Gardeners seek a creative solution to preserve twenty five years of cultivating food and culture in the heart of the Santa Cruz Beach Flats.
[ Photo: Marciano “Chango” Cruz (left) is a founder of the Beach Flats Community Garden. Cruz marches with Beach Flats Gardeners, including Don Emilio Martinez Castañeda (center) who has been cultivating in the garden since it began over twenty five years ago. ]
On February 9, hundreds of people marched through downtown Santa Cruz, from the Beach Flats Community Garden to the city council meeting. Gardeners, along with a large coalition of supporters, are seeking a creative solution to preserve twenty five years of cultivating food and culture in the heart of the Beach Flats.
Continue reading “Hundreds March for Beach Flats Community Garden”
Salinas Chinatown, a six block, twenty-nine acre neighborhood, is a refuge for members of our society who have been marginalized and discriminated against. Taylor Farms, the world’s largest producer of cut vegetables and salads, built their new five-story headquarters in Oldtown Salinas, with a view of Chinatown.
[ View of Chinatown, in the background on the other side of the tracks, from the Monterey Street Parking Garage on E. Market Street in Salinas. ]
Salinas Chinatown, a six block, twenty-nine acre neighborhood, is a refuge for members of our society who have been marginalized and discriminated against. In March 2015, the Salinas Downtown Vibrancy Plan was approved by the city council “to address serious needs to update Downtown’s infrastructure to assure pedestrian safety, calm vehicular traffic to encourage increased bicycle use, provide a sustainable parking strategy, and create a sense of place through art and culture that attracts visitors to a new, safe destination.”
Continue reading “A View of Salinas Chinatown”
Workers who grow, harvest, and pack Driscoll’s lucrative berries are struggling against the systematic abuses they are forced to endure, and the companies profiting from the exploitation of their collective labor.
[ Gloria Gracida, speaking on behalf of the Alliance of National, State and Municipal Organizations for Social Justice based in San Quintín, Baja California, informs shoppers at Mi Pueblo Market in Watsonville why they should boycott Driscoll’s. ]
On January 2, a couple dozen people kicked off 2016 with a protest in Watsonville, where Driscoll’s, the world’s largest distributor of fresh berries, is both headquartered and first began producing strawberries in 1904. The demonstrators are amplifying a campaign initiated by farmworkers in Washington State and Baja California to boycott Driscoll’s strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. Workers who grow, harvest, and pack the lucrative berries are struggling against the systematic abuses they are forced to endure, and the companies profiting from the exploitation of their collective labor.
On the website Káráni: Escribir o Volar, Tomás Madrigal documents the boycott launched by farmworkers in 2013 against berries grown at Sakuma Brothers Farms in Burlington, Washington. In response to the successful boycott against their brand, Sakuma Brothers shifted production in 2014 and began packing fresh market berries exclusively into Driscoll’s label cartons.
Continue reading “Boycott Driscoll’s Action in Watsonville”
In the state of California, there are numerous cannabis related initiatives that are currently active measures hoping to land a spot on the November 8, 2016, ballot.
In an effort to help people keep track of it all, the following is a chronological list of the cannabis related initiatives. Some of the initiatives are more serious contenders than others. While the list is certainly long already, rumors are swirling that yet another initiative or two is in the works.
On July 20, 2015, Californians for Safer Communities published a comparison of five of the initiatives, including their own. We are sure to see ongoing efforts to compare and contrast the initiatives.
Continue reading “2016 Cannabis Initiatives in California”
An unpermitted blue box at the corner of Pacific and Soquel Avenues is marked with spray paint.
On August 24, 2015, things were just a little bit different as the day began on Pacific Avenue in downtown Santa Cruz. Most people, including locals, didn’t notice that the number of “blue boxes” painted onto the sidewalk had grown dramatically overnight. The “blue boxes”, which are actually rectangles, are supposed to represent designated areas of the sidewalk where artisans and people living on the streets will not be harassed and ticketed for displaying their artwork, artistic performance, or panhandling.
The action of painting blue boxes comes on the heels of two well-known artists, Joff Jones and Alex Skeleton, being arrested by Santa Cruz Police on August 20 for displaying art in front of Forever 21 which, as of recently, is not allowed since the boxes there were removed. A few days later on Sunday, the artists defiantly returned to the sidewalk in front of Forever 21 dressed in Colonial attire with displays of their artwork and a painting of the First Amendment. They were not arrested a second time.
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Santa Cruz County Sheriff Jim Hart and the Marijuana Compliance Team are operating in violation of County cannabis cultivation law.
On the morning of Friday, August 14, dozens of residents of Boulder Creek gathered in a downtown coffeeshop in response to police raids of medical cannabis gardens. People took turns explaining what they experienced the prior day when members of the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office’s newly formed Marijuana Compliance Team visited their homes and gardens.
Two of the medical cannabis patients whose garden was raided questioned why their 40 plants shared among three housemates was cutdown to only seven plants. Many people were very angry and stated that they had been growing in compliance with the county’s current medical cannabis cultivation laws: “Ordinance No. 5176. Ordinance Adding New Chapter 7.126 Relating To The Cultivation Of Medical Cannabis.”
On August 13, sheriff’s officers targeted properties on Moonrise Road in Boulder Creek. There were also unconfirmed reports of raids on Amber Ridge Loop. Using a bullhorn, officers entered some of the properties, breaking through gates, with their guns drawn and announced, “We’re here to cut you down.”
Continue reading “Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Officers Raid San Lorenzo Valley Cannabis Gardens”
Cannabis in Santa Cruz County
At the June 23, 2015, meeting of the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors, representatives John Leopold and Zach Friend proposed the formation of a “Cannabis Cultivation Choices Committee.” If formed, the 13 member committee, limited to a term of six months, will work to create a policy framework for the Board to adopt for regulating medical cannabis cultivation in Santa Cruz County.
The Supervisors want a committee of community members to develop recommendations that “protect our neighborhoods, protect our environment, and ensure that there is an adequate supply of medical cannabis for those who have a doctor’s recommendation.”
Continue reading “Supervisors Leopold and Friend Propose Cannabis Cultivation Choices Committee”