The last volunteer brigade leaves Tijuana A border crisis and a global pandemic strand asylum-seekers

photo by Leslie Layton
At Chaparral, the Tijuana border crossing to San Diego, a sign shows the website URL that records the last number called. Asylum-seekers are assigned numbers and wait for months for a chance to make their case.

by Leslie Layton

It is 7 a.m. on a cold, grey day in early March at the border crossing that connects Tijuana, Mexico, with San Diego, Calif.

Some 25 migrants have gathered on the sidewalk below the port of entry. These are families on a waiting list, each with an assigned number in the 3,000 range. If any of their numbers are called today, they’ll get a turn to cross to the United States, and at some point — in what will probably be a very brief visit — a chance to make their case for asylum. read more

City Hall rally for public safety creates danger A tense confrontation is diffused

photo by Morgan Kennedy
A Trump flag was flown at the so-called public safety demonstration in front of city hall Tuesday.

by Morgan Kennedy
guest commentary

“Chico First,” “One Chico,” “Safe Chico,” or whatever this group is choosing to call itself this week had a protest in front of city hall on Tuesday.

As a response to a recent escalation in the aggressive language members or supporters of the groups use on social media, some Chicoans – myself included — decided to hold a counter demonstration prior to the City Council meeting. read more

Sheriff’s office responsive, Chico PD obstructive Two agencies, two different responses to our public records request

photo by Karen Laslo

Chico Police Chief Mike O’Brien

commentary by Dave Waddell

Last March, I spoke at a League of Women Voters of Butte County forum having to do with public access to law enforcement records.

That Sunshine Week forum, which included Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea and police reformers Emily Alma and Margaret Swick, gave me an opportunity to vent a bit about the most secretive public agency I’ve dealt with as a journalist: the city of Chico. read more

Chico cops report zero hate crimes in 2018 Anecdotal reports tell another story

photo by Karen Laslo
2017 Desmond Phillips vigil at Chico Police Department.

by Leslie Layton

Zero. That’s the number of hate crimes that took place in Chico in 2018, according to reports to the FBI from the Chico Police Department and Chico State’s University Police Department.

That zero doesn’t reflect what happened to an African American man, who has said he was pelted with beer cans last year by several white people in a pickup truck who were using the N-word. He never reported the incident to police, but his girlfriend saw the bruises. read more

Struggling to find hope at Yuba County Jail Chico activist visits a third immigrant detainee, one of a trio of "castaways"

jail photo from Faithful Friends

by Chris Nelson

The man I met during a late October visit to the Yuba County Jail has a kind face, wears glasses and has a neat, graying hairstyle. He was the third inmate I’ve met through a visitation program run by Faithful Friends, a group that arranges visits for immigrant detainees.

As a nurse, I know that anecdotal information does not make a truth. Yet, I’m struck by the similarities among the three men I’ve visited, and I see truth emerging through the presence of these castaway humans. read more

Almond Bowl T-shirt design at Chico High stirs debate Winning design opens doors for Latinx students

VOCES Latinxs at Chico High produced the winning design for the school’s Almond Bowl T-shirt that includes a sugar skull-like image.

essay by Denise Minor

On the surface, this story appears to be about a disagreement over the T-shirt design chosen to commemorate this year’s Almond Bowl, the cross-town football game that each fall marks athletic rivalry between two local high schools.

But beneath the surface, the story is really about how we, as individuals and a society, choose the symbols and imagery we find acceptable to represent ourselves to the rest of the world. And beyond that, it is about the divisions between whom we view as “us” and “them.” read more