Editor’s note: Three notes

The fence

Chico City Plaza has been surrounded in chain link since October. The city’s explanation is that it went up to allow for needed repairs followed by the installation and then operation of the holiday ice-skating rink. The rink closed Jan. 30, was dismantled soon after, and as City Manager Mark Orme explained at the last City Council meeting (March 1), the plaza has remained off limits due to yet-to-be-completed plumbing and electrical repairs.

We’re now at more than four months of being fenced off from our downtown’s central feature. Regardless of the reasoning, it’s a bad look for the city to have its downtown gathering place framed in chain link and off limits to the people, especially with little to no visible work being done for weeks on end. Of course, some of the local people who are being kept out are the significant number of homeless citizens who’d sought some semblance of shelter and comfort in the public space during the pandemic. It will surprise no one if the fences coming down coincides with the opening of the non-congregate shelter site.

About that extra week

For the faithful readers who were expecting to see the March print edition of the CN&R during the first week of the month, I apologize for the inadvertent psych out as the stands weren’t filled until week No. 2 (March 10).

The printer that the News & Review had been using was recently sold and moved out of the area, so we’re now with another company whose schedule necessitates a shift in our publication calendar. Instead of coming out the first Thursday of the month, the CN&R will now be released every four weeks (with a couple of exceptions that will stretch that to five weeks). Next street date: April 7.

Help Ukraine

About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters; how well they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window
or just walking dully along

(from “Musée Des Beaux Arts,” by W.H. Auden)

Auden’s poem was inspired by a painting (thought to be by Bruegel, but likely just a good mimic) that shows busy people going about their daily work in a seaport and the surrounding farmland while seemingly unaware of young Icarus splashing down in front of them after his fiery fall.

Today, as the world continues to work and play, the fires are burning in Ukraine. During the first 10 days of Russia’s invasion, 1.5 million Ukranians fled to neighboring countries. That’s the fastest-growing refugee crisis since World War II.

Jason Pramas, one of the associate publishers at Dig Boston, has, with a Ukrainian friend, put together a list of humanitarian aid organizations for those wanting to help refugees as well as civilians staying put during the Russian invasion. He hasn’t verified each one, but advises those interested to “look them over and donate to whichever fund passes your personal smell test”:

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