After Paradise

Noah Berger / AP Photo

As we just heard, last year’s PG&E related tragedies have put wind in the sails of major reform pushed by some legislative Democrats in Sacramento. Potential bankruptcy and new laws could mean big changes for PG&E. On Wednesday I reached out to Republican state Assemblyman James Gallagher, whose district includes Butte County, for his response to the company’s  bankruptcy warning.

 

Noah Berger / AP Photo

On Monday PG&E announced its intention to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company faces multiple lawsuits over the Camp Fire and other fires from both 2017 AND 2018. In a statement, it said bankruptcy was necessary to continue safe delivery of gas and electricity to its customers. NSPR’s Tess Vigeland spoke with reporter George Avalos of the San Jose Mercury News, who’s been following PG&E’s finances.

Quilters Respond With Generosity, Grace

Jan 17, 2019

In the warehouse space behind Cathy’s Sew & Vac here in Chico, a group of quilters has given away hundreds of beautiful quilts to Camp Fire survivors. With shipments coming in from around the country, they handed out more than 900 in early December. Laura Flynn spoke to some grateful recipients and organizers about how the quilting community comes together for survivors of tragedies around the country.

Choir Soothes Hurt Souls

Jan 11, 2019
Art Strong Butte County

In the aftermath of a disaster, psychologists say that artistic expression can often help victims as they struggle to rebuild their lives. From painting to music, art can bring comfort to people in need. In that vein, students from five local high schools – many of them displaced by the fire – have formed a choir that’s performing for other affected kids. They want to use the power of song to heal their community. Laura Wenus has our story.

 

Fieri Paying It Forward

Jan 11, 2019
Guy Fieri / Instagram

Last November, celebrity chef Guy Fieri of the Food Network show Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives, came to Chico to cook Thanksgiving dinner for evacuees and responders. After serving some 75-hundred pounds of turkey, he went around town and sampled some of the city’s dining options.

Clean-Up Contractor Tainted By Dirty Scandal

Jan 11, 2019
Noah Berger / AP Photo

More than eight million tons of debris has to come down from the ridge before rebuilding can start in Paradise, Magalia and Concow. The debate over where to put that waste is ongoing. But we now know who will be overseeing the process.

Instructive Lessons From Past Disasters

Jan 11, 2019
John Locher / AP Photo

We talked about the finite patience among fire victims and the larger community in the fire’s wake. The outpouring of unequivocal generosity during the disaster continues, but appears more muted with the passage of time. It turns out, instant solidarity and sudden comradery is quite common in a catastrophe, as are the fissures and disputes that arise as emergencies fade into memory. Laird Easton wrote about this in a recent Washington Post Op-ed piece. He's a professor of history at Cal state here in Chico, where he teaches a course on disaster. He came to our studios this week.

 

After Paradise: Discord Over Parcels, Clean-Up

Jan 11, 2019
Noah Berger / AP Photo

It was evident at a Paradise town council meeting Tuesday that just about everyone wants to get back to normal, but complexity and uncertainty are fraying nerves.

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California members of Congress were also caught off guard by the president’s tweet, among them, Congressman Doug LaMalfa, a Republican representing the first district, which encompasses the burn area. I spoke with LaMalfa yesterday, shortly after the president issued his order.

Trump Claims To Order FEMA Aid Cut-Off; Locals React

Jan 11, 2019
Evan Vucci / AP Photo

 

The operating word for fire victims this week was confusion. Yesterday, President Trump tweeted that he had ordered FEMA to stop sending money to California, citing forest mismanagement. That was news to FEMA, and to pretty much everyone else. NSPR’s Christal Smith went to the Disaster Recovery Center here in Chico to get reaction from fire survivors.

 

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