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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.
The California Superior Court has ruled that Monterey County’s contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services program to kill predators and other native wildlife violates state law. The decision responds to a lawsuit filed by animal protection and conservation organizations. The court concluded that Monterey County violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) by failing to analyze the environmental impacts before renewing the controversial program, which has shot, trapped and snared thousands of animals in the county in recent years.
Chlorpyrifos, a neurotoxic pesticide linked to IQ loss and autism, has been found in the air in Kern County in amounts far in excess of the level of concern established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for pregnant women, according to 2016 air monitoring data released on August 17 by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. California officials are now weighing a statewide ban based on the assessment by EPA scientists. A ban can’t come soon enough for residents of California’s farming communities, who worry about the effect of chronic exposure on the wellbeing of their children.
On August 9, news spread quickly that Santa Cruz's oldest, best known, and most loved coffeehouse will shut their doors forever on August 26, 2017. Caffé Pergolesi, an institution of downtown Santa Cruz, holds a very special place in the hearts of so many people. Besides offering coffee, tea, beer, wine, cider, and snacks, the cafe is an important space for friends and groups to meet. Its walls serve as a gallery for local artists, and The Perg, as it's known, is a one of a kind venue, particularly for punk and hardcore musicians. The funky alternative counterculture community known as Santa Cruz, loved by so many people near and far, continues getting its capitalist corporate makeover from the university, technology, and tourism industries.