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

Public schools take center stage in battles over civil rights Chico Unified School District sued by conservative group

photo courtesy of EMS
Michaele Turnage Young

by Natalie Hanson
posted Jan. 19

Civil rights advocates say that battles over student rights have become polarized by far-right “special interests,” and they foresee a fight ahead to protect childrens’ rights.

Those fights may involve issues ranging from protection against discrimination to materials students are allowed to access and read. And at a Jan. 18 Board of Trustees meeting for Chico Unified School District (CUSD), officials responded to concerns raised by a lawsuit filed by an organization that supports many of the political right’s causes with court fights. read more

Chico’s Stonewall responds to parent complaint, media report Stonewall Alliance gives LGBTQ 101 workshops

photo courtesy of Andrea Mox

by Natalie Hanson
posted Nov.11

Stonewall Alliance Chico’s Executive Director Andrea Mox was worried last month when a parent at Blue Oak Charter complained to school staff that their child came home asking about terms for LGBTQ+ people after attending a suicide prevention workshop.

Mox said the parent complained to the school and local media that they did not know their child would be attending a “sex education” workshop. The parent, quoted by a local news station without giving a name, was angry that their 12-year-old child was learning about terms like “pansexual.” read more

Cash rolls into races for 3 school board seats New PAC helps fund conservative candidates in unusually partisan race

photo by Karen Laslo
CUSD school board candidates in hotly-contested races for three seats answered questions at a September forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters.

by Natalie Hanson
posted Oct. 14

A trio of candidates — two of whom are challenging incumbents — are backed by a new, conservative political action committee that has raised an unusually large amount of money that is filtering into the races for three hotly contested seats on the Chico Unified School District (CUSD) Board of Trustees.

The candidates -– Rebecca Konkin in District 1, Matt Tennis in District 4 and Logan Wilson in District 5 -– are funded in part by Chico Parents for In-Person Learning, and the three have raised far more than their opponents. The Chico Parents group formed a political action committee (PAC) in March 2021 as it unsuccessfully attempted to recall every CUSD board member, except for the group’s co-founder, Tennis. read more

Tuscan Water District ballot-counting cancelled; election to be “redone” Ballot deficiencies had "consequences," attorney says

photo by Karen Laslo
Deseret’s facility on Wilson Landing Road.

by Leslie Layton
posted Sept. 29

Ballot-counting in the election on the Tuscan Water District (TWD) was cancelled Sept. 27 because of defects in the noticing process, the Butte County Clerk-Recorder’s office has said.

In a press release Sept. 28 -– the day the ballots were to be counted -– the clerk-recorder released a statement saying that concerns had been “raised regarding whether adequate notice” to voters had been provided. Today Clerk-Recorder Candace Grubbs said the election “wasn’t noticed properly and will be redone.” read more