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Dan Rush, a former union organizer for United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5, was recently named in a federal arrest warrant that alleges he engaged in bad-faith negotiations with cannabis dispensary owners while acting in his capacity as a union official. Rush is also accused of holding a private financial interest in a medical cannabis company seeking a dispensary permit in Oakland in 2010.
A Texas-based oil company submitted a proposal to the U.S. Forest Service to hydraulically fracture eight new oil and gas wells and lay 8,000 feet of new pipeline in and around the pristine Sespe Wilderness in Southern California. In August, at the California Democratic Party’s Executive Board Meeting, state party officials voted to adopt a resolution urging state and federal lawmakers to curb oil extraction on public lands.
Despite a record drought in California, agribusiness tycoons Stewart and Lynda Resnick are pushing a controversial tunnel plan to benefit their almond and cash crop empire. The plan, called the "California Water Fix" and formerly known as the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, would imperil northern California fish populations. The average California household could be charged as much as $5000 to pay for the project, according to Food and Water Watch. On August 19, protesters took their complaints to the street, demonstrating in front of the Resnick's agribusiness headquarters in Los Angeles.
Mon Aug 17 2015 (Updated 08/18/15)
As the Drought Rages On, So Do the Fires
Wildfires are a natural and regular occurrence during the dry season in California. After four years of drought, the situation this year is especially dire with huge numbers of large fires breaking out all over the state. The Rocky Fire was only contained within the last several days after burning for more than a month, consuming 70,000 acres in total. D. Boyer shared a thorough report from the scene of the Rocky Fire.
The year 2013 was a busy one for animal liberation actions across the U.S., primarily at businesses that breed and/or sell fur. Tyler Lang and Kevin Johnson of Los Angeles recently pled guilty and currently await sentencing for a related charge of violating the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA). On July 24, the FBI arrested two more animal rights activists. Joseph Buddenburg and Nicole Kissane of Oakland were charged under AETA for 2013 actions. At a court hearing on July 28, Judge Ryu released Nicole from electronic monitoring but ordered that Joseph remain on home lockdown with continued monitoring.
The United States Social Forum 2015 was held June 24-28 in San José. A thousand activists from hundreds of organizations worked on strategies for necessary alternatives and system change. Food Sovereignty, Living on the Edge of Silicon Valley, Taking our Health Back, Crisis of the California Water Commons, No More Deaths: Resisting Border Militarization, Cooperative Economics, and Movements Making Media were just some of the more than a hundred topics discussed.
Conservation groups have reached an agreement with First Solar, Inc. to provide additional conservation protections to wild lands and wildlife as part of construction of the California Flats Solar Project, a proposed 280-megawatt solar energy project in Monterey and San Luis Obispo counties. It will affect 2,720 acres of important habitat for a number of rare and sensitive plants and animals. The project site is currently part of the 72,000-acre “Jack Ranch,” which is owned by the Hearst Corporation and currently operated as a cattle ranch.
California:   3