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Thu Sep 22 2016 (Updated 09/24/16)
Getting a Good Night's Sleep at Santa Cruz City Hall
Presently the only location in downtown Santa Cruz where people on the street are able to sleep regularly as a group is at the weekly community sleepouts organized by the Freedom Sleepers. Homeless sweeps conducted by the Santa Cruz Police Department beginning in January of this year have for the most part cleared the downtown area of groups of people sleeping together in other locations, such as at the post office. Since July of 2015, the Freedom Sleepers have gathered to sleep at city hall one night a week to protest local laws that criminalize homelessness. September 20 marked the group's 63rd sleepout.
Thu Sep 22 2016 (Updated 09/24/16)
Driscoll’s Boycott in Full Force
Labor groups have issued a statement clarifying the Driscoll's berries boycott is still in full effect and farmworkers in San Quintín, Mexico continue to work for the recognition of their union in order to negotiate the signing of a collective bargaining agreement. In Washington State, the results of an election on September 12 confirmed the independent union Familias Unidas por la Justicia as the formal representatives of farm workers at Sakuma Brothers Farm, a supplier to Driscoll’s. A rally and protest will be held at the Driscoll's distribution center in Aromas on October 15.
Crude from Monterey County's biggest oilfield is more climate damaging than any other large source of oil produced in, or imported into, California, according to a new Center for Biological Diversity analysis of state data. The Center’s report, titled Stealing California's Future, found that crude from the San Ardo oilfield is even more carbon-intensive than notoriously dirty oil from the Alberta tar sands in Canada. The report also found that the San Ardo field is the most carbon-intensive large oilfield in California, ultimately generating about 3.3 million metric tons of greenhouse gas pollution a year.
Sat Sep 10 2016 (Updated 09/11/16)
Three Federal Agencies Block Dakota Access Pipeline
On September 9, a federal judge denied the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s motion to stop the Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota. Minutes later, the U.S. Department of Justice, Department of the Army, and Department of the Interior issued a joint statement announcing a temporary halt to work on the pipeline. Actions in support of the Water protectors continue to be held across California in response to the global call for solidarity by the Standing Rock protest camps for September 3-17.
The official campaign kick-off party for Yes on Measure Z, to ban fracking in Monterey County, will be held in Salinas on Saturday, September 10. A rally will be held in addition to the grand opening of the campaign's new headquarters, which is located in the heart of Salinas on Main Street. Measure Z made it to the November ballot as the result of months of work by volunteers with Protect Monterey County, a group working to safe-guard local water supplies and protect the county's agricultural production.
On August 28, a number of organizations in Santa Cruz partnered to throw a party with the goal of bringing together the police with the social justice community. The party was called the "NAACP Peace Party" and among the officers that showed up was Santa Cruz Police Lieutenant Christian LeMoss, who broke the arm of a 60-year-old disabled woman when he arrested her on May 9, 2008.
The National Labor Council for Latin American Advancement passed a resolution in solidarity with farmworkers at the 21st LCLAA National Membership Convention held August 18-20 in Orlando, Florida. In the resolution, the Sacramento LCLAA Chapter went on record in support of "the struggle of the 70,000 farmworkers in San Quintin and the 468 farmworkers in Skagit County, Washington, for better wages, working conditions, and the recognition of their fighting unions..."
In June, the Santa Cruz County Grand Jury released its report on the death of 23-year-old mother Krista DeLuca, who died in the main jail on September 29, 2015. Shortly after the release of the Grand Jury report, DeLuca's family filed a civil lawsuit against the County of Santa Cruz. Besides the County, the lawsuit lists as defendants the Sheriff's Office, Sheriff-Coroner Jim Hart, Under-Sheriff Jeremy Verinsky, Chief Deputy Jeff March, Lieutenant Kelly Kent, and California Forensic Medical Group, Inc. (CFMG), as well as a list of unspecified "John Does".
On August 11, the California Coastal Commission found by an 11-1 vote that the City of Santa Cruz' midnight to 5 PM RV (recreational vehicle) parking ban involved a "substantial issue" and so would require a new hearing in the months to come. The CCC was not convinced by Assistant City Manager Scott Collins's claims that Santa Cruz provides RV alternatives, is dealing with an RV "crime crisis", and is only duplicating what other cities have done.
In the wake of the Chinatown homeless sweeps that displaced hundreds of people in downtown Salinas in March of this year, a small but thriving tent community has established itself at Salinas City Hall, where a group has been camping out every night for over four months. An anti-camping ordinance was recently passed by the Salinas City Council that allows for the city to quickly remove "bulky items" stored on public property, and outlaws setting up tents on public property between the hours of 6am and 6pm.
Thu Aug 4 2016 (Updated 08/14/16)
Boycott Driscoll's Won't Stop
On August 6 and 7, 2016, local activists engaged thousands of people at the 22nd Annual Watsonville Strawberry Festival to raise awareness about the Driscoll's Boycott and the harsh realities of farmworkers who pick the precious berries. A banner declaring "No More Blood Berries" was displayed from the third-story of the Lettunich Building on Saturday and from the roof of the Mansion House on Sunday while shouting, "Boycott Driscoll's" and "No More Blood Berries." The buildings are the most iconic structures in downtown Watsonville and stand as subtle reminders of the apple growing, packing, and export industry in the Pájaro Valley. Both buildings are Santa Cruz County Historical Trust Landmarks on Main Street and overlook the Watsonville Strawberry Festival.
The Freedom Sleepers celebrated their one-year anniversary together on July 5 with a march through downtown Santa Cruz, and then an outdoor movie screening at Santa Cruz City Hall. After celebrating their one-year anniversary, the Freedom Sleepers have returned to Santa Cruz City Hall for three more sleepouts. The most recent was their 55th community sleepout on July 26. Since July 4 of 2015, a coalition of unhoused and housed community members in Santa Cruz have converged to sleep at city hall one night a week to protest local laws that criminalize homelessness.
It has become a tradition to celebrate the life of Frank Alvarado with flowers. On July 10, Frank's family was joined by a large group of supporters near the location of his death to mark the second year since his killing by Salinas police. His father, Frank Sr., handed out roses to many of the women gathered, saying the gesture was in memory of "lover boy" as he lightheartedly referred to Frank. His family fondly remembers how dearly Frank loved to give women gifts, and especially the gift of flowers.
A report released on July 8 by the Xerces Society shows a sharp two-decade decline in the number of monarchs which overwinter along the California coast. A comparison of the average number of butterflies overwintering in California during the periods 1997–2001 and 2010–2014 shows a decline of 74 percent, a figure that is comparable to declines documented at monarch overwintering sites in Mexico. Listed sites span the monarch’s overwintering range along the Pacific coast and the East Bay of San Francisco
iCal feed From the Calendar:
10AM Friday Sep 30 River Health Day
12PM Sunday Oct 9 Surf City AIDS Ride
New rules fall short of protecting schoolchildren from pesticide exposure, Latino kids most at risk via Californians for Pesticide Reform Thursday Sep 29th 6:41 PM
64th Week-Sustaining the Safe Sleep Zone Keith McHenry (entry by Norse) (1 comment) Tuesday Sep 27th 11:28 AM
Social Safety Net Must Be Expanded Steve Pleich Tuesday Sep 27th 10:38 AM
What was behind the suspension of a UC Berkeley Course on Palestine? via Palestine Legal (1 comment) Monday Sep 26th 4:35 PM
Rally and Protest at Driscoll's Berry Store and Distribution Center Boycott Driscoll's San Quintín Sindja Saturday Sep 24th 10:25 PM
Health Watchdog Sues Dow for Pesticide Air Pollution via Californians for Pesticide Reform Saturday Sep 24th 12:07 PM
Analysis: Monterey County Crude Worse for Climate Than Alberta Tar Sands Oil Center for Biological Diversity Wednesday Sep 21st 12:29 PM
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Groups Call on EPA to Correct Unsupported Claims in Major Fracking Study via Food & Water Watch Wednesday Sep 28th 3:17 PM
Chelsea Manning Punishment for Suicide Attempt is Cruel and Inhumane Amnesty International Saturday Sep 24th 12:46 PM
Leonard Peltier on Solidarity with Standing Rock Leonard Peltier Thursday Sep 22nd 4:59 PM
Over 700,000 People Tell Government to Block Seed Mergers Center for Food Safety Thursday Sep 22nd 4:54 PM
ALDF Urges Court to Acknowledge Pets’ True Value To Their Families via Animal Legal Defense Fund (1 comment) Monday Sep 12th 7:02 PM
Oil Giant Enbridge to Purchase Gas Behemoth Spectra via Sierra Club Thursday Sep 8th 5:13 PM
Lawsuit Filed to Protect Sea Life From Ocean Acidification, Climate Change Center for Biological Diversity Thursday Sep 8th 4:49 PM
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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
CEMEX Save Our Coast Surfrider Foundation Saturday Sep 17th 6:01 PM
Where the Vultures Feed Dr Bruce Loisel (7 comments) Tuesday Aug 30th 9:50 AM
Drew Glover for Santa Cruz City Council 8-21-2016 Event #2 AutumnSun (1 comment) Monday Aug 22nd 4:32 PM
Renowned Marine Biologist Asha de Vos Joins Oceana Oceana Thursday Jul 28th 1:46 AM
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