City Hall rally for public safety creates danger A tense confrontation is diffused

photo by Morgan Kennedy
A Trump flag was flown at the so-called public safety demonstration in front of city hall Tuesday.

by Morgan Kennedy
guest commentary

“Chico First,” “One Chico,” “Safe Chico,” or whatever this group is choosing to call itself this week had a protest in front of city hall on Tuesday.

As a response to a recent escalation in the aggressive language members or supporters of the groups use on social media, some Chicoans – myself included — decided to hold a counter demonstration prior to the City Council meeting. read more

Let’s embrace responsibility and help the unhoused Individual stories eclipse overused term ‘criminal vagrant’

photo by Karen Laslo

Chico City Councilmember Scott Huber.

by Scott Huber

After recent experiences, I’m compelled to present a counter-narrative to those who have spoken out against a “Code Blue” cold-weather shelter (and other sheltering ideas).

At the Feb. 5 Chico City Council meeting, a minority of speakers expressed their reasons for opposing a city-sponsored cold-weather shelter. Their reasons included (paraphrased) “sheltering these people is not Chico’s responsibility, it is the responsibility of Butte County or the non-profits.” Others asserted that because this form of shelter would be open to anyone it would allow for “drug addicts, criminals and sexual predators” (again paraphrased). read more

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