Tag Archives: public safety workers are the new One Percent

Do you feel like a turnip? Our public agencies are in it for whatever they can get, and they’re willing to squeeze us hard to get it

16 Aug

Yesterday was the worst day I’ve had all summer. A hundred and WHAT?!! And unbreathable air, it’s like being a cockroach. I grew up here People, and this is Bad.

I have the nicest neighbors, an older couple who moved out here from the mid west to be closer to their adult children, all over whom live out here on the coast. They’re really beautiful people, very easy-going, always cheerful. Well, I ran into them Friday as they hastily threw their travel gear into their car. They were disheveled and dis-coordinated, actually snapping at each other. The woman told me they had tried to stay in their tiny house, sitting under the air conditioner, for three days straight, and they started to go out of their minds. And, they realized, if this kept up, they would be getting a power bill and a half, as they were forced to run the ac night and day. So they were headed out to stay with friends in Southern California. “Anything for a change of scenery… ” she said, as they continued to load supplies into the hatchback.

We had our summer trip, even made it to the coast, but the money started to add up, so we came home.

I try to stay productive, but what is there to do? Feeling the cabin fever, I put on my last N-95 and go outside to rake up dead stuff, prune back dying shrubberies – it’s already fall at my house, stuff is dying fast. The water bill is frightening. I can’t cook because the house is too hot.

Our Australian cattle dog lays on his back with all four paws in the air, like road kill. His old mate is in her last days, and boy, would this ever suck for your last days. She spends the day arranging herself in front of this ginchee portable fan we found at Harbor Freight Tools. I swear, she holds her pee because it’s so nasty outside – we literally have to pick her up and drag her out. As soon as she’s out the door she stops, gives us “The Look”, and tries to turn back inside. Once she’s certain we’re not taking her back inside until she pees, she lets loose a yellow river that leaves a washout in the gravel. Then she turns around and full steam back to the house. For an old, saggy, bag of bones, she’s strong and determined.

So, when we feel like the walls are closing in, we load the dogs into the truck, ac blaring, Ron Woodward on the radio, and drive out to look for fruit stands. The Chico Farmer’s Market is too expensive – not to mention, HOT! – so we head out down Hwy 5 or 99, whichever way looks good. Last trip we ended up all the way past Williams. On Hwy 20 headed for the coast, we found a great stand with the best melons and corn we’ve had for a while. Corn is a good price indicator – 4 ears for a dollar is pretty good. And, get a load of this – CLEAN BATHROOM! Anybody seen a clean public toilet in Chico lately?

It’s the little things, don’t you agree?

It’s the little things that will drive you nuts, too. My friend’s car got stolen a week or so ago, and life has been pretty sucky for him. Just imagine being stuck on your bike right now, lugging your groceries home in three-digits and crap air quality. Chico PD have offered him no solace, even though they actually made contact with his car and the thieves inside. They chose not to pursue my friend’s car – we saw all this on BCFAC Facebook. Thanks for nothing, Chico PD. I felt his frustration, and dropped a note to my district supervisor, Kasey Reynolds. I asked her what she could do about this – it’s not just my friend, Chico has one of the highest car theft rates in the nation. Look at the police reports, also available on BCFAC, and you’ll see car theft is a common, every day occurrence in our nasty little town.

She told me to call her. I hate phone calls. Let me tell you something about talking to Kasey Reynolds on the phone – she won’t answer a direct question, talks rapid fire about everything under the sun except your questions, and then tells you she’ll get back to you with those answers, but never does. I’ve got a mailbox full of inquiries to her that were never answered.

She did tell me that she thought giving our new Chief Madden a higher salary than his predecessor was the only way they can “attract and keep talent”. But gee, crime continues to go up in Chico, how does that work?

Our public safety agencies are in it for what they can get, and it’s obvious to me, they’re willing to squeeze us pretty hard to get it.