Highlights, lowlights from the week’s news
HIT >> We are another step closer to the reconstruction of the Honey Run Bridge, and how great does that feel?
As E-R reporter Jake Hutchison reported this week, the
Butte County Board of Supervisors approved a loan of $2.5 million to be provided to the Honey Run Covered Bridge Association, a loan which can be paid back once the organization receives additional funding elsewhere.
In the meantime, it’ll help keep the work moving forward.
Since the bridge was destroyed, the association has been raising funds to rebuild the bridge. Since 2018, the association has been able to attain a design but is looking to complete construction of the new bridge by fall 2023 as this year marks the five-year anniversary of the fire.
You can donate to the reconstruction at https://www. hrcoveredbridge.org/donateoptions.
MISS >> We’ve always been big believers in the notion that it often takes people, not government, to make a real difference in the lives of others. And while government often performs exemplary service on any number of fronts, the best thing it can do sometimes is get out of the way and let people do good things.
So, this whole notion that the people behind the “community fridge” need to pay around $1,700 to comply with city and county codes just strikes us as wrong.
The community fridge, about the size of a small closet, has been in use for a few years now. The idea was simple: People could pick up some food if they were in need, or leave some if they had extra.
But recently, the organizers were informed that they needed an administrative use permit from the city and adherence to health and safety requirements from Butte County. That added up to more than the refrigerator probably cost in the first place.
Fortunately, funds to cover the fee were donated, and Councilor Addison Winslow has requested a discussion on the topic at a future council meeting.
We’re no fans of the mounds of garbage stacking up around town as the court battles rage over homelessness in Chico, but this fridge certainly isn’t to blame, and it doesn’t strike us as something worthy of a fee or a battle. Let it stand.
HIT >> Something about the State of the Union address seems to bring out the best in our congressman, Doug LaMalfa.
LaMalfa got kudos from both sides of the aisle — a rarity these days for sure — for his interaction with President Biden after the address. LaMalfa brought up California’s water problems and urged the president’s attention, citing the threats posed by cutbacks to agricultural production. Biden responded that he was aware, and had made many trips to California in the past.
In any case, it was great to see our congressman put that vital issue front-and-center in our president’s mind on such a big night.
It reminded us of the night after President Trump’s first State of the Union address, when LaMalfa presented the president with a “Paradise” hat afterward and asked him to sign it to help victims of the Camp Fire. Trump did, and the hat was later auctioned for $25,000.
One reader wrote to tell us “I’m not a LaMalfa fan, but I’m impressed he sought out and initiated the civil exchange and think he deserves some recognition here for that.” In a forum where he’s often received less-than-favorable reviews, we agree.
MISS >> Look, nobody likes being forced to follow rules that they don’t agree with. It doesn’t matter if you’re a doctor, or a journalist, or a farmer or a school administrator. Our state and federal governments have laws, and regardless of how much we may not like some of them, they’re supposed to be followed.
Disagree? Take up the fight to change the rule at the appropriate level.
That’s why we’re going to suggest some of the anger being directed at the Chico Unified School District governing board regarding privacy issues is, well, misplaced.
CUSD attorney Paul Gant, partner at Sacramento-based Kingsley Bogard Attorneys, spent the better part of 15 minutes at Wednesday’s meeting explaining the district is acting within California Department of Education guidance as well as state and federal anti-discrimination law. He said that, in fact, following these is a legal mandate.
It’s nothing CUSD dreamed up, just as needle distribution program wasn’t anything the Chico City Council ever dreamed up. You can thank the state of California for both.
On the other hand, a law that prohibits a school district from communicating with parents about such issues — but apparently doesn’t apply the same standards when it comes to some officials’ interactions with others on campus — doesn’t strike us as right either.
Finally, speaking of “not right,” the language directed at some of the citizens complaining about the policy at the meeting was disgusting as well. Everybody should be against “hate” — so how about we all stop spreading it around?