Camp Fire changed lives: a survivor’s story "This is what being a climate change refugee feels like..."

photo by Andrew Meyer

Allan Stellar with Angel

by Allan Stellar

That awful, awful day.

On that awful day, when Paradise was engulfed in flames, I hugged my yellow lab Angel goodbye. I woke up early, 5 a.m., and decided to leave for work without our normal early morning hike. I lived in the foothills, at 2,000 feet, some 37 miles from Chico where I had work to do as a home health RN.

I had lived in this off-grid solar house for a decade, enjoying the yip yap of coyotes in the country and sleeping on the deck under the stars on hot summer nights. Angel watched me dress that morning with an eerie gaze. It was as if she knew something was going to happen. As I left, I promised I would be back in the afternoon to take her for a hike. read more

How to Bankrupt the Earth point of view

photo by Karen Laslo

by Lin Jensen

When the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rises, we are supposed to be pleased because a higher GDP means that production and consumption have increased. That’s good, isn’t it? Both major political parties and virtually all economists, corporate CEOs, business owners, workers and random consumers agree that up is good and down is bad.

So the more we make and sell, the greater the wealth of the nation — and this might be true were it not for the fact that the earth’s capacity for production and consumption is entirely dependent on the rate and limit of available sunlight reaching the thin layer of soil that blankets the molten core of our planet. Check the dirt under your feet and you’ll know what sustains you. Take up a handful of soil and you’ll hold in the palm of your hand the only sustainable economy for those of us here on this earth. read more

Chico police didn’t ask for return of Sit and Lie law Councilman Coolidge resurrected contentious ordinance

photo by Karen Laslo

Councilman Andrew Coolidge

news analysis by Dave Waddell

Contrary to Chico’s latest urban legend – one sparked and fanned by certain news media and politicians in the midst of a City Council election campaign — Chico police did not “ask” for the highly controversial Sit and Lie Ordinance to be resurrected.

The distinction of raising Sit and Lie from the dead belongs to a single individual: City Councilman Andrew Coolidge, who’s seeking re-election in the Nov. 6 balloting.

The current Council, controlled by a 4-3 conservative majority, is expected to restore the Sit and Lie Ordinance to city law at its meeting tonight – three weeks before the election, and as voters are receiving their mail-in ballots. The ordinance outlaws sitting or lying on sidewalks next to businesses during certain hours. read more

Senate Confirmation Vote Sanctions Hatred of Women point of view

photo by Karen Laslo

Counter-protester at Chico Women’s March 2018

by Karen Laslo

I saw him standing on the corner of 4th and Main streets in downtown Chico on January 20th during this year’s Women’s March for Women’s Rights, Human Rights and Unity. His sign and the sneering smile on his face told me what he thinks of women.

Particularly offensive is the sign’s reference to a speculum, a medical instrument used for examinations that saves women’s lives, but here he was using it and the humiliating “C” word to abuse, denigrate, insult and express his hatred of women. And contrary to the sign’s assertion, women don’t want “extra rights.” We want — no, we demand — that the laws of human rights that already exist be enforced: namely, the right to govern our own bodies and the right to not be sexually harassed, raped and/or physically abused by men. read more

Prof: ‘Chico First’ approach sets back internationalism Glamorization of university detracts from broader world view

photo courtesy of Tony Waters

(This commentary was adapted from a longer speech delivered by the author at the Sept. 11 International Forum at Chico State – Editor.)

by Tony Waters

Chico is a wonderful town. City and university leaders have spent endless time and money to remind us of this, and largely the campaign for us to stay in love with Chico has worked. But, I wonder if the glamorization of Chico has diverted us from broader interests.

To a certain extent, we have a “Chico First” focus, or “North State First,” which is nice, but can also be provincial. The reality is, though, that the world is a much larger place than Chico; our student population illustrates this. Only about 29 percent of Chico State’s students come from its “service area” of northeastern California and fewer will spend their careers in this part of the state where jobs for college grads are clustered in agriculture, beer production, Enloe Medical Center and social services. For the 71 percent from elsewhere, and even the 29 percent from around here, there is a statewide, national and international world of experiences, and jobs waiting for them too. read more

Injustice supersedes civility, activist says Guest commentary says Council meeting disruption was necessary

photo by Leslie Layton

by Dan Everhart

On Sept. 4, a group of local human rights advocates, organizing under the name “Housing Not Handcuffs,” expressed their outrage over Chico City Council’s consistent and enduring ineptitude on the matter of homelessness by disrupting the meeting in protest over conservative enthusiasm for criminalizing our unhoused neighbors even further.

The rich enjoy more polite means of gaining Council’s attention, the rest of us must purchase it with speech amplified enough to be heard above the deafening roar of their wealth. read more