Tuscan Water District ballot-counting cancelled; election to be “redone” Ballot deficiencies had "consequences," attorney says

photo by Karen Laslo
Deseret’s facility on Wilson Landing Road.

by Leslie Layton
posted Sept. 29

Ballot-counting in the election on the Tuscan Water District (TWD) was cancelled Sept. 27 because of defects in the noticing process, the Butte County Clerk-Recorder’s office has said.

In a press release Sept. 28 -– the day the ballots were to be counted -– the clerk-recorder released a statement saying that concerns had been “raised regarding whether adequate notice” to voters had been provided. Today Clerk-Recorder Candace Grubbs said the election “wasn’t noticed properly and will be redone.” read more

On the war against women Are we headed back to the Dark Ages?

photo by George Gold
Women at a protest for reproductive rights in Chico.

by George Gold
posted Sept. 26

The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) has reported that in the United States, 45 percent of sexual assaults are committed by an acquaintance, and an additional 25 percent by a current or former intimate partner. That means that in 70% of all cases, the rapist is known to the victim.

In a major 2009 European Commission study of rape cases across Europe, it was found that 67% of rapists were known to the victim. To the best of my knowledge, these horrific numbers haven’t really changed in the last 25 years. read more

Crucial school board election draws interest Race assumes unusual partisan feel

photo by Karen Laslo
A Rosedale parent protests outside a Board of Trustees meeting earlier this year.

by Natalie Hanson
posted Sept. 24

A crucial school board election is drawing unusual public interest in Chico, with pressure high on administrators and elected officials to address performance gaps, school safety and politically-driven battles over educational materials.

Voters will fill three seats on the Chico Unified School District (CUSD) Board of Education on Nov. 8. Board members have faced unprecedented demands during the pandemic, as the majority chose to follow the state’s guidance -– despite outcry from some parents and an unsuccessful recall attempt. In addition, the suspension of a Rosedale Elementary School vice principal and equity leader sparked scrutiny of the district’s equity practices. read more

Chico Unified enrollment rises CUSD recovering from pandemic and fire trauma

by Natalie Hanson
sidebar posted Sept. 24

Despite a turbulent period since the Camp Fire, further complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Chico Unified School District (CUSD) administrators say so far this fall, enrollment is rising and teacher staffing levels are recovering. That has given some running for the school board hope to be able to tackle multiple high-pressure concerns.

Jim Hanlon, human resources assistant superintendent, told ChicoSol last month that the district was facing some staffing issues. However, as the school year began he said in an interview that although enrollment dropped from 12,253 students in 2019 to 11,834 in 2021 -– its lowest point in five years -– it has increased to 12,176 this year. read more

Deadline approaches to vote for or against Tuscan Water District Some TWD residents say they had no chance to become board candidates

Landowners in the proposed Tuscan Water District received this ballot in the mail.

by Leslie Layton
posted Sept. 16

Ballots on whether to form the Tuscan Water District (TWD) in northwestern Butte County have been mailed to landowners — without any argument opposing a formation. The proposed district was the subject of debate for hours at public meetings earlier this year.

Only an argument in favor of formation of TWD -– which will have a landowner-based voting structure that will give the largest enterprises thousands of votes -– appears on the ballot that must be postmarked by Sept. 20. The ballot asks, with a single question, whether TWD should be approved with an annual parcel assessment of up to $10 per acre. Landowning voters can also choose nine people for the board of directors from a list of 11 candidates, most of whom are known already as TWD proponents. read more

Law enforcement’s killing ‘playbook’ revealed ‘3 Seconds in October’ documentary recounts 13-year-old’s shooting

From the “3 Seconds in October” documentary available on PBS KVIE.

by Dave Waddell
posted Sept. 12

I’d like to plug an important, disturbing and highly instructive film that gets at some little-known truths about police killings and is now available for viewing online: “3 Seconds in October: The Shooting of Andy Lopez.”

“3 Seconds in October” was produced and directed by Ron Rogers and is enhanced by Peter Coyote’s incomparable narrative voice. The 28-minute documentary recently received a regional Emmy Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. read more