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A bulldozer rumbled into the Beach Flats Community Garden early Thursday morning, March 24, tearing out mature fruit trees and nopales plants that city staff had earlier promised would not be touched, and damaging an already strained relationship between the City and community. Despite the loss of land, fruit trees, and nopales, the Beach Flats Gardeners are committed to making the best of the 2016 planting season.
On March 23, the family of Freddy Centeno filed a lawsuit against the Fresno Police department alleging that officers Zebulon Price and Felipe Miguel Lucero acted beyond the limits of their authority when they shot Freddy seven times on September 3, 2015. Freddy was unarmed, carrying a spray nozzle to a garden hose. The officers opened fire less than six seconds after they exited their cruiser. The shooting left Freddy in a coma for twenty-three days before he passed away.
Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ) has embarked on an historic 28-day tour of the West Coast to organize a major offensive on the world’s largest berry distributor, Driscoll’s Berries. The local independent farmworker union, based in Burlington, WA, is touring the coast at a crucial moment in their campaign for a union contract at Driscoll's supplier Sakuma Brothers Farms. Driscoll’s and Sakuma are feeling pressure from a growing amount of boycott activity. On Thursday, March 31, there was a major action at Driscoll’s headquarters in Watsonville.
The California Department of Pesticide Regulation released the results of annual pesticide use reporting – the only reporting like it in the country – offering a glimpse into what potentially hazardous pesticides are being used in the state. Despite fewer plantings and crop loss due to the drought across the state, hazardous pesticide use increased in some counties. From 2013 to 2014, in Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, such pesticide use increased 10.0% and 9.4%, respectively.
Wed Mar 23 2016 (Updated 04/21/16)
Chemicals Used in Acidization Threaten Water Supplies
Oil companies use dozens of extremely hazardous chemicals to acidize wells in California, raising water contamination and public-safety concerns, according to a new study in the Journal of Toxicological and Environmental Chemistry. The University of California-Los Angeles study, which has national significance because it seems to be the first ever to examine the toxicity of acidization chemicals, finds that almost 200 different chemicals have been used in the process.
Tue Mar 22 2016 (Updated 04/18/16)
Oakland Real Estate & Business Conference Shut Down
Before 8am on March 18, over a hundred housing activists caught the Oakland Chamber of Commerce off guard at their "Oakland is open for business" breakfast for real estate developers. Protesters were able to completely shut down the 2016 Economic Development Summit at the Kaiser Building on Lake Merritt before Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf could even give her opening remarks.
On March 15, the Oakland City Council approved moving forward with the latest iteration of luxury housing at the E12th Street parcel, public land that was created when the roads and bridges around the south end of Lake Merritt were recently reconfigured. Housing activists showed up at City Hall and successfully shut down the meeting, but the council then held their discussion and vote privately in Mayor Libby Schaaf's office. Critics vow to keep the fight alive for "public land for public good." A final vote on the proposed sale to UrbanCore will happen later this year.
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