We liked this girl’s spirit.

Jessica Triebswetter, 16, when interviewed last week at the campus of the Paradise high school said:

“I’m just excited to be the class that will rebuild Paradise. ... We’re going to do our best to make it as best as it can be... We are Paradise strong.”

“Paradise Strong.” If you are a survivor of last year’s devastating wildfire that destroyed the city of Paradise, you are strong. And if you’re keeping on during what will be a years-long recovery process, you’re strong.

“Paradise Strong” is a phrase that really means something here.

We had reporters do an update on the Paradise situation, including a visit by reporter/photographer Ruby Larson to talk to folks at the scene. That’s when she ran into Jessica, who will be a senior this coming year. She was painting a big burrito on her senior parking space (it’s an amenity many high schools afford their seniors -- a personal parking place that they can personalize as they see fit).

Talking to her brought up a picture of the reality of the fire beyond the fire, itself ... all those kids, last year, had to leave their high school behind and finish up at Chico’s Airport. They’ll be able to return to campus this year.

The district, after the fire, lost a third of its enrollment and a third of the staff. Many simply had to relocate because of their losses.

Building new homes and cleaning up debris is the big part of the recovery we all think about (and that’s daunting ... eight months later and 6,234 properties have been cleared of debris; 1,952 are certified clean; ... and 80 building permits have been issued). 

It seems such an arduous and unimaginably long process. Yet, here’s Jessica painting a picture of a burrito on her senior parking place and bragging about being “Paradise Strong.”

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Thumbs Down: If you’re the owner of a vacant or hardly-ever-checked-on building ... check it out asap. Marysville Fire Chief Ron Karlen reported last week that there might be a trend with what was a spate of fires, structure and grass, that might have been started by transients.

Karlen said they’re putting together a task force with representatives of various civic  and public safety departments to discuss ways of addressing the issue of transients using vacant buildings.

“We want to be in a position to be more proactive in addressing these buildings before the fires start, “ said Karlen. “This just drains our resources and impacts mutual aid operations for our neighboring agencies.”

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Thumbs Up or Down, depending on your vantage point. We read, in the Bee, an interview of Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, who said he wants an “enforceable statewide ‘right to shelter’ mandate that would require communities to have enough shelter space or other housing to accommodate their homeless populations...”

It’s been said by the mayor of Sacramento, who is also co-chair of the Statewide Commission on Homelessness and Supportive Housing. So you know it will probably be making it’s way through the Legislature sometime soon. Might as well start thinking of how to deal with it.

“We have sort of tacitly accepted as a society it’s okay for people to live under bridges or on the river bank while we fix the problem,” he said.

A parallel mandate would require homeless people to accept shelter that’s available.

His thoughts are modeled, he said, after a decades-long program in New York City.

New York spends about $1.5 billion for 75,000 people, according to the article. California has 90,000 homeless, it is estimated, spread all up and down the state.

Should we be upset about the costly proposal that will, in all likelihood, be forced upon us by metropolitan lawmakers? Well ... it might work and everyone agrees there’s a problem and no simple solution.

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Ugh:

A cranky, mean-spirited, mouthy old man was arrested for shoplifting at a grocery store. He yelled and cussed everyone out from the produce manager to the store manager to the police officer who finally came and took him away.

He finally came before the county judge, who asked him what he’d stolen.

“I stole a can of peaches, you dolt.”

The judge asked him why.

“I was hungry and I forgot to bring any cash along.”

The judge asked how many peaches were in the can.

“There were nine peaches in that can,” the old man said. “That’s the stupidest question ... why’d you ask it? Are you stupid?”

“I’m giving you a day in jail for each peach,” the judge said and just before he pounded the gavel, the old man’s wife stood up and asked if she could address the court.

“What did you want to say,” the judge asked her.

“My husband also stole two cans of peas,” she said.

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