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Saturday Dec 20
3PM "SHUT DIABLO" Spell-Out at Ocean Beach + Winter...
Monday Dec 22
6PM Occupy Forum: SHUT DIABLO CANYON, California's...
Tuesday Dec 23
7PM Round Table Discussion Relating to Climate Change
Wednesday Dec 24
7:30PM Home, the Film
Wednesday Dec 31
7:30PM Your Inner Fish + Your Inner Reptile
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Voters Approve Fracking Bans in San Benito and Mendocino Counties Voters in two California counties were able to overcome the oil industry and pass fracking bans by wide margins. Measure J in San Benito County passed with 57% of the vote, and Measure S in Mendocino County passed with 67%.

However, Measure P in Santa Barbara County, which was very similar to the San Benito measure, lost after oil industry groups spent more than $7.6 million to beat the measure placed on the ballot by local grassroots groups. That spending ranked the local ballot measure campaign in Santa Barbara as one of the most expensive in the country. The oil industry’s campaign relied heavily on advertising that misled voters about the measure’s content, and outspent proponents by more than 20 to 1.

The victory in San Benito was achieved through a large grass-roots organizing effort that began with a signature gathering drive in March which succeeded quickly at placing the fracking ban on the ballot. The Coalition to Protect San Benito has planned a Measure J celebration to be held outdoors at Indian Canyon, with an Ohlone ceremony lead by Ann Marie Sayers.

Saturday, November 8: Celebrate Measure J Win at Indian Canyon

Voters Approve Fracking Bans in San Benito and Mendocino Counties | San Benito County Bans Fracking, Despite Deluge of Oil Industry Cash | Fracking Bans Win in Two California Counties, Fail in One | Community Organizing Wins Significant Victories on Fracking and Other Key Issues

Previous Coverage: San Benito County Residents Halfway to Signature Goal for Fracking Ban Initiative
Chevron-funded Political Billboards "Corrected" in Richmond The Committee for Responsible and Accurate Posters (CRAP) writes: Chevron, in exercising their completely hard-fought right to defecate unlimited cash into a small-town election (thanks, Citizens United), has flooded Richmond with $3 million in propaganda both to support their own prop candidates and to shamelessly attack Team Richmond, a courageous slate of candidates from the Richmond Progressive Alliance. Why? Because progressive city council candidates Eduardo Martinez, Vice Mayor Jovanka Beckles, and Mayor Gayle McLaughlin have a proven track record of holding Chevron accountable for polluting Richmond’s air, land, water, and democracy. Should Chevron elect its own candidates, perhaps the oil barons could avoid paying out hundreds of millions of dollars to settle this lawsuit filed by Richmond under those pesky progressives. From Chevron’s perspective, spending $3 million in a local election - amounting to a whopping ~$120 per voter, outspending their progressive opponents at least 25 to 1 - is chump change compared to what they’ll save by owning their very own city council.

Here at CRAP we call out bullshit when we see it. Richmond residents should know that Nat Bates isn’t running for Richmond’s mayor, he’s running to be Chevron’s puppet. And so are city council candidates Donna Powers, Charles Ramsey, and Al Martinez. Sorry Chevron, but Richmond’s election is not for sale.

photoRead More
"Sucked Dry: Drought and Privatization" Tour Shut Down by GMO Dean at UC Berkeley A Beehive Collective presentation originally scheduled as an event at the Gill Tract Community Farm was shut down with a week’s notice by Steve Lindow, the first researcher to do field trials of a Genetically Modified Organism (GMO), who is now the Executive Associate Dean in the College of Natural Resources. Lindow claimed that the art show was “not relevant to the research at the community farm." According to a news release from Students for Engaged and Active Learning (SEAL), "The event highlights the privatization of water across Mesoamerica and the potential for water privatization in CA under Prop 1." Water bond opponents have criticized California's Proposition 1 as a sweetheart bill for water-intensive industrial agriculture.

The students said the event had been approved with strong support from community members, students, and the farm’s events working group. This was the first interference in farm events from the administration — and students feel that it is a clear example of repression against free speech on campus, with political motivation. Determined not to be silenced, students at the University of California, Berkeley brought the Beehive Collective’s art project on drought and Prop. 1 to the steps of Sproul Plaza, where 50 years ago students demonstrated for their right to disseminate political materials, kicking off what is known as the Free Speech Movement.

photoRead More | calendarEvent Announcement | BeehiveCollective.org
Lawsuit Launched to Protect Pinto Abalone Conservation groups notified the National Marine Fisheries Service of their intent to sue the agency for delaying Endangered Species Act protection for the pinto abalone, an approximately six-inch snail with an iridescent inner shell that was once common in rocky, intertidal coasts from Alaska to Baja California.

The pinto abalone is in desperate need of federal protection; throughout much of its historic range, pinto abalone populations have plummeted from 80 percent to as much as 99 percent, and numbers continue to fall along the Pacific coast. “Overfishing nearly wiped out pinto abalone, and a warming and acidifying ocean now threatens to finish them off,” said Kiersten Lippmann, a biologist at the Center for Biological Diversity. “The best way to prevent extinction is immediate protection under the Endangered Species Act.”

pdfRead More | Center for Biological Diversity | See Also: Rare Abalone One Step Closer to Endangered Species Act Protection
3 Billion Gallons of Oil Industry Wastewater Illegally Dumped into Central Valley Aquifers As the oil industry spent record amounts on lobbying in Sacramento and made record profits, documents obtained by the Center for Biological Diversity reveal that almost 3 billion gallons of oil industry wastewater were illegally dumped into Central California aquifers that supply drinking water and irrigation water for farms.

The documents also reveal that Central Valley Regional Water Quality Board testing found high levels of arsenic, thallium and nitrates, contaminants sometimes found in oil industry wastewater, in water-supply wells near these waste-disposal operations. The illegal dumping took place in a state where Big Oil is the most powerful corporate lobby and the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) is the most powerful corporate lobbying organization, alarming facts that the majority of the public and even many environmental activists are not aware of.

An analysis of reports filed with the California Secretary of State shows that the oil industry collectively spent over $63 million lobbying California policymakers between January 1, 2009 and June 30, 2014.

Read More | Billions of Gallons of Oil Industry Wastewater Illegally Injected into Central California | Center for Biological Diversity

Related Indybay Feature: California's Big Oil Dirty Dozen
Drakes Bay Oyster Company Agrees to Close On October 6, the Department of the Interior and the Drakes Bay Oyster Company announced a settlement agreement that will dismiss the oyster company’s failed litigation and assign clean-up costs for the mess caused by the company’s non-native oyster cultivation. The settlement agreement follows four consecutive Federal court decisions that upheld DOI’s November 12 decision to let Drakes Bay Oyster Company’s lease expire as long planned, thereby protecting the West Coast’s first marine wilderness at Drakes Estero within Point Reyes National Seashore.

The DOI and oyster company agrees that the settlement agreement “is fair, reasonable, and in the public interest.” Most recently, the Supreme Court of the United States denied hearing the oyster company’s case. As of October 6, 2014, the company has had 22 extra months to plant, harvest, and sell its non-native oysters rent-free, thus profiting far beyond its November 2012 lease expiration.

“The settlement agreement is a very generous deal for the oyster company that will have had 25 months to operate rent-free since its lease expired. We are glad that Drakes Estero, a magnificent ecological treasure, is finally on its way to be restored to its wild, natural rhythm, free of non-native and invasive species,” said Amy Trainer, Executive Director of the Environmental Action Committee of West Marin.

Read More | SavePointReyesWilderness.org

Previous Coverage: U.S. Supreme Court Denies Drakes Bay Oyster Company Petition For Review || Drakes Bay Oyster Company Seeks to Privatize Point Reyes National Seashore
Public Right to Access California Coastline Reaffirmed On September 24, the Surfrider Foundation, scored a huge victory in its protracted legal battle against billionaire and venture capitalist, Vinod Khosla, to restore beach access at Martin’s Beach in San Mateo County, California. In 2010, Khosla had locked gates that provided the only public access to the beach. In a decision made by San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Barbara J. Mallach, Khosla will be required to seek a permit from the California Coastal Commission for the gates, signage and other access-blocking development at Martin’s Beach and begin a public process to consider the changes to the property and beach access.

“Today’s court decision upholding the Coastal Act is an important victory for Martin’s Beach and ultimately strengthens the public's right to beach access in California,” says Angela Howe, Esq., Legal Director for the Surfrider Foundation. “The Surfrider Foundation remains vigilant to protect beach access rights, not only in this case, but also in other cases where the beach is wrongfully cut off from the public.”

Although Khosla is believed to have intentions to appeal the decision, Joe Cotchett of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, whose firm represents the victorious Surfrider Foundation says, “Today’s decision is a huge victory for all of the people of California. It affirms that great wealth cannot be used to circumvent and ignore the law. Everyone can again visit Martin’s Beach.”

On September 30, Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 968, a bill authored by Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), which outlines a timeline and process for the State Lands Commission to acquire public access to Martin's Beach.

pdfRead More | Surfrider Martin's Beach campaign
Fight to Protect Ancient Native Sites and Wetlands from Willits Bypass On September 23, Native American Tribal members, including direct descendants of the Pomo peoples who once populated the Little Lake Valley where Caltrans is currently building an oversized freeway, joined environmental groups in a protest on the north end of the Willits Bypass highway project. Protestors entered the construction zone north of town in the early morning hours, stopping the fast and furious flow of dirt-filled, double-belly dump trucks that have been working from dawn to dusk to cover the wetlands and archeological sites the activists seek to protect.

Elders and spiritual leaders from local Pomo Indian Bands and the American Indian Movement (AIM) lead the way to threatened cultural sites where prayers were offered for the ancestors. The AIM flag and drum were present near the construction area where Native American cultural artifacts have been discovered. The sites have been documented and fenced off by Caltrans, but are still slated to be destroyed by being permanently graded and buried under the Bypass as currently designed.

“I hear and feel our ancestors cry to save our villages from destruction. The white man’s history repeats itself. We pray that the Creator will hear our prayers”, said Priscilla Hunter, tribal representative for the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians. “Caltrans placated the interests of local ranchers by giving them permanent grazing rights on the mitigation lands and built the viaduct over the railroad track to preserve it, but yet they don’t listen to the Indians’ concerns for protection of our ancestors’ culture or to our call for downsizing the northern interchange to avoid a large village site.”

photoRead More

Previous Related Indybay Features: Destruction of Little Lake Valley Wetlands Finally Halted After Many Permit Violations | Earth Firster Occupies Wick Drain Stitcher to Save Little Lake Valley from Willits Bypass | Tree-Sitters Removed as Opposition to CalTrans Bypass Project Grows
Take Extinction Off Your Plate Newly proposed U.S. dietary guidelines should include meat and dairy reductions to create a sustainable food system in the United States that helps curb climate change, reduce environmental destruction and protect wildlife, according to the Center for Biological Diversity. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, currently in the process of reviewing scientific evidence and public comments for the 2015 Dietary Guidelines, is taking sustainability concerns into account for the first time.

If Americans followed the current dietary guidelines, it would result in a 12 percent increase in diet-related greenhouse gas emissions, largely due to increased dairy consumption, according to a new study by University of Michigan researchers published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology this month.

“Study after study points to livestock production as a key driver of climate change, habitat loss and other threats to wildlife and the planet,” said Stephanie Feldstein, director of the population and sustainability program at the Center. “We simply can’t achieve sustainable food systems through organic produce or eating local alone — addressing our oversized appetite for meat and dairy has to be part of the picture.”

pdfRead More | Take Extinction Off Your Plate campaign

Previous Related Indybay Features: Reducing Beef Intake by One Pound Saves More Water Than Not Showering for Six Months | IPCC Report Shows Appetite for Meat Is Harming Environment & Threat to a Livable Climate
Sun Sep 28 2014 (Updated 10/01/14) No More Sweetheart Water Deals for Billionaire Farmers
The Resnicks, the Koch Brothers of California Water Stewart Resnick, the Beverly Hills billionaire owner of Paramount Farms in Kern County, and his wife, Lynda, have been instrumental in promoting campaigns to eviscerate Endangered Species Act protections for Central Valley Chinook salmon and Delta smelt populations and to build the fish-killing peripheral tunnels.

Resnick and his wife, Lynda, own Roll International, a Los Angeles-based holding company that includes both global agricultural operations and well-known brands. The Resnicks' companies include Paramount Citrus, Paramount Farming, and Paramount Farms, the world’s largest growers, processors, and marketers of citrus, almonds, and pistachios.

The couple's holdings also include POM Wonderful, FIJI Water, Teleflora, Suterra, and JUSTIN Vineyard. Dubbed the "POM Queen," Lynda is behind the marketing success of POM Wonderful 100% pomegranate juice and Wonderful Pistachios.

One of the largest private water brokers in the U.S., Roll International makes millions of dollars in profits off marketing subsidized public water back to the public.

Read More | imc_calendar.gifOct. 2 Rally in Los Angeles: Meet the Resnicks

Previous Coverage: Tunnel Opponents Rally Against Brown Water Plan || Hundreds Oppose Governor Brown’s Massive Water Export Tunnels at State Capitol Rally || New California Water Grab for Fracking and Agribusiness
Plans for Monterey Bay Shores Resort Deemed Deficient On August 29, the California Coastal Commission sent a letter to the developer of the Monterey Bay Shores Resort, Ed Ghandour, informing him his response to the requirements of the conditional Coastal Development Permit (CDP) was deficient. The Coastal Commission tentatively approved the development in April, after years of opposition from environmental groups, including the Sierra Club and the Audubon Society. Monterey Bay Shores is planned to be built along a pristine stretch of coastal dunes in Sand City, and at risk is a population of Western Snowy Plovers, a federally threatened species who nest and raise their broods in the footprint of the proposed resort.

The Sierra Club writes: "Of primary importance to Sierra Club, the plans submitted do not adequately address specific provisions that enhance sensitive species habitats including Smith's blue butterfly and Western snowy plover habitats. Snowy plovers, a federally-threatened species have been nesting on the project site for many years and could be wiped out by the development. Ventana Chapter has been following this development proposal since 1998 and we have submitted extensive testimony intended to protect endangered species at this location."

Read More | Sierra Club - Ventana Chapter

Previous Coverage: Coastal Commission Approves Development of Monterey Shores "Eco-resort"
iCal feed From the Calendar:
7:30PM Wednesday Dec 24 Home, the Film
7:30PM Wednesday Dec 31 Your Inner Fish + Your Inner Reptile
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Bay Delta Conservation Plan's Terminal Flaws Remain Dan Bacher
Friday Dec 19th 12:23 PM
House Passes Salmon-Killing Drought Relief Bill Dan Bacher
Wednesday Dec 17th 9:58 AM
House 'Drought Relief' Bill Would Eviscerate Environmental Protections Dan Bacher (2 comments)
Friday Dec 5th 11:22 AM
California's Tricolored Blackbirds Get Emergency Protection Center for Biological Diversity
Wednesday Dec 3rd 5:21 PM
Monterey Bay Shores Resort Faces New Financial and Compliance Issues via Sierra Club, Ventana Chapter
Tuesday Dec 2nd 7:04 PM
Group says Bechtel-funded water storage study is 'half-baked' Dan Bacher (1 comment)
Tuesday Dec 2nd 8:13 AM
Why I won't step foot in a Walmart Dan Bacher (1 comment)
Saturday Nov 29th 12:24 PM
More Local News...
Nuclear Shutdown News, December 2014 Michael Steinberg
Wednesday Dec 17th 9:07 PM
New York Fracking Ban Increases Pressure on Obama to Protect Public Lands From Fracking Center for Biological Diversity
Wednesday Dec 17th 3:59 PM
Lawsuit Launched Against Offshore Fracking in California's Santa Barbara Channel Center for Biological Diversity
Thursday Dec 4th 12:16 PM
Thirty years on from Bhopal disaster: Still fighting for justice Amnesty International
Tuesday Dec 2nd 3:15 PM
Havasupai Tribe, Conservation Coalition Will Defend Grand Canyon From Uranium Industry Center for Biological Diversity
Saturday Nov 29th 2:48 PM
Diversifying The U.S. Energy Economy Under The EPA Proposed Power Plant Rule Tomas DiFiore (1 comment)
Friday Nov 28th 7:50 AM
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Reducing Waste in the Holiday Season Amanda Baxter
Monday Dec 8th 8:32 PM
Moving Forward From Plastic Bags Tanner Leonhardt
Monday Dec 8th 3:28 PM
Nuclear Shutdown News Michael Steinberg
Thursday Nov 13th 10:23 PM
Stop the TTIP! D Haufler, F Roetzer and S Wagenknecht (2 comments)
Wednesday Nov 12th 12:42 PM
Clean Air Now Charlie Peters
Sunday Nov 9th 12:55 PM
Philippines: One Year after Typhoon Haiyan Akbayan (Citizens Action Party)
Sunday Nov 9th 4:08 AM
Champ the Lake Champlain Monster Looks for a Celebrity to Promote Environmental Issues Champ the Lake Champlain Monster
Saturday Nov 8th 5:48 AM
Community Organizing Wins Significant Victories on Fracking and Other Key 
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Wednesday Nov 5th 1:29 PM
Open Newswire...