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On February 16, Santa Cruz County District Attorney Jeff Rosell announced his office will not file charges against Erik Bailey, the Santa Cruz Police Department officer who shot and killed 32-year-old Sean Smith-Arlt on October 16, 2016. SCPD Officers Erik Bailey and Adam Baker were the first officers to be dispatched to a house on Chase Street that evening after residents called to report a disturbance at the home. When police arrived they say they confronted Sean, who was advancing towards them with a gardening rake. Within 20 seconds they deemed him a threat and opened fire on him. Sean was experiencing mental health issues at the time of his killing.
What sounded like a garbage truck at first in the dark hours of the morning turned out to be a nightmare for many families in the Beach Flats, Lower Ocean, and Live Oak neighborhoods of Santa Cruz on Monday morning, February 13. Beach Flats residents report hearing helicopters overhead and flash grenades cast into several homes while an unidentified voice (no indication of jurisdiction) on a loudspeaker demanded that "[street address] come out with hands on head" blared. This caused confusion because [street address] is the address to the entire apartments complex.
Wed Feb 15 2017 (Updated 02/16/17)
Monarch Butterfly Population Drops by Nearly One-third
The annual overwintering count of monarch butterflies released on February 9 confirms Monarch numbers fell by nearly one-third from last year’s count, indicating an ongoing risk of extinction for America’s most well-known butterfly. Scientists report that this year’s population is down by 27 percent from last year’s count, and down by more than 80 percent from the mid-1990s. A survey of monarch butterflies overwintering in California shows that the Western population has not rebounded. On the West Coast of California, key sites such as Pismo Beach and Natural Bridges saw lower populations this year than in the prior year.
The Trump administration this week granted requests from Gov. Jerry Brown's regulators to exempt three aquifers in California's Kern County from the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. Approval of these "aquifer exemption" applications by the Environmental Protection Agency gives oil companies permission to dump contaminated waste fluid into these underground water supplies. California officials plan to submit dozens of additional exemption applications for other aquifers across the state, including underground water sources in Alameda, Monterey, Ventura, Kern and other counties.
Over the past several years, Santa Cruz Fruit Tree Project has been working with the City of Santa Cruz to develop the city's first community orchard. Riverside Community Orchard was launched in early 2015 when more than fifty volunteers came out to plant twelve dwarf apple, pear, and citrus trees along a fence line at Riverside Gardens Park. On Saturday, February 4, the group will break ground on a major expansion of the orchard, planting upwards of twenty more trees across the street, in an open area adjacent to the skate park and ball courts of Mike Fox Park, by the San Lorenzo River levee.
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."
Just months after Monterey County voters approved a ban on underground injection of oil waste, California regulators have announced a plan to turn an underground water supply in the county over to the oil industry for injection of contaminated waste fluid. The proposal — announced by California's Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources — seeks to exempt an aquifer that runs under the town of San Ardo from the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. A similar aquifer exemption is currently under consideration in Livermore.
The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) released a report last week detailing the 2014 results of their Pesticide Illness Surveillance Program. The report, documenting all reported pesticide-related illnesses from all California counties, shows 20.1% of agricultural pesticide-related illnesses occurred in Tulare County, making it the county with the most agricultural pesticide illnesses in the state. Santa Cruz County came in second with 17.2%. Of the 53 counties with documented pesticide-related illnesses in 2014, Tulare County accounted for over 1 in every 5 cases of poisonings from agricultural pesticides.
The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) is not a household name in California and the West, but it should be. WSPA is the trade association for the oil industry and the largest and most powerful corporate lobbying organization in California. It represents a who's who of oil companies including Aera Energy, Chevron, California Resources Corporation (formerly Occidental Petroleum), ExxonMobil, Phillips 66, Shell, Valero and many others. Yet most people — even many environmental activists — have never heard of the organization and the enormous influence it wields over politicians and regulators in the western states.
Calls to boycott Altai Brands began after a disturbing photo was circulated on social media showing a nearly nude woman laying on a table covered in slices of salami and other meats. The event, hosted by Altai Brands, was a private after-party on November 17 for the fifth annual Marijuana Business Conference and Expo which took place from November 15-18 in Las Vegas. Aliza Sherman writes, "Altai Brands apparently went culturally tone deaf when they covered a woman in deli meats and served her up on the appetizer table. Comments ranged from shock to outrage in social media with calls to boycott the male-led company."
Santa Cruz police initiated a raid at City Hall on November 23 at 3:30 am, shortly after it stopped raining that evening, to clear from the area approximately two dozen individuals who had been sleeping and sheltering themselves from the weather under the eaves of the buildings in the complex. Officers issued citations to individuals, and made one arrest. Many of those sleeping at City Hall were participating in the weekly Freedom Sleepers sleep protest, while others were simply sheltering themselves from the wet weather temporarily with the group.
iCal feed From the Calendar:
5PM Wednesday Feb 22 Dark Deleuze in the Dark
7PM Friday Feb 24 Chingonas Come Out At Night
Community Support for Black Lives Matter in Capitola Robert Norse (1 comment) Saturday Feb 18th 3:31 PM
Municipal Ordinance Provides Force of Law Protection For Immigrants Steve Pleich (1 comment) Friday Feb 17th 11:25 AM
SCPD officer Erik Bailey named as killer of Sean Arlt; DA won't press charges Santa Cruz Police News (2 comments) Thursday Feb 16th 3:30 PM
Raids on Santa Cruz Immigrant Communities Cause Severe Damage Xirenita (2 comments) Thursday Feb 16th 1:51 AM
Highly Militarized ICE Raids on California's Central Coast No Raids, No Wall (3 comments) Wednesday Feb 15th 5:56 PM
Día Sin Inmigrantes! Revoluna Wednesday Feb 15th 3:46 PM
California Shrugs Off Deadline for Shutting Down Illegal Oil Industry Injections Center for Biological Diversity (1 comment) Wednesday Feb 15th 2:44 PM
Valentine's Day for Freedom SleepOut #84 Keith McHenry (story by Norse) (1 comment) Tuesday Feb 14th 12:37 AM
Santa Cruz Stands Up Against Muslim Ban Steve Pleich Monday Feb 13th 10:35 AM
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Cook Inlet Gas Pipeline Leak Shows Risks of Offshore Drilling Center for Biological Diversity Wednesday Feb 15th 5:44 PM
Trump’s Border Wall Will Harm People, Halt Recovery of Jaguars, Other Wildlife Center for Biological Diversity (1 comment) Tuesday Jan 31st 4:37 PM
Trump Orders Massive Rollback of Environmental Protections Center for Biological Diversity Monday Jan 30th 6:48 PM
100 Days of Resistance Center for Biological Diversity Sunday Jan 29th 11:41 PM
Trump Puts Keystone XL, Dakota Access Pipelines Back on Table Center for Biological Diversity Tuesday Jan 24th 4:13 PM
On Final Day, Obama Administration Phases out Lead Ammo From National Wildlife Refuges Center for Biological Diversity Monday Jan 23rd 7:03 PM
AWI Applauds USDA for Improving Welfare of Animals under Certified Organic Label via Animal Welfare Institute Monday Jan 23rd 12:58 PM
Public Interest Groups, Farmers File Lawsuit Challenging Monsanto's Toxic Pesticides Center for Biological Diversity Monday Jan 23rd 12:53 PM
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EPA Report Confirms Threat Posed By Fracking via Sierra Club Monday Dec 19th 6:47 PM
Hwy 17 Wildlife Tunnel in Sight: Land Trust Completes Funding for Land Protection via Land Trust of Santa Cruz County Monday Dec 19th 6:20 PM
CA Transportation Commission Commits $3.1 Million for Land Trust’s Hwy 17 Wildlife Crossing via Land Trust of Santa Cruz County Friday Oct 21st 9:35 PM
Fracking and measure Z AutumnSun Friday Oct 21st 11:05 AM
CA Coastal National Monument Expansion: One Step Closer to Reality Surfrider Foundation Thursday Sep 29th 8:20 PM
Leaders host public meeting on expanding the coastal national monument via The Wilderness Society Tuesday Sep 27th 5:42 PM
Leaving Edward Snowden in limbo will be a stain on President Obama’s legacy Amnesty International (1 comment) Saturday Sep 17th 6:07 PM
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