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Feature Archives

Sun Nov 1 2015 (Updated 11/02/15)
California Moves to Keep Whales Out of Crab Gear
A state-convened working group is recommending a series of initial steps toward reducing whale entanglements in crab gear in California, including more monitoring and retrieval of lost fishing gear. The Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group was convened in September after the Center for Biological Diversity and other groups found that whale entanglements in 2014 and 2015 had reached historic highs.
Governor Jerry Brown this October signed two bills that will require more frequent oil pipeline inspections and improve oil spill response, but the questionable "marine protected areas" created under the privately-funded Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative still fail to protect the ocean from pollution, fracking, oil drilling, military testing, corporate aquaculture and all human impacts other than sustainable fishing and Tribal gathering.
Students, union members and the Raging Grannies all questioned the role of the hi-tech industry in the climate movement at a rally held next door to Google headquarters on October 14. The Raging Grannies specifically called out firms Google and Facebook since both companies joined with climate change deniers when they became members of the climate denying lobbying group ALEC.
On October 11, a group of indigenous people held a sacred ceremony and observance on the historic Gill Tract Farm to honor the land and the ancestors who lived on the land for over 10,000 years. The gathering was convened by the Indigenous Land Access Committee (ILAC) — a group of Ohlone and other native people who envision reclaiming land stolen from them, and restoring spiritual and cultural lifeways in solidarity with indigenous people on every continent harmed by colonization.
As advocates of Senate Bill 350 were celebrating the signing of the amended renewable energy bill by Governor Jerry Brown, a major appointment to a regulatory post in the Brown administration went largely unnoticed. In a classic example of how Big Oil has captured the regulatory apparatus in California, Governor Jerry Brown announced the appointment of Bill Bartling who has worked as an oil industry executive and consultant, as district deputy in the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources at the embattled California Department of Conservation.
As Jerry Brown continues to support the expansion of environmentally destructive fracking in California, the Governor on October 7 signed renewable energy legislation, SB 350, by Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León. The bill was amended under heavy political pressure by the Western States Petroleum Association, the most powerful corporate lobbying group in Sacramento. Before being amended, Senate Bill 350 called for a 50 percent reduction in petroleum use in cars and trucks by 2030.
Small cascades of pristine water rush out of the hillside at Big Springs, the headwaters of the Sacramento River, as they converge in a shallow pool located in the Mount Shasta City Park. On September 26, Caleen Sisk, Chief and Spiritual Leader of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, and hundreds of environmentalists and activists from all over California and Oregon held a rally, the “Water Every Drop Sacred” event, in the scenic park. After the rally ended, Sisk and tribal members led a march and protest of 160 people to the water bottling plant.