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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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
Wed Nov 14 2018 (Updated 12/01/18)
Fire Season of 2018 Brings Historic Devastation
California anxiously awaited the first winter rains, seeking reprieve from the notoriously destructive "fire season" of 2018. In the Northern California Camp Fire, 88 people are reported dead and hundreds remain missing. The fire destroyed virtually the entire town of Paradise. Firefighter radio transmissions suggest that PG&E could be to blame. In Southern California, the massive Woolsey Fire started on the grounds of Santa Susana Field Laboratory, the site of a partial nuclear meltdown, and area residents are concerned about contaminates. With heavy rains finally beginning on November 21, the wildfires are now either mostly contained or fully extinguished, and the hazardous air quality the fires created throughout the state has been cleared.

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