Out of Darkness becomes a Chico tradition Annual downtown walk promotes suicide prevention

photo by Jessica Lewis

by Jessica Lewis

A crowd of people hold hands in a circle around the City Plaza on Oct. 13, bowing their heads as the song “1-800-273-8255” by Logic rings over speakers through downtown, referencing the suicide prevention hotline and marking the end to the ninth annual Chico Out of the Darkness walk.

“I found out about the Out of the Darkness walk because I participated in the Sacramento one after losing a friend to suicide in high school. I went for a few years, and then was like ‘why don’t we have one of these in Chico?’ There were other people that felt the same way and so we started the Chico walk in 2010,” said Ariel Ellis, co-chair for the Out of the Darkness walk and board member for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. read more

Council passes new Sit and Lie Ordinance Ordinance opponents stage quiet protest; one detention

photo by Karen Laslo

Audience members turn their backs on the Council in protest.

by Leslie Layton

About 20 opponents of a law that bans sidewalk lounging near businesses turned their backs on Chico City Council Tuesday night as it voted 4-3 to reinstate the so-called Sit and Lie Ordinance.

The protest was quiet and emphatic and different in character from the orchestrated disruptions at the Sept. 4 City Council meeting when Mayor Sean Morgan ordered the chamber cleared and the panel proceeded to advance the ordinance in an almost empty auditorium. (ChicoSol journalists were barred from that meeting.) read more

Chico police didn’t ask for return of Sit and Lie law Councilman Coolidge resurrected contentious ordinance

photo by Karen Laslo

Councilman Andrew Coolidge

news analysis by Dave Waddell

Contrary to Chico’s latest urban legend – one sparked and fanned by certain news media and politicians in the midst of a City Council election campaign — Chico police did not “ask” for the highly controversial Sit and Lie Ordinance to be resurrected.

The distinction of raising Sit and Lie from the dead belongs to a single individual: City Councilman Andrew Coolidge, who’s seeking re-election in the Nov. 6 balloting.

The current Council, controlled by a 4-3 conservative majority, is expected to restore the Sit and Lie Ordinance to city law at its meeting tonight – three weeks before the election, and as voters are receiving their mail-in ballots. The ordinance outlaws sitting or lying on sidewalks next to businesses during certain hours. read more

Senate Confirmation Vote Sanctions Hatred of Women point of view

photo by Karen Laslo

Counter-protester at Chico Women’s March 2018

by Karen Laslo

I saw him standing on the corner of 4th and Main streets in downtown Chico on January 20th during this year’s Women’s March for Women’s Rights, Human Rights and Unity. His sign and the sneering smile on his face told me what he thinks of women.

Particularly offensive is the sign’s reference to a speculum, a medical instrument used for examinations that saves women’s lives, but here he was using it and the humiliating “C” word to abuse, denigrate, insult and express his hatred of women. And contrary to the sign’s assertion, women don’t want “extra rights.” We want — no, we demand — that the laws of human rights that already exist be enforced: namely, the right to govern our own bodies and the right to not be sexually harassed, raped and/or physically abused by men. read more

Chico’s conservative candidates haul in $200,000 Esplanade League fined, quits; FPPC still probing conservative PAC

photo by Karen Laslo

by Dave Waddell

When it comes to political action committees (PACs) operating in this year’s Chico City Council race, some things have changed while one has remained the same: Big bucks contributed by big developers to a PAC backing conservative candidates.

In fact, three conservative City Council candidates and the developers’ PAC supporting them have hauled in an unprecedented $200,000 in contributions for the Nov. 6 election, compared to a total of about $85,000 for three liberal candidates. read more

Prof: ‘Chico First’ approach sets back internationalism Glamorization of university detracts from broader world view

photo courtesy of Tony Waters

(This commentary was adapted from a longer speech delivered by the author at the Sept. 11 International Forum at Chico State – Editor.)

by Tony Waters

Chico is a wonderful town. City and university leaders have spent endless time and money to remind us of this, and largely the campaign for us to stay in love with Chico has worked. But, I wonder if the glamorization of Chico has diverted us from broader interests.

To a certain extent, we have a “Chico First” focus, or “North State First,” which is nice, but can also be provincial. The reality is, though, that the world is a much larger place than Chico; our student population illustrates this. Only about 29 percent of Chico State’s students come from its “service area” of northeastern California and fewer will spend their careers in this part of the state where jobs for college grads are clustered in agriculture, beer production, Enloe Medical Center and social services. For the 71 percent from elsewhere, and even the 29 percent from around here, there is a statewide, national and international world of experiences, and jobs waiting for them too. read more