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FREE CHICO’S NEWS AND ENTERTAINMENT SOURCE VOLUME 44, ISSUE 9 THURSDAY, MARCH 11, 2021 CHICO.NEWSREVIEW.COM

Young Minds in Quarantine COVID restrictions on schools increasingly affect mental health of Chico kids BY EVAN TUCHINSKY PAGE 8

SEWERING PARADISE • HOMELESS ENCAMPMENT FALLOUT • DREAMY PIZZA • PROTEST ART


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M A RC H 1 1 , 20 21


INSIDE

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Vol. 44, Issue 9 • March 11, 2021

OPINION

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Second & Flume . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Editorial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Guest Comment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 This Modern World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Letters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Streetalk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

NEWSLINES

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Downstroke . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Remote learning and student mental health . . . . . . 8 Sewer for Paradise? . . . . . . . . . . . 12

FEATURE

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Fallout over homeless-encampment sweeps

ARTS & CULTURE

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March Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Scene . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Reel World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Chow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Arts DEVO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Brezsny’s Astrology. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 ON THE COVER: ILLUSTRATION BY MARK RICKETTS

Our Mission: To publish great newspapers that are successful and enduring. To create a quality work environment that encourages employees to grow professionally while respecting personal welfare. To have a positive impact on our communities and make them better places to live. Editor at large Melissa Daugherty Interim Editor Jason Cassidy Contributing Editor Evan Tuchinsky Staff Writers Ashiah Scharaga, Ken Smith Calendar Editor/Editorial Assistant Trevor Whitney

Managing Art Director Tina Flynn Publications & Advertising Designers Cathy Arnold, Katelynn Mitrano, Jocelyn Parker Sales & Business Coordinator Jennifer Osa Advertising Consultant Ray Laager Distribution Lead Trevor Whitney Distribution Staff Michael Gardner, Drew Garske, Jackson Indar, Larry Smith, Bill Unger, Richard Utter, David Wyles

353 E. Second St., Chico, CA 95928 Mail PO Box 13370 Sacramento, CA 95813 Phone (530) 894-2300 Website chico.newsreview.com President/CEO Jeff vonKaenel Director of Nuts & Bolts Deborah Redmond Director of Dollars & Sense Miranda Hansen Accounting Staff Gus Trevino Developer John Bisignano System Support Specialist Kalin Jenkins Got a News Tip? chiconewstips@newsreview.com Post Calendar Events chico.newsreview.com/calendar Want to Advertise? cnradinfo@newsreview.com Editorial Policies: Opinions expressed in CN&R are those of the authors and not of Chico Community Publishing, Inc. Contact the editor for permission to reprint articles or other portions of the paper. CN&R is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts or review materials. Email letters to cnrletters@newsreview.com. All letters received become the property of the publisher. We reserve the right to print letters in condensed form and to edit them for libel. Advertising Policies: All advertising is subject to the newspaper’s Standards of Acceptance. The advertiser and not the newspaper assumes the responsibility for the truthful content of their advertising message. CN&R is printed at PressWorks Ink on recycled newsprint. CN&R is a member of Chico Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Chico Business Association, AAN and AWN.

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OPINION

Send guest comments, 340 words maximum, to gc@newsreview.com or to 353 E. Second St., Chico, CA 95928. Please include photo & short bio.

SECOND & FLUME

EDITORIAL

Blessed are the activists W outside of the City Council chambers last Tuesday (March 2),

e were heartened by the turnout

where dozens of Chicoans gathered to remember their homeless neighbors. They were there to mourn those who’d perished—at least 18 people over the past eight months—and bring attention to these deaths. Tragically, several of the departed died alone literally on the streets. The demonstration reminded us that there are many people in Chico who care deeply about those who are less fortunate. Sadly, kind folks often get overshadowed by the hateful rhetoric of the armchair authoritarians who use their keyboards to rile up outrage in the community. We’re referring to the people who are concerned not with the struggles of those living without shelter but rather with how such poverty is an eyesore. In their echo chamber, they have emboldened each other, speaking as though they have more right to the public square. They refer to homeless individuals as criminals and activists as enablers. One of them had the audacity to suggest that citizen’s arrests were warranted for helpers, a call to action Butte County’s district attorney and Chico’s police chief shot down, the latter issuing a statement noting that wannabe cops could be subject to both civil liability and criminal charges. We’re tired of their endless vilification, but the greater concern is the action being carried out by order of local elected leaders. The City Council’s grand plan to address homelessness is giving street and park dwellers notices to vacate one site only to reissue them to the same people elsewhere at a later date. It’s an exercise in futility. It’s also quite cruel. Members of the council and city management like to weave a narrative about Chico’s great capacity for compassion, but those words ring hollow. There is nothing even remotely humane about a policy wherein the

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destitute are booted from public spaces without being offered an alternative. Such tactics are hard on the body and the soul. But that’s the point, isn’t it? The current council is intent on inflicting misery on human beings with the hope that they’ll have enough and move along indefinitely. That or perhaps die. Frankly, we are ashamed of our beloved town. We are mortified that the council has chosen to meet this moment with a concerted effort to double down on human suffering. Thankfully, we also have a strong activist community to help individuals and bring attention to their plight. That’s what we saw last week, when citizens laid down on the cold concrete in front of the City Council chambers during a “die-in” demonstration in remembrance of the aforementioned individuals who passed away. It was simultaneously a cry for mercy for those on the streets, as well as a call for the council to do something to abate the humanitarian crisis in our midst. Chico has a long and storied tradition of civil disobedience, and we’re happy to see newcomers join longtime activists in what we see as the most critical cause in modern local history. We have no doubt that their efforts are justified and righteous. Conversely, we have no doubt that, should the city continue its current course of action, the names of those in the council majority—Andrew Coolidge, Kami Denlay, Sean Morgan, Kasey Reynolds and Deepika Tandon—will be remembered for this shameful, ill-conceived policy. Of course, that protest was just the latest act of solidarity in the activist community to stand up for local unhoused residents. Behind the scenes, good people have been quietly volunteering in a multitude of capacities— providing food and supplies needed for every life, as well as words of comfort and encouragement. We thank them for being on the right side of history. Ω

Tell us what you think in a letter to the editor. Send submissions of 200 or fewer words to cnrletters@newsreview.com.

MARCH 11, 2021

by Melissa Daugherty m e l i s s a d @ n e w s r e v i e w. c o m

Damage control I’ll never forget the day after the Camp Fire. That’s when I headed into the burning hellscape of what I once recognized as the town of Paradise. My last impression of Chico that morning was stopping at a checkpoint at the bottom of the Skyway, beyond which only public safety personnel, utility workers and members of the media were allowed. I was riding shotgun in my colleague’s car, and we readied our press credentials as we approached a barricade and an attendant highway patrolman. After checking our badges, he had only one question for us. “Know where to go to stay safe?” It was one of those moments where you quickly have to gauge a response. Mine was honesty. “Nope,” I said. I mean, how could we? The mega blaze was still raging uncontrollably. At that moment, we knew driving up there was inherently dangerous, but risk-taking is part of the job. “Well, be careful,” the CHP officer said before waving us through. He obviously had better intel about just how bad things were up on the Ridge. To his credit—knowing we had the right to document the scene—he didn’t attempt to further dissuade us. It wasn’t my first time driving into an active fire, albeit nothing could have prepared me for bearing witness to the detritus of the deadliest and most destructive fire in state history. It’s through that lens I’ve been chewing on a press release from the city of Chico that says it did nothing wrong when it barred the press from getting an up-close look at a recent effort to roust homeless folks—ostensibly over concerns that heavy equipment on-site endangered reporters. Earlier this month, CN&R reporter Ken Smith and an Enterprise-Record writer, along with a few other journalists, were turned back at a bridge leading to a city-owned property in the Chapman neighborhood where an encampment had sprung up in the wake of a prior eviction at the greenway called The Triangle. As the city has done on previous occasions when it runs afoul of the law—like the several times in memory it has violated the Brown Act—denial was a key feature in its press release. The document reads, in part: “This perimeter was properly set up to ensure all safety precautions were adhered to and access by the media and protestors (sic) was safely allowed adjacent to the active site.” Cue my eye-roll. To the contrary of the city’s ham-fisted attempt at public relations—aka damage control—media access was, in fact, denied. In response, the CN&R signed onto a letter penned by Chico E-R Editor Mike Wolcott chiding the city for, as he put it, the “inexcusable violation of our First Amendment right to report the news.” With all due respect to protesters, journalists are afforded special privileges. They have a constitutional right to document—without interference and without themselves interfering in—public affairs. The city, and especially the Chico Police Department, ought to know this. I’m at home these days, tending to my school-age son, but I know what it’s like to be a journalist in the thick of intense, dynamic situations. One of the first such incidents was when police in full riot gear came marching up Main Street in response to an Iraq War protest that shut down traffic. I was the lone staffer for my newspaper, so I got a crash course in one-woman journalism that day. “I’m a reporter,” I shouted more than a few times while walking backward to take photos of the oncoming battalion, and hunching over to scribble notes during interviews with those who’d planted themselves in the middle of the street. The veteran police officers understood my place at the scene, but a few overzealous rookies needed reminders. That protest was in March 2003. It’s hard to believe the city of Chico could be so ill-informed about the First Amendment 18 years later, especially given the focus on media rights in recent years. Moreover, considering we’re talking about local journalists who’ve dealt with multiple natural disasters, I don’t for one second buy the narrative that the city was concerned about anyone’s safety. What we’re actually talking about here is willful interference. Indeed, I believe the real reason the city blocked off the area leading to the homeless encampment was to mitigate damage to its reputation. We’ve all seen the photos of previous homeless roustings. No matter what people think about the squalor of unsanctioned campgrounds, one cannot deny the suffering wrought by evictions. More to the point, such documentation becomes part of the record and may be evidence for pending litigation for civil rights violations. First Amendment violations aside, if city leaders believe these sweeps are legal and ethical, they should have no problem with journalists freely documenting them. Spoiler alert: They don’t.


Human rights and our homeless neighbors AHuman United Nations Universal Declaration of Rights is no less relevant today, especially dopted in the wake of the horrors of World War II, the

in view of the horrors visited upon Chico’s homeless population. Article 25, Section 1, states: “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, by disability, widowhood, old age or Patrick Newman other lack of livelihood in circumThe author is stances beyond his control.” founder of Chico Friends on In shelter deprivation, the the Streets. homeless experience a primary human rights violation. This violation engenders collateral rights, made obvious and necessary for the sustenance of life

and the defense of personal liberty: 1) Whereas homeless residents of Chico have no property on which to store or prepare food, they have a right to life-sustaining, community-provided food supplies. 2) Whereas homeless people cannot routinely obtain, store or launder clothing, they have a right to life-sustaining, community-provided, weather-appropriate clothing. 3) Whereas homeless people have no homes in which to rest, they have a life-sustaining “right to rest” in public spaces. 4) Whereas the homeless have a right to rest, materials necessary for the life-sustaining act of sleeping—such as bedding, tarps and tents—must be made available. 5) Whereas the homeless have no toilet access on private property, they have a right to 24-hour, community-supported toilet access on public property. 6) The homeless have a right to privacy and security in their possessions; that is, a right to freedom from arbitrary intrusions and actions by law enforcement personnel. 7) The homeless have a right to peaceably assemble in the public space. 8) The homeless have a right to refuse services, GUEST COMMENT C O N T I N U E D

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GUEST COMMENT

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especially where compulsory sheltering is a means of de facto incarceration. These rights are self-evident and inalienable. No abridgment of these rights—regardless of how evident

in the city of Chico’s practices—can erode fundamental principles of justice. Principles applying, in any decent society, first and foremost to the poorest and most vulnerable among us. Ω

LETTERS One for Madden … Recently, Chico Police Chief Matt Madden made comments during a KPAY radio interview that need to be questioned, regarding Stephen Vest’s killing by two Chico officers. Madden stated it was “irresponsible” for Chicoans to question the use of force immediately after the killing. I beg to differ. Is it responsible for Madden to leave the impression the public has to abandon their First Amendment right to freedom of speech? Will Madden defend Constitutional rights or not? Maybe Chicoans opposed to the quick use of lethal force should become cop watchers? Was Chief Madden correct when he told the host that the definition of deescalation was for an officer to “redirect behavior with words?” His comment was troubling and inaccurate. A direct quote defining deescalation from the Commission of Peace Officer Standards and Training manual, over 130 pages in length, is this: “Deescalation is the process of using strategies and techniques intended to decrease the intensity of the situation.” Did Madden forget the word “techniques” is plural? Madden encouraged the listeners to go to the DA’s website and view the killing of Stephen. I hope all you CN&R readers will do so. Ask yourself, is Madden right when he says any “objectively reasonable” person will see the killing of Stephen was justifiable? I doubt objective Chicoans will think the 11 bullets fired into Stephen in two seconds were reasonable, objective or necessary. Do you agree with Madden? Scott Rushing Ventura

… and one for LaMalfa Re “Unforgiven” (Second & Flume, Feb. 11): Congressman Doug LaMalfa is complicit with the events on Jan. 6 by fanning the flames of Trump’s ongoing lie the election would be, and then was, stolen. If LaMalfa is “One of us,” one really has to wonder: Who are we? We can not forget this and allow him to be elected again with his dismissiveness of the insurrection in the Capitol and his allegiance to a corrupt Trump versus honoring his oath to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

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I share your challenge of never being able to see people the same way regarding [where] we fall on either side of the divide. These aren’t traditional differences around politics, but rather around values of common human decency, truth and accountability. Ryan Miller Chico

Swept away Re “High Noon at the Triangle” (chico. newsreview.com): Observations on the City of Chico sweeps: 1. They’re not an effective use of taxpayer funds. Sweeps are more expensive than campgrounds. Sweeps cost tens of thousands of dollars; campgrounds are typically profitable businesses—paying taxes instead of costing us taxpayers money. 2. In the midst of a pandemic, the sweeps fly in face of CDC guidelines. Shuffling people around creates a greater risk of spreading COVID-19. The sweeps are an unnecessary public health risk. 3. The sweep program as described by a city Councilmember has no endgame. Sweeps do not address the root of the issue. Our city’s policies of sweeps and punitive measures exacerbate the crisis while diverting resources from actually addressing the issue. 4. The sweeps run contradictory to most of our spiritual teachings. Our community loses the contributions of human potential each person can give when they are stuck in survival mode. 5. The principal effect of sweeps is counterproductive because they render already marginalized people even more destitute than before. By rousting people from their shelter, disposing of many of their possessions, we exacerbate their misery and undermine what little stability they have had to help them get a job or housing. Do we really want to surround ourselves with even more desperate people? Charles Withuhn Chico

Write a letter  tell us what you think in a letter to the editor. Send submissions of 200 or fewer words to cnrletters@newsreview.com. deadline for April 8 print publication is March 30.


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NEWSLINES DOWNSTROKE

Coronavirus restrictions have limited socialization opportunities for kids and teens at school, which education and behavioral health professionals link to a rise in psychological issues.

CONTAGIOUS COVID STRAIN IS HERE

One of the most contagious strains of COVID-19 has reached Butte County. According to an announcement Monday (March 8) from Butte County Public Health, an adult diagnosed with coronavirus has the B117 variant, which was first detected in the United Kingdom and has spread to 200 countries. Health officials had recorded 250 cases of B117 in California as of last Friday. “Detection of a variant that spreads more easily is a reminder that even though case rates are declining in Butte County, we must maintain our vigilance and continue using protective measures against coronavirus until most of the population has immunity,” Dr. Robert Bernstein, county public health officer, said in the news release. “We cannot let down our guard.” Moving toward community immunity, Butte County expanded vaccination clinics this week, with efforts dependent on allocations from the state (see “Vaccine supply lags demand,” chico.newsreview.com). County Public Health updates the Vaccinate Butte webpage (buttecounty.net/ph/ COVID19/vaccine) when appointments become available. Meanwhile, to help prevent transmission of all COVID strains, BCPH continues to recommend wearing face coverings in public, social distancing, hand hygiene, avoiding large gatherings, staying home when feeling sick and getting tested even if asymptomatic.

RESTORED CHURCH DEDICATING BELL

Bethel AME Church (pictured) will celebrate the first phase of its renovation Saturday morning (March 13) with a public dedication of the bell in its new tower. The oldest church in Chico, under the auspices of the African Methodist Episcopal denomination, Bethel AME Church was built in 1867 and moved twice. It’s been at Linden and East Ninth streets since 1956. The original tower and steeple got lost during relocation, but the bell—known as “Lizzie”—has been kept safe at Trinity Methodist Church, where it was displayed until being returned to Bethel AME in December (see “Church bell returns,” chico.newsreview.com). Through a fund at the

North Valley Community Foundation, Bethel AME

raised over $100,000 to rebuild the bell tower per historic plans and repair other elements of the main building, such as the roof and flooring. The church plans to continue renovations. Saturday’s ceremony, at 10:30 a.m., will recognize community partners who donated construction labor and materials, as well as donors.

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PHOTO BY JASON CASSIDY

Kids in crisis Pandemic takes mental-health toll, with suicide ideation spiking among youths

Ohavenavigated coronavirus waves, few tacks brought more backsplash than restricver the 12 months that Californians have

tions on in-person learning. Parents and politicians, notably by Republican leaders in Evan Tuchinsky the North State, have raleva nt @ lied around fully reopenn ew srev i ew. c o m ing schools. Proponents of such a plan in the Chico Unified School District (CUSD) have grown so inflamed that they’ve threatened to recall the four school board members (out of five) who continue to support a more gradual approach. California government and county Public Health officials have issued orders as well as preventative measures in accordance with guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The state has left it up to individual school districts to interpret

the orders and implement guidelines as they see fit; Chico Unified’s policies have ebbed and flowed with the transmission curve (see “Back to school conundrum,” News, Jan. 14). With Butte County under the state’s strictest limits in the purple/widespread tier—though anticipated to move to the red/substantial tier, perhaps as early as this week, as the CN&R goes to press—CUSD’s board has chosen to forgo returning to full in-person instruction due to the complications of making a wholesale change at this juncture in the school year. While physical health effects of the virus garner mass attention, mental health impacts have drawn concern among educational and pediatric professionals. Psychological disturbances among children and teens have increased since the start of the pandemic and distance learning—most significantly, suicidal thoughts and plans. Butte County Behavioral Health has recorded a 25 percent increase in crisis calls

about suicide from school-age kids, predominantly teens, or their parents. CUSD does not track this data specifically but, anecdotally, is experiencing a comparable spike. Enloe Medical Center’s emergency room has had twice as many visits for pediatric mental-health crises in the past six months (14) than in all of 2019. This matches a national trend reported by the CDC: hospital visits for mentalhealth emergencies increasing 24 percent among ages 5-11 and 31 percent among ages 12-17. “This is a tough time for the community,” said Reidun Waddell, crisis services supervisor for county Behavioral Health. “[But] it’s not just a Butte County issue, it’s nationwide.” Waddell, a social worker who’s worked for the county for 10 years, has seen mostly teenagers at the Behavioral Health drop-in NEWSLINES C O N T I N U E D

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centers. They come in with “depression, anxiety, maybe things they haven’t been feeling before or have been exacerbated because of the pandemic,” she said. “Sometimes those feelings lead to someone feeling like the only way they can cope with it is suicide—and so we have been seeing more of those cases, and the acuity where they’ve researched ways, they have a plan in place, they’ve been thinking about what they might do to end their life. “That acuity piece is more than we’ve noticed in the past, more than a year or two ago.” This swell has cascaded onto an already overflowing network. The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration designates rural Northern California as a shortage area for mental health professionals. As an epicenter of disasters since 2017, with Oroville Dam Spillway crisis followed by the Camp Fire and North Complex Fire, along with a prevalence of adverse childhood experiences (or ACEs) among the highest in the state, Butte County holds compounded trauma. Waddell and her boss, Behavioral Health Director Scott Kennelly, told the CN&R that they believe their department is up to the challenge. Particularly with kids in crisis, they say they find the resources to respond in the timely manner demanded. Local pediatricians, especially those who treat the most distressed youth in Enloe’s emergency room, see gaps. “While mental health care is increasingly entering the national dialogue and the stigma of seeking and receiving help is slowly diminishing, there are still so many challenges in helping our psychiatric patients, especially if they are children,” said Dr. Anna Robertson, a Chico pediatrician who practices at Enloe. “California is a relatively populous state compared to most of our neighboring states, yet we are still limited Latest updates in our inpatient CUSD plans: pediatric psychicousd.org chiatry units. State plans: They are ususchools.covid.ca.gov ally at full County status: buttecounty.net/ph/covid19 capacity, and now with the Support pandemic in full Crisis assistance: swing, we’ve 891-2810 or buttecounty. noticed they net/behavioralhealth/ help-in-crisis are even more Local drop-in sites: overwhelmed. buttecounty.net/ So children behavioralhealth/ who aren’t safe youth-services Warning signs: to go home, suicideispreventable.org because they are at risk to 10

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themselves or to others, are unfortunately stuck in a limbo…. “With limited resources and overwhelmed care systems, care for our most vulnerable children is extremely challenging,” she added. “Of course, the most severely affected children are taken care of first and foremost. However, the incidence and severity of children’s mental health conditions is rising during this pandemic; our already limited psychiatric care systems are getting dangerously burdened.”

Butte County Behavioral Health Director Scott Kennelly. CN&R FILE PHOTO BY ASHIAH SCHARAGA

Cause and effect Putting aside epidemiological reasons for sheltering-in-place mandates, behavioral health and education professionals have noted a clear connection between distance learning and mental health. The effects may translate into behavior changes only—“acting up” or withdrawing, for instance— but may elicit serious problems, as the surge statistics show, such as suicide ideation. Daymi Trowbridge, a 15-year school psychologist who oversees mental health programs for the Chico school district, said while some youths actually thrive in the at-home environment, others have missed out on what her administrative colleague John Shepherd calls “the hidden curriculum” of on-campus learning. After starting the school year with fully distant learning, this semester CUSD has moved to a hybrid model: part in-person, part at-home. Families still concerned about close contact could opt for remote learning. “For many [students] whose support comes from their friends at school, from their teachers, for whom school is a safe place, then you see a student who’s more isolated from that support and is now more at risk,” Trowbridge said. “In the spring, when everyone was 100 percent online, it was very difficult to reach some students, so [counselors] would call and text and instant message and email every day—but if a student didn’t want to talk, there was no way to force that conversation and force that support. “With the hybrid model, it’s been much easier to catch kids while they’re at school…. There are some students who are still online-only, but at least we can make home visits and schedule

meetings in person [where] we can spread out in a room or meet outside.” The district has taken steps to address mental health proactively. Trowbridge said each school site has a wellness team that meets regularly—weekly or biweekly—to discuss how students are doing. CUSD also has expanded mental health screenings, which it has conducted for five years in conjunction with BCBH, to a component of sports physicals and 10th-grade vision and hearing checks. Secondary schools

“For many [students] whose support comes from their friends at school, from their teachers, for whom school is a safe place, then you see a student who’s more isolated from that support and is now more at risk.” — Daymi Trowbridge, school psychologist and CUSD administrator

utilize that screening, a five-question survey, when students visit the health office. Still, even with more direct contacts, issues can persist. “Kids at home are dealing with stress, and stress is a significant impact on kids while they develop,” Kennelly said. “Parents or caretakers really need to pay attention to their kids, check in with them regularly to make sure they’re doing OK, [see] if they are struggling, talk to them, make sure they’re not isolating … and make sure they have structured activities.” Along with stressing vigilance for warning signs of suicide-level distress, Kennelly and Waddell said Behavioral Health has a range of youth services (see info box). Pandemic restrictions have forced some offerings online, but the department still operates drop-in centers and a crisis unit along with the inpatient psychiatric unit. BCBH has 22 clinicians working in its youth programs. That’s not always enough. Robertson, not casting aspersions on Behavioral Health, said the dearth of pediatric psychiatry in the region means Enloe often must fulfill this need for youth in peril. “They can’t be discharged home, but placement to an inpatient psychiatric facility may take days sometimes weeks,” Robertson said. “So where do we put them? We have no choice but to do our

best in keeping them safe in our regional hospital. “Unfortunately, we don’t have everything these kids need. We do our best, but resources are still limited. Mental health professionals are limited, and those who are available are incredibly overwhelmed.” Chico has just three locally based pediatric psychiatrists, though Behavioral Health and health-care systems employ telemedicine to broaden access. In fact, three of BCBH’s four psychiatrists reside out of county. As for reopening schools fully—which the Durham Unified School District did March 1 and the state is encouraging all schools to do, with $2 billion in incentives—Kennelly offered a measured opinion. “Obviously we’re taking our lead from the CDC and Public Health, and they’re doing whatever they can to make sure our communities are safe,” he said. “We would love to see schools open as soon as possible, but we realize the key to that is having enough people vaccinated to turn the tide…. “While our youth can’t get vaccinated yet, their parents certainly can—and if anything, that’s something that will speed up the ability to get kids back in classrooms and playing sports and [doing] things that are more normal to them.” Robertson concurred, elaborating that circumstances have evolved over 12 months. “I think initially it was very important to close schools to limit spread,” she said. “While older children fare relatively better with a COVID-19 infection, they may bring it home and infect their relatives. “Now that we’re slowly reaching ‘community immunity’ by ways of people recovering from their previous infections or obtaining the vaccine, we have to reweigh the risks and benefits of school closures. Ultimately, our children are going through a mental health epidemic, and I think the cure lies in getting them back to school as quickly and safely as possible.” Ω MORE

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NEWSLINES Paradise officials Marc Mattox and Katie Simmons stand before a lot that could end up on the town’s first sewer system.

Now or never?

Paradise pushes for sewer pipeline to Chico in aftermath of Camp Fire; Chicoans have environmental concerns by

Ashiah Scharaga as hiahs@ n ewsrev iew.c om

OhadMattox and Katie Simmons a clear view of downtown n a recent afternoon, Marc

Paradise from where they stood on Almond Street near an empty lot razed in the 2018 Camp Fire. The road, which runs parallel to the Skyway, was often a popular route during community events, as it is a straight shot to Terry Ashe Recreation Center, the site of gatherings such as Johnny Appleseed Days and Gold Nugget Days. Nowadays, the street is quiet and desolate. This part of town is emblematic of the area that would be impacted by a hefty proposal that Mattox, Paradise’s Public Works director and town engineer, and Simmons, the town’s disaster recovery director, say is key for

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recovery and bringing people back to the Ridge. This street would become part of the proposed Paradise Sewer Service Area. The town has reentered discussions with the city of Chico to explore a project that would install an 18-mile-long pipe running from Paradise through Butte County land to Chico’s Water Pollution Control Plant. Such a pipeline has been discussed for years, as waste disposal has long been an issue for the town. Paradise runs entirely on individual septic systems, many of which were failing before the fire and continue to be cost prohibitive for commercial and multi-family endeavors. Various sewer project proposals have been nixed by town voters and their elected officials over decades. The Paradise Sewer Project would pave the way for the empty lots on Almond and other streets to become sites of apartments, businesses or homes connected to the

town’s first sewer service, Mattox and Simmons told the CN&R. “It seems like something we can’t live without to build back Paradise and to build out the vision that the community members really have for this community,” Simmons said. “This is as critical to our recovery as the basics of debris removal and tree removal.” Mattox concurred, adding that “the Camp Fire is the impetus for the now-or-never question.” However, the project has garnered critiques from the public and local elected officials, particularly in regards to environmental, fiscal and quality-of-life impacts. Opponents argue that there are more sustainable ways to support the recovery of Paradise and ensure that unchecked growth along the pipeline’s corridor doesn’t dramatically alter life in Butte County. In addition, some argue that the process hasn’t been transparent and are concerned that only one option, a

PHOTO BY ASHIAH SCHARAGA

substantial regional project, is being presented as the path forward.

What’s it all about? Initial estimates hover around $180 million to design and construct an 18-mile pipe that would flow from the town alongside the Skyway Corridor and connect to the Chico wastewater facility. Paradise ratepayers within the sewer area would cover their portion of system fees and maintenance costs. As to how much they’d have to pay, that’s still to be determined. The town maintains that it will seek grant and state/federal funding to pay for the project and that it will not burden Chico taxpayers. (As for $219 million in PG&E settlement funds, the town currently is drafting a plan with long-term revenue and recovery in mind.) The preliminary pre-environmental analysis by global firm HDR Engineering has been Weigh in

Paradise and Chico are part of the Paradise Sewer Regionalization Project Advisory Committee. Meetings are broadcast virtually to the public. Go to paradisesewer.com for info on meetings and opportunities for public participation.

paid for through grants—$800,000 from the state and $172,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The town wants to hook up just a fraction of the lots in Paradise to the sewer system. It would serve 1,469 parcels (out of 11,000 total), all located along the busiest thoroughfares: Skyway, Clark Road and Pearson Road. There are approximately 300 standing homes in this area. The HDR study estimates there will be 357 occupied parcels by 2027, when the system would be completely installed, and that it could take 30 years before all 1,469 are in use. While the project, at this point, has received unanimous approval to be explored by both the Paradise Town Council (aside from a recusal from Councilman Greg Bolin) and the Chico City Council, some members have already voiced concerns about impacts to their constituents. At a City Council meeting on Feb. 2, Mayor Andrew Coolidge said that “zero negative environmental impacts for the city of Chico” and “negative cost/no increased costs to our ratepayers would be necessary for us to move forward on this.” Similarly, Paradise Town Councilwoman Rose Tryon said at a Dec. 8, 2020, meeting that the town needs to protect Paradise ratepayers from subsidizing Chico and ensure that the partnership does not limit the town’s ability to grow. Mattox replied that those answers will all be revealed through the project planning process. The pipeline proposal will be examined by the Paradise Sewer Regionalization Project Advisory Committee, a Chico-Paradise body formed and facilitated by the state’s Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (see info box). The board sent a letter of support to the town for the regional concept in November. HDR Engineering is preparing the project environmental impact report (EIR), which likely won’t be complete until mid-to-late 2022. It is funded by $2 million from the State Water Board Division of Financial Assistance. NEWSLINES C O N T I N U E D

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The city of Chico has a vested interest into at least looking into the project, which could open its treatment plant up for grant funding for improvements, according to city staff. The plant’s employee work load, demand for supplies, electricity and maintenance costs have all increased since the Camp Fire, when refugees settled in Chico. City Public Works Director for Operations and Maintenance Erik Gustafson told the CN&R that flows are still up 5 percent to 6 percent, or 400,000 gallons to 500,000 gallons more per day, from pre-Camp Fire flows of 5.98 million gallons per day. In addition to support from the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board, the Paradise Sewer Project concept also has the backing of Assemblyman James Gallagher. He has proposed a state bill (AB-36) to expedite the process not only for the town’s sewer project but the Paradise Irrigation District’s controversial intertie proposal that could transfer fresh water to Chico (a project that is in the study stages), waiving the requirement for competitive bidding if the projects move forward. “These projects do not allow for any new growth outside of the Town of Paradise. Projects that are already planned in Chico do not need this water or sewer project. Paradise is simply trying to recover and become more resilient,” Gallagher wrote in a Facebook post.

What are the concerns? Those who take issue with the project urge the town to consider local, decentralized options that, long-term, they argue, would be more sustainable and have less environmental impact. For Mark Stemen, the vice chairman of Chico’s Climate Action Commission, the pipe is a monstrous project that will pave the way for urban sprawl along the Skyway if it moves forward. Erik Gustafson, city of Chico Public Works Director of Operations and Maintenance, stands at the Chico Water Pollution Control Plant in 2019, after flows dramatically increased in the wake of the Camp Fire. CN&R FILE PHOTO

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“People think, ‘Oh it’s just a road’ or ‘It’s just a pipe.’ But it isn’t. It’s a conduit for changing the land around it,” Stemen told the CN&R. In Stemen’s view, the best option for Paradise’s recovery is one that keeps its wastewater treatment and discharge localized, and doesn’t dramatically increase the county’s greenhouse gas production, accelerating the devastating impacts of climate change. The town has maintained that the pipeline to Chico is the cheapest option, but “climate change doesn’t pencil out either,” Stemen said. “It was climate change that burned Paradise. We don’t need to keep doing this. We have to do something different.” For Butte County Supervisor Debra Lucero, the process has not been transparent and has not taken all key partners, such as the county, into account in the planning process. Butte County is not part of the Paradise Sewer Regionalization Project Advisory Committee, despite the fact that the pipeline would run through miles of county land. That has fiscal and environmental implications, she said. “I’m concerned that Chico citizens have not had an opportunity to attend workshops and learn more about what this route will look like,” she said. “I just think there are a lot of unanswered questions. … What I’m being told is the EIR is supposed to be for that purpose. But to get to an EIR phase without public discussion? There’s something wrong with the process.” Lucero said that, ideally, the county

needs to be more involved and the public needs to be informed and engaged in a process that must consider alternatives, not just a pipeline to Chico. “Is it the best idea to spend $180 million and build a behemoth infrastructure that’s going to take five or six years to build, or might our region be better served by decentralized [wastewater treatment] systems?” she said. “I’m worried about the unintended consequences of a project this size. … If we aren’t intending to grow Chico into San Jose, why are we doing this?”

Are there other options? In an analysis prepared by HDR Engineering, the Chico pipeline project is presented as the most attractive. Mattox referenced the report and community concerns during a recent conversation with the CN&R. The HDR team concluded that the pipeline to Chico was the top contender, followed by finding land to create a local treatment plant for Paradise. The study looked at economic impacts (the cost), implementation (how easy it would be to get the project off the ground, including political approvals and cooperation from local landowners), environmental impacts (to water quality, air quality and watersheds with a goal of maintaining ag land and finding the quickest permitting process), social impacts of installation and maintenance, and operational impacts (including regulatory requirements and system technical complexity and capacity). The local treatment option would have the

A map of the proposed sewer treatment/disposal options for Paradise. FROM PARADISE SEWER PROJECT EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

town seeking nearly 500 acres to operate a plant, Mattox said, which would have to be located in the Neal or Clark Road corridors outside town limits due to Paradise’s topography and poor soils. “One, that land isn’t just readily available, and two, the environmental impact on that land would be immense,” he said. “You’re taking away potential ag use and reserve open space for a wastewater treatment plant and the management of those types of volumes of treated wastewater to store, because there’s no Sacramento River nearby to discharge to.” The proposed project will only examine the impacts of hooking up parcels within the town limits to the city’s wastewater treatment plant, Mattox added. Any future development or growth of the sewer service area would require its own public analysis and review, he said. The Paradise-Chico pipeline’s environmental impact review process will take 18 months, giving the public and policymakers ample time, he said. “We’ve gone through our due diligence … those processes were completed and those findings and methodology are all publicly available on our websites,” Mattox said. “Like many recovery projects, we are moving forward boldly to explore this through the [California Environmental Quality Act]/EIR process to see if it will work. The truth is it may not, and we believe Paradise’s recovery Ω depends on it.”


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S T N E G M P N O L I E V T E D S E R AR A Legal threats and consequences come to the fore as tensions rise among protesters and supporters of homeless-encampment sweeps

s Chico police officers and city staff readied to evict homeless campers from The Triangle on Feb. 4, City Councilman Scott Huber said he couldn’t just stand by and watch as people’s belongings were bulldozed. “I felt like the humane thing to do was to help people organize their things and move them, so that they weren’t being thrown away in the middle of winter when it was forecast for more rain,” Huber said March 2. “I had a pickup truck and just felt called to do it … I didn’t give too much thought to the legality of it.” The notion that Huber and other helpers could be committing some sort of crime was not lost on Chico attorney Rob Berry, however. Berry—who runs the online “safe, clean and beautiful community” group Chico First—wrote a letter to the City Council and staff the following day accusing Huber and others of criminal conspiracy for helping campers move from one illegal encampment to another.

story and photos by

Ken Smith ken s @ n ew sr ev i ew. com

The Ericksons—clockwise from left: Emilia, Chad, Ronin, Logan, Scarlett, Colin and Stump the dog—stand before their partially built home in Concow. PHOTO BY ASHIAH SCHARAGA

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Undeterred, Huber and homeless advocate Charles Withuhn helped campers relocate from a property on Boucher Street Feb. 16 when camps there were razed by the city. Berry was on hand to film the enforcement action and was moved to write another letter, dated Feb. 22. In that letter—addressed to City Manager Mark Orme, Police Chief Matt Madden and recently terminated City Attorney Andrew Jared—Berry reasserts his belief that advocates helping campers move are violating several sections of the city’s Muncipal Code. “It is my intention to engage in and encourage the exercise of Citizen Arrest rights against any parties observed to violate these laws of California and Ordinances of the City of Chico,” the letter

reads. In numerous online postings, Berry specifically names Huber and criticizes his actions, as a council member, and those of Withuhn, as a member of the Chico Housing Action Team. (Huber and Withuhn both contend they were there of their own volition and not representing any organization.) Berry’s threats—as well as the March 2 arrest, by actual police, of a protester outside of the last Chico City Council meeting—are signs that the public conflict over how Chico handles the issue of homelessness is intensifying as the encampment sweeps continue. Additionally, Chico police barred reporters, protesters and helpers from entering the Boucher Street property as it was cleared of campers; one camper was finally issued a citation for refusing to vacate an area targeted by sweeps; and at least two legal challenges to the encampment sweeps are reportedly being prepared.

CROSSING LINES Huber and other homeless advocates aren’t taking Berry’s words lightly. Since the letter was posted to social media Feb. 27, several people have accused Berry of threatening to take the law into his own hands and equated the letter to a call for vigilante action against homeless advocates and protesters who continue to show up for the city’s ongoing encampment sweeps. Huber said he’s been very transparent about his involvement in helping campers move and that he “doesn’t necessarily contest that where I dropped their things off may in some context not have been legal.” He also said he’s willing to accept legitimate penalties incurred for his act of civil disobedience. “I wouldn’t have a problem with a police officer coming up to me and citing me and saying, ‘You’ve done something illegal and I need to write you a citation.’ “That’s OK with me, I’m willing to take that risk. What I’m not willing to take is having a private citizen, who’s known to be overly zealous and antagonistic towards various community members, come up to me and act as though he is law enforcement.” Huber said one of his concerns Robert Van Fleet is arrested during a “die-in” demonstration against homeless encampment sweeps at the March 2 City Council meeting.

about Berry engaging in arrests is that he has openly stated on social media that he has a permit to carry a concealed weapon. “What happens when I say, ‘I don’t recognize your authority to hand me that piece of paper.’ At that point does he whip his gun out and say, ‘I’m the law because the law’s not here’? I acknowledge that’s far-fetched, but what about other people who feel empowered by Mr. Berry to do that? It just seems like it can get really ugly really quickly.” Angela McLaughlin, a homeless advocate and founder of community group Stand Up For Chico, expressed concerns about the letter contributing to rising tensions: “Many of us have been worried for a long time about vigilante activity because of the ugliness of the rhetoric. ... We’ve long been concerned there would be an escalation to violence.” Huber characterized the threats as a “power grab” by Berry: “It’s not so much about homelessness and evictions … he’s essentially telling the police chief that he is not doing his job, so Mr. Berry is going to do it for him. It needs to be stated unambiguously and publicly that the police department and city management does not endorse private citizens taking the law into their own hands.” McLaughlin echoed that sentiment: “The police chief, right off the bat, should have said,‘Thank you, but no thank you, this is the role of law enforcement,’” she said. Chief Matt Madden did finally issue a press release regarding citizen’s arrests on March 2. It doesn’t mention Berry or his letter, but does caution people about the

risk of attempting citizen’s arrests: “If a Peace Officer determines the citizen has not provided the proper evidence to support an arrest, the Peace Officer will decline the arrest. The citizen making the arrest takes on the civil liability of making potential false arrests and could be held criminally responsible for rights violations, such as the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Due to the potentially high level of danger to the public, we encourage citizens to contact the Chico Police Department and allow our staff to investigate crimes in progress.” Furthermore, police on the ground at the sweeps have allowed people to help campers move. Though press, protesters and helpers were initially kept out of the area during the eviction on Boucher Street, officers eventually allowed Huber and Withuhn to drive in with trucks and lend assistance. During the March 2 sweep of encampments in Lower Bidwell Park from Highway 99 to Madrone Avenue, Target Team lead Sgt. Paul Ratto personally opened the gate at Peterson Memorial Drive—which was locked for the sweeps—to allow advocates Kelli Johnson and Harrison Pratt access to help move campers. “I’ll allow people in to help, but it has to be done in a safe manner away from any equipment,” said Ratto. He refused to comment on Berry’s stated intent to make arrests. Attorney Rob Berry films press and protesters anticipating an encampment sweep beneath the Highway 99 overpass in Bidwell Park on Feb. 26. The enforcement action was delayed until March 2.

BUNGLE ON BOUCHER The Feb. 16 sweep on a Boucher Street property adjacent to Little Chico Creek raised several legal questions in itself. To begin with, helpers assisted some campers to the area because homeless advocates identified the property as city-owned land not covered by the Dec. 8 ordinance that criminalized the breaking of rules— i.e. camping—in city parks and specific areas where homeless encampments sprang up. The previous City Council had relaxed camping restrictions last spring, in keeping with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines for limiting the spread of COVID-19 among homeless populations. Asked about this, Ratto said the city’s waterways are also covered by the ordinance. Also of note, police officers held observers—including the press— outside of the area, prompting a complaint from local journalists (see Second & Flume, page 4) for interfering with the press’ First Amendment rights. The city put out a press release the next day justifying the action by saying the encampment qualified as a work area. “There was no concerted effort to disallow any member of the media or public to rightfully enter any location where they can legally enter, and the media is always provided a safe vantage point from which to conduct their reporting,” it reads. Finally, police have been strategic in their efforts to achieve “voluntary compliance” while moving campers, and none of the sweeps prior to Boucher Street resulted in citations or arrests. That streak was broken when Larry Halstead, an activist and unhoused Camp Fire survivor with Stage 4 cancer, was ticketed for “camping in a regulated area” when he refused to move his belongings from the Boucher Street property. “I’m looking forward to taking the fight to the courts,” Halstead said March 6. Some advocates believe such citations are a boon to legal challenges being mounted against the city, of which there are two in the works. Attorney Kelli Johnson said last week she intends to file paperwork against the city soon. Legal Services of Northern California SWEEPS C O N T I N U E D MARCH 11, 2021

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(LSNC) is also reportedly working up a case. As of March 2, LSNC’s Cory Turner said he was unable to comment about that legal challenge.

WELL CONNECTED Interviewed by phone March 5, Berry said the citizen’s arrest letter was never meant to be seen by the public, which is why he sent it to the city manager, city attorney and police chief rather than the City Council. He said Huber shared it on social media and engaged in media interviews, and is therefore responsible if the letter moves anyone to take action and attempt to make an arrest. “The intent [of the letter] was to facilitate a conversation between the management/leadership of Chico for them to internally decide how they wanted to handle the fact that one of their City Council members was out there violating the laws they’re sworn to uphold. “That was [Huber’s] decision to publish the letter and to handle it that way, so any encouragement that comes from the letter, I suppose, would be on Scott.” McLaughlin expressed concerns about what influence Berry might have with the City Council and the police department, and said those connections potentially allow him better access to officials than the average citizen. She said Berry’s endorsement and clout helped elect the four conservatives who won City Council seats in Sgt. Paul Ratto, head of the Chico Police Department’s Target Team, speaks to a camper during the March 2 sweep of Lower Bidwell Park.

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last year’s election, that Berry was a member of former Mayor Ann Schwab’s Policing Review Ad-Hoc Committee, and he served on the Police Community Advisory Board (PCAB) for the past few years. The PCAB consists of a dozen community members appointed by the police chief and is aimed at facilitating better communication between the police department and the community. Other members include conservative Vice Mayor Kasey Reynolds and Julia Yarbough, a former Action News Now reporter who previously worked as the Press Information Officer for the Chico Police Department. Crystal Peppas, administrative assistant to Madden, said that the board has been in a state of flux since Madden took the helm of the CPD last August and will likely be reformed soon with a new mission statement and objectives. Jovanni Tricerri, the PCAB’s chairperson, confirmed March 5 that Berry is no longer part of that board. He said Berry left the board within the last month by “mutual agreement” between Berry and Chief Madden. Berry didn’t comment further on his role with the PCAB, referring the CN&R to Madden and saying “I don’t speak for the CPD.” Madden was unavailable for comment as of press time. Berry said he’s unsure if he will attend future sweeps with the intent of making citizen’s arrests. He also refused to comment on whether he carries a weapon: “Nobody that has a [concealed weapons] permit or carries a weapon is supposed to tell anyone … I’m not allowed to under the system, so, ‘No comment,’” he said.

THE REAL DEAL Questions of citizen’s arrests aside, two protesters met with real consequences for acts of civil disobedience last week. Robert Van Fleet was arrested outside of City Council Chambers minutes before the council’s meeting was scheduled to begin at 6 p.m., on March 2. Chris Nelson received a citation. Both are charged with resisting or obstructing a police officer. The charges stem from the pair’s participation in a protest at the council meeting aimed at the city’s ongoing homeless encampment sweeps under the direction of the conservative-majority council. It was also intended to recognize the 18 members of the homeless community who are known to have died in the last year. The protest included a “die-in,” in which about a dozen people laid on the ground with blankets and pillows. Nelson and Van Fleet laid at the bottom of the steps between Council Chambers and the city’s Municipal Building. Police asked them to move, but the pair held fast. Nelson was spared arrest when she agreed to move by 6 p.m., and she reported to Facebook that two officers delivered the citation to her home the following day. Van Fleet was arrested, handcuffed and taken to the Chico Police Station, where

he was released within an hour. The protest began at 5 p.m. and attracted more than 50 participants. A cadre of nine officers—including Madden—arrived at 5:39 p.m. Police trying to move Van Fleet said he was blocking entrance to the steps, but several protesters walked through without issue to demonstrate that wasn’t the case. Councilman Sean Morgan, escorted by Madden, also passed by Van Fleet unobstructed. Interviewed the following day, Van Fleet said he made a conscious decision to get arrested while lying on the concrete. “I think those of us who are trying to make a difference need to step up our game,” he said. “I think we need to be a little bit more assertive and aggressive. Civil disobedience, which I’ve been involved in with other issues, is often where real solutions come from. It’s not usually government or other agencies that make significant change, its people in the streets willing to make some sacrifice to stand up for what they think is right and what they think is wrong.” Van Fleet’s final charges don’t match with what officers on the scene told CN&R was the cause of the arrest. CPD Lt. Mike Williams—who identified himself as the lead officer present that evening—said Van Fleet was arrested for “a city ordinance violation, then

Chico City Councilman Scott Huber helps campers at The Triangle move on Feb. 4.

[Van Fleet] failed to identify himself.” When Williams was unable to recall the specific code violation, another officer cited section 9.44.018 of the city’s Municipal Code, “obstructing the entrance of a building.” That violation is part of the offenses against public property ordinance, which the city adopted in 2015 and critics say is designed to criminalize homelessness. As all this conflict has played out, there still have been no new emergency shelter options provided by the city—and among other local agencies, only the 20 or so beds opened by Safe Space Winter Shelter starting Feb. 7 have been added since the sweeps began. Several campers evicted from Lower Bidwell Park last week reported they’d contacted the Torres Community Shelter and were told there is a significant waiting list. The last two remaining large encampments—at Windchime Park on Humboldt Avenue and the Comanche Creek Greenway—have grown exponentially as campers are moved from other areas. With the city seeming to hold a steady course on clearing camps, more 72-hour eviction notices and more conflict seem imminent. Ω


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This is your paper, and we will continue to serve our community together. Thank you. CHICO.NEWSREVIEW.COM MARCH 11, 2021

CN&R

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Arts &Culture DREAM STATE & MARIA ALQUILAR COLLECTION

MARCH

Shows through March 28

Museum of Northern California Art

TYLER DEVOLL: The local singer/songwriter serenades the evening crowd. Fridays, 5pm. Free. La Salles, 229

ALL MONTH

Broadway St.

SAT13

Art 1078 GALLERY: Call for Art. 1078 Gallery seeks submissions for Imagine Together: Hopeful Visions for Our Future. The exhibit theme is inspired by the work of author Adrienne Maree Brown. Submission deadline is March 28 and the virtual exhibit goes live April 5. 1078gallery.org

MERIAM PARK DRIVE-IN – THE PRINCESS BRIDE: Rob Reiner’s classic film. Sat, 3/13. $25 - $35. Meriam Park Drive-In, 1930 Market Place. meriampark.com

SPRING ART FAIR: Greenhouse Studio & Gallery will be

CHICO ART CENTER: Unbound The Altered Book, a juried exhi-

hosting 15 local creators at its Spring Art Fair. Food and refreshments provided by Mockingbyrd Coffee and Panini Machini. Sat, 3/13, 10am. Free. Greenhouse Studio & Gallery, 915 Pomona Avenue. 513-7255.

bition of works by artists who have taken a book and transformed its original state or meaning. Through 4/30. Online Event. chicoartcenter.com

SUN14

GATEWAY SCIENCE MUSEUM: The museum is physically closed, but it’s still offering its Gateway at Home series of virtual activities like folding paper airplanes, learning in the garden, wildlife art and reading and lectures from previous seasons that cover a variety of environmental topics. csuchico.edu/gateway

ALEX DRAPER: Local singer/songwriter. Reserve a spot online ahead of the event. Sun, 3/14, 3pm. Secret Trail

JANET TURNER PRINT MUSEUM: Social Commentary – Prints and

Brewing Company, 132 Meyers St., Ste. 120. secrettrailbrewing.simpletix.com

Politics, a virtual exhibition that explores the intersection of printmaking and politics and features a 360-degree video of the entire exhibit. Chico State, 400 W. First St. csuchico.edu/turner

SPRING ART FAIR: See Sat, 3/13. Sun, 3/14, 10am. Free. Greenhouse Studio & Gallery, 915 Pomona Avenue. 530-513-7255.

MUSEUM OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA ART: Dream State & Maria

TUE16

Alquilar Collection, a pair of virtual exhibits. Dream State features artists’ interpretations of their dreams, and the Maria Alquilar exhibition includes donated works by the late ceramic artist. Through 3/28. 900 Esplanade. monca.org

TUESDAY CRAFTERNOON: Stop by the Durham Library to

NAKED LOUNGE: An exhibit featuring work by illustrator Michelle Ott on display at the downtown coffee shop through the end of March. Through 3/31. 118 W. Second St.

STAYING CREATIVE THROUGHOUT COVID-19: A virtual exhibit featuring pieces created by artists from Amber Palmer’s Mind Vacation Watercolor Workshop during the pandemic. amberpalmerwatercolorworkshops.com

Misc. events BLUE ROOM DARK SEASON: Visit the theater’s website for links to recent virtual productions of Blue Moon & Poe and The Jungle Book, and become a Patreon subscriber (patreon. com/BlueRoomChico) to watch already filmed productions of Treasure Island and Blue Stories, plus an ever-growing list of vintage performances from 1990s on. Blue Room Theatre, blueroomtheatre.com

BOOM: Booty-bass house music on Facebook Live. Hosted by Sonny St. James. Saturdays, 8pm. Online Event, Boom Boom Room EDM. facebook.com/boomboomroomedm PHOTO BY DEREK CURRY

CARD FOR KIDS: Chico Area Recreation & Park District has opened a full slate of classes and activities for kids over the next few months—everything from virtual cooking and computing classes to hiking and sports camps. Call or visit the site for more info. CARD, 545 Vallombrosa Ave., 895-4711. chicorec.com

CN&R ON KZFR: Local news and arts updates from Butte County’s community newspaper … on the radio. Tune in at 90.1 FM or stream online. Every Thu, 5:30-6pm. KZFR. kzfr.org

FARMERS MARKETS: Butte County’s markets are open and selling fresh produce and more. Chico: Downtown (Saturdays, 7:30am-1pm & Thursdays, 6-9pm); North Valley Plaza (Wednesdays, 8am-1pm); Chico State University Farm (Fridays, noon-4 p.m.). Paradise: Alliance Church (Tuesdays, 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m.).

VIRTUAL SCREENING ROOM: While the Pageant is temporarily closed, it’s offering virtual screenings of the documentaries, cult classics and foreign and independent films that would normally populate its calendar. Visit the theater website for current showings. $5-$12. Pageant Theatre, 351 E. Sixth St. pageantchico.com

THU11 ADULTING 101 – JOB HUNTING HINTS AND TIPS: Tips and tricks for finding a job from the Chico State career center. Thu, 3/11, 1pm. Online event, Chico State. csuchico.campuslabs.com

INSPIRE UNITED - BLÜ EGYPTIAN: A virtual live performance by the local jam band as part of the school’s virtual concert series, which features students, alumni, community musicians and bands to help raise funds for Inspire programs. This concert is part of the school’s public fundraising effort to build a new, state-of-theart campus. Thu, 3/11, 7pm. Inspire School of Arts & Sciences. support.inspirechicofoundation.com

JUST ASK! INTERVIEW WITH MCKENNA REALE AND FOREST WONG: Q&A with two youth orchestra violinists followed by YouTube performances featuring Reale performing Marquez Danzon No. 2 with North State Symphony, and Wong’s performance of the Beethoven Coriolan Overture with the symphony. Thu, 3/11, 6pm. North State Symphony. northstatesymphony.org

MERIAM PARK DRIVE-IN – THE RING: The 2002 Gore Verbinski horror film. Thu, 3/11, 7pm. $25 - $35. Meriam Park Drive-In, 1930 Market Place. meriampark.com

PETER WILSON: Local singer/songwriter entertains the dinner crowd on the patio. Thu, 3/11. Red Tavern, 1250 Esplanade. redtavern.com

WILD PLANT WALK March 28

Yahi Trail, Bidwell Park

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MARCH 11, 2021

FRI12 MERIAM PARK DRIVE-IN – MINIONS: The 2015 family comedy. Fri, 3/12, 7pm. $25 - $35. Meriam Park Drive-In, 1930 Market Place. meriampark.com

pick up a grab ’n’ go craft kit to make at home. The designed-for-adults kits are available while supplies last. Tue, 3/16, 12pm. Butte County Library, Durham Branch, 2545 Durham-Dayton Hwy, Durham.

THU18 MERIAM PARK DRIVE-IN – THE TOURIST: The action/romance film starring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp. Thu, 3/18, 7:30pm. $25 - $35. Meriam Park Drive-In, 1930 Market Place. meriampark.com

FRI19 THE BIDWELLS: Local singer/songwriter duo serenades the dinner crowd on the patio. Fri, 3/19. Red Tavern, 1250 Esplanade. redtavern.com

MERIAM PARK DRIVE-IN – FINDING NEMO: The 2003 Disney Pixar classic family comedy. Fri, 3/19, 7:45pm. $25 $35. Meriam Park Drive-In, 1930 Market Place. meriampark.com

ROAST BATTLE COMEDY: Chico Roast League Championship featuring Jerm Leather (5-0) vs. Dilldon Collins (3-2). Hosted by Josh Means. Shannon Battle headlines, and Morgan Anderson is featured. Fri, 3/19, 8pm. The Lab Bar and Grill, 250 Cohasset, Ste. 10.

SAT20 MERIAM PARK DRIVE-IN – MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS: The first film featuring the fully assembled Marvel super team. Sat, 3/20, 7:45pm. $25 - $35. Meriam Park Drive-In, 1930 Market Place. meriampark.com

MINIS FOR A CAUSE CAR SHOW: Bring the family for an


IS YOUR EVENT ONLINE?

So is the CN&R calendar! Submit virtual and real-world events for the online calendar as well as the monthly print edition, at chico.newsreview.com/calendar

MICHELLE OTT Shows through March Naked Lounge

month/year, Energize your job assignments, Create a community, Embrace your challenges, Save your energy, Shine in your role. Thu, 3/25, 1pm. Online event, Chico State. csuchico.campuslabs.com afternoon of Mini Coopers, food trucks, silent auction and more at Chico Marketplace outside in the southeast parking lot. Benefits the youth affected by wildfires. Sat, 3/20, 11am. Chico Mall, 1950 E. 20th St.

SAT27

SUN21

DRIVE-THRU DINNER & ONLINE AUCTION: Fundraiser dinner for the local school. Get tix online. Sat, 3/27, 5:30pm. $20

RONI JEAN: Indie singer/songwriter based in Northern California. Sun, 3/21, 3pm. Secret Trail Brewing Company,

SURF NOIR KINGS: A socially distanced Spring Fling featuring

- $27. Notre Dame School, 435 Hazel St. ndschico.org/ calendar

132 Meyers St., Ste. 120. secrettrailbrewing.simpletix.com

MON22 ARTIST TALK: For over 25 years, artist Art Hazlewood has worked with arts organizations, unions and grassroots movements. Over that period, he has been consistently involved with homeless rights, including working with the Western Regional Advocacy Project, where he is the Minister of Culture. His online talk is in conjunction with the Turner’s current exhibit, Social Commentary – Prints & Politics. Mon, 3/22, 5pm. Chico State. csuchico.edu/ turner/

THU25

original surf music of Miles Corbin (The Aqua Velvets) in the Barn. Sat, 3/27, 4:30pm. Free. Barn at Meriam Park, 1930 Market Place. meriampark.com

SUN28 WILD PLANT WALK: Amber Pinnell guides a stroll through nature and discusses plant identification. Meet at the Monkey Face parking lot and bring your plant identification app. Face masks required. Sun, 3/28, 9am. Upper Bidwell Park, Yahi Trail.

THU1 CHICO WALKS FOR AUTISM: Take the month to walk by yourself

ADULTING 101 – R.E.C.E.S.S.: A webinar by Chico State Associated Students about staying productive. R.E.C.E.S.S. stand for: Refresh for the new day/week/

or with others on any day and time you choose during April and post your walk pictures on social media using the #chicowalksforautism2021 hashtag. Presented by The Yellow Door. Thu, 4/1, 8:30am. One Mile Recreational Area, 300 South Park Drive. facebook.com/Theyellowdoorchico

EDITOR’S PICK

MUSIC AT A DISTANCE

As COVID curves downward and cabin and spring fevers combine to spike off the charts, we all want to be let loose to fling ourselves into the season. Not so fast. We’ve come this far, why take a chance at reversing our gains by completely opening up? It might be safe enough to open patios and let music play outside, but the ’Rona is still with us. Stay vigilant. Stay distant. At least two local venues have brought back music at an appropriate distance: Secret Trail Brewing Co. is having Sunday afternoon shows, with Alex Draper (March 14) and Roni Jean (March 21) on tap. And The Barn at Meriam Park (pictured) is once again hosting live performances with a Saturdays in the Barn series featuring Surf Noir Kings on March 27. Check website for updated schedule. MARCH 11, 2021

CN&R

21


SCENE

See. Read. Act. A survey of prints that inspire action at Janet Turner Print Museum “Go Slo, Luke 2:14-51” (1963), by Corita Kent

Otingofpeople spreading information is getto actually notice and

ne of the most daunting aspects

pay attention to, perhaps act upon, the image or combination of words. by Carey Wilson The current online exhibition at the Janet Turner Review: Print Museum Social Commentary: at Chico Prints and Politics State, Social shows through March 21. Online only. Commentary: Prints and Janet Turner Print Politics, Museum addresses this Chico State csuchico.edu/turner challenge as it pertains to art that communicates messages of politics and protest. “Printmaking possesses the unique ability to disseminate information camouflaged as art,” reads a quote from artist Jessica Camponigro in the online program for the show. “Innately more egalitarian and accessible, and therefore less precious and valuable, the production of prints is often a community activity that can also easily enter the public sphere.” In light of the current rise of social-justice activism and the con-

22

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MARCH 11, 2021

stant bombardment of political messaging in America today, the exhibit offers a broad historical perspective and background to current multimedia efforts to share information. The earliest works are seven highly detailed mid-18th-century engravings by English satirical artist William Hogarth, depicting the cultural vagaries and economic iniquities of London at the dawn of the era of mass communication via print. There are a wide range of 20thcentury examples, from Richard Hamilton’s 1970 “Kent State” serigraph to Judy Chicago’s colorful 1974 “Peeling Back.” Her lithograph features intimately feminine

“Still” (2006), by Kiki Smith

semi-abstract images that form an ornate mandala-like composition that also includes below it a literal subtext with the artist’s handwritten explanation: “In this, the transitional image, I ‘peeled back’ the structure to reveal the formerly hidden form. What a relief to finally say: ‘Here I am, a woman, with a woman’s body and woman’s point of view.’” Making the argument that an image unaccompanied by text also can make a powerful statement is Kiki Smith’s “Still” (2006), an “etching/spit bite/aquatint/softground/hardground” image of two

legs and the soles of a pair of dirty feet emerging from beneath an ambiguous drapery that may be the edge of a blanket, a dress or a body bag. The bleak simplicity and the mystery of a figure that appears to be lying face down—though not fully in view—seems to imply a death or other scene of humanity lost. In her 1960s print work, Corita Kent combined words with simple but eye-catching color designs to elicit reaction to social issues. In this exhibit, her 1963 serigraph, “Go Slo, Luke 2:14-51” may initially compel the viewer to ask, “Why should I?” That question is answered if one heeds the advice and takes time to enjoy the vibrant primary colors and engage with the playful design of the print. More directly confrontational, both graphically and textually, are the pieces presented in the “Berkeley Political Posters” section of the exhibition. Composed partly of works that [local activist] Wayne Pease acquired in Berkeley in 1970 and later donated to the museum, this collection includes examples of prints from the era of Vietnam protests, the Kent State killings, the formation of Black Panthers, and Berkeley’s Free Speech Movement of the mid-1960s, sometimes printed on paper pulled and repurposed from university office garbage cans. One poster presents a screenprinted, redwhite-and-blue image derived from

Francisco Goya’s painting “Saturn Devouring his Son” overlain with the text, “Amerika is Devouring Its Children,” thus unifying high art from the early 19th century with the very real concerns of the draftbound young men protesting the war in Vietnam. Of particular value and interest to visitors of the online gallery is the extensive list of links to source materials offered at the bottom of each of the three sections of the exhibition’s web page. Links range from highly academic essays such as Michael Rossman’s 1986 “Evolution of the Social Serigraphy Movement In the San Francisco Bay Area, 1966-1986,” to an “AntiRacist Print & Printmaking” page and a simple Instagram link to “Printmaking As Resistance” (@printmakingasresistance). The museum also provides an interactive “virtual tour” of the exhibition, complete with spacey electronic soundtrack, that is worth checking out if only for its technical “Wow” factor. The viewer can zip around from wall to wall in the gallery by navigating the 4K-resolution video with a mouse or touchpad. However, the three individual online slideshows of the art provide the most detailed close viewing of each piece. The online program suggests that “printmakers use their art to deepen the conversation about social justice and so much more,” and there is plenty worth commenting on in this engaging exhibit of pictures and words. Ω

One of the Berkeley Political Posters.


REEL WORLD A few from CN&R film critic on what’s now showing at home

Perchance to stream

Over the last month or so, I’ve been

IbutBowl broadcast back in February, my interest in all that began thought I might review the Super

to flag even before the usual by excesses of the Juan-Carlos halftime blowout. Selznick Curiously, the one thing that really stood out for me was Bruce Springsteen’s Jeep commercial with its trek to the little chapel “at the exact center of the lower 48” and its invocation of “hope, on the road up ahead.” The brusque earnestness and stark simplicity of that two-minute message felt like an aptly chilly antidote to the facetious triumphalism and automotive extravagances that customarily dominate the broadcast. Plus, it gave us The Boss in the cinematic equivalent of his The Ghost of Tom Joad phase, working in more austere and compelling terms than in his semioperatic Western Stars (the film as well as the album, both released in 2019). It’s sad but not entirely surprising, in these times of ours, that these miniature accomplishments almost immediately got swamped under political carping and tabloid hand-wringing over Springsteen’s

Nomadland

Dolemite is My Name

DWI arrest. Jeep’s disavowal of the ad in response may have drawn more viewers to it somewhere online, but the noise of the political broadsides probably only made it harder to actually see what’s going on in the film itself. The man who speaks that message—freedom, hope, community—is traveling alone through a

The next CN&R print edition will be on the street April 8

! t i s s i m t ’ n Do

What Did Jack Do?

barren winter landscape and making a brief, lonely pilgrimage to a small and otherwise empty chapel. He looks grim and concerned, and he’s riding in an open Jeep that resembles the World War II originals. The only reference to the brand name comes early on—a brief shot of the company logo embossed just above the vehicle’s running board.

To Advertise Contact: Ray Laager 530-520-4742 rlaager@newsreview.com Or For More Information: cnradinfo@newsreview.com 530-894-2300

Nomadland, Chloé Zhao’s woman-centered road movie, has a fair amount of lonely wandering through wide open spaces as well, but key elements of its bittersweet drama also have to do with the kind of free-floating community that its nomadic gig-workers find themselves gravitating toward. Frances McDormand delivers a delicately self-effacing performance as a widowed working woman named Fern, and she and David Strathairn merge seamlessly with a mostly non-professional cast. The story, adapted from Jessica Bruder’s nonfiction best-seller, meanders enchantingly via Zhao’s skillful blend of low-key storytelling and documentary style realism. Now streaming on Hulu.

especially glad to make somewhat belated contact with a number of recent releases: Sofia Coppola’s On the Rocks is a gutsy blend of romantic comedy and father-daughter tale, with a bravura performance by Bill Murray and a deft one by Rashida Jones. Now streaming on Apple TV. Lance Daly’s Black ’47 is an “Irish western,” a darkly atmospheric action drama set in the period of the Great Famine. It’s a powerful tale of conflicted allegiances—to family, country and kingdom, with a strong cast that includes Hugo Weaving, James Frecheville, Stephen Rea and Jim Broadbent. Now streaming on Netflix. Eddie Murphy’s Dolemite Is My Name is some kind of masterpiece—a comic drama focused on pop cultural Black history, a film about making a Blaxploitation movie (Dolemite, 1975), a rousing entertainment with a bristling performance by Murphy and charmingly off-type characterizations from Wesley Snipes, KeeganMichael Key, Craig Robinson, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Chris Rock and more. Now streaming on Netflix. David Lynch’s What Did Jack Do? is 17 minutes of deadpan surrealism, in which Lynch himself “interviews” a talking (animatropic?) monkey named Jack. Or is it an interrogation in a crime story whose main action occurs superfast and just outside the single-room setting? Whatever it is, it’s got a touch of that divine madness we associate with Lynch’s best movie work. Released in France in 2017, it’s now on Netflix. Ω

Chico Home Brew Shop has what you need for fermentation projects. We also have supplies for cheesemaking, sodas, and kombucha. Gift certificates available.

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chicohomebrew • Tues-Sat 10am-5pm • Fri 10am-6:00pm • 530-342-3768 MARCH 11, 2021

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Chico teacher turns sourdough crust recipe into new career

g l e u y d our n I

s m drea

by

Trevor Whitney

en years ago, after Jack Campbell and his

What’s next?

you can find the truck posted up at Coffee Ranch and Secret Trail Brewing Co. in Chico and Farmers Brewery in Princeton. Visit its Facebook page for current schedule. What made you decide to make a career change?

There are those sleepless nights where you’re saying, “OK, we just made a decision to do this, are we nuts? Is this crazy? Are my friends saying it’s great pizza just because I’m bringing pizza over?” I think anybody who goes into something like this, there are probably those moments of doubt. Most entrepreneurs have had to take that leap of faith at some point. You have to put your foot out there at some point; hopefully you find good footing? Does if feel like you have?

Yeah. I still am surprised. Planning is very difficult, you know. It’s a lot of learning, since all my background since I was like a teenager has been in fields other than the food industry. It’s good, though—I do like to learn. I want to be a lifelong learner, Indulgence Pizza co-owner Jack Campbell in front of his truck. PHOTO COURTESY OF INDULGENCE PIZZA

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MARCH 11, 2021

and good quality cheeses. Chico’s pretty good because we’re a college town, and so we have a lot of little pizza places to meet everyone’s tastes, but when you go into a lot of the larger city markets, there’s a lot of the same pizza all over the place and it becomes who can do it for cheaper. Our Pure Indulgence. It’s something I came up with during this process. It’s got applewood bacon, Point Reyes blue cheese and sauteed onions. The combination of that sweet onion, that Point Reyes that puddles around the pizza and then that salty little hint of bacon, it’s like that umami mix—perfect.

Tstateswife,fromAnaaBonnin, returned to the year spent in Buenos Aires,

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PHOTO COURTESY OF INDULGENCE PIZZA

What’s your favorite pizza you make?

t revor w@ newsrev iew.c om

Argentina, they faced a serious dilemma. They couldn’t find a pizza that matched the old-school American-pizzeria-inspired pies Bonnin grew to love during their year in her home country. Once all research efforts failed, Campbell, a science teacher, took it upon himself to create a perfect pie at home. The winning experiment involved a sourdough crust that was a hit Indulgence Pizza with his wife and indulgencepizza.com their family and facebook.com/indulgencepizza friends. In fact, many of them said, “If you ever quit teaching, you should start doing this.” So he did. Campbell quit his job as a middle school biology teacher and opened up a pizza truck with Bonnin. Indulgence Pizza debuted in the first week in January—using that same fermented sourdough crust for his pizzas and calzones—and

Indulgence Pizza truck.

taking on different types of work, and this is definitely appealing. It’s like a game, right? You don’t want to run out of stuff, you don’t want to plan for too much, and you want to serve as many people as possible within a window of time. It’s kind of addictive. My wife thinks I put too much time in. What’s your approach to creating recipes for Indulgence?

We’d like to grow our brand. We’ve got ideas for pastas and ice cream and several [other] menu items. Who knows what [that] will mean in the long run, but there are a lot of options. We’re starting to do some catering. Which direction and how many directions we’re trying to go, we’re not entirely sure, but it’s a fun process. I finally found something I really like doing, and at this point in life, it’s nice to have something where people appreciate your work. Everyone should know it can be done. If you’ve got a spark, if you keep trying and going for it, it’s out there. I did a lot of things that didn’t work. And I kept the philosophy: If you’re not happy with what you’re doing, you’ve gotta change. Ω

It’s nostalgic. I’m a little bit older, so when I was a kid there weren’t so many of these pizza chains. It was very much [like] you go into a town and often they had a pizza joint, maybe a couple. But people were very loyal to those places, and the style had very robust sauce. The crust played a part of the pizza— it wasn’t just like a paper plate, it was well integrated into the pizza, so there were all of these full flavors. That’s my memory. So when I went to Argentina, it was like that was revived. It was really similar in style because they cook an Americana style pie down there as well. It was nice to see that, and that’s kind of what I strive for. Even some of the big chains started out like that. I worked at a Round Table as a teenager. They were a different place than what they are now. It was that pizzeria style, heavy sauces The Pure Indulgence pizza, with applewood bacon, Point Reyes blue cheese and sauteed onions. PHOTO COURTESY OF INDULGENCE PIZZA


ARTS DEVO by JASON CASSIDY • jasonc@newsreview.com

I am hopeful that the News & Review will find a way—Arts DEVO, March 19, 2020

LET’S ALL SPRING FORWARD, PLEASE! It has been one year since the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak as a global pandemic (March 11, 2020), and it’s felt like a lifetime’s worth of turmoil and trauma has passed through us since then. Worst of all, of course, are the millions of tragedies associated with 525,000 Americans (plus another 2 million worldwide) dying from the virus. In the last 12 months, about 550,000 more people have died in this country than would have in a normal year. Next week also marks one year since the Chico News & Review—along with its sister papers, the Sacramento News & Review and the Reno News & Review—shut down due to a dramatic drop in advertising. At the time, it was hard to see a path back unless there was an overall return to “life as normal,” and, much as for every other business in Butte County, forecasting that would become a frustrating exercise in near-futility. Thankfully, in Chico, there have been enough loyal advertisers, generous contributions from readers, and COVID-relief loans/grants to bring back a skeleton crew to put out stories on the CN&R site and, starting last July, publish a print edition once a month. That’s still where we are—printing monthly and not knowing exactly what the future holds. We do know that the CN&R building is for sale and whatever work we do will be remote for now, with Zoom meetings until we can safely gather again in my back yard or a coffee shop. We also know that nobody knows the extent to which the re-opening of the economy in the months ahead will translate into returning advertisers. And we know that we’ll likely need other sources of revenue—donations, sponsorships, grants, etc.—in order to return to something resembling normal. I am really proud of the work our team has done under very trying circumstances. With few resources and limited hours, the editorial crew—Melissa Daugherty, Ashiah Scharaga, Ken Smith, Evan Tuchinsky and Trevor Whitney and myself—and Art Director Tina Flynn have managed to tell stories about the community going through the pandemic, contentious elections and wildfires. I am forever grateful for their work and friendship this past year, and for the commitment N&R owners Jeff vonKaenel and Deborah Redmond, along with the business and tech staff in Sac, have made to Chico. I’m stoked on the behind-the-scenes work of our sales coordinator Jen Osa and the on-the-street work of our delivery crew, and I am super-stoked on everything longtime friend Jamie McCormack has done in support of the paper (I see you!). And I am hopeful. Maybe it’s the spring weather and the fact that we turn the clocks forward this weekend to trick our brains into thinking we have more daylight. I’ll trick my brain into thinking that maybe the current American saeculum is coming to an end and that something new is being born—something better for everyone. HOPEFUL VISIONS FOR OUR FUTURE If there is

to be a new, better day, it’s up to us to put in the imagination and work to realize it. Imagine Together is an art show concept that was born in the mind of local artist Claire Fong (inspired by the work of author Adrienne Maree Brown) and organized with fellow creator (and Chico Art Center Gallery Director) Cameron Kelly. The exhibit will show virtually on the 1078 Gallery website in April, and the call for art asks questions to prompt artists to create New dog rising. their own sci-fi vision for an improved world: “Now, our imaginations will shape the future. Our thoughts, dreams, goals, hopes, ideas, beliefs and feelings can shape reality. How can your imagination transform the world into a more loving and inclusive place? How can your imagination help make the future a hopeful and joyful place where there is room for everyone?” Every medium is welcome. Visit 1078gallery.org to submit. Deadline is March 28.

MEET THE NEW DOG With a pet in the house, every day is filled with new possibilities. Faithful

readers, I introduce to you the newest family member of the DEVO Compound and future arts column obsession, Rosie.

Open Daily Noon - 9pm We appreciate the support of our community!

Enjoy our scrumptious food menu as you experience an ever changing collection of artisan beers. Come check out our new expansion! 2070 E 20th STE 160 Chico, CA 95928 PHONE: 530-894-BEER (2337)

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MARCH 11, 2021

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FREE WILL ASTROLOGY

C H I C O ’ S

Find us online c h i c o . n e w s r e v i e w.c o m

FOR THE WEEK OF MARCH 11, 2021

BY ROB BREZSNY

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Artist Richard

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Poet Wendell

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Spiritual

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Famous

Kehl tells this traditional Jewish story: God said to Abraham, “But for me, you would not be here.” Abraham answered, “I know that Lord, but were I not here, there would be no one to think about you.” I’m bringing this tale to your attention, dear Aries, because I think the coming weeks will be a favorable time to summon a comparable cheekiness with authorities, including even the Divine Wow Herself. So I invite you to consider the possibility of being sassy, saucey, and bold. Risk being an articulate maverick with a point of view that the honchos and experts should entertain.

N E W S

author Ernest Holmes wrote, “True imagination is not fanciful daydreaming. It is fire from heaven.” Unfortunately, however, many people do indeed regard imagination as mostly just a source of fanciful daydreaming. And it is also true that when our imaginations are lazy and out of control, when they conjure delusional fears and worries, they can be debilitating. I bring this to your attention, Taurus, because I believe the coming weeks will be a favorable time for you to harness the highest powers of your imagination—to channel the fire from heaven—as you visualize all the wonderful and interesting things you want to do with your life in the next nine months.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): “I’m always

& E N T E R T A I N M E N T

waiting for a door to open in a wall without doors,” wrote Gemini author Fernando Pessoa. Huh? Pessoa was consistently eccentric in his many writings, and I find this particular statement especially odd. I’m going to alter it so it makes more sense and fits your current needs. Here’s your motto for the coming weeks: “I’m always ready to figure out how to make a new door in a wall without doors, and call on all necessary help to make it.”

CANCER (June 21-July 22): You can’t

drive to the Kamchatka Peninsula. It’s a 104,000-square-mile area with a sub-Arctic climate in the far east of Russia. No roads connect it to the rest of the world. Its major city, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, is surrounded by volcanoes. If you want to travel there, you must arrive by plane or ship. And yet, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky has long had a thriving tourist industry. More so before the pandemic, but even now, outsiders have come to paraglide, hunt for bears and marvel at the scenery. In this horoscope, I am making an outlandish metaphorical comparison of you to the Kamchatka Peninsula. Like that land, people sometimes find it a challenge to reach you. And yet, when they do, you can be quite welcoming. Is this a problem? Maybe, maybe not. What do you think? Now is a good time to re-evaluate.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Biting midges, also

S O U R C E

known as no-see-ums, are blood-sucking flies that spread various diseases. Yuck, right? Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we used science to kill off all biting midges everywhere? Well, there would be a disappointing trade-off if we did. The creepy bugs are the primary pollinators for several crops grown in the topics, including cacao. So if we got rid of the no-see-ums, there’d probably be no more chocolate. I’m guessing that you may be dealing with a comparable dilemma, Leo: an influence that has both a downside and an upside. The central question is: Can you be all you want to be without it in your life? Or not? Now is a good time to ponder the best way to shape your future relationship.

Berry says “it’s the immemorial feelings” he likes best: “hunger and thirst and their satisfaction; work-weariness and earned rest; the falling again from loneliness to love.” Notice that he doesn’t merely love the gratification that comes from quenching his hunger and thirst. The hunger and thirst are themselves essential components of his joy. Work-weariness and loneliness are not simply inconvenient discomforts that he’d rather live without. He celebrates them, as well. I think his way of thinking is especially worthy of your imitation in the next three weeks.

and influential science fiction novelist Philip K. Dick relied on amphetamines to fuel his first 43 novels. Beginning with A Scanner Darkly, his 44th, he did without his favorite drug. It wasn’t his best book, but it was far from his worst. It sold well and was made into a movie featuring Keanu Reeves, Robert Downey Jr., and two other celebrity actors. Inspired by Dick’s success without relying on his dependency—and in accordance with current astrological omens—I’m inviting you to try doing without one of your addictions or compulsions or obsessions as you work on your labor of love.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21):

Ninety percent of all apples in the world are descended from a forest of apple trees in southeast Kazakhstan. Most of us have tasted just a few types of apples, but there’s a much wider assortment of flavors in that natural wonderland. You know how wine is described as having taste notes and aromas? The apple flavor of Kazakhstan’s apples may be tinged with hints of roses, strawberries, anise, pineapples, coconuts, lemon peels, pears, potatoes or popcorn. Can you imagine traveling to that forest and exploring a far more complex and nuanced relationship with a commonplace food? During the coming weeks, I invite you to experiment with arousing metaphorically similar experiences. In what old familiar persons, places or things could you find a surprising wealth of previously unexplored depth and variety?

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Author Andrew Tilin testified that he sometimes had the feeling that his life was in pieces—but then realized that most of the pieces were good and interesting. So his sense of being a mess of unassembled puzzle parts gave way to a deeper contentment—an understanding that the jumble was just fine the way it was. I recommend you cultivate and enjoy an experience like that in the coming weeks, Capricorn.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Indian

poet Meena Alexander (1951–2018) was born under the sign of Aquarius. She became famous after she moved to the U.S. at age 29, but was raised in India and the Sudan. In her poem “Where Do You Come From?,” she wrote, “Mama beat me when I was a child for stealing honey from a honey pot.” I’m sorry to hear she was treated so badly for enjoying herself. She wasn’t committing a crime! The honey belonged to her family, and her family had plenty of money to buy more honey. This vignette is my way of advising you, in accordance with astrological omens, to carry out your personal version of “stealing the honey from the honeypot,” dear Aquarius. Take what’s rightfully yours.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): According to my PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): The bad news analysis of your imminent astrological potentials, you already are or will soon be floating and whirling and churning along on an ocean of emotion. In other words, you will be experiencing more feelings and stronger feelings than you have in quite some time. This doesn’t have to be a problem as long as you do the following: 1. Be proud and appreciative about being able to feel so much. 2. Since only a small percentage of your feelings need to be translated into practical actions, don’t take them too seriously. 3. Enjoy the ride!

is that the narrow buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea is laced with landmines. Anyone who walks there is at risk for getting blown up. The good news is that because people avoid the place, it has become an unprecedented nature preserve—a wildlife refuge where endangered species like the red-crowned crane and Korean fox can thrive. In the coming weeks and months, I’d love to see you engage in a comparable project, Pisces: finding a benevolent use for a previously taboo or wasted part of your life.

www.RealAstrology.com for Rob Brezsny’s EXPANDED WEEKLY AUDIO HOROSCOPES and DAILY TEXT MESSAGE HOROSCOPES. The audio horoscopes are also available by phone at 1-877-873-4888.

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e p o H d l Bui

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THANK YOU SUPPORTERS!

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