Fight for Records Access Scrutinized

by Leslie Layton

When Glenn County newspaper publisher Tim Crews gave a seminar in Chico on Saturday, he wore his standard fare — suspenders over a Sacramento Valley Mirror t-shirt. Had Crews worn a cautionary button on his lapel, it might have read: “Lie to me and I’ll ask for the goods.”

During the seminar at Cal Northern School of Law, “Getting Access to Public Records,” Crews mentioned that he hates being lied to. Incidentally, this is a man who can recite, by heart, sections of the California Public Records Act that gives citizens access to official documents. And he can recite the entire Ralph M. Brown Act, the state’s Open Meeting Law. read more

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American Journalist Covered Social Movements in Mexico

JOHN ROSS
1938-2011

by Mary Jo McConahay, Elizabeth Bell and Sandina Robbins

Journalist, investigative poet, and social activist John Ross died peacefully Jan. 17 at Lake Patzcuaro in Mexico, where he had lived on and off for the past 50 years. He was 72. The cause was liver cancer.

A young generation Beat poet and the national award-winning author of 10 books of fiction and nonfiction and nine chapbooks of poetry, Ross received the American Book Award (1995) for “Rebellion from the Roots: Zapatista Uprising in Chiapas,” and the coveted Upton Sinclair Award (2005) for “Murdered By Capitalism: 150 Years of Life and Death on the American Left.” read more

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Chico Attorney’s Water Project Quenches Thirst, Ambition

Ron Reed Loading Drill

photo by Erik Aguilar

by Ron Reed

When Besta Mlowe was born 18 years ago in the town of Ifunda in Tanzania, it seemed this would be her future: she would marry young, have many children, be dominated by her husband and live in a mud hut.

Mlowe was the second born in a family of four children. When she was 2, her father abandoned the family. When she was 14, her mother died. She and her siblings had been working in the fields to get money for food, and Besta had been to primary school and had learned to read in Swahili.

After her mother’s death, the four Mlowe children went to live with their grandparents in a village in the Kilolo District of Iringa. Now, her grandfather is 85 and unable to work. The children cultivate maize and beans, living in a small hut with a dirt floor. read more

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see slideshow Flamenco

slideshow by Erik Aguilar

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Vigil for Gaza Chico residents protest attacks in Gaza

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photos by Tania Flores and Leslie Layton

In nationwide protests Jan 10, thousands of Americans encouraged debate over Israel’s relentless bombing of Gaza. In Chico, several dozen people gathered at City Plaza and later downtown to condemn attacks that are killing hundreds of civilians, to call for a ceasefire, and to call on the United States to end its unconditional support of Israel. Tens of thousands of people protested in Europe and elsewhere, including about 2,000 Israelis who demonstrated in Tel Aviv against their government’s offensive, according to Inter Press Service. read more

Excavations Disturb Sacred Maidu Land

Maidu_400_339

photo by Jennifer MacDonald

Wayne Nine, a member of the Konkow Valley Band of Maidu, analyzes stone tools that were used by Native peoples, possibly thousands of years ago, that were uncovered recently at an Oroville dig site. 

by Jennifer MacDonald
The hike to the archeological dig site is long, dusty and steep.

Scaling down the embankment on this winter afternoon, we see a dozen scientists hard at work hundreds of feet below, digging at what was once a thriving Native American village. The site is usually under the water of Lake Oroville, but the water level drops at this time of year, helping to uncover artifacts from a civilization lost long ago.

Anthropologists and archaeologists use shovels to sculpt deep but perfectly rectangular holes. Then they screen the dirt looking for artifacts. Arrowheads and stone tools lie just below the ground’s surface. The items they find are placed in plastic bags, tagged and shipped away. read more

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