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Fri Nov 3 2017 (Updated 11/04/17)
Day of the Dead Action Demands Ban on Chlorpyrifos
Spicing up their press conference with a Day of the Dead theme, health advocates from Fresno, Tulare, and Kern Counties rallied outside the central regional office of the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) on November 1 in Clovis. Their action was part of a continuing campaign to get DPR to urge the state to suspend agricultural use of brain-harming chlorpyrifos. Last May, the deadly pesticide was implicated in a drift incident that sickened dozens of farmworkers near Bakersfield; health advocates say that more than twenty years of research links the pesticide to neurological disorders in children.
Oakland will spend $75,000 on a study to examine the feasibility of establishing a public bank in the city. The impact on the cannabis industry would be huge, because most corporate banks do not conduct business with the cannabis trade even where their operations are legal. Without bank credit card services, business transactions must be conducted in cash. Even filing taxes with the IRS is problematic. Nearly all large corporate banks are involved in unethical practices of one kind or another. A public bank would also allow people of conscience to bank without supporting unconscionable investments.
Late in the evening on October 8, the Diablo Winds blew into Santa Rosa, resulting in five fires. The rapidly spreading fires caused dozens of deaths and burned thousands of homes and other structures to the ground. Beyond those directly effected, the Santa Rosa firestorm, and other fires in the North Bay have polluted the air across the entire region. The elderly and children are at greatest health risk from the smoke of the wildfires in Sonoma, Napa, Yuba and Mendocino Counties. On October 16 a new wildfire started in unincorporated Santa Cruz County, spurring evacuations. Concerns remain about the origin of the fires; one theory being that high winds caused power lines to collapse, raising questions about PG&E's culpability.
Sat Sep 30 2017 (Updated 10/03/17)
Water Protectors Resist Oil Pipeline Construction
The State of Wisconsin has violated the treaty rights of the Anishinaabe by allowing the Enbridge corporation to destroy wetlands, animal habitat, and their sacred rice lakes for a pipeline that the Minnesota Department of Commerce has deemed unnecessary and hazardous. In Cloquet, Minnesota, a growing front line camp of water protectors has become a base for launching nonviolent direct actions intended to shutdown construction on Enbridge's Line 3 pipeline. Every hour protesters stop work costs Enbridge thousands of dollars. This tactic of non-violent direct action is a last resort because the courts and regulatory processes have failed the people and mother earth.
The California Superior Court has ruled that Monterey County’s contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services program to kill predators and other native wildlife violates state law. The decision responds to a lawsuit filed by animal protection and conservation organizations. The court concluded that Monterey County violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) by failing to analyze the environmental impacts before renewing the controversial program, which has shot, trapped and snared thousands of animals in the county in recent years.
Chlorpyrifos, a neurotoxic pesticide linked to IQ loss and autism, has been found in the air in Kern County in amounts far in excess of the level of concern established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for pregnant women, according to 2016 air monitoring data released on August 17 by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. California officials are now weighing a statewide ban based on the assessment by EPA scientists. A ban can’t come soon enough for residents of California’s farming communities, who worry about the effect of chronic exposure on the wellbeing of their children.
Fri Jun 30 2017 (Updated 07/01/17)
Agreement Reached to Close Cemex Sand Mine in Marina
On July 13, the California Coastal Commission will consider an agreement that would close the Cemex Lapis Sand Mine in Marina. The mine has been linked to severe coastal erosion in southern Monterey Bay, which is losing more coastline than anywhere else in the state. Cemex mines about 300,000 tons of sand each year from a self-made pond right on the beach in Marina. This is essentially like carrying away one 14-yard dump truck full of sand from the beach every 40 minutes, around the clock. And this has been going on at the plant for decades — although at lower quantities when operations began — without a requisite Coastal Development Permit.