Another crazy week in Santa Cruz! We’re talking about how the local homeless services center is refusing to service the local homeless this winter. We’re also discussing the drive by shootings. Yes, we’ve had 4 just this week (that I know of). We’ve also got updates on the car crashing into Betty Burger, dumpster fires downtown, a cat burglary, a drunk driver runs stop signs on the westside, the downtown port-potty gets torched again, the Leveelies tell the city to take a hike, upcoming street festivals downtown, Robert Singleton rides along with SCPD, city council candidate watch updates, DeCinzotized, The Dumpster Report, weekly shoutouts, and probably a few other things I left out.
When Talk Goes From Cheap to Meaningless
I caught this story and video on Wednesday night, it’s out of San Francisco actually. San Francisco covers Santa Cruz better than some local media does apparently. According to the article, “The riverwalk area has long been a magnet for muggings, drug dealing, and homeless encampments.” LONG BEEN A MAGNET FOR MUGGINGS, DRUG DEALING, AND HOMELESS ENCAMPMENTS. It didn’t happen overnight. It wasn’t “whac-a-trolled” out a few months ago and then came back. It set up permanent presence there while the city looked the other way and did nothing about it. It never left. LONG BEEN A MAGNET. Remember those 4 words. Repeat those 4 words. “Long been a magnet”.
(I love how the article headline refers to the re-branded “Riverwalk” as “Crime-Ridden River Bank”. They sure don’t put lipstick on a pig in the San Francisco media! – BD)
“The crackdown has begun in earnest, flooding the riverwalk with cops, rangers, and cleanup crews. The idea is to apply maximum effort, take back the area, and never let it get so bad again”. Talk is so cheap when it comes from the city manager’s mouth. It’s even cheaper when he sends someone else up to do his talking. We’re not worth his time. He sends Scott up to tell us the same thing we’ve been hearing for YEARS!! (I guess Scott’s back from his vacation! – BD). That’s when his talk goes from cheap to meaningless. Put up or shut up already. You’ve had YEARS to impress us here and you haven’t done Jaco Mierda. I’ll believe it when I see it. Remember 4 years ago?
“It’s about taking it back for the community. For everyone to feel welcome. A lot of people don’t feel it’s a welcoming environment and that needs to change,” Santa Cruz Deputy City Manager Scott Collins said in the video. Wow, you know, there’s this local group that kind of advocates for this stuff he’s saying here! I think they might have found a new mission statement! I love the 2 old timers in the video who are blunt and to the point:
“This has been a backwater, and it could be a great area for the city of Santa Cruz and the people who live here, and business can benefit greatly. But people don’t come here because of the atmosphere” one of them laments in the video.
Here’s some more talk you might be interested in:
- The Santa Cruz Police Department responded to 1131 calls for service over the course of Labor Day Weekend
- We’ve had at least 4 separate drive by shootings in the city in the past week
PUBLIC SAFETY FOLKS! IF YOU IGNORE IT, BAD THINGS HAPPEN!
Local Homeless Services Center Refuses to Service the Local Homeless
Then why are they here? I learned recently that the local black hole of nuisance crime, the Homeless Services Center, has refused to operate or even participate in the Winter Shelter program this coming winter. This comes as they continue to enjoy the mother of all sweetheart deals gifted from the city of Santa Cruz. Their “campus”. Now they don’t want to offer even the most basic essential services – shelter from the freezing cold in the winter. I repeat. THEN WHY ARE THEY HERE? CAN WE HAVE OUR LAND BACK NOW? Can we evict this rag tag non-profit that has never taken the community’s concerns seriously?
The county of Santa Cruz recently put out a Request For Proposals (RFP) for an operator for the Winter Shelter program for 2016-2017. Guess how many responses it received? ZERO! It had to put out the RFP a second time. That’s right. THE HOMELESS SERVICES CENTER DOESN’T WANT TO SERVICE THE LOCAL HOMELESS THIS WINTER. And did I mention that sweetheart deal with the city of Santa Cruz for the land their “campus” sits on? $1 per year. PRETTY SWEET. Expires in 2060. EVEN SWEETER.
So who will the county find to operate the shelter at the Santa Cruz Armory? The Homeless Services Center? We already know the answer there. They not only bailed on the program for this year, they have ZERO interest in helping here. Encompass? Nah. They don’t want it. Salvation Army? Nah. Maybe everyone’s favorite local porta-potty scrubber will finally get the call he’s been waiting for! I’m not even sure he’d want it. Yet all of these groups and many others offering “compassionate services for the homeless” will show up at budget time with their hands out looking for yet another handout from the city (to use for everything BUT helping the homeless find a warm place to sleep in the winter). And the city would usually comply gladly. I know what I’d give them if I was sitting up there and they came around at budget time looking for another handout but refusing to participate in this most basic need. I’d give them my middle finger. Didn’t city council member Don Lane previously sit on their Board of Directors and sing their praises each time they showed up with their hands out looking for a handout? He sure did. Can someone please ask Don what he thinks about all this? I’d love to hear his latest excuse for their negligence and ineptitude. He’s never responded to any email I’ve ever sent to city hall.
Hey Santa Cruz! Good luck with that RFP. This is what happens when you constantly freely give and expect nothing in return for that generosity. You get taken advantage of.
Friday Morning Shooting at Denny’s on Ocean Street
Thank God it’s Friday right! 9AM. All those visitors staying at those hotels at the end of Highway 17 right as you come into Santa Cruz, just waking up ready to start their morning and their Labor Day long holiday weekend in Santa Cruz. Let’s bring the kids to Denny’s for breakfast before we hit the beach. WATCH OUT FOR FLYING BULLETS! So much for it being the “Best Week to be in Santa Cruz”. Maybe if you want to be shot as an innocent bystander as you eat your Grand Slam breakfast it’s the best week to be here. I hate to sound like a broken record here but the area around this Denny’s (and more specifically the Ferrell’s Donuts) is a WELL KNOWN AREA for general vagrancy and drug related activity. It’s usually the first thing you see when you come in to Santa Cruz on Ocean. Bums panhandling in the median, or worse, the Walking Dead slowly shuffling their shopping carts in and out of moving traffic. The city has known about this location FOREVER and has looked the other way here. Chosen to do nothing. Willful ignorance. Just let the merchants like Denny’s and the various hotels deal with it. And now we’ve got another morning shooting in Santa Cruz. Not a “vibrant” look here folks! More details in the Senile.
Friday Night Shooting Near Depot Park
Friday night around midnight, there was a reported drive by shooting on Chestnut near Neary Lagoon and Depot Park. This would be around the Neary Lagoon Co-Op housing complex. Right next to where the city just dedicated a vibrant new kid’s playground! Bullet casings were reportedly found on the scene on lower Chestnut. They found no victims on the scene. 4 Hispanic males were seen leaving the scene in what was described as a silver Oldsmobile. Given the timing with the Betty’s Burgers crash and dash, I’m wondering if the 2 incidents are related. About an hour later, it was reported that a gunshot wound victim showed up at Dominican. SCPD believes it’s related.
Crash Crashes Into Betty Burgers on Seabright Avenue
Around 11:30pm on Friday night, a car crashed into the Betty Burgers on Seabright and Murray. Witnesses described seeing 6 Hispanic men and women run from the car after it was stuck inside the building. They also described some of the suspects running into Brady’s (more likely running in the back door and back out the front) and basically scattering into the neighborhood. Sounds like it might be gang related.
I’m pretty sure the car sticking out of the building is a Buick. The car described in the Chestnut drive by shooting is an Oldsmobile. Is this how the gangs now try to avoid detection? Drive old people cars?
Not sure how badly the building was damaged but a car was sticking out of it. It’s not a big building. Apparently they are still open while repairs go on. I like Betty Burgers. It really sucks when good local businesses pay the price for Santa Cruz being an easy mark.
Possible Drive By Shooting off King Street Near Miramar
Tuesday night around 9pm, multiple people reported hearing shots fired near Miramar and King streets on the westside of Santa Cruz. Callers reported seeing 3-4 Hispanic males in their 20’s wearing dark clothing running down an alley near the location. At least 2 other Hispanic males also fled the scene when their car, which had 2 flat tires on the same side of the car (shot out possibly), was approached by SCPD. SCPD sent at least three units to blanket the area in search of the suspects. Sounds like it may have been another gang drive by shooting. One of the suspects that fled and abandoned the vehicle with the flat tires was kind enough to leave his wallet behind. DOH. I hate when that happens.
Dumpster Fire Blocks Cars in Downtown Garage
Friday night around 8pm, there was apparently a dumpster fire in one of the downtown parking garages (on Locust street) and it literally blocked the cars inside from leaving the garage. People were backed up trying to exit and couldn’t get out. No word on how long it took to clear the dumpster fire and let the cars leave. I hope the city at least turned the clock off on everyone’s parking tickets while this was going on.
Downtown Porta-Potty Set On Fire Again
I heard someone set the new “bathroom” (ok, it’s actually a dressed up Porta-Potty) downtown on fire on Saturday afternoon. The one at Cedar and Union. Remember why the city has decided to use Porta-Potties for 24/7 toilet access downtown? This is why. It’s because we can’t have nice things in Santa Cruz. Nice clean bathrooms downtown are out of the question. You’ll get Porta-Potties and you’ll be happy we’re giving you that. And the city is kind of validated here, not matter how much mierda we hear from everyone’s favorite local Porta-Potty Custodian.
Project Purr’s Rescued Treasures Shop Burglarized Downtown
I really hate to report this one. I really like the folks at Project Purr. Someone broke into their store on Front street. Their Rescued Treasures store is a cute little thrift shop that folks donate stuff to, and the proceeds go to Project Purr, a great local group that works to advocate for TNR (Trap, Neuter, Release) for local feral cats. Sources tell me that someone broke the window next to the back door and got in and took what little cash to make change the next day, every ring in the jewelry case, and boxes of vintage pocket knives. Kind of gives new meaning to the term “cat burglar”. Rescued Treasures is located on Front street near Laurel. And it’s located right across the street from the Riverwalk and the levee. You know that place where bums kill each other? Yeah that place. In fact, that happened about 100 feet from the store. So obviously the city has cleaned up that area! Obviously not. If you happen to be downtown, stop by their store (Front near Laurel) and throw some love to the feral cats. They could use the boost.
Drunk Driver Runs Over Stop Signs on Westside and Flees to San Jose
About 11:30 on Saturday night, Santa Cruz Police responded to the area of Delaware and Swift for a possible hit and run with a van. The suspected vehicle was described as a white Ford van and had hit several street signs and drove erratically tailgating and flashing a bright light behind a car. The driver then intentionally drove over about 20 different stop signs. I guess he really doesn’t like stop signs. SCPD located the van and attempted to conduct a traffic stop. The driver of the van failed to yield to the officers and eventually traveled over Highway 17 when the Santa Cruz CHP took over. San Jose CHP and Santa Clara County Deputies cornered the suspect in Santa Clara at a dead end street where he was finally arrested.
Santa Cruz Does Need a Better City Council
A couple of folks shared a link with me about a new website that discusses a more “moderate” slate of local city council candidates, and why a moderate city council is what’s best for the future of Santa Cruz. No argument from me there!
The group, calling itself “Citizens for a Better City Council for Santa Cruz”, created BetterNewCouncil.com, which seems to position all 4 of the perceived “moderate” candidates as the best “slate” of candidates. I like the message and of course I like the theme (Dru Glover and I are both fans of the Zerif Lite! – BD). Do we need a “better” city council? ABSOLUTELY. Do we need a more “moderate” city council? ABSOLUTELY. We need to stop electing idealistic people who can’t grasp the reality of actually running a city. Extreme? NO. Moderate? YES.
Trash Cleanup Volunteers Tell the City to Take a Hike
Volunteers from the Leveelies, a nice group of ladies that donate their time weekly to pick up after the bums along the Riverwalk, have decided the city no longer makes it safe for them to do so. I know from friends that it’s been scary dangerous for some time, and some in the group had dropped out over the past several months as a result. In fact, it goes back at least 4 years. Here’s a quote from that article from 4 YEARS AGO. “Some measures have already been taken to revitalize the areas along the San Lorenzo River Levee, which have long been plagued with illegal campsites, used drug paraphernalia and human refuse.” SOUND FAMILIAR? What’s really changed since then? Some of the city council has changed. At least 2 of them. Not the “do nothing” city manager though.
“It is with a sad, sad heart that I am announcing that the Leveelies will be curtailing their volunteer work on the Riverwalk,” Leveelies leader Janet Fardette wrote in an email sent to members of the group and numerous other city officials including the Santa Cruz City Council, SCPD, Public Works and Parks and Recreation departments. “We do not feel safe on the levee and are hoping that, in the future, the Riverwalk is once again a safe place to volunteer and continue our work. This decision is not easily made.”
Somehow “vibrant” isn’t quite the word I’m looking for here. Nope. It’s SHAMEFUL. Isn’t it time for the city to stop yanking this woman’s chain already? How many times has she complained (weekly)? How many times has the city made promises to her they didn’t keep, or blew off after a few days (it goes back at least 4 years)? At what point do you finally just tell the city to go take a hike? Apparently we’ve reached that point here.
More on this story from the Senile here.
Hugh was particularly incensed about some woman who questioned the Leveelies concerns over the OBVIOUS public safety issues along the riverwalk. Remember “LONG BEEN A MAGNET FOR MUGGINGS, DRUG DEALING, AND HOMELESS ENCAMPMENTS” (see the top of the page). I figured I’d give him a chance to blow off some steam before he blows a gasket here. – BD
So there is no City Council meeting this week, but I wanted to touch base on the violence on the Levee. As most of us know the Leveelies are a group of people (mostly retired) started by a woman named Janet. Janet and her friends have been cleaning the Levee twice a week for close to 7 years. Prior to the murder that took place there 2 weeks ago, several of the people cleaning have said they have seen an increase of drug sales, people that have been behaving more erratically than usual and an all-around feeling of unsettledness. The vibe is very different.
The other night I was on a Facebook page and this person, based on their name I’m not sure if they are male or female, stated that Janet portrayed herself as a “frightened woman”. Who is this troll to say how anyone else should feel about being on the levee? Does he/she set the standard? How self-centered is this person to proclaim how anyone else should feel anywhere? Did I mention that Janet has been CLEANING THE LEVEE TWICE A WEEK FOR 7 YEARS? That is hardly a frightened woman. That is a bad ass. Janet is a person that shows extreme courage & caring and does it all with dignity and respect for every being she passes by. This is a woman that has volunteered her time, her energy and her heart to this never ending problem of litter to keep it out off of the ground, out of the river and subsequently out of the ocean. She has simply sensed a major change in the vibe at the Levee and I have to agree. Will I stop going there? No. Do I have judgement about someone else not feeling safe there? Of course not. We all bring our life experiences to the table. So troll, if you are still running on the Levee every morning how about you pick up some garbage on the way. Bring a sharps container.
UCSC Students Move Back to Campus Beginning Next Week
UCSC students begin their annual fall migration back up Bay street to campus from September 15th – 18th. The Fall Quarter begins on September 17th and classes begin on September 22nd. The traffic that weekend will be a mess. So this is your warning to try to avoid driving around the Mission/Bay area that weekend. And forget about going out to eat. Restaurants will be packed with freshmen and their parents. Do yourself a favor and just stay home and ride it out. It will be over on Monday.
San Lorenzo Park Food Truck Event a Big Success
I heard from many people who stopped by San Lorenzo Park on their First Friday stroll around downtown last week that it was a huge success, with about 500 people stopping by and hanging out in the park. I even heard they ran out of booze! It was all for a good cause (FOPAR) and I’m really glad it was successful. I did hear that the city sent the Rangers over around 3pm to “sweep” the park of bums (and reportedly there were numerous pockets of bums that needed shooing). I also heard the Rangers were a little late getting there to provide “protection” (and apparently the event wouldn’t start without them), but it started pretty close to on time. It would be nice to have the sweeps done, I don’t know a few times a day instead of just when we have city sponsored events there. Might encourage more positive use of the space if people didn’t feel threatened every time they venture down there (and this concern is obviously validated by the city’s sweeping the area and requiring Ranger security onsite for the event).
Capitola Art and Wine Festival
Check out the Capitola Art and Wine Festival, this Saturday and Sunday. With 160 fine artists expected to display this year, wine tasting from 22 Santa Cruz mountain wineries, music and performing arts, gourmet food, stuff for the kids, and more. Beside the beach in Capitola. Free parking and shuttles from Capitola Mall.
Santa Cruz Greek Festival this Weekend
This weekend marks the return of the Santa Cruz Greek Festival, taking place Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at the Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church at 223 Church street in downtown. Free admission. And really tasty Greek food, along with dancing and live music. Proceeds benefit the church. Always a nice, fun, little scene in their back parking lot.
Indie Biz Expo at Cocoanut Grove at the Boardwalk Next Week
Check out the Indie Biz Expo at the Cocoanut Grove on Beach street next Thursday, September 15th from 4:30-7:30pm. If you pre-register to attend it’s FREE but it’s gonna cost you $5 at the door. The event features pop-up shops and booths from local businesses. There will be free swag, free food, and product demos available as well. Free is good! Supporting local businesses is good! Click here to register or get more information.
City Council Candidate Robert Singleton to Ride Along with SCPD
Finally! Now we’re getting somewhere. Let’s see for ourselves what all this “public safety” fuss is all about. Let’s get our hands dirty here. I personally prefer leadership over lip service and by doing this, Singleton is showing me that. Let’s see if any others step up here and follow his lead. – BD
City Council Candidate Robert Singleton is going to do a “ride along” with SCPD. When? Tonight! This should be quite the eye opening experience. He even says so himself. Part of me hopes the city doesn’t disappoint here but honestly, I’d never wish that on anyone. Still, it’s a Friday night in Santa Cruz. It won’t be boring! This past Friday we had 2 shootings and a car crashed into Betty Burgers. I had a mutual friend reach out to him and I think he’s going to do a first hand write up of his experiences that night. Which I’ll share here! Stay tuned.
Santa Cruz Neighbors Candidate Forum This Wednesday
The Santa Cruz Neighbors will be holding a city council candidate forum on Wednesday night at the SCPD community meeting room. I like this group. They are public safety focused. This should be a good forum if you have questions or concerns about public safety (like I obviously do). It will also be refreshing to see how well some of the progressive candidates perform in front of a “moderate friendly” crowd.
City Council Election Watch
We’re into September now and the race is heating up. Many of the candidates have been seen walking the hoods, knocking on doors wanting to chat. None of them bite. Chat them up. Ask them why public safety isn’t their top priority? Because really, what’s more important than being safe? Nothing. I think being alive and healthy tops my personal wish list.
You’ll start seeing their signs popping up everywhere all over town. You’ll see them at community forums debating local topics. I’ll share what I know. It’s mostly opinion. I’m also going to rate them on what I’m calling my “Progress-o-meter”. With a 1 being a Trump Republican and a 10 being Don Lane. And I’ll add casual observations overall every now and then. This week, I’m also adding what I’m calling “Ryan or Micah?” (as in Ryan Coonerty or Micah Posner). If one of them endorses a candidate, I’ll let you know.
And this week, Vault Boy tells us if he thinks the candidates are “trending” up or down! (this will likely change each week until the election)
UPCOMING CANDIDATES FORUMS:
- September 14: Santa Cruz Neighbors Candidate Forum, 155 Center St.
- September 21: Democratic Central Committee Endorsement Forum, 740 Front Street, Suite 165
- September 22: Downtown Association Candidate Forum, 307 Church St.
CANDIDATES ENDORSED BY THE WEEKLY DUMP!
I’m endorsing her for a number of reasons. She has a masters degree in public policy so she’s not just someone with a bunch of grand ideas with no substance and no ability to make it happen. She seems pragmatic. She works for the County Office of Education so she’s already doing public service work that really does benefit not only the community but the less fortunate as well. I realize she’s not actively selling “public safety” as part of her campaign, and that’s a concern for me. But I think she understands what needs to be done there without the need to spell it out yet. I really like what I saw at the first candidate forum. I think she was the best speaker. She didn’t read from a script but seemed to be very well prepared. She’s raising 2 young kids. I’m sure she can handle the kindergarten atmosphere of most city council meetings like the adult in the room. I have little doubt that she’d do a fine job on the city council. I might not agree with all of her positions, and I’m fine with that. I’m not always right. Just most of the time. Good performances at all of the forums so far and a great list of endorsements. She’s been walking the neighborhoods and doing the local event circuit and posting updates about it on social media. Trending up.
Progressometer Rating: 7
Ryan or Micah?: Ryan
I’m endorsing him for a number of reasons. He’s smart, ambitious, and idealistic. And perhaps more importantly he’s fresh. He’s not a retread. He’s also not afraid to tackle sensitive subjects and try to identify better solutions. He’s not married to an ideology. He seems both progressive and pragmatic. I think he understands the challenges of improving public safety in Santa Cruz, a town easily frightened by a rescue vehicle named after a cute little animal. One thing I feel he does understand is the red-line level of dysfunction within the city government. I don’t think he can fix it (at least not by himself) but I don’t think he’ll perpetuate it either. I think he’s a break from the status quo, despite being endorsed by the status quo. He serves on the Downtown Commission, so I’m sure he’d represent their interests better than some of the others on the city council do or will. And perhaps his biggest strength is he’s smart enough to understand the nuances of data driven analytics and how to apply that to improving the way our city government “does business”, especially with social service based non-profits looking for handouts in perpetuity. Good performances at all of the forums so far and a great list of endorsements. He’s starting to walk the neighborhoods and doing the local event circuit and posting updates about it on social media. Doing a ride along with SCPD tonight and talking more public safety. Trending up.
Progressometer Rating: 7
Ryan or Micah?: Ryan
Other Candidate Profiles:
Brown is a former reporter for the Sentinel. He works in communications and brand management with a successful local firm, and has an impressive list of endorsements. He is currently serving as a City of Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation Commission member and a member of the Santa Cruz County Housing Advisory Commission. He did ok at the forums, but nothing he says really stands out or differentiates him from anyone else. It’s like he’s a safe bet for a lot of people. He seems really nice, down to earth, seems to want to please everyone. Not sure how well that will work for him. But he’s been the leader in raising donations (by far) so his message is resonating with his donors at least. Solid performances at all of the forums so far, a great list of endorsements, and leading all candidates in donations has him trending up.
Progressometer Rating: 8
Ryan or Micah?: Ryan
Sandy Brown is an assistant professor at the University of San Francisco and University of the Pacific. She previously worked for the local Community Action Board, and has taken part in the city’s Living Wage Advisory Committee, the Citizens’ Police Advisory Board and Santa Cruz County Women’s Commission. She also doesn’t like city hall. She doesn’t seem to have any real plan here but he unions love her anyways. Terrible performances at the forums so far, no website, but she has solid backing from the “sheeple” so far (unions and SCAN) so she’s on the rise, despite doing nothing to earn it.
Progressometer Rating: 9
Ryan or Micah?: Micah maybe?
Jim writes jingles for KPIG radio. And he likes cool hats. He looks every bit like a rock star. I’d call him the “Average Joe” candidate but his name is Jim. I know he thinks the city doesn’t do nearly enough for the homeless and he’s disgusted by all the needles found in public spaces. So he’s a definite wild card. He can be BOTH very progressive and very moderate. Now that’s an anomaly in Santa Cruz. Was recently busted for a DUI (after the black eye). The forums haven’t been his friend, he just seems either lost or incoherent, no website, no endorsements, sinking like a rock. He can be very entertaining but I’m not sure what we need is an “entertaining” city council member. He’s colorful for sure.
Progressometer Rating: 8
Ryan or Micah?: Neither
Founder of “Project Pollinate”, a community activism group that likes to throw parties 4 times a year in San Lorenzo Park. Works for the resource center for non-violence. Has never held public office before. Good speaker but talks really fast to fit all his ideas in. Seems to really love the color purple. Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called “life”. He’s done pretty good in the progressive friendly forums so far but that’s his crowd. He’s lacking in “name” endorsements, but he’s doing pretty good on the social media and event circuit. He’s trending up slightly.
Progressometer Rating: 8
Ryan or Micah?: Micah
Hard to take Nate seriously. No website. Sometimes he has a few good ideas, and I think he really cares. In reality, he has little to no chance of winning a seat. He did bring color and laughs (no flair, that would be Jim Davis) to the first forum. He’s skipped a couple forums since the first forum (or maybe they didn’t invite him) and the air is quickly leaving his balloon here. I really felt like Nate was using this as an opportunity to hear his ideas and now that he’s been given the chance, he’s missing in action. Maybe he got bored. Maybe the whole thing was too overwhelming for him. Maybe he smartened up and someone talked some sense into him. I haven’t seen him on Pacific lately. Still has no website, no endorsements, no chance. Trending way down.
Progressometer Rating: 9
Ryan or Micah?: Neither
Another former mayor and city council person comes back to try to haunt us. He is the Internship Director for the Environmental Studies Department at UCSC. He was elected to the Santa Cruz City Council in 1998 and was mayor of Santa Cruz in 2002. He’s been out of city politics for 14 years. The Santa Cruz Weekly actually described him as “one of Santa Cruz’s most famously leftist former mayors”. He would be the reincarnation of Don Lane. He gets the Perfect 10 on the Progress-o-meter. Even Mike Rotkin, notorious local socialist who previously served with Krohn on the city council, said “If you ask my opinion, I don’t think he’d make a great council member”. I guess that rules out his endorsement here. He’s done very well at the forums and he works the crowd well. He’s using his “experience” as the “alternate leader” of the progressive “slate” so he’s getting some benefit by association from the moderate acceptance of Glover & Schnaar so far. He’s basically a hot mess but let’s face it, the old SCAN crowd loves a hot mess. Trending up.
Progressometer Rating: 10
Ryan or Micah?: Micah
Current mayor. Long time city council member. She’s been involved in Santa Cruz politics since the Pacific Garden Mall days. She has had a history of leaning progressive but has become more moderate in recent years. She seems to have the best interests of the entire community in mind, even though I still think she leans too far left much of the time. I just feel like she had the opportunity as mayor to make a real difference this year but I just didn’t see it. I saw a lot of pandering but I didn’t see any major changes for the better. Just the opposite. That’s not a “vibrant” look and it’s on her watch. She’s trying really hard to not bring herself down to the level of some of the others here. She’s done ok at the forums in front of basically unfriendly crowds (people were actually hissing at her at the PDC forum), she has GREAT endorsements if you like that. More than anything it’s just timing and a tormenta de mierda of bad public safety related events in the city right now is trending her down. 3 drive by shootings in the city this week. Not helping her. She’s the mayor.
Progressometer Rating: 7
Ryan or Micah?: Ryan
Steve seems to be everywhere now that the campaign season is in full swing. He’s all over social media. Every photo-op you can likely find Steve ready to photobomb it. He loves attention. He loves the limelight. He loves to hear himself talk. He is running mostly on what I’ll call the “homeless” platform, bent on repealing the sleeping ban and other homeless issues. I’m sure he’s hoping to tap the old SCAN crowd once again but how many times can they go to the well and find it empty yet again. He couldn’t even get an endorsement from the world’s oldest progressive city council candidate forum audience. That hurts. He hasn’t really done anything wrong, he’s just done it all before many times. And the “New Progressives” (led by 16 year absentee relic Krohn) have kind of decided he’s not one of the cool kids in their clique anymore. If he’s been marginalized within the progressives, he’s trending down. Go Independent Steve! Don’t let the “progressive” tail wag YOU!
Progressometer Rating: 9.9
Ryan or Micah?: Neither
Founder and director of the Santa Cruz Fruit Tree project, and a volunteer mechanic for the Bike Church. I really like both of these groups, although the Bike Church has had a stigma for supporting bike thieves. Long time social activist. Has had previous issues with SCPD and the city council (mostly related to the Bike Church). Married to Stacy Falls, longtime progressive advocate for homeless issues and co-founder with Brent Adams of the sanctuary camp project. I know he comes across as pretty soft spoken but his positions can be pretty extreme (and he seemingly has a tendency to take rejection personally when it comes to dealing with the city, much like Micah does now). Schnaar has actually done well at each forum, and was endorsed by the PDC (beating Pleich). I think his calm demeanor works well for him. Newly anointed part of the “New Progressives” ticket (with AARP member Krohn, Glover, and of all people the woman without a plan Sandy Brown!). He’s in, Pleich is out. Trending up slightly.
Progressometer Rating: 9
Ryan or Micah?: Micah
Vote NO on Proposition 57!
This is very important. Let me say this again a little louder. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.
Even if you don’t vote for anything else this November, please vote NO on Proposition 57. Voting NO keeps criminals in jail. Voting yes sends them out into the community. Maybe your neighborhood even. DON’T BUY THE HYPE.
This is Governor Brown’s way of reducing overcrowding in the jails. Open the doors and let some of them out.
DeCinzotized – Classic Steven DeCinzo
The Dumpster Report
“The Dumpster Report” irregularly features letters to the city from the community at large or op/ed letters from the community sent to me here at Santa Mierda! This one comes to me by email from Marie Klassen of Santa Cruz. Thanks Marie! – BD
City Leadership FAIL
Ask yourself, what has happened under the watch of City Manager Martin Bernal? I am disgusted with the lack of leadership on the City’s part to draw a line in the sand and say ENOUGH to the misbehavior, illegal activity, and violence in our public spaces. His reaction and response to date has been pure weak sauce. The City Council needs to “man/woman up” and hold him accountable – full stop. Here is a share from San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener, DEMOCRAT. As you read this, replace San Francisco with Santa Cruz…..easy to do.
Consequence Fee Zones, Anything Goes, Accountability
Scott Wiener, DEMOCRAT, San Francisco Supervisor
“This is what happens when a city allows a toxic street situation to fester. San Francisco (Santa Cruz) *must* stop allowing our streets to be the Wild West. No more of this “anything goes” atmosphere – an atmosphere that has led to a significant spike in crime and people feeling unsafe in their own neighborhoods. People must be accountable for their behavior in our community, and we must deal with the mental illness and drug addiction explosion on our streets. Our city government needs to get it together to address crime by having zero tolerance for dangerous and unhealthy street behavior, getting sick people the help they need, and prosecuting people who commit crimes. We must be consistent and proactive here and stop being reactive. Enough. San Francisco (Santa Cruz) at times is a consequence-free zone. I’m not advocating extreme law and order, but there has to be consequences. Sometimes people might need to spend six months in jail to think about what they did.”
I have yet to see anyone from the City come anywhere close to saying ENOUGH. Lots of excuses, if not there than where? Are you kidding me!!! HOW ABOUT NOWHERE.
Our City Council needs to hold Mr. Bernal ACCOUNTABLE. If that means replacing him – so be it. He has been ineffective for way too long.
Weekly shoutout to Ken Collins who’s been sharing the Dump lately with his friends. Yo Skindog, I’ve got a column with your name on it waiting for you. Hit me up. At your leisure. Shout out to “Dirty Bathrobe Guy” for including Santa Mierda! into his usual whine and cheese complaining over on that website that deletes any opinion that doesn’t reek of progressive nonsense. I know it was only 2 or 3 people who came over but thanks for the mention! Shout out to Betty Burgers, who need your business while they rebuild the front of their restaurant on Seabright. And Rescued Treasures on Front near Laurel, stop by and show the cats some love!
My Favorite Quote of the Week
“People were having bad trips all over the place. But it was pretty fun”
– 2 random guys, obviously just getting home from Burning Man, overheard unloading their car on Washington Street
Glitchy Video Issues With Weekly Dump Subscriptions
Some of you who receive the Weekly Dump by email each week might have noticed a small glitch with embedded video. There isn’t any. I noticed that a couple weeks back and forgot about it this past week. So in the future, I’ll try to remember to add a text link to the video in addition to embedding it. Sorry about any confusion this may have caused. And if you see a reference to a video that doesn’t seem to exist (in the email version of the Weekly Dump), you can see the video in question from the website where it should appear and play fine.
Check Out Our Twitter Feed for More Mierda!
Be sure to check out and follow our Twitter feed for even more mierda! Even though the Dump only comes your way once a week, I try to post breaking news and updates on other days as well. So check us out and follow us on Twitter for even more updates about real time news in Santa Cruz you might not otherwise hear about.