Public Risks from the Woolsey Fire and the Santa Susana Field Laboratory: A Letter to DTSC

Prior to the first round of data analysis, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control reported that its scientists “do not believe the fire caused any releases of hazardous materials that would pose a risk to people exposed to the smoke.”

“A common denominator in every single nuclear accident – a nuclear plant or on a nuclear submarine – is that before the specialists even know what has happened, they rush to the media saying, ‘There’s no danger to the public.’ They do this before they themselves know what has happened because they are terrified that the public might react violently, either by panic or by revolt.”

—Jacques-Yves Cousteau

On November 19, representatives Henry Stern and Jesse Gabriel authored a joint letter to Barbara Lee, Director of the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC). In their letter, posted to social media, Senator Stern and Assemblymember Gabriel call for “full transparency” to “ensure the public is fully aware of any public health risks posed by the Woolsey Fire on Santa Susana Field Laboratory.”

Henry Stern represents nearly 1 million residents of the 27th Senate District, which includes Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Hidden Hills, Malibu, Moorpark, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, part of Santa Clarita and the following Los Angeles communities: Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Encino, Porter Ranch, Reseda, Lake Balboa, Tarzana, West Hills, Winnetka, and Woodland Hills.

Jesse Gabriel represents Assembly District 45 comprised of the cities of Calabasas and Hidden Hills, a small portion of unincorporated Ventura County and several neighborhoods in the City of Los Angeles: Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Encino, Northridge, Reseda, Tarzana, Warner Center, West Hills, Winnetka, and Woodland Hills.

Senator Stern and Assemblymember Gabriel outline five specific requests regarding transparency from the DTSC, and conclude, “Given the serious and unsettling nature of this situation, we respectfully request that all information and data be disclosed as quickly as possible. Our community—and the broader public—deserve answers.”

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Supervisors Leopold and Friend Propose Cannabis Cultivation Choices Committee

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.”

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New Cannabis Prohibitions in Santa Cruz County

On March 24, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 before an overflowing room to ban the cultivation of cannabis in all unincorporated territories of the county, with limited exceptions. Personal grows of 10×10 square feet are still permitted, with restrictions. Outdoor cultivation is entirely banned in the 2nd District, represented by Zach Friend, and includes the communities of Aptos, Corralitos, Freedom, and portions of Watsonville.

The vote amended the Santa Cruz County Code by deleting the existing Chapter 7.126, passed on February 11, 2014, in its entirety, and adding a new Chapter 7.126. The new version of the code drastically reduces the legal rights of patients to cultivate and access the wide-range of medicines they depend upon from the cannabis plant.

Download and Read Exhibit A (7 pages)

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Paula Gregoire: Save Paula’s Cottage

The circumstances faced by Paula and Isabella — homelessness and couch surfing — resonate with thousands of people struggling to pay rent and survive

On September 9, 2014, Paula Gregoire, her mother also named Paula, and her daughter Isabella, spoke before the Santa Cruz City Council against the city’s inhumane rental inspection program. The cruel and invasive ordinance was pushed through in August 2010 in a 5-1 vote by the gentrifying forces of the Santa Cruz City Council with pressure and backing from UC Santa Cruz.

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Outreach for Yes on Prop 37 to Label GMOs at Wellness Fair in Santa Cruz

On August 25, Tarah Locke, Patti Bond and Melissa DeVera, tabled for GMO-Free Santa Cruz and Yes on Prop 37 at the 2012 Wellness Fair in downtown Santa Cruz.

On August 25, Tarah Locke, Patti Bond and Melissa DeVera, tabled for GMO-Free Santa Cruz and Yes on Prop 37 at the 2012 Wellness Fair in downtown Santa Cruz. Each year the College of Botanical Healing Arts (COBHA) sponsors “a Wellness Fair bringing together traditional and alternative practitioners, businesses and educational institutions reflecting our diverse Santa Cruz Community. Our aim is to promote personal and community wellness and sustainability through networking and education.”

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