Trump news, good news

CN&R in The New York Times, and celebrating July 4 at One-Mile

CN&R Managing Editor Meredith J. Cooper texted me while she was up in Redding reporting on Donald Trump’s recent rally. One of her messages included a photo of her crouched next to a stage, the only place she could find shade during the 100-plus-degree day. “Hiding … but losing shade!” she lamented.

As she noted in her first-person story on what it’s like covering Trump (see “Trump on the tarmac,” Newslines, June 9), the presumptive Republican nominee despises the media. Several times during his short visit to the North State he called journalists dishonest. He also called them sleazy.

I guess it shouldn’t have come as a surprise, then, that Cooper wasn’t allowed to take much of anything into the event. No water, no sunscreen. Nor was she provided with such provisions. Even in the sweltering heat on the tarmac of the Redding Municipal Airport. How ludicrous. How petty. How quintessentially Trump.

And we’re not the only ones who noticed the lack of hospitality the press received that day. On Saturday, June 4, the jump page of an A1 New York Times story headlined “Trump declarations seen as threat to rule of law” includes an accompanying photo of the fair-skinned Cooper taking refuge again—this time underneath a table in front of the press pen set up by the Trump campaign. Cooper and the other reporters were not allowed to leave that designated area. Not to interview attendees. Not even to use the restroom. They were escorted out of the area, but only after Trump’s supporters left the event.

As an editor, it’s the kind of treatment that smacks of disregard for freedom of the press. As a human being, it’s just plain cruel. Trump’s actions should send chills up the spine of every working journalist in America. As Ilya Somin, a law professor at George Mason University, put it in that Times article, “He poses a serious threat to the press and the First Amendment.”

But enough about Trump. At least for now.

Time for some good news. I think we could all use a little of that right about now.

Last week, we reported that the Chico Area Recreation and Park District (CARD) and other sponsors of the annual Independence Day celebration had pulled their support for the event at One-Mile Recreation Area in Bidwell Park.

That’s true, but there’s more to the story. According to Chico City Councilman Randall Stone, the bulk of the celebration will continue this year. What’s new is that the Chico Running Club is stepping up to make sure that that happens.

The nonprofit group, for which Stone is a spokesman, will again put on its 5K run/fun walk starting first thing (7 a.m.) on Monday, July 4, in Lower Park. It’s partnering with the Butte County Sheriff’s Captain Bob Pancake Wagon—a longtime participant—to provide flapjacks for eventgoers. They’ll also be available for purchase by the general public. In addition, Stone reported, the running club is working on getting live musical entertainment. For more information, including registering for the run/walk, go to

So there you have it. Independence Day at the park is a go.