When you think of free press, do you think, “Wow, I don’t have to pay for news”? The trend toward conglomeration of newspapers needs to be reversed. We need journalists investigating and publishing stories about what’s happening in Paradise and Magalia. Whether you’re interested in sports, entertainment, opinions, events, local government, or all-of-the-above, it’s only the Paradise Post that focuses on what we call the ridge. We are the people living up Pentz Road, up Clark Road, up Skyway, above Chico. Support our local journalists by reading Paradise Post articles in whichever ways you prefer: print, social media and the website. The local free press greases the wheels of our local democracy.
We must vigilantly be aware of our condition on the ridge, knowing where we came from, who we are, and be thinking about how we can become what we want to be, facing the future eyes wide open. Gold Nugget Days is a celebration and a reminder of simpler times, when money was measured in gold. Our predecessors had rich natural resources: timber and water, soil and sun to grow food. While outsiders may have called this place Poverty Ridge, the people on the ridge knew how to survive.
What do we know now? Most of us survive month-to-month on paychecks and shopping like most other Americans. Some of us thrive more than others, but we’re all part of the same system. The system (our way of life) shifts, evolves, and has setbacks or shutdowns. A well-functioning system swings right and left, and thereby we maintain an equilibrium. My columns will express opinions about maintaining that equilibrium in our system where it benefits us here on the ridge. I’ll also be examining our over-dependence on our system where it is so out of balance that we’re in danger. Resilience means maintaining several ways to survive, having a system with built-in redundancies even if that’s not the cheapest way. There’s more to consider: what’s the safest way and what’s less expensive overall. This column will feature local issues of economics, fairness (social equity), our environment, and energy.
What’s free? Back in the day it seemed like gold, lumber, water, soil and energy were free for everyone who worked to harvest those resources. The environment provides so many free services, but there are limits. We know that nothing’s sure but change, so let’s consider what’s coming our way and how the ridge might thrive through it all.
Sure, it’s more efficient to have one news source, but then Paradise and the whole ridge gets ignored or put on the bottom shelf. The Chico Enterprise Record, for example, put a front page (below the fold) story in the Sunday paper, the day after the parade about Gold Nugget Days weekend. It is a great article written by Paradise Post journalists; however, it was too little too late as the news story for all those who do not get the Paradise Post.
I look forward to writing this column every few weeks, and I invite you to follow along and comment. I’ll be responding in print and online. So, what does a free press mean to you, or to us, where we live?
This column What Does Free Press Mean to You? was printed in the Paradise Post newspaper on May 3, 2017.
Robin Huffman lived in Paradise, California from 1989 until she evacuated from the Camp Fire on Nov. 8, 2018.