Cops usher homeless off triangular island Intervention aimed at getting them to a Chico winter shelter

photo by Dave Waddell
Cindy Hurt

by Dave Waddell

While some who had been living outside for months on a triangular island of city land seemed quite worried about their uprooting, 42-year-old Cindy Hurt said Monday’s intervention led by Chico police provided the prospects of a “solution.”

With the arrival of very cold and rainy weather, Chico PD’s so-called Target Team, along with Butte County Behavioral Health and Torres Shelter personnel, tried to usher an estimated 20 residents off the land, which is bordered by Little Chico Creek and Pine, Cypress and East 12th streets. Some residents were still packing up this morning. 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

Council forum on Chico police draws packed house Organizers claim distortions by one candidate, Chico E-R

photo by Karen Laslo

City Council candidate Rich Ober

by Dave Waddell

The four Chico City Council candidates speaking at a forum Monday night agreed on the need for fundamental change at Chico PD, including increased crisis intervention training, greater citizen oversight, and more cops out walking and on bicycles.

Those candidates – Alex Brown, Scott Huber, Rich Ober and Ken Rensink – for two hours answered questions from Concerned Citizens for Justice (CC4J), which sponsored the forum, as well as from members of an audience that filled a meeting room at the Chico branch of the Butte County Library. read more

Chico resurrects Sit and Lie Ordinance Sidewalk rules divide the City Council at a tense meeting

photo by Karen Laslo

Audience members begin series of chants.

by Dave Waddell and Leslie Layton

The Chico City Council, after closing the council chamber to the public and ChicoSol, voted 4-3 in a tense and emotional meeting Tuesday to resurrect the expired Sit and Lie Ordinance.

The conservative council majority voted — after an audience disruption prompted the chamber closure — to bring back an ordinance aimed at people who they say are obstructing sidewalks and business entrances. City Attorney Vince Ewing said that under a California statute, the council could close the chamber to a disruptive audience — but not to members of the press. read more

City Council majority backs ordinance in closed meeting Council votes 4-3 on 'sit-and-lie' after barring ChicoSol from chamber

photo by Karen Laslo

by Dave Waddell and Leslie Layton

After Mayor Sean Morgan cleared the raucous Chico City Council chambers Tuesday night, Chico police officers barred ChicoSol News Director Dave Waddell from re-entering the meeting – the only member of the local news media who was barred.

Officer Jeff Durkin told Waddell he lacked the proper press credentials to regain entrance to the chamber – despite Waddell showing him his driver’s license and his ChicoSol business card. Durkin stood with another officer, Drew Cooper, outside the frosted glass doors to the council chambers. On multiple occasions a television reporter opened the door and communicated amicably with Durkin, before it closed again — with ChicoSol journalists still on the outside. read more

Chicoans pack meeting to discuss homeless City Council will consider moving the Jesus Center

Bill Such

photos by Karen Laslo

The Chico City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to consider moving the Jesus Center and consolidating services to the homeless in southeast Chico. But Chicoans packed the meeting, some in favor of the plan, some opposed and some warning that the homeless shouldn’t be merely shuttled from downtown unless more services will be provided.

Bill Such, former Jesus Center executive director, said he fears the move could “compromise the identity” of the center. Such compared the homeless to Jesus of Nazarene, who he said was “intentionally homeless” and rejected by his family. “In Christian terms, Jesus, with nowhere to rest, is the homeless god,” Such said. read more