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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.
Sun Dec 18 2016 (Updated 01/09/17)
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."
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.
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."
Santa Cruz police initiated a raid at City Hall on November 23 at 3:30 am, shortly after it stopped raining that evening, to clear from the area approximately two dozen individuals who had been sleeping and sheltering themselves from the weather under the eaves of the buildings in the complex. Officers issued citations to individuals, and made one arrest. Many of those sleeping at City Hall were participating in the weekly Freedom Sleepers sleep protest, while others were simply sheltering themselves from the wet weather temporarily with the group.
Sun Nov 27 2016 (Updated 12/01/16)
Standing Rock Solidarity in Northern California
The Standing Rock Sioux Nation called for indigenous nations and others to stand in solidarity as they fight to prevent continued construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline in their ancestral lands, especially near the Missouri River. Since federal agencies blocked construction under the Missouri River in early September, police have greatly increased the violence unleashed against the Water Protectors. Hundreds of demonstrators have been arrested and injured by police weaponry. Now, federal authorities are threatening to close the NoDAPL camp by December 5, but protesters promise continued resistance.
Luke Smith, a 15-year-old Aptos High School sophomore, was shot and killed by deputies with the Santa Cruz Sheriff's Office on November 19. Students identified Luke as the victim at a gathering that took place outside of the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office on the afternoon of the killing. The report quotes a friend of Luke, who stated at the gathering, "He was active. He was a skate aficionado. He was brilliant. Just tragic." Many of the friends and loved ones who have donated to Luke's fund included personal messages online.
Take Back Santa Cruz (TBSC) is targeting community members again on social media, which is being aided by the false identification of a "suspect" by Officer Wes Hansen of the Santa Cruz Police. On November 16, TBSC published a photo of two "suspects" of a crime on their public Facebook page. The post has been shared over 300 times. In the comments section on the TBSC post, a witch-hunt style attack on the men ensues, containing the false accusation from SCPD Officer Wes Hansen.
Wed Nov 16 2016 (Updated 12/14/16)
Santa Cruz Stands with Standing Rock
Dozens of local supporters of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe gathered at the Town Clock on the evening of November 15 for a loud, raucous and joyous celebration of the NoDAPL Day of Action. Allegra David, an organizer of the demonstration, led the group on short walk to full throated chants of "Water is Life" and "You Can't Drink Oil." The group's spirits were uplifted by the report that the Army Corps of Engineers dealt a blow to the progress of the Dakota Access Pipeline, saying in a letter that more analysis and discussion with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe is needed before construction can take place under the Missouri River.
Mon Nov 14 2016 (Updated 11/29/16)
We've Got a Bigger Problem Now
The first anti-Trump protests began almost immediately, shortly after election results were announced. By the evening of November 9, protesters poured into the streets across the country. The Northern California cities of Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco, Palo Alto, San José, Santa Cruz, Salinas, Hollister, Santa Rosa, and Fresno have stood up against Trump, the rallying cries being "Not My President" and "Fuck Trump!" Demonstrations continue on a daily or near-daily basis all over. There is no end in sight. Calls have gone out to disrupt inaugural events on January 20 and for a Women's March on Washington on January 21.
On November 11, the transmitter for Free Radio Santa Cruz went silent following the eviction of their host. The radio collective is actively looking for a new site for their transmitter and antenna. Meanwhile they continue streaming through their website. Free Radio Santa Cruz is the only local, independent community radio station remaining in Santa Cruz.
Voters in Monterey County, California's fourth-largest oil-producing county, passed Measure Z to ban fracking and other dangerous extraction techniques. The measure won with more than fifty-five percent of the vote, despite supporters being outspent thirty to one by oil companies, including Chevron and Aera Energy. Measure Z also phases out toxic wastewater injection and prohibits new oil wells in the county. "David beat Goliath in Monterey County's stunning victory against oil industry pollution,” said Kassie Siegel of the Center for Biological Diversity.
iCal feed From the Calendar:
11AM Friday Jan 20 J20 General Strike Santa Cruz
1PM Saturday Jan 21 Women's March at CSUMB
1:30PM Saturday Jan 21 Women's March Santa Cruz County
Redefining The National Strike Steve Pleich (2 comments) Monday Jan 16th 11:24 AM
Pause the Calls: Black Lives Matter Ending Mass Incarceration Saturday Jan 14th 2:51 PM
California Agency Proposes Turning Monterey Aquifer Into Oil Waste Dump Center for Biological Diversity Friday Jan 13th 12:01 PM
Post Office Uses Leaf Blowers to Harrass Homeless at 6AM Free Speech Matters (8 comments) Thursday Jan 12th 7:46 AM
Freedom SleepOut #79 Swims Toward Justice Tuesday Night Keith McHenry (story by Norse) Tuesday Jan 10th 12:43 AM
SCPD Must Revise Immigration Determination Policy Steve Pleich (1 comment) Sunday Jan 8th 11:44 PM
Selective Enforcement documented on Pacific Ave. in Santa Cruz, CA The Jones/Skelton Report (2 comments) Sunday Jan 8th 10:55 AM
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USDA Grants Final Approval for Invasive GE Grass Center for Biological Diversity Tuesday Jan 17th 4:50 PM
President Grants Commutations to 153 Federal Prisoners, Including Paul Free and Steven Speal American Civil Liberties Union (1 comment) Monday Dec 19th 6:26 PM
Canada to Protect Declining Monarch Butterfly as Endangered Species Center for Biological Diversity Monday Dec 12th 2:40 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
New Study: Mounting Evidence Supports Eating Less Meat for Health of People, Planet Center for Biological Diversity Tuesday Dec 6th 1:59 PM
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EPA Report Confirms Threat Posed By Fracking via Sierra Club Monday Dec 19th 6:47 PM
Hwy 17 Wildlife Tunnel in Sight: Land Trust Completes Funding for Land Protection via Land Trust of Santa Cruz County Monday Dec 19th 6:20 PM
CA Transportation Commission Commits $3.1 Million for Land Trust’s Hwy 17 Wildlife Crossing via Land Trust of Santa Cruz County Friday Oct 21st 9:35 PM
Fracking and measure Z AutumnSun Friday Oct 21st 11:05 AM
CA Coastal National Monument Expansion: One Step Closer to Reality Surfrider Foundation Thursday Sep 29th 8:20 PM
Leaders host public meeting on expanding the coastal national monument via The Wilderness Society Tuesday Sep 27th 5:42 PM
Leaving Edward Snowden in limbo will be a stain on President Obama’s legacy Amnesty International (1 comment) Saturday Sep 17th 6:07 PM
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