Opinions

Second & Flume: Hope

The rain was the perfect company as I sat down on the eve of the one-year anniversary of California’s coronavirus lockdown. Not coincidentally, March 19, 2020, was also the day that the CN&R closed its […]


Opinions

Second & Flume: Damage control

I’ll never forget the morning after the Camp Fire—Nov. 9, 2018. That’s the day I drove up the Skyway and into the burning hellscape of what I once recognized as the town of Paradise. One […]


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Opinions

Second & Flume: Unforgiven

This Gen-Xer’s lefty views on the government and social issues diverge greatly from a lot of folks in the North State, and that includes most of those with whom I share DNA. I’d call myself […]


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Opinions

Second & Flume: Sad and angry

One of my worst fears about the pandemic was realized six days before Christmas. That’s when I lost my beloved grandfather, Albert Baleme Jr., the patriarch of my mother’s family. He was my last living […]


Opinions

Second & Flume: Muckraker remembered

“Hey, kid. How ya doin’?” I can hear Tim Crews’ gravelly voice say those exact words, his typical greeting. Though busy as editor and publisher of the twice-weekly Sacramento Valley Mirror, the publication he founded […]


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Opinions

Second & Flume: Burning questions

How could Butte County become the site of a wildfire-related mass casualty event less than two years after 85 people were killed by the Camp Fire? I’ve been stuck on that question since Sept. 9, […]


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Opinions

Second & Flume: Bad timing

By the time you read this, I’ll be recuperating from my second surgery in a month. I won’t go through the whole long and involved story, but I will give you a snippet of the […]


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Opinions

Second & Flume: Catching up

It’s impossible to fit everything I’d like to say into this space after what has taken place during our more than three-month print hiatus. I’ll start with how much I’ve missed having this weekly conversation […]


Camp Fire

Day of reckoning

Michael Hanko leaned over the lectern in a Chico courtroom as if his legs would give out, mustering the strength to continue speaking about the sibling he lost in the Camp Fire. His was the […]


Camp Fire

Guilty pleas from PG&E

On Tuesday morning (June 16) at Butte County Superior Court, more than 19 months after the Camp Fire, PG&E pleaded guilty to causing the mega blaze as well as 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter linked […]


Coronavirus

Holding pattern

The city of Chico will be appointing an interim police chief in the coming weeks, an outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recruitment for the position—held for the past five years by Chief Mike O’Brien—is on […]


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Second & Flume

Body counts and rodeo clowns

Memorize these figures: 62,000 and 83,019. The first is the high-end estimate of U.S. deaths attributed to influenza during an entire annual flu season. The second is the number of Americans who have died of […]


CN&R and Giving Newsday
Second & Flume

Helping the Fourth Estate

In many ways, March 27 feels like years ago. That’s the day I was forced to publish my column exclusively online, and life just hasn’t been the same. Since stopping the print presses nearly six […]


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Second & Flume

Humbled

Those who’ve read my column or editorials in the CN&R over the years know that I’ve been a fierce defender of programs designed to help people who are struggling. I’ve written many times about perennially […]