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UPDATE Hot to Trot: Fairgrounds Can Host Rodeo

The Santa Cruz Deputy Sheriff’s Charity Rodeo is this weekend, but the lawsuit remains unresolved.

So when a state judge's decision came down earlier this week that the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds can host this weekend's rodeo, that didn't mean the questions about environmental impacts of fairgrounds activities had been resolved.

Essentially, the lawsuit has not been decided. No one has prevailed in the court battle.

Patch reported incorrectly on this.

A press release issued by the fairgrounds had inaccurate information and, at the request of the California Attorney General's Office, was removed from the fairgrounds website, according to StopTheRodeo.org.

is organized by the Stars of Justice Inc, part of the Santa Cruz County Deputy Sheriff's Association. Gates open at 8 a.m. Saturday.

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A state judge ruled Tuesday that the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds has complied with all of the applicable environmental regulations to host the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Charity Rodeo this weekend, the fairgrounds announced Tuesday afternoon.

The decision comes just in the nick of time for the Stars of Justice Rodeo, set for Saturday and Sunday at the , north of Watsonville on East Lake Avenue.

The challenge to the rodeo—filed by Stop the Rodeo, Citizens for Environmental Responsibility and an animal rights activist—is one of .

The fairgrounds issues have divided the community. Some want the fairgrounds to be more respectful to neighbors, raising concerns about noise, contamination of area streams and traffic. Others argue those asking for changes to the fairgrounds will shut down a community asset.

Rob Marani, president of the Santa Cruz County Fair Board, said in a prepared statement that the judge's ruling Tuesday validated the actions of his board.

"This is further proof that the ongoing lawsuits are a huge waste of the Fair’s time and the public’s money," Marani said. "PETA and CAFA are wasting their efforts and the money could better be used for the benefit of our kids and our community.

The Stars of Justice Rodeo is a benefit for several youth organizations. Gates open at 8 a.m. Saturday.

Carol Carson September 28, 2011 at 04:09 PM
Rodeos are just one more event that humans have historically devised to torment innocent animals for entertainment, like the Roman Coliseum, bull fighting, and circuses. All in the name of children?
Joan E. DeNeffe September 28, 2011 at 06:13 PM
Once again the Patch gets it wrong. The fairgrounds did not win the lawsuit. The judge did not rule that the fairgrounds had met all the environmental regulations. Quite the contrary. The judge rules that neither side had explained their positions clearly enough so he requested each side to present him with briefs of their positions which he will review. The judge did decide not to grant an injunction to stop the rodeo at this time unfortunately. These lawsuits are strictly about the fairgrounds not being in compliance with environmental laws. For more information about stopping the rodeo go to www.stoptherodeo.org.
Jennifer Squires September 29, 2011 at 04:22 AM
Thanks for clarifying.

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