Tag Archives: Melissa Daugherty Chico News and Review

Why let a lie stand just because the liar keeps repeating it?

9 Jul

Joseph Goebbels – “ If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

Well, here it is, July, and looks just like the average Chico Summer. As soon as school gets out, the college students “go home,” the school employees take their kids on vacation, and this town looks pretty dead.

Even with those 19,000 extra residents!  What the heck has happened to all the Camp Fire evacuees? Remember last November? Traffic backed up, lines out the door at local grocery stores, laundromats overwhelmed. Now what? 

The city of Chico and local media still claim 19,000 evacuees have settled in Chico. That is a total crock of you-know-what. Look around you NOW folks, where the hell are they? 

So, when I read another false claim in the Chico News and Review, I had to say something. They’ve made all these claims, and all they have to base it on is a press release from the state. The State Department of Finance made ESTIMATES – look that word up, would you? They based these estimates, not on the number of displaced Camp Fire refugees,  but on “changes to the housing stock”. The press release cited “new  construction, demolitions, housing unit conversions, and annexations.”   Apparently, if you build it, demolish it, convert it, or annex it, they assume more people have moved to your town.  They don’t have census data, they just ASSUME. 

On this “science”, the city of Chico, with the help of a lazy local media, bases their claims that they need more tax money to deal with crapped out streets and a serious public safety crisis. 

The real problem with our streets, as Mark Orme admitted at a Finance Committee meeting earlier this year, is that $taff has “kicked the can down the road” on maintenance of our streets.  And, the biggest public safety problem are transients, who camp illegally in our public spaces, and then fan out into town during the day to illegally panhandle, shoplift, and predate our neighborhoods while we’re at work all day.

Many of these people are brought here by way of Butte County Behavioral Health Department “transfers” from other cities and counties all over California.  Behavioral Health Director Dorian Kittrell told me the county gets $550 a day for each of these people, who are put on a 45 day involuntary hold at the county psychiatric hospital, and then turned out on their own recognizance in Oroville and Chico. 

I’m sick of the made-up numbers the city is using as an excuse to raise taxes, so when Melissa Daugherty over at the News and Review repeated the city’s fake numbers and opined we might need a revenue measure,  I had to write her a letter.

Wake up – real numbers don’t end “000”. 

Chico Police Chief claims Chico has grown by “19,000” since the Camp Fire, the editor uses the figure “almost 20,000”, but still no real numbers.

In April city manager Mark Orme was using his “10 – 15,000″ number, based on ” nonregistration, couch-living, trailers parked on streets”.  But to date, there is still no actual count, only “estimates”.

According to the state press release, these numbers are based not on actual population  but on new construction.  “Changes to the housing stock are used in the preparation of the annual city population estimates.  Estimated occupancy of housing units and the number of persons per household further determine population levels. Changes in city housing stock result from new  construction, demolitions, housing unit conversions, and annexations.”  Everything’s “estimated”. Then they even “adjust” the numbers “to be consistent with independently produced county estimates.”

I don’t support the recall either, but I’m tired of hearing the city and the media make claims based on fake numbers. Our town is a mess right now because people are not doing their jobs, but expecting to be paid into perpetuity.

Read more at chicotaxpayers.com

I originally sent this letter June 28. I used a figure I’d heard police chief O’Brien use on the Ch 7 news – he said “16,000,” whether it was a mistake on his part or not. Daugherty, who is very argumentative, thin skinned, and unable to take the slightest hint of criticism, immediately came back at me saying the chief had told council “19,000”. I told her I disagreed, but since I couldn’t find a clip of the story I’d seen, I edited the figure to please her and sent it back. She neither responded nor printed my letter. 

So I just resent it yesterday. We’ll see if Little Miss Thin Skin will remember she’s a “journalist” and print it.  

And then there’s our local media…

30 Nov

I hate to cry sour grapes, but I am confounded at the passage of Measure K (Chico Unified school bond) because of the lies, lack of information, and general disinterest of the public in  finding out the truth.  I found out a lot of distressing stuff about the school district – not the least of it, “about a million dollars” spent on a lawsuit against Chico State last year to keep the college from handing over secret e-mails sent between Chico Unified board members, staff, and the district’s attorney.

I got that information almost by accident – I was perusing the county superior court website to see how many times Chico Unified had been sued, I was just curious. There it was – Chico Unified sued Chico State.  When I began digging into the lawsuit, I found invoices for the attorneys – thousands of dollars just in one bill – for advising Chico Unified board members and employees about dumping e-mails requested by the Grand Jury and other individuals. I saw an e-mail from the district’s attorney telling Bob Feaster’s secretary that she didn’t have to give up e-mails from her computer trash bin – wink wink!

I re-read the stories about the district’s near failure in 2008, when the state threatened a takeover because of poor record keeping, major deficit spending, closures of schools due to an $8 million deficit. I couldn’t believe neither local newspaper reminded the voters of any of this mismanagement over the course of this latest election, instead they actually ran favorable pieces about how the district had supposedly been spending the bond money. Alot of the new sports field and new building they built at the high schools was done with separate grant funding, that had to be matched  dollar for dollar out of the budget that was supposed to be going toward removing asbestos and bringing the schools up to par.  

A week or so ago, the News and Review, which endorsed  Measure K, ran a snide editorial saying since this latest bond had passed, it was time the district made good on replacing the portables.

I read about the portables too. The district promised to get rid of them in bond campaign ’98, again in bond  campaign 2012. In the Measure K campaign, they admitted they still had asbestos in the schools and they aren’t compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Yeah,  they’ve had almost 30 years to get the schools compliant with federal and state law, passed $126 million in  bonds, but still aren’t compliant.

So, I had to respond to the News and Review. Why hadn’t they made that criticism before the election? 

Chico Unified issued $126 million in school bonds between 1998 and 2012, built new facilities at both high schools, but the poorly ventilated portables long ago acknowledged to contain carcinogens are still standing.  Why is the editor surprised? As claimed in this latest bond campaign, Chico schools still contain asbestos and are non-compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, passed in 1990.  The district promised to upgrade computer labs for the kids  back in 2012, claims made again in the 2016 campaign.  

Last year  CUSD spent roughly a million dollars suing Chico State to keep the college from making public  e-mails sent through the college server by Chico Unified staff and board members. What were they hiding? E-mails sent between Chico Unified superintendents advising their staff to destroy records requested by the Grand Jury and other individuals. Enrollment projections showing the district lied about overcrowding in 1998 and again in 2012.  Documents proving the district knew they would not be able to build on the Schmidbauer property when they promised that site to the voters in 1998. 

This newspaper endorsed Measure K so I expect to see a reporter at every board meeting. 

Juanita Sumner, Chico CA

I was surprised how quickly editor Melissa Daugherty got back to me:

Hi, Juanita,

I am having trouble fact-checking everything in your letter. If you can
provide links to documentation, that would be helpful. I will have to
hold off on printing this until I can verify your claims.

-Melissa

She had less than three hours to do any fact-checking, I don’t believe she did squat. For one thing, I got a lot of my information from past issues of her newspaper. Everything I told her could be checked out online. She could have asked district finance superintendent Kevin  Bultema for the pricetag on that lawsuit – I have, and I still don’t have anything from him besides promises he’ll get back to me.  She could also get enrollment figures from the district. 

I suggested she do her own digging – since when does an opinion come with footnotes? She responded again within minutes:

I’m happy to print a response on the portables editorial, but I cannot publish what you’ve written without fact-checking your claims. And, after digging around, I cannot find many of the specifics you mention, especially in the latter part of the letter.

-MD

Wow, to think this woman calls herself a journalist, but she can’t do a little research? Lazy, lazy girl.

So I sent her some clues.  A lot of the stuff I found didn’t have a direct link – like the court case. You just have to go to the index and search  for it, and you will find different stuff every time.  I also had found e-mails that I couldn’t forward, and most of them won’t cut-and-paste – hey, I don’t get paid to do this, I don’t get paid to take courses in Tech-BS, I do the best I can. Read it from the bottom.

 Done. Mkki Gillett, Director of lnformation Technology Willett@mail.chie CHICO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT 1163 E. 7th St, Chico, CA 90928-5999 5301891-3000, ext 150 From: Ray Quinto Sent: Tuesday, September 19, 2006 B:2G AM To: VikkiGillett Subject FW: Block – Jeff Sloan FYI Fro m : Robert Wilcox [mailto : rwilcox@ bcoe.org] Sent: Monday, September 18, 2006 3:28 pM To: Ray Quinto Subject: RE: Block – Jeff Sloan Hi Ray, I have added this email address to a black hole. Let me know if you need anything else. Robert Wilcox Network and Operations Manager Butte Coung Office of Education 530-s32-5770 From : Ray Quinto [mailto : rquinto@mail,chicousd.org] Sent: Monday, September 18, 2006 3:25 pM To: Robert Wilcox Subject FW: Block – Jeff Stoan Can you black hole this one for us? Ray

They’re talking about cleaning their computers of anything requested by former Marsh Junior High principal Jeff Sloan and his attorney. “Block – Jeff Sloan“? How obvious does this stuff have to be to get the attention of Snoop Daugherty? 

But, I realize, she had a point. I was “stating facts not in evidence,” which is allowed in court, but see, I’m not a lawyer. So I asked her, could I make my “claims” in the form of questions? Would that suit her?

We’ll see if she even bothers to respond.