Archive | April, 2018

City of Chico tells Jesus Center they are out of compliance, Jesus Center says “No we’re not!”

26 Apr

The Jesus Center has been serving the local homeless population for over 25 years. Complaints about the behavior of their clients started rolling in almost immediately. Neighboring businesses felt under siege by drunken panhandlers, vandalism, break-ins, public urination and defecation,  and worst of all, increasingly violent behavior.

Some longtime businesses closed or left the area,  pointing to the growing transient population as the reason.

Here’s my experience – my husband and I bought  an old Craftsman near the intersection of Park and 12th Avenues. The first time I saw it, one evening about 8 pm, there was a huge disheveled man standing on the sideporch,  urinating into the overgrown camelia bushes.

We bought it anyway,  and the neighbors were thrilled. It was a grand old houae, badly neglected for years, and they all thrilled to the notion of having someone living in it again.

We put a lot into saving that old house, it started attracting a lot of attention.  Within a couple of weeks we had a group of 30 – something bachelor friends who said they’d been waiting for somebody to fix it up, and we rented it to them.

The  first week they werein the house, our tenant Mike came home from work one evening to find a transient rifling their recycling can, leaving garbage all over the porch.

It is an old wrap around porch, with low Windows and patio doors that let right into bedrooms. One bathroom window, although very beautiful and an original part of the house, just had to go after I discovered how easy it was to pry open.

We owned that rental for about 10 years. One day I was raking the yard in between tenants,  my husband was inside painting,  and a reeking old man stumbled up to me, made a grab for my rake, and told me, “I do it, you pay…”

I told him I didn’t need help, that’s when he made a grab for me and invited me into the concealed sideyard for some romance.

My husband happened along just as I was about to lay the business end of that rake upside the man’s head. When he saw my husband the man sobered up and asked him for $20 to rake the yard – like nothing ever happened.  He continued to act same whenever he encountered us at the house.

He happened along one day as we spoke to our new tenants  – a group of four 20-something’s,  including an elementary school teacher. I told them about the man – too late! One of the women had already encountered him on the porch late one evening – he told her his friend lived in the house and gave him permission to sleep there. Luckily this group was older and more experienced, they told him they would call the cops.

Whenever we’d turn that house over we’d be eating tacos at Dukes Liquors or sandwiches at Chico Locker.  We had friends of various trades helping us, including our carpenter friend Charles Kidd. One day as Chuck was at the window at Dukes,  this crazy-drunk old woman – you know, their face is blood red with alcohol poisoning — steps up and starts screaming obscenities at Chuck, threatening him with an ass kicking. Charles,  a very sensitive man, just stared at her.

One day I watched Charles hand a local homeless man a brand new pair of shoes. A family man with a mortgage, Chuck was not rich, but he’d seem the old guy sitting at the door of Chico Natural without shoes, so he’d got in his truck and drove to Payless Shoes on Mangrove,  bought the guy a pair of low sneakers,  and driven back to put them on his feet.

Ha ha, how ironic – Chuck is a carpenter!

So what was going through his mind as this woman hurled spit and expletives into his face? His family – they had bought a house just two blocks the other side of Park Avenue,  and he was afraid to let his kids walk to school.

Jesus said turn the other cheek. I’m sorry to disagree but I think that’s enabling behavior.  Twenty years later, and the complaints about the Jesus Center are still pouring in.

I had to laugh when I read JC director Laura Cootsoona’s recent response to allegations – including that of city code enforcer Leo “I’m gonna stickittoya” Depaola – that the JC is out of compliance.

Do you love that – this woman is told she is out of compliance by the chief of code enforcement and she just says, “nuh-uh!” Don’t you wish you could do that?

And then Cootsoona used the opportunity to lobby for relocation of the center at the Silver Dollar fairgrounds,  on city owned property adjacent to the racetrack.

Why would she think it’s okay to locate a problem like that to a commercial zone? She refuses to take responsibility for her clients, claiming that was never part of the use permit. But she expects to take the operation to the county fair grounds?

Stay tuned – something stinks.

Chico gets new rug and chairs for half a million, Shasta County houses 60 more criminals for a million

24 Apr

Shasta County jail gets 60 new beds for $1 million – Sheriff calls it a great  deal – I agree.

That’s  $16,000 for what amounts to a single housing unit for someone who needs to get off the street.

Meanwhile the city of Chico spends a half million remodeling council chambers,  staff excusing a $25,000 cost overrun because they hadn’t saved the chamber wiring diagrams and therefore had to “rip out walls” for a simple computer upgrade.

While we might actually see some benefits of less criminals on Chico streets from Shasta County jail reducing overcrowding,  I have to wonder who benefits from the chamber remodel?


As usual, there are motives that are not being discussed in the replacement of the Jesus Center

19 Apr

Something weird happened at city council the other night, after closed session. Council was discussing the sale of city-owned property at the fairgrounds, formerly the location of the BMX track, to the Jesus Center. Proponents of this move say that this will consolidate city services in one location, but what I suspect is , there are people who want the Jesus Center off Park Avenue.

In today’s Enterprise record Carl Ory gives an explanation. Apparently there was a disagreement about how the discussion should take place.

Ory claims that mayor Sean Morgan was out of order in dismissing Ory’s motion to have a public conversation on this topic.

So Ory, along with counselors randal stone and ann Schwab, walked out of closed session. The other four counselors voted to discuss the issue in public at a future meeting.

I think that’s appropriate, I’m glad they decided to do that. I would like to hear more about everybody’s motives in this discussion.

I think both sides have motives they aren’t being honest about now. I think the Liberals have been told that there will be more money made available to the Jesus Center through both public and private donations and grants if they move to the fairgrounds facility. I have to wonder if they’ve been essentially offered a bribe to get off Park Avenue. I think the conservatives who took over the Jesus Center had that in mind from the beginning. I believe there are Property Owners, Realtors, and banks that would profit from getting Park Avenue cleaned up.

What stinks as far as I’m concerned is that I don’t believe the public Fairgrounds is an appropriate place for a transient facility. The fairgrounds was a great place for a kid’s BMX track.




Council to add 3% to employee pension contribution , I say BFD!

17 Apr

Tonight Chico city council will discuss, and most likely approve, another 3% contribution from city employees toward their own pensions.

Big f****** deal. These people are not even paying 10%. They make salaries in excess of $100,000 a year some of them in excess of $200,000 a year.

They work in a town where the average family lives on less than 50,000. With their salaries they jack up the price of housing, gas, groceries, daycare and everything else working people need to live.

This is also part of their new move Chico forward campaign. Move cheat code for word is being fronted by Chamber of Commerce shil Katie Simmons, because  it is illegal for the city 2 run a tax increase campaign. In fact, Brian Nakamura, after he left Chico, was fired from the city of Rancho Cordova for using City money to make a slick pamphlet distributed to Rancho Cordova voters asking them for a sales tax increase.

So they have their little shill do their work for them . But they can still offer support, such as these limp-wristed efforts towards making employees pay for the out-of-control pensions.

If they truly want to move Chico forward, they need to bring in some jobs that are not in the public sector. They need to bring in good paying jobs so that citizens can participate in the economy.

Speaking of workers, have you seen the little s*** checks that are being built over on Humboldt Road? I saw a story about them in the enterprise-record so I emailed reporter Laura arseny asking her if she knew what the rent would be on these tiny little houses. She responded to me that the Builder did not want her to include the rent price in the story. She offered me his Facebook link. I’ll get back to you with that. But Builder Tim Simons, who is working on the project, doesn’t build affordable.

The city is moving into dangerous water I predict they will put the sales tax increase on the ballot in a special election in 2019. That is another reason why none of the council members will mention it, they know it will be poison to their chances of reelection in future.

I am surprised that neither Mark Sorensen nor Annette filmer have offered their opinion regarding a sales tax increase, they’re safe, they’re not running for reelection. Is it that they don’t believe we need a sales tax increase? Or are they just too big of pussies to ask for it straight in front of the public?

We’ll see who’s who as this issue moves forward.







LWV to host District 1 Forum April 30th at Harlan Adams theater

15 Apr

League of Women Voters, in a joint venture with Chico State University Office of Civic engagement and Chico Associated students, is holding a forum for US District 1 , currently represented by Doug Lamalfa. The Forum will be held at Chico State University in the Harlan Adams theater on Monday April 30th at 7 p.m.

Lamalfa has six Challengers. 5 will attend the Forum. They are Greg Cheadle, Republican , Audrey Denny, Democrat, Lewis Elbinger Green Party, Jessica Holcomb Democrat, Marty Walters Democrat, and David Peterson Democrat.

Neither Lamalfa nor Peterson will be in attendance, citing scheduling conflicts.

Frankly I think that’s great. Instead of standing there attacking Lamalfa, these people will actually have to talk among themselves, and maybe even discuss real issues.

Maybe the little pussy hat fascists will stay home.

The Forum will be videotaped and will be available on the Butte County website.

For more information contact Rose Kelly at 530 3 2 1 4441

Sorry for any glitches or spelling errors I had to dictate this to my phone.



League of Women Voters to host County Supervisor forum

13 Apr

As if in response to my  wishes, the League of Women Voters will host a forum for District 2 and 3 supervisor candidates at Marsh Junior High School on May 9th at 6:30 p.m. in the multipurpose room.

All five supervisorial candidates have indicated they will participate.

That’s incumbent Larry Wahl and challenger Debra Lucero for district 2, and Norm Rosene, Tami Ritter, and Bob Evans for District 3. Maureen Kirk announced a few months ago that she did not intend to run for reelection.

Bring your notebooks. I swear  to Gawd, note takers scare the shit out of these people.

Back to the Giants game.


The battle for Chico – looks like the bums are winning. Contact your supervisor, and don’t forget your supervisor candidates

13 Apr

Yesterday my husband and I were running errands and working on our rentals. We had our tools and supplies and our dogs in our truck and we needed a few things at the grocery store. So, we pulled over at Mangrove Safeway and I planned to stay  the truck while my husband went into the store.

As my husband was getting out of the truck a homeless man wandered up to us and asked my husband if he might have some money that he could spare. My husband said no and I leaned forward and told him that panhandling is illegal , and I asked him to get away from our truck because our dogs were barking. We also had tools in the back of our truck and I’ve seen the same kind of stuff in piles of bum trash in the park.

That’s when the bum became belligerent and told me he didn’t have to get away from my truck. Then he accused us of trying to run over him by pulling into the parking space. At that point I became angry and pulled out my cell phone and told him I was going to call the police . Bum started yelling at my husband, “control your woman Bro !” and my  husband decided to move the truck to another parking spot.

As my husband pulled out of the parking place we were in and drove around towards another Shady spot, Bum wandered over towards the gas station, screaming at us as he went.

At this point my husband became worried about leaving us alone while he went into the store. I told him I had my cell phone, and I’d be on my best behavior and stay in the truck. That reassured him and he went into the store.

Bum went his way and didn’t return but I spent the rest of the day wondering why I bother to shop in Chico. Mangrove Safeway is getting as bad as Bidwell Park. We see bums stationed at the entrances everytime we go shopping. They panhandle us when we park our bicycle and we always feel that if we are not polite to them they’ll vandalize our bicycle  when we’re in the store. Now we encounter this guy, wandering freely through the parking lot, panhandling us while we’re there, and then what? Stealing out of our truck while we’re in the store, that’s what.

Well yesterday I got tired of being polite. I guess I felt safe because I was inside my truck with a couple of dogs that could eat your face off. This guy was not fazed.

No I didn’t call the police you know how many times I’ve reported this stuff.

I reported cars being broken into at the disc golf course and the entrance to the park on Centennial Way, and now there are paper signs, warning people not to leave their valuables in their car at these locations. At the disc golf course at Peregrine point, we noticed someone had already torn down one of the signs yesterday. We also noticed a fresh pile of broken car window glass.

What will I do about it? I’ll report it to my County Supervisor, again. We need to ask our County supervisors to stop rubber stamping the programs that bring these people in here.

And since there’s an election coming up and there are signs for Norm Rosene and Tammy Ritter all over my neighborhood I thought I would ask them about it too. If I get any response from these people I’ll be sure to post it.










For every BOOM, there’s a BUST!

6 Apr

Have you got a postcard or letter lately, from some realtor, telling you they have a buyer for your house?

It’s not a scam – the realtors who have contacted me are people I recognize. They have buyers – three houses within sight of my window have sold within a week of being put on the market. 

“Team Cooper” tells me, “I am working with a client who’s ready to buy a home in your area. Your home appears to be just what they are seeking.”

Well, my home is not for sale, it hasn’t been on the market for over 10 years. I guess these gals could just be trolling for customers, but this isn’t usually how they go about it. They usually send simple postcards with their name, etc, just general advertising toward either sellers or buyers who might be looking for an agent. The letters I’m getting now seem more desperate. 

…we’ve been looking for a while…”

A week later we got a slick greeting card from a Jeffries Lydon agent, declaring in big red letters, “It’s A Sellers Market”

I’ve seen letters like this before. Back in the late 90’s, and again in the early 2000’s, the market just went wild. During the late 90’s, a friend of ours was actually out-bid on a house over on South Broadway.  She had put in an offer within a couple thousand of the asking price, with some provisions, and some young couple from the Bay Area came in offering more than asking price. My husband and I had bought and sold houses – paying way too much back in ’89, during another BOOM. But we’d never heard of anybody in Chico offering over asking price.

That boom was followed by a short bust, as I recall, and then in the early 2000’s the prices started to go through the roof. About 2003 my family noticed a house a few doors down from Chico library asking $303,000, and we laughed out loud. It was sold for asking price within a week.

That spike in housing prices precipitated a building boom that has had long reaching consequences for Chico.  Then city manager Tom Lando led the city on a permits binge to raise revenues. Then he floated a Memo of Understanding by council that attached “city salaries to revenue increases but not decreases…”   Lando’s own salary went from about $65,000 to over $130,000 over the next few years, along with all the salaries Downtown. 

And then town went BUST in a big way – another thing I’d never seen in my life – houses in foreclosure, not only in my neighborhood, but in surrounding towns. Driving through Red Bluff one morning on the way to a hockey tournament we drove through a neighborhood where almost every house had a foreclosure sign in it. 

Last year my family started recognizing the signs of a BOOM again, prices going up-up-up. We decided it was time to get rid of a big old rental we had that was starting to need all kinds of maintenance – for one thing, the roof we’d put on it when we bought it was approaching 20 years old. Utility prices have gotten outrageous, and it was hard to find a group of tenants that could afford to live in it anymore. 

The agents we approached were practically snapping at air.  The first woman spoke openly about the BOOM going on, opining it wouldn’t last through the Winter, before we had another BUST. But she was not very optimistic about our house – she was really disappointed when she found out it had been a rental, as if renters are pigs. We didn’t call her back.

The second woman wanted to ask way too much, she wanted staging, she wanted a laundry list of superficial improvements – for example, new knobs on every cabinet in the kitchen. We didn’t call her back.

We chose a guy who had sold a house near our own home in less than a week. He wanted to ask more than we had through prudent, but we went with him. It essentially sold at Open House, the buyers offering us full price and  asking nothing in return. 

That’s BOOM behavior.

So I was surprised when houses started to go for even  more, but I didn’t regret selling when we did for what we did.  I’ve learned to trust my gut, and my gut was telling me there was a BUST coming.

So now we start getting the letters. Back in the early 2000’s, we got the same letters regarding an old house we owned  over on South Broadway. We started getting more than a letter a week, from realtors as far away as Los Angeles, telling us they had investors who had money to buy multiple homes in Chico, and they were wondering if we were willing to sell. It was a good rental at that time, we had good tenants, so we just ignored the letters. 

By 2006 the market was running away. The house had become a liability – we weren’t getting good tenants anymore, we were getting 20-somethings who came right out and told us they wanted a “party house.” The neighborhood was  going that way, so we decided to put it on the market. 

We found it had turned into an investors market – that’s a real feeding frenzy. Buyers were looking for a rental neighborhood, and they didn’t seem to care what kind of tenants they would get. The first buyers we got were doctors who had an investment group. That fell through – they didn’t like the proximity to the neighbor’s house.  But, within a few days we had investors from Oregon. They offered us full asking price and the deal was done.

And then came the BUST. Three of my neighbors were foreclosed over a few months, including the house on which the assessor had based the new valuation for our house.  So, we still carry an inflated valuation, because the assessor used the new subdivision that was shoved into our street for a comp for our 70 year old crapper. Those houses had started at $600,000 plus, the front house selling for about $650,000. One after another person foreclosed out of that house – it’s most recently sold for about $400,000. 

That’s why they call it a BUST.

So, sorry to ramble, but I’m telling you – there’s a BUST coming, and it’s going to be a BIG BUST.



5 Apr

Oroville >> A thief who was previously convicted and sentenced in 2015 of burglarizing 18 schools and churches in the Chico area was back in court Wednesday, where he was sentenced on a new robbery count.

This time he was sentenced to more than 17 years in state prison.

Kyle Hubbard, 31, who prosecutors say was a transient in Chico, was sentenced in Butte County Superior Court for robbery and possession of firearm by a felon. He was arrested by Chico police on Jan. 5 after they were called to a report of an armed robbery on the bike path behind the 2300 block of Pillsbury Road.

Another male transient reported Hubbard had approached him on the bike path and brandished a gun while demanding the victim’s bike and backpack. Responding officers located Hubbard on the bike path, with the stolen bicycle and stolen backpack, as well as a firearm. Hubbard attempted to run but was caught.

In 2015, Hubbard was sentenced on 18 counts of commercial burglary for burglarizing schools and churches in Chico between October 2014 and March 2015. He faced 14 years and four months of jail time but was ordered to serve five years in the Butte County jail and serve the remainder of his sentence on mandatory supervision by the probation department, as well as pay over $50,000 in restitution.

After he had done his initial jail time and was released on probation supervision in May 2017, he failed to report to probation, failed to appear in court, and was arrested for possession of a smoking device. He was placed back on probation supervision with an additional 90 days in jail.

Once again when he was released from jail, he failed to report to probation and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest in August 2017. That warrant was served when he was arrested for the recent robbery.

Butte County Superior Court Judge Robert Glusman revoked Hubbard’s previous probation supervision and added in the new charges to sentence Hubbard to a total of 17 years and eight months in state prison.

$1.7 million for a scrape and patch of less than one mile of Esplanade

3 Apr

Tonight Chico City Council will hear a report about how great the gas tax increase is. Public Works $taffer Brendan Ottoboni will give a report on how much money the city will receive and what project this will pay for.

$1.7 million for a ” Cold-in Place-Recycle ” of .70 miles of Esplanade.

A “cold in place recycle” means they will strip off 2 – 4 inches of existing asphalt, grind it, mix it with one or another “binding additive”, and smear it right back down on the existing base. According to “Pavement Interactive,”

this procedure is appropriate for streets with a stable base. Have you driven Chico streets lately? Hear that rumbling under your tires, sometimes it sounds like broken crockery? That’s the base, and it’s not stable. Roads all over Chico need to be scraped down a good two feet, and relaid. But here Ottoboni tells us, it’s just going to be another Band-aid job. 

$1.7 million for less than a mile of pavement? Does anybody ever think to ask why so much money? It’s because of the system of “cost allocation,” by which funds that are restricted to one use, like road repairs, are siphoned out to pay for salaries and benefits of people who have nothing to do with fixing the roads. Like city mangler Mark Orme – just for signing Ottoboni’s report, Orme got money out of the road fund. 

I think he should get his ass out there with a mop, start moving some tar. 

I could think of some good use for tar right now.