Pandemic’s painful toll in Butte County discussed at briefing Panelists call for dialogue, stronger leadership

photo by Leslie Layton
Butte County Public Health’s Victor Rodriguez speaking at a statewide media briefing.

by Leslie Layton
posted Dec. 11

Butte County’s abysmal COVID-19 vaccination rate is a symptom of an anti-science movement that has cost lives, polarized communities, and contributed to a “climate of denial,” panelists said at a statewide media briefing.

Five Butte County residents made up a panel at a briefing sponsored by Ethnic Media Services earlier this week to discuss this region’s COVID toll. They reminded a Zoom audience of 62 people that the county has been ravaged by wildfires, its residents slammed by soaring housing costs. On top of all that, misinformation about the virus has further polarized communities. read more

Break the “local silence” on Covid Chico teen says youth need "dialogue of healing"

photo courtesy of Maya Klein

by Maya Klein
guest commentary
posted Dec. 10

Ed. note: This is a condensed version of a presentation made by Chico’s Maya Klein at a Dec. 7 statewide Ethnic Media Services briefing.

My high school — Inspire School of Arts and Sciences — is a bubble within Chico. Our student vaccination rate is 82%, and our population generally follows mask and hygiene guidelines.

Our 2020-2021 school year remained almost entirely on Zoom classes, following a 1×8 schedule in which we delved into a single class for each month until the end of the school year. During this time, other high schools within Chico had returned to in-person learning, and as a result, student Covid cases began to increase. read more

Recall effort targets four CUSD board members Classrooms a battlefield as right shapes recall efforts statewide

photo by Leslie Layton
Trustee Matt Tennis, elected in November, has the support of Chico Parents for In-Person Learning that is working to recall the other board members.

by Natalie Hanson

Editor’s note: The effort to recall four CUSD board members ended unsuccessfully Oct. 12, when recall organizers failed to turn in the circulated petitions.

“If the school does not enforce the mandates, I pull my kids.”

Parent and Chico State student David Gregory worries about tension in Chico Unified School District (CUSD), as some parents press for removal of masking requirements — and of district leaders.

Gregory has three children who attend Paradise High, Inspire and Paradise Charter Middle School. While he is happy with mitigation at the high schools, he worries about his middle-schooler. read more

Councilor Scott Huber resigns; fears for family Conservative PAC responds to social media attack on Huber

by Leslie Layton

Councilor Scott Huber has stepped down from the Chico City Council after being subjected to attacks on social media and giving up a temporary summer job out of state.

“…given the tone and content of online discussions I genuinely fear for my family’s well-being. For all of these reasons I resign my Council seat, effective immediately,” Huber says in the June 21 letter.

“It is with regrets and sadness that I submit my resignation from the Chico City Council. Regrets that the community I love and only hoped to serve has become toxic for me, sadness that as hard as I tried modeling civil discourse and respectful treatment of people from the dais, I have clearly failed at changing anyone.” 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