Archive | July, 2021

Chico Unified Recall: Petition signing event Aug 4, 4pm, at PV High

27 Jul

Chico Parents for In-person Learning report they are still receiving support and gathering signatures for the recall of four members of the Chico Unified School District Board – Kathy Kaiser, Elaine Robinson, Tom Lando and Caitlin Dalby.

https://www.chicoparents.org/

You can download and print your own petition and send it in, but I personally prefer to sign in person. There will be a signature gathering event at 4pm on August 4 at Pleasant Valley (PV) High School. You can get more information at their facebook site.

These four shut Chico schools down for a year of instruction, putting children behind in their studies, and leaving parents struggling between childcare and work. They hurt our community and our economy. All the while, teachers continued to get paid. The straw that broke my back was back in April, when the district divvied up almost two and a half MILLION in COVID relief funding in bonuses to those teachers. For what?

Of course, as you may have seen, my letters to the editor were answered by a shower of arrows from local union operatives, attacking figures I got out of a CUSD agenda. That speaks volumes about the need for this recall. All four recall candidates are union members, which I find a little lopsided. I’d like to see more parents of various backgrounds on the board, but with union support these people had the advantage and the insider edge. If you read those letters, you see what the union is all about – bullying.

So I hope you will support this effort made, not only on behalf of Chico’s kids, but Chico’s future. Do you want to live under the Union Thumb? Do you want your children to live under that type of fascism?

Did PG&E start the Dixie Fire? Have they even done the clearance ordered after the Camp Fire?

18 Jul

Did PG&E start the Dixie Fire? Well, according to Cal Fire, the fire originated under the same, crumbling PG&E lines that started the Camp Fire.

If you drive into the foothills, it’s obvious that PG&E is not doing the clearance they were ordered to do, at least one federal judge has already called them on it.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/federal-judge-slams-pg-e-efforts-to-trim-trees-near-power-lines-to-prevent-wildfires-11582149085

A judge has actually called for more power shut-offs for safety, saying the trees have not been adequately cleared.

https://www.marinij.com/2021/03/23/judge-mulls-requiring-pge-to-turn-off-power-more-frequently/

My family owns a piece of property in the foothills that was threatened by the Camp Fire. PG&E has sent three different contractors over the last three years, they’ve marked trees on our property that are near our neighbors’ power lines with three different colors of spray paint. They’ve noticed us each time of a specific date that they would be coming onto our property to cut those trees. We’ve driven up to our property and stayed for days with the gate open, but they’ve never shown up. We do our own clean-up, but are not able to cut trees towering over power lines.

So, if you have a good enough imagination, you should drive up Hwy 32 toward Chester, and just imagine every tree along the road fully engulfed. That’s what people experienced escaping Paradise three years ago. You saw the cars with plastic fixtures and paint melted off all over Chico for weeks.

Butte County should also be doing work, all along county roads, the brush is thick under the power lines. Garland Road was a major evacuation route during both the 2008 Paradise fire and the Camp Fire. The brush sticks out so far along the side of that road, right under power lines, trees towering above, it scrapes the side of our truck in many places. Folks we know who live along that road have also been contacted multiple times by various PG&E contractors who never showed up to do the work.

I sent this information, with pictures, to former Enterprise Reporter and Pulitzer Prize winner Natalie Hanson but she never responded. Our local media is just crap. I saw this story, a three part series, on the Ch 10 news out of Sacramento – Fire, Power, Money.

Our governor is also to blame. Here we read that Newsome and other California politicians continued to take campaign contributions from PG&E even after the convictions for 84 deaths in Paradise and don’t forget those people incinerated in their homes in San Bruno. The Sonoma Fire. The Zogg Fire. I can’t remember all the fires PG&E has started or people they’ve killed.

https://www.abc10.com/article/news/politics/california-politicians-campaigns-2-million-pge/103-4161feb9-1591-4ffc-9fda-d9c49d7173b8

I wonder, but don’t have time to look it up – how much money has PG&E given Newsome to fight the recall?

Oroville is rethinking fire department management – Chico needs to do same

13 Jul

I got this video from a reader, and I got such a kick out of it, I had to post it.

Yes, there’s crude language, I’m sorry if you find that offensive. But I’ve had conversations like this with members of Chico Fire, including a guy who told me, “wait until your fat husband has a stroke… we won’t be there to carry his fat ass to the amubulance…”

As this video points out, firefighters don’t even make the Top Ten Most Dangerous Jobs list. You can google that yourself, I found several different lists that put even landscape maintenance workers ahead of fire department employees in terms of risk, injuries, and deaths on the job.

A firefighter hasn’t died in Chico since the 1970’s. The biggest issue we’ve had here was the mold at Station 5.

In fact, if you look at the report the city puts out every year, you find the average Chico Fire employee spends more time escorting ambulances – that don’t pay – than they do putting out fires.

Look, I know we need them, but do we need them to be working 48 hour shifts, getting paid to sleep, shower, eat, and do their grocery shopping in the ladder truck? We need to rethink our fire management, like Oroville is doing right now.

It’s a better time than ever to pay attention

11 Jul

We have a super-aggressive hummingbird in our yard this year. I call him Mighty Max, because he’s about the same size as that classic toy, and feisty as heck. Whenever I water the plants that he feeds from, he buzzes my head, like a warning volley. I put up with him, because he eats at least his weight in mosquitoes. And I like his attitude – just because you’re small, doesn’t mean you have to let yourself be kicked around.

While it’s good to stand your own ground when you need to, its also good to have a big friend, like Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. Yes, On Friday June 25, HJTA filed an Answer in response to city of Chico’s request for validation of their Pension Obligation Bond in the Butte Superior Court. An Answer is the threat to sue if the city were to go forward with the validation process. The city, according to a spokeswoman from HJTA, decided to dismiss their request for validation, but, they have not formally rescinded, as explained below.

HJTA filed an Answer to the City’s validation action, but it is hopefully a mere cautionary exercise. The City indicated it will be dismissing the validation action, and rescinding its resolution to pass the pension obligation bond. Because the City could technically dismiss the action and then┬ánot┬árescind the resolution, we filed our Answer to be sure it happens as promised. Only in the unlikely event that the resolution is not rescinded would we need to continue the court case.

So there’s another wait-and-see. While I can’t believe the city would take on a lawsuit at this point, they’ve shocked me before. I’d like to remind people, if you can make a $15 donation to HJTA, they make good use of the money.

Again I’ll say, I was sorry to see Kami Denlay go, because she was the only council member to vote No on the POB, reminding other council members that instituting a tax without voter approval is against the California Constitution. The rest of council went along with it, and I find that very disturbing.

I wasn’t sorry to see Scott Huber go – he has high expectations for the taxpayers, with low expectations for city services, and that’s just not logical. At one Finance Committee meeting he declared that “if Chico doesn’t want to pay more taxes then they won’t get services…” It seems obvious from a statement like that, Huber was out of touch with his constituents, very much at odds the general public. Instead of serving the taxpayers who pay for everything he seemed to want to punish us. That’s not the appropriate attitude for a public servant, we’re not here to pay for his fantasy land agenda.

I do find the circumstances of both their departures to be questionable, especially the ease with which they rolled over to the mobs, even after city clerk Debbie Presson cited the laws and said both were compliant. That’s what you get with a public position, it’s not a popularity contest like so many people think. This will just strengthen the bullies on both sides.

As for council appointments to fill their seats, well, that’s legal within the charter. Remember, council (majority in charge) writes and rewrites the charter with every change in the wind. This conversation has been had a few times since Colleen Jarvis abruptly died of cancer and the Esplanade League tried to shove her husband into her vacant seat. Council has gone over various options, including each council member naming their own replacement at the get-go. I lost track of what they finally decided to do.

But what I expect of the council sitting now is that it will be 4-1 on both appointments, as Coolidge and Morgan, with Reynold’s/Tandon’s blessing, fill both seats with their own friends. Meaning, people willing to go along with tax increases. I don’t think those four “conservatives” shed any tears over Denlay’s departure. While she was willing to go along with the exorbitant contracts, her conscience seemed to override taxation without voter approval.

So, I don’t know about you, but I will expect a shitstorm of tax measures coming around through the usual committee discussions. Or will they? Staff has learned that the less the public hears about tax measures, the easier it is to get council to put them on the ballot. I hope you’ll all join me in watching the committee agendas for these discussions. You might also want to contact your district representative, if you still have one, and just point blank ask them about the proposal for a sales tax measure and “road” bonds.

Ever vigilant folks, cause evil and greed never sleep.

Head over heels crazy – what will become of Chico?

6 Jul

I haven’t been blogging lately because, frankly, I can’t make heads or tails of what the hell is going on right now. Chico is a giant mess, people are just acting completely crazy. It’s a total breakdown of civilization, created by a government in mutiny.

If you think I’m over dramatizing, read a history book. Our elected officials and staff are not the first to turn on the public, abandon ship, and loot the treasury on their way out. That is what a Pension Obligation Bond does, it places the burden of the pensions on the taxpayers, forever.

Who you gonna call? Our elected officials are not interested in what we think, and when cornered, will say whatever they think we want to hear. Staff has holed behind Formal Requests For Information, transparency is over. I was just reading an article from Ted Siedle, in which he reports that California is among the worst states in financial transparency, especially of investments. And that’s exactly what I found when I asked city finance director Scott Dowell about the returns he’s been getting from the pension fund investments. He made me open an account and submit a formal request for the answer.

3Unfortunately, I haven’t had any news from Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association yet, but I sent another email today and frankly told them things are really bad in Chico right now and I would like to hear some good news! I’ll keep you posted!

In the meantime, I’m ignoring the Facebook sites, like I’d avoid public bathrooms these days.