What ever happened to “our drinking problem” ?

17 Apr

After my last post, complaining about serial criminals in our town, Police Chief Mike O’Brien released his crime report – nothing surprising. What was weird was how it was viewed by the media.

http://www.chicoer.com/general-news/20160414/chico-crime-rate-up-4-percent-in-2015-positive-signs-ahead-police-say

http://www.krcrtv.com/news/local/chico-crime-rate-drops-9-percent-in-first-quarter-of-2016/39028878

I  think it’s just funny how these two different media sources look at the story, one “glass half empty” and the other “glass half full.” I think the local editor paints a scarier picture because he’s stumping for a public safety tax, while the story out of Redding seems too optimistic. Somewhere between lies the truth.

The chief seems to be saying two things at once. While he says crime is down in the first quarter of 2016, he admits, “ I think if you were to ask anyone in the community whether crime was increasing or decreasing — or increased or decreased in 2015 — everyone would have said yes, it has increased…”

I have to wonder about these reports  – for example, according to Jerry Olenyn, “The report does not include an uptick in other types of crimes. For example, honey butane oil lab activity is on the rise.   ‘Not only is it a problem, it’s a public safety concern, because houses and apartment are being blown up,’ said O’Brien.”

Why aren’t all crimes included?

According to this week’s News and Review

https://www.newsreview.com/chico/losing-our-buzz/content?oid=20614263

Chico PD reports arrests are down on the infamous party days, like Halloween and Cesar Chavez Day, but Enloe reports alcohol related ER visits for the 18 – 23 age group are increasing every year. Just since January, there have already been 94 visits in that category. The 18 to 20 year olds, and whoever furnished them with the alcohol, are committing a crime, a very dangerous crime, and I have to wonder why this isn’t included in O’Brien’s report.

There have been a couple of high profile, very tragic alcohol related deaths every semester for the last couple of years. Endless staff time has been poured into symposiums about “our drinking problem” since Ann Schwab was mayor. What track did that little choo-choo train run off on? 

The party article mentions that many Downtown restaurants are changing their atmosphere – no more drink or pitcher specials. A more adult atmosphere, pricey drinks, pricey foods. They have priced out the party crowd Downtown. But at the same time, the city has permitted Bev Mo! and other discount liquor merchants around town. So what’s happened, I’m guessing, is the parties are moving underground, and I’m guessing there will be a lot more underage drinking, and more tragedy to come. 

And the 21 – 23 crowd will continue to patronize the bars, which sit right off campus like some kind  of Pleasure Island. Not just college students, but young people from all over the area are attracted to the alcohol scene Downtown every  weekend. These people are not only the perpetrators but the victims of crime – they drive drunk, they injure or kill themselves or others, they lose their wallets, get mugged, get sexually assaulted.  They go back to their apartments, leave their cars unlocked, their doors unlocked, their valuables laying around untended. 

Alcohol is  a crime problem in Chico.

Meanwhile, they had a symposium about it. This what these people do. 

http://www.orovillemr.com/general-news/20160415/butte-county-officials-community-groups-gather-for-summit-on-homelessness

 

 

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2 Responses to “What ever happened to “our drinking problem” ?”

  1. Jim Matthews April 17, 2016 at 5:36 pm #

    You know, when I went to Chico State in the ’70s, I never heard of someone being taken to the hospital for intoxication. As you point out, it happens every weekend now. Yet the media tells us that “Chico isn’t a party school anymore.” Yeah right.

    • Juanita Sumner April 18, 2016 at 5:22 am #

      I don’t know what’s behind this story in the News and Review, somebody wanting the “drinking problem” to go away?

      What I also notice is they don’t include incidents with under 18 drinkers – I wonder how many high school kids go through Enloe with alcohol poisoning every year. You know they have those numbers, why aren’t they included?

      I’m guessing, it’s not just Chico State and Butte College students, I think we have a bad underage drinking problem here. We really do have a “culture of alcohol” here, and despite the hanky waving Downtown, they’re not going to do anything as long as liquor continues to make a lot of money for the city of Chico.

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