What a crazy week. Even by Santa Cruz standards. We’re talking more about the rain, the double shooting in Soquel, the Pono/Reef smash and grab, the senseless death of Scott Brunton, drivers on acid on 17, a road rage, a garage rage, man rescued in Henry Cowell, the fat lady sings for Micah, Hugh’s News, Lobo Day, Project ROPE, Guerreros, Kum Ba Yah in the rain, Weekly Shoutouts, Local Food Porn, and maybe a few other things.
Wet Weather Slams Into Santa Cruz
This storm that’s been dumping rain on us since Thursday is bringing buckets of rain and howling wind, and the usual trouble. So here’s where I state the obvious. SLOW DOWN AND BE PATIENT ON HIGHWAY 17. All it takes is one reckless idiot to REALLY mess things up for thousands of other people. DON’T BE THAT ONE RECKLESS IDIOT. Relax. Keep some distance between you and the person driving in front of you. If you’re a nervous driver in the rain, just move to the right and take your time today. The alternatives to being patient are much worse. One of my favorite tools for driving on Highway 17 is this link on Twitter, that gives pretty accurate real time traffic updates. And it’s not just Highway 17. Slow down as you approach Highway 1 and River street too. It’s easy to be going too fast through that intersection as you come off the highway, and it’s been the scene of a number of recent accidents where pedestrians have been hit and killed by cars. Just be careful. Don’t be a tragic statistic and don’t make someone else one.
Man and Woman Shot in Soquel
A man and woman were shot on N. Rodeo Gulch Road on Monday afternoon around 2:30PM. Both victims were flown over the hill to a trauma center. The male victim later died and the female is in critical condition.
“Two subjects were shot. Both were taken to different, undisclosed medical centers with serious injuries. Detectives are actively working the investigation.” according to Sgt. Chris Clark from the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office. A dark blue Honda Accord had crashed into a road sign on N. Rodeo Gulch Road at the scene of the shooting, and bloody clothing was scattered on the ground near the driver side door. The woman was reportedly shot in the back. A witness reported hearing six gunshots but this couldn’t be confirmed by investigators, who found bullet holes in at least two of the vehicles parked on the side of the road where the shooting took place. Shortly after the shooting, 2 cars matching the suspect’s vehicle description were stopped or searched but both turned out to be the wrong car. CHP officers stopped a car and driver on Highway 17 near Vine Hill Road. They also investigated an abandoned vehicle matching the suspect’s car in Seacliff. The suspect in the shooting, Jose Ramos of Watsonville, fled the scene and was later arrested off of Porter road early on Tuesday morning. Deputies said when they found Ramos on Porter road, he was in possession of methamphetamine and a pipe used to smoke meth. His white Honda, suspected of being the vehicle seen leaving the scene, was parked nearby. Clark said forensics investigators may have found the murder weapon as well. A woman told KSBW that she is the woman’s sister, and said the accused killer is the woman’s ex-husband and he may have been motivated by jealousy. Ramos was booked into jail on one count of murder and one count of attempted murder. His bail was set at $2 million.
Thieves Drive Van Through Front of Reef Bar and Pono Restaurant
Early Monday morning, someone in a white van drove through the front doors of the Reef Bar and the Pono Restaurant on Locust, so they could steal an ATM machine that was located near the front door. Well this really sucks. This is a terrific little establishment that’s very popular with locals. I’ve been told that the owners have video cameras which likely caught the incident. I’m pretty sure SCPD has the video (or should have it shortly) and the owners may share it on social media as well.
And they were open for business again on Tuesday! Now that’s what I call commitment. They lose the front of the store on Monday and they’re feeding folks the next day. There’s video online now of the actual security camera footage. It shows a white van smashing through the front of the restaurant, but unfortunately when that happened there was a lot of broken glass and building debris that obscures what you see. If anyone saw this happen, or knows any more details about what happened here, please contact SCPD.
Scotts Valley Bicyclist Killed in Hit and Run
A 34-year-old Scotts Valley man riding a bicycle on Freedom Boulevard was killed Sunday night by a 29-year-old Watsonville woman, after she struck and killed the man and fled the scene. Violeta Cervantes was driving a Chrysler PT Cruiser on Freedom Boulevard around 8:30PM when she struck the victim, who was traveling in the same direction. Cervantes fled the scene, but was pulled over by CHP officers in Aptos on Freedom Boulevard at Mariner Way. Cervantes was booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail on four felony charges, including vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, DUI causing bodily injury, hit and run causing death and a probation violation.
She was originally being held in lieu of $50,000 bail. That’s not a typo. $50K for all the damage by this human trainwreck. She was also arrested Sept. 29 in Monterey County on DUI charges, as well as tampering with a vehicle and theft of personal property. AND IT GETS BETTER. Cervantes was also on PROBATION on charges related to FELONY CHILD ENDANGERMENT, according to Santa Cruz County Superior Court records. SHE WAS ON PROBATION. HOW’S THAT SANTA CRUZ COUNTY PROBATION DEPARTMENT WORKING FOR YOU FOLKS? THIS IS THE TURNSTILE. It works like this. We’ve got so many freaking local recidivists we just shuffle them around with something called “probation“. It’s another word for “willful disregard for public safety in the community”. I’ll just be blunt and say it. Our county probation department is WAY TOO SOFT ON CRIME. It puts the burden of dealing with serial recidivism on the community. And we pay taxes to pay them to deal with it? What the hell are we actually paying for here? Pensions? Administrators? Fancy new digs by Barry Swenson? 21st Century enabling?
Apparently the community turned out en masse for the arraignment of this woman. I heard from a number of people that went to the courthouse that morning to support the victim’s family. A number of folks confirmed that her bail was increased from $50,000 to $500,000. Just a senseless, tragic story.
Driver Plows Through Construction Zone on Highway 17
A Watsonville man plowed into traffic cones and a metal sign with his car on Highway 17 early Monday morning before crashing into a fence. He fled the scene and later fought with law enforcement after a short foot chase. The man was driving northbound on Highway 17 through a construction zone around 2:30AM Monday morning when he drove over a number of reflective safety cones and plowed into a metal warning sign just south of Sugarloaf Road, according to CHP officer Trista Drake. An officer on scene who was helping the Caltrans work crew saw the car dragging the cones and metal sign and called CHP. When two officers tried to stop the car on Laurel Road, the driver rammed his car into a metal fence and tried to flee by jumping over a fence and running on foot down a dirt road. As officers pursued on foot and apprehended the driver, he resisted, kicking one of the officers several times before being restrained. Multiple agencies including the Scotts Valley Police Department and the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office arrived on scene to assist the CHP officers. The driver was also suspected of being under the influence of LSD, which may have contributed to him resisting arrest. He was booked into Santa Cruz County Jail on suspicion of DUI, evading arrest, resisting arrest, and battery on a police officer. He is being held in lieu of $5,000. The arresting officer was treated at the hospital for minor injuries and released.
Road Rage Incident Terrifies Westside Resident
The incident happened on Younglove and here’s an account from the terrified woman’s husband:
“My wife was driving home from CVS on Mission st tonight and had a car pull over in front of her on Younglove and start following her near the railroad tracks. He then began to aggressively follow her and tried to run her off the road. He was gunning his engine and speeding at her bumper. He then began attempting to pull sideways in front of her and block her at intersections. He attempted to pin/ block her in (too close to open her door) multiple times when she tried to pull over. My wife didn’t want to lead him to our house so drove in circles while talking to 911 dispatch. He eventually burned out down Fair st. from Delaware towards West Cliff. My wife was so scared when she got home she was shaking. Not sure if he was trying to abduct her or road raging/ mistaken identity, or just crazy….SCPD responded and did a great job but the only Security footage we have is blurry and taken on the 1500 block of Delaware. There were multiple people who witnessed it but no one has called in a description yet. Possibly a dark or black 2 door Mitsubishi Eclipse or Acura RSX (2005ish) sports car trying to run a silver Audi hatchback off the road. Driver was a Hispanic male in his late 20’s early 30’s.”
If anyone has security camera footage that caught this, please contact SCPD. I know the woman this happened to, and I would REALLY like to see this piece of mierda caught and punished.
Garage Rage Incident Terrifies Westside Resident
Monday morning around 6am, a westside resident on lower Bay near West Cliff had quite the unpleasant experience with another mentally ill female transient acting badly. As the woman was walking into her garage to get to her car, the transient ran in after her, blocking her exit from the garage. The transient told the victim she needed to get into her house, said she knew that her friends were inside. The suspect then told the victim she had weapons and stuck her hands into her pockets. The victim fought off the suspect, who made multiple attempts to gain entry to the garage after the door was closed. SCPD responded and apparently the transient was well known to them (of course she is!). Isn’t that how this story always ends up? With SCPD having a history with and being well aware of the person creating the disturbance?
Missing Man With Dementia Found in Henry Cowell Park
Wednesday afternoon, a concerned family member called SCPD to report a missing 62 year-old man with dementia. His family had not seen or heard from him since Tuesday at 10 am. SCPD Officers tracked the man’s phone, which was pinging within Henry Cowell Park. They found him at 8:00pm in the pouring rain, off trail, and suffering from hypothermia. Thanks to the multi-agency efforts of SCPD, State Park Rangers and SCSO a tragedy was clearly averted here. They SAVED this man’s life here. He would be DEAD right now without their intervention. Let’s make sure we give credit where credit is due. Some people in our town are so quick to find fault with these 3 groups when something goes bad, and they’re the same bunch of kooks that NEVER acknowledge the good they do daily. Think about this next time you see that raggedy assed handful of cop haters whining in front of SCPD or the clock tower.
Happy Lobo Day!
At Tuesday’s city council meeting, Mayor Cynthia Mathews proclaimed December 13th to be “Lobo Day” in the City of Santa Cruz. Lobo, who recently retired from the SCPD and can look forward to lots of belly rubs and dog biscuits from the Rodriguez family from now on.
As a K9, Lobo assisted in many arrests during his service with SCPD.
Thank you Officer Rodriguez (and Lobo) for protecting the community by putting yourself in harms way.
Project ROPE Initiated by SCSO on Thursday Afternoon
Around 1PM Thursday afternoon, a resident in the 2900 block of Hawthorne found a stranger in his garage. The alert home owner began taking photos of the person as he ran away. Continuing to take photos the resident observed two additional people leaving two of his neighbor’s homes and all three of them ran to a nearby vehicle which was photographed. The resident quickly called 911 and provided a great description of the vehicle and suspects. CHP located the vehicle on Freedom and HWY 1. Both CHP and the Sheriff’s Office were able to stop and arrest all three subjects after fleeing the residence.
We’re DONE with Micah Posner!
Well all I can say in response to that is La gorda está cantando! While I’m definitely not excited about the thought of Krohny and the Other Brown joining the city council, I’m freaking ELATED that I’ll NEVER have to listen to another Micah Posner speech again. He’s one of the most obnoxious, self absorbed, narcissists to ever sit up there (in my humble opinion). The blatant ethics violations, the censure by the other members, the lone votes of dissent out of some stupid, misguided sense of principle. I am so done with Micah Posner. I was done with him 3 years and 11 months ago. Let him take a bus to Mexico, and come back and volunteer at the homeless shelter, and build out his shed so he can be a legal slumlord (instead of an illegal one). Who needs a job? Apparently not Micah. Good riddance. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
We’re Done with Don and Pam Too
I won’t shed a tear over Don being termed out. I actually feel a little sorry for him. His life just seems so revolved around what he does as a city council member. It’s so defining for him. I’m not sure he really knows how to do anything else at this stage of his life. I hope he enjoys his free time. I’ll enjoy not listening to him pontificate to the point of induced narcolepsy. Mr. Rogers is done. Adios viejo. I will miss Pam though. I haven’t always agreed with her on everything, and that’s ok. She can’t be right all the time. But I think I had more faith in her than anyone else I can recall. And that faith was consistently rewarded, at least to the best of her ability. I’ll miss her pragmatic and common sense approach to dealing with the issues. She was never flashy, was never one of the pontificators, but she got mierda done.
So if I was handing out exit grades here (and I am!), I’d give Micah an F, Don a C-, and Pam a solid B.
City Council Meeting: December 13, 2016
(I watched some of this but couldn’t get past Don’s exit speech, and then when I checked back later I couldn’t get past the sound of Krohny’s voice. Thank God I’ve got Hugh to cover it for me. – BD)
The afternoon session of City Council started early and chambers were packed. Cynthia Mathews declared December 13th “Lobo Day” in honor of K9 Officer Lobo, who retired on November 30th after 5 years of service. Lobo assisted in many arrests, searches and drug sniffing for a variety of police agencies in the County. Lobo will continue to live with his handler Officer Rodriguez and his family. Congratulations Lobo! Thank you for all your service. Chambers emptied quite a bit after that. It was very touching to see officers and community members alike gathering for Lobo. Chief Vogel gave a fine presentation on 21st Century Policing. Let’s face it, since the tragic officer involved shooting of Sean Arlt, SCPD has been under an incredible amount of scrutiny and that is to be expected. However, every Monday morning quarterback in the County has been chiming in on how the situation could have been better handled. Everything from throwing a blanket on the victim to using nets and tranquilizers. It is a tragic situation and I won’t make light of Sean Arlt’s death. I need to say however, that there is no police force anywhere in the United States that uses blankets, nets or tranquilizers on human beings. Perhaps it will be done one day, but until then I think civilians and those who have no training in such matters should probably stick to what they know best. Focus on your skills today and let the police focus on theirs. Within the next 12 months, SCPD will be deploying body cams to officers. It is likely that additional IT staff will need to be hired to work with the technical part of things, such as cloud storage of video. Chief also spoke to how much community outreach was being done. BASTA program, Teen Academy and Citizen Police Academy in both English and Spanish to name a few. Public comment was relatively brief and then it happened. Don Lane brought up the possibility of a Citizens Review Board of SCPD. Excuse me while I scream into a pillow. Really, are we going to try that mess again? That took an enormous dump years ago in Santa Cruz. Who was on the City Council back then? Chris Khron. Who was on the CPRB? Sandy Brown. Two of our new Council members. Come on people. What’s the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. Aside from that fact why would anyone who has no training in police procedures be allowed to review police officers and police procedures? How does that make sense? What kind of people want to be on this board? Remember the shit show Bearcat meetings? The anti bearcat people. The people that proclaim peace unless of course you disagree with them. The ones that say they are not anti-police yet take every opportunity to judge them openly with at times scathing remarks. I have actually heard some of them say they want to disarm all police. WTF. Let that thought simmer for a while.
Moving on to evening session. Our three outgoing council members delivered their speeches. Don of course said “I will try to go as quickly as possible”. Come on, how many of you did an eyeroll? He expressed a lot of gratitude to those that supported him. He also expressed his deep desire to help the homeless in Santa Cruz. I may not agree with all his ideas around how that works, but his sincere desire to help those in need touches me and I hope one day those in need are helped and that Don has a hand in it. Don, I hope you find a place to do that and thank you for your service. I know you made some tough decisions the last few years. You said to take care of each other. I am down. Pamela’s speech was brief and to the point. Gratitude to the people that have supported her, to city staff for guiding and educating her on the topics she was not familiar with, to her colleagues and to her family. She encouraged people to be of service. Volunteering with hospice, PTA or with City Council. Be in solution and take action. Pam, thank you. Thank you for saying the difficult and at times unpopular things. Thank you for staying strong to your convictions, thank you for being proactive and supporting public safety, thank you for walking your talk. You spoke of being of service and in solution. I have seen you do just that. I am going to miss seeing you up there. Micah expressed much gratitude as well. To his family, to the people that mentored him, to the council, staff and his constituents. Hopes for the new council, work together carefully. As Micah listed his “this is what I did” list he got a lot of applause. Micah gave a lot of advice to Council. Some of it sound advice. Like telling Council to be straight forward. To be honest. Ummmm “Shedgate”. But I digress. Micah, thank you for your service. You said “speaking your truth while being respectful”. I disagree with you on many things but you have shown that and I can learn from it. Much peace to you.
There were hugs, and the three council members stepped away from their seats. At this point, Martine Watkins was sworn in by her father Michael Watkins. It was very touching. Martine expressed gratitude to her family, to her campaign team, her constituents and to council. Martine spoke of her vision being on council in focusing on long term solutions as opposed to short term fixes in operating from place of leadership as opposed to crisis. I have faith in you Martine. Your experience in working in education and with at risk youth gives you a unique perspective on council and I think you have much to offer. Cynthia Mathews expressed gratitude as well. She gave major props to staff. Cynthia has years of experience, and having her on council feels safe. She spoke to the uncertainty ahead due to the national election. She called it frightening. There may be unknown challenges ahead and she hopes that the interests we share in common unite us. Chris Krohn expressed gratitude to his family, to his constituents, and then got very emotional speaking of former council members that passed on. And then this weird thing happened. He went into this “WE DID IT BROS!!!!!!” victory speech. Spoke of 2018 already. They are not resting he said. He literally drew the line in the sand. He forced divisiveness 3 minutes into his speech. So much for the working together aspect. It’s not that everything he said was disagreeable. It’s how he said it. Yelling, posturing, demanding and more of a “LET’S DO THIS!!!!” to his constituents than to “let’s do this” to Council. He said the words but he never looked at any of them. He just kept looking to his entourage. He seems very unstable to me. Chris, you have a microphone. You do not need to yell, and you might want to watch those arm salutes. Sandy Brown. She asked for permission to take the crowds picture and did. “I never thought I’d be sitting up here” . How many people thought “neither did I” ? She did make eye contact with other council members. Thanked her campaign team, council members, staff and activists. She spoke to helping the homeless and supporting the Warming Center. She lives downtown and there is a guy that sleeps in an undisclosed dumpster near her house. I have to ask, have you tried to assist him? I hope so.
In closing, I will say I am a little afraid for our Council this year. It will provide some great Dump material, of that I am sure. To City staff, you have my sympathies.
The Weekly Seen
Santa Cruz residents try to Kum Ba Yah their problems away. Of course, reality rains on their parade.
by Ernie Douglas
Golden State Warriors:
After a solid week last week, winning all of their games, the GS Warriors went on the road and dropped their first game in a while, losing pretty badly to the Grizzlies in Memphis 110-89. Durant lead the Warriors with 21 points. Curry and Klay combined to shoot 8 of 28, and when that happens, things usually don’t end well. They moved on to frigid Minnesota after that to take on the Timberwolves, beating them 116-108. Klay Thompson had a nice bounce back game with 30 points, leading a 4th quarter rally to put the game away. In the final game of the extended road trip, the dubs won a very hard fought game against a scrappy Pelicans team in New Orleans. The Warriors were obviously very tired, having played their 7th game in 10 days on the road. Draymond came up with a huge defensive stop on Anthony Davis in the final seconds to seal the win. Thursday night they took on the Knicks at Oracle. The Knicks rested Derrick Rose and Carmelo Anthony. It was close through the first half, but the Warriors blew it open in the 2nd half and won 103-90. Javale McGee continued his strong play starting for the injured Zaza and scoring 17 points in 16 minutes. Klay led the Warriors with 25 points, with Durant adding 15 points, 14 rebounds, and 8 assists. 23-4 now for the season. Best record in the NBA. It was an emotional game with the death that day of the beloved Craig Sager. RIP Craig.
Upcoming games this week: 12/17 vs. Portland (at Oracle), 12/20 vs. Utah (at Oracle), 12/22 at Brooklyn, 12/23 at Detroit.
Santa Cruz Warriors:
Phil Pressey led all scorers with 31 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists as the Santa Cruz Warriors (4-7) defeated the Austin Spurs (4-6) 109-103 on Friday night in front of their 12th straight sellout crowd at Kaiser Permanente Arena. The Warriors never trailed and would lead by as many as 15 points. Elgin Cook came off the bench to contribute 22 points and 5 rebounds for the Warriors, while Scott Wood added 17 points. Dennis Clifford finished the game with 9 points and a game-high 17 rebounds, accounting for 36 percent of the Warriors’ total team rebounds. The team then flew to Arizona, where they handed the Suns their first home loss and snapped a 7 game winning streak by the Suns. Scott Wood led all scorers with 22 points and added six rebounds. Cam Jones had 18 points, and Klay’s brother Mychel Thompson had 10 points and six rebounds. The Warriors’ bench really contributed to the win here, with Alex Hamilton scoring 17 points and grabbing 8 rebounds and 5 assists. Newly acquired forward James Southerland scored 12 points, while Elgin Cook chipped in another 10 points.
Upcoming games this week: 12/16 North Arizona (at Kaiser), 12/20 vs. Iowa, 12/21 vs. Sioux Falls, 12/23 vs. Erie
Weekly shoutout to Dep. Chief Steve Clark, who recently retired from SCPD after 30 years of service to the community. Thank you sir for keeping Santa Cruz safe. You will be missed. Weekly shoutout to Colonel Ed, who celebrated his 70th birthday with 100 of his closest family and friends in San Francisco. And a shoutout to his family who organized it! Ed rocks. Here’s to many more trips around the sun for him. Weekly shoutouts to all the folks who packed the arraignment for the drunk pedazo de mierda, menace to society who ran over and killed Scott Brunton and left him for dead in the middle of the road. It’s obvious by the outpouring of support he was loved by many. And a shoutout (and a hearty round of applause from the gallery) to Judge Volkmann who brought some common fucking sense to the proceedings by raising her bail from $50K to $500K.
Local Food Porn
“Loco Moco” – Pono, Santa Cruz
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