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Protecting our Environmental Resources
Updated: 20 hours 29 min ago

March details from Move On

Thu, 11/08/2018 - 08:55
Listings for Napa and Sonoma counties are listed below. Search for other sites here.

Dear Friend,

Earlier today, Donald Trump installed a crony to oversee special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, crossing a red line in a brazen attempt to obstruct Mueller’s work.1

By replacing Rod Rosenstein with just-named Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker as Mueller’s boss overseeing the investigation, Trump has undercut the independence of the investigation. Whitaker has publicly outlined strategies to stifle the investigation, referred to Mueller’s team as a “lynch mob,” and cannot be allowed to remain in charge of it.2 This amounts to a direct assault on the independent Mueller probe which has already produced dozens of indictments, guilty pleas, and guilty verdicts.

That’s why MoveOn and our allies are organizing emergency “Nobody Is Above the Law” rallies at 5 p.m. local time on Thursday, November 8. There are hundreds events scheduled across the country!

Can you attend a rapid-response rally?

There are hundreds events nationwide. Click here to find and attend an urgent event near you!

(Please note that most events are at 5 p.m. local time, but in some cases local hosts may change the time. Find an event and RSVP to get the most up-to-date information on what to expect at the event.)

Rosenstein named Mueller as special counsel to get to the bottom of the Russian meddling in the 2016 election—and any ensuing effort to cover it up. This scope covers conflicts of interest within the Trump campaign, as well as possibly including Trump’s own finances.

By replacing Rosenstein as Mueller’s boss with Whitaker, Trump has enacted a plan he’s mused about publicly to prevent the investigation from proceeding freely—he’s triggered a full-fledged Constitutional crisis, asserting that he is above the law.3 The next few hours will determine whether he is proved right. Congress has the constitutional authority and obligation to hold Trump accountable for this abuse of power. But we’ve seen the Republican Congress give Trump pass after pass every time he crosses another line. If this isn’t the moment they put country over party to hold Trump accountable, it’s not clear whether it will ever happen. Let’s show our lawmakers that we won’t stand by while they allow Donald Trump to slide the U.S. into authoritarianism.

Join thousands across the country at an urgent protest at 5 p.m. tomorrow Thursday, November 8, demanding immediate action to hold Trump accountable and protect the Mueller investigation. Click here to find an event near you and to confirm the timing and details of your event!!

When Richard Nixon fired Archibald Cox from the Watergate investigation, it became a tipping-point moment for lawmakers in his own party to finally decide that they had to act or risk forfeiting our democracy. It’s up to us to make Trump’s appointment of Whitaker into the moment when our lawmakers finally wake up and prevent Trump from putting himself above the law.

Thanks for all you do.

–David, Milan, Mark, Anna, and the rest of the team

Sources:

1. “DOJ: Acting AG to take over oversight of Russia probe,” The Hill, November 7, 2018 https://act.moveon.org/go/57532?t=9&akid=193030%2E19092474%2EGF9iR4 2. “Matthew Whitaker, a Trump Loyalist, Is Seen as Ascendant Amid Rosenstein Chaos,” The New York Times, September 28, 2018 https://act.moveon.org/go/57533?t=11&akid=193030%2E19092474%2EGF9iR4 3. “Trump may realize that firing Mueller would be bad, but firing Rosenstein might be worse,” The Baltimore Sun, April 11, 2018 https://act.moveon.org/go/57536?t=13&akid=193030%2E19092474%2EGF9iR4

Want to support our work? The MoveOn community will work every moment, day by day and year by year, to resist Trump’s agenda, contain the damage

Thursday, November 8 at 5 p.m. Hosted by Elin P. Kathleen J. Cynthia A. Santa Rosa City Hall Santa Rosa, CA 95404 2108 attendees Thursday, November 8 at 5 p.m. Hosted by Sarah . Wrist Wrestling Statue at Petaluma Blvd N and E Washington Petaluma, CA 94952 52 attendees Thursday, November 8 at 5 p.m. Hosted by Kathy T. Tessa K. Valerie W. Healdsburg Plaza Healdsburg, CA 95448 275 attendees Thursday, November 8 at 5 p.m. Hosted by Suzie D. Tom B. Sonoma Square/Napa Street Sonoma, CA 95476 384 attendees Thursday, November 8 at 5 p.m. Hosted by Deborah T. Calistoga, California Calistoga, CA 94515 4 attendees Thursday, November 8 at 5 p.m. Hosted by Joanne G. Veterans Memorial Park Napa, CA 94559 404 attendees
Categories: G2. Local Greens

Sierra Club, Move On, Occupy, Indivisible: Trump fired Sessions — take to the streets at 5pm TODAY

Thu, 11/08/2018 - 08:48
 

Join us in the streets TODAY at 5 pm local time to show Trump he cannot impede the Mueller investigation, he cannot escape justice, and that in our country, nobody — not even the president — is above the law. RSVP to an emergency “Nobody Is Above the Law” rally near you. This week, we won — and Trump knows we won. We voted to hold Trump accountable for the corruption and malfeasance pervading this government.

With the pressure rising, Trump is attempting to obstruct the Mueller investigation. He’s fired  Attorney General Jeff Sessions and replaced him with Matt Whitaker, who has said publicly that he doesn’t think the investigation should exist.

We must protect Mueller’s investigation. Whitaker must recuse himself immediately.

Join us in the streets to show Trump he cannot impede this investigation, he cannot escape justice, and that in our country, nobody — not even the president — is above the law.

Events are happening around the country TODAY at 5 pm local time. Find your local rally, grab your favorite sign, and get out into the streets.

We know you’re tired. We are too. For many of us, we were sprinting to the finish line of Election Day so we could vote to hold President Trump accountable. It seems impossible that we must now take to the streets again. But we must. Trump is counting on us being too tired or too disinterested. He thinks he can get away with this, and if we don’t show up, we’re telling him that he can.

With media reports that indictments may come soon for members of Trump’s family and inner circle, it is essential for the investigation to continue unimpeded. The investigation is looking into Russia interfering with the 2016 election, potential conflicts of interest within the Trump campaign, as well as possibly including Trump’s own finances.

No one is above the law. Not even President Trump.

Whitaker cannot run this investigation and he needs to recuse himself. RSVP for an emergency “Nobody Is Above the Law” rally near you.

Our mission at the Sierra Club is to “protect the planet… and restore the quality of the natural and human environment.” When the basic rule of law is under attack, we cannot trust that the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, the Endangered Species Act, and more will be faithfully executed by this government and will continue to protect us.

We need a functioning democracy to protect the environment. Your participation is vital in showing that people who care about all sorts of issues — including the environment — will stand in solidarity to Trump.

Grab your favorite sign and get out in the streets. Find a local “Nobody Is Above the Law” rally, and join thousands of others.

See you in the streets,

Maura Crowley
Resist Campaign Director
Sierra Club

Categories: G2. Local Greens

UPDATE on cannabis regulations from Supervisor Lynda Hopkins

Thu, 11/08/2018 - 08:41

FROM FOG, Friends of Graton :

UPDATE #7 from Friends of Graton (FOG)You are receiving this email because you have either signed a petition opposing the cannabis facility along the trail in Graton or you have asked to be put on our email list. If you would rather not get our updates, please respond to sender with UNSUBSCRIBE in the Subject line.

Our group, Friends of Graton, received notification from Supervisor Lynda Hopkins’ office that the County has made the determination that trails that are managed by Sonoma County Parks system (like the West County Trail that adjoins the parcel in Graton where a cannabis facility has been proposed) ARE parks and that setbacks of 1000′ from the trail are required for cannabis cultivation. We thank Supervisor Hopkins for her diligence in finding this loophole in the cannabis regulations. If you feel the same way, please let her know by emailing her at lynda.hopkins@sonoma-county.org

From Supervisor Hopkins’ Volume 06/ November 2018 Newsletter:

“In the middle of October, our office learned of a use permit application for a proposed cannabis cultivation site on Railroad Street in Graton. The Board of Supervisors, during a public hearing on amendments to the county’s cannabis ordinance, heard from a lot of concerned Graton neighbors and surrounding community members about this particular application. Concerns ranged from proposed size of the site, to location next to the West County Trail and incompatibility with the area’s open meadows.

It is important to note that the application is in the very early phase of the use permit application process. At this early phase, a staff recommendation has not been issued, nor will it be issued until the public has time to provide input on the project.

While I cannot take a formal position for or against a project that might ultimately come before the Board of Supervisors – doing so is illegal and would demonstrate prejudice at a future hearing – please know that, as a matter of policy, I am personally concerned about any cannabis operation in such close proximity to the West County Trail, which is part of our Regional Parks network.

We currently have, in our cannabis ordinance, a 1,000-foot property line setback from parks. The spirit of this rule is designed to keep cannabis cultivation away from public uses, with the idea that families and residents of all ages have a right to enjoy public property without being exposed to cannabis cultivation and any offsite impacts that might arise from it.

Our cannabis ordinance did not specify that the trail system was included in our parks definition. After research, staff concluded that Chapter 20 of the county code, which defines parks to include “all land or water owned, leased, managed or controlled by the Sonoma County park system,”would apply to our Regional Parks managed trails.

 As such, on Tuesday, Dec. 11, we will bring to the Board of Supervisors a resolution that interprets public parks in the zoning code to include Class I trails that are owned and operated by Regional Parks. The resolution will mean that cannabis applications will be subject to the 1,000-foot setback from all county parks — including the West County and Joe Rodota trails (unless an exception is granted when it is determined by the decision-making body that an equivalent separation or barrier exists).”

Thanks for your support,

Anna Ransome for FOG

 

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Knuckle draggers: Big Oil Spends Tens of Millions to Successfully Kill Washington’s Plan to Drastically Curb Planet-Killing Carbon Emissions

Wed, 11/07/2018 - 09:52
One of the lessons is that dirty fuel companies do not want to be held to account for their pollution, and they are willing to spend big to avoid responsibility. Unfortunately, corporate interests’ money bought a crush of messages during a heated election and scared and misled enough voters. Still, “Big Oil is losing its grip on the economy, bending to local community demands, and the transition to a clean energy is no longer a question of if, but when,” they continue. “Nonetheless, it is becoming clear that voters’ path to victory must include some democracy reforms that give the people a fighting chance even when Big Money wants something else.” Big Oil Spends Tens of Millions to Successfully Kill Washington’s Plan to Drastically Curb Planet-Killing Carbon Emissions

Despite the exptected loss of Initiative 1631, “the transition to a clean energy is no longer a question of if, but when”

by Andrea Germanos, staff writer

 Washington state could have ushered in the nation’s first carbon fee if Initiative 1631 had passed. (Photo: Wil C. Fry/flickr/cc)

This post may be updated.

A groundbreaking proposal in Washington state that would have ushered in the nation’s first carbon fee is projected to fail after Big Oil spent record sums to defeat it.

As of Wednesday morning, the Secretary of State is reporting the proposal losing 56 percent to 44 percent.

Despite the expected loss, noted author and climate activist Bill McKibben gave props to the Yes campaign, tweeting, “Big Oil had to break every spending record in Washington to narrowly beat this carbon tax. All respect!”

Initiative 1631, backed by a broad range of supporters from the Nature Conservancy to Microsoft to the Suquamish Tribe, has been described as “a chance to tackle climate change head on” and “a possible harbinger of greater state and regional action to come.”

If successful, the measure would have created a carbon emissions fee of $15 per metric ton of carbon, with the amount increaing $2 annually until the state’s greenhouse gas reduction goals are met. Those revenues would have funded a kind of Green New Deal, being used for renewable energy infrastructure, protecting water quality, and investing in local communities.  The New York Times editorial board recently wrote that passage of 1631 could have provide “a template, or at least valuable lessons, for other states to follow; and (let’s dream for a moment) it might even encourage Congress to take action on a national program.”

So what’s the takeaway from the expected defeat?

“The lesson of the loss is not that people oppose climate action,” argue Alan Durning, Kristin Eberhard, Aven Frey, and Michael Andersen of Seattle-based think tank the Sightline Institute. “One of the lessons is that dirty fuel companies do not want to be held to account for their pollution, and they are willing to spend big to avoid responsibility. Unfortunately, corporate interests’ money bought a crush of messages during a heated election and scared and misled enough voters.”

Still, “Big Oil is losing its grip on the economy, bending to local community demands, and the transition to a clean energy is no longer a question of if, but when,” they continue. “Nonetheless, it is becoming clear that voters’ path to victory must include some democracy reforms that give the people a fighting chance even when Big Money wants something else.”

Meteorologist Eric Holthaus added on Twitter: “This issue isn’t going away. Neither will those working tirelessly to safeguard our planet and our civilization.”

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don’t survive on clicks. We don’t want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can’t do it alone. It doesn’t work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do.

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Categories: G2. Local Greens

Occupy Sonoma County film showing The Reluctant Radical – Thursday, 7-9 PM Arlene Francis Center

Wed, 11/07/2018 - 09:43
Occupy Sonoma County film showing The Reluctant Radical – Thursday, 7-9 PM Arlene Francis Center

The Arlene Francis Center presents an Occupy Sonoma County showing of

The Reluctant Radical
Thursday, November 8, 7-9 PM
Arlene Francis Center
99 6th Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
Free with donations welcome

If a crime is committed in order to prevent a greater crime, is it forgivable? Is it, in fact, necessary?
THE RELUCTANT RADICAL follows tar sands “valve turner” activist Ken Ward as he confronts his fears and puts himself in the direct path of the fossil fuel industry to combat climate change.
The film reveals both the personal costs and also the fulfillment that comes from following one’s moral calling­­ even if that means breaking the law.

Join our Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/470513523437282
For more information contact OccupySonomaCounty.org or call 707-877-6650 (website contact is preferred)

Occupy Sonoma County embraces the egalitarian, deep democracy principles of the Occupy Movement with a regional strategy for effectively organizing countywide social justice

 

To remove a secondary email address reply to this email with the word ‘duplicate’ in the subject line.
To be removed from the OSC mailing list, reply to this email with the word ‘unsubscribe’ in the subject line and include a brief explanation such as ‘moved away’.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Arsenic in RoundUp. It’s Not Just the Glyphosate.

Wed, 11/07/2018 - 09:39
The wine industry uses non organic arsenic for color and smell. In organic arsenic bioaccumulates in our bodies and the UN Health Organization has issued warnings.  Food Integrity Now: Arsenic in RoundUp. It’s Not Just the Glyphosate. November 6, 2018 by 2 Comments

<img class=”alignright size-thumbnail wp-image-8099″ src=”https://foodintegritynow.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/arsenic-150×150.jpg” alt=”” width=”150″ height=”150″ />We know that glyphosate the active ingredient in RoundUp, and the many other glyphosate-based herbicides, have been found to have many detrimental health effects to humans, animals, and the environment. What happens when you throw arsenic and other heavy metals into that mixture?

Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini and team. www.criigen.org, published a peer-reviewed paper in January this year showing that heavy metals including arsenic, chromium, cobalt, lead and nickel, which are known to be toxic, were found in virtually all of the 14 glyphosate-based formulas they tested. Arsenic was used as a pesticide right after World War II but was banned to use as a pesticide in 1973. Interestingly enough, in 1974, glyphosate was introduced in the market place!

<img data-attachment-id=”7932″ data-permalink=”https://foodintegritynow.org/2018/10/25/its-not-all-bad-news/roundup-poison/” data-orig-file=”https://foodintegritynow.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Roundup-poison.png” data-orig-size=”800,800″ data-comments-opened=”1″ data-image-meta=”{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}” data-image-title=”Roundup poison” data-image-description=”” data-medium-file=”https://foodintegritynow.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Roundup-poison-300×300.png” data-large-file=”https://foodintegritynow.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Roundup-poison.png” class=”alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-7932″ src=”https://foodintegritynow.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Roundup-poison-150×150.png” alt=”” width=”150″ height=”150″ srcset=”https://foodintegritynow.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Roundup-poison-150×150.png 150w, https://foodintegritynow.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Roundup-poison-300×300.png 300w, https://foodintegritynow.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Roundup-poison-768×768.png 768w, https://foodintegritynow.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Roundup-poison.png 800w” sizes=”(max-width: 150px) 100vw, 150px” />For years the focus has been on glyphosate, which is essentially the only ingredient tested by the EPA.  The EPA does not test co-formulas, just the declared active ingredient. Are you kidding me? How can they possibly say glyphosate is safe without testing the entire formula? Of course, Monsanto has not listed arsenic as an ingredients–they just say there are other “inert ingredients.” Professor Seralini won’t even call arsenic an inert ingredient, it is part of the co-formula and makes glyphosate-based herbicides like RoundUp 1,000 time more toxic. Most formulas of the herbicide only contain about 41-42% glyphosate. What about the rest of the ingredients? Seralini and others feel it is fraud not to declare these other ingredients. Is the truth hidden in plain sight? You decide.

Today, Food Integrity Now spoke with Zen Honeycutt of Moms Across America to help make sense of what all of this means and why you should care. Listen to this critical information shared today and we would love to hear your comments below.

 

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Hopkins talks commercial cannabis

Wed, 11/07/2018 - 09:27
From Lynda Hopkins, Supervisor 5th District:

In the middle of October, our office learned of a use permit application for a proposed cannabis cultivation site on Railroad Street in Graton. The Board of Supervisors, during a public hearing on amendments to the county’s cannabis ordinance, heard from a lot of concerned Graton neighbors and surrounding community members about this particular application. Concerns ranged from proposed size of the site, to location next to the West County Trail and incompatibility with the area’s open meadows.

It is important to note that the application is in the very early phase of the use permit application process. At this early phase, a staff recommendation has not been issued, nor will it be issued until the public has time to provide input on the project.

While I cannot take a formal position for or against a project that might ultimately come before the Board of Supervisors – doing so is illegal and would demonstrate prejudice at a future hearing – please know that, as a matter of policy, I am personally concerned about any cannabis operation in such close proximity to the West County Trail, which is part of our Regional Parks network.

We currently have, in our cannabis ordinance, a 1,000-foot property line setback from parks. The spirit of this rule is designed to keep cannabis cultivation away from public uses, with the idea that families and residents of all ages have a right to enjoy public property without being exposed to cannabis cultivation and any offsite impacts that might arise from it.

Our cannabis ordinance did not specify that the trail system was included in our parks definition. After research, staff concluded that Chapter 20 of the county code, which defines parks to include “all land or water owned, leased, managed or controlled by the Sonoma County park system,”would apply to our Regional Parks managed trails.

As such, on Tuesday, Dec. 11, we will bring to the Board of Supervisors a resolution that interprets public parks in the zoning code to include Class I trails that are owned and operated by Regional Parks. The resolution will mean that cannabis applications will be subject to the 1,000-foot setback from all county parks — including the West County and Joe Rodota trails (unless an exception is granted when it is determined by the decision-making body that an equivalent separation

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Follow the Money: ‘Absolute Fraud’: After Billions in Taxpayer Subsidies Championed by Trump, Ryan, and Walker, Foxconn to Import Chinese Workers for Wisconsin Jobs

Tue, 11/06/2018 - 10:12
SWAMP WATCH: Is this what you voted for? Watch what they do NOT what they say. ‘Absolute Fraud’: After Billions in Taxpayer Subsidies Championed by Trump, Ryan, and Walker, Foxconn to Import Chinese Workers for Wisconsin Jobs

Wisconsin Jobs

“Apparently, Scott Walker gave billions in subsidies to a Tawainese company, so that it would despoil land in Wisconsin while paying Chinese workers to make iPhones.” COMMON DREAMS by Jake Johnson, staff writer

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker at the groundbreaking of the Foxconn Technology Group computer screen plant on June 28, 2018 in Mt. Pleasant, Wisconsin. (Photo: Andy Manis/Getty Images)

Wisconsin’s Koch-funded Republican Gov. Scott Walker lavished the Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn with over four billion in taxpayer subsidies last year in a deal that he claimed would create 13,000 jobs in the state, but that agreement is increasingly looking like a massive con-job amid new reports on Tuesday that Foxconn is planning to bring in Chinese workers to fill spots that the governor insisted would be filled by Wisconsinites.

“As we predicted, Scott Walker’s $4.5 billion taxpayer-funded election Hail Mary was more like punting to a foreign billionaire on second down.”
—One Wisconsin NowAccording to the Wall Street Journal, Foxconn “is considering bringing in personnel from China to help staff a large facility under construction in southern Wisconsin as it struggles to find engineers and other workers in one of the tightest labor markets in the U.S.”

President Donald Trump and outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) have both openly championed the Foxconn agreement as a boon for Wisconsin workers. Last year, Trump took credit for convincing Foxconn to build a factory in Wisconsin.

“The company, the Taiwanese supplier to Apple Inc., has been trying to tap Chinese engineers through internal transfers to supplement staffing for the Wisconsin plant,” the Journal reported, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter. “Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou is looking to company engineers in China to transfer.”

While Foxconn issued a statement denying the Journal‘s reporting, critics of Walker—who is locked in an extremely close race with Democratic challenger Tony Evers—were quick to highlight the company’s alleged plans as further evidence that the governor’s “deal” with the Taiwanese multinational has been a massive fraud from the start:

With Walker ensnared in what CNN described this week as his “toughest race yet,” the Foxconn deal is increasingly becoming a political liability that could cost him the governor’s mansion in Tuesday’s midterm elections.

As the New Yorker‘s Dan Kaufman noted in a detailed look at the Foxconn deal over the weekend, the agreement—which is rapidly declining in popularity among Wisconsin voters—includes “taxpayer subsidies to the company totaling more than $4.5 billion, the largest subsidy for a foreign corporation in American history.”

“Since Wisconsin already exempts manufacturing companies from paying taxes, Foxconn, which generated a hundred and fifty-eight billion dollars in revenue last year, will receive much of this subsidy in direct cash payments from taxpayers,” Kaufman observes. “Depending on how many jobs are actually created, taxpayers will be paying between two hundred and twenty thousand dollars and more than a million dollars per job.”

In an op-ed for The Progressive last year, Wisconsin ironworker and Democratic House candidate Randy Bryce—AKA “The Iron Stache”—declared, “We deserve better than corporate boondoggles like Foxconn, and our government’s leadership needs to stand on the side of workers.”

Echoing this sentiment in a tweet on Tuesday as voters headed to the polls, the advocacy group People for Bernie tweeted, “Don’t let Scott Walker and his billionaire cronies steal an election.”

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License FULL STORY HERE: This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don’t survive on clicks. We don’t want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can’t do it alone. It doesn’t work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do.

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.commondreams.org/news/2018/11/06/absolute-fraud-after-billions-taxpayer-subsidies-championed-trump-ryan-and-walker

Categories: G2. Local Greens

On Eve of Midterms, Americans Urged to Vote ‘Like the Planet Depends On It—Because It Does’

Tue, 11/06/2018 - 10:02
On Eve of Midterms, Americans Urged to Vote ‘Like the Planet Depends On It—Because It Does’

It—Because It Does’

“We have 10 years to save the world from climate catastrophe. We can start by voting on November 6th for candidates who believe in the urgency of climate change.”

by Julia Conley, staff writer

Greenpeace urged voters to keep in mind the damage President Donald Trump and the Republican Party have done to efforts to combat the climate crisis as they head to the polls on Tuesday. (Photo: Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump has urged voters to treat the 2018 midterms as a referendum on his presidency, and climate action advocates on Monday made a similar call—asking Americans to remember the vast damage the president and the Republican Party have done to previous efforts to curb the climate crisis in the past two years, and to vote accordingly.

Tuesday’s elections are providing voters with a chance to stop Trump’s anti-climate, pro-fossil fuels agenda in its tracks, Greenpeace said.

“If you’re a climate voter, get out there and VOTE—but if you can, don’t stop there. Make calls. Knock doors. Talk to friends. Take action like the planet depends on it. Because it does.”                     —350 Action “We have 10 years to save the world from climate catastrophe,” said Annie Leonard, executive director of Greenpeace USA. “We can start by voting on November 6th for candidates who believe in the urgency of climate change and have solid plans for keeping fossil fuels in the ground, accelerating a just transition to a clean energy economy, and increasing democratic participation. The more people in politics who are committed to swift and meaningful climate action and reject new fossil fuel infrastructure, the better.”

The midterms come less than a month after the United Nations released an urgent new report stating that a 40 to 50 percent reduction in carbon emissions is needed by 2030 in order to keep the planet from warming more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.

The study stoked fresf fears among progressives who have watched with outrage as Trump turned his anti-science, pro-fossil fuel agenda into public policy—rolling back the Clean Power Plan, withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, and introducing numerous other deregulatory measures affecting Americans’ drinking water and the environment. 

Greenpeace and other groups say voters should go to the polls with the new research in mind, with 350.org and Defend Our Future encouraging followers via the hashtags #VoteClimate and #ClimateVoter.

Greenpeace expressed optimism that a united effort among progressives to vote for candidates who will support renewable energy over fossil fuel dependence, as well as ballot initiatives aimed at strengthening environmental regulations, will help to usher in a new era in which the U.S. becomes a true leader in combating the climate crisis.

“People in this country have been working nonstop for the past two years to resist Trump’s destructive agenda and build a better democracy,” said Leonard. “Now is the time to elect new leaders who will join the people and get to work fighting for climate, racial, and economic justice.”

The group has supported a number of ballot measures in several states. In Washington, Greenpeace is urging voters to support Initiative 1631, the Carbon Emissions Fee Measure. The initiative would charge carbon emitters $15 per metric ton of carbon beginning in 2020, with fees going up each year after that. The fees would fund a number of clean air and other climate-related projects.

Greenpeace also supports Proposition 112 in Colorado, which would ban fracking within 2,500 feet of occupied buildings, and Measure 26-201 in Portland, Oregon. The city measure would collect a one percent surcharge from businesses with annual revenues of at least $1 billion in order to fund green initiatives.

“There’s too much at stake in this year’s elections to NOT do everything we can,” said 350 Action, the U.S. political advocacy arm of the global climate group. “If you’re a climate voter, get out there and VOTE—but if you can, don’t stop there. Make calls. Knock doors. Talk to friends. Take action like the planet depends on it. Because it does.”

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don’t survive on clicks. We don’t want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can’t do it alone. It doesn’t work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do.

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Categories: G2. Local Greens

If you have voting problems, here’s what to do and where to call

Tue, 11/06/2018 - 09:34

Daily Kos:

For voting problems you witness in real life, contact an election protection hotline:

  • English 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683)
  • Spanish 888-VE-Y-VOTA (888-839-8682)
  • Arabic 844-YALLA-US (844-925-5287)
  • Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Bengali, Hindi, Urdu and Tagalog 888-API-VOTE (888-274-8683) –
  • American Sign Language video call number: 301-818-VOTE (301-818-8683)
  • SMS (text message) hotline (English): text OUR VOTE to 97779

Get out the vote: The VoteWithMe app lets you see which of your contacts live in swing districts and need your reminder to vote.

Not sure where to vote? Find your polling place on Vote.org.

The New York Times has a helpful list of things to watch out for: 1) Hoaxes about scary people waiting to get you at your polling place; 2) Claims you can vote online or by text (nope); 3) “beware any text messages that tell you that voting hours or locations have changed, that new forms of voter ID are required, or that your voter registration is not valid”; 4) voting machine malfunctions are not unheard-of and you should always check that your machine has registered your vote correctly, but such malfunctions are much less common than the internets would have you believe; 5) misleading photos and videos; and 6) “In the real world, voter fraud is exceedingly rare, but you can expect rumors to fly on Election Day anyway,” and by “rumors to fly” they mean “tweets to emerge from the White House.”

Some advice before you click that share button:

Before sharing a viral story on Election Day that looks suspicious, check a fact-checking website such as Snopes or FactCheck.org first, to see if it has been debunked. If it is a photo, try doing a reverse image search using a website like TinEye to see if the photo is old or mislabeled, or if it has been manipulated.

 

Categories: G2. Local Greens

New Documentary: WATCH: Ahead of Midterms, ‘Rigged’ Exposes GOP’s 10-Year Effort To Sabotage Democracy by Undermining Voting Rights

Mon, 11/05/2018 - 10:46
Hate, fear and racism are NOT American values……VOTE it’s your civic duty WATCH: Ahead of Midterms, ‘Rigged’ Exposes GOP’s 10-Year Effort To Sabotage Democracy by Undermining Voting Rights

“The suppression of American voters is something we thought our country had moved past, and yet here we are in the 21st century still engaged in this battle over fundamental rights.”

by Jessica Corbett, staff writer 

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The documentary Rigged: The Voter Suppression Playbook can be streamed online for free through Nov. 13, 2018. (Photo: Rigged)

As the GOP’s attacks on voting rights continue across the United States—from Georgia to North Dakota and Kansas—and a massive coalition of progressive groups has formed to break the hold that powerful corporate and wealthy interests have on American democratic institutions, the recently released documentary Rigged: The Voter Suppression Playbook aims to reveal, “in chilling detail, the dark genius behind the ten-year Republican strategy to reverse the rising demographic tide of minority voters.”

“I hope Rigged sounds an alarm that wakes America up to what we, as a nation, are losing—government by and for the people.”
—Jeffrey Wright, narrator

Filmed during the 2016 election, Rigged was released just ahead of 2018’s highly anticipated midterm elections. The documentary sheds light on strategic efforts by members of the Republican Party at all levels of government, in the wake of former President Barack Obama’s historic 2008 win, to make it more difficult for Americans—particularly the young and non-white citizens who helped drive Obama’s initial presidential victory—to access their constitutional right to vote.

The full documentary can be screened online for free here. Watch the trailer:

Despite the ongoing voter suppression efforts detailed in the new film, reports of “unprecedented” turnout for early voting are generating cautious hope among progressives that this election could lead to victories that enable Democrats to reverse measures such as voter ID laws enacted by Republicans over the past decade. While record numbers of black, Latino, and youth voters already have headed to the polls, voting rights advocates continue to emphasize the importance of getting to the ballot box Tuesday.

“Now more than ever, we have to vote as if our rights depend on it,” declared Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the ACLU of Tennessee, which hosted a public screening of the film last month “to help people fully understand not only the effort to suppress votes nationwide, but—more importantly—to encourage people to fight back by exercising their right to vote.”

“Now more than ever, we have to vote as if our rights depend on it.”
— Hedy Weinberg, ACLU of Tennessee

Some Americans, however, won’t be able to participate in the upcoming midterms—because they have been convicted of a felony, lack the identification their state requires, can’t register on the same day as an election, or simply can’t get to their assigned polling center.

“Millions will be excluded on Tuesday—the voting system is shamefully rigged against ethnic minorities and the poor,” Gary Younge wrote in a column for the Guardian published Friday. “Whoever wins on Tuesday, democracy will have already lost.”

Despite what Younge aptly describes as “a profoundly unfair and broken process,” some advocacy groups and candidates campaigning for public office remain optimistic that next week’s election results could provide pathways to repairing the American electoral system by enabling challenges to gerrymandering and measures that strip Americans of their constitutional rights.

“I hope Rigged sounds an alarm that wakes America up to what we, as a nation, are losing—government by and for the people,” said Jeffrey Wright, award-winning actor and narrator of the new film. “The suppression of American voters is something we thought our country had moved past, and yet here we are in the 21st century still engaged in this battle over fundamental rights—a battle that began centuries ago and that Americans gave their lives fighting. This is a story that needs to be told—and heard.”

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don’t survive on clicks. We don’t want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can’t do it alone. It doesn’t work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do.

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FULL STORY & COMMENTS HERE
Categories: G2. Local Greens

Get out the vote: It’s crunch time, people

Mon, 11/05/2018 - 10:32
Daily Kos: Get out the vote: It’s crunch time, people

Laura Clawson

Daily Kos Staff Monday November 05, 2018 The wait and the work are almost over—the elections are this Tuesday, November 6. Between now and then, though, we have to vote ourselves (if you haven’t already voted early), turn out our family and friends, and get out the vote in our communities. You may have already written letters with Vote Forward or text-banked or phone-banked or canvassed with a campaign, but here are some important last-minute information sources and resources, and one final action:
  • Make sure your family and friends get out to vote: VoteWithMe is a free app that will let you find out which of your contacts live in battleground districts and states, so you can remind them to vote.
But what about if you need help with some aspect of voting, or if one of the friends you contact through VoteWithMe doesn’t know where or how to vote? Here’s what you need: What about people who run into a roadblock to exercising their right to vote, though? There are thousands of trained nonpartisan volunteers staffing these hotlines—open now through election day—to answer questions and help address any problems voters have.
  • English 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683)
  • Spanish 888-VE-Y-VOTA (888-839-8682)
  • Arabic 844-YALLA-US (844-925-5287)
  • Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Bengali, Hindi, Urdu and Tagalog 888-API-VOTE (888-274-8683) –
  • American Sign Language video call number: 301-818-VOTE (301-818-8683)
  • SMS (text message) hotline (English): text OUR VOTE to 97779
Whatever you do, make sure you and your loved ones have voted by poll closing time on Tuesday. This is our best chance to put some limits on Donald Trump.
Categories: G2. Local Greens

Graton Cannabis project issues a Q & A……

Mon, 11/05/2018 - 09:40
Jackalope Gardens Community Q&A November 1, 2018 Dear Graton Residents: Thanks for taking the time to read this Q&A. Before you do so, I’d like to sincerely apologize to you for the pain that this discussion has generated in your  community. I empathize with and honor your collective instinct to fight to protect your homes, the homes of the many beings on this land, and the land herself. This document is comprised of answers to all of the questions posed to us by community members over the past 3 weeks. I hope the information that follows is helpful to you. Sincerely, Hadas Please go to this link for the 28 page document https://www.dropbox.com/s/2lshuvyfqtktt27/Jackalope%20Gardens%20Q%26A.pdf?dl=0#   
Categories: G2. Local Greens

Hackers targeting election networks across country in lead up to midterms – The Boston Globe

Mon, 11/05/2018 - 09:02
VOTE, VOTE, your future and that of the planet are depending on you…..If you are voting, make sure your votes are not changed and keep your receipt. “Reports from the last two weeks show states have flagged dozens of new attempts by foreign hackers to penetrate their systems, steal voter data, and access e-mail accounts. Investigators have been able to draw connections between several of the attempted hacks in different states, according to a Nov. 1 DHS bulletin. The hackers’ recent targets and methods, documents show, are similar to those of the Russian efforts around the 2016 election.” Hackers targeting election networks across country in lead up to midterms – The Boston Globe

By Jana Winter Spotlight Fellow  November 05, 2018

Hackers have ramped up their efforts to meddle with the country’s election infrastructure in the weeks leading up to Tuesday’s midterms, sparking a raft of investigations into election interference, internal intelligence documents show.

The hackers have targeted voter registration databases, election officials, and networks across the country, from counties in the Southwest to a city government in the Midwest, according to Department of Homeland Security election threat reports reviewed by the Globe. The agency says publicly all the recent attempts have been prevented or mitigated, but internal documents show hackers have had “limited success.”

The recent incidents, ranging from injections of malicious computer code to a massive number of bogus requests for voter registration forms, have not been publicly disclosed until now.

Federal agencies have logged more than 160 reports of suspected meddling in US elections since Aug. 1, documents show. The pace of suspicious activity has picked up in recent weeks — up to 10 incidents each day — and officials are on high alert.

 

 

FULL STORY HERE
Categories: G2. Local Greens

Stop biodiversity loss or we could face our own extinction, warns UN

Sun, 11/04/2018 - 10:16
Stop biodiversity loss or we could face our own extinction, warns UN

The world has two years to secure a deal for nature to halt a ‘silent killer’ as dangerous as climate change, says biodiversity chief

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Deforestation in Indonesian to make way for a palm oil concession. Photograph: Ulet Ifansasti/Greenpeace The world must thrash out a new deal for nature in the next two years or humanity could be the first species to document our own extinction, warns the United Nation’s biodiversity chief. Ahead of a key international conference to discuss the collapse of ecosystems, Cristiana Pașca Palmer said people in all countries need to put pressure on their governments to draw up ambitious global targets by 2020 to protect the insects, birds, plants and mammals that are vital for global food production, clean water and carbon sequestration. What is biodiversity and why does it matter?

Biodiversity is the variety of life on Earth, in all its forms and all its interactions.  “Without biodiversity, there is no future for humanity,” says Prof David Macdonald, at Oxford University. It is comprised of several levels, starting with genes, then individual species, then communities of creatures and finally entire ecosystems, such as forests or coral reefs, where life interplays with the physical environment.

Without plants there would be no oxygen and without bees to pollinate there would be no fruit or nuts. The services provided by ecosystems are estimated to be worth trillions of dollars – double the world’s GDP. Biodiversity loss in Europe alone costs the continent about 3% of its GDP, or €450m (£400m), a year.

The extinction rate of species is now thought to be about 1,000 times higher than before humans dominated the planet, which may be even faster than the losses after a giant meteorite wiped out the dinosaurs 65m years ago. The sixth mass extinction in geological history has already begun, according to some scientists. Billions of individual populations have been lost, with the number of animals living on Earth having plunged by half since 1970. Researchers call the massive loss of wildlife a “biological annihilation”.

Forest felling is often the first step and 30m hectares – the area of the Britain and Ireland – were lost globally in 2016. Poaching and unsustainable hunting for food is another major factor. Changes to the climate are reversible, even if that takes centuries or millennia – but

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“The loss of biodiversity is a silent killer,” she told the Guardian. “It’s different from climate change, where people feel the impact in everyday life. With biodiversity, it is not so clear but by the time you feel what is happening, it may be too late.”

The loss of biodiversity is a silent killer.

Cristiana Pașca Palmer

Pașca Palmer is executive director of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity – the world body responsible for maintaining the natural life support systems on which humanity depends.

Its 196 member states will meet in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, this month to start discussions on a new framework for managing the world’s ecosystems and wildlife. This will kick off two years of frenetic negotiations, which Pașca Palmer hopes will culminate in an ambitious new global deal at the next conference in Beijing in 2020.

Sign up to the Green Light email to get the planet’s most important stories Conservationists are desperate for a biodiversity accord that will carry the same weight as the Paris climate agreement. But so far, this subject has received miserably little attention even though many scientists say it poses at least an equal threat to humanity.

The last two major biodiversity agreements – in 2002 and 2010 – have failed to stem the worst loss of life on Earth since the demise of the dinosaurs.

Eight years ago, under the Aichi Protocol, nations promised to at least halve the loss of natural habitats, ensure sustainable fishing in all waters, and expand nature reserves from 10% to 17% of the world’s land by 2020. But many nations have fallen behind, and those that have created more protected areas have done little to police them. “Paper reserves” can now be found from Brazil to China.

The issue is also low on the political agenda. Compared to climate summits, few heads of state attend biodiversity talks. Even before Donald Trump, the US refused to ratify the treaty and only sends an observer. Along with the Vatican, it is the only UN state not to participate.

Pinterest Cristiana Paşca Palmer, the UN’s biodiversity chief. Photograph: Herman njoroge chege/IISD/ENB

Pașca Palmer says there are glimmers of hope. Several species in Africa and Asia have recovered (though most are in decline) and forest cover in Asia has increased by 2.5% (though it has decreased elsewhere at a faster rate). Marine protected areas have also widened.

But overall, she says, the picture is worrying. The already high rates of biodiversity loss from habitat destruction, chemical pollution and invasive species will accelerate in the coming 30 years as a result of climate change and growing human populations. By 2050, Africa is expected to lose 50% of its birds and mammals, and Asian fisheries to completely collapse. The loss of plants and sea life will reduce the Earth’s ability to absorb carbon, creating a vicious cycle. Humanity has wiped out 60% of animal populations since 1970, report finds

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“The numbers are staggering,” says the former Romanian environment minister. “I hope we aren’t the first species to document our own extinction.”

Despite the weak government response to such an existential threat, she said her optimism about what she called “the infrastructure of life” was undimmed.

One cause for hope was a convergence of scientific concerns and growing interest from the business community. Last month, the UN’s top climate and biodiversity institutions and scientists held their first joint meeting. They found that nature-based solutions – such as forest protection, tree planting, land restoration and soil management – could provide up to a third of the carbon absorption needed to keep global warming within the Paris agreement parameters. In future the two UN arms of climate and biodiversity should issue joint assessments. She also noted that although politics in some countries were moving in the wrong direction, there were also positive developments such as French president, Emmanuel Macron, recently being the first world leader to note that the climate issue cannot be solved without a halt in biodiversity loss. This will be on the agenda of the next G7 summit in France.

“Things are moving. There is a lot of goodwill,” she said. “We should be aware of the dangers but not paralysed by inaction. It’s still in our hands but the window for action is narrowing. We need higher levels of political and citizen will to support nature.”

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Way to go: Free Parking for Veterans on 2018 Holiday Weekend

Sun, 11/04/2018 - 10:04
For Immediate Release Free Parking for Veterans on 2018 Holiday Weekend

Santa Rosa, CA  –  October 31, 2018  –  In honor of Veterans Day, military members and veterans will receive free parking at all Sonoma County Regional Parks for the holiday weekend.

Active duty, veteran and retired military personnel and their families will be able to visit county parks and trails with a special pass that waives the regular $7 day-use parking fee from Friday, Nov. 9, through Monday, Nov. 12.

Visitors requesting passes will be asked to show a valid military identification card, a Veterans Affairs card, a veteran’s identification card, or an honorable discharge record. Sonoma County residency isn’t required.

With support from the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, Regional Parks is offering the Veterans Day weekend pass for a fifth year and in collaboration with the Sonoma County Human Services Department.

Passes are available in advance of the holiday weekend at the following locations, during business hours Monday-Friday:

Passes also are available at the staffed entrances to Spring Lake, Doran and Ragle Ranch parks from Saturday, Nov. 3, through the holiday weekend.

In addition to the Veterans Day pass, Regional Parks offers a year-round distinguished veterans day-use pass, which provides free parking to disabled war veterans, former prisoners of war and Congressional Medal of Honor recipients.

For more information, contact Regional Parks at (707) 565-2041.

###

Contact Information

Meda Freeman

Communications Manager

Regional Parks

Email: Meda.Freeman@sonoma-county.org
Phone: 
(707) 565-2275

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Categories: G2. Local Greens

South Lake Tahoe ballot measure would ban most vacation-home rentals

Sun, 11/04/2018 - 09:47
Affordable housing: When you have more property owners that are investors, prices rise and push out residents and workers. More communities are severely limiting or phasing out vacation rentals due to so many problems. “Most of the 1,400 homeowners who would be affected by the measure can’t vote on it because their primary residence is outside the city. Only 23 percent of homeowners in the Lake Tahoe Basin, which includes South Lake Tahoe and surrounding neighborhoods, claim it as their principal residence for property tax purposes.” South Lake Tahoe ballot measure would ban most vacation-home rentals

Kathleen Pender Nov. 3, 2018 Updated: Nov. 3, 2018 7:57 p.m.

 

Long before Airbnb and VRBO came along, people had been renting vacation homes in South Lake Tahoe. The classified section of The Chronicle on May 1, 1962, advertised a new, four-bedroom cabin in South Shore near the beach that sleeps 10, with a fireplace and “thermo heat,” for $125 a week. The phone number had just five digits.

But the growth of online rental agencies has created a bitter rift in the city between those who like vacation renters and the dollars they bring, and those who say they are disrupting neighborhoods and making it hard for full-time residents — many of whom work in lower-wage restaurant, hotel and ski resort jobs — to find affordable housing.

On Tuesday, the town of about 22,000 that attracts 5 million visitors per year will vote on a measure that would eliminate all short-term rentals — those 30 days or less — outside the “tourist core area” after 2021. There are about 400 licensed vacation rentals inside the tourist core and almost 1,400 in residential neighborhoods outside the core.

The city estimates that it could lose up to $4 million a year in tourist taxes, permit and other fees if Measure T passes. That ignores any loss of property tax revenue if many owners sell their vacation homes and prices fall. Opponents predict an economic decline as renters find vacation homes elsewhere.

“The people pushing Measure T have a problem with anybody else being there. They want Tahoe all for themselves, and that’s not really the kind of place Tahoe is,” said Steve Teshara, CEO of the Tahoe Chamber, a South Shore business group.

Proponents say Measure T would boost the city’s hotels and motels and strengthen the community by attracting more full-time residents. “I cannot allow the issue of tax revenue to be the determining factor in making decisions for the city,” said Bruce Grego, one of nine candidates running for three City Council seats. Grego, a former councilman, said he is the only candidate who unequivocally supports Measure T.

If it passes, the 1,400 vacation rentals outside the tourist core could continue operating through 2021, but if they are sold or the owners exit the business before then, that permit could not go to someone else like it can now. After three years, any remaining ones would lose their permits, although they could rent for more than 30 days. There is no limit on vacation rentals in the tourist core and commercial zones. The tourist core generally runs along Highway 50 from Stateline to a little west of Ski Run Boulevard.

One provision of the measure would take effect 10 days after results are certified. It would reduce occupancy limits on short-term rentals in residential areas. The current limit, of two people per bedroom plus four per home, would be reduced to two per bedroom, period. No sleeping in lofts or living rooms. And no home could have more than 12 occupants, regardless of size.

This could affect some reservations for Thanksgiving and beyond, said Maureen Stuhlman, who investigates vacation rentals for the South Lake Tahoe Police Department.

If the measure passes, “we don’t want to impact (existing reservations) unfairly unless we really have to,” City Attorney Heather Stroud said. “Some enforcement discretion will have to be used.”

The measure would let permanent residents rent out their homes to tourists for up to 30 days per year. It’s silent on residents who rent rooms to guests while they are home.

Most of the 1,400 homeowners who would be affected by the measure can’t vote on it because their primary residence is outside the city. Only 23 percent of homeowners in the Lake Tahoe Basin, which includes South Lake Tahoe and surrounding neighborhoods, claim it as their principal residence for property tax purposes. About 64 percent of homes elsewhere in El Dorado county are claimed as a primary residence, according to the assessor’s office.

Opponents of Measure T have raised $365,000, compared with less than $2,000 by proponents

Some resort towns have tried to rein in vacation rentals gradually, by imposing a moratorium on new permits and not renewing them when a property is sold or goes out of business. Others have proposed more extreme measures.

Pacific Grove, on the Monterey Peninsula, has an initiative on the November ballot that would prohibit short-term rentals in residential areas outside the coastal zone, and phase out existing ones within 18 months.

In June, Palm Springs voters overwhelmingly rejected an initiative that would have phased out short-term rentals in residential areas over two years. Palm Springs has a little more than twice the population of South Lake Tahoe and about the same number of licensed vacation rentals.

In late December, responding to complaints, officials in South Lake Tahoe capped the number of short-term rentals outside the tourist zone at 1,400 and imposed stiff new rules to curb noise and parking problems. If a guest parked one too many cars, the guest and the property owner would each be fined $1,000.

FULL STORY
Categories: G2. Local Greens

Supervisor Hopkins responds to community concerns about Graton

Sat, 11/03/2018 - 10:26
Here are our county supervisor, Lynda Hopkins, comments about the cannabis proposal in Graton: “In the middle of October, our office learned of a use permit application for a proposed cannabis cultivation site on Railroad Street in Graton. It is important to note that the application is in the very early phase of the use permit application process.

While I cannot take a formal position for or against a project that might ultimately come before the Board of Supervisors — doing so is illegal and would demonstrate prejudice at a future hearing — please know that, as a matter of policy, I am personally concerned about any cannabis operation in such close proximity to the West County Trail, which is part of our Regional Parks network.

We currently have, in our cannabis ordinance, a 1,000-foot property line setback from parks. The spirit of this rule is designed to keep cannabis cultivation away from public uses, with the idea that families and residents of all ages have a right to enjoy public property without being exposed to cannabis cultivation and any offsite impacts that might arise from it.

Unfortunately, I have learned that county staff chose to interpret the West County Trail as not being part of the Regional Parks park system, but rather a “mode of transportation.” To me, this is completely counterintuitive and contrary to the intent of our ordinance, not to mention the public’s use of the trail.

At the Board of Supervisors meeting on Oct. 16, I requested that my colleagues on the board support me in directing staff to bring back an ordinance that would safeguard our precious trail network. The majority of the board supported my request. I also proposed a moratorium on cannabis cultivation applications adjacent to trails to allow us time to vet this issue and develop an ordinance to address our concerns. Finally, I will work as a member of the Cannabis Ad Hoc with county staff to figure out the best way to move an ordinance and possible moratorium forward.

For those who have questions or concerns about the use permit application, please contact the project planner, Steven Rosen at srosen@migcom.com. If you email Steven, your feedback and concerns will be considered by staff as they review the application, and your concerns must be addressed as the use permit process moves forward.”

 

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Letter to our supervisors

Sat, 11/03/2018 - 10:15

Wine & Water Watch is opposed to industrial cannabis in our neighborhoods. We support common sense regulations that protect the environment and our neighborhoods.

” As of June 2017 there were 491 retail marijuana stores in the state of Colorado compared to 392 Starbucks and 208 McDonald’s.” From constituent that wishes to remain anonymous.

Dear Supervisors:
I’m aware of the huge volume of literature you must review as you attend to your official duties and wish to advise you about lessons which we need to learn and be aware of as you proceed to address the growing Cannabis industry and its impact on Sonoma County. For a number of years, I was Susan Gorin’s appointee to the Community Advisory Board and have continued to try to keep making Santa Rosa and Sonoma County a wonderful place to live.

The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact Volume 5 September 2018 which is available at:www.RMHIDTA.org has serious implications.for our future as we move towardthe legalized growing and recreational use of Marijuana.

 

*  Marijuana-related traffic deaths increased 151 percent while all Colorado traffic deaths increased 35 percent.

 

*Since recreational marijuana was legalized, traffic deaths involving drivers who tested positive for marijuana more than doubled from 55 in 2013 to 138 killed in 2017.

* The percentage of all Colorado traffic deaths that were marijuana-related increased from 11.43% in 2013 to 21.3% in 2017.

* Colorado marijuana use for ages 12 and older is ranked 3rd in the nation and is 85% higher than then the national average.

* The yearly rate of emergency department visits related to marijuana increased 52 percent after the legalization of recreational marijuana (2012 compared to 2016)

* Marijuana tax revenue represents approximately nine-tenths of one percent of Colorado’s FY 2017 budget while violent crime increased 18.6 percent and

 property crime increased 8.3 percent in Colorado since 2013.

There’s more about the prices falling 62 percent 2014 to 2017. $14.04 to $5.34 per gram

and the potency of concentrated extract increased from 56.6 percent THC content by weight in 2014 to 68.6 percent at the end of 2017.

This is from the Executive Summary, and I’m sure that our auto insurance companies are taking all of this into consideration as

 they steadily increase our costs.

* As of June 2017 there were 491 retail marijuana stores in the state of Colorado compared to 392 Starbucks and 208 McDonald’s

I ask that you take a strong stand on regulating the Cannabis Industry and weigh heavily the lessons we can learn from other localities that have allowed Cannabis into their domain and the huge negative impact it has on the residents and the economy and our safe wellbeing. Please feel free to share this information with other supervisors and interested parties.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Supporting listing chlorpyrifos as a Toxic Air Contaminant and immediate suspension

Sat, 11/03/2018 - 09:59
Please sign organizational comment letter supporting listing chlorpyrifos as a Toxic Air Contaminant and immediate suspension

Hello everyone,

Please join Californians for Pesticide Reform by signing on to our comment letter supporting listing chlorpyrifos as a Toxic Air Contaminant and calling for an immediate suspension.

Deadline for sign on: Tuesday November 6

Background: Chlorpyrifos is a brain-harming organophosphate pesticide used in huge quantities in California – almost a million pounds per year. Banned for household use in 2000, the Trump Administration last year reversed a proposed federal ban. Now it’s up to California to act. Hawaii already banned chlorpyrifos in May.

According to the Department of Pesticide Regulation’s Toxic Air Contaminant report and a growing scientific consensus, chlorpyrifos poses a severe threat to human health, particularly to childhood and fetal brain development. Among the well-documented irreversible neuro-developmental impacts are ADHD, autism and IQ loss. It’s also linked to reduced lung function.  Chlorpyrifos is an environmental hazard, posing a threat to 97% of endangered wildlife species.

Our letter supports listing chlorpyrifos as a Toxic Air Contaminant and urges an immediate suspension.

To sign your organization on, please send me:

Jane Sellen<jane@pesticidereform.org> – your name – your title – the full name of your organization   by no later than Tuesday November 6, noon.   Here is the letter

November 9, 2018

 

Linda Irokawa-Otani, Regulations Coordinator

Department of Pesticide Regulation

1001 I Street, P.O. Box 4015

Sacramento, CA 95812-4015  

Re:      DPR Regulation No. 18-002 – Public Comment in Support of Proposal to List Chlorpyrifos as a Toxic Air Contaminant  

Ms. Irokawa-Otani: 

Californians for Pesticide Reform and the undersigned organizations strongly support the Department of Pesticide Regulation’s proposed regulation designating chlorpyrifos as a toxic air contaminant (“TAC”). The Final Toxic Air Contaminant Evaluation of Chlorpyrifos (“TAC Evaluation”) and the Scientific Review Panel properly concluded that chlorpyrifos should be listed as a TAC, based on overwhelming evidence that chlorpyrifos use in California threatens children’s brain development. 

However, a TAC listing alone is insufficient to protect public health. We urge you to take two additional immediate steps to protect Californians from substantial and ongoing health threats: suspend and cancel registrations for all chlorpyrifos products. As DPR acknowledges on the TAC program website, “[i]mplementing control measures under the TAC program is methodical and time-consuming,” and “DPR may use other legal authority to implement control measures, particularly for pesticides that pose an immediate health threat.” DPR does not expect to adopt mitigation measures for chlorpyrifos in the TAC process until April 2021—at the soonest. Suspension and cancellation cannot, and need not, wait. California’s children should not be put at risk for one more day. 

I.              DPR should promptly list chlorpyrifos as a toxic air contaminant.

We strongly support the proposed regulation that lists chlorpyrifos as a toxic air contaminant. DPR correctly determined that chlorpyrifos is a TAC because it is an air pollutant that causes or contributes to “an increase in mortality or an increase in serious illness, or which may pose a present or potential hazard to human health.” Specifically, airborne chlorpyrifos drift from currently allowed uses threatens brain development in our youngest Californians.  

A pesticide is listed as a TAC if estimated or measured air concentrations exceed a reference concentration divided by ten. The Scientific Review Panel concluded the TAC Evaluation “convincingly demonstrate[s]” that developmental neurotoxicity effects “occur at levels substantially below the level that causes 10% inhibition of red blood cell (RBC) acetyl cholinesterase inhibition, a level that was used in previous assessments of chlorpyrifos toxicity.” Furthermore, “[b]ased on a full review of all currently available science, developmental neurotoxicity is the appropriate regulatory endpoint for chlorpyrifos to protect health.” These conclusions are the result of thorough vetting and extensive scientific and public review, and are supported by a robust body of evidence in the record for this proceeding and beyond. The TAC Evaluation and the Scientific Review Panel unequivocally conclude that chlorpyrifos should be listed as a TAC, and we agree. 

II.            DPR should immediately cancel all chlorpyrifos registrations.

In addition, the urgent, widespread public health threats identified in the TAC Evaluation must be addressed immediately by cancelling all chlorpyrifos registrations. The Food and Agricultural Code identifies nine conditions that may warrant cancellation of a pesticide registration. Based on information from the TAC Evaluation, at least four of these conditions support cancellation for chlorpyrifos:  

a.     Chlorpyrifos has numerous “demonstrated serious uncontrollable adverse effects.” b.     Even when used properly, chlorpyrifos is “detrimental … to the public health and safety.” c.     Chlorpyrifos causes greater detriment to the environment than the benefit received. d.     There are alternatives to chlorpyrifos that are less destructive to the environment.

Specifically, the TAC Evaluation characterized numerous ongoing adverse impacts of chlorpyrifos use on the environment and bystanders, including vulnerable populations (infants, children, and women of childbearing age):  

  • Air: Aerial and ground boom application of chlorpyrifos result in unacceptable risk for infants at all distances modeled—up to a half mile (2,608 feet) away from the field.
  • Food: Current use patterns resulted in unacceptable risk from dietary exposure for all vulnerable populations evaluated.
  • Drinking Water: Current use patterns resulted in unacceptable risk from dietary exposure for all vulnerable populations evaluated.
  • Aggregate: Combined exposures from current use patterns result in unacceptable risk for all vulnerable populations evaluated. 

DPR is charged with ending the use of dangerous pesticides in the state, on an ongoing basis. Chlorpyrifos is demonstrably dangerous to young Californians, so its use must end.  

III.          DPR should suspend registrations for chlorpyrifos without delay because continued use poses an immediate threat.

Immediate suspension of chlorpyrifos registrations is necessary to protect the health of Californians during cancellation proceedings. The Director should suspend a pesticide registration if he has any “reason to believe” that (1) any one of the nine conditions warranting cancellation applies, and (2) continued use of the pesticide poses an “immediate substantial danger.” As outlined above, at least four conditions justify cancellation of chlorpyrifos registrations. And the same adverse impacts identified in the TAC Evaluation that make cancellation necessary also pose “immediate substantial dangers” that cannot be allowed to continue during the time-consuming TAC and cancellation proceedings.

 

Infants near fields sprayed with chlorpyrifos bear an unacceptable risk of brain impairment from current uses of chlorpyrifos. Our farming communities, some of whom already feel the health consequences from other contaminants to their air, water, and food, suffer disproportionately from the impacts of chlorpyrifos on their youngest members. And pregnant women, infants, and children may face additional health risks every time they eat or drink in the state. These are substantial dangers that require an urgent solution.

 

In conclusion, DPR’s risk analysis correctly concluded that current use patterns result in exposures that exceed the acceptable risk level for infants, children, and women of childbearing age. Accordingly, we urge DPR to list chlorpyrifos as a TAC and immediately suspend and initiate cancellation for all products containing chlorpyrifos.

 


Sincerely,

 

Sarah Aird & Mark Weller, Co-Directors

Californians for Pesticide Reform

 

Paulina Torres, Staff Attorney

Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment

 

Allison Johnson, J.D., Sustainable Food Policy Advocate

Natural Resources Defense Council

 

Anne Katten, Director, Pesticide & Worker Safety Project

California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation

 

Cc:

Governor Jerry Brown

Brian Leahy, Director, DPR

Matthew Rodriquez, CalEPA

 

1 Department of Pesticide Regulation, Final Toxic Air Contaminant Evaluation of Chlorpyrifos (July 2018) (“TAC Evaluation”) at 3. 2 Findings of the Scientific Review Panel on the Proposed Identification of Chlorpyrifos as a Toxic Air Contaminant as adopted at the Panel’s July 30, 2018 Meeting (“SRP Findings”). 3 Department of Pesticide Regulation: Toxic Air Contaminant Program, https://www.cdpr.ca.gov/docs/emon/pubs/tacmenu.htm (last accessed Oct. 23, 2018). 4 Food & Agr. Code § 14023(e). 5 DPR, Chlorpyrifos Update (Sept. 21, 2018), available at https://www.cdpr.ca.gov/docs/dept/prec/2018/092118_chlorpyrifos_update.pdf . 6 Notice of Proposed Regulatory Action, DPR Regulation No. 18-002 at 2. 7 Food & Agr. Code § 14021(b). 8 3 CCR § 6864; DPR, Director’s Proposed Determination Concerning Chlorpyrifos as a Toxic Air Contaminant (Aug. 24, 2018). 9 SRP Findings. 10 SRP Findings. 11 SRP Findings; Food & Agr. Code § 14023(b) (“The panel shall review, as appropriate, the scientific data on which the report is based, the scientific procedures and methods used to support the data, and the conclusions and assessments on which the report is based.”); see also Hertz-Picciotto et al., Organophosphate exposures during pregnancy and child neurodevelopment: Recommendations for essential policy reforms, PLoS Med 15(10) (Oct. 24, 2018), available at https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1002671 ; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Revised Human Health Risk Assessment for Registration Review (Nov. 3, 2016), available at https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0653-0454 . 12 Food & Agr. Code § 12825. 13 Food & Agr. Code § 12825(a), (b), (c), (d). 14 U.S. EPA issued a memorandum of its Analysis of the Small Business Impacts of Revoking Chlorpyrifos Food Tolerances and found that of the small farms affected by revoking chlorpyrifos food tolerances, most will face minor economic impacts, defined as less than one percent of gross revenue, because reasonably priced alternatives are available for the pests targeted by chlorpyrifos. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 2015. Memorandum: Analysis of the Small Business Impacts of Revoking Chlorpyrifos Food Tolerances, available at https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0653 . 15 Data suggests that alternatives to chlorpyrifos are readily available: in 2010, for the leading uses of the pesticide on almonds, alfalfa, walnuts, oranges, cotton, grapes, and broccoli, over half of all growers of each crop were not using chlorpyrifos. California’s Pesticide Use Reporting Program, available at https://www.cdpr.ca.gov/docs/pur/pur10rep/comrpt10.pdf .
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