Lucero: Public discourse on Tuscan Water District comes — but late "The public had not been part of the formation process"

photo by Karen Laslo
District 2 Supervisor Debra Lucero

by Debra Lucero
guest commentary

The Tuscan Water District story is unfolding in Butte County. This isn’t the first time large landowners have joined together to try to “preserve their way of life and heritage.” It has happened all over the state and more recently, in San Luis Obispo where the proposition to form a new, powerful California Water District failed.

So, how did this current effort in Butte County get birthed?

The former Butte County Water Conservation & Resource Department director, Paul Gosselin, (now the State of California’s deputy director of SGMA – Sustainable Groundwater Management Act) and a former longtime Sacramento Local Agency Formation Commission executive officer, John O’Farrell, came up with another idea — one that could circumvent the arduous San Luis Obispo process and even the Board of Supervisors. 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

“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.

“I try to be optimistic and tell them, ‘We have a vaccine and soon we will go to the amusement parks and you can see your friends,’” he said. “Then, without fail, loud, typically uneducated parents advocate against any sort of measures that may restore normalcy.” read more

Election to recall Gov. Newsom underway Participation by Latinx, young adults, low so far

Secretary of State Shirley Weber

by Leslie Layton

Gov. Gavin Newsom has been described as one of the “most pro-Latino governors” in state history – but it’s still unclear whether Latinx voters will help him stave off the recall that would oust him from office.

California Secretary of State Shirley Weber said today that based on the absentee ballots pouring in, the recall is “proving to be a relatively popular election.” But there is still a distance to go by Sept. 14, which is, officially, election day for the recall.

“My goal is 80 percent turnout minimum,” Weber said at a news briefing today sponsored by Ethnic Media Services. “This election says what California is going to do.” read more

Siskiyou County new frontier for resisting anti-Asian violence Hmong father killed by officers, escalating tensions

photo courtesy of Zurg Xiong’s Facebook support page
A July 17 rally in Yreka drew participants from Chico and from across the country.

by Sandy Close / Ethnic Media Services

YREKA — Over 600 Hmong Americans from across California and from as far away as Milwaukee and Minneapolis converged on a recent Saturday at the Siskiyou County courthouse in Yreka to demand a federal investigation into the June 28 fatal shooting of a Hmong father of three by law enforcement agencies.

Chico State University students and Chico-area residents were among those participating in the July 17 rally.

The protest has turned this sparsely-populated county nestled in the foothills of Mount Shasta into the newest flashpoint of resistance by Asian Americans against a surge of anti-Asian violence in the state, according to Mai Vang, a Sacramento City Council member who spoke at the rally. read more

Democrats issue call for special Council election

David Welch, speaking for the Butte County Democratic Party, today called for a special election to replace two former Chico City councilors: Scott Huber and Kami Denlay.

The Democrats say the council election should be combined with the “attempted recall of the governor.” See our story “Chico in turmoil” for more information on the town’s political drama and homelessness crisis — photo and reporting by Karen Laslo.

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Chico in turmoil with shrinking City Council Councilor Kami Denlay resigns

photo by Karen Laslo
Councilor Kami Denlay resigned June 27.

by Leslie Layton

This is what a political crisis looks like: Two City Council resignations in seven days. A barely-used emergency shelter for homeless residents that was erected by the city on a remote lot. Social media threads where commenters use terms like “trench warfare” to describe local politics.

The second City Council resignation came June 27 when first-term Councilor Kami Denlay announced she was stepping down — only seven days after her colleague, Scott Huber, had resigned. That leaves two vacancies on the seven-member panel – an unprecedented event, at least in recent decades. read more