Covid data collection slows in Butte County and elsewhere Older data will make it harder to track trends, Hammond says

photo courtesy of Christian Hammond, who used Butte County Public Health data for his Covid-tracking database.

by Natalie Hanson
posted Nov. 17

During the past few months, Butte County -– like many California counties — has scaled down its local COVID data collection process.

The change comes after two years of maintaining a database displayed on the Public Health Department website that was based on data gathered daily from local medical service providers.

Now the county is relying on state data that is updated only once per week -– and that worries data wizards like Christian Hammond. Hammond, who runs the Unofficial Butte County COVID-19 Dashboard -– separate from the dashboard managed by public health –- said only getting updated data weekly will further impede what is already a slow, flawed way to study the novel coronavirus. read more

Bona charged again with hate graffiti Chico conundrum: how to stop the vandalism

Thomas David Bona

by Leslie Layton
posted Nov. 15

Update: At a Nov. 16 hearing, a judge suspended criminal proceedings in this case and ordered a psychological examination of Thomas Bona that will be delivered Dec. 21. Bona had refused to come to court for the hearing.

Thomas David Bona, who has been in and out of the Butte County courtrooms and jail during the past 16 years, now faces felony charges with hate crime enhancements in connection with two recent graffiti incidents.

Bona is scheduled to be back in court Nov. 16 on charges related to the discovery of swastikas etched into the Murdered & Missing Indigenous Women mural at Cedar and Second streets and on the Congregation Beth Israel sign at the local synagogue. Both the mural and the temple sign had been partially burned. He’s also charged with throwing a rock through the window of a local restaurant. read more

Chico’s Stonewall responds to parent complaint, media report Stonewall Alliance gives LGBTQ 101 workshops

photo courtesy of Andrea Mox

by Natalie Hanson
posted Nov.11

Stonewall Alliance Chico’s Executive Director Andrea Mox was worried last month when a parent at Blue Oak Charter complained to school staff that their child came home asking about terms for LGBTQ+ people after attending a suicide prevention workshop.

Mox said the parent complained to the school and local media that they did not know their child would be attending a “sex education” workshop. The parent, quoted by a local news station without giving a name, was angry that their 12-year-old child was learning about terms like “pansexual.” read more

Shootings at Teichert Ponds encampment alarm activists DA: Self defense "difficult thing" to overcome

photo by Natalie Hanson
A tent at the Teichert Ponds site.

by Natalie Hanson
posted Nov. 5

Shootings at Chico’s Teichert Ponds has some residents worried that unhoused people are facing increasing violence -– perhaps linked to rising levels of “dehumanizing” speech targeting them.

A shooting at the Ponds killed an unhoused man and left another seriously injured last year, and a shooting last month in the same preserve nearly killed another unhoused man. Both shootings involved people entering the Teichert Ponds encampment with the likely intent to “start a fight,” in District Attorney Mike Ramsey’s opinion. read more

Bidwell Park struggles with increased use, dry conditions Californians flock to public parks to escape lockdowns, connect with nature

photo by Leslie Layton
This photo was taken in Lower Park, that portion of the park west of Manzanita Avenue, but the total length of the park is about 11 miles.

by Natalie Hanson
posted Nov. 1

The city of Chico winds around one of the largest municipal parks in the country — Bidwell Park. Step off the sidewalk and enter the park, and the city seems to disappear. You’re under a tree canopy, on a street or trail lined with oaks, ferns and sycamores.

Park lovers -— who on most days see dog-walkers, cyclists, runners and skateboarders -– say they fear losing this precious place to climate change, wildfires, littering and human overuse and indifference. Residents and scientists say they want to see city leaders step up to protect the parks to prevent loss to wildfire and climate change -– particularly now that usage has increased. Bidwell, like many of California’s public parks, saw an increase in visitors during the COVID pandemic. read more

Adapting agriculture to new climate demands Global warming: "Humans made it, humans can unmake it"

photo by Richard Roth
Wilson Landing Road orchards exemplify problems with conventional ag practices.

by Richard Roth
posted Oct. 27

Adaptive agriculture is one of the greatest tools humans have for solving the problem of global warming. A big ticket — true, but in an age where cow burps and farts have become the vapor of hot debates all around the world, it is time to take a reflective examination of the “what, when, how, where, and who” of natural resource management in our homes and greater communities. And then encourage implementation of corrective adaptation quickly.

In a time of radical climate change, we must consider radical change in land use management when considering such things as formation of the Tuscan Water District. read more