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Health, Housing, & Public Services News

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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.
Tue Apr 12 2016 (Updated 04/18/16)
Housing State of Emergency Declared in Oakland
Oakland renters have been facing nearly 1,000 evictions per month. Rents have skyrocketed and the median rent is currently $3,000 per month. Housing activists have been pushing for a temporary freeze on evictions and rent hikes to protect tenants from the massive upheaval. On April 6, the Oakland City Council responded by voting unanimously to support a 90-day moratorium on rent increases, but failed to pass a temporary freeze on evictions.
Sun Apr 10 2016 (Updated 04/18/16)
San Francisco Police Execute Homeless Man
On April 7, a homeless man, Jose Luis Gongora, allegedly brandishing a knife, was executed by SFPD. Surveillance camera video shows police cars rolling up, cops getting out and approaching Jose Luis off-camera. Police claimed they attempted to deescalate the situation, but the video shows two cops approaching Jose Luis with a shotgun pointed at him and shouting at him. The cop with the shotgun can be heard firing four "less lethal" bean-bag rounds at Jose Luis before at least one of the cops shoots and kills him. On April 9, SFPD raided a nearby tent encampment on Shotwell Street, knocking over objects with sticks, including several memorial candles that lined the front of Jose Luis' tent which is still at the scene.
Community activists working independently on separate ballot measures have come together under the umbrella of the Oakland Justice Coalition. Together, the three measures they propose would radically transform police accountability, renters' protections, and the minimum wage in Oakland. On March 24, Oakland Justice Coalition members made a formal announcement of their intentions in front of Oakland City Hall. The canvassing kickoff will be held on April 2.
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 Apartment Association (CAA) has been meddling in the affairs of city after city in Northern California in an effort to stop any and all renter protections being promoted by renters, tenant activists, and their supporters. The same day that Oakland tenant activists filed a ballot initiative to strengthen renter protections called the Renters Upgrade, the CAA announced that they were keeping an eye on things, and are coming up with their own plan to counter the tenants' movement efforts.
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.
Tue Mar 22 2016 (Updated 04/18/16)
Oakland Real Estate & Business Conference Shut Down
Before 8am on March 18, over a hundred housing activists caught the Oakland Chamber of Commerce off guard at their "Oakland is open for business" breakfast for real estate developers. Protesters were able to completely shut down the 2016 Economic Development Summit at the Kaiser Building on Lake Merritt before Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf could even give her opening remarks.
On March 15, the Oakland City Council approved moving forward with the latest iteration of luxury housing at the E12th Street parcel, public land that was created when the roads and bridges around the south end of Lake Merritt were recently reconfigured. Housing activists showed up at City Hall and successfully shut down the meeting, but the council then held their discussion and vote privately in Mayor Libby Schaaf's office. Critics vow to keep the fight alive for "public land for public good." A final vote on the proposed sale to UrbanCore will happen later this year.
iCal feed From the Calendar:
Signature Gathering for more Oakland renter protections Posted by Lynda Carson Friday Apr 29th 4:58 PM
Beach Flats Gardeners Demand City Council Keep Their Promise Bradley Allen (1 comment) Thursday Apr 28th 5:51 PM
California Apartment Association targets medical marijuana users Lynda Carson (5 comments) Wednesday Apr 27th 7:18 PM
Eminent Domain for the Gardeners Steve Pleich (6 comments) Wednesday Apr 27th 11:05 AM
Santa Cruz Beach Flats Community Garden March To City Hall AutumnSun (3 comments) Wednesday Apr 27th 12:34 AM
Pacific Avenue Santa Cruz: The Joff Jones and Alex Skelton Report on Freedom in the USA Joff Jones and Alex Skelton (1 comment) Monday Apr 25th 6:52 PM
The Garden and the Freeway via Micah Posner (4 comments) Saturday Apr 23rd 11:40 PM
For-profit affordable housing developers target the Bay Area Lynda Ccarson (1 comment) Friday Apr 22nd 8:11 PM
Pacific Avenue: Freedom Of Press At Its Finest via Joff Lee Jones (3 comments) Thursday Apr 21st 9:49 PM
Oakland double-crosses tenant and affordable housing activists Lynda Carson Wednesday Apr 20th 2:17 AM
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Scar Story: Documentary of Paulette Leaphart's 1,000 Mile Walk to DC WTUL News and Views Friday Apr 29th 8:34 AM
RNs Welcome Bill to Step Up Public Safety for Patients in Hospital ‘Observation' via California Nurses Association Friday Apr 15th 3:58 PM
#XochicuautlaAlert: Statement on San Francisco Xochicuautla El Enemigo Común Wednesday Apr 13th 9:00 AM
#AlertaXochicuautla: Pronunciamiento sobre San Francisco Xochicuautla El Enemigo Común Wednesday Apr 13th 8:56 AM
The Financial Market Crisis in the Light of the Social Market Economy Jorge Althammer (3 comments) Wednesday Apr 13th 5:16 AM
Philippines: Fast-track legislation to end hunger Akbayan (Citizens Action Party) Tuesday Apr 12th 12:45 AM
USDA Proposes Organic Animal Welfare Regulations via Center for Food Safety Friday Apr 8th 6:08 PM
AWI Statement on Proposed Animal Welfare Regulations for the Certified Organic Label via Animal Welfare Institute (1 comment) Thursday Apr 7th 4:40 PM
More Global News...
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The Steep Cost of Tax Dodging Jasmine Tucker (1 comment) Tuesday Apr 19th 6:52 AM
March 8 challenge to Santa Cruz sleeping ban media archive IndyRadio/Roknich Thursday Mar 17th 4:09 PM
Warming Center Program - Plans & Protocols Warming Center Program (1 comment) Thursday Feb 18th 4:50 PM
Stack o' Dolla Make The World Go Round Is This The City You Want Collective Sunday Jan 31st 1:10 PM
Let Them Eat Fluoride NYSCOF (1 comment) Monday Jan 25th 5:12 AM
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