Chico State spirals into deep hole Commentary: "The trust Hutchinson wants to rebuild may be hard won"

photo courtesy of Ariana Powell

by Ariana Powell
posted Jan. 4

It’s been two years since the start of Professor David Stachura and Chico State’s spiral into a deep hole. Stachura’s alleged decision to engage in a “consensual” relationship with one of his students started it all. Following that, Chico State decided to keep the investigation, and later reports of violent threats, from its faculty, staff and student population.

Even though I am not a part of the biology department at Chico State, there are multiple aspects surrounding the handling of the Stachura situation that raised red flags for me -– both as a Chico State student and a woman. read more

An open letter to the new Chico police chief Gold: 'Change the culture of police violence'

photo by Leslie Layton
Billy Aldridge was a captain at Chico Police Department and was promoted to chief on Dec. 20.

by George Gold
column posted Dec. 21

I’m afraid to live in Chico. Not because I might be mugged, not because I might get shot in a carjacking, but I am worried that on any given day I could be shot by someone representing our police department.

Rather than budgetary increases for the much needed road repairs all over Chico, rather than funds to help those of us who may live without a home, rather than funds to provide more robust care for many of the mental health challenges we know are coursing through our communities every day, our City Council keeps approving more and more money for tactical and military-style weapons for the police. More than 50% of the City of Chico’s budget ends up on the police department balance sheet. read more

Mike Ramsey’s backward notions on mental illness Butte County’s forever DA has history of demonizing in-crisis victims

photo by Karen Laslo

Butte County DA Mike Ramsey

by Dave Waddell
commentary posted Dec. 17

I know Butte County has an elderly district attorney, but who knew Mike Ramsey’s thinking on mental illness was so prehistoric?

I am referring to a quote from Ramsey, Butte’s 35-year (!) DA, in Leslie Layton’s ChicoSol story about the difficult societal problems presented by Thomas David Bona.

Bona is a serial criminal living with schizophrenia and a multitude of delusions. He thinks he’s a member of the Sureños gang, which he isn’t. He also seems to have violently acted out his perceived ties to “The Sopranos” television crime family. read more

Adapting agriculture to new climate demands Global warming: "Humans made it, humans can unmake it"

photo by Richard Roth
Wilson Landing Road orchards exemplify problems with conventional ag practices.

by Richard Roth
posted Oct. 27

Adaptive agriculture is one of the greatest tools humans have for solving the problem of global warming. A big ticket — true, but in an age where cow burps and farts have become the vapor of hot debates all around the world, it is time to take a reflective examination of the “what, when, how, where, and who” of natural resource management in our homes and greater communities. And then encourage implementation of corrective adaptation quickly.

In a time of radical climate change, we must consider radical change in land use management when considering such things as formation of the Tuscan Water District. read more

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