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Feature Archives

On February 18, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the reclassification of the Santa Cruz cypress from “endangered” to “threatened” status under the Endangered Species Act. The tree was protected in 1987 due to threats to its habitat, but now the habitat for all five populations is secure.
Sun Feb 14 2016 (Updated 02/16/16)
Three Arrested Defending Gill Tract from Development
On February 9, farm defenders halted construction on the Gill Tract farm in Albany once again. Five farm defenders sat in silent meditation in the path of heavy machinery that was removing topsoil. Contractors attempted to operate the heavy machinery around them despite the risks to the safety of those on site. Three were arrested and two were taken to jail. The two were released later in the day.
Norman “Wounded Knee” DeOcampo (Miwok), a long-time resident of Vallejo, will be taking part in the Longest Walk 5 beginning February 13 at La Jolla Shores in San Diego, California. Wounded Knee is the Founding Executive Director of the Vallejo based organization Sacred Sites Protection and Rights of Indigenous Tribes. (SSPRIT). He is the only person who will have participated in all five Longest Walks.
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.