Measure E Supporters Canvassed to Ban Fracking in Butte

Melinda Vasquez
 

photo by Karen Laslo

 Melinda Vasquez takes a break from canvassing

Editor’s Note:  Measure E to ban hydraulic fracturing in Butte County had passed with 71.5 percent of the vote, according to election results on June 8. This story was written during spring semester at Chico State.

By Maria Miyashiro

Melinda Vasquez knocks on a door at the sea-green apartment complex. She is greeted by a woman, who notifies her Chihuahua she’s “going to spank your butt” if the dog doesn’t stop barking. The dog quiets down.

Vasquez begins her inquiry: Whether her neighbor is familiar with the Yes-on-Measure-E campaign to ban fracking, a question she’s asked dozens of times at doors in the Memorial Neighborhood of Chico just in the last hour. read more

Meeting with a Chef on the Road to Adulthood

Chef Thomas Rider

photo by Gabby Miller

Chef Thomas Rider prepares Strawberry Caprese Crostini with local strawberries.

by Gabby Miller

He stood before a crowd of college students and alumni. On the table in front of him was a basket full of fresh fruits and vegetables displaying the colors of the rainbow. A grey Chico State Wildcats baseball cap sat on his head, and his black chef’s jacket was lined with red trim and embroidered with his name and title on the front.

It read: “Thomas Rider, Executive Chef.”

“I’m on the Food Network at Chico State,” he said, receiving chuckles from the audience.

On the rainy Thursday evening before spring break more than 60 students arrived at CSUC’s Bell Memorial Union to watch Rider—the executive chef for Associated Students—put on a show. read more

Garcia’s Fight Shapes California Law

photo by Karen Laslo

by Leslie Layton

Sergio C. Garcia came to California packed onto the bed of a Chevy pick-up. It was July 4, 1994, and the 17-year-old was one of eight undocumented Mexican immigrants hidden under a hard plastic cover as they crossed the U.S. border under a blazing desert sun.

Garcia prayed out loud as fellow travelers passed out from the heat. He was sweat-drenched and seething at his father, who had asked him to make the perilous journey, to relocate for the second time to a country where he would be labeled “alien” and face the barriers associated with having crossed, without a visa, the world’s most frequently-crossed international border. read more

County Goof Shaped Fracking Debate

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photo by Leslie Layton

by Leslie Layton

One of the key arguments made during the local fracking debate was based, at least in part, on an erroneous statement by county officials, ChicoSol has learned.

As a draft ordinance to prevent fracking was debated at public meetings early this year and last year, opponents often argued that a Butte County ban would serve a symbolic rather than regulatory role. The Butte County Department of Development Services (DDS) provided a key piece of evidence for that argument: No one, they said, had applied for a conditional use permit to drill a new gas well in more than 25 years. read more

How the Fight to Ban Fracking Turned Partisan

by Leslie Layton

It cost the oil-and-gas industry some pocket change (about $100 grand) to accomplish its mission in Butte County. If I had a leaked memo, the mission might have been described this way: Stop cold the county’s ordinance to ban fracking, reframe their debate.

On Feb. 10, the Board of Supervisors rejected a 13-page ordinance to ban fracking written by Butte County attorneys who had conducted research over a period of months. Chair Doug Teeter and supervisors Steve Lambert and Bill Connelly said they had changed their position on the issue — but not because of “threats” as had been suggested. read more

Family Stories, not Census Forms, Explain Ethnic Identities

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 by Gail Lemley Burnett

“Are you Hispanic?” isn’t supposed to be a tough question. Yet every time I meet it while completing a census form or medical history, my pencil hovers between “Yes” and “No” and my eyes search for the most accurate answer, which is never there: “Sort of.”

I’m one of the millions of Americans who occasionally change their ethnic designation. It’s complicated. My mother’s father emigrated with his family from Mazatlán, Mexico, when he was in his teens. He married my grandmother — not Hispanic — in Los Angeles in the late 1920s, and they had two daughters. My grandfather’s family was big, noisy, and still firmly tied to the Mexican state of Sinaloa. When my curly-haired Aunt Gloria was a little girl, the family took her there at festival time and dressed her as an adorable señorita. My mother and Gloria grew up in southern California in the 1940s and ’50s with a Spanish surname and were sometimes told, in those racist “good old days,” that they were “not like the other Mexican girls — you’re clean.” How could that history not be a part of our heritage? read more