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Feature Archives

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.
Immediately following the Paris attacks of November 13, France announced the prohibition of mass marches in cities across the country. Large rallies scheduled for November 29 and December 12 in Paris during the UN climate conference have been forbidden due to this new ban. French rally mobilizers are asking why demonstrations are prohibited while sporting events and Christmas markets are being permitted. In Northern California, climate activists marched in Oakland and Santa Cruz during the weekend of November 21-22 in a lead-up to the Paris climate summit.
On October 27 the Santa Cruz City Council voted unanimously to support the creation of a permanent garden owned by the City, on the site of the current Beach Flats Community Garden. Community members have applauded this as a great start, but the Seaside Company, owner of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, has plans to take part of the garden for other uses unless the City intervenes by November 13.