$32.00 donated in past month
Center Column Archives
At a preliminary hearing on January 8, all charges against Desiree Foster, Robert Norse, and Becky Johnson in association with the occupation of a vacant bank building in 2011 were dismissed by Santa Cruz Judge Paul P. Burdick. Charges still remain in effect for four defendants, though Burdick removed conspiracy from the counts they face. Additionally, the judge sanctioned District Attorney Rebekah Young with a $500 fine for the violation of a discovery order, saying that he had never imposed a sanction like this on the District Attorney's office before.
As the holiday season hit full force at the shopping/vacation destination of Carmel by the Sea, former La Playa Hotel workers continued to remain hopeful that some of those in attendance at a labor rally at the hotel on December 20th would receive back the jobs that they lost over a year ago. Since the hotel re-opened over the summer, only three of the former 113 workers have been re-hired.
On December 12th, dozens of protesters rallied outside a federal auction in Sacramento against plans to lease more than 17,000 acres of California public land to oil companies for drilling and fracking. Demonstrators fear that opening up thousands of acres of public land to oil and gas exploration would directly undercut the state's commitment to clean and renewable energy and endanger an already threatened water supply. Land spanning Monterey, San Benito and Fresno counties lies on what is known as the Monterey Shale, a formation of underground minerals. Oil and gas companies are targeting this expanse for hydraulic drilling.
On Wednesday, December 5th
, the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) will reconvene for what may be the final hearing concerning the request by UC Santa Cruz to extend the water service needed to develop 240 acres of Upper Campus natural habitat, which would require over 250 million additional gallons of water per year from the Santa Cruz water supply.
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.
"The spectre of state repression has been growing over Bay Area radical milieus. Grand juries in the Pacific Northwest and in Santa Cruz, threats by police of using gang enhancements against activists, the recent string of mass arrests, the profusion of political divisions and threats, abundant conspiracy theories, surveillance of our social spaces, FOIA paperwork that references a confidential informer--The list goes on and on and on. Even though everything we hear cannot be entirely proven or disproven, recent events underscore the importance of preparing for a possible crackdown."
Surf City Locals write:
"Pamela Comstock is one of the only candidates to not accept voluntary campaign spending limits. She has raised more money than anyone in this city council race. Her money has paid for nice-looking glossy fliers, but they only tell half the story. Pamela Comstock is one of the founding members of Take Back Santa Cruz, a group that claims to advocate for public safety, but what has their role in the community really been?"