Teens lead Chico immigration policy protest High schoolers worry that "history will repeat itself"

photo by Leslie Layton
Students from PATCH (Politically Active Teens of Chico High) staffed a voter registration booth.

by Leslie Layton

In matching teal-colored T-shirts, a group of Chico teens Saturday led some 100 people on a downtown march to protest immigration policy and conditions for refugees at the border.

The teens, all of whom are students at Chico High and Inspire School of Arts & Sciences, said they chose teal to reflect the color in the Statute of Liberty torch-holder for a protest designed to recall the conditions that led to the Holocaust. read more

Chico State takes the reins in regenerative agriculture Tiny microbes can help addresses climate change - if we stop killing them

courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Thomas Jefferson’s improved mouldboard plow.

by Richard Roth

When Europeans arrived in the Americas, they applied their mouldboard plows to the prairies, to soils that were rich, dark and black. That soil was steaming with mineral and organic carbon — with soil life so small it was invisible to the human naked (unmicroscoped) eye and, hence, to our consciousness. So we ripped into them with gusto, mining this flesh of earth.

The settler-farmers killed the microbes by exposing them to sunlight, erosion, heat and dryness, and they planted monocrops – a single crop like wheat. Or corn. Or walnuts. read more

Protesters hold rally at PG&E forum Utility giant seeks rate increase in wake of Camp Fire

photo by Karen Laslo
“This meeting should be about breaking up PG&E and taking local control,” said protester Susan Sullivan.

by Karen Laslo

Chico area residents spoke at two forums held July 18 on PG&E’s request for a rate increase, and some participated in a rally to protest the utility, which owns the electrical transmission lines that Cal Fire says caused the Camp Fire.

The forums were sponsored by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to take public comment on the request for a rate increase on gas and electricity that would take effect in January 2020. Several people spoke at the second forum at 6 p.m., including Camp Fire survivors, PG&E customers, and environmental and social justice advocates. All spoke against the rate increase. read more

Sick of gerrymandering? Join California’s redistricting commission Panel seeks to end political rigging of voting districts

Kathay Feng, Common Cause national redistricting director, has championed independent redistricting efforts across the country. Those efforts began with two initiatives California voters passed prior to the 2010 Census, leading to the formation of the state’s Citizens Redistricting Commission, which is now seeking new members.

by Mark Hedin
Ethnic Media Services

California is looking for new commissioners to draw its redistricting maps — the maps that define who votes for California’s representatives in Congress, its state Senate, Assembly and Board of Equalization members. The deadline is coming up fast to apply for the job, which pays up to $300 per day.

The initial application form takes five minutes to fill out. It’s due by Aug. 9 for the first round of the application process. Find it here. read more

Camp Fire housing bill to face final committee hearing AB 430 doesn't address need for affordable housing or housing in Paradise

photo by Karen Laslo
AB 430 author James Gallagher, 3rd District assemblyman, at July 3 Senate committee hearing. Gallagher said the bill will create a “narrowly-applied, streamlined” approval process – but whether that streamlining will produce affordable housing is the topic of debate.

by Leslie Layton and Karen Laslo

Chico-area residents and Butte County leaders spoke at last week’s Senate committee hearing in Sacramento, some in support and some in opposition to Assemblyman James Gallagher’s Camp Fire housing bill that will encourage large-scale development.

Gallagher’s bill, AB 430, was passed July 3 on a 5-1 vote by the Senate’s Environmental Quality Committee and will be the subject of a final committee hearing on July 10. The bill will facilitate housing construction in eight communities by letting builders, in many cases, circumvent review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and by reducing requirements for public hearings for new development. read more

Nelson finds her visit with immigrant detainee “poignant” Detained immigrants in Yuba City need human contact, visitation group says

photo by Chris Nelson
Visitors entrance at the Yuba County Jail

by Chris Nelson

It was serendipity that I visited the man I did at the Yuba County Jail Monday in Marysville.

I got there four minutes too late to see the man I had planned to meet; the second name I had was a man who had been transferred elsewhere and the third candidate wasn’t available for a visit until later in the day. All three of those men had Latino surnames. The man I did get to visit was from Vietnam. read more