Largest anti-fracking rally in California history draws thousands
March 17, 2014

They came in their thousands from across the Golden State. On Saturday, the largest anti-fracking rally and protest in California’s history took place in the state capital of Sacramento.

The message to California Gov. Jerry Brown was simple: act now to ban fracking.

The rally, which was organized by Californians Against Fracking and some 80 environmental and health organizations, such as Oil Change International (OCI) and 350.org.

Protestors were young and old, united in their opposition to fracking. One group of grandmothers sang: “We don’t want your fracking turning all our water brown, Take your freakin’ frackin’ drills or we will shut you down! Hydro-FRAC-turing just sucks.”

“Governor Brown has positioned himself as a climate champion, and we want to make it clear that as he decides whether to green light a massive expansion of fracking in California, his legacy is on the line,” said rally organizer Zack Malitz

David Turnbull, campaigns director at OCI warned Gov. Brown he would be “foolish to ignore,” the growing movement against fracking in the State. “The Governor can choose to stand with these concerned Californians and stop fracking in our state, or he can continue to stand with Big Oil,” Turnbull said.

Two days previously environmental groups had released a report warning that oil companies areincreasing California’s earthquake risk by fracking, which is especially pertinent given the active fault lines of California.

The report concluded that a boom in fracking in California would worsen the danger of earthquakes, by greatly increasing oil wastewater production and underground injection. Extracting the Monterey Shale’s oil in the state could produce almost 9 trillion gallons of contaminated wastewater, the report estimates. That could expose California to a surge in damaging earthquakes like those seen in other states. (Last week I blogged about how one frack well in Ohio has been suspended due to small quakes.)

“This isn’t rocket science,” said one of the report’s authors, Jhon Arbelaez from EarthWorks. “We’ve known for decades that wastewater injection increases earthquake risk. Since Gov. Brown resolutely refuses to learn from other communities’ experience with fracking across the country, our only option to protect California families is to prevent fracking altogether.”

And that certainly was the message at Saturday’s rally.

“People need to know what fracking looks like,” said Rodrigo Romo, one activist from the heavily fracked region of Shafter, CA. “In the Central Valley there is no buffer between fracking sites and our community; there are wells next-door to schools and agricultural land. It is time for our decision makers to listen to us and stop fracking.”

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PhotosCorrine Koster and Rae Breaux

Save Food Not Bombs: Last Sunday, October 6th Sacramento Food Not Bombs was kicked out of the Cesar Chavez Park by the Sacramento police. Volunteers were greeted by about 15 officers when they arrived at the park when they normally do in time to start sharing the meal they created by 1:30pm. They were told that our stuff would be confiscated and we would get a summons due to an ordinance that has yet to even be passed that would prevent any group from handing out free hot meal in the park.Last week advocates for the poor were told to stop sharing meals with the hungry in Sacramento and Santa Monica, California, Taos, New Mexico, and Olympia, Washington.Groups were confronted and threatened with arrest in Boulder, Colorado; Raleigh, North Carolina, Portland, Oregon, Seattle, Washington and other cities across the United States this summer. In all over 50 cities in the United States have passed laws banning or limiting the sharing of meals with the hungry in the past two years with enforcement on the increase this fall.Our food is vegan, organic and no one has ever reported being made ill eating with Food Not Bombs. The goal of giving the public the impression we are required to get a permit is to justify forcing us to stop. We have no paid staff and our food is a gift and unregulated by the authorities. Like all acts of commission no permission from the government is necessary.Please support Sacramento Food Not Bombs. We will be risking arrest on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at Cesar Chavez Park at 1:30 PMKeith McHenryco-founder of the Food Not Bombs MovementP.O. Box 424Arroyo Seco, NM 87514 USA575-770-3377

Save Food Not Bombs: Last Sunday, October 6th Sacramento Food Not Bombs was kicked out of the Cesar Chavez Park by the Sacramento police. Volunteers were greeted by about 15 officers when they arrived at the park when they normally do in time to start sharing the meal they created by 1:30pm. They were told that our stuff would be confiscated and we would get a summons due to an ordinance that has yet to even be passed that would prevent any group from handing out free hot meal in the park.

Last week advocates for the poor were told to stop sharing meals with the hungry in Sacramento and Santa Monica, California, Taos, New Mexico, and Olympia, Washington.

Groups were confronted and threatened with arrest in Boulder, Colorado; Raleigh, North Carolina, Portland, Oregon, Seattle, Washington and other cities across the United States this summer. In all over 50 cities in the United States have passed laws banning or limiting the sharing of meals with the hungry in the past two years with enforcement on the increase this fall.

Our food is vegan, organic and no one has ever reported being made ill eating with Food Not Bombs. The goal of giving the public the impression we are required to get a permit is to justify forcing us to stop. We have no paid staff and our food is a gift and unregulated by the authorities. Like all acts of commission no permission from the government is necessary.

Please support Sacramento Food Not Bombs. We will be risking arrest on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at Cesar Chavez Park at 1:30 PM

Keith McHenry
co-founder of the Food Not Bombs Movement
P.O. Box 424
Arroyo Seco, NM 87514 USA
575-770-3377

West Sacramento Cop Sergio Alvarez allegedly raped 6 women while on duty

March 1, 2013

A California police officer has been fired and arrested following allegations that he raped at least six women while in uniform and on duty, some of them in his patrol car.

Sergio Alvarez, a five-year veteran of the West Sacramento Police Department, stands accused of raping at least six women since October 2011. He faces kidnapping and sexual assault charges in connection with the alleged attacks. According to ABC News 10, bail has been set at $26.3 million.

The 37-year-old Alvarez allegedly attacked the women while driving in his patrol car. His alleged victims, who ranged in age from 20 to 47, were stopped while walking, according to West Sacramento Police Chief Dan Drummond. The chief added that some of the alleged rapes occurred in the patrol car.

Suspicions about Alvarez arose last September after a 37-year-old woman came forward with allegations that she was attacked by the officer. He was placed on administrative leave following the report.

“I am just appalled and sickened that someone that was put in the position of trust would violate that trust in such an egregious manner,” Drummond told WPTV. “The whole department is appalled.”

As a result of the alleged rapes, the department is reviewing its practices and may no longer allow officers to patrol by themselves at night.

“We are looking at our procedures and the way we are accountable to each other,” Drummond told WPTV. “We want to make sure we are doing everything we can to make sure this does not happen again.”

It has happened before, but not in West Sacramento. In recent weeks, the following are among the alleged incidents that have made headlines around the nation:

- In Massachusetts, Lawrence police officer Carlos Gonzalez, 48, was arrested on Wednesday and charged with committing a sexual crime against an underage girl while on vacation in Haines City, Florida last summer.

- Last month, Ashokie, North Carolina police Lieutenant Andres Snape, Jr. was arrested and charged with rape and other sex crimes in connection with an alleged attack on a teenage girl aged between 13 and 15.

- Also last month, veteran Boston, Massachusetts officer Henderson Parker, 45, was arrested and charged with raping and indecently assaulting a woman in a residence.

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Protesters fight against cuts to homes for elderly & disabledDemonstrators flooded the Sacramento Capitol rotunda in California on June 13 to protest cuts to home care for the elderly and disabled. Police arrested 43 people.
Sean Kennedy, a spokesman for the California Highway Patrol, said they were cited for misdemeanors and released.
It was the second protest in two days in which demonstrators were arrested by the California Highway Patrol, which provides security at the Capitol. Ten people were arrested on Tuesday after blocking the entrance to Gov. Jerry Brown’s office.
Brown has proposed saving $225 million from the In-Home Supportive Services program through cuts that include a 7% reduction in hours of care. The cut would have a ripple effect because counties and the federal government would withdraw matching funds, leading to a total reduction of about $800 million.
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Protesters fight against cuts to homes for elderly & disabled

Demonstrators flooded the Sacramento Capitol rotunda in California on June 13 to protest cuts to home care for the elderly and disabled. Police arrested 43 people.

Sean Kennedy, a spokesman for the California Highway Patrol, said they were cited for misdemeanors and released.

It was the second protest in two days in which demonstrators were arrested by the California Highway Patrol, which provides security at the Capitol. Ten people were arrested on Tuesday after blocking the entrance to Gov. Jerry Brown’s office.

Brown has proposed saving $225 million from the In-Home Supportive Services program through cuts that include a 7% reduction in hours of care. The cut would have a ripple effect because counties and the federal government would withdraw matching funds, leading to a total reduction of about $800 million.

Source