Letters to the editor, Jan. 5, 2023

Campground needed

We have about 54 openings between the Pallet, Jesus and Torres shelters. We have about 175 people in homeless camps. Do we really want to do more for the homeless? Only if you want to save money! One Chico fire or police call or use of the Enloe ER could pay for a month of the cost of a managed campground—that the participants help pay for!

If you believe in “liberty and justice for all,” the first justice is the right to life. And the first survival requirement is shelter. If you can’t find shelter on a winter’s night, and you get wet when the temperature is below 40 degrees, in three hours you can be looking at fatal hypothermia.

The most efficient deployment of shelter is a low-barrier campground, with all the amenities. Chico has over 700 acres for “intermittent cattle grazing.” Granting a temporary, conditional, administrative use permit for five acres for the survival of our poorer neighbors is better than stepping over dead people on the streets of Chico like we did last winter. To not do so costs us more money for emergency services and is a violation of our spiritual ethics.

Only in the shelter of all may we know the full creative potential of our community.

Charles Withuhn

Goodbye, Guillermo

It is with a heavy heart that we send our condolences to the family and friends of storyteller, writer, homeless advocate and KZFR programmer Bill “Guillermo” Mash. His passing is a huge loss for his family, friends, everyone at the station and our community as a whole.

In the seven years Mash was a KZFR volunteer programmer, he selflessly produced a variety of public affairs shows all focused on improving the lives of the less fortunate in our community. You can find much of his work on “Without A Roof,” “Imagining Community” and “Youth For Justice” among others, on the KZFR website or on one his YouTube channels.

Guillermo was an amazing force of creativity and compassion that touched so many in our little community. [We] first met him during a KZFR pledge drive. He walked in the door, saw how crazy hard everyone was working and he immediately jumped into action to help. [This] kind stranger (who simply introduced himself as Bill) was so willing to give so much of himself. [We] will miss you, Guillermo, and [we] will try to be better human[s].

We were proud to have had Guillermo be a part of the Zephyr. [We] would love when the phone would ring and Guillermo would be on the other end saying “I’ve got an idea.” Guillermo was a soldier for the downtrodden, an ambitious spirit, and an energetic force for good. He was a righteous person, and he will truly be missed at our station and in our community.

GM Grant C. Parks
Volunteer Coordinator Leah T. McKean
and the entire KZFR family

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