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Wed Dec 19 2018 (Updated 12/30/18)
Kaiser Mental Health Care Workers' One Week Strike
Headquartered in Oakland, Kaiser Permanente is the state’s largest health care provider. For five days, over 100 Kaiser clinics and hospitals were affected by strike activities as mental health care employees called for the provider to step up levels of staffing. Approximately 4,000 psychologists, therapists, social workers, psychiatric nurses and addiction medicine specialists went on strike at Kaiser facilities throughout California.
Sun Nov 18 2018 (Updated 11/19/18)
Dead Man Pulled from Culvert in Santa Cruz
Robert Norse writes: "On Saturday morning, I saw several police officers and a deputy examine what appeared to be a dead body behind a yellow "crime scene" tape at the edge of a culvert adjoining Highway 17 near the Plymouth/Highway 17 stoplight. I notice there was no mention of this in the Sentinel. It's quite possible the man died from hypothermia. The closure of the River St. campground as well as all the parks aggravates the situation for those outside."
Wed Nov 14 2018 (Updated 12/01/18)
Fire Season of 2018 Brings Historic Devastation
California anxiously awaited the first winter rains, seeking reprieve from the notoriously destructive "fire season" of 2018. In the Northern California Camp Fire, 88 people are reported dead and hundreds remain missing. The fire destroyed virtually the entire town of Paradise. Firefighter radio transmissions suggest that PG&E could be to blame. In Southern California, the massive Woolsey Fire started on the grounds of Santa Susana Field Laboratory, the site of a partial nuclear meltdown, and area residents are concerned about contaminates. With heavy rains finally beginning on November 21, the wildfires are now either mostly contained or fully extinguished, and the hazardous air quality the fires created throughout the state has been cleared.
Sun Nov 4 2018 (Updated 11/08/18)
The Rent Is Too Damn High
UPDATE 11/8: While millions of ballots remain uncounted in California, it appears Prop 10 was defeated.

Grassroots activists have been campaigning hard for the Affordable Housing Act, a ballot initiative to repeal California’s Costa Hawkins state law and return control of rental housing law to local jurisdictions. Several localities have promised to act rapidly should Proposition 10 pass. But real estate interests have spent over $70 million to defeat Prop 10. Should it not pass on November 6, housing rights activists remain committed to pushing for rent control and other tenant protections locally and statewide in the future. Nationwide, a new movement has been inspired by California's efforts.
On October 19, the United Nations Special Rapporteur to the Right to Adequate Housing, Lelani Farha, released her new report documenting the “global scandal” of homeless encampments. In January of 2017, Farha spent time in the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California to meet with unhoused residents and housed advocates and described the conditions as "cruel and inhuman." The only U.S. cities explicitly called out for violations in the UN’s report on global homelessness are San Francisco and Oakland.
Sun Oct 28 2018 (Updated 11/15/18)
Campground Crisis as Winter Approaches
The River Street campground in Santa Cruz is slated for dispersal at the end of November, breaking promises from city staff that it would last through the winter until April. The only option the city is offering in its place is a small night-time only shelter. Massive new fences were raised around San Lorenzo Park, Grant Street Park, and the downtown post office. In anticipation of the River Street campground closure, homeless activists are organizing to establish a community survival campground on Thursday, November 15.
The opposition to Measure M has now raised over three quarters of a million dollars, which is being used to spread fear and misinformation about rent control. While most of this money comes from out of the area, real estate interests like the National Association of Realtors and the California Apartment Association, local landlords in Santa Cruz are also part of the problem. In response, community members in support of tenants rights continue to demonstrate at the properties of slumlords, including a rally on October 11 at a building owned by Harry Dong.