This week we’ve got more on the SCPD shooting, a fight near Safeway, a meltdown at Denny’s, a choking on Ocean street, monthly domestic violence numbers update, voting deadlines, The Bern ignores the people using his name, Sandy Brown doesn’t follow the rules, the Dumpster Report, Drew Glover’s questionable past, Keeping up With Chris Krohn, show me the money, Steve Pleich drops out again, city council candidate endorsements, DeCinzotized, and probably a few other things as they develop.
SCPD Shoots and Kills Man on Chace Street
SCPD shot and killed a 32-year-old man described as “mentally unstable” near the intersection of Chace and Getchell streets on the Westside at approximately 3:30 a.m. Sunday. A resident reported a man “pounding” on his front door then called back and said the man was now at the back door of the residence and reportedly yelling that he wanted to “kill everyone inside”. When officers arrived, they reportedly called the man out of the backyard. The man proceeded to threaten the officers with a metal rake. When officers deployed tasers 3 times on the man, this proved ineffective in stopping him. He was then shot by SCPD. Officers rendered first aid to the suspect until the arrival of emergency medical crews. A neighbor reported the victim was known to the residents of the house and was mentally unstable. According to the neighbor, who also asked to remain unidentified, the victim had broken into the same house earlier this week. During that incident the man was hit with a taser and taken into custody, but later released.
Wow. This is a huge steaming pile of mierda we’ve got here. This is a complete system failure and the consequences played out in the worst possible fashion. I’ve heard a lot of information about this story, some of which hasn’t been revealed yet (and may never be revealed). It’s an active investigation and I’m not going to say anything to jeopardize that. I will say this is just a tragic, epic FAIL for Santa Cruz. I really can’t blame anyone specific here. It would be easy to blame the mentally ill dead man but every piece of information I’ve heard about him is that he wasn’t homeless, he wasn’t a drug abuser, he was actually a pretty solid guy who struggled with mental illness. Every indication I’ve gotten is that his family loved him and tried their best to care for him. So don’t blame his family for what happened. SCPD was thrown into a dynamic, high stress situation where the entire scenario played out in less than a minute. They tried their best to de-escalate the situation with less than lethal force. To second guess their effort in hindsight here is just dumb armchair speculation that doesn’t help anyone. I can’t blame the family that reported this, that was terrorized at 3:30 in the morning by a man pounding on their doors in the pouring rain. Someone they knew and who had been taken away just 3 days earlier for a similar incident.
Blame isn’t the proper response. Sadness. Anger. Shame. Blame takes a back seat here. The whole thing is just tragic. If I blame anyone, I blame the county here. As in “County Health Services”. What good are they beyond handing out free needles? They failed everyone here.
Fight on Almar and Mission Friday Night
Reports came in about a fight on Almar and Mission around 10:30 Friday night. The person calling in reported being attacked by a group of inebriates who stole something from her. Caller was in an RV parked next to Safeway (figures). The caller said her boyfriend was outside fighting with the drunks. The suspect was reported to be shirtless, muscular build. Subject reportedly threw a rock at the boyfriend. Subject then reported the suspect began stabbing the tires of the RV. Oh great. The last thing we want is this thing to be immobile. Boyfriend bleeding from the head. Suspect yells he’s on parole (OF COURSE HE IS!) Never a dull moment on the westside on Friday night. This just covers all the checkboxes here. Broken down RV parked next to Safeway with bums living in it? Check. Drunken bum fight? Check. Parolees involved and violating their terms? Check. I thought RVs were banned from city streets?
Meltdown at Denny’s on Ocean Street
There was a report of a disturbance at Denny’s on Ocean on Friday night around 11PM. Some man walking around screaming in customer’s faces. Poor folks can’t have a late night meal at Denny’s without some high as a kite transient getting in your face as you try to enjoy your patty melt, ruining your night. I’m surprised that Denny’s hasn’t just given up and closed up shop. It’s a constant struggle to deal with this.
Domestic Violence on Ocean Street
Tuesday afternoon around 2PM, a report came in about a domestic violence call on upper Ocean street in front of Western Dental. Report was a man was choking a woman in the van, a green Honda with broken windows in the back. Both parties here had outstanding warrants. Upper Ocean from Market to Water, otherwise known as “Bum Boulevard”, seems to be at the local epicenter for transient bad behavior. This is just another example. It’s also the gateway into town.
Domestic Violence Numbers for October
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Each day, the Sentinel will document the domestic violence calls in the county received by emergency dispatchers. Figures are compiled by the District Attorney’s Office and include reports of domestic violence, restraining-order violations and other domestic disputes. The 24-hour domestic violence hot line is 888-900-4232.
Total for month so far: 288.
Vote NO on Proposition 57
Sheriff Jim Hart says NO on Prop 57.
“In November, California voters will be asked to decide another initiative. If approved by voters, Proposition 57 will lead to the early release of state prison inmates convicted of serious crimes including assault with a deadly weapon, child abuse, child abduction, human trafficking, elder abuse, gang crimes, hate crimes, arson and specified sexual assault related offenses.” Hart states. “Proposition 57 is titled, “Public Safety and Rehabilitation Initiative”, but it has little to do with public safety and much to do with prison overcrowding and the state’s ability to comply with the United States Supreme Court’s order to reduce the prison population. As your county sheriff and the chief law enforcement officer of Santa Cruz County, I have a duty to keep our communities safe. This proposed law goes too far. I urge you to vote against Proposition 57”.
Last Day to Register to Vote is October 24th
If you’re not registered to vote yet, October 24th is the last day you can do it in order to participate in the November 8th election. Not sure if you’re currently registered? You can go here and find out online pretty quickly. It’s an important election (obviously) and we need to get the right people elected both nationally and locally.
Bernie Sanders Ignores City Council Candidates Riding His Name
Bernie Sanders was back in the Bay Area last week, stumping for state Senate candidate Jane Kim and pushing for passage of Proposition 61, which would set a cap on state costs for prescription drugs. Did he stop by Santa Cruz to stump for the 4 clowns that are collectively misusing his name? Of course not. Did he do a quick video pitch for them? Nah. He probably has no idea who Chris Krohn, Steve Schnaar, Drew Glover, and Sandy Brown are.
Where are Sandy Brown’s Public Financial Disclosure Statements?
According to the city’s website, Sandy Brown has not filed a single Form 460 covering January 1 through September 24th, which is a public disclosure statement on how much money a candidate has raised, spent, and how. She’s about 3 weeks late here on the second one she’s missed (and counting). Failure to file campaign statements may result in late filing penalties ($10/day) and fines (up to $5,000/violation). But that’s nothing compared to the obvious lack of disclosure, the lack of transparency, and the complete disregard for the law and the rules she and the rest of her “team” have exhibited here. The 3rd Pre-Election Statement and Supplemental Independent Expenditure Report (Form 460) for donations and expenditures from 9/25/16 through 10/22/16 is due on October 27th. Next week. Let’s see if she fails to disclose on that date too. Isn’t she part of this “Brand New Council”? Aren’t they spending money on her campaign to make her part of their cool kids clique? Why yes they are! I wonder if that makes them liable for the fine as well?
Drew Glover Comes Clean About Past Drug Arrest
City council candidate and card carrying member of the “Brand New Clowncil” Drew Glover is having a rough month. The Sentinel just ran a story on some past drug arrest problems he had a few years back. I’m sure some people will say he’s being targeted here, but the reporter for the Sentinel did background checks on ALL of the candidates, and Drew’s past came up. It also made the most compelling story, not because he’s black but because he’s an actual viable candidate. Nate Kennedy and Jim Davis got dinged here too, but they don’t have a chance in hell of winning. They’re basically irrelevant. Drew is news and he’s made himself a public figure by running. The mainstream media LOVES dirty stories about dirty candidates. It’s clickbait. So apparently Drew was arrested for selling Ecstasy to an undercover agent, and was caught up in a large drug bust at a rave at the Cow Palace years ago. He was charged with 2 felonies and ended up pleading out on a misdemeanor charge. Should this preclude him from serving on the city council? That’s not up to me. That’s up to the voters here.
The Pre-Election Statement and Supplemental Independent Expenditure Report (otherwise known as “Form 460”) is a public disclosure statement on how much money a candidate has raised, spent, and how.
From the most recent 460 Forms: (the next report is due on 10/27)
Money raised to date: (through 9/24/16)
JM Brown: $27k (spent $11.4K)
Mathews: $26K (spent $9.6K)
Watkins: $22K (Spent $10.4K)
Singleton: $19k (Spent $7.9K)
Schnaar: $12K (Spent $5K)
Glover: $11K (Spent $9.4K)
Krohn: $9K (Spent $6.5K)
Pleich: $4.1K (Spent $5.4K)
Sandy Brown: Nothing reported
Jim Davis: Nothing reported
Nate Kennedy: Nothing reported
So a quick glance and some basic math tells me who has the most money left in their account:
- JM Brown
The top 4 all each have a balance of at least $10K in their accounts. JM and Mathews have about $16K each, Watkins and Singleton both have about $12K each. From the “Progressive Slate” the next 3 fall in line. These 3 have less than $10K each in their account. Schnaar has about $7K left. Krohn has about $2.5K left. Glover has about $1.6K left. Steve Pleich has spent more than he’s raised. He’s the only one in the hole. He’s broke. And then I get word that…..
Steve Pleich Drops Out of the City Council Race (again)
It was announced this week that Steve dropped out of the race. I think the writing on the wall for Steve was when he got left out of the “brand new clowncil”. Steve’s a nice guy but he’s the definition of a retread, and even worse, he’s the definition of an UNSUCCESSFUL retread. They think the absolutely clueless Sandy Brown is a better candidate than Steve, who grinds daily in the community and on the streets for better and more social service programs. And then Steve, bless his stupid heart here, throws his support at the people that tossed him aside. It just tells me that Steve either really enjoys failing or he was never really in it to win it, he just wanted a chance to run his motor mouth to a bigger audience.
Read the full story in the Senile.
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 was sent to various city employees, including the city council, the city manager, and others. This one is long but it’s really good. Check out the bulleted suggestions. Can we hire this person to replace Martin Bernal already? The name has been redacted but the letter is accurate and can be validated by a number of people. I’d sign off on it myself but I didn’t write it. Someone was legitimately pissed off enough here and took the time to carefully and intelligently craft this well thought message, which deserves better than to be buried at city hall. It just needed to be shared. – BD
It is obvious to even the most casual visitor that Santa Cruz is not a safe or pleasant city to experience on foot or on a bicycle. On any given day you will encounter and observe people littering, urinating, defecating, shooting up, arguing, begging, and/or blocking the paths and walkways of our small town. In every corner, behind every bush, and through every hole in the fence, some transient or mentally ill person has established their spot, often spoiling these areas with garbage, needles, condoms, and other forms of human waste.
Much has been discussed about this problem. It is not something new. But it is clear that the parks, pathways, bridges, levees, sidewalks and open spaces do not belong to the other residents of Santa Cruz. Instead, these areas belong to the transients, drug addicts, and the mentally ill. Those are the people who occupy these spaces 24 hours a day and they are the ones who impede the travel and pleasant enjoyment of these spaces by the rest of the residents of the city.
Safety is an obvious concern, since many of these transients are desperate folks, seeking to fuel serious drug addictions, and many do not have the mental capacity to understand the consequences of their actions. Allowing people to block and occupy our parks, open spaces, and pathways at all hours of the day and night is unacceptable and unsafe. It should not be necessary to mention the stabbings, murders, robberies, and the general mayhem that we routinely experience here in Santa Cruz. Anyone who has lived here for even a few months knows the drill – avoid the parks, levees, and pathways, or pass through them quickly and avoid being stopped, harassed, or otherwise disgusted by the litter, human waste, needles, condoms, etc. that you will routinely encounter. What a disgusting situation. What an unacceptable situation. Please do something about it.
Understanding, compassion, and tolerance have gone too far. We are being taken advantage of. Helping those that we can, and getting people off the streets is a great idea, but our small town does not have the resources to safely support and effectively monitor thousands of transients. The city is essentially tasked with attempting to operate a massive open air mental health clinic and rehab facility, and it’s not working. If we are able to provide supportive housing to some of the drug addicts and mentally ill, that’s great (assuming that they will accept such services and stay in the housing that is provided). But, we can’t house all of these folks – there are too many, and it’s just too expensive to do so in an area when many other productive residents are struggling to find an affordable unit (that hasn’t yet been converted to a vacation rental). Policing this group has proven challenging and I know it is a difficult issue for your council to address, but the time to do so is now. Let’s stop living like this. Please take serious actions now to clean up Santa Cruz.
I’m not the only one who is upset about this issue, but like many others, I’ve had enough. What about solutions? Perhaps a few suggestions might be useful:
- Please STOP LISTENING to the gadflies and recurring attendees of your council meetings who support the idea that transients should be allowed to live freely in the parks and open spaces of Santa Cruz. These folks do not represent the majority of the residents of the city. The rest of us are all busy working and leading our lives, so we do not attend the council meetings on a regular basis. Please consider messages and letters such as this with as much weight as any other comments that you may receive. The political support for cleaning up the city is the majority opinion, even if all you seem to hear at your council meetings are the fringe opinions supporting transient misbehavior.
- Post hours, close, and ENFORCE closures of all parks and open spaces at night (including all linear parks and pathways, such as the San Lorenzo River levees). 6 AM – 10 PM seems like reasonable open hours for a park, but the Council could decide what is best. During the closed hours (from 10 PM – 6 AM), no one should be allowed to loiter or stay within these areas, but the pathways could still be used for people who are passing through (since these paths are part of our transportation network). Then, provide the staff and resources to enforce the park and open space closures. Many other cities enforce park and open space closures, and I recommend we do the same. Writing tickets as needed, and stay away orders for those who repeat offend.
- Routinely patrol, monitor, and CLEAN all of the pathways, walkways, and bridges. The Water Street bridge is routinely full of garbage and litter. Broken glass and human waste are often present for days, weeks, or even months without being cleaned up. This is true of all the bridges, walkways, parks, paths, sidewalks, etc. Cleaning just the downtown area doesn’t cut it, a massive clean-up crew is needed to sanitize the areas that are routinely spoiled by the transient population citywide.
- Repeatedly cite everyone who litters (including the act of setting up “camps” full of garbage) along our pathways or otherwise damaging vegetation in our open space areas. Require that all materials be picked up and properly disposed of immediately by the violator, or write citations for littering and other related offenses. Do not allow people to create nests of garbage in our open space areas.
- Require all personal belongings to be completely outside of the usable areas of walkways and bicycle paths. Transients routinely restrict usable areas of the walkways and bicycle paths with their belongings and personal possessions, often creating unsafe conditions for bicycle and pedestrian travel. This is very common along the river levees and elsewhere, blocking access along the public way.
- Increase enforcement on all heroin and meth users. Zero tolerance for these folks. Either get clean or go to jail. Even if the jails release these folks immediately (thanks Prop 47) they still need to be charged. Our city has a serious drug problem (and a property crime problem that fuels it). Crack down on the users as well as the dealers. The users will get the message and either get help or leave the area.
- Discontinue funding and support for the needle exchange program. If the program is to continue, work with the county health agencies to ensure that no drug paraphernalia (“shooter’s kits”) are provided with the needles that are exchanged. Needles from the exchange should also be durably marked as being from the exchange so that they can be tracked when found in our public spaces.
- Implement and enforce the RV parking ban. Require that overnight parking of RVs occur on private property. Resist agency comments and legal actions that may prevent this from being implemented. Work with the CHP and sheriff to enforce the rampant parking of RVs and vehicles camped along Highway 1 north of the city.
- Consider reduced funding (or eliminating funding) for the Homeless Services Center. Work to reduce and eliminate all of the services that make Santa Cruz a more pleasant and enjoyable place for people to come and live freely outdoors (at the expense of all of the other residents and the environment).
- Require full background checks for anyone who receives services from the Homeless Services Center. Enabling serious criminals (who are wanted or escaped from other jurisdictions) with city funds is unacceptable and a liability to the city. Wanted felons and escapees need to be identified and returned to their home jurisdictions instead of receiving city funded services. Background checks should be considered as an essential enforcement tool and implementing them could prevent additional crimes and victims here in Santa Cruz.
If your council is willing to consider, discuss, or implement any of these ideas it would start to provide a clear message to the transient population that this is not the best area for them. The state does not provide us with the resources to accommodate this population or to provide them with the support and services that they require. As a city, we should put up as much resistance to these unacceptable and damaging behaviors as the other cities in the area. Santa Cruz should not be a desirable place to come and live freely in the parks and open spaces. Please do everything that you can to make our parks, open spaces, and pathways safer for all of the residents of Santa Cruz.
Name redacted, Santa Cruz
Keeping Up With Chris Krohn
“Keeping Up With Chris Krohn” explores the colorful past and history of Chris Krohn, former mayor and now a city council candidate after being out of government for the past 16 years.
This week, we’ve got another letter to the Sentinel to talk about!
Oh and this made me laugh out loud. Chris Krohn’s mother-in-law claims he’s endorsed by Bernie Sanders himself! That’s a hilarious blatant lie. Here’s her quote:
“……Bernie Sanders has endorsed Jesse Arreguin for Mayor of Berkeley, probably because Jesse endorsed him in the California presidential primary. I looked all around the Internet, but could find no record that Capitelli had ever endorsed Sanders ( though I left a message on the councilman’s machine, and maybe he’ll call back to contradict me.) Arreguin is one of only 100 local candidates to get this accolade from ol’ Bern. As far as I can determine, most of Bernie’s endorsees were local leaders who supported him in the primary. Full disclosure: another one is my son-in-law Chris Krohn, who is running for the Santa Cruz city council, and who worked hard for Sanders in June.”
I’M CALLING BULLSHIT HERE. If this were actually true, Krohn would have Bernie’s face and endorsement plastered all over his website and every communication he sends out. Hey Rachel! Tell your mother to stop lying here!
Deep Thoughts From the Boss
Don’t Forget to Vote!
If you haven’t already voted by absentee ballot, you can still bring it to your local polling place on November 8th and just drop it off. So you can fill it out in advance and just drop it off the day of the election (which is what I usually do).
But don’t forget to vote! This city council election is very important for the future of Santa Cruz for at least the next 4 years. Past elections have been won or lost by as little as a few hundred votes, so every vote really does matter here. People have died for our right to vote. The least we can do is respect them by doing it.
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.
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.
I know I’ve been pretty hard on her here at the Dump, and it’s really not personal. She’s the Mayor. She means well. I never doubt that. It’s kind of a reflection right now of her job performance. But the truth is I blame City Manager Martin Bernal MUCH more for the local public safety issues than Cynthia or any other person on the city council. If anything, I’ve been disappointed that she didn’t do more this year as Mayor, but she hasn’t done a bad job, and given the fact that she has to deal with both Don AND Micah pontificating and basically derailing every single meeting, and the local circus from the public, and the fact that she’s still doing it and seems to enjoy doing it! Now that’s hard to find. What she does bring is obvious wisdom, knowledge of history, and perspective. She is status quo, and I know I complain A LOT about that. But we should be careful to not toss the baby (Cynthia) out with the bathwater (Don and Micah). You can have a variety of opinion about Cynthia but she is definitely pragmatic, and that’s pretty high on my checklist. Yes she panders. It’s an election! They all do. Some more than others. But she has shown an ability to actually deliver. At least when she doesn’t have a circus to deal with. Hopefully the next city council will be less circus and less circuitous. The new members can learn a lot from her experience in navigating city government.
DeCinzotized – Classic Steven DeCinzo
Weekly shoutouts to all the hombres malos and nasty women out there! The Dump loves you just the way you are.
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