On the war against women Are we headed back to the Dark Ages?

photo by George Gold
Women at a protest for reproductive rights in Chico.

by George Gold
posted Sept. 26

The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) has reported that in the United States, 45 percent of sexual assaults are committed by an acquaintance, and an additional 25 percent by a current or former intimate partner. That means that in 70% of all cases, the rapist is known to the victim.

In a major 2009 European Commission study of rape cases across Europe, it was found that 67% of rapists were known to the victim. To the best of my knowledge, these horrific numbers haven’t really changed in the last 25 years. read more

Law enforcement’s killing ‘playbook’ revealed ‘3 Seconds in October’ documentary recounts 13-year-old’s shooting

From the “3 Seconds in October” documentary available on PBS KVIE.

by Dave Waddell
posted Sept. 12

I’d like to plug an important, disturbing and highly instructive film that gets at some little-known truths about police killings and is now available for viewing online: “3 Seconds in October: The Shooting of Andy Lopez.”

“3 Seconds in October” was produced and directed by Ron Rogers and is enhanced by Peter Coyote’s incomparable narrative voice. The 28-minute documentary recently received a regional Emmy Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. read more

The tracks of our tears Attending 'Memorial for the Fallen' for victims of police killings

photo by Karen Laslo
At left, Gabriel Sanchez is now 17 and was only 10 when his father, Eddie Gabriel ‘Gabe’ Sanchez, was killed by Chico police. At right is Gabe Sanchez’s stepmother, Sheryl Sanchez.

by George Gold
guest commentary July 24

While this great Smokey Robinson song isn’t directly related to the event held yesterday honoring some of the precious lives lost at the hands of the Chico Police Department, there were tears in the room as we listened to the parents, uncles, brothers and sisters tell stories of people who should be alive today.

If we could just get our police to grow some humanity and some skills in how to de-escalate difficult interactions between police and our neighbors, we might see some progress. read more

June 24, 2022: Roe v. Wade overturned What Does One Generation Owe Another?

photo courtesy of Ellen Walker
Margaret Sanger with Lena Levine, founders of what would become Planned Parenthood.

by Ellen Walker
guest commentary

On this dark day for women’s rights to reproductive health, choice, and privacy, I cry for American women of reproductive age, but I also weep more private tears for my mother, Lena Levine, who joined Margaret Sanger as a young medical intern and worked with her in the early days of what would become The Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

She devoted most of her life to giving women control over their bodies, from decriminalizing contraception to educating women about their sexual and reproductive rights. My tears for her are guilty ones: I, and my generation, were unable to hold fast to those principles of equality and justice for women which her generation fought so hard to establish and secure. read more

A plea for real gun control The question is whether leaders "have the guts to act"

photo by Karen Laslo
At the July 2 Chico Certified Farmers’ Market, someone hung T-shirts and printed on each shirt the name of a child killed in the May 24 school massacre in Uvalde, Tex.

by George Gold
guest commentary posted June 14

There’s an epidemic in America that came, not from a laboratory test tube and not from some animal-to-human transmission, but that was created here, by us.

Guns are everywhere and they’re being used to kill people. They’re killing us in schools, supermarkets, even cemeteries. So is this the best we can do? The level of anger that seemingly is coming from so many parts of our society is frightening. But we have to start somewhere.

In an era of disinformation, any lie can find traction in the circles of the very people who are already angry about the unfairness of life. They then take their frustrations out on the rest of us with their guns. Life isn’t fair, but perhaps we can work to make it … umm … more fair. read more

Police don’t need military-grade weapons "Chico is not in a war zone"

photo courtesy of George Gold

by George Gold
guest commentary posted April 1

In 1987, there was a bank robbery in North Hollywood, California. I remember it because I used to live in North Hollywood. I remember it because the bank robbers were heavily armed, were dressed in body armor, and the police on the scene were, as they say, out gunned. As the shootout went on for some time, some of the cops on scene actually went to nearby gun stores to obtain some more powerful weapons.

This event has been used by police departments across the country to arm themselves with ever more powerful weapons. This bank robbery was tragic and horrible. But there has never been another event like that since 1987; certainly never in Chico. And yet police departments have continued to arm themselves, and then we, as law abiding people, are treated as if we are aligned with the bank robbers of North Hollywood. read more