Applauding the healers
Re: “Rallying around the kids” (Feature, by Ashiah Scharaga, Nov. 3)
I have to commend people like Kayden Schroyer and Carrie Dawes, those students and faculty who went through the 2018 Camp Fire along with their supporters and family and friends.
My wife and I lost our home and almost all our possessions in that fire, including all our college and grad school records and diplomas, all our elementary and high school records and transcripts, and everything else we’d kept and stored our entire lives (including family photos and so much original art). In a sense, we lost part of our identities, including most of the papers and records that gave us those identities.
Fortunately, we had good home insurance and all that it entails, and we’ve found a nice home here in Chico, in a good neighborhood, with great neighbors.
But the catch is that we’re both older now and we can’t return to Paradise, or to our lives there, so we have to work with what we have and appreciate it. The advantage that Kayden and her friends (who lost homes in Paradise) have is that they are young and so they have years to build a new life.
Unfortunately, we realize that no matter how young you are when this kind of catastrophe occurs, it’s still very difficult to survive these experiences psychologically intact.
On edge in the valley
Have you seen the billboard on Skyway heading into Chico? It’s got a bunch of happy kids standing behind an historic rock wall. The only words are “Valley’s Edge,” as in the proposed Valley’s Edge development as big as, did I read, Gridley? That Valley’s Edge?
I guess those kids are the ones who are not going to be living in the more than 50 percent of the houses planned that are for 55 and older. And I guess that considering many parents of that age child in Chico can’t really afford the not-very-affordable housing in the proposed development, they won’t actually live in the development.
Maybe they are looking for entry into one of the development’s parks that as non-residents they won’t be able to play in. Maybe they’re the visiting grandchildren of the out-of-town wealthy retirees who will come to northern California to better their lives. People who would like to come to beautiful Chico and sit in their houses looking out on what was and should be the 1,448 acres of “valley edge” land left as the open space, wetlands and wild fire-buffer zone that it is right now.
We have stopped these kind of outrageous bad-for-Chico developments in the past. We got educated. We spoke out. We supported the folks most in the fray with our dollars.
Let’s do so again! Go to smartgrowthchico.org.
The myth of pro transients
According to data from the Homeless Data Integration System (HDIS), “very few people [less than 5 percent] experiencing homelessness accessed services in more than one California Continuum of Care,” the organized group of service providers for a county. The idea of “professional transients” is not supported by the facts.
If this were a real issue, we would’ve seen Chico’s homeless people moving to Medford, Eugene and Marysville to get into Hope Village, Opportunity Village or 14 Forward. If you’re so poor you can’t afford rent, moving is a huge and expensive job. You have to give up everything except what you can carry, buy a bus ticket and leave the community you know well to go to a new place with many unknowns—for a slim chance at a shelter bed?
The “magnet” issue is not really an issue. Furthermore, we have talked about this with the directors of these shelters and all concurred that attracting out-of-towners has not been a problem for them.
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