Lucero: Public discourse on Tuscan Water District comes — but late "The public had not been part of the formation process"

photo by Karen Laslo
District 2 Supervisor Debra Lucero

by Debra Lucero
guest commentary

The Tuscan Water District story is unfolding in Butte County. This isn’t the first time large landowners have joined together to try to “preserve their way of life and heritage.” It has happened all over the state and more recently, in San Luis Obispo where the proposition to form a new, powerful California Water District failed.

So, how did this current effort in Butte County get birthed?

The former Butte County Water Conservation & Resource Department director, Paul Gosselin, (now the State of California’s deputy director of SGMA – Sustainable Groundwater Management Act) and a former longtime Sacramento Local Agency Formation Commission executive officer, John O’Farrell, came up with another idea — one that could circumvent the arduous San Luis Obispo process and even the Board of Supervisors. read more

Recall effort targets four CUSD board members Classrooms a battlefield as right shapes recall efforts statewide

photo by Leslie Layton
Trustee Matt Tennis, elected in November, has the support of Chico Parents for In-Person Learning that is working to recall the other board members.

by Natalie Hanson

“If the school does not enforce the mandates, I pull my kids.”

Parent and Chico State student David Gregory worries about tension in Chico Unified School District (CUSD), as some parents press for removal of masking requirements — and of district leaders.

Gregory has three children who attend Paradise High, Inspire and Paradise Charter Middle School. While he is happy with mitigation at the high schools, he worries about his middle-schooler.

“I try to be optimistic and tell them, ‘We have a vaccine and soon we will go to the amusement parks and you can see your friends,’” he said. “Then, without fail, loud, typically uneducated parents advocate against any sort of measures that may restore normalcy.” read more

Election to recall Gov. Newsom underway Participation by Latinx, young adults, low so far

Secretary of State Shirley Weber

by Leslie Layton

Gov. Gavin Newsom has been described as one of the “most pro-Latino governors” in state history – but it’s still unclear whether Latinx voters will help him stave off the recall that would oust him from office.

California Secretary of State Shirley Weber said today that based on the absentee ballots pouring in, the recall is “proving to be a relatively popular election.” But there is still a distance to go by Sept. 14, which is, officially, election day for the recall.

“My goal is 80 percent turnout minimum,” Weber said at a news briefing today sponsored by Ethnic Media Services. “This election says what California is going to do.” read more

Tyler Rushing in grasp of deputy when shot by cop New videos reveal details kept secret by DA Ramsey

Tyler Rushing

by Dave Waddell

(Ed. note: This is part II in a three-part series on investigative video that was obtained through Public Records Act requests and with the help of the writer’s attorney. Read part I here.)

A Butte County sheriff’s deputy had both his hands on the flailing, severely wounded Tyler Rushing and was about to “sweep” him to the floor when Chico police Sgt. Scott Ruppel rushed forward and shot Rushing twice at nearly point blank range.

That’s one of the interesting details that emerge in newly released video related to the July 23, 2017, killing of Rushing on the site of a downtown business. read more

Bidwell Junior High diversifies its curriculum "World Cultures" class invites Amma Culture, community elders

photo by Leslie Layton
Anecia Johnson, founder of the nonprofit Amma Culture.

by Leslie Layton

Amma Culture founder Anecia Johnson, for the past several years, has been delivering a pointed message to this community: Teach African American kids African history and they’ll identify with accomplishment, not oppression.

Before they learn about slavery or police violence, Black children — and all children, for that matter — should learn about Africa’s magnificent history that includes stories of kings and queens, astronomers and architects, Johnson says. In pre-colonial Africa, for example, ancient Egypt was known for its remarkable systems of literacy, mathematics and medicine. read more

Videos withheld from Rushing family in suit Young K9 deputy, not Chico PD brass, devised fatal siege

photo courtesy of Rushing family

Tyler Rushing

by Dave Waddell

Billy Aldridge, now second in command at the Chico Police Department, seems to have stood on the sidelines four years ago while underlings rammed into a downtown restroom and, 42 seconds later, shot Tyler Rushing to his death.

Aldridge, then a lieutenant and now Chico’s police commander, became vocal after the shooting, ordering several officers who witnessed the incident to “quit talking” and directing another to turn off his body-worn camera.

Those details and numerous other facts not previously disclosed by authorities are coming to light following the release to this reporter — under threat of a lawsuit — of videotaped officer interviews. However, both Chico Police Chief Matt Madden and Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey have refused to release reams of investigative reports about the Rushing case, as well as about other recent officer-involved killings by Chico PD, including the deaths of Desmond Phillips in 2017 and Stephen Vest in 2020. read more