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North Bay / Marin News

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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.
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.
During July 22 through July 29, the National Low-Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), nonprofit housing organizations, and tenant groups organized a National Week of Action, with rallies in San Francisco, San Rafael, and across the nation in support of federal subsidized housing programs that are under attack by the Trump regime and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson. Trump’s $7.2 billion in proposed budget cuts to HUD will result in over 5,000 new cases of homelessness in the Bay Area alone.
Northern California Anti-Racist Action writes: On May 24, the Berkeley Police Department arrested Eric Clanton in Oakland regarding alleged assaults that occurred during an April 15 confrontation in Berkeley between antifascists and a coalition of far-right groups. In weeks preceding Clanton’s arrest, members of 4chan’s politics forum called /pol/, the alt-right and all around disgusting and hate-filled internet message board, had been collecting what they considered to be evidence in the case. Threads about Eric Clanton’s alleged behavior could be seen wedged between other discussions such as anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about Jewish world domination and the biological inferiority of people of color.
Fri May 5 2017 (Updated 05/10/17)
Affordable Housing Crisis in Sonoma County
The bay area's affordable housing crisis continues to expand, and students at Sonoma Student University are trying to cope with the implications. Kendyl Saxby writes: Sonoma County is in a rent crisis that is negatively effecting everyone and it is only growing. People are stuck living in squalor due to the 1% vacancy rate in Santa Rosa. Families can no longer afford extracurricular activities for their children. College students cannot afford rent and end up living at home with their parents or homeless. Employers are losing workers who can no longer afford to live here.
Tue Apr 18 2017 (Updated 04/23/17)
Tax Day Protests Demand Trump Release His Taxes
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump said he would release his taxes, but that he couldn't until a supposed IRS audit concluded. Trump continues to refuse to release his tax returns, despite mounting questions regarding conflicts of interest and how much he might be beholden to those representing foreign powers such as Russian oligarchs. Protesters gathered in over 150 cities on April 15, the traditional tax filing deadline, to demand that Trump release his taxes. In Northern California, Tax Day protests were held in Santa Cruz, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Walnut Creek, Sacramento, Santa Rosa, Ukiah, and other cities.
Dejuan Hall was brutally beaten by Vallejo police officer Spencer Muniz-Bottomley on March 10, then he was charged with battery on a police officer and resisting arrest. Hall does not face any charges related to the reason police were called on him as he was not breaking any laws. His next court appearances are on Friday, April 7 and then again on Monday, April 10. Hall's trial is set for Wednesday, April 12. Advocates state, "Pretrial hearings are important to attend as lack of pre-trial court support gives the District Attorney's office leverage to intimidate innocent people into taking plea deals."
On March 11, 2017, videos were uploaded to social media showing police in Vallejo, California brutalizing an individual who may have been experiencing mental health issues. The incident took place Friday, March 10 on Fairgrounds Drive in front of the Valero gas station. The Vallejo police officer captured on video punching and bashing with a flashlight has been identified as Spencer Bottomley, an ex-Marine. Bottomley was named in a strikingly similar brutality case, Derrick Lamoris Shields vs. City of Vallejo, for an incident on the night of April 11, 2016. According to the statement of claims, five Vallejo police officers "violated Plaintiff's rights [...] when they subjected Plaintiff to excessive and/deadly force and assault and battery."
On January 21, one day after Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States, women and allies in cities across the U.S. and countries throughout the world marched in protest in record numbers. In Washington, D.C., where the original Women's March was called, around 500,000 attended, far more than had come for the Trump inauguration itself. In Los Angeles, some estimates set the number present at nearly 750,000. Some of the largest marches in Northern California were in Oakland, San José, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Santa Cruz.
Sun Dec 18 2016 (Updated 01/29/17)
Mobilization Against the Coronation of Trump
A large coalition, including CrimethInc. Workers’ Collective, is calling for a bold mobilization against the inauguration of Donald Trump. In addition to Washington D.C., protests will also be held in Oakland, San Francisco, San José, Palo Alto, Santa Cruz, Monterey, and communities throughout the so-called United States. A widely circulated call to action states, "On Friday, January 20, 2017, Donald Trump will be inaugurated as President of the United States. We call on all people of good conscience to join in disrupting the ceremonies."
Mon Nov 14 2016 (Updated 11/29/16)
We've Got a Bigger Problem Now
The first anti-Trump protests began almost immediately, shortly after election results were announced. By the evening of November 9, protesters poured into the streets across the country. The Northern California cities of Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco, Palo Alto, San José, Santa Cruz, Salinas, Hollister, Santa Rosa, and Fresno have stood up against Trump, the rallying cries being "Not My President" and "Fuck Trump!" Demonstrations continue on a daily or near-daily basis all over. There is no end in sight. Calls have gone out to disrupt inaugural events on January 20 and for a Women's March on Washington on January 21.
UPDATE: ...And a new four-year nightmare is about to begin. Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States. For coverage of the first anti-Trump protests across Northern California, see We've Got a Bigger Problem Now.

Considering the campaign for president currently lasts nearly two years, made worse by the two major political parties selecting nominees with the highest unfavorable ratings ever for presidential candidates, most of the country is ready for the election to be over already. While Indybay has not received reports on everything and everyone up for a vote in every Northern California district on Tuesday, November 8, those who've chosen to publish their reports and recommendations have covered a variety of the issues at stake. See what they have to say.
On June 15, law enforcement officers raided Care By Design and CBD Guild, a medical cannabis grower and manufacturer that tens of thousands of patients depend on across the state. The enforcement comes just days after the company hosted local and state public officials and regulators for a walk-through of their new facilities and to discuss regulations for the emerging industry resulting from the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act passed by the California legislature last fall.
iCal feed From the Calendar:
Homelessness and Mental Illness within Sonoma County Paula A, Jenna C, Dom R, B Louie, A Semenza, K Cruz Wednesday Dec 6th 7:51 PM
Social Justice and Social Justice Week at Sonoma State University Liz A, Maria C, Lorena G, Lizbeth R, Selene R, Jimena S Wednesday Dec 6th 2:08 PM
Are the Mentally Ill Homeless Falling through the Cracks of Society? Paula Albertolli (SSU group) Thursday Nov 30th 10:34 AM
DACA in the shadows Zaira J. Ayala Wednesday Nov 29th 6:14 PM
Personal Op-Ed Report on Social Justice Selene Robledo Wednesday Nov 29th 2:15 PM
Social Justice Week at Sonoma State University Lorena Guerrero-Diaz Wednesday Nov 29th 12:23 PM
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OP-ED on Homelessness and Mental Health in Sonoma County. Andrew Semenza Monday Dec 4th 3:19 PM
The Crisis of the Mentally Ill Homeless Bryan Louie Tuesday Nov 28th 9:48 PM
Addressing Police Brutality at Sonoma State University Amanda Zuidema (1 comment) Thursday Nov 16th 7:43 AM
DACA Demographics of Sonoma County Sofia Espinosa Wednesday Nov 15th 3:08 PM
Amnesty and Citizenship for Undocumented, No Exceptions Jordan Steger Thursday May 11th 7:53 PM
Uber Self-Driving Car Alexis Long-Am Wednesday Dec 14th 3:58 PM
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