City councilor blames county DA for “drinking problem” – why should the cops arrest these kids or the college throw them out if Ramsey won’t prosecute?

31 Aug

I am an alumnus of Chico State. I think I finally graduated about 1991 – I didn’t know, you had to apply to graduate, I finished the classes they told me to take and sat around waiting for my
diploma in the mail for about six months before somebody finally told me I had to fill out forms and lay down $75 before they’d officially let me out of that insane asylyum.

I did well enough – “suma cum laude” – had to look that up. I’ll admit, a lot of those ‘A’s were for “apple polishing,” but I was just glad to get the hell out of there.  I had my problems, mostly trying to stay awake in class.  One thing I never did was fall in a puddle of my own puke or get arrested for any bad behavior.

My cousin Charley had lived in town for years, he went to PV High.   When I enrolled at Chico State, our grandmother’s Alma Mater, he was working at Gepetto’s. My first Pioneer week, I went in to have a cup of coffee with him while he was prepping the kitchen before opening one morning. He told me, “go to Gramma’s Teet, I’ll see you there later.” Apparently he’d gone out of the restaurant earlier that morning to take the trash, at about 10 am, and encountered a pack of sorority sisters egging a police car. The cops had pulled over, got out, and were watching the attack from a safe distance. “It’s going to be a bad weekend,” Charley predicted. With that I left for class – some teachers insisted on holding class during Pioneer week, there was a pretty solid divide through the faculty on this matter. Some of them felt the kids should be allowed to have fun, others had tried to fight it for years and gave up. But it seemed all my teachers were holding that thin blue line. I had to go to class, under threat of failure. 

I also needed to pay my PG&E bill, so I headed over toward Salem. Walking back toward the college I encountered my first revelers – I was meandering along Third or Fourth Street, passing a two story house with an upstairs deck, when a beer bottle smashed on the sidewalk a few feet ahead of me. “Oops!” I heard from above. A girl, looking pretty drunk, leaned over the railing to apologize. “Sorry!” she sniggered. At this point, I suddenly realized – my cousin Charley was one of the more level-headed members of our family.  I went to my class, I went home, I loaded my cats in my car, and I headed for my grandmother’s house over in Glenn County. 

Charley came out later, we had the usual “dab dinner” (leftovers), and turned on the news. Oh yeah, that was the Big One. “Student” parties had gone out of control, a riot had broke out in the intersection of Fifth and Ivy. The laundromat on the corner was trashed, a fire started in the street using furniture from the laundromat, and a news van responding to the scene was overturned by rioters. Turns out, that was a good weekend to spend at Gramma’s with the cats! 

I think that was the first time, in modern history, that the students had got that out-of-control. Most of those arrested were enrolled at one or another of our local colleges.  Since then, we’ve had similar but smaller incidents at the beginning of almost every semester. When they “cancelled” Pioneer Week to stop it, Halloween became a problem, then Cesar Chavez Day? 

My grandmother  told me, the college has always been some sort of problem. Back in “The Day,” it was sexual assaults. Yep, back in the “good old days,” men would flock to Chico every weekend to pick up some babes! Some times the babes weren’t so willing to be picked up! And sometimes it wasn’t randy farm boys – it was male teachers and students. My grandmother gave me stern advice about going to male professor’s offices alone, or letting men walk me home at night. “Better to be all knees and elbows,” she’d say, meaning “Run home,” and stay under the street lights.  

So, don’t waste my time telling me what a nice town Chico  was – it’s never been a perfect town, there’s always been problems associated with bringing 15,000 non-residents into your town without doing any sort of background check.

So, this semester we had the obligatory bottle and rock assault on Chico PD. I don’t know how we’d start the semester without it! I don’t know how the cops would get their foot in the door for more funding if they didn’t have these barreled fish to hold up to council as a threat during contract talks. This year, as always, the Chief has made his “Zero Tolerance” speech – oh, I’m so scared Kirk! You say that every year, Muloney said it, they’ve all said it.  We’re still waiting for you to explain what “zero tolerance” means. 

To me, it means, for certain infractions, you only get one chance, and then you’re out. But, looking over the police reports and the Butte County Superior Court case index, you’ll see some people making repeated violations with alcohol. For example, a Chico State student who’d been arrested for “minor driving under the influence” in 2011 was just arrested again at a party on Hazel for “disorderly conduct, alcohol.” He lists his current age as 20, so that’s two violations we know of involving minor in possession of alcohol within the last two years. Why did Chico State accept this person as a student? They wouldn’t get into one of my rentals, and my neighbors are glad to hear that.

I guess either of the colleges would have a problem trying to reject or kick out these kids without a conviction. That’s where Mike Ramsey comes in. I see most of those arrested for “disorderly conduct, alcohol” are transferred to the county jail. But, I can’t find their name in the case index, I guess it takes a while. I will try to do more research.

But, in an e-mail conversation regarding the “community drinking problem,” councilor Sean Morgan told me,  “To the drunk in public comments. Here we are in complete agreement. When someone is arrested for Drunk in Public they are taken to the Oroville Jail, kept overnight, and, are your ready for this???!! Released the next day! No fine. No consequence. The DA won’t prosecute them. Not enough time he says.”

“He” being, I assume, Mike Ramsey.

Wow, that’s a gobstopper – why should the cops arrest these people knowing they won’t be prosecuted? How will the college know they have a police record, that they’ve caused problems in their host town, if the DA doesn’t prosecute these people? 

I mean, real problems for real people. I had a friend who rented a store front Downtown, it had been a dream of hers to revamp and reopen a long-time Downtown landmark beauty parlor. I don’t think she lasted there a year. Twice drunks broke her front window – witnesses said one drunk just tripped and plowed right in, another was shoved by a companion. Both times, the police had contact with the perpetrators, but because there was no arrest or names obtained, and because the repair was under the deductible on her insurance, she had to pay for it herself. That will drive you out of business.  

The police must be too frustrated to arrest these rowdy troublemakers – I notice, they make a big stink about an out-of-control party, but you check the arrest logs for August 24 – 28, and you don’t see very many arrests for that Ivy Street area, or the Hazel Street party recently in the news. According to the news reports, and the video and photos still running on the Enterprise Record website, they should have brought in a net and corralled the whole bunch, dozens of rowdies. I think it’s illegal to hit anybody with a bottle, or a rock, or any projectile, for that matter, but I see no such arrests for that Ivy Street area on any night around the 24 – you look,  maybe I missed them.

http://www.chico.ca.us/Police/documents/WeeklyArrests.pdf

I do see arrests for alcohol related offenses scattered over the last couple of weeks, but alot of those are people well over college age, with occupations like, “Build.com” and “cleans taco wagons,” etc.  You see the pictures, hear the stories – why aren’t more students arrested? 

I also found the arrest records for that “gang” that was hanging around the railroad tracks at night, robbing people. This has gone on as long as there’s been a bike  trail down there, it should be easy pickings for smart cops to bust people like this. Instead they wait until the beginning of the semester, when new college kids are in town, and roust the bad kids in a big raid. Once. Check the names in that story, you’ll also see them in the arrest report. Then check the court index – I found several of those people had been arrested before for similar offenses, some of them involving methamphetamine. Recently, this year. But they’re still out, available to terrorize the college kids? 

We have a real problem with our local law enforcement, and I’d say, since County District Attorney Mike Ramsey is the highest paid and highest placed officio involved, his is the head that stinks. Ramsey’s problem is, he’s a total egomaniac. He thinks he’s Elliot Ness – one year, he used public money to have himself and his staff dressed in period clothing and posed next to some Ness-era cars for a calendar shoot. Dressed up like Elliot Ness. What a crazy bastard. 

And who does this Ness-wannabee protect us from? Oh, gross, egregious environmental violators, like George Scott, of Chico Scrap. George Scott has run salvage operations in this area for years, he’s kept abreast of the ever-changing rules, and I’d say, run a pretty good business. What would you do, bury that old washer in your back yard? We just took an old water heater over there – I guess I just could have told my husband – “put it in the back of the F-150 and drive it over to one of the double-letter roads in Glenn County, roll it out along a rice field…”  What would we do without businesses like Chico Scrap? 

But for some reason, Ramsey has taken on this business, to the point of harassment. Meanwhile, he won’t dirty his hands with “Chico’s Drinking Problem.” 

Ramsey is elected again and again because no attorney from around here with any sense would run against him. Ramsey is a vindictive ass – look what he did to Bill Hill! Took his teenage daughter’s clothes! Run against that guy, and lose to his Democratic party machine, you’re sending out invitations to your own ass-kicking. 

The voters could help by mounting a recall. Needs to happen, not sure who will try it. George Scott already put alot of money into that carpet bagger he ran last time – not that I blame him, who would he have got from around here? I don’t know if he would be interested in financing a recall campaign.  But that’s the only way we will get rid of Mike Ramsey. And he’s the real “drinking problem”.

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