Homeless evictions continue in southeast Chico Chico police block media from watching; upset citizens decry policy

photo by Karen Laslo
An officer tells a homeless woman at Humboldt and Forest to be out by evening on Feb. 16 as she stares into a small mirror.

by Leslie Layton

Chico Police Department today blocked the media from Boucher Street as officers informed homeless people camping there and at Forest and Humboldt streets that they had to move.

Unhoused people at both sites had been given 72-hour eviction notices that had expired. And as the rain ceased and the sun broke through today, police moved in on the encampments.

At Boucher and Wisconsin streets, community members offered to help campers load tents and possessions into trucks and move them if they had someplace to go. A few people chose to move to beneath the Highway 99 overpass in lower Bidwell Park. But with no shelter space available in the city, many didn’t know what to do. read more

Heavy equipment used to remove belongings in Bidwell Park As campers are pressed to move, protesters ask where they'll go

photo by Karen Laslo
Loading up belongings for removal.

A bulldozer arrived early today in lower Bidwell Park when city employees, accompanied by Chico Police Department Target Team members, began clearing what Councilor Scott Huber said was “abandoned personal property” at the horseshoe pits encampment.

The action follows a vote by the new conservative majority on the Council to enforce a ban on camping in the park. Huber stood with about 60 protesters who, with signs, banners and conversation, pointed out that the homeless living in the park have nowhere to go. read more

COVID-19 outreach events reach hundreds of needy families Ethnic disparity in positive cases appears to drop

photo by Kate Sheehy/Semillas
Reyna Nolta from the Hispanic Resource Council at the COVID-19 prevention event in Orland on Saturday.

by Leslie Layton
A COVID-19 prevention campaign targeting low-income and minority communities in the region — that public health officials believe has been effective — is reaching hundreds of families as it winds down for this calendar year.

Spearheaded by the Hispanic Resource Council of Northern California, staffers from a host of social service agencies and Butte County Public Health have distributed more than 2,000 masks, more than 1,000 bottles of hand sanitizer, information packets and educational materials translated into Spanish at events throughout the North State. The latest events, held Oct. 17 in Orland, Chico and Oroville, were the last big projects in the 2020 prevention campaign although other facets of the campaign will continue. read more

Dismissing public health metrics, Gallagher says open up Reporter's Mlog: lawmaker's district torn over path forward

photo by Karen Laslo
Assemblyman James Gallagher, who represents most of Butte County and much of the Northern Sacramento Valley, preaches civil disobedience.

by Leslie Layton
analysis

Assemblyman James Gallagher (R-Yuba City) preached civil disobedience Thursday in front of the Chico Council Chambers, suggesting to unmasked constituents at an “Open Butte County” rally that opening up for business can be a necessary act of protest.

Speaking to almost 200 people, many of whom waved American flags or “Recall Newsom” signs, some sporting MAGA caps or Reopen T-shirts, the 3rd district assemblyman again said, as he has before, that shops and schools can consider reopening as acts of civil disobedience if they’re in violation of public health regulation. read more

Vigil to honor RBG in Chico Ginsburg, a cultural icon, championed women's rights

photo by Karen Laslo

by Leslie Layton

Chicoans turned out this evening at City Plaza to honor the memory of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a champion of civil rights, women’s rights and voting rights, who modeled courage and toughness in her personal struggles as well as in her professional life.

Ginsburg passed Sept. 18 after a battle with pancreatic cancer, and vigils attended by supporters — most heart-broken, many despairing — were taking place throughout the country, including this one at the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. The Chico vigil was organized by the group Women on Reproductive Defense (WORD). read more

Before Camp Fire, DA let PG&E avoid crime Did Ramsey deal save utility from probation violation?

Wikimedia photo

by Dave Waddell

Just one month before the horrendous 2018 Camp Fire, Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey freelanced a money deal with Pacific Gas & Electric Co. that allowed PG&E to escape a criminal charge for its negligence in starting the 2017 Honey Fire that threatened Paradise.

PG&E’s extreme desire to avoid a criminal charge in Butte County – and Ramsey’s willingness to play along – was motivated by the company’s desire to avoid violating terms of its federal probation for the 2010 pipeline explosion in San Bruno that killed eight people. read more