On May 15, the City of Santa Cruz issued a press release entitled “Santa Cruz Water Director Key to Non-Profit CalDesal Success. Bill Kocher Named Vice-President of the Board.” Opponents of the proposed desal plant say the piece appears designed as a damage control tactic to both re-frame and obfuscate the city’s role as a prominent member of the CalDesal advocacy and lobbying organization.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's new political action group has spent big money on ads to advocate for the Keystone XL pipeline and Bay Area environmentalists are riled. Activists rallied near the CEO's San Francisco home on June 1st. Members of the Keystone XL Action Council previously spearheaded an action on May 1st at the company's headquarters in Menlo Park.
Joining a global day of protest against Monsanto and the genetically modified food it produces, protesters rallied in the cities of Merced, San José, Santa Cruz, and San Francisco on May 25. Around the world protests were held in more than 400 cities, giving popular voice to the growing outrage over Monsanto's agribusiness practices that put small farmers out of business and public health at risk.
As part of a national grassroots tour, filmmaker Josh Fox will present Gasland II at the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz on Monday, June 3rd
, prior to its HBO release. The film will be followed by a presentation and Q&A with Fox and local anti-fracking organizers.
On May 12, writer Jeremy Leonard re-posted a video to YouTube of a member of the Clean Team threatening and harassing a homeless camper in Santa Cruz as he and others did one of their regular "clean-ups." The video and a long interview Leonard did with former Clean Team founder T.J. Magallanes was only up very briefly on the internet before it was taken down, as reportedly there were numerous threats made against Leonard.
In a precedent-setting victory for fracking opponents, a federal judge ruled that the Obama administration violated the law when it issued oil leases in Monterey County without considering the environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing. “This important decision recognizes that fracking poses new, unique risks to California’s air, water and wildlife that government agencies can’t ignore,” said Brendan Cummings, senior counsel at the Center for Biological Diversity, who argued the case for the plaintiffs. “This is a watershed moment — the first court opinion to find a federal lease sale invalid for failing to address the monumental dangers of fracking.”
Protesters mobilized to greet President Barack Obama who was in town for a series of fundraisers in San Francisco and Atherton on April 3 and 4. Approximately 1,000 demonstrators opposing the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would extend from Canada to Texas, gathered outside the mansion of Ann and Gordon Getty in San Francisco the evening of April 3. The next day about 100 environmentalists lay in wait along the President's route after a fundraiser in Atherton.