Chico resurrects Sit and Lie Ordinance Sidewalk rules divide the City Council at a tense meeting

photo by Karen Laslo

Audience members begin series of chants.

by Dave Waddell and Leslie Layton

The Chico City Council, after closing the council chamber to the public and ChicoSol, voted 4-3 in a tense and emotional meeting Tuesday to resurrect the expired Sit and Lie Ordinance.

The conservative council majority voted — after an audience disruption prompted the chamber closure — to bring back an ordinance aimed at people who they say are obstructing sidewalks and business entrances. City Attorney Vince Ewing said that under a California statute, the council could close the chamber to a disruptive audience — but not to members of the press. read more

City Council majority backs ordinance in closed meeting Council votes 4-3 on 'sit-and-lie' after barring ChicoSol from chamber

photo by Karen Laslo

by Dave Waddell and Leslie Layton

After Mayor Sean Morgan cleared the raucous Chico City Council chambers Tuesday night, Chico police officers barred ChicoSol News Director Dave Waddell from re-entering the meeting – the only member of the local news media who was barred.

Officer Jeff Durkin told Waddell he lacked the proper press credentials to regain entrance to the chamber – despite Waddell showing him his driver’s license and his ChicoSol business card. Durkin stood with another officer, Drew Cooper, outside the frosted glass doors to the council chambers. On multiple occasions a television reporter opened the door and communicated amicably with Durkin, before it closed again — with ChicoSol journalists still on the outside. read more

State probe of PAC more than year old Reports vague on spending targeting progressive candidates

by Dave Waddell

A Butte County political action committee – under state investigation for more than a year and counting – has become increasingly vague in reporting its spending activities targeting Chico liberals.

The state Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) announced on Aug. 15, 2016, that it had opened an investigation into Butte County Awareness and Accountability and its treasurer, Tom Kozik, as a result of information uncovered in this ChicoSol exclusive. read more

Sanctuary proponents regroup after failed effort at City Council Community members regret lack of discussion

by Leslie Layton

In part, it was the 4-3 vote against merely considering their request that surprised and frustrated college students, and that moved some of them to booing before they left the Council Chamber.

In part, it was the way the vote was taken – swiftly and without explanation – that stunned or offended some community members. On Tuesday, an audience that filled the chamber asked the Chico City Council to consider at an upcoming meeting a sanctuary policy that would help protect the local immigrant community and its relationship with police. read more

Chico residents to ask City Council for sanctuary designation On Tuesday, from the floor, a resolution proposal

women's march on chico

photo by Karen Laslo

 
Participant in January’s Women’s March on Chico

by Leslie Layton

A group of Chico residents plan to address the City Council Tuesday to request a “sanctuary” designation for the city – a statement that is important and controversial in an era of harsh immigration enforcement.

Elizabeth Alaniz, assistant director of Chico State’s Financial Aid and Scholarship office, said students from several campus groups plan to address the City Council on the issue at the panel’s Feb. 21 meeting. And Chico author and Zen Buddhist Lin Jensen said he has composed a draft resolution for a sanctuary designation after conducting extensive research on the matter. read more

Trickle-Down Meanness Shapes Attitudes Toward Homeless Local Election Outcomes Matter

photo by Dave Waddell

Sign that replaced a homeless man’s rest site

By Dave Waddell

While waiting for coffee recently, I became fixated on a mentally ill homeless man. He lay on his side in the shuttered entrance to what last was a Walgreens at East Avenue and the Esplanade. Every few seconds, the old, bearded, agitated man would flail his arms toward someone or something that was tormenting him but wasn’t really there. His situation – common across our country – struck me as just so sad and seemingly hopeless. read more