Buddhist ministers hot under the collar over broken air conditioner
A Chico couple, upset about the lackadaisical treatment they say they’ve received from PG&E’s claims department, is appealing to the public to help them beat the late-summer heat.

John and Nichole Davis, Buddhist ministers who run the Tibetan Dharma Center from their rented Nord Avenue home, say that a series of powerful power surges shorted out their already-old air conditioner on Aug. 14. When they tried to file a claim for $2,200 needed to repair the unit, Davis said the call-in troubleshooters gave him the run-around.

“I called in to tell them what had happened, and they sent me here and there, but no one would help me,” he said.

While he was able to file the claim locally, Davis wrote an open letter titled “PG&E Refuses to Aid Disabled,” asking the public to think about donating money to help him replace the unit with a new energy-efficient one, as the $2,200 he hopes to get from PG&E will only fix the aging unit.

Davis said both he and his wife are disabled and are severely affected by the heat.

Cohasset converges on CUSD
Don’t mess with Cohasset.

Dozens of residents of the tiny community of Cohasset, frustrated with the way the Chico Unified School District quietly had more than 200 trees logged from behind their elementary school, came to the Aug. 15 trustees’ meeting to tell the board to make things right.

They brought along the signatures of 250 residents—probably one-quarter of the far-flung town’s population.

Mikki Ashe, reading from a prepared statement, asked the board to “take responsibility and make amends to the school for what happened.”

Other speakers were less measured in their criticism, with a few residents even calling for the firing of or criminal investigation into the actions of several district employees.

CUSD Board of Trustees President Scott Schofield was uncharacteristically contrite: “Clearly, some mistakes were made,” he told the audience—no fewer than five times.

“Everyone had good intentions. … It just got carried away,” he said.

Mary Leary, director of maintenance and operations for the CUSD, said she thought the district was doing the right thing when it moved to remove diseased and unsafe trees from the school.

But, since the cutting came after the suggestion of logger Dale Ulsh, and there seems to be no formal contract on who will get how much money out of the 25 truckloads of timber so far taken out, citizens questioned the motives of both Ulsh and the CUSD.

For now, the project is on hold and district employees are working to clean out debris and stumps, as the once-forested play area remains off-limits to students.

Tellingly, board members said they didn’t even know about the tree deal, or of any policy under which they should have been aware of the administrative decision.

"I don’t think anybody understood the scope of work that was to be done," Schofield said. "I didn’t hear about this until after it was done, and I’m the president of the board."