On June 7, former workers and community members marched at La Playa Carmel to protest the first year of Sam Grossman's ownership of the hotel. The unionized workers were laid off when the Carmel-by-the-Sea hotel closed in 2011, and since its reopening under Grossman's management, only three of the former 113 workers have been rehired.
Since 1996 the City of Santa Cruz has distributed unclaimed bicycles to youth in need through nonprofits such as the Bike Church and Barrios Unidos, but early last year they abruptly ended this program and have given bikes instead to a for-profit business called the Bike Dojo, which should not even be allowed under city code to participate in the program.
On May 15, the City of Santa Cruz issued a press release entitled “Santa Cruz Water Director Key to Non-Profit CalDesal Success. Bill Kocher Named Vice-President of the Board.” Opponents of the proposed desal plant say the piece appears designed as a damage control tactic to both re-frame and obfuscate the city’s role as a prominent member of the CalDesal advocacy and lobbying organization.
As part of a national grassroots tour, filmmaker Josh Fox will present Gasland II at the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz on Monday, June 3rd
, prior to its HBO release. The film will be followed by a presentation and Q&A with Fox and local anti-fracking organizers.
On May 12, writer Jeremy Leonard re-posted a video to YouTube of a member of the Clean Team threatening and harassing a homeless camper in Santa Cruz as he and others did one of their regular "clean-ups." The video and a long interview Leonard did with former Clean Team founder T.J. Magallanes was only up very briefly on the internet before it was taken down, as reportedly there were numerous threats made against Leonard.
On April 6 the organization Sin Barras, which means "without prison bars" in Spanish, held a rally and march to the Santa Cruz County Jail in response to the four recent deaths of individuals while in custody at the facility. Organizers announced they had gotten word that inmates were aware of the demonstration and were excited to hear it from inside. This was confirmed as marchers neared the women's wing of the facility, and individuals inside banged on the walls and flashed lights through the opaque windows.
In a precedent-setting victory for fracking opponents, a federal judge ruled that the Obama administration violated the law when it issued oil leases in Monterey County without considering the environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing. “This important decision recognizes that fracking poses new, unique risks to California’s air, water and wildlife that government agencies can’t ignore,” said Brendan Cummings, senior counsel at the Center for Biological Diversity, who argued the case for the plaintiffs. “This is a watershed moment — the first court opinion to find a federal lease sale invalid for failing to address the monumental dangers of fracking.”