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Environment & Forest Defense News

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On April 26 the Santa Cruz City Council gave their six-month report on the progress of the City’s efforts to acquire the property containing the Beach Flats Community Garden. At the meeting, the City Council agreed to a three year lease for the garden. However Josh Brahinsky of the Beach Flats Garden Coalition points out, "The lease only covers 60% of the previous garden, and has a 60 day escape clause for Seaside Company, and thus does not provide long-term security for the garden."
Tue May 3 2016 (Updated 05/04/16)
Driscoll’s Runs Away At Watsonville Earth Day
As the top sponsor of Watsonville's 14th Annual Earth Day / Day of the Child Festival, the philanthropy specialists at Driscoll’s were hopeful that April 24, 2016 would be a great day at Ramsay Park for promoting their brand. When a few people started speaking about the international boycott of Driscoll's and handing out flyers, the Driscoll's representatives quickly dismantled their event booth and got rid of their strawberries as fast as they could.
Fri Apr 29 2016 (Updated 04/30/16)
New Fees to Be Charged to Subsidize Delta Tunnels
Attendees at the April 14 public meeting of the Santa Clara County Water Commission's Board of Directors in Gilroy were surprised to learn that a new fee will soon be added to their groundwater bills to support the Cal WaterFix, also known as the Delta Tunnels. Several users of small private residential water systems complained bitterly about the cost of the current groundwater charges on top of the cost of pumping and maintenance of their own wells.
On Monday, April 11, 2016, around 800 State of Mexico riot police at the service of Grupo Higa laid siege to the Otomí community of San Francisco Xochicuautla, destroyed the camp set up in defense of the forest, used heavy machinery to illegally tear down the house of Dr. Armando García Salazar, and violently dragged out at least 25 men, women and children who were inside the house, including 64-year-old Isabel Hernández, a member of the Supreme Indigenous Council of Xochicuautla.
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.
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.
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 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.
With the hope of nudging the city forward toward making good on its months-old public promise to initiate permanent investment in the Beach Flats Community Garden, and under imminent threat of legal proceedings against them, on February 16 the gardeners of Beach Flats decided to sign a city letter acquiescing to temporarily leaving the garden plots they have tended so carefully over the past two decades.
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.
Sun Feb 14 2016 (Updated 02/16/16)
Three Arrested Defending Gill Tract from Development
On February 9, farm defenders halted construction on the Gill Tract farm in Albany once again. Five farm defenders sat in silent meditation in the path of heavy machinery that was removing topsoil. Contractors attempted to operate the heavy machinery around them despite the risks to the safety of those on site. Three were arrested and two were taken to jail. The two were released later in the day.
Norman “Wounded Knee” DeOcampo (Miwok), a long-time resident of Vallejo, will be taking part in the Longest Walk 5 beginning February 13 at La Jolla Shores in San Diego, California. Wounded Knee is the Founding Executive Director of the Vallejo based organization Sacred Sites Protection and Rights of Indigenous Tribes. (SSPRIT). He is the only person who will have participated in all five Longest Walks.
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.
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.
Monterey County has a total of 44 active or idle wastewater injection wells. There are 261 water supplying wells within 1 mile of these wastewater injection wells, likely wells for nearby ranches, farms and rural residences. Most of these wastewater injection wells are in San Ardo oil fields. The organization Protect Monterey County is organizing county-wide working sessions to get a fracking ban initiative on the ballot for November 2016.
On January 11, construction work began on the southern portion of the Gill Tract. The UC is privatizing this section for a high-end senior assisted living facility, a Sprouts supermarket, and a parking lot. The next day after working hours, about fifteen individuals entered the Gill Tract to remove surveying stakes marking the paths for the heavy machinery brought to pave over land. On January 28, farm defenders chained themselves to an excavator that was removing valuable topsoil, halting a day of construction.
iCal feed From the Calendar:
8AM Saturday May 7 Snapshot Day 2016
11AM Saturday May 21 The Great Russian River Race
10AM Saturday May 28 Family (Free!) Fun Festival
May Day in Santa Cruz Sees Visits to the Boardwalk and New Leaf Market Alex Darocy (4 comments) Tuesday May 3rd 9:47 PM
May Day March for Beach Flats Garden and Boycott Driscoll's Bradley Allen Tuesday May 3rd 12:45 PM
Save the Beach Flats Garden AutumnSun (1 comment) Monday May 2nd 11:43 AM
MAY DAY March for Food Justice In support of the Beach Flats Garden Friday Apr 29th 7:15 PM
Beach Flats Gardeners Demand City Council Keep Their Promise Bradley Allen (1 comment) Thursday Apr 28th 5:51 PM
Santa Cruz Beach Flats Community Garden March To City Hall AutumnSun (3 comments) Wednesday Apr 27th 12:34 AM
Land Trust Protects Rare Sand Parkland from Development via Land Trust of Santa Cruz County Tuesday Apr 26th 4:22 PM
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Vote Your Hopes, Not Your Fears: Building the Green Party Ann Garrison (1 comment) Thursday May 5th 12:57 PM
EPA Uses Industry-funded Studies to Determine Glyphosate Does Not Cause Cancer Center for Biological Diversity Tuesday May 3rd 3:08 PM
Chernobyl + 30 Michael Steinbertg (1 comment) Monday May 2nd 3:52 PM
West Coast Fisher Denied Endangered Species Act Protection in Bow to Timber Industry Center for Biological Diversity Thursday Apr 14th 3:32 PM
Obama Administration's Weak New Offshore-drilling Rules Fail to Protect Oceans, Climate Center for Biological Diversity Thursday Apr 14th 3:29 PM
West Coast Water Quality Standards Not Strong Enough to Fight Ocean Acidification Center for Biological Diversity Wednesday Apr 13th 3:02 PM
#XochicuautlaAlert: Statement on San Francisco Xochicuautla El Enemigo Común Wednesday Apr 13th 9:00 AM
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TTIP and CETA Must Be Prevented Conrad Schuhler and Jonas Sjostedt Thursday May 5th 11:53 AM
Grape and nut glut drying up Golden State Patrick Porgans Wednesday May 4th 5:53 PM
We Can Phase Out Fossil Fuels Within a Decade, Study Says Daniel Oberhaus Wednesday Apr 20th 10:32 AM
Orangutans Fleeing Palm Oil Deforestation Tomas DiFiore Saturday Apr 9th 12:28 PM
Scientists Recommend Immediate Action to Combat Changes To West Coast Seawater Chemistry via California Ocean Protection Council Friday Apr 8th 5:33 PM
San Francisco Green Film Festival - Volunteers Needed! Victoria McKenzie Tuesday Mar 22nd 11:45 AM
Energy for tomorrow, 15 pp Markus Vogt Saturday Mar 19th 11:00 AM
Californians Against Fracking Responds to EPA’s Methane Regulation Announcement Californians Against Fracking Friday Mar 11th 7:49 PM
Interview with Robin Barnes from GNO Inc about RESCON2016 WTUL News and Views Friday Feb 26th 7:59 AM
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