Homeless evictions continue in southeast Chico Chico police block media from watching; upset citizens decry policy

photo by Karen Laslo
An officer tells a homeless woman at Humboldt and Forest to be out by evening on Feb. 16 as she stares into a small mirror.

by Leslie Layton

Chico Police Department today blocked the media from Boucher Street as officers informed homeless people camping there and at Forest and Humboldt streets that they had to move.

Unhoused people at both sites had been given 72-hour eviction notices that had expired. And as the rain ceased and the sun broke through today, police moved in on the encampments.

At Boucher and Wisconsin streets, community members offered to help campers load tents and possessions into trucks and move them if they had someplace to go. A few people chose to move to beneath the Highway 99 overpass in lower Bidwell Park. But with no shelter space available in the city, many didn’t know what to do. read more

City of Chico says it will enforce mask-wearing Council tries new approach to public participation at meetings

photo by Karen Laslo
Because of the pandemic, city employees sat outside during the meeting, in the 90-degree heat, handing out speaker cards to those who wished to speak at the City Council meeting.

Public participation was allowed at the Aug.4 City Council meeting — but a citizen speaker tore off his mask at the microphone as he addressed the panel.

The Council allowed in-person public participation at the meeting for the first time since the pandemic set in, asking would-be speakers to wear a face covering in the chambers and line up outside, staying 6 feet apart, until their names were called. They were allowed to then enter one-by-one. One man pulled off his mask as he addressed the Council, pleading with it not to enforce mandatory mask compliance. read more

Gallaway gave $250 to Judge Roy Moore PAC Committee backed Alabama Senate candidate who lost amid sex allegations

photo by Karen Laslo

Matt Gallaway

by Dave Waddell

Chico City Council candidate Matt Gallaway donated $250 last year to a political action committee (PAC) backing Judge Roy Moore, a controversial Alabama senatorial candidate, federal election records show.

The contribution was first referenced in a campaign flier put out by Chico Democrats as Chicoans mailboxes continue to be flooded with mailers in the lead-up to the Nov. 6 election. In what will probably become the highest-spending campaign in city history — and with partisan control of the Council at stake — more than $300,000 and counting has been contributed to candidates and PACs involved in the race. read more

Council forum on Chico police draws packed house Organizers claim distortions by one candidate, Chico E-R

photo by Karen Laslo

City Council candidate Rich Ober

by Dave Waddell

The four Chico City Council candidates speaking at a forum Monday night agreed on the need for fundamental change at Chico PD, including increased crisis intervention training, greater citizen oversight, and more cops out walking and on bicycles.

Those candidates – Alex Brown, Scott Huber, Rich Ober and Ken Rensink – for two hours answered questions from Concerned Citizens for Justice (CC4J), which sponsored the forum, as well as from members of an audience that filled a meeting room at the Chico branch of the Butte County Library. read more

Injustice supersedes civility, activist says Guest commentary says Council meeting disruption was necessary

photo by Leslie Layton

by Dan Everhart

On Sept. 4, a group of local human rights advocates, organizing under the name “Housing Not Handcuffs,” expressed their outrage over Chico City Council’s consistent and enduring ineptitude on the matter of homelessness by disrupting the meeting in protest over conservative enthusiasm for criminalizing our unhoused neighbors even further.

The rich enjoy more polite means of gaining Council’s attention, the rest of us must purchase it with speech amplified enough to be heard above the deafening roar of their wealth. read more

Council candidate spends rainy weekend on street Scott Huber learns about homelessness through experience

video feature by Guillermo Mash

Chico City Council candidate Scott Huber shares his experience of being without a roof the weekend of April 6-8 in this video. Huber touches on a handful of topics, including rain gear, a one-night stay at the Torres Shelter, stereotypes and surprises in this ChicoSol segment recorded prior to Chico Friends on the Street’s Sunday meal and survival-gear giveaway at Chico City Plaza. read more