Council outlaws price gouging in wake of Camp Fire Dearth of rental housing is big problem in and for Chico

photo by Karen Laslo

Steve Depa

by Dave Waddell

Chico landlords who price-gouge in the aftermath of the devastating Camp Fire will be in violation of an emergency ordinance passed unanimously today by the City Council.

Chico City Manager Mark Orme told the Council that “city staff received multiple reports of significant price increases on rentals and other goods and services” in the wake of the inferno that has annihilated Paradise and become the most destructive fire in California history. The Camp Fire has consumed more than 140,000 acres, destroyed 9,700 homes and left at least 63 people dead and in excess of 600 missing. More than 52,000 people were evacuated. read more

Parking lot now a pop-up encampment County residents struggle to help tide of people displaced from Camp Fire

photo by Karen Laslo

First day of Camp Fire

by Leslie Layton

At Chico’s Walmart parking lot, you see the new homeless: Several hundred people, some living out of RVs, some out of cars, some out of tents, some with nothing more than a few blankets. This is what a community borne of disaster looks like: Food vendors who want to give, not sell. Guitar-strumming teenagers, scientologists, massage chairs and chaplains.

This is where many displaced people who were already living on the edge – of canyons, of finances, of California’s blue political culture –lodged when the Camp Fire swept through their communities, and here as elsewhere, disaster response has been underway. Chicoans pull in with boxed donations and trailers hauled from other cities deposit piles of used clothing and worn shoes. read more

Huber, 141 votes ahead, confident of Council win Expects to take office in December for 5-2 liberal majority

photo by Karen Laslo

Scott Huber

by Dave Waddell

Newly elected Chico City Council members will be sworn in Dec. 4, and Scott Huber expects to be there, raising his hand and reciting the oath of office.

According to the latest vote tallies, the liberal Huber holds a 141-vote lead over incumbent Andrew Coolidge for the third and final Council seat contested in the Nov. 6 election. With nine candidates vying, conservative Kasey Reynolds finished on top with 12,758 votes, while progressive Alexandria “Alex” Brown was second with 12,128. Huber currently is in third with 11,521 votes, while the conservative Coolidge is fourth with 11,380. read more

Conservative candidates take an election-day campaign to campus Free ice cream a bonus for students who pause near BMU polls

photo by Karen Laslo

Conservative Kasey Reynolds, running for Chico City Council and co-owner of a legendary downtown ice cream shop, provided free ice cream to Chico State students on Tuesday across the walkway from the campus polling place at the Bell Memorial Union.

By state law, election-day campaigning — “electioneering” — can be conducted if it’s 100 feet or more from a polling-place entrance.

About six students protested the last-minute campaigning with signs that noted that Reynolds was endorsed by the police union and contending that she doesn’t support “queer people,” “people of color,” “homeless people.” Reynolds and fellow conservative Matt Gallaway, also a Council candidate, were both present. read more

Gallaway gave $250 to Judge Roy Moore PAC Committee backed Alabama Senate candidate who lost amid sex allegations

photo by Karen Laslo

Matt Gallaway

by Dave Waddell

Chico City Council candidate Matt Gallaway donated $250 last year to a political action committee (PAC) backing Judge Roy Moore, a controversial Alabama senatorial candidate, federal election records show.

The contribution was first referenced in a campaign flier put out by Chico Democrats as Chicoans mailboxes continue to be flooded with mailers in the lead-up to the Nov. 6 election. In what will probably become the highest-spending campaign in city history — and with partisan control of the Council at stake — more than $300,000 and counting has been contributed to candidates and PACs involved in the race. read more

Ex-sergeant missed ‘no work’ after Rushing shooting Former Chico police Sgt. Ruppel acquitted of assault in later choking incident

Chico PD press release

by Dave Waddell

Court testimony last week by former Chico police Sgt. Scott Ruppel uncovered a secret that city officials have tried their darnedest to keep the public from knowing: Ruppel took no time off from work after shooting Tyler Rushing twice at point-blank range in July 2017.

Rushing’s father, Scott Rushing of Ventura, called the revelation “monstrous, sickening, disturbing.”

“How can a mentally healthy human being kill another in a violent shooting one day, and the next day work your shift like the events of the prior evening were just another day at the office?” Scott Rushing said. read more