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Center Column Archives
Program managers delivered a $114 million cost estimate for construction of the proposed desal plant to the members of the Desalination Task Force at their October 17 meeting in Santa Cruz. The $114 million figure is to be considered a range, representing a possible cost of between $97 million and $143 million for the plant, and it does not include the millions spent already during the early phase of planning and promotion of the proposed water project.
Six months ago, local Occupy movements arrived at one of Monsanto corporation's Davis facilities at 6 a.m. Monsanto sent a message to their plant's workers to not come into work. The protest educated the public and initiated a conversation as a general assembly brainstormed solutions to Monsanto's corrupt ties with the government, unethical business practices, destruction of the environment, as well as the production of unhealthy food. Local activist groups plan to shutdown the Davis Monsanto plant once again on Monday, September 17th
On August 24, supporters of GMO-Free Santa Cruz and Proposition 37 on the California ballot, marched and sang along Pacific Avenue to raise awareness about the proposition, and encourage people to vote in favor of it. Throughout the United States, people currently eat genetically engineered food, but they generally are not aware of it. The California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act, Prop 37 on the November ballot, would simply require food sold in retail outlets in California, such as grocery stores, to be labeled if it is produced with genetic engineering.
Joshua Hart reports:
"If the California Coastal Commission’s August 10 decision is any indication, no endangered species, viewshed, or habitat is safe from a Distributed Antenna System (DAS) 4G cell tower popping up right next door. It’s open season, as smart phone addictions drive a kind of selective blindness toward wireless damage to life itself. Those groups who are meant to protect remaining wilderness areas have grown silent, awkward, in denial. We cannot count on the traditional defenders of nature to protect us from the threats of the 21st century."
Richmond, California residents have long battled with the massive oil company Chevron which maintains a large refinery on the city's western edge. On August 6th, a fire at the Chevron refinery in Richmond sent huge plumes of smoke and toxic chemicals into the air and hundreds of residents to local hospitals. The next day, Urban Tilth held a press conference and protest at the Richmond Civic Center to hold Chevron accountable for the release of dangerous contaminants into the air, as well as the potential loss of thousands of pounds of food.
Earth First! activists blocked a logging truck and flooded the office of Sierra Pacific's sawmill in Manila, demanding a stop to old-growth logging and massive clear-cutting planned in Humboldt County's forests. “We’re here to expose SPI’s destructive logging” said Jeremy Jensen. “They claim to be sustainable under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative label but SPI intensively clear-cuts and logs old-growth forests all over California.”
Residents of Santa Cruz County concerned about health, privacy, and the environment, as well as those who enjoy the beaches of the north coast free of cell towers and other industrial equipment, demonstrated in front of Verizon Wireless's retail store on Pacific Avenue in downtown Santa Cruz on Saturday, July 21st. The protest raised awareness of the company's plans, along with NextG corporation, to install six new cell sites along Highway 1 and Swanton Road in the county's remote north coast region.