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Feature Archives

On February 18, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the reclassification of the Santa Cruz cypress from “endangered” to “threatened” status under the Endangered Species Act. The tree was protected in 1987 due to threats to its habitat, but now the habitat for all five populations is secure.
Fri Feb 19 2016 (Updated 03/11/16)
Santa Cruz Police Target Homeless Sleepers Downtown
This month the downtown post office in Santa Cruz was cleared by police of what had been a large and regular presence of sleepers at night. The post office had been used as shelter for 6-12 people a night for some time. A homeless man who was sleeping outside of Bookshop Santa Cruz and cited with two other sleepers for trespassing this month said he thought the police were ticketing at increased rate recently to get homeless people to move along before the next rains arrived.
Thu Feb 11 2016 (Updated 02/20/16)
Hundreds March for Beach Flats Community Garden
On February 9, hundreds of people marched through downtown Santa Cruz from the Beach Flats Community Garden to the City Council meeting. Gardeners, along with a large coalition of supporters, are seeking a creative solution to preserve twenty five years of cultivating food and culture in the heart of the Beach Flats.
Freedom Sleepers writes: Beginning last July 4th, advocates for people experiencing homelessness have been working to directly address the criminalization of homelessness and for the repeal of the city’s camping/sleeping ban. Activists have been consistent in their position that ordinances prohibiting and criminalizing lying, sitting, and sleeping in public are unconstitutional and such laws pose a grave danger of being selectively enforced against an entire class of people. In August, this position found unexpected support from the Obama Administration.
The Santa Cruz Police Department released photos of the BearCat armored attack vehicle they purchased in 2015 despite large protests by the public against its purchase. The attack truck, manufactured by Lenco, cost $251,000 and was bought with grants from the Department of Homeland Security.
Wed Feb 3 2016 (Updated 04/16/16)
Plastic Fence Divides Beach Flats Community Garden
At about 10 am on February 3, a gardener and supporter of the Beach Flats Community Garden relayed the following information via text message, "City is clearing out gardeners stuff right now." By noon, a fence was up and the city's crew was gone. On the previous day, supporters of the garden announced the launch of a grassroots fundraising campaign to assist the City of Santa Cruz in purchasing the current garden from the Seaside Company, but the city is threatening legal action.
A small but dedicated group of "Freedom Sleepers" are facing all the conditions winter has to offer them as they continue to sleep outside of Santa Cruz City Hall on Tuesday nights to protest laws that criminalize homelessness and the simple act of sleeping in public.