The Weekly Dump 11.25.16

The Weekly Dump 11.25.16

When Black Friday Comes

screamHappy day after Thanksgiving! I hope everyone out there had a nice day with friends and family, ate lots of good food, watched some football, and hopefully never heard anyone utter the words “Donald Trump”. If you work retail, today is the day from hell. Unless of course you had to work yesterday, but today might still be arguably worse than working on Thanksgiving day itself. Last year I went to the Gilroy Outlets at around 11PM thinking at that hour it won’t be bad. It was an absolute nightmare. Never again. I’m sticking to online shopping this year. Many years ago, when I worked in retail, I worked many a Black Friday. It’s beyond insane. I can remember at the end of the night, when the store closed, the place was just an absolute wreck. It could take an hour or 2 just to clean up the aftermath. And that time was bliss, because you just spent the past nine hours dealing with mobs from hell. So if you go shopping on Thanksgiving, or the day after, be patient and be nice to those poor souls working retail. Smile and say thanks. You can make it a little less black for them. 

Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Deputy Kills Knife Wielding Teenager

knifeA Santa Cruz County sheriff’s deputy was forced to shoot and kill a 15-year-old boy at about 3 a.m. Saturday in Watsonville after deputies unsuccessfully used non-lethal Tasers and weighted foam rounds in an attempt to subdue him. Sheriff Jim Hart said the boy was fleeing authorities after he allegedly stabbed two men, who were found with “life-threatening injuries”. Deputies and officers from various police agencies found the teen not far from the scene still armed with the knife. “Efforts were made to engage with the suspect to diffuse the situation and various less-lethal weapons were tried,” Santa Cruz County Undersheriff Jeremy Verinsky said. “When the suspect advanced on deputies with his knife, he was shot at least once”. Hart declined to reveal a motive, or any connection between the boy and the two men who were stabbed inside the home, where neighbors said three men live. Both were taken to trauma centers. 15 years old. Just a kid. Apparently he was a student at Aptos high school. I’m not blaming the deputy here. The kid appears to have stabbed 2 people, nearly killing both of them. There’s way more to this story here we may never know. Tragic. 

SCSO has been VERY transparent about this, releasing the bodycam video on Monday afternoon, just 2 days after the incident. We can’t even get a name from SCPD about who killed Sean Arlt, much less video. It’s not a good look for SCPD when SCSO shows what “transparency” actually means. I’ve seen the bodycam video. It appears SCSO was very patient and exhausted all of their options before having to shoot him. Keep in mind he just stabbed 2 of his family members and refused multiple orders to drop the knife. They had no choice here. Sad yes. But if it was a 50 year old white guy and not a 15 year old kid, I doubt we’d be hearing the same reaction here. I think that people that hate cops in general (and locally we all know who they are) love to find an excuse to pile on their stupid rhetoric. It’s so predictable locally. And so dismissible. It’s why so many people tune these kooks out. 

Get Ready for the New Gold Rush

weedI know people are sad and depressed locally about “The Apprentice in Chief” but I’m gonna talk about something positive that is inevitably coming to the central coast and Santa Cruz. Thanks to the voters and Proposition 64, California has just been given a license to print money. Seriously. Proposition 64 will bring millions, if not billions of dollars of investment money, jobs, and tax revenue to the central coast, and Santa Cruz county. It’s as if someone turned on a faucet and what comes out is money. Lots of money. We are the salad bowl of the US. The Ag industry isn’t just already here, it’s turnkey for large scale commercialization of a brand new industry. The infrastructure is already in place. The workforce is already in place. Farmers can have a choice now to grow almonds or weed. This new BILLION dollar industry will potentially bring in huge amounts of tax revenue for the county AND the city. And there will be new service industry jobs to support this new “green rush” of investment that is coming in 2017 and coming hard and fast. The hell with Donald Trump. Who cares. We’ve got a license to print money!

What’s Next For Cemex?

Ryan Coonerty recently hosted a meeting in Davenport to discuss potential future use of the site. I know what I’d suggest. Turn on the money faucet. Prop 64. It’s a perfect spot for large scale cannabis production and commercialization. It’s fairly isolated and is unlikely to have a large impact on anyone, including the Davenport neighbors. The Cotoni Coast National Monument will have more traffic impact for them, even if it stays in BLM hands. And it has the potential to generate some serious tax money for the county, and potentially for the residents of Davenport. It will be a small boon for Davenport cafes and restaurants. The plant itself is a fairly secure compound, well fenced with limited gate access, so a contracted security force could add jobs and support local business as well. The industry is coming. It’s not if but when and where will they go. It’s time for Santa Cruz to jump ahead of the bandwagon here. More on this in the Senile.

Bums Fight in the Rain on River Street

Saturday afternoon a report comes in that bums are out fighting in the rain in the intersection of Highway 1 and River street. As the big, fugly, yellow sign says, “Welcome to River Street”. As if this intersection wasn’t bad enough with transients shuffling back and forth in a real life daily version of Frogger, now we have to deal with bum fights here too. Right next to the “Homeless Services Center”, that big, sprawling, conspicuously indifferent campus that pays ridiculous subsidized rent thanks to our former city council. Has anyone driven that block of Coral lately? It’s like a third world country. The sidewalks have been taken over by bums, the area along the railroad track (the bum highway) is constantly full of campers and their crap. The Homeless Services Center for years was the “community hub” for the local homeless, so when you turn that faucet off, the people it serviced didn’t go away. They stuck around and created their own makeshift community hub in the Harvey West Park area anyways. The gate has been up now for years, and while it might have improved the situation INSIDE the gate, it turned the area OUTSIDE the gate into a homeless dump. And the county wants to give these fools our tax money as a fiscal agent for a winter shelter? They don’t even care about the homeless camped nightly on their doorstep. 

Shooting in Beach Flats on Friday Night

There was a report of a shooting late Friday night in the Beach Flats. The shooting apparently took place near or in Poets Park community garden off Raymond street. Reports are the victim was shot in the leg. SCPD was looking for a red Acura. 

Shoplifter with Knife Threatens Staff at Salvation Army 

Saturday afternoon around 3PM, a man was confronted by the staff at the Salvation Army store on Pacific, and refused to leave the store. He wasn’t brandishing the knife, just stealing stuff and refusing to leave. SCPD responded. What kind of complete asshat steals from the Salvation Army thrift store? The stuff there is already discounted to the point of ridiculous cheap. The money made from sales is for a good cause. Talk about opening up a giant can of bad karma there. 

Patience is a Virtue

Sunday night around 9:30PM, some homeless kook kept calling SCPD and when they didn’t just teleport themselves to his location, he thought it would be a good idea to call them again and threaten to burn down the public library downtown. This is the kind of stupid mierda we tolerate in this town. REALLY? You want to burn down the library? Put this fool in jail already. Stop blowing off bums like this and just put him away. Charge him with threatening to blow up a public building. One less idiot bum on the street wasting public safety resources and our tax dollars. But no! We coddle the hell out of our local bums. Let’s send multiple units to hold his hand and tuck him in. They seem to know his name and who he is. He seems like a regular. A regular RECIDIVIST. Might be why we have so many. 

Water Rescue at the Wharf

Monday night around 7:30PM, multiple units were dispatched for a water rescue at the Santa Cruz wharf. A man apparently jumped off the wharf and into the water and refused to be rescued until an animal in the water that was apparently in distress was also rescued. Was he trying to save a sea lion here? What in the hell was this guy thinking? He obviously wasn’t thinking about hypothermia. Apparently he called Native Animal Rescue and proceeded to tell them he was jumping off the wharf until someone came to rescue the animal. This story is just soooo Santa Cruz. 

3 Way at the Wells Fargo

Monday night around 9:30PM, a call comes in that 2 men and a woman are having sex in the Wells Fargo parking lot on Front street, in the parking lot adjacent to the parking garage. Couldn’t they at least go in the garage? They’d have a little more privacy, but maybe that’s not what they wanted. If they were looking for attention, they got it in the form of a visit from SCPD. 

Shoplifter Arrested at Forever 21

Monday night a shoplifter was reported at Forever 21 on Pacific Avenue. She actually managed to leave the store and evade employees and SCPD on the initial call. But about 20 minutes later she returned to the scene of her crime. Why? She forgot her cell phone in the store. Employees found it after she left and called SCPD back when she returned for it. They stalled her until SCPD arrived. Low hanging fruit. 

Missing Juvenile Found at Book Shop Santa Cruz

Monday night, someone at Bookshop Santa Cruz called in and reported seeing a missing juvenile in the bookstore. He also happened to have an outstanding juvenile warrant out of San Jose. Oops. Turns out San Jose wanted him. So I think he’ll be headed for the South Bay shortly. 

Woman Commits Suicide on West Cliff Drive

Early Wednesday morning, a woman shot herself in the head and took her own life on West Cliff Drive at Columbia. I don’t have a lot of details to this story (thanks to the NON coverage by our local “news” media) but what I do have is an eyewitness account who gave me this information. Apparently, it happened very early in the morning (at sunrise). Very sad. I know for a fact SCPD handles a significant number of calls dealing with suicidal people daily. Many of them aren’t trained to be social workers here, they are trained to be peace officers. It’s unfortunate that we’ve compromised our local, county level mental health options to having SCPD (and SCSO) act as a buffer and filter to actual treatment by mental health professionals. I hear about 2-3 calls a day on average, and I’d bet the average number of calls SCPD fields for suicidal people averages closer to around 10 per day. I’d love to know the number if anyone has it. My point is that the lack of mental health treatment options on a county level is significantly impacting our local public safety resources in ways that might not be obvious or tangible. Negligent sure. Constructive nope. And it compromises the treatment options locally for those that require it. Sean Arlt might be alive today if he didn’t get kicked to the curb by the lack of county mental health options. 

Local Guardian Angels Help Find Missing Girl

I got word this week that one of the local Guardian Angels located a missing girl in downtown Santa Cruz. The girl had been missing for about a month, and posters of her face were displayed around town. One of the local Guardian Angels was on patrol downtown and spotted and located the girl. I know there’s been some pushback in the overly sensitive Santa Cruz community about the Guardian Angels appearing downtown along Pacific Avenue, as they work to establish a local chapter. I’ve honestly heard nothing but good things about them so far. It appears they are trying very hard to connect with the local homeless community as well, and I think what they offer them is something that kooks like Dirty Bathrobe Guy and his motley, ragtag collection of “homeless madvocates” never offers to them. Hope. They see the homeless community as their eyes and ears on the street. They try to take care of them beyond offering them protection. I’m impressed (and I’m not easily impressed). 

I saw this on their Facebook page recently:

ga

Good day with the Santa Cruz County Guardian Angels. Started off with a quick trip to the $1 store for snack packs, socks, and feminine hygiene products for the homeless. I met up with Paige, Leslie, and Jane at the Taco Bell. Along the way I got to meet and know the names of many homeless folks, listen to their stories. First one I met was a lady named Adrianne, then Rudy, Gary, but the saddest was a lady named Victoria. She was elderly and bound to a wheelchair. Paige knew her story well from her own work with the homeless in Santa Cruz. She has mental issues, and suffered from frostbite so severe a few years ago that they had to amputate some of her digits. She was really starving, she gobbled up that peanut butter and jelly really fast. Maybe it’s the Italian in me, but it’s a good feeling knowing you fed someone that hungry. I promised we’d check in on her every week. Part way through the walk some girls from Monterey wanted a picture with us, and we always oblige 🙂 Finishing up the walk we found a trove of needles and crack pipes which we destroyed and disposed of. One thing we have to remember as Guardian Angels. The homeless guy begging for change isn’t what Curtis set out to defeat when he started the Angels in NYC. There was crime, really bad crime. From the stories I heard, there was people running into the McDonalds he worked at just having been stabbed or shot. Our job as Angels is to keep people safe from danger. Doesn’t matter if the danger is violence, or starvation, we have to do our part to help. Also, the homeless population is our full time eyes and ears out on the street. Befriending them, knowing them on a first name basis and gaining their trust will help us out in our overall mission. I’ve had first hand experience getting information from a homeless person, that led to the arrest of some violent gang bangers. Thanks again to the SC members for having me out today. Feel free to share this on your page.

These folks are already doing more for the local homeless than Norse and his kook friends have ever done or will ever do.

North Coast Campers are Back in Droves

I was up in San Francisco on Friday night and drove the coast road home from Half Moon Bay. I think I only saw one other car going my way between HMB and Pescadero, and nobody until Davenport after that. What a great alternative to driving 17 on a Friday night. It was interesting to check out the camping situation along the drive. I saw a small pocket of campers just outside of HMB getting busted by HMB police (it was about 10PM). The further I drove, the number of campers dropped off significantly, until I noticed another pocket of about 8-10 vehicles near San Gregorio. Then nothing until I hit the Santa Cruz county line and they started stacking up, near Swanton road, the Davenport beach parking lot was close to full, Bonny Doon, 4 mile, etc. At least 20-30 campers between the county line and Western drive. It appears SCSO has slacked off on enforcement here. If they continue to ignore the issue, it’s only going to get worse as the city of Santa Cruz pushes people living in their RVs outside of the city limits through parking reform and into the unincorporated areas, especially the north coast. 

Hugh’s News

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11/22 City Council meeting Notes:
This was one of those marathon of pain meetings, especially the evening session. I fell asleep around 10:30 but a friend of mine said “Micah is STILL talking and it’s 11:45!!”

Scott Collins presented on the Riverwalk Safety Plan update. This is long overdue and I for one am very grateful to staff and to council for their efforts in making the San Lorenzo Riverwalk a safer place to be. The plans include creating 5 permanent ranger positions to replace the 5 temporary positions that are currently there and creating one Senior Ranger position, more lighting along the path and security cameras! Micah and Don of course were hesitant to approve the cameras. They both said they were not necessarily opposed to the security cameras but wondering if $ should go to this particular item. Is it really the money? Or are you opposed to the “big brother is watching concept”? I really have never understood the fear around that kind of thing. No individual needs to be concerned with security cameras if they are abiding by the law. But if you are along the Riverwalk and are breaking the law by drinking, shooting up, operating a bike chop shop, dope dealing, fighting etc then clearly security cameras are a threat. This is a wise investment and desperately needed. A resolution was presented to update the current schedule of fines and penalties for various Vehicle Code infractions and would add a fine amount for various Vehicle Code parking and standing vehicle infractions that have not previously been included in the schedule. This passed unanimously with council and I know at least one Santa Cruz Police Officer that is VERY happy about it. So, pay your registration fees, don’t park where you aren’t supposed to, if your vehicle is leaking stuff it shouldn’t then fix it. The kooks were visibly absent for this item (thank goodness). I think some of them are going to be pretty pissed they failed to show up for this one. I think this is going to have a very positive impact on Santa Cruz. I noticed that there were a lot of typos on the agenda item descriptions on the screen displays. It was bizarre. “Aprroval”. “Apprroval”

REEFER MADNESS
There was an item on the agenda about recreational marijuana regulation restricting outdoor cultivation for personal use. I don’t know. It’s legal, whatever. 6 plant limit was mentioned. Someone did bring up a point that when the plant is “flowering” it does let off quite a smell. I can imagine that would be difficult for some people. The gentleman in the robe had much to say about it all and of course once again swung it so that council was somehow discriminating against a particular class. He also kept saying Reefer Madness. Those were the first words that popped into my head when I woke up the next morning.

Evening Session – There were MANY speakers that showed up to speak against cuts to several programs including Early Childhood Education, Homeless Services and Seniors. So I want to be clear about something. I don’t underestimate the value of these services at all, but the only reason any of this was even considered was because council was reallocating funds towards mental health services and substance abuse. Which hundreds of people have come to council demanding that they fix. These are clearly huge issues in our town. One walk down the levee or Pacific Avenue will tell you that. The manner in which some of the speakers spoke to council was completely inappropriate. I am not speaking of the parents that are concerned about child care or the seniors that are concerned about their services. I am talking about these entitled self serving assholes that show up at every council meeting to berate and shame. One woman in particular whose voice I can only describe as shrill, nails on a chalkboard, drill at the dentist excruciating. The level of anger she brought to the podium was pathetic. What I find ridiculous is at prior meetings she was yelling that there isn’t enough money being put towards mental health services and substance abuse. I have a suggestion for you. Xanax. Clearly the outcry of the public was heard, no one lost funding and mental health/substance abuse got more funding. Council made it work. Bravo!!! Now this message is for EVERYONE that showed up to speak at the CC meeting. Please go do the exact same thing at the Board of Supervisors meeting. The County has a responsibility to you as well. Go tell them about it. Go be loud, go protest, go fill their chambers. Seriously, it’s time.

One Step Forward and Two Steps Back

So it appears that the final votes for the Santa Cruz city council race have been counted, checked, cross referenced, and validated by a “general assembly” of vote counters. Why else would it take this long to count? But if the vote holds, it appears the winners will be:

  1. Martine Watkins
  2. Cynthia Mathews
  3. Chris Krohn
  4. Sandy Brown

What a predictable mess this is. Santa Cruz just cannot get out of it’s own way here. It just can’t seem to move on past 30 years of stupid, failed, “progressive” policy making (and policy makers). I guess people are happy with the status quo because that’s exactly what you’re getting for at least the next 2 years. Here are some final, final thoughts on all this:

  • JM Brown lost because of his last name. I really have no other explanation here. Sandy Brown won because of her last name. I really have no other explanation here. People are dumb. I have no other explanation here. 
  • I say one step forward (Watkins) and two steps back (Krohn & The Other Brown) because with Cynthia Mathews, we might as well just be running in place. Watkins offers hope and forward thinking vision. Krohn and The Other Brown offer nothing but promises they can’t deliver to their clueless constituency of cult followers. 
  • I’m not really concerned with how this shakes out. My “side” (moderates) will still maintain a strong presence on the city council. I like Richelle, DT, and Watkins. I’m ok with Mathews and Chase. So Chris and his sidekick can come in and predictably pontificate and try to rock the boat, but they probably won’t be making any new friends here anytime soon, or getting anything they really want or promised. They’re on the outside looking in. They beat 2 of The Machine’s chosen candidates and The Machine isn’t likely to be happy about it. The other 5 all have the support of The Machine. At least Don had some respect from his peers on the council. Krohn is the worst kind of retread and The Other Brown is just goofy. 
  • Krohn and his sidekick (and Yoko) will give us plenty of material for the forseeable future. Hugh’s claws are coming out. 

Guerreros
by Ernie Douglasernie_1968_4x5_72dpi
Golden State Warriors: 

The GS Warriors began their extended road trip with a visit to Boston to take on the Celtics. They pummeled the Celtics 104-88. Durant had 32 points, Klay had 28, Curry had 19, and they kept an opponent under a hundred points (finally). Then they flew to Milwaukee (where it appeared to be frigid cold) and almost lost to an overachieving, scrappy Bucks team by giving up 121 points. Terrible defense again. They should not be giving up 121 points to the Bucks. Can’t blame Draymond here, but I pretty much blame every other guy. The Bucks are about 2 years from being pretty good. Antetokounmpo is a beast and add Jabari Parker and you’ve got 2 future all stars playing and growing together. Offensively, the Warriors are clicking right now, defensively they pretty much suck. But they are just too good offensively. They then flew to Indiana to take on the Pacers, where they beat them by almost 30 points on the road. A strong effort all the way around. Returning to Oracle, they took revenge on the Lakers (who were missing Russell and Randle) and beat them by more than 40 points. That’s what happens when you poke the bear. Offensively, this team is the best in the league, maybe one of the best ever. Defensively, they are slowly coming around. Draymond seems more committed now to leading the defensive end, he’s playing better with Zaza (they all are), and McGee is really finding a nice spot in the rotation. He gets better as his confidence goes up, and the entire team is behind this guy and wants him to succeed. McGee is the X factor this season. If he overachieves, this team is unstoppable. And he’s only 28 years old, and on a vets minimum contract. The guy is a STEAL. And he could be the key to them winning a title this year. He’s gone from the very end of the bench to being the 2nd or 3rd guy to sub in. And he’s in Kerr’s regular rotation plans right now, so I expect him to see regular minutes all season, at least 15-20 minutes a game on average. He’s basically Zaza’s backup now, and West will play more 4 against big line ups and can play the 5 in small ball lineups. And if Draymond can get him trained right in the system, he’ll beast in the post. Nothing but upside with The Javalevator so far.

Upcoming games this week:  11/25 Lakers (in LA). 11/26 Minnesota, 11/28 Toronto, 12/1 Houston. 

Santa Cruz Warriors:
The Santa Cruz Warriors managed to hold off the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, winning 112-110 on Friday night at Kaiser Arena. Elgin Cook led the way for the Warriors with 23 points off the bench. Phil Pressey added 19 points, four rebounds, nine assists, and three steals. Cameron Jones contributed 17 points and had seven rebounds, and Dennis Clifford chipped in 14 points and 12 rebounds. The Warriors then traveled toEl Segundo to take on the LA D-Fenders on Saturday night, losing 134-109. Phil Pressey scored 21 points, and added three rebounds and eight assists. Cameron Jones contributed 20 points, three rebounds, seven assists, and two steals, while Elgin Cook had 15 points, four rebounds, and two steals. It was also announced that Golden State Warriors center Damian Jones is being assigned to Santa Cruz. Jones was selected by Golden State with the 30th pick in the 2016 NBA Draft and is currently rehabbing from surgery on his right pectoral muscle. 

Upcoming games this week:  11/25 Sioux Falls (at Kaiser). 11/27 at Reno, 11/30 at Westchester, 12/1 at Brooklyn.

DeCinzotized – Classic Steven DeCinzo

lane

 

Adios to Don Lane. Your kindness and civility will be genuinely missed. Your patronizing demeanor and your penchant for pontificating  won’t be missed. Good luck in your next life. Find a nice, cushy, well paying ED job among the many local social service non-profits and let go (until we see you looking for a handout at the annual budget meetings). 

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26 Replies to “The Weekly Dump 11.25.16”

  1. Morning Ben. Remember my comments about the Coastal Commission and the RV ban? I thought there’d be a ripple effect. Turns out I’m right.

    Santa Barbara is in the process of passing a “large vehicle ban.” Everyone knows it’s aimed at RVs. An national advocacy group has announced plans to sue the city. The SB Independent story mentioned the shooting-down of the Santa Cruz ordinance by the CCC and pointed out the SB ordinance will require a coastal development permit to implement. The story also noted the “open hostility” shown by a virtually unanimous commission to the SC ordinance. The smart money in SB is predicting their ordinance will be shot to pieces by the CCC.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. And I’ve said it before too. Where there’s a will there’s a way. And there are ways around the CCC. As Hugh reported, the CC just passed a new ordinance that “updated” a current ordinance with better, more enforceable language. Who do you think that was meant for? Previously, SCPD was limited and hampered by their ability to ticket RVs parked on Santa Cruz streets. Not any more. Flew that right under the radar and Micah’s nose. As for the SB case, good luck there. There are something like 30 other coastal cities in California who have banned RVs from parking in city limits. That’s quite the precedent should it go to court. Oh and speaking of the CCC, how is that threat against the gated Privates Beach access going? Big talk and nothing more. The gate’s still up and access is still not free and open to the public. The CCC is nothing more than a bunch of corrupt gasbags, with no teeth. Thanks again for reading and commenting Dan.

      1. So the CC added fines. Big fucking deal. Doesn’t make the ordinance any more enforceable than it is now. It’ll be interesting what happens in Santa Barbara (I could care less what happens to Santa Cruz) since there’s a national group with lots of money that’s committed to suing the city (as opposed to Norse and company in SC). What happens in SB may nuke SC in the long term. Merry Christmas!

        1. Dude, you don’t have a clue what goes on here. Admit it. You might know Fresno. That’s cool. But you don’t know Jack Mierda about Santa Cruz. Yeah, Merry Christmas to you too.

    2. Wondering if your a SNOWFLAKE publication? Seeing how you like to blast our President. Is this a left wing publication news source?

      1. I have no wings so pretty much anyone and everyone is fair game. I have no idea what a “SNOWFLAKE” publication is. But just to clarify for anyone who hasn’t figured it out yet. What I write here is MY opinion (unless it’s Hugh’s opinion, in which case it will say so). It’s called an op/ed weekly column. If anyone doesn’t like reading it, feel free not to. But if you do, if you are the type who prefers a no bullshit, unpolitically correct, vibrantly honest opinion that isn’t tied to anyone or anything, tell your friends!

  2. “I’m sticking to online shopping this year.”

    Really? All the poor local businesses are trying to make it here. Rents and taxes and fees are high and they deal with crazies and shoplifters every day. I get the reservation, but at least they can receive some of our holiday shopping dollars for what they go through. I feel for the retailers in Santa Cruz. They aren’t the problem. And every $10 we spend online is another $5 of that $10 that won’t circulate through our town. Think local first, right?

    1. You’re right. I actually do shop a lot downtown and plan to again for gifts this year. I just meant I’m staying away from malls. So yes, please support the local downtown businesses. There are lots of unique, one of a kind gifts, in all price ranges, and the local downtown merchants need our support.

    2. The only part I don’t like is your hatred toward President elect Donald Trump and not a word about the Socialist Democrat Hillary so it’s pretty obvious which side of politics your on. Otherwise I like your publication.

      1. Socialist Democrat is not a bad thing to be, idiot.

        Hillary, sadly, is not one, and this is why she lost the election.

        We’ll see just how “good” your Fuehrer is for the country. Hopefully most of us survive.

        1. alex–
          Why is it that Socialists/Democrats/Hybrids are so consistent in name calling/insulting all who are not in lockstep with their ideological belief system? “How to win friends and influence people” comes to mind.
          People I have spoken with who have lived through Socialism did all they could to escape it. Seems the day to day reality of that system isn’t quite the romantic sojourn you would have us believe it is.
          Personally, I have no direct experience with such a system as I live in a representative Republic, which is designed to protect us from Democracy (more commonly known as “the tyranny of the majority”).
          But at the end of the day, no matter where a man stands life is easier (and more congenial) when he accepts that the pendulum does indeed swing both ways.
          Oh, and “Godwins Law”

          1. Howard pulls out the Dale Carnegie reference for the win! And the Godwin’s Law callout is on point (despite being an indirect reference to Hitler). Trying to be a socialist in a country that fully embraces capitalism is like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. Let’s take Cuba as an example here. Cuba embraced socialism under Castro. How many people were wiling to swim shark infested waters to go there and how many were willing to swim shark infested waters to leave? I think we know which ideology is ultimately more popular with the people. As for the mud slinging, it’s not owned by a single party here. Trump throws more mud than anyone. He single handedly owns that crown. And his words are much more dangerous than anyone else here. When I talk mierda, very few people (relatively speaking) listen or care. When he talks it, the world is listening and reacting.

          2. The American Dream now for the non-wealthy is to escape Drumpf’s America and immigrate to a nice Western European social democracy. Even Russia is looking pretty good, and there’s a guy on YouTube who’s moved to Serbia and loves it.

            Comparing Stalinist USSR (and even Stalin at his worst jailed a smaller percentage of his citizens than the US) and an embargoed isolated state like Cuba (even with its much better health and life expectencies etc) with real-world practical socialism is a stance right out of the John Birch manual.

          3. “The American Dream now for the non-wealthy is to escape Drumpf’s America and immigrate to a nice Western European social democracy.” – That’s the funniest thing I’ve read this morning. PLEASE, GTFO. You want to leave, please leave. Leave your passport on the way out while you’re at it.

  3. Once again..the blight in the Santa Cruz area seems to be , oh yeah I hate to say it ‘Stinking Bums”!!!! These scumbags are now leaching themselves over to the Harbor area. In the last couple of weeks BUMs have entered restaurants in the harbor to the dismay of employees and are ordering food and drinks and doing the dine and dash or just acting like BUMs, thus ruining a pleasant dining experience for locals and expecially tourists. I’m so sick of seeing BUMs in my neighborhood I could just puke…Thanks again Ben for the Blog…You are the voice of the decent citizens cuz the Senile wont say it….

    1. If we had fewer bums, we could do so much more to help the homeless that deserve our help. We compromise the level of service to the most needy and vulnerable with our seemingly unconditional love and support for bums. Thanks Johnny!

      1. Those who need mental health help should get it … like in a first world country or something. Then we can demand civility from those who are not mentally ill.

    2. Johnny–
      I think a major attractant drawing the bums down there is the bathroom facility at V-dock. It’s the only one in the upper harbor that is “no key required”. I see them coming down from Arana gulch and briefly loitering in the area, using the bathrooms then moving on. Harbor patrol says by law they have to have one open to the public so it stays open.

  4. It can’t be all bad. Maybe Krohn will argue for some nifty new signs. Tourists need to know where they can get free needles and newly arrived transients where they can camp.

    1. We’re basically trading in an old retread (Don) and a goofy hard left of left progressive (Posner) or an old retread (Krohn) and a goofy hard left of left progressive (Brown). They kind of cancel each other out. I doubt the new kids will pontificate more than the one being forced out by term limits and the one being forced out by a lack of support from his own side. Thanks for reading and commenting Mabel!

  5. At what point does a publication that consistently reports news to the public, that is not available anywhere else, become officially acknowledged as a member of the news media. What determines if a defacto reporter has the same access to information as, for instance, a Sentinel reporter? What does it mean to have a press card? Don’t reporters have more access to “Media Release Logs” and other kinds of records than ordinary citizens whose access, I believe, is delayed and even then, only temporary.

    I believe the original intent of access to Media Release Logs, crime scenes, witnesses, and so on, was to ensure that information got to the public, and the government did not operate secrets policies with no public approval. I think the actual effect may be the opposite. There is no diversity in news coverage. I sometimes imagine a Sentinel reporter has far less work to do than a Santa Mierda reporter. S/he just calls up the source and asks them what they should report, and what they should ignore. In return they get juicy tidbits and a few photos. I have seen the Sentinel do some aggressive reporting. I forget the year.

    The Santa Mierda readers are better informed about local news than the majority of those who don’t read it. I can’t imagine how much time and effort goes into it publishing an issue. I’d be the last to suggest the Santa Mierda team should work harder. I just wonder if they should have to work as hard as they do. Do members of the media have a license to ask? A license to see? A license to know? Would that make writing harder or easier? I’m all for news reporters having access to news sources. Just saying.

    1. I think access to media release logs (which are posted online almost daily) is across the board. I don’t think “reporters” get early or different access to information. The way they get “early access” to information is by having friends in the right places (literally). That comes in the form of “leaks” (information anonymously passed along to get a media reaction) or in some cases, it comes from a lot of hard work and digging up information that might be “publicly accessible” but the access to that information has to be requested, sometimes through legal means (such as a FOIA request). When you mention the “same old news”, that’s because the local mainstream media is cheap and lazy. The Senile wants you to pay for access to their news (that will NEVER happen here) and their news is mostly “aggregated” from national sources (so it’s not even local news). Just look at what happened with the local Patch. Now it’s completely aggregated news. The Senile is based in Scotts Valley, and just a small part of BANG (Bay Area News Group), a large corporation that owns a number of local newspapers. The biggest challenge for all of us here is getting the story right, in a timely way. That often requires a level of vetting that can be time consuming, challenging, and expensive. I try very hard to get my stories factually right. If my critics have an issue, it’s usually more with my opinions and not my reporting. If I’m wrong, I’ll admit it. Writing can be hard work, when you don’t have much to write about. With this weekly column, I have more than enough material to write a column each week. There’s a lot of stories that I don’t publish because I can’t vet the facts adequately enough. What I try to do here is offer a very unique perspective on life in Santa Cruz. The only real filter here is me (and sometimes a few close friends when I have my doubts). Thanks for the comments and the compliments!

  6. Well, you’ve certainly spurred me to actually try to get a handle on some of these issues. For instance why SCSO releases information about their shooting, and SCPD doesn’t. And I totally do not agree with “Wait for them to conduct their investigation first.” I just don’t see why. If I were attacked and killed someone while defending myself, I’m quite sure the media would publish my name along with disclaimers about there being a thorough investigation, but it appears from eyewitness accounts, and limited interviews and video footage that it was self defense. Why is different for Santa Cruz PD…

    …So I decided to look up what the statistics are across the country, and they are plain shocking! What would you say if I said that in more than half of the police shootings the officers names were never released? Well, regardless of the number, what was the reason for not disclosing this information. One reason is because police unions don’t allow it. Say what? A union can make a policy that says you or I could be shot and the name of the officer would never be made public? That’s just too bizarre to be true. But I don’t really have much incentive to pursue the question of whether or not we are informed of important facts.

    So Hart seems to have been on the right track except for comments quoted for KSBW where he says, “We are all just one bad night away from finding ourselves in the situation of the teen who was shot. He says (I guess to be a nice guy?) that this was a good kid. He reminds us that we are in a society that is very permissive when it comes to drugs. He calls LSD a designer drug, not an illegal drug. Um, wrong! A designer drug is a drug that is legal because it has been altered into something modified which no laws have been passed to make them illegal.

    You would think that the upside would be that the police were able to arrest the four young people who are believed to have sold the drugs that got the teen shot to death, and his family knifed. When the police made the bust one of the four was in a coma. Well, that was some really good police work. Only the judge releases the three pushers of deadly drugs without even making them post bail. And you should see the smirking mug shot of one of the guys whose friend was taken away in a coma. Who is responsible for the death of a 15 year old (allegedly). Which begs the question, who called the ambulance? Was the comatose dealer already on the way to the hospital, or were the friends just going to let him die? Which also begs the question, did the judge or the news reporters report that detail.

    I should I had to take a break from this pulp fiction drama. Does the coma patient die? Was anything in the news articles actually correct? Was it LSD or a designer drug? Is anyone going to be held accountable for multiple stabbings, at least on death (a minor). Why on earth did the judge release the death drug dealers? Did it get reported wrong? Did I read it wrong. Will the bottom fall out of the story, and never be heard of again?

    Sorry for the long post. I am having a sleepless Twilight Zone night.

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