Chico Attorney’s Water Project Quenches Thirst, Ambition

Ron Reed Loading Drill

photo by Erik Aguilar

by Ron Reed

When Besta Mlowe was born 18 years ago in the town of Ifunda in Tanzania, it seemed this would be her future: she would marry young, have many children, be dominated by her husband and live in a mud hut.

Mlowe was the second born in a family of four children. When she was 2, her father abandoned the family. When she was 14, her mother died. She and her siblings had been working in the fields to get money for food, and Besta had been to primary school and had learned to read in Swahili. read more

Caught up in ICE’s Net

by Leslie Layton

At about 6:30 a.m. on a recent March Monday, a Chico dad left his home with a friend to pick up some milk before going to a construction job. He noticed he was being followed by a Durango van that had parked near his house, and when he stopped, the van parked, too.

He was approached by officers from Immigration, Customs & Enforcement (ICE) who had a few questions. They wanted to verify his name, see identification and know whether he had “papers” that prove legal residency. He and his friend — both undocumented immigrants — were soon handcuffed and placed in the back of the van. read more

Truancy Arrests Sow Fear in Orland

by Leslie Layton

When Shannon Anderson asked the police who were on the porch of her Orland home why they planned to arrest her, an officer radioed the question to headquarters.

It was a recent March Monday, and Anderson had answered the door in her shorts, t-shirt and socks, hardly expecting to be greeted with handcuffs. She was shocked by the one-word response that came back over the Orland police radio: Truancy. Then, the 37-year-old mother of four was booked into Glenn County Jail in Willows on a $10,000 warrant. read more

Learning to Cherish Trilingualism

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By Mary Guillen

Growing up speaking Mandarin, Spanish and English is something I took for granted. It was not something I was proud of (much less boasted about) because most of my classmates were not racially mixed and they saw it as being odd or strange.

Before starting school, I never thought anything of it. But one day in first grade my friend commented on how weird it was that my parents were from such different countries. That was the beginning of a long period during which I often tried to hide my mixed heritage from my peers because I wanted to blend in. read more

Sickness in the 2nd District

by Leslie Layton

Butte and other counties in rural Northern California’s 2nd Congressional District suffer from higher-than-average rates of chronic diseases that would respond to prevention, and if it was more available, routine care. Our counties pay in terms of both personal health and emergency-room/hospital-care costs.

State Research Analyst Mike Kassis pointed out that access to primary/preventive care depends in part on affordability (which usually means having health insurance.) The recently-published study Kassis worked on for the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development shows that $3.5 billion was spent on “preventable hospitalizations” in the state in 2008. read more

Lenguaje que Ofende

Jamie Fisher
Jamie Fisher

Por Jamie Fisher

Trata de pensar en alguna vez que conociste a alguien quien hablaba un idioma diferente que el tuyo. ¿Cuál fue la primera cosa que querías saber cómo decir? A lo mejor, preguntaste a dicha persona como maldecir en su lenguaje.
Especialmente, para los que están tratando de aprender un idioma nuevo es casi un prerrequisito saber manejar vocablos vulgares. No sólo porque ese vocabulario nuevo abre las puertas a un mundo inmenso de expresión, sino porque también le da al hablante novicio un sentido de poder, sabiendo que es capaz de cruzar fronteras lingüísticas para escandalizar, insultar y emocionar. read more