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About 500 people participated in the Sanctuary for All march in downtown Fresno on February 18. In their call out for the march, organizers wrote: This is the first of many responses to our Mayor’s press conference. Our undocumented community is telling us that they DO NOT feel safe after the press conference. Our county Sheriff continues a close partnership with ICE. We are committed to a Fresno culture that emphasizes the dignity and safety of every Fresnan. We will show that Fresno is a sanctuary community, and communicate to our elected officials that we expect policies and structures that represent our values!
White nationalist Milo Yiannopoulos was scheduled to speak at UC Berkeley on the first day of Black history month in a building named after Martin Luther King, Jr. The event on February 1 was cancelled after a large protest erupted outside the Student Union where he was set to speak. Within weeks, a video surfaced in which Yiannopoulos spoke favorably of men having sex with boys and against the concept of consent. Now, Yiannopoulos is facing widespread backlash, leading to the cancellation of upcoming speaking gigs and the publication of his book. Yiannopoulos also resigned his position as an editor at Breitbart News.
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.
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 03/21/17)
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.
On January 26, Fordham University reaffirmed its ban on Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). In a letter to civil rights groups, Fordham stated its decision to ban SJP was made because the group had a “singular focus of which is the political agenda of one nation,” “is more akin to a lobbying organization,” and that SJPs on other campuses were “disruptive.” Palestine Legal and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) wrote Fordham, stating the university “misconstrues the facts, misunderstands the law, and ignores Fordham’s contractual obligations to respect students’ freedom of expression.”
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.
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