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Santa Cruz is a Sanctuary City. Following the DHS/ICE raids in Santa Cruz on February 13, SCPD Chief Kevin Vogel claimed the department cooperated with DHS only because they thought the raids were to target violent gang members, and that DHS lied about their intention to detain non-criminal undocumented individuals. During deliberations to strengthen the status of Santa Cruz as a Sanctuary City at the February 28 Santa Cruz City Council meeting, however, members of the public pressured Vogel to admit that an ICE/DHS agent has not only been working closely with, but even given office space by the Santa Cruz Police Department since 2009, and was involved in the recent raids in some capacity.
What sounded like a garbage truck at first in the dark hours of the morning turned out to be a nightmare for many families in the Beach Flats, Lower Ocean, and Live Oak neighborhoods of Santa Cruz on Monday morning, February 13. Beach Flats residents report hearing helicopters overhead and flash grenades cast into several homes while an unidentified voice (no indication of jurisdiction) on a loudspeaker demanded that "[street address] come out with hands on head" blared. This caused confusion because [street address] is the address to the entire apartments complex.
Wed Feb 15 2017 (Updated 03/21/17)
Monarch Butterfly Population Drops by Nearly One Third
The annual overwintering count of monarch butterflies released on February 9 confirms Monarch numbers fell by nearly one-third from last year’s count, indicating an ongoing risk of extinction for America’s most well-known butterfly. Scientists report that this year’s population is down by 27 percent from last year’s count, and down by more than 80 percent from the mid-1990s. A survey of monarch butterflies overwintering in California shows that the Western population has not rebounded. On the West Coast of California, key sites such as Pismo Beach and Natural Bridges saw lower populations this year than in the prior year.
The Trump administration this week granted requests from Gov. Jerry Brown's regulators to exempt three aquifers in California's Kern County from the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. Approval of these "aquifer exemption" applications by the Environmental Protection Agency gives oil companies permission to dump contaminated waste fluid into these underground water supplies. California officials plan to submit dozens of additional exemption applications for other aquifers across the state, including underground water sources in Alameda, Monterey, Ventura, Kern and other counties.
Water from Lake Oroville flowed over the emergency spillway at Oroville Dam for the first time in the reservoir's 48-year history after the water level exceeded 901 feet in elevation on February 11. The water slowly began to flow over the concrete weir of the auxiliary spillway, down a hillside and into the Feather River. After saying the situation was stable and public safety was not threatened, state officials reversed course and issued evacuation orders late in the afternoon of February 12. On February 13, state officials would give no timeline on when the 188,000 evacuees can return to their homes.
A diverse array of Sacramento community groups participated in ChangeFest, a climate mobilization rally at the state capitol on January 21 as part of a week of anti-Trump street protests in Sacramento centered around the Presidential Inauguration. Speakers and musicians covered issues ranging from violence against women, to the Driscoll’s boycott in support of indigenous farmworkers in Mexico, to successful campaigns to ban fracking in San Benito and Monterey Counties, to the No DAPL struggle at Standing Rock. ChangeFest took place concurrently with the 20,000-strong Women's March in the Capitol.
On January 21, one day after Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States, women and allies in cities across the U.S. and countries throughout the world marched in protest in record numbers. In Washington, D.C., where the original Women's March was called, around 500,000 attended, far more than had come for the Trump inauguration itself. In Los Angeles, some estimates set the number present at nearly 750,000. Some of the largest marches in Northern California were in Oakland, San José, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Santa Cruz.
California:   4