Somebody burns a federal building full of people’s mail and there’s nothing in the newspaper about it?

8 Mar

I sent the following note to Enterprise Record Editor Mike Wolcott this morning. I know it’s Sunday, I really didn’t expect a response until tomorrow.

Hi, I wonder if you are aware – the post office annex on Vallombrosa – known as the A H Barber Unit – was torched some time last week and I find nothing about it at any media source. A woman I spoke to at Ch 12 was aware of it and said they’d run a story but she could not find it for me on their website.

The details are sketchy, but the one detail I’ve heard repeated is that the fire was started in the garbage can that’s usually full of junk mail discarded by box holders.

So now we have to claim our mail at the main office next door – when my husband and I approached the building on Friday afternoon the line was into the parking lot. 

FYI – we got a box there because the mail delivery at our house is sketchy at best, and the box is on the street, out of sight of the house. So we took the advice of local law enforcement and pay about $100/year for the box at the post office. 

I’ve already heard from people I know all over town who have boxes at that annex and are affected by this incident. Why no story in the paper? 

I would write a letter about it, but I plan to cover the “budget workshop” Downtown this week, and you know that editor, he only allows me so much ink.  😊

Within minutes I received the following response:

I will be on vacation until Monday, March 16, and will have sporadic access to my emails.
In my absence:
For news items, please contact City Editor Dan Reidel at
For matters concerning the NorCal Design Center, please contact Deputy Director Samantha O’Reilly at or News Team Leader Jovanna Garcia at

When I had donuts and coffee with Wolcott as a condition of my free newspaper subscription, he said he’s “editing” like 9 papers all told. He promised that he spends the lion’s share of his time on the ER. I call BULLSHIT on you Mike. I wondered why there are suddenly no new letters to the editor, and I was looking at week old stories. There’s nobody at the wheel!

This is why the ER is such a piece of shit.  We need a real journalist in that position, Wolcott admitted he was an ad salesman before he took the job. That’s exactly what’s wrong with the paper. 

A local wag said the N&R is “the Progressive rag of a paper that has to be given away to be read.” Well, what would you call Wolcott’s inviting a different group of letter writers to his office about once a month to offer them a  free subscription? 

UPDATE: Editor responded:

Hi Juanita, first, you’re welcome to write letter about both. I personally wasn’t aware of that fire but it does sound like something we should look into it, and I’m sure Dan will follow up Monday. Thanks for the heads-up.

Thanks for the heads up? I responded:

Frankly, I would have expected a front page story the day after the fire. A federal building, a post office full of people’s mail, arson, and the fact that transients regularly break into that building after hours – that’s news, especially to those of us whose important mail was in that building. And, at this point, we have no idea what the post office intends to do about it. 

Maybe we should call Underdog? 

I understand you’re on vacation Mike, let Dan handle it.

I had read Wolcott’s completely insulting editorial, “IF you don’t like Chico, you don’t know Jack…” See, I like Chico, it’s what’s happening to Chico that is causing my concern. Wolcott insinuates that if you complain about what’s going on, you don’t like Chico.

Wolcott is from Flournoy, where men are men, and sheep are afraid… What would he know about Chico? Nothing, is what. 

What occurred to me has been accused in past – is Wolcott playing down bad news about Chico? 

8 Responses to “Somebody burns a federal building full of people’s mail and there’s nothing in the newspaper about it?”

  1. Tim March 8, 2020 at 12:09 pm #


    Use your oversized noggin. Get a secure sheet metal street mailbox with a lock. Cement the base in and your problem is solved.

    • Juanita Sumner March 8, 2020 at 1:14 pm #

      Tim, this is a job for law enforcement. I’m not settling for anarchy in the streets, not for what I pay in prop taxes.

      If you really want to live like that, I’d suggest certain parts of Sacramento, or maybe the Bay Area, or maybe whatever nasty old Burg you came from in the first place Tim.

    • bob March 8, 2020 at 3:42 pm #

      “…your problem is solved.”

      Wrong, the problem is just beginning because our city council and the rest of our corrupt “public servants” refuse to stop this so it is just getting worse. Our local politicians and bureaucrats are too busy trying to figure out how to raise our taxes to save their outrageous pensions and other benefits.

    • bob March 8, 2020 at 3:45 pm #

      “…and your problem is solved.”

      Nothing to see here folks…except for post offices on fire but that’s nothing to be concerned about, right Tim?

      • Juanita Sumner March 9, 2020 at 6:21 am #

        sorry, Tim’s comments deteriorated into a personal attack on my mail box, so he’s been given the door.

      • Juanita Sumner March 9, 2020 at 4:02 pm #

        Tim, your weird and persistent attempts to contact me are unsolicited and unwelcome.

  2. Tim Taylor March 11, 2020 at 5:22 pm #

    Thank you for caring and information on the socialist in Chico and California. The demise of this once wonderful and beautiful town is saddening to me. I was born here and loved being from here with all the parks and creeks to play and enjoy. Now homeless people invading the parks polluted the creeks and steal from us to restock the new camp. The liberals are destroying the quality of life in Chico. The needle give away is a way to keep children from using the parks because of discarded needles junkies tossed out. The citizens are not considered when the Mayor dictator has spoken! We wonder why we stay?

    • Juanita Sumner March 11, 2020 at 5:37 pm #

      We stay cause we were born here, and we won’t be “counseled and moved along.”

      Tim, do you know someone of like mind who would run for council?

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