Chico cop defends ‘Black Friday Matters’ sign Dyke claims Black Lives Matter promotes race violence

photo by Leslie Layton

Down Range co-owner and Vice President Steve Dyke

by Leslie Layton

The billboard stating in white lettering on a black background, “Black Friday Matters,” was for Down Range Indoor Training Center co-owner Steve Dyke a clever piece of Black Friday marketing that placed his gun shop in the news and public eye.

That it played off the name of Black Lives Matter, an organization tackling the problem of deadly police shootings in black communities, was not problematic for Dyke, who is also an officer in the Chico Police Department. Dyke argues that Black Lives Matter is based on a “false narrative.” read more

Five reports to ‘Documenting Hate’ sidebar to "Chico cop defends 'Black Friday Matters' sign

by Leslie Layton

The complaint about the Down Range “Black Friday Matters” billboard was one of five that has so far been submitted to the Documenting Hate database from Butte County. Four other reports were made on use of racist epithets and stereotyping.

Here’s a summary:

  • A flier at Chico State was defaced shortly after the 2016 presidential election with white supremacist symbols;
  • A Latina in Chico says she was called a “wetback;”
  • A Chico teacher reported that her son was riding his bike to school when a car pulled up next to him and someone shouted, “Fuck you, Jew boy.”
  • An Oroville man reported that someone was overheard saying of him, “That’s a Muslim right there.” On the report submitted to the database, the man wrote, “… I have never felt like I don’t belong here as I do now. Since the beginning of 2016, people look at me differently… I wish things were different.” In a telephone interview, the man said he has Arab ancestry, is a U.S. military veteran and was raised as a Christian. He asked not to be identified. He said the shift in how he’s perceived by strangers is hard to “quantify” but palpable.
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    Desmond’s dad: State probing police killing AG Xavier Becerra overseeing Chico case ‘personally’

    photo by Dave Waddell

    David Phillips with photo of T-shirt.

    by Dave Waddell

    A state Department of Justice investigation has been launched into the Chico police killing of Desmond Phillips, a mentally ill young black man gunned down in his living room last March, Phillips’ father claimed at a news conference Monday.

    Neither state Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s press office nor Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey responded immediately to requests from ChicoSol for comment on David Phillips’ claim.

    Ramsey previously ruled that the shooting by Chico police officers Alex Fliehr and Jeremy Gagnebin, who together fired 16 rounds at Desmond Phillips, was justified. A wrongful death claim – often a precursor of a lawsuit – was filed by the Phillips family but denied by the city. read more

    Professor’s new book chronicles challenges Son’s autism transforms path to a dream teaching job

    photo courtesy of Denise Minor

    Denise Minor and son Max

    by Dave Waddell and Leslie Layton

    Denise Minor had a dream that wouldn’t go away, a dream to teach Spanish at a university. And while it ultimately became a dream achieved at Chico State, it was first a dream deferred by the extreme challenges of mothering an autistic son.

    Minor, an associate professor in CSU, Chico’s department of international languages, literatures and cultures, chronicles her story in a new book, “No Screaming Jelly Beans: Trying to Pursue a Career While Raising a Son With Autism.

    Minor’s new book includes essays published in different forms and at different times during son Max’s life. She believes she benefited from her work on “No Screaming Jelly Beans” — even beyond the therapeutic value that can come from writing narratives — after the notion of a book took hold in her mind. read more

    Chico State paid former VP to work elsewhere Hoffman grossed nearly $325,000 in severance deal

    photo by Jason Halley/CSUC photographer

    Lorraine B. Hoffman in 2014

    by Gabriel Sandoval

    Lorraine Hoffman, Chico State’s former vice president for business and finance, hasn’t worked on campus since June 2016.

    But for the last 16 months, she’s remained on Chico State’s payroll – first while on vacation, then on administrative leave and finally as a “special assistant” for California State University’s Office of the Chancellor in Long Beach – collecting employee benefits and grossing $324,256. The total compensation Hoffman received from Chico State for the 16-month period exceeded $418,000, including about $5,500 a month in retirement system payouts. read more

    Chicoans pack meeting to discuss homeless City Council will consider moving the Jesus Center

    Bill Such

    photos by Karen Laslo

    The Chico City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to consider moving the Jesus Center and consolidating services to the homeless in southeast Chico. But Chicoans packed the meeting, some in favor of the plan, some opposed and some warning that the homeless shouldn’t be merely shuttled from downtown unless more services will be provided.

    Bill Such, former Jesus Center executive director, said he fears the move could “compromise the identity” of the center. Such compared the homeless to Jesus of Nazarene, who he said was “intentionally homeless” and rejected by his family. “In Christian terms, Jesus, with nowhere to rest, is the homeless god,” Such said. read more