features

Adia White

 

 


 

On a dock overlooking a private lake on the outskirts of Chico, coaches from the Ability First Sports camp are teaching students adaptive water skiing. This camp is hosted at Chico State for a week every summer, and students with physical disabilities come from across the western United States to learn a number of wheelchair sports. There’s tennis, skateboarding, rugby and basketball practice. 

 

Adia White

How many ways can you start a wildfire? You may be surprised that nearly all fires are human caused. That could mean they were started by arson, but many happen by accident. Anything from a chain dragging on the ground to a lawnmower spark can start a wildfire.

PETER SIMS / Flickr, Creative Commons

“Hello, this is Lupe Green. I’m calling from Tehama County, California and my question is how is the issue of water resources for the North State being addressed? I am concerned about the availability of water in the North State over time, given climate change, droughts, increased acres of orchards, and water demands from the southern part of the state. Will the many individual water wells run dry?”

The northern Sacramento Valley is lined with walnut orchards, almond orchards and the communities we call home. All of this takes water, and a lot of it. If you rely on a well, then Lupe is right, there are a number of things that you should be concerned about; especially in an ever changing political and environmental climate. 

As the brewing trade war between the United States and China escalates, North State farmers are caught in the middle. Farmers like Bill Carriere, the CEO of Carriere Family Farms and a board member of the California Walnut Commission.

Carriere greeted me outside of his office and walnut processing facility near the small town of Glenn. In the parking lot, we watched as one of his employees loaded crates of walnuts into a semi-truck. Carriere said the truck will be driving these crates to the Port of Oakland. His company ships their walnuts to 25 different countries, including China.

Carriere Family Farms grows twelve different varieties of walnuts. They have orchards in Glenn, Butte and Colusa counties. They also buy walnuts from just under 100 other farms, all north of Sacramento and package the walnuts for global export at their processing facility.

Marc Albert

So packed was the room, that forty minutes into the meeting, aspiring candidates had to prop open both doors to the outside with garbage cans to let in the cool night air.

Coming less than a week after the national Women’s March buoyed opponents to President Trump, enthusiasm was high at the Chico library where the crowd gathered to parse four prospective Democrats looking to win the seat of California’s 1st Congressional District.

There was the attorney from Auburn, Jessica Holcombe:

“They’re stealing from us! They’re taking our Medicare, they are taking our Medicaid, and we know that Social Security is on the chopping block.” 

Lacking lures found elsewhere, the North State has long viewed itself as distinct. A sort of under-the-radar California. Sure, our surf breaks are behind boats, and we lack movie moguls and high-tech business parks, but we’re not choking on traffic, and most are winning the struggle to keep a roof over their head. Though some of that may be changing.

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (or HUD), a household is defined as rent burdened when tenants pay more than 30 percent of their gross income on rent, and across California it’s pretty common. Data collected in 2016 by the U.S. Census Bureau showed a little over half of the households across California were experiencing rent burden, and 29 percent were experiencing severe rent burden, which means they were paying more than half of their income on rent.

Suzi Rosenberg / Flickr

As rent prices rise across California, many struggle to find safe and affordable housing. But students face additional difficulties when they come to a new town, have little rental history and the additional burden of paying for their education.  

For Chico State students on a budget, affordable housing exists, but it often comes with other costs. Finding a cheap place to rent often means having more roommates than you’d prefer, signing a fixed-term lease, or living in a location that isn’t ideal.

Editor's Note: We are re-posting this story, originally aired August 10, 2017, after the FCC voted today to repeal the so-called "net neutrality" rules that regulate businesses that connect consumers to the internet. You can read more about today's vote in this NPR story.

A recent vote by the federal government could bring real changes to anyone using a computer. The proposal would roll back net neutrality and create internet fast lanes for owners of websites willing to pay more. NSPR's Nolan Ford talked with consumer advocates, internet service providers and tech companies here in the North State about the potential impacts of new legislation.

As the deadliest and most expensive fire season in state history continues into December, elected officials are examining ways to better alert the public during fires and other emergencies.

Pages