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What sounded like a garbage truck at first in the dark hours of the morning turned out to be a nightmare for many families in the Beach Flats, Lower Ocean, and Live Oak neighborhoods of Santa Cruz on Monday morning, February 13. Beach Flats residents report hearing helicopters overhead and flash grenades cast into several homes while an unidentified voice (no indication of jurisdiction) on a loudspeaker demanded that "[street address] come out with hands on head" blared. This caused confusion because [street address] is the address to the entire apartments complex.
Wed Feb 15 2017 (Updated 02/16/17)
Monarch Butterfly Population Drops by Nearly One-third
The annual overwintering count of monarch butterflies released on February 9 confirms Monarch numbers fell by nearly one-third from last year’s count, indicating an ongoing risk of extinction for America’s most well-known butterfly. Scientists report that this year’s population is down by 27 percent from last year’s count, and down by more than 80 percent from the mid-1990s. A survey of monarch butterflies overwintering in California shows that the Western population has not rebounded. On the West Coast of California, key sites such as Pismo Beach and Natural Bridges saw lower populations this year than in the prior year.
The Trump administration this week granted requests from Gov. Jerry Brown's regulators to exempt three aquifers in California's Kern County from the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. Approval of these "aquifer exemption" applications by the Environmental Protection Agency gives oil companies permission to dump contaminated waste fluid into these underground water supplies. California officials plan to submit dozens of additional exemption applications for other aquifers across the state, including underground water sources in Alameda, Monterey, Ventura, Kern and other counties.
Water from Lake Oroville flowed over the emergency spillway at Oroville Dam for the first time in the reservoir's 48-year history after the water level exceeded 901 feet in elevation on February 11. The water slowly began to flow over the concrete weir of the auxiliary spillway, down a hillside and into the Feather River. After saying the situation was stable and public safety was not threatened, state officials reversed course and issued evacuation orders late in the afternoon of February 12. On February 13, state officials would give no timeline on when the 188,000 evacuees can return to their homes.
A diverse array of Sacramento community groups participated in ChangeFest, a climate mobilization rally at the state capitol on January 21 as part of a week of anti-Trump street protests in Sacramento centered around the Presidential Inauguration. Speakers and musicians covered issues ranging from violence against women, to the Driscoll’s boycott in support of indigenous farmworkers in Mexico, to successful campaigns to ban fracking in San Benito and Monterey Counties, to the No DAPL struggle at Standing Rock. ChangeFest took place concurrently with the 20,000-strong Women's March in the Capitol.
On January 21, one day after Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States, women and allies in cities across the U.S. and countries throughout the world marched in protest in record numbers. In Washington, D.C., where the original Women's March was called, around 500,000 attended, far more than had come for the Trump inauguration itself. In Los Angeles, some estimates set the number present at nearly 750,000. Some of the largest marches in Northern California were in Oakland, San José, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Santa Cruz.
Sun Dec 18 2016 (Updated 01/29/17)
Mobilization Against the Coronation of Trump
A large coalition, including CrimethInc. Workers’ Collective, is calling for a bold mobilization against the inauguration of Donald Trump. In addition to Washington D.C., protests will also be held in Oakland, San Francisco, San José, Palo Alto, Santa Cruz, Monterey, and communities throughout the so-called United States. A widely circulated call to action states, "On Friday, January 20, 2017, Donald Trump will be inaugurated as President of the United States. We call on all people of good conscience to join in disrupting the ceremonies."
Just months after Monterey County voters approved a ban on underground injection of oil waste, California regulators have announced a plan to turn an underground water supply in the county over to the oil industry for injection of contaminated waste fluid. The proposal — announced by California's Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources — seeks to exempt an aquifer that runs under the town of San Ardo from the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. A similar aquifer exemption is currently under consideration in Livermore.
The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) released a report last week detailing the 2014 results of their Pesticide Illness Surveillance Program. The report, documenting all reported pesticide-related illnesses from all California counties, shows 20.1% of agricultural pesticide-related illnesses occurred in Tulare County, making it the county with the most agricultural pesticide illnesses in the state. Santa Cruz County came in second with 17.2%. Of the 53 counties with documented pesticide-related illnesses in 2014, Tulare County accounted for over 1 in every 5 cases of poisonings from agricultural pesticides.
A lawsuit filed on December 13 by civil rights groups charges the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) with violating the constitutional rights of homeless people by confiscating and destroying their property in ongoing sweeps. Plaintiffs have lost cherished and necessary items, including family heirlooms, photographs of loved ones, tents, sleeping bags, warm weather clothing, tools, food, camp stoves, bicycles, and personal documents. “Caltrans has been a major obstacle to getting my life together," said plaintiff James Leone. "Twice in six years, I’ve been left with only the clothes on my back. Twice I’ve lost everything I own in the world.”
In a slap in the face to fishermen, Tribes, environmental justice advocates, conservationists and family farmers, President Obama on December 16 signed the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act into law with an environmentally destructive rider sponsored by Senator Feinstein (D-CA) and Congressman McCarthy (R-CA). The controversial rider, requested by corporate agribusiness interests, allows San Joaquin Valley growers and Southern California water agencies to pump more water out of the Delta, driving numerous fish species closer and closer to extinction, according to Delta advocates.
On December 6, the Kern County Board of Supervisors approved Tejon Ranch Company’s disastrous Grapevine project, despite the harm the project will do to wildlife and nearby communities. The 8,000-acre development will straddle the San Joaquin Valley and Tehachapi Mountains and create a new city of up to 12,000 dwelling units and up to 5.1 million square feet of commercial real estate. The project will destroy habitat for the endangered San Joaquin kit fox, blunt-nosed leopard lizard, and threatened San Joaquin antelope squirrel, along with up to 36 other rare and imperiled species.
The California Secretary of State’s Office announced that voters narrowly defeated Proposition 53, an initiative requiring voter approval of revenue bonds over $2 billion. Governor Jerry Brown is celebrating the victory because it would have required a vote on his controversial “legacy” projects, the Delta Tunnels and High Speed Rail. Dan Bacher writes: The results of the Proposition 53 vote are disappointing for those who care about salmon, the Delta and the public trust. However, there is no doubt that if an initiative solely requiring a public vote on the Delta Tunnels had been on the ballot, it would have been decisively approved.
The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) is not a household name in California and the West, but it should be. WSPA is the trade association for the oil industry and the largest and most powerful corporate lobbying organization in California. It represents a who's who of oil companies including Aera Energy, Chevron, California Resources Corporation (formerly Occidental Petroleum), ExxonMobil, Phillips 66, Shell, Valero and many others. Yet most people — even many environmental activists — have never heard of the organization and the enormous influence it wields over politicians and regulators in the western states.
Calls to boycott Altai Brands began after a disturbing photo was circulated on social media showing a nearly nude woman laying on a table covered in slices of salami and other meats. The event, hosted by Altai Brands, was a private after-party on November 17 for the fifth annual Marijuana Business Conference and Expo which took place from November 15-18 in Las Vegas. Aliza Sherman writes, "Altai Brands apparently went culturally tone deaf when they covered a woman in deli meats and served her up on the appetizer table. Comments ranged from shock to outrage in social media with calls to boycott the male-led company."
A timeline mapping Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) police violence and militarization was collectively generated as part of a larger ongoing convivial research effort to expose low intensity war across the Bay Area and state. The timeline was produced through a collaboration between the Center for Convivial Research and Autonomy (CCRA) and Carville Annex Press as part of the struggle for Justice for James "Nate" Greer. The timeline is a tool that remembers, counts, mourns and honors our dead. It is a collaborative effort of documentation over time that makes visible the many resistances that have refused erasure.
iCal feed From the Calendar:
9AM Saturday Mar 11 Conscious Eating Conference
Anaheim Erupts After Off-Duty Cop Shoots at Students itsgoingdown (2 comments) Thursday Feb 23rd 11:54 PM
New Western Monarch and Milkweed Website Launched via The Xerces Society Wednesday Feb 22nd 4:39 PM
Highly Militarized ICE Raids on California's Central Coast No Raids, No Wall (3 comments) Wednesday Feb 15th 5:56 PM
California Shrugs Off Deadline for Shutting Down Illegal Oil Industry Injections Center for Biological Diversity (1 comment) Wednesday Feb 15th 2:44 PM
Trump Administration Waives Water-protection Rule for Three California Oilfields Center for Biological Diversity (1 comment) Tuesday Feb 14th 7:04 PM
Oroville Dam fiasco is a wake up call exposing absurdity of Delta Tunnels Dan Bacher (1 comment) Tuesday Feb 14th 2:07 PM
Lake Oroville surges over emergency spillway for first time in history Dan Bacher (5 comments) Saturday Feb 11th 2:24 PM
Monarch Butterfly Population Drops by Nearly One-third Center for Biological Diversity Friday Feb 10th 3:26 PM
Number of Monarchs Overwintering in California Remains Low via The Xerces Society Wednesday Feb 8th 6:35 PM
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For Immediate Release: Scholars' Response to Travel Ban California Scholars For Academic Freedom Sunday Feb 5th 6:36 PM
100 Days of Resistance Center for Biological Diversity Sunday Jan 29th 11:41 PM
On Final Day, Obama Administration Phases out Lead Ammo From National Wildlife Refuges Center for Biological Diversity Monday Jan 23rd 7:03 PM
Nuclear Shutdown News December 2016 Michael Steinberg Wednesday Jan 4th 10:35 PM
Jane Fonda Divests From Wells Fargo Ross Plesset Tuesday Jan 3rd 7:44 PM
Petition Seeks Ban on Import of Invasive Bullfrogs Into California Center for Biological Diversity (1 comment) Monday Dec 12th 2:48 PM
Oil Company Applies for First New Offshore Fracking Permit in California Center for Biological Diversity Thursday Dec 8th 5:09 PM
Report highlights 17 bad actors waging aggressive anti-solar campaigns via Environment California Tuesday Dec 6th 2:08 PM
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Art of War : Executive Order K. Larmee Saturday Feb 18th 11:06 PM
UAW2865 UCB Workers Discuss J20 Mass Walk-Out and Trump Government Labor Video Project Friday Jan 20th 11:19 AM
Value Human Life Bill K. Harley (1 comment) Monday Jan 16th 10:15 PM
5-4-3-2-1-Revolution Fhyre Phoenix (1 comment) Friday Jan 13th 1:03 AM
2016 Stockton Kwanzaa Nia Celebration ~ Taft Community Center Khubaka, Michael Harris (1 comment) Thursday Dec 29th 3:44 PM
Collected Anti-Trump chants protester (2 comments) Thursday Nov 10th 8:31 AM
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