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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.
Sat Sep 9 2017 (Updated 09/10/17)
Thousands Hit the Streets to Defend DACA
Trump’s decision to quickly phase out Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an executive order protecting young adults who were brought to the U.S. by undocumented immigrant parents as children, propelled thousands of protesters to the streets of San Francisco, San José, Santa Cruz and elsewhere in the Bay Area. The University of California sued the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in federal court to stop the Trump administration from rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and the California State College and Community College systems have vowed to continue supporting DACA recipients.
Fri Sep 8 2017 (Updated 09/09/17)
Marching and Standing Together at Pajaro Valley Pride
A bright and warm sun, upbeat jams, and an electric atmosphere set the tone for the 2nd Annual Pajaro Valley Pride on August 20. The day brought out a large crowd of about a hundred to the Plaza in Watsonville to stand in solidarity with and celebrate LGBTQ+ folks. The lively event featured a blessing ceremony and parade, as well as performances from drag queens, burlesque dancers, and musicians. Pajaro Valley Pride Vice President Emilio Barajas asserts, "Pride culture is an important part of our beautiful and diverse community." Barajas also affirms, "we will not be coerced back into the closet and living in fear."
Wed Sep 6 2017 (Updated 09/08/17)
An Appeal to Support MHCAN
Mental Health Clients Action Network (MHCAN) is the only peer-owned, peer-staffed and peer-operated provider of mental and behavioral health services and support in Santa Cruz County. The mission of MHCAN is to provide mutual support and networking, give clients a voice in all matters which affect them, create programs controlled by peers, advocate for the right of clients to choose their own life paths, educate the public from client perspectives, work to eradicate treatment disparities and confront discrimination.
Wed Aug 30 2017 (Updated 10/03/17)
Putting Racists Out of Business
Lynda Carson wrote a piece shining light on David Duke's political donors in Northern California, publishing a second report on supporters in Minnesota, Massachusetts, Maryland, and beyond. One of those named was Roger F. Grigsby, owner and founding chef of O'mei restaurant in Santa Cruz. Within a week of the Indybay article, the restaurant shut its doors. Grigsby has responded by claiming he is a victim of a "war on whites." In Minneapolis, Clubhouse Jäger owner Julius De Roma was also called out. Employees have quit, a DJ pulled out, and the Huge Improv Theater, a tenant of De Roma's, issued a statement: "we would like to formally tell Nazis and the KKK that they can fuck straight off." Clubhouse Jägerwas closed for business as of September 1 after the entire staff quit.
Some have suggested that the best way to fight back against all the hate being spread around by the Trump regime, the KKK, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists, is by exposing the supporters of hate and violence, in the good old U.S.A. One place to start exposing the supporters of hate, would be to expose some of the local supporters of David Duke who reside in the Bay Area. David Duke ran for the U.S. Senate during 2016, from Mandeville, Louisiana, and lost. However, Duke had a number of campaign contributors in local cities including Walnut Creek, Martinez, Hayward, Santa Rosa, San Francisco, and Santa Cruz.