Dakota Access Pipeline protest in Chico news photo of the week

photo by Karen Laslo

On the Nov. 15 #NoDAPL National Day of Action, Chico-area residents demonstrated in front of U.S. Bank, one of a number of American financial institutions said to be funding the Dakota Access Pipeline. According to the environmental advocacy organization Food & Water Watch, U.S. Bank has some $275 million invested. The pipeline would carry fracked oil from North Dakota to Illinois, and the Standing Rock Sioux are leading what is now an international movement to halt construction in order to protect the Missouri River and sacred grounds.

Trump presidency alarms immigrant community Advocates say take steps to prepare

photo by Karen Laslo

photo by Karen Laslo

by Leslie Layton

Immigrant rights advocates are bracing for an uphill fight in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidential victory and encouraging people who could be harmed by an immigration crackdown to take steps now to protect themselves.

“We definitely have a fight ahead of us,” said Kamal Essaheb, director of policy and advocacy at the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), “a fight against the criminalization of immigrants and people of color, a fight for true economic justice for a country where everybody, regardless of the color of their skin or immigration status, can seek opportunities to make their lives better. And immigrants, documented or not, will be a critical part of that fight.” read more

Trumped up hate biggest thing to fear Undocumented students and others are anxious


by Kate Sheehy

Across the country Wednesday morning people woke up to face the unexpected. It’s fair to say that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton supporters alike were dealing with shock.

It seems all along there was a “silent vote” for the former reality TV star that gave him the edge he needed to beat Clinton. Pollsters were not aware. Political pundits were not aware. The best research a campaign could buy could not identify the hidden resentment harbored by thousands who were not visible among the raucous Trump base.

So on the morning after the election as people turned on their radios and TVs and opened their newspapers, they were reminded that the United States is not the country they might have thought it was. For millions of Americans it was a terrifying wake up call. read more

Trickle-Down Meanness Shapes Attitudes Toward Homeless Local Election Outcomes Matter

photo by Dave Waddell

Sign that replaced a homeless man’s rest site

By Dave Waddell

While waiting for coffee recently, I became fixated on a mentally ill homeless man. He lay on his side in the shuttered entrance to what last was a Walgreens at East Avenue and the Esplanade. Every few seconds, the old, bearded, agitated man would flail his arms toward someone or something that was tormenting him but wasn’t really there. His situation – common across our country – struck me as just so sad and seemingly hopeless.

Yesterday, upon my return for coffee, I noticed that some sort of contraption covered by a blue tarp had taken the man’s place in the entrance.  Attached to that tarp was a message, hand-lettered in pencil with more anger than planning: “Stay the Fuck out or else Little Bitches.” read more

Political Action Committee Attacks Again, Undeterred by State Probe Investigation sparked by ChicoSol story continues

By Dave Waddell

Seemingly undeterred by a state investigation into its activities, a political action committee is following a script in this year’s Chico City Council race that is similar to the one that brought scrutiny to its politicking two years ago.

The PAC, called Butte County Awareness and Accountability, widely distributed a mailer in recent days that lambasts council liberals Ann Schwab, Tami Ritter and Randall Stone. All three face re-election Nov. 8, along with conservative Vice Mayor Sean Morgan.

The state Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) opened an investigation in August into Butte County Awareness and Accountability and its treasurer, Thomas Kozik, as a result of a ChicoSol story that can be read here. read more

Investigators Hunt Cell Phone Missing from Police Evidence CSUC Students Claim Retaliation for Filming, Excessive Force

Madeline Hemphill

photo by Bianca Quilantan

Madeline Hemphill demonstrates the grip that the students say officer Dyke used on Nicole Braham.

by Dave Waddell and Bianca Quilantan

What happened to Madeline Hemphill’s cell phone and the video she says would prove excessive force by Chico police?

It’s a question central to law enforcement investigations of the Aug. 27 arrests of Hemphill and her roommate and fellow Chico State student Nicole Braham.
A second cell phone video from the arrest scene — shot by Telvina Patino, a third roommate and Chico State student – has been viewed tens of thousands of times on YouTube and can be seen here.

Chico community activist Emily Alma has labeled the arrests an “excessive force event.” Also critical of police handling of the incident has been Michael Coyle, an associate professor of political science at Chico State. Coyle, who teaches criminal justice courses, said that if good policing means de-escalating situations, what’s shown in the video are poor police practices. “The video looks more like a basic training on how to escalate a situation, physically put someone in pain, and make them afraid of police,” said Coyle, who chairs the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) board in Chico. “Whatever happened to community policing?” read more