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Chico shelter site update | How the Pageant Theatre survived the pandemic | Lunar eclipse visible in the North State Sunday

The latest North State and California news on our airwaves for Friday, May 13.

Around 60 people now staying at Chico’s new shelter site

The city of Chico's pallet shelter village has now been open for nearly three weeks. The site is the result of a settlement agreement between the city and a group of unhoused residents and is run in collaboration with the Jesus Center. The shelter village has 177 units, with each unit able to sleep two people — should the occupants choose to have a roommate.

Executive Director of the Jesus Center Amber Abney-Bass has been intimately involved in running the site in partnership with the city. She said 45 people came to the site during the first week it opened.

"I think that in those initial 45 people, there are a significant portion of those folks who have been homeless for a very long time," she said. “Now there are 60 people staying there.”

She added the other residents at the site have mostly come due to the city resuming enforcement of its anti-camping ordinances. This week, the city began issuing 7-day notices to unhoused residents on public property in downtown Chico and the areas around lower Bidwell Park. If those camping in these public spaces don’t leave, they could be fined or arrested.

— Alec Stutson, NSPR

Pageant Theatre continues to showcase the best in film amid pandemic

With more than four decades of history, those looking for a unique movie experience have been able to rely on the Pageant Theatre in Chico.

Owner Miles Montalbano currently carries on his family legacy of running the theatre. He said the theatre is still working to overcome challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In March of 2020, the theatre was forced to close on the eve of its 40th anniversary, when the state shuttered some businesses to decrease the spread of COVID-19. What could have been a cause for celebration became the start of a battle for survival.

“It got really stressful. At a certain point, we weren't sure if we would get this grant, and the landlord's canceled our lease,” Montalbano said. “We didn't know if we're going to be able to just financially do it.”

The Pageant shut down for more than a year and a half. It was unable to secure any business loans to help it stay afloat. But the theatre was able to reopen at the end of last year. Read the full story.

— Angel Huracha, NSPR

North State skywatchers can enjoy a lunar eclipse Sunday

The full moon will enter a state of eclipse around 8:20 p.m. Sunday. To view the eclipse in the North State, look east at sunset and the moon will be nearly in total eclipse, which will occur 10 minutes later. Viewers will have about until 9:53 p.m. to see the coppery-colored moon near the eastern horizon.

The cause of the reddish color is the light of all the sunrises and sunsets around the earth cast upon the moon. While not as dramatic as a total solar eclipse, it's a lovely celestial sight.

— Dave Schlom, NSPR

Gov. Newsom pushes for gas rebates and hospital worker bonuses in budget plan

Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to send rebate checks to drivers and bonuses to hospital workers as part of his proposed budget plan.

Lawmakers and the governor say they all want to do something to help Californians address the rising cost of gas and other essentials, but they can’t agree on what.

Newsom wants to send money to vehicle owners, but top legislative Democrats want it targeted to lower and middle-income families.

The governor is also proposing $1,500 bonuses for hospital and nursing home employees. Those industries were hit hard during the pandemic and continue to face staff shortages.

This is all possible because California is facing a huge budget surplus — expected to be in the tens of billions.

Newsom’s spending plan is just a wish list. Over the next six weeks, he’ll negotiate with lawmakers before the June 30 budget deadline.

— CapRadio Staff 

State lawmakers attempt to repeal law blocking affordable housing development

Lawmakers advanced a bill Wednesday that would get rid of a rule in the state's constitution that has stymied affordable housing developments in California for decades. Article 34 forces cities to get voter approval to build public housing, the rule made it into the Constitution in 1950. State Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) is behind the repeal effort and says the original campaign was fueled by racist fears of integration.

“You had communities that did not want low-income people, did not want Black people living in their neighborhoods. That's why this was created,” he said.

In the years that followed, article 34 resulted in less low-income housing in California. The LA Times reported recently that by 1969, voters had turned down nearly half the public housing proposed in Article 34 elections.

Earlier this year, the proposed amendment passed the Senate unanimously and is making its way through the Assembly. Lawmakers have until the end of June to decide whether to include it on the November ballot.

— Molly Solomon (KQED), The California Report

Stories from NPR partner stations are edited by NSPR Staff for digital presentation and credited as requested.

In other news

  • Expert: Wounds contradict cop’s killing claim: “A top expert on police use of force says a newly disclosed investigative video seems to contradict key claims made by Chico police officer Mark Bass about his killing of Eddie Gabriel “Gabe” Sanchez in 2015.” — ChicoSol
  • Whistleblower letter targeted former Shasta County sheriff: “A former Shasta County sheriff's captain verified to the Record Searchlight Thursday that a whistleblower document raising ‘serious misconduct allegations' by the former sheriff and other county officials is authentic.” — Redding Record Searchlight
  • California governor to update budget proposal with new money: “California Gov. Gavin Newsom will likely announce another record-breaking budget surplus on Friday, giving him and state lawmakers lots of money to spend in a year the governor is expected to cruise to reelection for a second term.” — The Associated Press

In case you missed it

Headlines is published every weekday morning at 8:30 a.m. Subscribe on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and NPR One. Theme song Borough is courtesy of Blue Dot Sessions.

Angel Huracha has been a part of the journalism field since 2006 and has covered a range of topics. He is a graduate of Chico State with a Bachelor's degree in news-editorial and public relations with a minor in English.
Alec Stutson grew up in Colorado and graduated from the University of Missouri with degrees in Radio Journalism, 20th/21st Century Literature, and a minor in Film Studies. He is a huge podcast junkie, as well as a movie nerd and musician.
Adia White is a broadcast journalist and producer with nearly 10 years of experience. Her work has appeared on WNYC, This American Life, Capital Public Radio and other local and national programs. She started at North State Public Radio as a freelance reporter in 2017 before leaving for a stint at Northern California Public Media in Santa Rosa.