County supervisors endorse new water district Tuscan Water District creates water oligarchy, critics say

photo by Karen Laslo
Supervisor Tod Kimmelshue: “I believe we should use all of our county resources, including surface water.”

by Leslie Layton

The Butte County Board of Supervisors voted 3-1 Tuesday to endorse the formation of a new, landowner-run water district in which members will get one vote per acre of land they own. Members may also have to pay a hefty fee to belong to the governing body that will have authority to implement projects affecting the region’s aquifer.

The proposed Tuscan Water District (TWD) was endorsed by board Chair Bill Connelly and supervisors Tod Kimmelshue and Doug Teeter after hearing more than two hours of impassioned testimony from dozens of members of the public. (District 2 Supervisor Debra Lucero cast the lone vote in opposition and District 3 Supervisor Tami Ritter left the meeting early because of a personal emergency.) read more

Lucero: Public discourse on Tuscan Water District comes — but late "The public had not been part of the formation process"

photo by Karen Laslo
District 2 Supervisor Debra Lucero

by Debra Lucero
guest commentary

The Tuscan Water District story is unfolding in Butte County. This isn’t the first time large landowners have joined together to try to “preserve their way of life and heritage.” It has happened all over the state and more recently, in San Luis Obispo where the proposition to form a new, powerful California Water District failed.

So, how did this current effort in Butte County get birthed?

The former Butte County Water Conservation & Resource Department director, Paul Gosselin, (now the State of California’s deputy director of SGMA – Sustainable Groundwater Management Act) and a former longtime Sacramento Local Agency Formation Commission executive officer, John O’Farrell, came up with another idea — one that could circumvent the arduous San Luis Obispo process and even the Board of Supervisors. read more

Recall effort targets four CUSD board members Classrooms a battlefield as right shapes recall efforts statewide

photo by Leslie Layton
Trustee Matt Tennis, elected in November, has the support of Chico Parents for In-Person Learning that is working to recall the other board members.

by Natalie Hanson

“If the school does not enforce the mandates, I pull my kids.”

Parent and Chico State student David Gregory worries about tension in Chico Unified School District (CUSD), as some parents press for removal of masking requirements — and of district leaders.

Gregory has three children who attend Paradise High, Inspire and Paradise Charter Middle School. While he is happy with mitigation at the high schools, he worries about his middle-schooler.

“I try to be optimistic and tell them, ‘We have a vaccine and soon we will go to the amusement parks and you can see your friends,’” he said. “Then, without fail, loud, typically uneducated parents advocate against any sort of measures that may restore normalcy.” read more

Bidwell Junior High diversifies its curriculum "World Cultures" class invites Amma Culture, community elders

photo by Leslie Layton
Anecia Johnson, founder of the nonprofit Amma Culture.

by Leslie Layton

Amma Culture founder Anecia Johnson, for the past several years, has been delivering a pointed message to this community: Teach African American kids African history and they’ll identify with accomplishment, not oppression.

Before they learn about slavery or police violence, Black children — and all children, for that matter — should learn about Africa’s magnificent history that includes stories of kings and queens, astronomers and architects, Johnson says. In pre-colonial Africa, for example, ancient Egypt was known for its remarkable systems of literacy, mathematics and medicine. read more

Siskiyou County new frontier for resisting anti-Asian violence Hmong father killed by officers, escalating tensions

photo courtesy of Zurg Xiong’s Facebook support page
A July 17 rally in Yreka drew participants from Chico and from across the country.

by Sandy Close / Ethnic Media Services

YREKA — Over 600 Hmong Americans from across California and from as far away as Milwaukee and Minneapolis converged on a recent Saturday at the Siskiyou County courthouse in Yreka to demand a federal investigation into the June 28 fatal shooting of a Hmong father of three by law enforcement agencies.

Chico State University students and Chico-area residents were among those participating in the July 17 rally.

The protest has turned this sparsely-populated county nestled in the foothills of Mount Shasta into the newest flashpoint of resistance by Asian Americans against a surge of anti-Asian violence in the state, according to Mai Vang, a Sacramento City Council member who spoke at the rally. read more

Professor Denise Minor remembered as a mother, wife, teacher, writer Teary former students hold impromptu memorial

photo courtesy of family
Denise Minor

by Leslie Layton

Spanish linguistics Professor Denise Minor will be remembered for many things – for her creative approach to teaching, devotion to her family, fierce loyalty to those she loved.

She has already been remembered for her joyful laugh, her love of language and her appreciation for its evolution, all of which shaped the students she taught and the Chico State Spanish Program that hired her in 2007.

A memorial fund in her memory has been opened here to aid first and second-generation Latinx students. read more