Hope your ears are ringing – all around us, public agencies are talking about our money and how to get it

I was reading another blogger’s thoughts on stress – he advised walking away from “triggers.” Hah! What do you do when you feel like you are surrounded by triggers, like a minefield?

His advice – don’t watch tv news. That seems simple enough – just turn it off!  Walk away from the tv. That’s easy – our local tv is pretty sad.  You have to watch Ch 7 out of Redding if you want to know what’s going on in Chico. 

But don’t pick up the paper, it’s full of little zingers. Today the Enterprise Record tells us our local law enforcement problems seem to be over since we floated the cops a new contract and a bunch of sweet bling. 

Bullshit. I don’t need the news to stress me out – I arrived at Mangrove Safeway yesterday to find the remains of a big fire. Sorry, I only had my cell phone so it’s a dinky pic.

This fire at Mangrove Safeway takes the fizzle out of that new contract we signed with Chico PD.

This fire at Mangrove Safeway takes the fizzle out of that new contract we signed with Chico PD.

Somebody set a bunch of pallets and cardboard on fire Tuesday night while the store was full of people. It had to be evacuated. I’m not the Fire Marshall, but as soon as I saw the remains of that fire, I knew it was arson, don’t be dumb.  Cardboard doesn’t light easily – try starting a fire with it sometime. Somebody went to a lot of trouble to start that fire, and I’m guessing they were at it for a few minutes. 

Here’s a thought – the last few cases of arson around here all involved off-duty firemen. I’m just saying. Who knows who did it – that shopping center and the attached post office complex have become a gathering place for ne’er-do-wells for over a year now. The city’s efforts have all been focused Downtown, as Mangrove Plaza has gotten worse and worse. The post office annex is now closed at night, due to “security concerns.” Every morning the recycling center behind Safeway looks like a line-up of America’s most unwanted.  You’ll find a similar scene behind the Raley’s on East and Esplanade.

But every Tuesday you’ll find a “Picnic in the Plaza,” a fundraiser for “Clean and Safe,” which is an arm of the Downtown Chico Business Association (DCBA). DCBA is really just an arm of the Chamber, but they both get funding from the city of Chico to pay their directors. They are trying to get the public to swallow a sales tax increase to fund more police. I’m guessing money raised by “Clean and Safe” will be going into the 2016 campaign, but they haven’t registered as a PAC. See, they can collect money under the umbrella of “North Valley Community Foundation” and “Chico Stewardship Network” without filing paperwork or making their records available to the public, and then just hand it over to whoever in 2016. 

I’ll tell you what – they might want to have a picnic at Mangrove Plaza and the post office complex. That area has only gotten worse as all the light has been shone on Downtown. The Payless Shoe Store there gets shoplifted regularly –  people walk in and put on or grab shoes and just run out the door. The clerks are wisely advised not to stop or chase them. I’ve seen it happen when I’ve been in there with my kids, and clerks have told me of other incidents. I’ve been accosted by drunks at that center, I’ve been panhandled right at the door of my car as I loaded my purchases, and I’ve seen drunks getting into little rows with each other, wondering if either or both had a blade in their pocket. Earlier this week my husband and I were leaving on our bike by way of the alley behind Safeway, and in the middle of the afternoon we see a guy peeing behind that low wall along the post office annex, right outside the music teacher’s windows. They stow their crap there during the day, just looks like a garbage dump. As often as my husband and I frequent that area, at all times of day and evening, we’ve only seen a cop cruise that alley once, and he seemed to be in a hurry. 

I think these businesses should invest in private security, but given the private security agencies I’ve seen, I’d sure shop around. We hear a lot of calls for citizens to step up – wow, it took my neighbor a half an hour to get a cop when the car in front of her house was robbed right in broad daylight. How do you get a cop when you need one? Given their new contracts, they ought to be available 24-7, instant, like Jello Pudding!  The Dispatch operator should answer every call with a cheerful “Many thanks generous benefactor,  and how can I help you today?” 

Looking at the paper this morning I also see the Moonbeam is telling us we need to conserve more water for water transfers to new subdivisions in the Bay Area. Cal Water, in light of the new ruling that says they can’t charge rates more than the actual cost of water service, have announced a new penalty for going over your water allotment – $3.14. Hmmm, I’m not sure where to go with that. My family has cut our usage drastically over the last 10  years, and they base our share on what we use now, with no credit for having spent time and money on improving our water system. But, I also see real wasters all over town, and I just don’t see how a $3.14 penalty is going to stop them. 

Ever watch Dr. Zhivago? I love that scene where the Doc comes home from war to find his house has been turned into an apartment building, and this nasty lady confronts him in his own entry way with, “All this house, for just one family!?!”  Well, here, we have people living in mansions, squandering energy and water out their ears, telling us peons, CUT BACK OR ELSE, YOU PIGS!  What’s really funny is, none of them really want us to cut back, they just want to charge us more for it. 

Well, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to take this out on a bread dough. 







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