Pin It
Favorite

Charges dropped against local activist 

On July 7, when the Tri-W site was still a field of long grass and scattered eucalyptus trees, hundreds of Los Ososans gathered for a ceremonial sewer groun-breaking. A wooden podium draped with red, white, and blue bunting, and twenty gold shovels sat waiting for the triumphant event. 

 
click to enlarge I SPEAK FOR THE TREES:  Joey Racano was arrested for trespassing after voicing his opposition to the Los Osos sewer project from this tree on July 7. The charges were dropped this week after a map showed that the tree was on public property. - FILE PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER GARDNER
  • FILE PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER GARDNER
  • I SPEAK FOR THE TREES: Joey Racano was arrested for trespassing after voicing his opposition to the Los Osos sewer project from this tree on July 7. The charges were dropped this week after a map showed that the tree was on public property.
#Opposing residents gathered in vitriolic opposition and staunch support for the sewer, and the town was thick with tension. The loudest voice of opposition came from a nearby eucalyptus tree. It was Joey Racano, a long-time activist, equipped with a straw hat and a giant banner  reading, “Recall before tree fall,� had climbed the towering eucalyptus overlooking the crowd. From his tree-top perch, straddling a long branch, Racano loudly, and almost hauntingly, exercised the First Amendment.

 Then the deputies showed up. They told him to come down, cuffed him, and took him to county jail. Seems the tree was on private land and the CSD, he says, had ordered his arrest for trespassing.

 But now, six months later, the charges have been dropped. A new CSD board sits in Los Osos (they asked that the charges be dropped, to no avail) and new information has been noted by the district attorney — that the eucalyptus tree Racano climbed that day was in fact on public land, and he was not trespassing — so the charges were dropped.

 “If I was in that tree with a sign that said, ‘Build It Now,’ I would never have been arrested,� says Racano, fresh from court on March 1. “This is a big victory for free speech.�

 Racano says this is the beginning. “It started today,� he says. “The battle has just begun.� He thinks the county and the Sheriff’s Department are now liable for selectively arresting him and false imprisonment, and he’s vowed to fight back.

Tags:

Pin It
Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Search, Find, Enjoy

Submit an event

More by John Peabody

© 2017 New Times San Luis Obispo
Powered by Foundation