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Feature Archives

Thu Feb 11 2016 (Updated 02/20/16)
Hundreds March for Beach Flats Community Garden
On February 9, hundreds of people marched through downtown Santa Cruz from the Beach Flats Community Garden to the City Council meeting. Gardeners, along with a large coalition of supporters, are seeking a creative solution to preserve twenty five years of cultivating food and culture in the heart of the Beach Flats.
Wed Feb 3 2016 (Updated 04/16/16)
Plastic Fence Divides Beach Flats Community Garden
At about 10 am on February 3, a gardener and supporter of the Beach Flats Community Garden relayed the following information via text message, "City is clearing out gardeners stuff right now." By noon, a fence was up and the city's crew was gone. On the previous day, supporters of the garden announced the launch of a grassroots fundraising campaign to assist the City of Santa Cruz in purchasing the current garden from the Seaside Company, but the city is threatening legal action.
Monterey County has a total of 44 active or idle wastewater injection wells. There are 261 water supplying wells within 1 mile of these wastewater injection wells, likely wells for nearby ranches, farms and rural residences. Most of these wastewater injection wells are in San Ardo oil fields. The organization Protect Monterey County is organizing county-wide working sessions to get a fracking ban initiative on the ballot for November 2016.
On January 11, construction work began on the southern portion of the Gill Tract. The UC is privatizing this section for a high-end senior assisted living facility, a Sprouts supermarket, and a parking lot. The next day after working hours, about fifteen individuals entered the Gill Tract to remove surveying stakes marking the paths for the heavy machinery brought to pave over land. On January 28, farm defenders chained themselves to an excavator that was removing valuable topsoil, halting a day of construction.
Three groups — Save Porter Ranch, the Sierra Club and Food & Water Watch — on Saturday, January 23 released a joint statement accusing the South Coast Air Quality Management District Hearing Board (AQMD) of making a decision regarding the SoCalGas Leak that “fails to adequately protect residents” of Porter Ranch and other surrounding communities.
On January 5, two environmental groups filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over its failure to protect the monarch butterfly under the Endangered Species Act. The Center for Biological Diversity and Center for Food Safety first petitioned for the monarch’s protection in August 2014, following a more than 80 percent decline in the butterfly’s population over the past two decades.
Tue Dec 15 2015 (Updated 12/16/15)
Widening Highway One Still Won’t Work
Despite objections from environmental groups such as The Campaign for Sensible Transportation, there is a new push to widen Highway One in Santa Cruz County. The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (RTC), in cooperation with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), has prepared a draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Assessment for the new highway widening proposals.