Camp Fire housing bill to face final committee hearing AB 430 doesn't address need for affordable housing or housing in Paradise

photo by Karen Laslo
AB 430 author James Gallagher, 3rd District assemblyman, at July 3 Senate committee hearing. Gallagher said the bill will create a “narrowly-applied, streamlined” approval process – but whether that streamlining will produce affordable housing is the topic of debate.

by Leslie Layton and Karen Laslo

Chico-area residents and Butte County leaders spoke at last week’s Senate committee hearing in Sacramento, some in support and some in opposition to Assemblyman James Gallagher’s Camp Fire housing bill that will encourage large-scale development.

Gallagher’s bill, AB 430, was passed July 3 on a 5-1 vote by the Senate’s Environmental Quality Committee and will be the subject of a final committee hearing on July 10. The bill will facilitate housing construction in eight communities by letting builders, in many cases, circumvent review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and by reducing requirements for public hearings for new development. read more

Chico protesters demonstrate against harsh and punishing new laws Southern states attempt to overturn Roe v. Wade

photo by Leslie Layton
Chico’s Christine Moore attended the rally because she said the passage of new anti-abortion laws “needs to be stopped.”

by Leslie Layton

A lunchtime “Stop the Bans” reproductive justice rally took place in Chico Tuesday as pro-choice groups nationwide called for a “Day of Action.”

“Across the country, we are seeing a rash of extreme bans on abortion and cruel attempts at taking away reproductive freedom in an all-out assault on abortion access,” states a Facebook post promoting the Chico rally, which was organized by Women on Reproductive Defense (WORD), Women’s March Chico, Trans Empowerment Project of Northern California, and other groups. read more

Sunrise Movement brings Green New Deal program to Chico

The El Rey Theater was filled to capacity Saturday night as a mostly young crowd turned out for a program organized by the youth-led climate change group, Sunrise Movement, that came to Chico as part of its nationwide tour, “Road to the Green New Deal.” (photo by Karen Laslo.)

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Chicoans take part in a national action against U.S. intervention in Venezuela At the Saturday Chico Peace Vigil, protesters demand a halt to U.S. meddling

photo by Chris Nelson

About 30 people showed up this morning in downtown Chico to demand a halt to U.S. intervention in Venezuela and in solidarity with the #HandsoffVenezuela March in Washington, D.C. The United States has imposed tough sanctions on Venezuela and recognized Juan Guaido, who represents a right-wing political party, as president. The Trump Administration has also indicated it would like to see U.S. oil companies actively engaged in Venezuela’s oil production. read more

28 Valley oaks removed from Bidwell Park Fire suppression may have gone awry

photo by Karen Laslo
Tree removal created a muddy mess last week.

photo story by Karen Laslo

Last week, if you were anywhere near the Chico Creek Nature Center in Bidwell Park, you probably heard the whine and scream of chainsaws and the roar of a big backhoe.

A CDF prison crew was hard at work cutting down several non-native and invasive Catalpa trees to reduce the risk of fire in the coming months.

But, unfortunately, it appears that 28 healthy, native, valley oak trees were also mistakenly cut down, according to local tree advocates. And because the ground was sopping wet from several recent storms, the heavy equipment made deep ruts in the soil. It’s still not clear who authorized the project and who was in charge of overseeing it. read more

Camp Fire survivor reflects on “levels of loss” "We are all refugees from this fire"

photo by Jessica Lewis
Paula Edgar

by Jessica Lewis

At about 8:30 a.m. Nov. 8, former Paradise resident Paula Edgar received a call from a friend on the other side of town, warning her that a fire had broken out.

“We didn’t even think we were in danger at first, but we thought we would start packing — just in case,” Edgar said.

When Edgar took her first load of items to her vehicle, she saw the flames making their way up the street toward her house. She realized then that this was something unlike anything the town had gone through before. read more