Juneteenth celebration draws community members to DeGarmo

photo by Karen Laslo
Juneteenth at DeGarmo Park in Chico.

by Karen Laslo & Leslie Layton
posted June 19

A Juneteenth celebration, with food, music and speeches, drew a cross-section of the community to DeGarmo Park today to celebrate the federal holiday that commemorates the end of slavery.

“We’re really going for a family-reunion type vibe,” said Christina Archie, an organizer with the group, Building Leaders, Advocates & Community Connections (BLACC) late in the afternoon. “We’re just wanting people to feel the love within the community. We’re working on that connection piece, community connection. It’s been really cool.” 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

A detour to the Cesar Chavez monument At the southern tip of Highway 99

Editor’s note: ChicoSol is reviving its Highway 99 series that was popular some 10 years ago to mark this year’s Cesar Chavez Day. State Route 99 cuts through California’s Central Valley, where union organizing had a tremendous impact.

by Lindajoy Fenley
posted March 27

The final resting place of Cesar Chavez, who led strikes to improve the lot of underpaid and disrespected farmworkers nationwide more than 50 years ago, has the peaceful moniker Nuestra Señora Reina de la Paz. read more

Chico residents again plea for a ceasefire resolution Some students say they're facing harassment

photo by Natalie Hanson
Yahmo Aqhba: “[The war is] affecting people, killing people we know and love.”

by Natalie Hanson
posted March 21

A group of Chico residents again have called on city leaders — in a third effort — to pass a ceasefire resolution that would show support for the Palestinian community amid Israel’s bombardment of Gaza.

At the meeting earlier this week (March 19), activist Rain Scher stepped to the podium to present a revised ceasefire resolution to the City Council. Scher, a member of Chico Jews in Solidarity with Palestine, pointed out that the new resolution calls for declaring that all human life is “precious.” Scher told ChicoSol that the resolution “explicity names both the Palestinian and Israeli casualties.” read more

Debajito brings diverse mix of rhythms to Chico dance floors Popular band mixes Latin American musical styles with hip hop and more

by Ken Smith
posted Feb. 29

If not for some creative thinking on the part of its members, Chico’s Debajito could have been just another creative casualty of the COVID-19 crisis. An early incarnation of the group played just one show at Tender Loving Coffee before the virus – and accompanying shutdowns – struck our area. With the standard venues shuttered and indoor gatherings prohibited, the members of Debajito started their own pandemic-era scene. read more

Unsheltered, Tom Covington faces hostility and sometimes violence Unhoused are not protected under hate crime law in California

photo by Leslie Layton
Tom Covington was struck by a flaming bag as he slept in a doorway.

by Natalie Hanson & Leslie Layton
posted Feb. 21

Tom Covington curled up to sleep in a downtown Chico doorway on a January night near another unsheltered man. Both men were awakened around 2 a.m. by a flaming bag that was tossed on them and that burned Covington’s sleeping bag, hand and his right side.

Covington was able to slap the fire out, but the men were disgusted and angry to find that the bag was full of feces. Covington’s wheelchair had been taken by one of the two men who had been lurking around them when they bedded down. read more