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Center Column Archives
On June 27th, George Cadman interviewed local activist and best-selling author John Robbins about his latest book, No Happy Cows: Dispatches From the Front Lines of the Food Revolution
. John and George talked about the revolving door between Big Ag and government agencies like the FDA, the rising cost of healthcare in the United States, the predatory ad campaigns that are directed at children by big fast food companies and the misleading "Happy Cows" advertising campaign of the California Milk Advisory Board.
It was standing room only in the county government center for the Santa Cruz LAFCO meeting on June 6th, where over 50 community members spoke before the commission in support of protecting the forest and open space of the UC Santa Cruz upper campus from future development. LAFCO decided the next vote on the matter would be held in October.
On Saturday, June 23rd, the Springfield Grange in Pájaro hosted the Festival of Tamales, a benefit for the Grange and Center for Farmworker Families. The menu featured delicious sweet and savory tamales, made with GMO-free masa from El Aguila Foods, including turkey and chile verde, sweet corn, and ollalieberry pecan praline. The tamales were made by local community members using recipes from El Salvador, Mexico, Texas, and the Monterey Bay Area.
On Friday, June 8th, five of the Santa Cruz Eleven had preliminary hearing dates set by visiting Judge Stephen Sillman. Additionally, Brent Adams now has a new public defender, attorney Lisa K. McCamey. Charges have been refiled against Franklin Alcantara and Cameron Laurendeau, and they have a new preliminary hearing scheduled for July 23rd. Gabriella Ripley-Phipps and Becky Johnson will be going into their preliminary hearing on Monday, June 25th
On May 29th, community members involved with the Right to Vote on Desal petition drive rallied at City Hall and turned in 2,003 petitions with the signatures of 8,717 Santa Cruz water citizens to the City Clerk, who now has 30 days to complete the signature verification process. 5,500 verified signatures is the requirement to move forward, which is 15% of registered city voters, and if that number is reached, citizens will have a chance to decide if construction of the proposed desalination plant will proceed.
On Wednesday, June 6th
, the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) is set to vote on one of two motions that would approve the expansion of UC Santa Cruz while imposing conditions on the availability of water service to the Upper Campus. Community members have planned for a 5-mile walk after the meeting to the UCSC administration, and then to the forest, if a decision is reached permitting development in the Upper Campus.
On Tuesday, May 29th
, the Right To Vote on Desal (RTVOD) Coalition will rally at Santa Cruz City Hall and turn in over 8,000 petition signatures to City officials to tabulate and certify. The event will highlight the unprecedented level of citizen and water ratepayer support to place the historic measure on the November ballot, which would require voter approval for the construction of a desalination plant. Despite high-visibility attempts by both desalination backers and political insiders to defeat the community-driven petition campaign, the RTVOD Coalition surpassed the required number of signatures in less than four months.