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Feature Archives

Oakland police sergeant James "Mike" Gantt has come forward with allegations of the Oakland police department and city leaders retaliating against him for his investigation as to whether fellow officer Brendan O'Brien murdered his wife, Irma Huerta-Lopez, on June 16, 2014. With a long record as a homicide inspector for OPD, Gantt unequivocally states that he believes O'Brien did indeed murder his wife and OPD covered it up, retaliating against him for attempting to do an honest examination of the evidence.
Sun Oct 30 2016 (Updated 11/05/16)
D is for Dilemma in Santa Cruz County
Big money is being spent to influence the outcome of Measure D on the November Santa Cruz County ballot. Unlike political offices, campaigns for ballot measures have no limit to the amount of money that can be contributed. There is no restriction on the source of contributions, so special interests from outside the County can buy influence in our local ballot measures. This week, The No on D group, Widening Won't Work, has organized two public demonstrations in front of two of the major corporate donors to Measure D, Granite Rock Construction Company and Palo Alto Medical Foundation.
Santa Cruz Progressives write: The official list of campaign donors confirms what has been no secret in this year's Santa Cruz City Council election: it's a battle between four big money conservative candidates and four grass roots progressives. All four of the conservative candidates have each raised about twice the amount of money the progressives have and they are funded by wealthy contributors. Progressive candidates Chris Krohn, Drew Glover, Steve Schnaar and Sandy Brown, also known as the "Brand New Council" slate, show moderately funded campaigns.
Many long-time Bay Area residents have been displaced over the last several years. The median rent in Oakland is now $3,000 a month and heartless landlords are taking extreme measures to boost their profit at the expense of tenants. In one recent case, an East Palo Alto property owner and his son were arrested for a plot to push tenants out of rent-controlled units by destroying their property. Tenant advocates across the Bay Area urge voters to support the strong renter protections in Richmond, Oakland, Alameda, Burlingame, San Mateo, and Mountain View.
The Take Back Oakland Coalition is now gathering signatures to recall Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. On September 18, recall organizers handed out the first recall petitions all afternoon in front of Oakland City Hall. Primary among the objections to Schaaf are her inaction in the face of massive displacement of long-time residents, the deference she continues to show to the corrupt and murderous Oakland police department, and her failure to support local youth and job centers.
While previous attempts to reign in police seizures have failed in the California legislature, state lawmakers approved Senate Bill 443 in August with bipartisan support. On September 29, the bill limiting civil asset forfeiture abuse in California was signed into law, marking a victory for the larger asset forfeiture reform movement underway throughout the country. The new law goes into effect January 1, 2017, requiring a conviction in most cases before state and local law enforcement agencies may permanently keep people’s property.
Thu Sep 22 2016 (Updated 09/24/16)
Getting a Good Night's Sleep at Santa Cruz City Hall
Presently the only location in downtown Santa Cruz where people on the street are able to sleep regularly as a group is at the weekly community sleepouts organized by the Freedom Sleepers. Homeless sweeps conducted by the Santa Cruz Police Department beginning in January of this year have for the most part cleared the downtown area of groups of people sleeping together in other locations, such as at the post office. Since July of 2015, the Freedom Sleepers have gathered to sleep at city hall one night a week to protest local laws that criminalize homelessness. September 20 marked the group's 63rd sleepout.