Chico resurrects Sit and Lie Ordinance Sidewalk rules divide the City Council at a tense meeting

photo by Karen Laslo

Audience members begin series of chants.

by Dave Waddell and Leslie Layton

The Chico City Council, after closing the council chamber to the public and ChicoSol, voted 4-3 in a tense and emotional meeting Tuesday to resurrect the expired Sit and Lie Ordinance.

The conservative council majority voted — after an audience disruption prompted the chamber closure — to bring back an ordinance aimed at people who they say are obstructing sidewalks and business entrances. City Attorney Vince Ewing said that under a California statute, the council could close the chamber to a disruptive audience — but not to members of the press. read more

City Council majority backs ordinance in closed meeting Council votes 4-3 on 'sit-and-lie' after barring ChicoSol from chamber

photo by Karen Laslo

by Dave Waddell and Leslie Layton

After Mayor Sean Morgan cleared the raucous Chico City Council chambers Tuesday night, Chico police officers barred ChicoSol News Director Dave Waddell from re-entering the meeting – the only member of the local news media who was barred.

Officer Jeff Durkin told Waddell he lacked the proper press credentials to regain entrance to the chamber – despite Waddell showing him his driver’s license and his ChicoSol business card. Durkin stood with another officer, Drew Cooper, outside the frosted glass doors to the council chambers. On multiple occasions a television reporter opened the door and communicated amicably with Durkin, before it closed again — with ChicoSol journalists still on the outside. read more

Chico PRIDE explores concepts of gender Four days of activities include plaza performances

photo by Jessica Lewis

Nikita Diamondz

by Jessica Lewis

A crowd sporting an array of rainbow-colored flags gathered ‘round the stage in Chico’s City Plaza, amid a cluster of various organizations Saturday.

A woman, applauding from the gallery, encouraged a girl to give a dollar to a performer on stage – an obviously appreciated reward for Nikita Diamondz, making her drag debut performance. Each performer got their chance to lead the crowd in an exploration and celebration of gender, by proudly showcasing their own concepts of gender during this year’s “Seeds of Change” PRIDE event. read more

Huber: Take time to do cannabis sales carefully Chico council hopeful visited pot-selling Colorado city

Scott Huber, a candidate in the Nov. 6 Chico City Council election, visited Boulder, Colo., in early August to find out first-hand how cannabis dispensary sales have gone there. ChicoSol News Director Dave Waddell explored with Huber in this Q & A what he learned and how it might apply to Chico and Oroville.

In 2016, California voters backed state Proposition 64 that allowed cities, beginning in 2018, to authorize the sale and taxation of recreational marijuana.

video by Guillermo Mash

ChicoSol: Tell us a little about the city you visited. read more

Reformers, police chief agree on principles Concerned Citizens for Justice wants culture change, oversight

photo by Dave Waddell
Margaret Swick

by Dave Waddell

They aren’t yet holding hands and singing “Kumbaya,” but citizens wanting culture change at Chico PD are in basic agreement with Police Chief Mike O’Brien on principles for reform.

The group, Concerned Citizens for Justice (CCJ) — which will hold its monthly community meeting this evening — has produced a six-point plan for reform to encourage use of de-escalation practices by Chico police and to ensure there is training in behavioral health crisis intervention.

CCJ meets at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14, at Rhema Hall, 574 E. 12th St. in Chico. read more

Red Bluff thanks tired firefighters Fairground becomes more than a resting area

story and photos by Karen Laslo

In the Northern California town of Red Bluff, just south of the Redding Carr Fire, the Tehama District Fairground has been converted to a makeshift staging and resting area for the exhausted fire crews battling the catastrophic fire that has threatened to engulf the whole of Redding to the north.

The townspeople of Red Bluff, who have witnessed the daily exchange of firefighters to and from the fairground, have shown their gratitude for the fire crews by posting “Thank you” signs on the enclosing fence. read more