The Weekly Dump 2.10.17

San Lorenzo River Causes Major Flood Problems For Local Residents

A long steady rain that started on Monday and continued into Tuesday resulted in some serious flash flooding along the San Lorenzo this past week. What a crazy winter it’s been this year. The San Lorenzo river rose almost 20 feet in 24 hours, as the rain pummeled the area and the swollen river dumped all the massive amounts of rain that fell in the mountains into the river as it headed through downtown and out to the bay. The usual areas of Felton like Paradise Park flooded early, but the Tannery sustained some good flooding as a result, and the river was less than 10 feet from the bottom of the local downtown bridges (and passing huge logs downstream and under the bridges). The rain picked up again on Thursday but this weekend is looking good for dry and warmer weather.

Another Massive Mudslide Closes Highway 17 Again

Tuesday morning after a steady, all night rain drenched an already oversaturated Santa Cruz, a large mudslide completely took out the North bound lane of Highway 17, and took a pickup truck driver for the ride of his life as he was pushed by the slide and cartwheeled into the southbound lanes of the highway, through the movable concrete center divider. The incident was frighteningly similar to an incident that happened in almost the same spot a couple weeks ago. The driver in the slide today was ok.

And in late breaking news, Thursday afternoon a construction worker was killed while working on this slide, and another worker was sent to the hospital with serious injuries. Apparently, they were run over by a dump truck that was hauling away the slide material.

Fatal Hit and Run On Seabright Avenue Early Monday Morning

Heard numerous reports about a fatal hit and run between a car and pedestrian in or near the 1200 block of Seabright early Monday morning. A young woman’s body was found in the middle of the road and she was later declared dead after SCPD arrived on scene. I heard SCPD went knocking on doors in the area at 3AM looking for witnesses or clues. They were also running plates of nearby cars looking for possible suspects. Haven’t heard about any arrests.

Escaped Prisoner Nearly Drowns After Jumping Into Boulder Creek Evading Police

An escaped prisoner led Santa Cruz County sheriff’s deputies on a crazy pursuit in the Santa Cruz mountains on Monday before being rescued from Boulder Creek and taken back into custody.  It all began when when the suspect was arrested for trespassing and the officers realized the man had an outstanding warrant for robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. At that point, the suspect took off running with his hands handcuffed behind his back. The chase quickly turned into a rescue when the prisoner was swept away by the creek. State Parks officers and the Ben Lomond Swift Water Rescue team responded to the scene and found the man snagged under a bank, where he was rescued and retaken into custody.

More from NBC Bay Area

SCPD Surrounds Burglar at Hope Services in Downtown

Multiple units surrounded Hope Services at 220 Lincoln (at Center) on Sunday night around 8:30PM. Some guy broke in and was trapped inside. SCPD had the building surrounded and could see lights being turned on and off inside. They brought a K9 unit out and were prepared to send the dog in. I’m guessing this gave all the old folks leaving their movies at the Nick quite the scare. And Hope Services? Really? Of all the local businesses to break into, what special kind of dummy breaks into this one? Bad karma. Nothing of value to steal. Send in the dog already. One guy arrested peacefully.

Drunk Woman Passes Out in Her Car Near Mission and Walnut

Got a report of a drunk woman who was passed out in her car at Mission and Walnut streets on Sunday night around 7PM. She hit at least one vehicle before passing out in her car. Passed out in her car, with the ignition running, parked in the middle of the street. In the rain. The drunk woman left the scene before SCPD arrived but was followed to Peyton by the woman whose car she hit. When SCPD arrived on scene, the drunk woman was “argumentative”. Of course she was. She was drunk. She was so drunk she was passed out in her car a half hour earlier. She was also driving a car with expired registration tags, and the last registration was for “planned non operation” of the car. This block of Mission street is a head on collision waiting to happen already without drunk drivers hitting other vehicles before passing out in their cars. Glad this didn’t turn out much worse.

Van Plunges off Davenport Cliff

Sunday morning around 9:30AM, a person noticed what appeared to be a white SUV at the bottom of a 250 foot cliff near Davenport. Nobody was found inside or near the vehicle. Responders from Cal Fire and State Parks are investigating. A State Parks lifeguard paddled out to the location of the vehicle from an an access point about a half-mile to the north of the vehicle’s location. He indicated there was no body inside the vehicle. CHP officers on scene said they were investigating whether the vehicle is related to a possibly suicidal subject law enforcement had been seeking since Saturday night.

Van Plunges Through Skyland Road

A driver who left his home around 10:30PM on Tuesday night to buy candles got more than he bargained for when his van plunged through Skyland road and nearly was washed away in a gaping sinkhole. Since it was so dark outside at the time, there was no way for the driver to have seen that Skyland Road had collapsed and washed down the mountainside. The van crashed into a 20 foot wide gap created by the slide. Somehow, the driver climbed out of the van to safety and was not hurt. A tow truck attempted to pull the van out of the gap Wednesday afternoon, but the ground was too unstable and the towing operation was too dangerous. A nearby tree threatened to topple over if the mountain side was disturbed again. The van remained in the gap on Wednesday.

SCPD Locates Missing Girl Downtown

SCPD located a missing 11 year old girl in downtown Santa Cruz on Sunday night around 6PM. The girl had been reported missing from Boulder Creek and the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s office was actively looking for her at the time. Nice to report some good news here. It was dark, cold, and starting to rain outside when they found her. It’s not all babysitting recidivist drunks and vagrants for these guys. Well done SCPD.

Drunk Driver Crashes Car on Highway 1 Near Aptos

Early Sunday morning, a drink driver crashed his car near the State Park offramp of southbound Highway 1, totaling his car and earning a trip to jail. The off ramp was closed for a few hours while the mess was cleaned up. The driver, who was apparently unhurt from the accident, was booked into Santa Cruz County jail on DUI charges. Hell of a hangover though. Don’t drink and drive.

Quit Feeding the Rats Downtown

A number of folks pointed out to me this week a local effort being made to stop the random, illegal food handouts being done by groups like Food Not Bombs (among others) because of a continued problem with invasive rodent infestation. Of course the people doing this deny it. But it’s not rocket science. You feed the homeless plates of food, they leave their leftovers and trash on the street, the rats living along the San Lorenzo river (I’m talking literal rats here folks so spare me the indignation over calling the homeless “rats”) march en masse to the free and easy buffet left for them at the Post Office and along Pacific Avenue. What’s REALLY appalling about all this is the wide variety of people complicit in their WILLFUL IGNORANCE of this matter. It goes beyond the Postmaster here, and includes Arnie Leff, the supposed “County Health Inspector” (who obviously doesn’t enforce county health regulations as they apply here), as well as the city council and the district attorney, who want nothing to do with this issue. If it was a local restaurant with a rat problem, they would shut it down. Is there some kind of double standard going on here? They ignore it and by ignoring it they perpetuate it. There are PLENTY of places locally that feed the homeless in a LEGAL and SAFE manner EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK, yet the people I mention above continue to let this farce fly in the face of the community. I support the effort to stop this misguided, unregulated free for all, that flaunts city and county law without fear of repercussion.

The County Needs to Proactively Partner With The Feds on Cotani National Monument

Now that we have a new “National Monument” (one step short of a National Park) just up the road and basically within the county’s jurisdiction, the county (led by the Board of Supervisors) really needs to cooperatively work together to create a shared “public safety” substation that can be jointly utilized by SCSO and the Feds for public safety and enforcement as needed. Put it in the Davenport Beach parking lot. Publicly grandstanding for a cause might end up costing the county millions of dollars, and some of those hits might come in the form of federal support for this new monument. There’s already talk about rescinding the monument status for an area of Utah (apparently with the Governor’s blessing). I don’t see Jerry Brown endorsing anything like that, but we’re dealing with President Iholda Grudge here. I won’t be surprised if the longer Santa Cruz publicly blasts the Feds over things like “Sanctuary City” status, the Feds (at least under President Grudge) will push back with more than words. They’ll hit the county in the wallet, and that of course will trickle down to all of us. Mierda rolls downhill. So let’s tone down the rhetoric from the county and get this area the funding it needs moving forward to provide sufficient public safety for the residents of Davenport and the North Coast.

San Francisco Announces Free City College Program

Now that’s what I call effective social services. I’m a big fan of the SF City College program. Have been for many years. I’ve taken classes there many years ago, not because I needed to (I had a pretty good degree already) but because I wanted to. And it was cheap! Affordable for pretty much anyone. In my opinion, it’s always been one of the best resources for finding a job or changing careers. If I was struggling, especially if I was homeless, I’d move to San Francisco. The biggest barrier to finding work (job training) is now FREE in San Francisco. I have 3 words of advice here. LEARN TO CODE. If you can learn how to read and write code, you can work anywhere in the world and make good money doing it. You can be old and do it. You can be a kid and do it. You can be physically unable to leave your house and do it. But you gotta learn how to do it. And City College is willing to teach people for free. Well done San Francisco.

SCPD Chief Kevin Vogel Announces Retirement

I got word on Thursday that SCPD Chief of Police Kevin Vogel announced his pending retirement this June. Chief Vogel spent 30 years on the force and the past 6 years as Chief. No successor has been named. Full non-disclosure: I’ve known Chief Vogel for a number of years. I’ve always liked and supported him, and I wish him well in his next life. Which hopefully won’t involve having to answer Chris Krohn’s stupid questions anymore! As for his replacement, I just hope the city looks OUTSIDE the city for his replacement. I’m sure there are some qualified applicants within the department. But we need some new ideas here, we need vision we aren’t gonna get from promoting within the status quo. Is the city bold enough to go outside the local box here? I doubt it. That would take bold vision from the city manager and city council. I’m still waiting for any semblance of that.

Migration Festival at Natural Bridges on Saturday!

Check out the Migration Festival at Natural Bridges State Beach and celebrate the migration of whales, butterflies, birds and others. The park will host migratory animal talks, active kids’ games, crafts, skits, live music, educational booths and displays, and free habitat-cake served at the end of the event. You can purchase a picnic at the park or bring your own. Event is free; vehicle day-use fee is $10 and supports the park. For more information, please call (831) 423-4609 or email


by Ernie Douglasernie_1968_4x5_72dpi

Golden State Warriors:
The GS Warriors took on the Kings in Sacramento last Saturday night. The team looked tired, and they had no answer for Boogie Cousins. The Kings took the Warriors to overtime. Curry had a solid night but Durant had a terrible night shooting and the Kings beat the Warriors in overtime. Losing to a team that they should easily put away in a big way is not a good look. And there was a lot of media chatter about a heated discussion between Draymond and Durant. Is Draymond ever in any other kind of discussion on the court? I think Durant’s pushing back now. Curry & Klay are far too laid back and mellow to engage in a public blowup with Draymond. Durant’s apparently not. We’ll see how it plays out, but I think KD’s frustration was with having a bad game more than with Draymond’s chirping. Wednesday night, the Warriors took on the Bulls in Chicago and had no problem with them, beating them 123-92. Klay led the way with 28 points.

Upcoming games this week:  2/10 at Memphis, 2/11 at OKC, 2/13 at Denver, 2/15 vs. Sacramento.

Santa Cruz Warriors:
The Santa Cruz Warriors took on Iowa at the Kaiser last Friday night. The Warriors  moved to 17-12 after they beat the Energy 98-92 in front of their 21st straight sellout at Kaiser. This win also marked Casey Hill’s 100th win as head coach of the Santa Cruz Warriors. Phil Pressey had a triple-double, with 20 points, 10 assists, and 10 rebounds. James Southerland added 18 points. Chris Obekpa notched a double-double with 11 points and 15 rebounds. The team then travelled to Arizona to take on the Suns. The Suns dominated for most of the night, despite the fact the Warriors shot the ball better and won 108-93. The Warriors were led by Cameron Jones with 17 points. Santa Cruz also had 45 bench points in the loss. They took on the Texas Legends on Tuesday night but lost 102-99. LaDontae Henton led the Warriors with 20 points and 6 rebounds.

Upcoming games this week:  2/11 vs. Austin (at Kaiser), 2/12 vs. OKC (at Oracle), 2/14 at OKC.

Weekly Shoutouts

Weekly shoutout to Elizabeth Warren! Weekly shoutout to Chief Vogel on his retirement. He’s more than earned it. And a big shoutout to all the fine folks working on Highway 17 right now trying to keep it open for all of us. It’s a dirty and very dangerous job and your hard work is very much appreciated. Be safe out there. Slow down if you’re driving in this weather.

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  1. Ben, I suspect the reason County Health ignores the free food situation has to do with lawsuits and court rulings. Rulings (from elsewhere around the country) that say you can’t ban people from feeding the homeless.

    There’ve been efforts to shut Food Not Bombs and other groups’ outdoor prepared food distributions via local ordinances, particularly in the southeastern U.S. Legal groups e.g. the ACLU then joined the fray and won court cases invalidating the rules. While any number of cities still have these ordinances on their books, when they try to enforce them, they almost always get press, quite often on a national level, that paints them as hard-hearted ogres. Not the sort of image the Chamber of Commerce is looking for.

    • Personally, I don’t think the words “County Health” and “ignores” should ever be used in the same sentence to rationalize something. Thanks for reading and commenting again Dan!

  2. Jim Northcutt

    Just another reason to avoid downtown SC!
    As for federal funding I commend SC for going against the federal government stance knowing they will lose all federal funding. Not that I agree with SC but then I rarely do.

  3. Can they not do Food Not Bombs at the park where there are trash cans and restrooms? Granted the restrooms are always occupied by needle wielding junkies, but I’m sure they’re hungry too. It would make more sense.

    • Years ago they (or someone like them but I’m pretty sure it was FNB) used to feed people in Laurel Park. It created such a mess with leftover trash and rotting food in the park and the surrounding neighborhoods that they were forced to stop. I’m pretty sure the city would shut them down in any city park (for the same reason they shut them down in Laurel Park). This is why they use the Post Office (it’s considered “Federal” property, and the Postmaster basically ignores the concerns of the neighbors). And they do it on a Sunday when the PO is closed and people using it are less likely to complain to the Postmaster. I’m all for feeding the homeless, but the city and county have NUMEROUS programs already in place that does just that in a safe, regulated manner. The St. Francis Catholic Kitchen serves lunch to the homeless every Monday thru Friday at 205 Mora St. It’s the groups that feel the rules don’t apply to them that I have issue with. When was the last time ANYONE in Santa Cruz starved to death from going hungry? ANYONE? Thanks for reading and commenting Dusty.

  4. I live in mid county –send more county stuff to keep me informed about Soquel Dr, Old San Jose Rd, those sly Bd.of Supes doings….and can we PLEASE discourage the fouling of AJC Park…you know who you are, with the tents, the trash, and the goddamm junk use.

    • I heart my County friends. I’ll try to do a better job covering the County. Tips are always appreciated. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  5. To those of you commending the City/County for it’s stand on “Sanctuary” status: Think about what will happen when Santa Cruz loses all Federal Funding for protecting people here in violation of Federal Immigration Law(s). The first thing the County will do, is to jack up the Property taxes to Gargantuan levels to try to make up for lost revenue. That cost will then be passed on to anyone who rents anything. Do you think it’s expensive to live here now???”..Just wait until the “We should have X,Y and Z” crowd (Always paid for by the Great Somebody Else) gets the Bill for what we should magically “Have”. Watch how fast they turn into “I shouldn’t have to pay for…”

    “Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it”

    • Tony-
      I think it will be a double blessing. First, stopping the hemorraging of untold millions (tens of?) of dollars yearly that goes to house, feed, educate and cover health care for the many thousands of illegals squatting in our city/county.
      When the city starts jacking up the cost of everything (crank it up to 11!) maybe some of the “all love, no skin in the game” crowd will move out and we can start voting in LEADERS who have a modicum of common sense.
      …I can dream…

      • I think you guys are fear mongering a bit here but I’m fine with it since I know it will inevitably infuriate local progressives. As the “man in the middle” here, I’ll reaffirm my position that I’m fine with being a “Sanctuary City”, I’m not fine barking about it, I’m not interested in calling ICE over every little traffic violation or misdemeanor, I’m fine with calling them over serious felonies and capital crimes. And I’m fine calling them over serious recidivist criminal behavior (since we get nowhere with our local judges). But it should be applied conditionally, and not with a broad brush.

  6. I think the Free College education in San Fransisco is marvelous!
    All the professors/educators donating their valuable time is to be commended!
    I’m not sure what school supplies are needed beyond pencils/paper/books/computers
    but to everyone who donated those fairly expensive items, my hat is off to you!

    • There are some rules (I know, those pesky rules again). I think you have to live in the city for a year. And the teachers are still getting paid. The cost is being absorbed by the city (taxpayers). Thanks Howard.

  7. Jim’s favorite of the week – this week – is the ‘Food Not Bombs rat expose’. You just can’t get this quality reporting in the Senile.because it’s politically incorrect to West Side progressive upscale whites. Even my favorite Cops and Courts section doesn’t cover quality tidbits like FNB. Who are these clowns anyway? All the FNB/Rats comments only make the original news story even better because it shows the jam that the feckless City Council is in with their fear of litigation by the ACLU. I think my #2 favorite this week is Sanctuary Cities [as a topic]. This self-imposed Santa Cruz fiasco will continue to be a source of endless news reporting for Ben Dover.- our local political satirist. Thank God we have you Ben and your Libertarian views often tempered by your common sense observations. We haven’t had any Trump roundups yet – but I think them may be coming after our protected illegal alien criminals – that feed the addictions of the bums and scumbags] are presented as the proximate cause of downtown’s problems as effectively as Ben presented the FNB rats connection. I’m sooo glad I live here and that Ben is bringing weekly relief from the progressive crap that I read in the Senile. This stuff just never stops!

  8. Janet Fardette

    It’s about the rats….the increasing number of them. If anyone has a better idea for keeping the rats out of
    the Post Office and downtown, let’s hear it. All I know is the food gets left behind and the rats have found it.
    Heard a story, too, about people dropping off food there as they know people are fed there, after FOOD NOT
    BOMBS has left. They set bags of bread out at the Post Office, for example. If FNB would just feed people INSIDE a building and control the flow of food in and out it would stop the problem. Please don’t make this
    about “feeding the homeless” versus NOT “feeding the homeless.” It’s about the rats! That simple.

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