Chico cops report zero hate crimes in 2018 Anecdotal reports tell another story

photo by Karen Laslo
2017 Desmond Phillips vigil at Chico Police Department.

by Leslie Layton

Zero. That’s the number of hate crimes that took place in Chico in 2018, according to reports to the FBI from the Chico Police Department and Chico State’s University Police Department.

That zero doesn’t reflect what happened to an African American man, who has said he was pelted with beer cans last year by several white people in a pickup truck who were using the N-word. He never reported the incident to police, but his girlfriend saw the bruises.

The zero also doesn’t reflect other unreported incidents, and it doesn’t reflect incidents that may have been driven by hate that didn’t surface in a police report or court hearing. And it certainly doesn’t reflect overt and subtle offenses that left people who were subjected to them feeling hurt and scared. read more

Students clash over #Walkaway event Chico State says it will defend free speech

photo by Karen Laslo
A student protester sat alone this morning before more students gathered.

by Leslie Layton

Chico State staffers were gathering this morning on a campus walkway in an effort to prevent any more altercations over the tactics of the campus Republican club. But today, instead of noisy protesting, a video posted on social media showed a group of protesters dancing to music as they faced the club’s booth.

The campus newspaper The Orion reported an altercation or altercations had occurred earlier in the week as the Republican club promotes its #Walkaway event that will bring controversial speakers to campus this evening. The club had erected two booths on the walkway by Meriam Library this morning, where they had hoisted multiple American flags, a Blue Lives Matter flag and a pro-Trump banner. read more

Wrestling with the climate threat to human civilization "Maybe our purpose is not to go gently"

Anna Blackmon Moore

by Anna Blackmon Moore
commentary

When I was 16, I was watching a sitcom on my 8-inch black and white TV. Outside my bedroom window, the sun had set. At the start of a commercial, it occurred to me that I was wracked with fear and dread. By the commercial’s end, the dread had anchored itself inside my body— my chest, my limbs, my temples.

I wasn’t better the following day; I wasn’t better the following week. Anxiety became incapacitating. Two months later, I was taking a now ancient antidepressant, beginning what would become a lifelong path of medication and treatment. 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

Racist graffiti unsettles campus community Police investigating hate crime

by Leslie Layton

Racist, homophobic and sexist graffiti was used to deface faculty bulletin boards, photographs and office doors in Butte Hall during the April 6-7 weekend, according to police and faculty.

The Chico State University Police Department (UPD) released a brief statement that says it’s investigating the graffiti incident as a hate crime and “seeking to identify suspects.” UPD estimated the damage and clean-up cost at $400.

Police were contacted Sunday morning and the graffiti that had defaced the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice was promptly removed. read more

To people of color, Chico seems less friendly, more hostile Chico State promises "Safety Summit"

photo courtesy of Vickie Nailing

by Leslie Layton and Denise Minor

When Vickie Nailing first came to Chico to pursue a master’s degree in 2015, she was taken aback by how friendly people were. She loved the community’s “hippy vibe” that reminded her of the 1970s.

“When I would pass strangers they would look me in the eyes and smile,” said Nailing, a graduate student in the Teaching International Languages program. “I’m from L.A. I wasn’t used to that.”

Nailing left Chico one year later to train English teachers in Ukraine on a Peace Corps program. When she returned in January, she sensed that something in the city had changed. Nailing, an African-American re-entry student, says she sometimes found herself facing upfront hostility and defensiveness. read more