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Tue Dec 20 2016 (Updated 12/21/16)Tulare County Has Most Agricultural Pesticide Illnesses in California
Tue Dec 20 2016 (Updated 12/21/16)Santa Cruz County Ranked Second for Agricultural Pesticide Illnesses in 2014
The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) released a report last week detailing the 2014 results of their Pesticide Illness Surveillance Program. The report, documenting all reported pesticide-related illnesses from all California counties, shows 20.1% of agricultural pesticide-related illnesses occurred in Tulare County, making it the county with the most agricultural pesticide illnesses in the state. Santa Cruz County came in second with 17.2%. Of the 53 counties with documented pesticide-related illnesses in 2014, Tulare County accounted for over 1 in every 5 cases of poisonings from agricultural pesticides.
A lawsuit filed on December 13 by civil rights groups charges the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) with violating the constitutional rights of homeless people by confiscating and destroying their property in ongoing sweeps. Plaintiffs have lost cherished and necessary items, including family heirlooms, photographs of loved ones, tents, sleeping bags, warm weather clothing, tools, food, camp stoves, bicycles, and personal documents. “Caltrans has been a major obstacle to getting my life together," said plaintiff James Leone. "Twice in six years, I’ve been left with only the clothes on my back. Twice I’ve lost everything I own in the world.”
Sun Dec 18 2016 (Updated 12/20/16)Low-Wage Workers Rise Up at SFO
Sun Dec 18 2016 (Updated 12/20/16)Hundreds March, Rally, Demand $15 and a Union at the San Francisco Airport
Hundreds of workers marched and rallied at SFO on November 27 to demand $15 an hour and a union. The San Francisco International Airport — which makes hundreds of millions of dollars — has workers who make far less than living wages. Young workers have no future and families cannot survive on the low wages they are paid. The demonstration was part of a national day of action supported primarily by the SEIU International. Burger King employees, UBER drivers, and home care workers marched to the International Terminal and discussed their struggle for survival in the Bay Area.
Sun Dec 18 2016Obama Signs Bill with Water Giveaway to California Big Ag
In a slap in the face to fishermen, Tribes, environmental justice advocates, conservationists and family farmers, President Obama on December 16 signed the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act into law with an environmentally destructive rider sponsored by Senator Feinstein (D-CA) and Congressman McCarthy (R-CA). The controversial rider, requested by corporate agribusiness interests, allows San Joaquin Valley growers and Southern California water agencies to pump more water out of the Delta, driving numerous fish species closer and closer to extinction, according to Delta advocates.
Fri Dec 16 2016 (Updated 12/18/16)California Agency Floats Plan to Turn Livermore Aquifer Into Oil Waste Dump
Fri Dec 16 2016 (Updated 12/18/16)Oil Company with History of Spills Seeking Exemption to Safe Drinking Water Act
An oil company with a long history of hazardous spills in California wants state and federal permission to dispose of contaminated waste fluid into an underground water supply in Livermore. The proposal, announced by California's Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, seeks to exempt an aquifer in eastern Alameda County from the federal Safe Drinking Water Act on behalf of E&B Natural Resources, the oil company seeking the exemption. State officials are now taking public comments and will hold a January 11 hearing on the proposal.
Thu Dec 15 2016 (Updated 12/16/16)San Francisco Educators Stand with South Korean Trucker Union
Thu Dec 15 2016 (Updated 12/16/16)Solidarity with Korean General Workers Strike Against President Park Geun-hye
Korean Port Truck workers have struck against deregulation and union busting by South Korea President Park Geun-hye. They were attacked, beaten, and the leaders were jailed by the government. Many union leaders including the president of the KCTU have been jailed by the government. Supporters of the Korean general strike against the government spoke out at the San Francisco South Korean consulate on November 30.
The California Secretary of State’s Office announced that voters narrowly defeated Proposition 53, an initiative requiring voter approval of revenue bonds over $2 billion. Governor Jerry Brown is celebrating the victory because it would have required a vote on his controversial “legacy” projects, the Delta Tunnels and High Speed Rail. Dan Bacher writes: The results of the Proposition 53 vote are disappointing for those who care about salmon, the Delta and the public trust. However, there is no doubt that if an initiative solely requiring a public vote on the Delta Tunnels had been on the ballot, it would have been decisively approved.
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