US Attorney Warns Calif. Farmers Against Pot Grows

Don Thompson

Associated Press, 2-29-2012

Sacramento, Calif. — The top federal prosecutor in the Central Valley said Tuesday that he plans a tour this week to tell agricultural landowners they could lose their property or be prosecuted if they permit large marijuana plantations on their land.

U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner will visit the Fresno County Farm Bureau on Thursday and the Kern County Sherriff’s Department on Friday to warn of the federal crackdown.

Investigators have found large marijuana fields primarily in the southern part of the valley, from Stanislaus County to Kern County, Wagner said in an address to the Sacramento Press Club. The crackdown targets landowners who allow their properties to be used for marijuana cultivation.


Wagner called the large-scale operations “a hazard to people in those farming communities.”


Ryan Jacobsen of the Fresno County Farm Bureau welcomed the news. He said residents are endangered by the marijuana grows, which often are operated by absentee landowners.


“It looks like it’s mostly outsiders. It’s not most of the mainstream farmers and ranchers who have been there for generations,” Jacobsen said. “A lot of this is not necessarily being grown for California medicinal marijuana use. A lot of it’s being exported to other states.”


He and Wagner said the marijuana plots are often on the scale of industrial farming.


“We’re not talking about backyard size. One bust was 55 acres. There’s many, many 20-acre parcels down here that are being fully grown with marijuana. It’s probably on a scale much, much larger than most people are familiar with,” Jacobsen said. “There’s guard towers that have gone up in the middle of ag lands to protect the grows.”


California narcotics officers said they found millions fewer pot plants on remote public lands last summer, largely because they believe growers have shifted to growing in plain sight with the hope that California’s medical marijuana law would make prosecution by state district attorneys more difficult.


Investigators said growers frequently lease the land, though some growers are small farmers supplementing their incomes. Other crops may be grown to hide the growing marijuana plants.


“Those farmers who plant large crops of marijuana or who lease their land to people who do are risking forfeiture of their lands or, in the egregious cases, criminal prosecution,” Wagner said.


He was met with criticism before and during his speech from those who said the federal government should not interfere, given California’s liberal medical marijuana law.


California law permits the drug to be cultivated and supplied to sick people on a nonprofit basis. Federal officials say many clinics profit under the pretense they are helping the sick.


Wagner said investigators have found that some medical marijuana dispensaries were generating $10,000 to $50,000 in profits each day, selling marijuana for twice what they paid for it.


“That’s not about sick people. That’s about money,” he said.

Planting seeds at food awareness rally: Activists gather at Town Clock

By STEPHEN BAXTER – Sentinel staff writer


The Food Not Bombs crew dishes out stir-fry, beans and rice at Monday’s… (Dan Coyro/Sentinel)

SANTA CRUZ – Mirroring food activism events nationwide on Monday, about 30 people gathered at the Town Clock to try to empower residents about their food choices.

Leaders of the “Hoe Down” event pushed for more local, organic agriculture. They dished up free servings of spicy potato, bok choy and carrot stir-fry to passersby, handed out fliers and listened to lectures about organizations such as UC Santa Cruz’s Demeter Seed Library.

Members of Occupy Santa Cruz organized the event and worked with groups such as Food Not Bombs and the Homeless Garden Project.

“We need to build our local food systems,” said Roxanne Evans, who helped organize the event. “That’s why we wanted to bring these groups together.”

The Occupy camp in San Lorenzo Park served food to activists and the homeless before authorities dismantled the camp Dec. 8.

Since then, its members have tried to keep food issues in the spotlight. Evans said there are many Santa Cruzans who grasp the environmental consequences of eating food that has been treated with pesticides and trucked in from outside the county.

However, she encouraged more people to grow their own organic food or buy from local farms and farmers markets.

Andrew Whitman, a UCSC undergraduate who runs the seed library, talked about its mission to preserve biodiversity on the Central Coast and give free seeds to gardeners. Whitman has tried to gather the most robust, locally adapted seeds for heirloom fruits and vegetables.

The program allows gardeners to borrow those seeds, plant them, and return more seeds to the seed library.

“Our main goal is to get seeds out to people,” Whitman said.

The project is a response to genetically modified seeds. Those seeds have boosted production but have been controversial for their effects on human health, wildlife and the environment.

Some participants at Monday’s event collected signatures for a state ballot initiative that would require foods to be labeled if they are genetically modified.

Evans runs TerraGnoma Community Demonstration Garden in Seabright. She offers produce and educational events in return for a little help with the garden.

Evans said she hoped more people would stop and think about their food choices.

“We don’t really eat, we fuel up,” she said.”The reality is that food is a celebration.”

Four charged with taking over River Street building make first court appearance

Cathy KellySanta Cruz Sentinel:   02/21/2012

SANTA CRUZ – Four men appeared in court Tuesday to face charges stemming from the takeover late last year of a vacant River Street bank building – including longtime homeless rights activist Robert Norse, who came to court dressed in a blue bath robe with a teddy bear affixed to his waist between the robe and its sash.

Grant Garioch Wilson, Franklin Cruz Alcantara and Bradley Stuart Allen pleaded not guilty to two felony charges of vandalism and conspiracy and two misdemeanor trespassing charges.

The arraignment for Norse, named in court documents as Robert Norris Kahn, was continued to Feb. 29 after he asked Judge Ariadne Symons for time to hire an attorney.

Norse also asked the judge about her instructions to “cooperate” with police in the meantime, saying he operates a “cop watch” program that could be construed as some type of interference with police.

“That doesn’t sound like a problem,” Symons assured him.

The other three men were appointed attorneys and Symons ordered them back for a March 5 preliminary hearing.

Attorney Art Dudley, who represents Alcantara, also asked for clarification of what “cooperation” with police entailed.

The judge said he was to obey police orders and not run from them or lie to them.

Allen’s attorney, Ben Rice, asked for a hearing to reconsider a condition set by Symons that Allen stay away from the River Street building. The hearing was scheduled for Friday.

Outside court, Rice said his client works as a photojournalist, but that he could not further discuss the grounds for challenging the order.

The men are among 11 charged in connection with a nearly three-day occupation of the building.

The others are Cameron Stephens Laurendeau, Becky Johnson, Brent Elliott Adams, Desiree Christine Foster, Edward Rector, Gabriella Ripley-Phipps and Alex Darocy.

The District Attorney’s Office announced the charges Feb. 8, after weeks of investigating who was involved in occupying the former Coast Commercial Bank. The building is owned Barry Swenson Builders, records show.

On Nov. 30, a group describing itself as an “anonymous, autonomous group acting in solidarity with Occupy Santa Cruz” burst into 75 River St. declaring they would turn into a community center. The group left the building peacefully after about 72 hours, marked by numerous negotiations with police, including an initial confrontation with officers in riot gear.

In announcing the charges, District Attorney Bob Lee said his office “remains committed to enforcing the law, protecting private and public property and holding people accountable for the destruction and illegal occupation of property.”

In an editorial submission in the Sentinel Sunday, Norse said the activists at the vacant bank had a posted no vandalism policy. He stated that those charged are “largely if not entirely alternative media journalists who regularly and sympathetically report police repression; including several bloggers, two photojournalists, a radio broadcaster, and several spokespeople.” (NOTE: The greater portion of this is missing from the online article, starting from the third word in the second sentence!…Media tampering, perhaps?)

UC chancellor raised no objection to baton report

Nanette Asimov
SF Chronicle, February 21, 2012

E-mails have surfaced that for the first time reveal UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau was informed on Nov. 9 while traveling that police used batons to forcibly remove an encampment involving hundreds of student Occupy protesters, yet did not call a halt to their use.

The use of force was criticized as excessive not only by students who were hit and are suing the university, but also by faculty and others.

The Nov. 9 protest is under investigation by a campus Police Review Board to determine who authorized use of batons by police, seen on video hitting nonviolent student protesters who had pitched tents in violation of campus policy. The five-member Review Board, convened by Birgeneau in November, is also holding hearings to determine a timeline of events that day and whether police conduct was appropriate.

Birgeneau, who was traveling in Asia on the day students first set up tents as part of the Occupy movement, received an e-mail from Provost George Breslauer soon after the first of two police confrontations with protesters on Nov. 9.

“Police used batons to gain access to the tents,” Breslauer wrote, describing a scene in which 300 to 400 students had locked arms to prevent police from moving in. “This is likely to continue for days, I suspect.”

Birgeneau responded a few hours later.

“This is really unfortunate,” the chancellor wrote. “However, our policies are absolutely clear. Obviously this group wanted exactly such a confrontation.”

A second e-mail from Birgeneau reiterates the no-tent policy and refers to the mishandling of Occupy Oakland, where tensions were inflamed in October after Mayor Jean Quan at first permitted encampments, then had police remove them forcibly. She then reversed course but eventually had the tents removed for good.

“It is critical that we do not back down on our no encampment policy,” the chancellor wrote Breslauer, copying the message to several other executives. “Otherwise, we will end up in Quan land.”

Chancellor’s apology

Birgeneau has apologized for the events of Nov. 9. He also told almost 400 members of the Faculty Senate on Nov. 28 that he was “extraordinarily disturbed” by what happened and that, as chancellor, he took full responsibility.

He told the faculty that he had explicitly prohibited police from using tear gas or pepper spray.

“Unfortunately, we did not at the same time discuss the use of the baton,” Birgeneau told the faculty.

In two open letters to students, faculty and others on campus, Birgeneau also did not reveal that he knew police had used batons. Instead, he wrote on Nov. 14 that “we cannot condone any excessive use of force against any members of our community.”

Linda Lye, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, which obtained the e-mails through the Public Records Act, identified what she called a “deeply troubling” discrepancy between how the chancellor is represented in his open letters and testimony to the Faculty Senate and how he appears in the Nov. 9 e-mails.

She said the letters and testimony “paint a misleading picture of the role (Birgeneau) played while abroad, which was in reality that he was in active contact and affirmatively set the tone for the university’s response” to protesters.

‘Batons used after the fact’

UC Berkeley spokeswoman Claire Holmes, who was among four campus executives copied on the e-mails, strongly disagreed with Lye’s interpretation.

“He found out that there were batons used after the fact,” Holmes said. “The chancellor acknowledged that that was unfortunate, but that we don’t want to abandon (the policy) that we don’t want people to camp. I don’t think you can infer from the e-mails that he’s authorized” the use of batons.

At their November meeting, the Faculty Senate passed four resolutions disapproving of Birgeneau’s handling of the Nov. 9 protest.

Yet Bob Jacobson, Faculty Senate chairman, said the e-mails by themselves fail to indict the chancellor because they don’t indicate who first authorized police to hit the nonviolent students with batons.

“I hope that the entire set of statements is going to come out at some point, and we’ll have this entire history,” Jacobson said.

Meanwhile, the ACLU plans to send a letter today to the Police Review Board, informing them of the new information.

A choice that smarts

by Peter Burke

Feb 16, 2012

Residents can opt out of Smart Meters, like the one shown here, but it will cost them $75, plus $10 per month, to avoid the new technology. Peter Burke/Press-Banner

Residents can opt out of Smart Meters, like the one shown here, but it will cost them $75, plus $10 per month, to avoid the new technology. Peter Burke/Press-Banner

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. customers in Santa Cruz County received certified letters by way of the U.S. Postal Service last week describing the fees they would pay to opt out of the widespread Smart Meter program.

PG&E notified customers following a Feb. 1 decision by the California Public Utilities Commission that it would charge a $75 one-time setup fee and a $10 monthly meter-reading charge for all customers who keep their traditional analog meters, rather than switch to wireless Smart Meters at no charge. Customers must respond by May 1 to opt out, according to PG&E.

Those notified were all on the Smart Meter Delay List — customers who had requested PG&E delay the installation of the wireless meters while the utilities commission decided on the specifics of the opt-out program.

Santa Cruz County Supervisor Neal Coonerty, who represents most of Bonny Doon and part of Santa Cruz, said he had heard from many residents on the topic of Smart Meters, most recently about the new fees.

“They’re mostly unhappy about the cost of opting out,” Coonerty said. “They feel it’s unfair and punitive and makes it more difficult to refuse the Smart Meter.”

Coonerty said he thought PG&E could eat the cost of keeping analog meters and sending employees to read them.

“(The fee) seems like a way to discourage people from opting out,” he said. “They seem like a labor-saving device for (PG&E).”

Scotts Valley’s Joshua Hart, head of watchdog, contends that the decision was made by a regulatory agency that wants to protect the Smart Meter program, despite 49 local California governments passing moratoriums or opposing the change.

“The real reason for the opt-out fee is not to cover PG&E’s costs — it’s simply to encourage people not to opt out,” Hart said.

A PG&E customer service representative explained this week that the fee would pay for a worker to check that an existing analog meter was in working condition. A sticker would then be placed on the meter to notify other workers to skip installing a Smart Meter in its place.

The utilities commission ruled that PG&E must monitor the costs associated with the opt-out program and could charge more if costs were higher than anticipated — or refund customers’ money if costs were lower.

PG&E assumed 145,800 customers would opt out in the study done for the California Public Utilities Commission. The company estimated to the commission that opting out would cost the company $416 per customer, a number far below the $75 fee the CPUC agreed PG&E could charge customers. The actual cost will depend on how many customers opt out.

Smart Meter debate heard by commission

The California Public Utilities Commission heard from Smart Meter opponents and proponents before ruling on the opt-out details.

Included in the hearing were people who opposed the meter because of radio-frequency emissions, as well as those who complained about the accuracy of the meters and the prohibitive cost of opting out to low-income or fixed-income families.

PG&E argued in favor of the meter and offered different opt-out scenarios. The company preferred to use a Smart Meter with the radio turned off as the alternative, rather than keeping an analog meter.’s position, Hart said, is that Smart Meter technology can cause long-term damage to the brain, DNA and other parts of the body. He recommends that people opt out, don’t pay the fee and do anything they feel they need to keep their analog meter.

“The bottom line is people need to take care of their own safety,” he said.

The PUC, however, cited several studies that deemed the devices safe.

Hart also recommends keeping $75 on hand in an account as a safeguard.

The commission ruled that income-qualified families under the California Alternate Rates for Energy program would pay a reduced $10 opt-out fee and $5 monthly fee.

The commission still ruled in favor of the digital technology as a way to manage California’s energy supply, reduce greenhouse emissions and manage future power plant development costs, however.

“We remind parties that while we believe that residential customers should be offered an opportunity to opt out of receiving a wireless Smart Meter, the selected option should not impede state energy objectives,” commissioners wrote in the Feb. 1 ruling. “As such, it is important that the selected opt-out option has the capability to allow customers to take advantage of smart grid benefits in the future.”

The Smart Meter collects gas- and electricity-use data and transmits it every 15 minutes by way of radio frequency to a network access point. The access point aggregates the information and sends it to PG&E by way of a cellular signal.

The constant readings allow customers to view their use hour by hour and also allow PG&E to charge different rates during peak-use hours, which fall during weekday afternoons.

How to opt out:

  • Go to
  • Call 866-743-0263.

A day after DA’s Office announces charges, one arraigned in takeover of former bank building

JESSICA M. PASKO – Santa Cruz Sentinel
Posted:   02/09/2012

SANTA CRUZ – One of the 11 people charged in connection with the takeover of a vacant bank building last year was in court Thursday morning for arraignment on charges of trespassing, conspiracy and vandalism.

Becky Johnson appeared in shackles and red jail clothes in front of Judge Ariadne Symons, and pleaded not guilty to the charges. Symons agreed to grant attorney Ed Frey’s request that Johnson be released on her own recognizance and ordered her to return to court March 2 to confirm a preliminary hearing date.

Johnson is among those named in the criminal complaint announced Wednesday by District Attorney Bob Lee in connection with the three-day takeover of a former bank at 75 River St. A group declaring themselves to be

A man flashes the victory and peace sign to fellow Occupy protesters atop the roof of the former home of Coast Commercial Bank on River Street. (Shmuel Thaler/Sentinel)

acting “anonymously, autonomously in solidarity with Occupy Santa Cruz” illegally entered the building on or about Nov. 30 and remained there for nearly three days, eventually leaving without incident after numerous police negotiations.Under the terms of Johnson’s release, she was ordered to stay away from 75 River St. and cooperate with all law enforcement.

Another defendant named in the complaint is longtime Santa Cruz activist and demonstrator Robert Norse, who has frequently clashed with police and city officials. According to court records, Norse, referred to in court documents as Robert Norse Kahn, 64, was served a warrant Wednesday charging him with trespassing, felony conspiracy and vandalism. In a signed order, he was released on his own recognizance and agreed to appear in court on Feb. 21.

Those also named in the complaint are Brent Elliott Adams, Franklin Cruz Alacantara, Bradley Stuart Allen, Desiree Christine Foster, Cameron Laurendau, Edward Rector, Gabriella Ripley-Phipps, Grant Garioch Wilson and Alex Darocy.

Mike Rowe, chief of the investigations department at the Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s Office, said he did not know how many of the warrants had been served as of

Occupy Santa Cruz members took over a vacant building on Water Street on Wednesday afternoon. (Shmuel Thaler/Sentinel)

Thursday afternoon.According to jail records, Foster, 19, was booked into County Jail Thursday morning in lieu of $5,000 bail. Darocy was arrested on the charges just before noon Wednesday, according to the Sheriff’s Office, but jail records showed he was not in custody Thursday. The Sheriff’s Office did not have record of arrests of any of the other defendants as of Thursday afternoon.

Occupy Bernal, Petaluma zero in on foreclosures

Carolyn Said
SF Chronicle, February 6, 2012

Tim Nonn blamed himself when he and his wife lost their Petaluma house to foreclosure 18 months ago after his job was outsourced and her store fell victim to the economic downturn.

“I didn’t even tell anyone in my church, I was so ashamed,” he said.

When the Occupy movement launched last year, Nonn said, “all of a sudden I found my voice and was able to let go of shame and self-blame. I realized this wasn’t just my problem; people are being foreclosed upon by the thousands.”

Along with liked-minded neighbors, he formed an Occupy Petaluma movement in October that soon focused on a specific goal: prevent local foreclosures.

In San Francisco’s Bernal Heights neighborhood, a group of residents has formed Occupy Bernal. Its aim, too, is to stop local foreclosures.

“Our model is classic community organizing where the people directly impacted by the issue share the leadership and speak for themselves with the support of their neighbors,” said one of the group’s founders, activist Buck Bagot, a Bernal resident since 1976.

The two homegrown Occupy groups exemplify new models springing up for the protest movement, even as they personify its message about economic inequality. Both are taking a hyper-local focus on an issue with national ramifications, while also lobbying for broad-based policy changes. Both rebut the frequent criticism that Occupy lacks goals and direction. As smaller, tight-knit, focused groups, they’re able to avoid the volatility of agitators who have caused some recent protests, notably those in Oakland, to veer into aggression and violence.

The two local groups employ different approaches. Occupy Petaluma ( has forged a cooperative relationship with banks, credit unions and police. Occupy Bernal ( is more confrontational, mixing some street theater with a plan to physically resist evictions. But they share a common thread of trying to forestall foreclosures and provide a voice for struggling homeowners.

Occupy Petaluma

“Vigils are the heart of what we’re doing,” Nonn said. Starting Feb. 19, the group will hold a weekly Sunday afternoon gathering in a downtown park for struggling homeowners to share their stories.

“The vigils and signs are different ways to help people in our community to come forward and begin to heal,” he said. “People have been deeply traumatized by the foreclosure crisis. Not only those facing foreclosure and eviction – the 20 million people whose mortgages are underwater are living with fear and stress every day about their financial situation. We need to let go of our shame and fear and help one another heal from this trauma so we can unite together and help keep people in their homes.”

The group is also declaring its town a “Foreclosure Prevention Zone,” pledging to organize participation, educate the public, advocate for government action and support neighbors.

At the end of the year, it persuaded the City Council to pass a holiday moratorium on foreclosures and evictions, something that many banks and other institutions were already doing. While much of that may be symbolic – the council has no jurisdiction over bank foreclosures, for instance – it has translated into some results.

Greg Morgan, president of Wells Fargo North Coast Valley, which handles seven counties north of the Golden Gate, said he has a “constructive, respectful” relationship with Occupy Petaluma.

“I was pleasantly surprised by their clear objectives,” he said. “We were able to come to common ground around realistic goals, not blanket statements.” At the group’s request, he was able to postpone some foreclosures to give former homeowners time “to get resituated and hold on to their dignity,” he said.

Morgan hopes that the government’s revised plan to refinance deeply underwater houses, which Wells will implement this month, will allow more homeowners to afford their mortgages.

Petaluma Mayor David Glass, a longtime municipal bond trader who says he never dealt in mortgage-backed securities, is fully behind Occupy Petaluma.

“They held one successful assembly after the other and built goodwill inside the community,” he said. “They got their message out without any hostility.”

Still, he admits: “Petaluma can’t wave a magic wand and pass a resolution and say somehow we will be an island where foreclosures don’t happen. This is more to set a stage where reasonable dialogue can take place.”

Petaluma resident Wendy Booth-Stahnke was laid off in 2008. After 18 months, she found a new job that pays much less. Her teenage son helps out by tutoring and doing odd jobs; she started raising her own vegetables and chickens and dipped into her 401(k) to make mortgage payments. But her home’s value has dropped, and her efforts to get a loan modification have been fruitless. She said the support of her neighbors in Occupy Petaluma has been heartening.

“Even though so many people are in this position, it is an isolating feeling,” she said. “I didn’t know where to turn, and they are filling that gap.”

Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma, said she considers Occupy Petaluma “a breath of fresh air.”

“They are giving a voice to those devastated by this economic crisis,” she said. “They take a very pragmatic, respectful, solution-oriented approach. They might be a model to others that there are ways to have a win-win.”

In fact, Nonn said similar movements have formed in Ohio, New Jersey and other Northern California towns. “We have weekly conference calls with people from around the country,” he said.

Occupy Bernal

Also inspired by the larger Occupy movement, Occupy Bernal sprang into being in December when several residents realized that dozens of their neighbors – largely people of color – were facing foreclosure. They drew 75 people to their first meeting and went door to door to struggling homeowners, offering to help them fight foreclosures.

“We all love our neighborhood and its diversity and don’t want to see it turn into a yuppie enclave like much of San Francisco,” said Beth Stephens, an art professor at UC Santa Cruz who helped start Occupy Bernal.

At a colorful protest on City Hall steps in January, Occupy Bernal, which included the self-styled “Wild Old Women” affinity group, got that day’s foreclosure auctions canceled.

Ed Donaldson, housing counseling director at nonprofit San Francisco Housing Development Corp., has worked with Occupy Bernal to advise the neighbors facing foreclosures. “I think it’s great that residents are raising their voices out of concern about what’s happening to their neighbors,” he said.

He thinks big changes can come from such steps.

“President Obama, who talked about the housing crisis in the State of the Union, takes his lead from what’s happening on the ground,” he said. “It’s been demonstrated time and again that if folks are interested in having their issues addressed, there has to be an outcry.”

Alberto Del Rio, a life insurance agent, is struggling to keep the Bernal house his parents bought in 1973.

“If it wasn’t for the members of Occupy Bernal, I would not have known where to go,” he said. “They came to my house and told me, ‘We want to save your house.’ ”

The group and Donaldson have gotten a foreclosure auction on his home postponed twice, while he continues to seek a loan modification, he said.

After discovering that Wells Fargo services more troubled Bernal mortgages than other banks, Occupy Bernal met with Wells executives and asked them to escalate resolution of those cases.

“It’s about pressuring the bank executives, right now Wells Fargo particularly, to have some kindness and compassion and work with people,” said artist and educator Annie Sprinkle, a longtime Bernal resident. “That’s all we’re asking for, is for them to be reasonable and make it possible for good people, families to stay in their houses.”

Bagot put it more bluntly. “We’ve tried talking with Wells Fargo and would like to continue, but if (they are unresponsive) we will have no choice but to try to embarrass the hell out of them,” he said.

Stephens said she and others are realistic about what can be accomplished.

“I’m not delusional enough to think it will be an easy thing or that banks will suddenly embrace us as a positive financial strategy for them,” she said. “We understand that. But they could renegotiate the loans.

“I think acting in local community and actually seeing those results – whether or not we’re actually able to stop the banks, the people at least know that their neighbors care about them,” she said. “Working at the local neighborhood level can be very empowering.”


Occupy Oakland: Protesters are planning to march through downtown Oakland today to show support for demonstrators who have been arrested. Their schedule is as follows, according to their website:

9 a.m.: Rally inside Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse.

Noon: Rally at Frank Ogawa Plaza.

1 p.m.: March to Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse again.

2 p.m.: Pack courthouse again.

Counterprotest: Residents and merchants plan to stage a “Stand for Oakland” protest today over the lost business, violence and cost of security they say have resulted from Occupy protests. Their countermarch is scheduled to begin at 11:45 a.m. at Frank Ogawa Plaza.