Sometimes I’m just a swirling mass of thoughts and things. I get into ideas with gusto, and then drop them like a 7-year-old drops granola bar wrappers all over the house. Right now things are feeling pretty stressful. We had a change of personnel here at the Synthesis; our Entertainment Editor, Nolan Ford, is no longer on our team. We appreciate all of his hard work and dedication to the Synthesis, and I miss seeing his adventures in facial hair. Also, I miss teasing him, though it went largely unappreciated in my opinion. I always said he was like the little brother I already have two of. I wish him the best.
Last summer I discovered the 21st Amendment Brewery’s “Hell or High Watermelon” beer, and now I’m conditioned to crave it when the sun starts shining. It’s not really the kind of beer that beer sommeliers would crack open and pour sideways into a fancy glass, but it’s super delicious on a hot day when you just want to chug a watermelon-flavored beer straight to your dome. And a six-pack fits in the office mini-fridge, so that’s pretty great. I’ve also been into juicing stuff, my CSA from the GRUB farm, and duck eggs. Also, I only cook bacon in the oven now; we’ve been eating a lot of breakfast-for-dinner in my household. That’s what’s up.
Anyway, in a Synthesis quest to understand the situation between our fellow Chico Americans and the homeless people populating downtown, we invited people to talk to us about their experiences on the street. How do they live, why did they choose to live that way, was it really a choice, and how would they solve the incompatibility problems we’re having between their community and ours? I’ve been pretty strongly against any additional ordinances, but after being given such rich food for thought, I can appreciate the other side.
I still feel that this homeless issue is part of a circular problem. Chico is facing bankruptcy. The only ace in the city council’s collective hole is to raise taxes. Raising property taxes while simultaneously gutting our law enforcement may get us back on the right track eventually, but what would you do if your mortgages or rents went up exorbitantly? Wouldn’t it be terrible if some of these outspoken pitchfork-toters trying to run the homeless out of town were facing a similar situation themselves? As ex-traveler Amy Coyne put it, “Rents will be so expensive that only high-end shops can afford to be downtown, but the people that can afford to buy things at those shops won’t come downtown because it’s skeezy. It’s a cyclical problem.” Though I think it’s important, I think we should shelve the homeless issue to focus on our dire financial straits. Hold some fucking bake sales or something. Because being a bankrupt city is no picnic in the park—just ask Vallejo or Stockton.