Connecting farmworkers to healthcare in California’s rural north Glenn & Butte counties included in effort

As a “promotora” for Ampla Health, Maria Soto is at the forefront of expanding Medi-Cal access across Glenn, Butte and other rural Northern California counties.

by Peter Schurmann, EMS
posted April 11

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HAMILTON CITY – It’s late February and the road to Hamilton City about 10 miles west of Chico is lined with blooming almond trees, their pink blossoms blanketing the fields for miles around. A single clinic stands in the center of town.

Inside the clinic we meet Maria Soto, whose work as a promotora is an essential piece in California’s ambitious plan to deliver healthcare to all residents regardless of immigration status. read more

University Farm director brings global perspective Orellana's priorities: water, technology, community engagement

photo by Ken Smith
Ricardo Orellana brings a global perspective to his role as the Chico State University farm director.

by Ken Smith
posted April 5

Ricardo Orellana grew up against the backdrop of a 12-year civil war in his native El Salvador, but his childhood memories are thankfully dominated by more peaceful recollections — namely, of working with the cows at his grandmother’s farm outside the small town of Usulutá.

“It wasn’t a large farm, just five or six acres with about 25 milking cows and a few other animals,” Orellana said during a recent interview. “She also grew cassavas, tomatoes, beans and corn. It was very rural, and how I fell in love with agriculture.” read more

Chico voters rejecting planned community Valley’s Edge Environmental costs and traffic influenced voters

photo by Leslie Layton
The Valley’s Edge houses would be built on lava cap.

by Natalie Hanson
posted March 7

Editor’s note: The Butte County Clerk-Recorder’s office released official election results on March 28 that show that almost 63% voted NO on Measure O and 62% opposed Measure P.

Preliminary results in the primary election show Chico voters rejecting the controversial Valley’s Edge project that would produce a planned community east of City limits.

As of March 8, the preliminary count showed the number of “NO” votes on measures O and P at 62% of some 19,000 ballots that had been counted. Those measures would amend the General Plan and the Valley’s Edge Specific Plan to allow the development. read more

Protesting our military extravagance Looking ahead to "flooding, melting polar ice, human migration"

photo by George Gold
September protest at Beale Air Force Base.

by George Gold
guest commentary posted Oct. 26

In September, about a dozen members of the Chico Peace Alliance traveled to the front gate of Beale Air Force Base to deliver a message to pilots and support workers.

We wanted to share our view — not often noted by the defense establishment — about the hazards that are caused by the U.S. military industrial complex. Our view was that peace is more important than war, and that the U.S. defense infrastructure causes a huge negative environmental impact right there in Marysville and around the world. read more

Chico’s unhoused use survival strategies Extreme weather makes homelessness tougher than ever

photo by Karen Laslo
Donna Shepard

by Leslie Layton
posted Oct. 2

The first in a two-part series on homelessness in Chico in 2023.

Donna Shepard spent some of Chico’s hottest days this past summer hunting down water.

Shepard lives at the encampment known in Chico as the “alternate site” -– the homeless campground the City established to comply with a lawsuit settlement -– and though a spigot was installed, the water it released in the middle of a hot day was itself often too hot to touch. read more

Affordable housing comes on line in Butte Demand fierce; homelessness unresolved

photo by Leslie Layton
Butte County Housing Authority Executive Director Ed Mayer at the play area of North Creek Crossings, an affordable housing complex.

by Natalie Hanson
posted Sept. 18

Affordable housing for low-income renters is growing increasingly available across Butte County -– even as the population of unhoused people grows.

There has been progress on the housing gap as new affordable housing developments come on line, and more expensive homes free up units for those qualifying for low-income units, said Butte County Housing Authority Executive Director Ed Mayer. read more