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Center Column Archives
On January 24th, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Chuck Conner announced the availability of $74.5 million in emergency funding to combat the light brown apple moth (LBAM) "infestation" in California. President Bush's recent budget proposal sent to Congress sets aside $330 Million to eradicate plant pests, like the LBAM. It is unprecedented to design a long term plan to spray chemicals on people, which are untested for safety.
Aerial spraying of pesticides in Monterey and Santa Cruz is set to continue and soon will come to the Bay Area. Pesticide opponents say, "This supposed 'emergency' is the presence of the light brown apple moth in Bay Area counties, but like all toxic dumping by the agriculture industry, it is likely more about industry profits." While pro-environment organizations are calling on officials to use sticky traps instead of sprays, aerial treatments are scheduled to begin June 1st in the infested areas of Monterey and Santa Cruz counties, with subsequent aerial treatments expected to begin August 1st in San Francisco, Daly City, Colma, Oakland, Piedmont, Emeryville, Albany, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Tiburon and Belvedere.
The November 7th
spill of bunker fuel from the Cosco Busan, South Korea-bound container ship, is shaping up to be much more serious than early reports indicated and appears to be the worst ship-related spill in more than a decade. The Coast Guard estimates that over 58,000 gallons of fuel were spilled from the accident. Only a fraction of those gallons of fuel have been contained thus far. San Francisco Baykeeper is investigating why initial reports underestimated the size of the spill and why the Coast Guard failed to immediately coordinate its response with the Office of Spill Prevention and Response.
On Monday, Oct. 22nd
, Sonoma County residents will wear black and march through Santa Rosa neighborhoods to protest 9 local killings by local law enforcement. The march begins at 4:00pm in Southwest Community Park, with a 5pm feeder march from Sebastopol Rd. and West Ave, and followed by a 6pm rally in Old Courthouse Square. There will be an open microphone at the rally. Speakers will likely include surviving loved ones of people who died at the hands of law enforcement, and people who have suffered from past and present police abuses.
On July 28
, the Minutemen border vigilantes held a meeting in Larkspur, California, to organize a new chapter in Marin County. Local immigrant rights activists greeted them with the message that, "racists are unwelcome in our county."
Corbin Harney, Spiritual Leader of the Western Shoshone Nation, crossed over at 11:00 a.m. in the morning of July 10th
, in a house on a sacred mountain near Santa Rosa, California (Turtle Island). He dedicated his life to ending nuclear testing and dumping. That battle claimed his life through cancer.
In the wake of two days of 5:00am raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement teams in San Rafael and Novato, numerous Marin County groups felt called to respond with solidarity vigils that will be held each morning from 5:00am to 8:30am in the Canal District of San Rafael. The first vigil took place on Friday, March 9th, at Medway and Canal Streets in the San Rafael Canal District ( Photos: 1 | 2
), and these actions will reportedly continue "until no longer necessary."
On Monday March 12th
, a community meeting in response to the raids will be held at 6:00pm at the Pickleweed Center in San Rafael. The ICE raids will be an agenda item at the Marin County Board of Supervisors Meeting on Tuesday, March 13th