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Feature Archives

A bulldozer rumbled into the Beach Flats Community Garden early Thursday morning, March 24, tearing out mature fruit trees and nopales plants that city staff had earlier promised would not be touched, and damaging an already strained relationship between the City and community. Despite the loss of land, fruit trees, and nopales, the Beach Flats Gardeners are committed to making the best of the 2016 planting season.
Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ) has embarked on an historic 28-day tour of the West Coast to organize a major offensive on the world’s largest berry distributor, Driscoll’s Berries. The local independent farmworker union, based in Burlington, WA, is touring the coast at a crucial moment in their campaign for a union contract at Driscoll's supplier Sakuma Brothers Farms. Driscoll’s and Sakuma are feeling pressure from a growing amount of boycott activity. On Thursday, March 31, there was a major action at Driscoll’s headquarters in Watsonville.
The California Department of Pesticide Regulation released the results of annual pesticide use reporting – the only reporting like it in the country – offering a glimpse into what potentially hazardous pesticides are being used in the state. Despite fewer plantings and crop loss due to the drought across the state, hazardous pesticide use increased in some counties. From 2013 to 2014, in Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, such pesticide use increased 10.0% and 9.4%, respectively.
Louis LaFortune passed away unexpectedly on the morning of March 13 at his family home in Live Oak. Media reports indicate he died in his home after suffering heart trouble. His family states that he passed quickly without pain or discomfort. Louis’s untimely passing, at the young age of 64, was a sad shock for his family and wide circle of friends.
Wed Mar 23 2016 (Updated 04/21/16)
Chemicals Used in Acidization Threaten Water Supplies
Oil companies use dozens of extremely hazardous chemicals to acidize wells in California, raising water contamination and public-safety concerns, according to a new study in the Journal of Toxicological and Environmental Chemistry. The University of California-Los Angeles study, which has national significance because it seems to be the first ever to examine the toxicity of acidization chemicals, finds that almost 200 different chemicals have been used in the process.
On March 8, the Santa Cruz city council voted 5-2 to oppose an amendment to municipal code 6.36.010, also known as the camping ban. The proposed amendment would have removed references to sleeping and covering up with a blanket from the text of the law, as well as removing references to sleeping in cars. Effectively, these changes would have made it legal for people sleeping outdoors to do so without fear of citation by police.
On February 23, Protect Monterey County gathered at the steps of the old court house in Salinas to announce the delivery of their notice of intent to circulate the petition: "Protect Our Water: Ban Fracking and Limit Risky Oil Operations Initiative." The group is now seeking signature gathering help to put the anti-fracking Initiative on the ballot in Monterey County for November 2016.