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Primary election updates | Wildfire timber initiative | Campsites for Chico’s unhoused

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The latest North State and California news on our airwaves for Thursday, June 9.

Voters show ‘angst’ at the polls

One of the high-profile races in California’s primary election Tuesday was the recall of San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin. This follows the successful February recall of school board members there, as well as the recall of a member of the Shasta County Board of Supervisors the same month.

According to political strategist Paul Mitchell, vice president of Political Data, voters are showing elected officials how they’re feeling.

“In this environment, where voters just are unhappy,” Mitchell said, “there’s a lot of, kind of, angst in the political culture around COVID, and the economy and displacement and the changes in our work and our living situation, the high homelessness.”

This constellation of concerns leads to people being unhappy with their elected officials and could lead to recalls in the future, Mitchell said.

— CapRadio Staff

North State counties tally the votes

Butte and Shasta counties had district supervisor races on the ballots. Unofficial results of the Butte County District 2 race are close incumbent supervisor Debra Lucero currently leads by 262 votes over opponent Peter Durfee. Butte County District 3 incumbent supervisor Tami Ritter has a more substantial lead of more than 1,800 votes against Mary Murphy-Waldorf.

In Shasta County’s District 1 supervisor race, Erin Resner leads over Kevin Crye and Kymberly Vollmers. The District 5 supervisor contest is a five-way race with Baron Browning in the lead.

In other Shasta County races, unofficial results show Judy Flores leading by more than 4,000 votes for superintendent of schools. Michael L. Johnson leads by a little more than 7,000 votes for sheriff-coroner. Stephanie A. Bridgett leads by more than 4,000 votes for district attorney, and Cathy Darling Allen has a substantial lead of more than 10,000 votes for county clerk.

Lastly, in Butte County, Alyssa Douglass leads the second-place candidate for county assessor by more than 10,000 votes.

NSPR will continue to monitor results from the primary as more votes are counted. You can find results for all North State counties here.

— Alec Stutson, NSPR 

Chico City Council picks campsites for ‘small’ group of unhoused people

People experiencing homelessness in Chico will have at least two places to legally camp if they’re not eligible to enter certain shelters.

Both lots are located in north Chico at separate corners of Cohasset and Eaton roads.

The City Council approved the campsites in a contentious meeting Tuesday where multiple lots were being considered throughout the city. Residents came out in force opposing many of the options.

Interim City Manager Paul Hahn explained that under the city’s settlement agreement in the Warren v. City of Chico homelessness case, the campsites are needed for people who are deemed ineligible for both the city’s Pallet shelter site and the Torres Shelter.

“If the city wants to enforce its ordinance and move that person from wherever they’re camping illegally, they must provide basically that person a choice of three sites where they can go to camp for up to 60 days,” Hahn said.

The council cut the number of sites to two following extensive public comment and consultation with the city attorney.

Hahn said city officials estimate a low number of people about 10 will use the campsites. He said the sites are not open to everyone.

“This is a very small population that we’re required to find places to go, but not sanctioning the broader, basically illegal campers to go to these sites,” Hahn said. “I think that’s really important to stress.”

The sites were approved in a 5-2 vote, with council members Alex Brown and Kasey Reynolds opposed.

— Andre Byik, NSPR 

Cal Fire initiative targets glut of timber in state’s forests

Wildfires leave a tremendous amount of wood on the ground, and forest- thinning produces even more. But despite that glut of timber in California’s forests, more than 80 percent of the wood used in the state is imported.

That’s according to Cal Fire Forester John McCarthy. He said to help remedy the issue, Cal Fire is providing financial incentives to increase capacity in wood products industries.

“Some of the companies are just traditional wood products,” McCarthy said. “Sawmills that are bottled with logs right now burned logs they’re decked, and they can’t mill them fast enough … We’re helping them upgrade some of their machinery … We’re also funding companies that are developing transportation fuels and carbon negative products.”

McCarthy said the entire supply chain needs to be expanded, which is why the agency has awarded $33 million in grants to businesses, non-profits, universities, community colleges and local governments.

“We’re really trying to build an entire industry,” McCarthy said. “There isn’t one gap we’re trying to plug. We need the workforce, the equipment in the woods, trucks, truck drivers, transportation systems, facilities … and trying to bring in entrepreneurs.”

He said there’s plenty of demand for the more than 750,000 tons of biomass that would otherwise stay in the forest. It’s just a matter of getting it to market.

— Ken Devol, NSPR 

AG Bonta will likely face Republican challenger in November

California incumbent Attorney General Rob Bonta will be the Democrat on the November ballot. It’s unclear, however, who will challenge him.

“It will likely be a Republican,” said CapRadio politics reporter Nicole Nixon. “We got Republican former U.S. Attorney Nathan Hochman and Eric Early, they’re both in the teens with their vote percentages.”

Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert, who ran as an independent, has conceded the race.

Nixon said the race showed how difficult it is for no-party preference candidates to win, adding that voters often rely on party affiliation when filling out their ballots.

— CapRadio Staff 

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

In other news

  • 1 killed, 4 injured in California mountain climbing falls: "A mountain climbing guide was killed and at least four other people were injured in separate accidents over the past two days while trying to summit the peak of Mount Shasta in Northern California in treacherous conditions, authorities said Tuesday." — The Associated Press
  • State water restrictions affect Susanville: “Bob Godman, Susanville’s public works director, said the state’s recently imposed water restrictions apply to residents in the city of Susanville.” — Lassen County Times
  • Rapist sentenced to 8 years in prison: “The Gearhead Barbershop owner who was convicted of forcible rape and disruption of computer services was sentenced to 8 years in prison followed by 20 years on parole once released.” — Chico Enterprise-Record
  • Primary sends mixed signals in heavily Democratic California: “California is a Democratic fortress, but Tuesday’s primary election may have revealed some cracks. Gov. Gavin Newsom and other top-tier Democrats emerged safely from contested statewide races in which they will be strongly favored this fall, and the Legislature appears on track to stay firmly in Democratic control.” — The Associated Press

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

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

Sarah is an award-winning reporter, producer and editor. She’s worked at North State Public Radio for six years and was previously the station’s News Director before leaving to study at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism.
A graduate of California State University, Chico, Andre Byik is an award-winning journalist who has reported in Northern California since 2012. He joined North State Public Radio in 2020, following roles at the Chico Enterprise-Record and Chico News & Review.
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.