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Mon Jan 22 2018 (Updated 04/17/18)
California Mobilizes to Oppose Offshore Oil Drilling
On January 4, the Trump administration released a draft five-year plan that would open federal waters in the Pacific Ocean to new oil leasing for the first time in more than thirty years. The plan proposes new offshore drilling in almost all federal waters, including the currently protected Arctic and Atlantic oceans and eastern Gulf of Mexico. Resistance to Trump's plan spread throughout California quickly. Supervisors in San Franciscio and Marin County passed resolutions opposing offshore oil drilling. North coast environmental groups vowed to do everything in their power to fight it. In Santa Cruz and Laguna Beach, environmental groups have planned protest rallies on February 3
Sun Jan 21 2018 (Updated 01/22/18)
'Soledad Brother' John Clutchette Granted Parole
On January 12, 2018, the California Board of Parole Hearings granted parole to an elderly inmate named John Clutchette. However, supporters of parole for Clutchette are concerned that California Governor Jerry Brown will reverse the Board's decision, and Clutchette will not be released. Supporters have a reason to be concerned. After all, this is exactly what happened in 2016 when Clutchette was similarly granted parole by the Board but Governor Brown chose to reverse the Board's ruling. In an Angola 3 News interview, legal scholar Angela A. Allen-Bell contextualizes Brown's reference to the Soledad Brothers, and identifies other troubling aspects of the case.
Protect Monterey County and its attorneys will appeal the Monterey County Superior Court decision that overturns portions of Measure Z. Last year Monterey County voters passed Measure Z, an initiative that bans hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), prohibits new oil wells and phases out oil-industry wastewater injection wells. The court’s decision leaves the fracking ban in place, holding that oil-industry plaintiffs lack standing to challenge it. However, the decision strikes down the ban on new oil and gas wells and wastewater injection.
Thu Jan 4 2018 (Updated 01/18/18)
SCPD and Santa Cruz NAACP to Cosponsor MLK March
In honor of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, the Santa Cruz branch of the NAACP and the Santa Cruz Police Department are co-sponsoring an event titled "March for the Dream: Honoring the Past - Impacting the Future" on January 15. In an open letter to police chief Andy Mills, former city council candidate Steve Schnaar questions if SCPD's dream for a better society is really in line with the dream of King.
On November 1, SubRosa turned nine years old. SubRosa is an anarchist community space run by a collective of committed volunteers from the Santa Cruz area, freely giving of their energy and time. Located on the south end of Pacific Avenue, it is one of few places in Santa Cruz that is not focused on commerce. SubRosa has books and zines you can't find anywhere else, as well as the Anarchist Lending Library. Meetings, film screenings, music shows, art exhibitions, privacy workshops, and the increasingly popular Really Really Free Market all take place at SubRosa.
After being booted from downtown Santa Cruz and directed across the river to San Lorenzo Park, homeless people are being told to move again. The Hooverville-type camp on the benchlands in San Lorenzo Park now faces eviction. A posted notice announces that park will be closed for "maintenance" on Thursday, November 9. Homeless people began occupying the benchlands after the Santa Cruz police vowed to "clean-up the downtown area". Now City of Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation says it is time for folks to move along. The notice states, "All of San Lorenzo Park will be closed for maintenance on: Thursday 11/9/2017. Please vacate these grounds by the end of the day Wednesday 11/8/2017."
Late in the evening on October 8, the Diablo Winds blew into Santa Rosa, resulting in five fires. The rapidly spreading fires caused dozens of deaths and burned thousands of homes and other structures to the ground. Beyond those directly effected, the Santa Rosa firestorm, and other fires in the North Bay have polluted the air across the entire region. The elderly and children are at greatest health risk from the smoke of the wildfires in Sonoma, Napa, Yuba and Mendocino Counties. On October 16 a new wildfire started in unincorporated Santa Cruz County, spurring evacuations. Concerns remain about the origin of the fires; one theory being that high winds caused power lines to collapse, raising questions about PG&E's culpability.