March 17, 2017.

by Dave Waddell

Two young Chico police officers, on the night in 2017 they gunned Desmond Phillips down, told conflicting stories to investigators about what Phillips was doing in the seconds before he was slain.

Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey, apparently uncomfortable with those discrepancies, brought Desmond’s killers together nearly three weeks later for a group re-interview that “no competent investigator” would have conducted, says Seth Stoughton, a former detective and nationally recognized expert on police practices. read more