slideshow by Erik Aguilar
by Leslie Layton
CHICO, Calif.—For the past 24 years, Republican Congressman Wally Herger has represented a swath of Northern California, seldom facing opponents who have had the financing or support to present a serious challenge. Yet, throughout the Northern Sacramento Valley, residents say they’re eager for competitive campaigns that address high unemployment and poverty rates, immigration reform and health care.
by Ana Luisa Anza
Samuel Ruiz was known as the Bishop of the Indians and became a symbol of struggle for oppressed people in Chiapas, Mexico. Ruiz, who died Jan. 24, came originally from the Catholic Church’s conservative diocese of León, Guanajuato, in the central part of México.
Everything indicated that he would follow the path of an extremely conservative Church. But the social upheavals of 1968, as well as new streams of thought that emerged within the Catholic Church, influenced him considerably and he opted to work — like Church bishops Hélder Cámara in Brazil and Óscar Romero in El Salvador — with the poor.
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.
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.”
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.