Santa Cruz Really Hates Donald Trump
Ok, so maybe not EVERY single person in town hates him. I’d still call the plus or minus three percent that don’t hate him the “margin for error”. I think I can comfortably say 97% hate the guy. I think 97% of Santa Cruz was downtown on Saturday for the “Women’s March”. I’ve honestly never seen a bigger demonstration locally. And very well behaved. I think everyone down there knew that nothing was going be solved that day. But the more important thing was that it made a statement, and what a statement it made. It was inclusive, not exclusive. It was a melting pot of all the people Donald Trump has insulted, or marginalized, or offended (which by my estimate clocks in at about 97% of Santa Cruz). But it wasn’t about Trump (ok, it was but it wasn’t). It was about solidarity. It was about saying “we don’t tolerate that kind of attitude here”. The things he’s said, he owns them. The people he offended, today they owned him (and his supporters). This “demonstration” was really about love, for each other. Even the most hateful signs were carried by smiling teenagers or little old ladies. Is there such a thing as a “sore winner”? We’re seeing it with not only Trump’s reaction over the national womens’ marches, but the reaction of the local “margin for error” over Saturday’s march.
Friday morning, in a break from the pouring rain, hundreds of people gathered downtown at the town clock to basically complain about Donald Trump. I ended up going down there for a little while to check it out. It was a good showing. People were angry but they were well behaved. Around 12:30PM, a large group marched down the hill from Holy Cross and nearly doubled the size of the group, while basically blocking the intersection of Pacific and Water streets. Then they marched around downtown for awhile. No reports of vandalism. No anarchist idiocy that I was aware of. Lots of young people. I’d guess the crowd at it’s largest was about 1000 people. Mostly students but a good mix.
But like I mentioned earlier, the real mother of all demonstrations came on Saturday at the “Women’s March”, which took place from 1:30 until about 6PM in downtown. Crowd estimates ranged from highs of about 25,000 to lows of about 10,000. While I was down there in the middle of it all, I’d estimate at least 20,000 people were packed in downtown. And it was EVERYONE. Young, old, students, old hipsters, families, rich, poor, men, women, children, every group was there and well represented. The whole thing just felt so inclusive. And civil! As in CIVIL disobedience. Emerson and Thoreau would have been proud. It was a transcendent event locally.
Bank Robbery in Scotts Valley Leads to Full Closure of Highway 17
I got multiple reports Thursday morning around 11AM about an armed robbery at the Bank of America located at 4525 Scotts Valley Drive. Officers chased the suspect from Bank of America on Scotts Valley Drive to Highway 17 northbound. A Scotts Valley police officer and the suspect exchanged gunfire on northbound lanes of Highway 17. The suspect fired multiple gunshots through the windshield of a Scotts Valley police officer’s marked patrol car. A passing motorist was struck by the fleeing robber’s car near Granite Creek Road, the CHP said. After crashing, the robber bailed out of his white 2004 Chrysler Concorde on foot near Idylwild Road in Los Gatos. Bullet casings and cash littered the pavement nearby. A manhunt that began just after 10AM in the Redwood Estates neighborhood was still underway as of 6PM Thursday night. Officers armed with rifles and shotguns were guarding residential side roads off Old Santa Cruz Highway. A Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office helicopter also joined the search from a low altitude. It circled the area of Holy City Road and Old Santa Cruz Highway. Summit Road was also blocked at Old Santa Cruz Highway. As of Thursday night, the suspect is still loose somewhere in the Santa Cruz mountains.
Local Gangs Rumble on Emeline on Monday Night
Numerous people reported to me about a possible shooting that happened at 1020 Emeline on Monday night. This is part of the county complex of government buildings. It’s also in the same county complex that the free needle handout takes place. Sounds like it was possibly gang related. Gangs beefing over drugs? In close proximity to where junkies pick up their free needles? Say it ain’t so. I suppose if I was gonna sell heroin or meth, I probably couldn’t find a better place to sell it than the area where junkies go to get their free needles from the county. There was a victim (who wasn’t shot but beat up with a tire iron) who was taken to Dominican and then flown to a trauma center. Amazingly, City Manager Martin Bernal actually gave the city council (and the public) an update about this! Didn’t really give any new information but at least he displayed some transparency here.
High Risk Stop Leads To Heroin Bust on Grant
There was a big scene over on Grant street on Wednesday. Since the mainstream local “news” is oblivious to stuff like this happening (and either doesn’t cover it or refuses to cover it), I get a lot of hearsay and bits and pieces but here’s what I know. Something happened on Grant street on Wednesday involving a high risk stop by SCPD and/or SCSO. 2 people are involved (man and woman). The guy took off running and got away. They found about $30k worth of heroin in the car. If anyone has more details, feel free to post in the comments.
Storms Scuttle S.S. Palo Alto Off Seacliff State Beach
Getting all alliterative there with that headline. The recent storms we had took their toll on the “Cement Ship”, the iconic landmark located off Aptos. The SS Palo Alto was a concrete ship built as a tanker at the end of World War I. Built by the San Francisco Shipbuilding Company at the U.S. Naval Shipyard in Oakland, it was launched on May 29th, 1919. Mothballed in Oakland, it was bought by the Seacliff Amusement Corporation and towed to Seacliff State Beach in Aptos in 1929. It’s been falling into the ocean for years. Like a giant iceberg moored on the beach now, it’s slowly calving into the ocean with each passing storm.
Santa Cruz Shuts Down Municipal Wharf Last Saturday
Large ocean swells were anticipated for Santa Cruz last Saturday, with waves potentially as high as 30 feet. To protect against the large waves, the Santa Cruz Wharf closed from 6AM until noon on Saturday, city spokesman Scott Collins said. “It was a safety precaution,” he said. The wharf was accessible to emergency personnel during the closure. Businesses took a hit but the closure was only for early in the day, when many of the businesses weren’t open or would just be opening. Given the likelihood that 30 foot waves would break over the wharf itself, the danger of such an event would be pretty significant if the wharf was open to the public. A rogue wave could come crashing through a restaurant window, or take a person right off the wharf into the ocean. I don’t ever remember the wharf having to close before.
Trial Date for Adrian Gonzalez Vacated
The Santa Cruz district attorney recently announced that the trial date for Adrian Gonzalez, the man child that brutally murdered Maddy Middleton and stuffed her body in a dumpster, has been “vacated”, and that the public may be shut out from watching the trial. Blame Proposition 57! The passage of Proposition 57 nullified “direct-file” cases (such as the case filed against Adrian Gonzalez) and returned the cases to juvenile courts, according to the Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s Office. Juvenile cases are closed to the press and public and the proposition directs a juvenile court judge to determine whether children can be tried as adults.
Gonzalez, 17, faces charges of murder with a special allegation of lying in wait, kidnapping, forcible rape, lewd acts with a child younger than 14 and sexual penetration with an instrument, according to court documents. Gonzalez is accused of luring Middleton into his family’s apartment in late July 2015. She was Gonzalez’s neighbor at the Tannery Arts Center apartments. Middleton was sexually attacked, stabbed in the neck and then wedged inside a recycling bin in the apartment complex’s garage, according to Santa Cruz Police Department and information in her death certificate. If tried as an adult, Gonzalez could face life in prison without chance for parole, Santa Cruz County District Attorney Jeff Rosell previously told the Sentinel. It is unclear what would happen if he is tried as a minor.
Trial Date Postponed Again for Violeta Cervantes
Violeta Cervantes, the accused drunk who ran over Scott Brunton while intoxicated, had her court trial postponed yet again. Brunton, a 34-year-old mechanic from Santa Cruz, was struck and killed as he rode a bicycle home with a friend on Freedom Boulevard near Scurich Lane in Watsonville. The force of the collision threw Brunton into the roadway and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Cervantes faces four felonies: hit-and-run causing injury or death; gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated; driving under the influence causing injury; and a probation violation. She was already on probation on charges related to felony child endangerment when the accident happened, according to Santa Cruz County Superior Court records.
The next court date will be February 8th, probably at 9AM again. I’ll post more details next week if I can get them.
SCPD Finds Success With Bait Bike Program
I heard about SCPD catching a bike thief recently using a “bait bike”, a bike owned by SCPD with a tracking device that notifies them when the bike is stolen. Long time coming here. Speaking of stolen bikes….
Spokesman Bikes Robbed in Smash and Grab Downtown
Sometime early Thursday morning, somebody smashed in the front doors of Spokesman Bicycles on Cathcart street in downtown Santa Cruz. Haven’t heard what was actually stolen from the store. Numerous people reported seeing the business getting new glass in their front doors on Thursday morning. This is becoming way to common locally. Pono/Reef had a van plow through their doors downtown and make off with an ATM machine. Where the hell is SCPD here? Isn’t someone downtown late night? The main station is about 5 blocks from Spokesman. How sad is that? Maybe they’re just too busy dealing with random nuisance crime calls, bums with bad behavior, bums fighting bums, bums needing medical attention. Who pays the price for the over tolerant attitude towards bum behavior locally? Businesses do. The Spokesman does. Pono does. We all do with the constant, daily nonsense we see in our parks, our yards, our faces.
Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Department Initiates Body Cameras
The Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Department recently announced that it’s deputies will begin wearing body cameras while on duty. Deputies attended recent training last week on using the cameras and the technology.
Before I hand this off to Hugh, I heard a funny story this past week that involves the “Other Brown”. Apparently she reported her car “stolen” and filed a report with SCPD. They found her car, with her iPad and charger on the front seat, a block from her house. Sounds to me like she forgot where she parked her car. I wonder what would cause her to forget where she parked her car a block from her house (while leaving her tablet on the front seat). If it walks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck…BD
City Council January 24, 2017
Item 5 on Consent Agenda was “Resolution Amending City’s Bail Schedule” to add new fines. Not surprisingly, Khron and Brown wanted to have this item removed from the agenda in their attempt to once again put a buffer between bad/illegal behavior and the consequences of participating in bad/illegal behavior. They said they were concerned for the people that could not afford the fines. What is it with these people that want to keep making it easier for people to participate in behavior that is harmful to others? What part of “you are part of the problem” are you not getting? Thankfully the resolution passed 5 to 2. So my advice to people that have RVs with leaking septic tanks, people that litter, that park illegally, that have expired tags it’s time to grow up and handle your shit whether you can afford the fines or not. The City of SC seems to be slowly letting go of the idea that they are your parents. This is not a resolution targeting the poor. It’s a resolution to curb bad behavior.
The majority of the meeting was spent on advisory body appointments and reappointments. Last week, Council held a “special meeting” to interview these applicants. I would just like to point out that Khron and Brown DID NOT SHOW UP FOR THIS SPECIAL MEETING. People that live in the city of Santa Cruz submitted applications for Arts Commission, Commission for Prevention for Violence Against Women, Parks and Recreation Commission & Downtown Commission to name a few. This evening, Council members voted one by one for their favorite applicants. Apparently Dru Glover threw his hat into several rings but also DID NOT show up for the special CC meeting last week. Hmmmm. Khron and Brown voted for him on each commission he applied for. Other Council members voted for different applicants. Dru was not appointed to any commissions. When it came to public comment (after all the votes) several people spoke in support of Dru. Several people spoke in support of Dru during oral communications as well. Dru himself even came to speak. It was evident that this was arranged ahead of time. What was bizarre was Khron took it upon himself to interview the people that spoke on behalf of Dru while they were at the podium. I haven’t witnessed this much interaction with a council member and the audience before. It seemed highly inappropriate and self-serving. I think Khron might have an issue with the word “no”. I have watched Dru on several occasions speak during public comments/oral communications and quite frankly I thought he was rude, disrespectful, shaming and arrogant. Once again we have someone who is not willing to take ownership of their behavior. I totally understand being passionate for a cause which he clearly is. I think Project Pollinate is a great cause. However there are ways to convey a message from the podium without shaming others in the process. What specifically comes to mind is how he spoke to Council after the Beach Flat Gardens fiasco. He was VILE to them. Why would anyone want to support someone that treated them so badly? Aside from all that, isn’t it possible other candidates were simply more qualified?
Yet another WTF episode of “Here Comes the Kook Parade”. Our resident anti Semite troll made an appearance. He was having a very difficult time with the fact the person before him was going over the allotted two minutes. When he finally got up to the podium, he whined about how he never gets more than two minutes. Then he blew out his usual conspiracy theory nonsense, sniveled about being a white male and all he ever hears about now is white privilege, and then sniveled about how mistreated he is and how audience members interrupt him. When an audience member interrupted him he stomped his feet and whined some more. Then he told the City Council that they better figure out all the issues around white privilege. Yes he did. It’s on tape. Go look. Afterwards another frequent visitor to the podium shared that because of the anti-camping laws, City Council will be handing out free Methamphetamine so that people could stay up all night and therefore not be cited for sleeping where they aren’t supposed to. Flyers are appearing all over town. They have the City of Santa Cruz logo and everything. I actually saw a post on Facebook asking the legitimacy of the flyer. Oh honey… get out more ok?
by Ernie Douglas
Golden State Warriors:
The GS Warriors flew east for a couple of games in sunny Florida this past week. They had an odd early game (noon eastern starting time) against the Orlando Magic. The time (and jet lag) didn’t really faze them as they easily beat the Magic. The real trap game was the next day against Miami. And sure enough, they lost. It came down to a final shot (and a breakout game) by Dion Waiters to win it in the last seconds. Not a big deal though in the big picture. The team’s been playing well. So well in fact that Lebron James is throwing his usual passive aggressive tantrum with his team over it. They moved to Charlotte to take on the Hornets on Wednesday night. Charlotte is always a big homecoming for Curry, who also recently had his high school jersey retired. The Warriors looked road weary and allowed Charlotte to lead much of this game. But the Death Lineup came out in the 4th quarter and the Hornets had no answer. Warriors won going away 113-103, with Durant pouring in 33 points and Curry adding another 28. It was a solid win after the loss to the Heat.
Upcoming games this week: 1/28 vs. LA Clippers (at Oracle), 1/29 at Portland, 2/1 vs. Charlotte, 2/2 at LA Clippers
Santa Cruz Warriors:
The Santa Cruz Warriors took part in the D-League showcase last week in lovely but frigid Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. On Day 2, they faced the Oklahoma City Blue and lost 95-86. Dennis Clifford had 14 points and 15 rebounds with two steals and three blocks in 35 minutes for the Warriors. Alex Hamilton came off the bench to add 16 points. Scott Wood also added 16 points and eight rebounds for Santa Cruz. On Day 4, the Warriors beat the Texas Legends by a score of 113-97. All five Warriors’ starters finished in double figures, led by 17 points and 10 boards from center Dennis Clifford. Scott Wood also added 17 points, while Phil Pressey pulled a 16 point, 14 assist double-double in the win.
Upcoming games this week: 1/27 at Salt Lake City, 1/28 vs. Rio Grande (at Kaiser)
Happy Chinese New Year!
It’s the Year of the Rooster! Chinese New Year is this Saturday. Back when I lived in The City before I moved to Santa Cruz, I used to love to check out the Chinese New Year’s Parade. It should be on everyone’s bucket list for cheap, fun entertainment in San Francisco. And the best way to watch it is crammed in with the local masses on Kearney or Columbus, somewhere in the heart of Chinatown. This year’s San Francisco parade actually takes place on Saturday, February 11th at 6PM.
Rooster is the tenth in the 12-year cycle of Chinese zodiac sign. The Years of the Rooster include 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017. People born in the Year of Rooster according to the Chinese zodiac are deemed to be honest, bright, communicative and ambitious.
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