Archive | Environment

March Against Monsanto in Santa Cruz

Charlie the Three-Eyed Corn Cob and Ivy the Artist

Charlie the 3-Eyed Corn Cob & Ivy the Artist

Kelly L. Derricks started March Against Monsanto’s Agent Orange awareness program to educate people on Agent Orange, the deadly chemical weapon that Monsanto was the largest manufacturer of during the Vietnam War era. Derricks states, “If we fail to realize that March Against Monsanto is not about GMOs alone, then we have already lost the battle.”

On Saturday, May 24, people all around the world united, including in Santa Cruz, California, to March Against Monsanto, calling for the permanent boycott of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and other harmful agro-chemicals. Marches occurred on six continents, in 52 countries, with events in over 400 cities. In the USA, demonstrations were held in 47 states.

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City Allows Hyatt to Cut Down 110-Year-Old Heritage Tree

Red Horse Chestnut at 407 Broadway

Red Horse Chestnut at 407 Broadway

The healthy 110-year-old tree close to the sidewalk at 407 Broadway in Santa Cruz is a Red Horse Chestnut (Aesculus carnea). Wayne Ferrebee, an artist and writer who currently lives in Brooklyn, explains that “the red horse chestnut tree is not a chestnut tree at all; it’s a cultivar between Aesculus hippocastanum, the common horse chestnut tree of Europe, and Aesculus pavia, the red buckeye of the American south.”

It is a designated Heritage Tree in the city of Santa Cruz, and featured on the city’s heritage tree brochure which was distributed by Santa Cruz Parks & Recreation on April 19, 2014 to commemorate Earth Day in San Lorenzo Park. Gillian Greensite of Save Our Big Trees states that it is the oldest of only three red horse chestnut trees in the city.

The Planning Commission and Santa Cruz City Council have given the Hyatt Corporation a green light to cut the tree down and build a four-story Hyatt Place Hotel.

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China Flat to Simi Peak with My Dad

Massive sandstone formation with rock shelters

Massive sandstone formation with rock shelters

My Dad and I went on another great hike! This time we went to China Flat and Simi Peak, which is the highest peak (2,043 ft) in the Simi Hills. April 9, 2014 was a beautiful day, and the wildflowers were blooming!

On April 11, I spoke with two representatives of the National Park Service for clarification on the Simi Hills, Simi Peak, and China Flat regarding their inclusion in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA). Kate Kuykendall, the Public Affairs Officer for the National Park Service’s SMMNRA, said that it was a complicated answer. Kuykendall explained that the Simi Hills are not considered part of the Santa Monica Mountains, but are part of the “Santa Monica Mountains Ecological Zone”, and portions of the Simi Hills are within the SMMNRA.

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Santa Cruz Bike Party Love Ride

Chopper Dave and the Happening Couch

Chopper Dave and the Happening Couch

“Santa Cruz Bike Party seeks cycling sweeties for casual roll-mance under full moon. All you need is love, and a trusty bike. Throw in a cute date, or meet someone bike-tacular on the ride, and its on!”

That was the Valentine’s card invitation from the Santa Cruz Bike Party to all cyclists, near and far, who are ready and willing to roll. The Santa Cruz Bike Party is a fun community ride on the 2nd Friday on each month, featuring different themes, routes, and music. It’s a party on wheels and a great way for people of all ages to make friends.

This month, the 2nd Friday was on February 14, Valentine’s Day, and a full moon. Cyclists converged at the Bicycle Church on Spruce Street at 6pm, sporting red and pink on their clothes and bicycles.

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Santa Cruz Joins Nationwide Vigils to Protest Keystone XL Pipeline

stop-keystone-xl_santa-cruz_1_2-3-14 Environmental advocates demonstrated at the clock tower in downtown Santa Cruz on February 3 — one of over two hundred across the U.S. — calling on President Obama to reject the controversial Keystone XL pipeline after the Administration late Friday issued a report supporting the pipeline.

The event was part of a national campaign led by CREDO, Rainforest Action Network, the Sierra Club and 350.org, among a host of other organizations.

They are calling on the president to keep his commitment to reduce carbon pollution and reject the pipeline, which will be a huge source of carbon pollution and clearly fails the climate test set by President Obama.

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