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Center Column Archives
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."
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.
The Right to Vote on Desal Coalition's Charter Amendment initiative has secured a place on the November ballot. Voters will decide whether to amend the City Charter in order to guarantee that the people of Santa Cruz determine the future of desalination in the city. The City Charter can be amended only by a vote of the people, unlike an ordinance, which can be amended or repealed simply by a vote of the City Council.
On June 15th
, after the last day of school, Oakland parents and teachers will sit in at Lakeview Elementary demanding that the district keep all neighborhood schools open. Supporters
write: "We know the money exists, but still they insist on closing flatland schools serving predominantly black and brown children. We say no more excuses! We’re keeping the schools open the last way left to us, by sitting-in. But we cannot do this alone. We need your support!"
Around 500 people from 15 cities in Mexico and 11 countries in the world came together in the National Encounter of Autonomous Anti-Capitialist Resistance at the end of May 2012 to share experiences of autonomy and support the uprising and current process of self-government in Cherán, Michoacán. The Cherán K’eri uprising on April 15, 2011 and the process of self-government now underway in that community is, for many, a source of inspiration, a strong show of resistance to be defended, and an experience to learn from.
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 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.