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

Dan Everhart fought, ferociously, for social justice Sobriety was a watershed in Chico resident's life

by Steve Breedlove

Born Danny Allen Everhart in Madison, Ind., on Sept. 2, 1958, Dan split his time between Elgin, Ill., with his mother, and southern Indiana, with his father, until he was 20. Displaying anti-authoritarian hard-headedness and the general alienation that foments, Dan lived rough and tumble in his formative years and fell into alcohol and drug abuse. He didn’t stay in one place for very long and he dropped out of high school. read more

Let’s embrace responsibility and help the unhoused Individual stories eclipse overused term ‘criminal vagrant’

photo by Karen Laslo

Chico City Councilmember Scott Huber.

by Scott Huber

After recent experiences, I’m compelled to present a counter-narrative to those who have spoken out against a “Code Blue” cold-weather shelter (and other sheltering ideas).

At the Feb. 5 Chico City Council meeting, a minority of speakers expressed their reasons for opposing a city-sponsored cold-weather shelter. Their reasons included (paraphrased) “sheltering these people is not Chico’s responsibility, it is the responsibility of Butte County or the non-profits.” Others asserted that because this form of shelter would be open to anyone it would allow for “drug addicts, criminals and sexual predators” (again paraphrased). read more

Shafer says Tree of Greed must come down Chico's MLK celebration features Poor People's Campaign rep

photo by Karen Laslo
Greg Shafer speaks at Trinity United during MLK celebration Sunday.

by Karen Laslo

Greg Shafer, Northern California representative to the Poor People’s Campaign, told a Chico audience of about 200 people Sunday that the “American Tree of Greed must come down,” and that it’s responsible for the environmental degradation, endless wars and the prison-industrial complex that cause suffering, in particular for the poor.

Shafer asked, “But who will cut the Tree of Greed down?” Not the government, not the rich and powerful, not the corporations, he said, responding to his own question. Shafer said America must listen to the African-Americans who’ve been warning for years that the tree’s fruit is toxic. Shafer told the crowd, “We need a new Poor People’s Campaign.” read more

“My former neighborhood feels like a cemetery” Fear of fire did not prepare Paradise residents

by Leslie Layton

My childhood home is a pool of ashes contained by a cement foundation. The air in this once-Edenesque place smells almost acrid. The barn my father built from oak planks is a pile of rubble, with trickling aluminum melted into place on the ground.

At some point during the Nov. 8 Camp Fire that destroyed my hometown of Paradise, Calif., the white aluminum streams were trickling downhill as if headed toward the creek. No longer. There are almost no signs of movement on this still Sunday, Dec. 9. My former neighborhood feels like a cemetery. read more

Cops usher homeless off triangular island Intervention aimed at getting them to a Chico winter shelter

photo by Dave Waddell
Cindy Hurt

by Dave Waddell

While some who had been living outside for months on a triangular island of city land seemed quite worried about their uprooting, 42-year-old Cindy Hurt said Monday’s intervention led by Chico police provided the prospects of a “solution.”

With the arrival of very cold and rainy weather, Chico PD’s so-called Target Team, along with Butte County Behavioral Health and Torres Shelter personnel, tried to usher an estimated 20 residents off the land, which is bordered by Little Chico Creek and Pine, Cypress and East 12th streets. Some residents were still packing up this morning. read more