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The Center for Biological Diversity and Wild Fish Conservancy sued the Trump administration in April for mismanaging West Coast salmon fisheries and harming critically endangered Southern Resident killer whales, a violation of the Endangered Species Act. That orca population has dropped to just 75 individuals, mostly because declining salmon runs have left them without enough to eat. The National Marine Fisheries Service responded by committing to expanded designation of critical habitat off the coasts of Washington, Oregon and California.
Sun Apr 28 2019 (Updated 05/04/19)Earth Day in California Site of Creative Protests
A week before Earth Day was not too early for San Francisco activists with Extinction Rebellion who staged direct action designed to draw attention to the planet's peril. On April 15, they led a march and rally, shutting down 7th Street for close to two hours. Elsewhere in California there were Earth Day die-ins, dance demonstrations, and invitations to rethink waste and save trees. In Los Angeles protesters scaled the iconic globe outside Universal Studios; four people were charged with felonies.
The Center for Biological Diversity is suing the Bureau of Land Management over its refusal to provide public records of its plans new oil drilling and fracking along California’s Central Coast and in the Bay Area. The BLM has yet to publicly release the final plans, but earmarked for leasing are lands in Alameda, Contra Costa, Fresno, Merced, Monterey, San Benito, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Stanislaus counties. The Trump administration’s plans would end a six-year moratorium on leasing federal public land and mineral estate in California to oil companies.
Mon Apr 1 2019 (Updated 04/02/19)Use of Word 'Dindunuffin' by Police Officer Triggers Investigation
The Santa Cruz Police Department has opened an internal affairs investigation into the conduct of Officer Chris Galli, who in January referred to a man he had previously arrested as a "dindunuffin" on social media. Galli, posting as "Chris Meriekuh", made the comment about the individual, who is African American and homeless. A screen capture of the comment was posted in an Indybay article, helping to raise awareness concerning the racist nature of the term, which originated among law enforcement officers to mock activists participating in the Black Lives Matter Movement during its initial rise in 2014 and 2015.
Mon Mar 11 2019 (Updated 03/16/19)City of Santa Cruz to Move Forward on Transitional Homeless Encampments
On Tuesday, March 12 at 7pm, the Santa Cruz City Council will decide how to proceed on the establishment of transitional homeless encampments and safe parking locations within the city. Despite the giant presence of anti-homeless community members at the previous meeting on February 26, council members voted to remove the closure date of the Heroes Camp, a large homeless encampment between Highway 1 and Gateway Plaza, until more shelter options are made available to its residents.
Mon Mar 11 2019 (Updated 03/20/19)New Hate Blog in Santa Cruz is Gaining Followers
The new hate blog "Santa Cruz, CA: Keepin' It Real" has gradually been gaining followers since its founding in 2017. It is written under the pen name "Big Joe 77" by Joe Netro, a self-described "cop" who is retired from working 26 years as a correctional officer at Soledad state prison. He also volunteers with the Santa Cruz Police Department, and he served as a member of the 2016-17 Santa Cruz County Grand Jury which issued a controversial, and some say biased, report critical of the county's Syringe Services Program. Recently, Netro has joined Take Back Santa Cruz member Steve Schlicht's "Santa Mierda Podcast Network," appearing on multiple podcasts.
Mon Mar 11 2019 (Updated 03/20/19)Banner Drop at UC Santa Cruz Calls for Divestment and Ending Study Abroad in Israel
On March 7, a group of people dropped a banner in Quarry Plaza at the University of California, Santa Cruz that read "UC must divest/End Study Abroad in 'Israel' Now." UC Santa Cruz Students for Justice in Palestine writes: We have grave concerns that the UC's study abroad programs in Israel are opposed to the values of academic freedom and are complicit in the oppression of Palestinians. Israeli study abroad programs have a demonstrated track record of being racist against non-white students.
Mon Mar 11 2019Rest in Peace Sherry Conable
In shocking news to the Santa Cruz activist community, Sherry Conable passed away on February 4. Sherry participated in and organized countless political demonstrations and anti-war events over the course of decades in the Santa Cruz area. On March 8, a celebration of Sherry's life was held at Peace United Church, where family and friends wore the color pink to honor Sherry's work with CodePink.
Fri Jan 25 2019 (Updated 02/17/19)San Francisco Bay Area Women's Marches Inclusive, Exhilirating
On January 19, at women's marches throughout the Bay Area, the focus was on unity rather than the rift in the national group. Optimism was abundant despite a slight decrease in attendance over last year. The marches were not without critics who cited a lack of attention to the plight of the underhoused and other issues effecting women. Unlike the city of New York where there were two separate marches, however, a spirit of solidarity ruled the day.
Mon Jan 21 2019 (Updated 01/24/19)Reclaiming King's Radical Legacy
For the 5th year running, the Anti Police-Terror Project called Bay Area residents into the streets for the People’s March to Reclaim Martin Luther King Jr’s Radical Legacy. In Oakland, events ran from 8am to 8pm. San Francisco marched in honor of MLK and several labor unions spoke out against outsourcing and privatization. Fresno and Santa Cruz also marched. Other events were held in cities across Northern California.
Fri Nov 30 2018 (Updated 12/02/18)Protect Juristac: No Quarry on Sacred Grounds
The Amah Mutsun tribe is waging an all-out campaign to stop a proposed sand and gravel quarry that would desecrate one of their most important sacred places. The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band know it as Juristac. The public knows it as Sargent Ranch, 6,500 acres of nearly pristine open space at the tail end of the Santa Cruz Mountains, where the foothills slope down towards the broad agricultural fields south of Gilroy. To the Debt Acquisition Company of America (DACA), the property’s owner, it is a potential sand and gravel quarry.
Wed Nov 21 2018New Offshore Fracking Permits Halted in Southern California
A federal judge ordered the Trump administration to cease issuing permits for offshore fracking and acidizing in federal waters — waters over 3 miles from shore — off of the coast of Southern California. On November 9, U.S. District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez ruled that the federal government violated the Endangered Species Act and the Coastal Zone Management Act when it allowed hydraulic fracturing and acidizing in offshore oil and gas wells in all leased federal waters off Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles counties.
Sun Nov 18 2018 (Updated 11/19/18)Dead Man Pulled from Culvert in Santa Cruz
Robert Norse writes: "On Saturday morning, I saw several police officers and a deputy examine what appeared to be a dead body behind a yellow "crime scene" tape at the edge of a culvert adjoining Highway 17 near the Plymouth/Highway 17 stoplight. I notice there was no mention of this in the Sentinel. It's quite possible the man died from hypothermia. The closure of the River St. campground as well as all the parks aggravates the situation for those outside."