The City of Fresno has announced a plan for the massive evictions of the homeless, starting at 7 a.m. on Thursday, October 27th
. Speaking in front of City Hall on Wednesday, homeless people and their allies said the planned eviction was heartless and cruel. Community Alliance newspaper editor Mike Rhodes said “destroying their modest shelter and chasing them with a stick from one vacant lot or sidewalk to another will do nothing to help their lives or to end homelessness in Fresno.”
Alex Darocy writes:
Public officials from the past and present filed into the Museum of Art and History Monday night [September 19] as Mike Rotkin and Cynthia Mathews, describing themselves as part of "the Sustainable Water Coalition," hosted a private, invite-only informational meeting in support of the proposed desalination plant project. The desal project, which so far has cost $6 million dollars to be studied, has been aggressively promoted by officials, and this private meeting has brought up issues of governmental transparency. This meeting punctuates a new era of suspicion concerning local politicians: during the planning of the desal project there have been conflicts of interest, including the selection of the URS Corporation to author the EIR [Environmental Impact Report], as well as recent ethics violations on the part of city officials.
For protesting on the county steps against Santa Cruz laws that make it illegal for the homeless to sleep at night, homeless activists Gary Johnson and Attorney Ed Frey were sentenced to 6 months in jail on June 10th. Bail was set for Ed Frey at $50,000. Their only act of civil disobedience was sleeping. Revealing the political nature of the draconian sentences, Judge Gallagher told Gary Johnson that he “could get some sleep in jail” before they were dragged away in chains for their 6 month sentences.
In the culmination of a week of protests against proposed budget cuts to education, protesters gathered in the state capitol building in Sacramento on May 9th. Demonstrators chanted loudly and sixty-five protesters committed nonviolent civil disobedience by sitting down and refusing to leave after the building closed to the public for the day. All sixty-five were arrested and held overnight. They were kept with their hands handcuffed behind their backs for the first six hours of their detainment.
A new film, Medical Cannabis and Its Impact on Human Health
, exposes the lies about the medical use of marijuana that led the San Diego City Council to enact a virtual ban on medical marijuana dispensaries in the city. Director James Schmachtenberger, who works at a local dispensary, appeared with the film on April 30th at a showing sponsored by Activist San Diego. The film is a bit dry, and even Schmachtenberger describes it as not especially entertaining, but it lays out the facts about marijuana's medical uses and makes the case for allowing the substance to be used to treat disease and preserve health.
The San Diego City Council spent nearly six hours on March 28th listening to public input and debating a proposed permit process for medical marijuana dispensaries. The Council passed a measure that dispensary members and their supporters say amounts to a virtual ban. Though public speakers in support of medical marijuana far outnumbered opponents at each stage of the process, the Council enacted an ordinance that would make it virtually impossible for dispensaries to locate anywhere in the city of San Diego.
Because of agricultural discharges from Salinas Valley farms, the lower Salinas River has been found to have one of the highest levels of nitrates of any river in the world. During the summer, the river is bright green with a thick mat of toxic algae. The fertilizer doesn’t just impair the Salinas River. When the first rain comes in the fall, a huge pulse of sediment and fertilizer flushes out into Monterey Bay. This pulse has been associated with toxic algae blooms that sicken or kill sea otters, sea lions, and sea birds.