Valley’s Edge opponents worry about environmental impacts Fight over foothill development has wracked Chico for decades

photo courtesy of Steve Evans
From left, Steve Evans, Michael McGinnis and Kelly Meagher announced the No way San Jose campaign in 1988 to stop development next to Upper Bidwell Park.

by Leslie Layton
posted Feb. 4

Thirty-five years ago, a small, progressive coalition stopped development in the lower foothills adjacent to Upper Bidwell Park with the rallying cry, “No way San Jose.”

That area has been protected under the name of Bidwell Ranch since the 1988 referendum that stopped the project. Voters in favor of stopping the Rancho Arroyo project wanted to protect northwest Chico -– not so much from inevitable population growth -– but from the kind of suburban sprawl that had come to be associated with California cities like San Jose and Fresno. read more

Will Valley’s Edge provide the housing Chico needs? Environmental organizations file lawsuit to stop the project

photo by Leslie Layton
Bill Brouhard presenting the proposed Valley’s Edge housing development to the Chico City Council.

by Natalie Hanson
posted Feb. 2

Chico is known to be severely lacking housing most residents can reasonably afford -– and yet an ambitious project the city has approved to develop housing near the foothills has garnered significant pushback.

On Jan. 3, Chico’s City Council greenlit the Valley’s Edge project. Today, national and regional environmental organizations filed a lawsuit to stop Valley’s Edge, alleging that the environmental impact report is out of compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act. The coalition that filed suit, including AquAlliance, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Sierra Club, issued a statement saying they were suing the City of Chico and Chico Land Investments LLC “for approving a development … without properly assessing or mitigating wildfire and other environmental risks.” read more

Bill Mash always had a project going Chico loses an activist and story-teller who gave the unhoused a voice

photo by Karen Laslo
Mash at KZFR radio station where he produced programs.

by Natalie Hanson
posted Dec. 5

Eric Mash remembers how his father, Bill “Guillermo” Mash, always had projects underway. So when his father told the family that he had decided to move to Chico and write about homelessness, no one was surprised.

“He fell in love with Chico,” Eric said. “He just had this passion and fire within him to help others, and to always love and care about everybody. He did everything on a bicycle … helping the homeless, helping all the causes.”

Chico writer, radio personality and tireless advocate Bill Mash is being remembered by the Chico community as many friends and loved ones mourn his sudden death last week after a heart attack on Nov. 19. 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

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

Survey designed to build support for sales tax measure produces good response Trust will be a problem for the City of Chico

photo by Leslie Layton
Deadline for returning the “Essential City Services” survey is April 22.

by Leslie Layton
posted April 21

A mailer from the City of Chico with a survey to be returned by April 22 is a piece in a three-phase campaign to win support for a city-wide 1 percent sales tax. The survey asks city residents to rank their spending priorities in order of importance.

Chico is one of about eight “full-service” cities in the state that don’t have a local sales tax; it receives a small portion of state sales tax revenue only. Full-service cities provide public safety and other services. read more