BREAKING NEWS: MISSING GIRL FOUND SAFE
Cameron Spencer, an 8 year old girl who went missing Thursday afternoon near 17th avenue and Chanticleer in Live Oak has been found safe and has been reunited with her family. Thanks to everyone that participated in the search for her on Thursday evening.
More Rain Brings More Pain
Another series of big storms blew into Santa Cruz last weekend, causing all kinds of problems on local roads. The wind was the biggest problem last Friday, as lots of trees blew over and fell on houses, cars, and lots of roads. Remarkably (and thankfully), nobody that I’m aware of has been killed by a falling tree through these recent storms in Santa Cruz county. Yet. Knock on some wood.
At one point this week, a giant Douglas Fir tree fell over all 4 lanes of Highway 17, blocking all traffic. Drivers then took matters into their own hands. A number of people were carrying chainsaws with them, and they got out of their cars and took the tree apart until traffic could pass again. The hell with our political differences, I want to get home and there’s a giant tree in the way! We can all agree on that!
SCPD Claims the Department of Homeland Security Lied to Them About Raids
I got word on Thursday that Chief Kevin Vogel from SCPD blasted the DHS at a news conference for “lying” to SCPD (and thereby lying to all of us) about what really happened during those raids on February 13th. SCPD claims it wasn’t all MS-13 like we thought, like we were told. SCPD teamed up with the DHS to conduct a gang raid in 12 neighborhoods of Live Oak, Capitola, and Santa Cruz on Feb. 13th. Chief Vogel said he only agreed to work with DHS and ICE because he was assured several times by DHS that immigration detentions and deportations would have no part in the operation, and only violent MS-13 gang members would be arrested. Thursday, Chief Vogel said Homeland Security “lied” to SCPD. ICE apparently eventually admitted to police that some residents who had not committed any crimes were detained and taken to a Homeland Security facility, “solely because they were illegal immigrants”. (And here is the official response from ICE). I found this quote from the ICE response interesting:
“Several days prior to the operation, our Special Agent-in-Charge office notified the Santa Cruz Chief of Police that any non-targeted foreign nationals encountered during the enforcement actions at the search and arrest locations would be held briefly until determinations could be made about their identities and case histories”
and there’s this:
“…during the enforcement action, authorities encountered 11 illegal aliens at the operational locations who were detained initially on administrative immigration violations due to their association with suspected members of a transnational street gang. Ultimately, 10 of those individuals were released. One remains in agency custody at this time due to his criminal history and possible ties to the ongoing investigation. At no time during the operation were minors were left unattended at any of the enforcement locations.”
But all of that seems to get blown to the back page of the story by the fear and hysteria blowing from our city leaders mouth’s here. I won’t say they’re lying because I don’t know that. But someone appears to be lying here. Or maybe falsely accusing someone of lying here. So who to believe here? That’s the million dollar question isn’t it? Let’s start with the fact that one group is concerned about “local appearances” and one group isn’t.
I also find the “solely because they were illegal immigrants” part of this city reaction to be incredibly misleading at best and lying at worst. A federal grand jury indicted the people arrested. That has nothing to do with an immigration sweep, and SCPD itself pointed out a 5 year investigation where they said THEY invited DHS/ICE to work with them to take out a growing criminal element with international reach that was beyond the scope of SCPD’s resources to deal with. Remember that part? The deadly MS-13 gang part of all of this? Let’s not forget about that. I don’t think that was a lie. I don’t think that federal grand jury CRIMINAL indictment was a lie, but it seems to be getting buried in the name of “appearances” here.
So all the people who criticized me and my accusations of local fear mongering over this particular event can now say “I told you so”. That’s fair. I never said the “at risk” community members shouldn’t be scared, or discounted their concerns. My issue was (and will always be) with the “not at risk” mostly white activists that fan the flames of fear within this “at risk” group. What happened here is terrible, but what’s not terrible is rounding up and removing MS-13 gang bangers from our community. You’ll get no apologies or mea culpas from me on that one. I’m all for the feds cleaning out the gangbangers that local law enforcement ignores for the most part. But this “roundup” of collateral damage to the raids is just wrong and stupid. It’s got Trump’s name written all over it, like a label in one of his cheap signature, made in China shirts. It will create new fear and distrust towards ALL local law enforcement now moving forward. These at risk community members will become more exclusive within their own circles and less inclusive within the community at large. We’re building invisible, unnecessary walls here. Is it because we love to trumpet our “Sanctuary City” status and now the people listening in DC don’t agree and are taking notice? Is Santa Cruz being made an example of here? Who knows who’s lying and who’s honest about all this anymore. I do think if anything, there will be more resolve to NOT work or cooperate with DHS and ICE in the future. What will the federal funding hit be for doing that? Ask your city council and board of supervisors. How much of the federal teet do they rely on for their operating budget? That should at least give you a starting point.
I still support being a “Sanctuary City”. I think I’ve made my position clear on this. I just don’t like broadcasting it. And I’m really not surprised the feds “lied” to SCPD here (if that’s what actually happened). Can you really count on the government (federal, state, or local) to be honest with you? Be honest with yourself here. I just think we’re heading into an ugly 4 year fall into the unknown. If that means we need to tighten up locally and protect (or isolate) ourselves from the federal mayhem associated with this President, I’m all for it.
The New Tea Party is Being Birthed From the Corpse of the Democratic Party
I guess this is pretty predictable. The MOST qualified candidate to ever run for President loses to the LEAST qualified candidate to ever run for President. Someone’s gonna have to commit seppuku for it. People are angry. People are in disbelief. And most of these people haven’t got a clue as to why this happened (or how to avoid it happening again). Some of them think that a new “faction” within the Democratic Party needs to step up and hold the rest of the party accountable. Sound familiar? Ted Cruz. Tea Party. Does any intelligent person really like Ted Cruz and the Tea Party? Does anyone think they are an asset to the GOP? Even within their own party they’re seen as a vocal but marginal nuisance (sounds like more than a few local progressive “activists” I know). Marginal is the key word here. Because we all know how well bullying and intimidation works with people we think we’re aligned with or call our friends.
Let’s not forget Trump won with bullying and intimidation! So why shouldn’t the radicalized, hardcore liberals from the Democratic Party take a lesson from Trump and apply the same logic here? Instead of focusing on WHY DEMOCRATS LOST this campaign, let’s focus on the outlier idiot bigot that won. Instead of moving more to the middle and trying to understand and reach the “lost” members of the Democratic Party and bring them into the fold, let’s marginalize ourselves even further from mainstream America and take a harder left! Guess what? If you keep taking a hard left all the time, all you do is go around in a circle. California “bubble politicians” are the worst, especially those from insular bubble communities like Berkeley and Santa Cruz. They’re no different than the “bubble politicians” from places like Simi Valley, or Orange County. They preach to their local choir, which keeps them elected and popular locally, but they don’t have a clue as to how the rest of the country rolls. Santa Cruz does a lot of preaching to the choir and not a lot of trying to understand what makes the rest of the country tick.
Teenager Shot in West Santa Cruz
A 16 year old from Santa Cruz County was shot twice in his “lower extremities” in an apparent gang-related incident Monday morning on the Westside of Santa Cruz. Around 10:30AM, Santa Cruz police officers responded to reports of occupants of one vehicle firing at occupants of another vehicle on the 2200 block of Delaware Avenue. A small portion of Delaware Ave was closed briefly so evidence could be collected. They detoured to Dominican Hospital after staff alerted police they were treating the victim of a gunshot. The victim had just been dropped off at the emergency room and was subsequently transported by ambulance to a Bay Area trauma center.
“The police department has limited information because there is a low level of cooperation with the victim and one witness,” said Chief Deputy Dan Flippo. Anyone with any information regarding this shooting is asked to call Det. Martin at 831-420-5833 or leave information on the Tip Line at 831-420-5995.
Hundreds of People Try to Storm the Catalyst Front Doors Sunday Night
At least that’s what the security person from the Catalyst who called into SCPD claimed on Sunday night around 9:30PM. When SCPD arrived, apparently there were several hundred people in line for a show. The show was sold out, and at least 300 hundred people were packed out front with some attempting to storm the front doors. SCPD sent everyone they had down there. They even requested a bullhorn to help disperse the crowd. I counted at least 6 units sent down there. 2 ambulances were also dispatched to the scene for unknown medical emergencies inside the club. And critics of SCPD say we don’t need to hire more cops. Here’s a pretty good real life example of why we do.
Man Drowns in San Lorenzo River on Sunday Morning
I got a report that a man drowned in the San Lorenzo river someplace between Ben Lomand and Felton on Sunday morning. At about 11:30AM, the Ben Lomond Swift Water Rescue team and Felton Fire were sent to the 300 block of Brackney Road for a report of a man submerged in the water and possibly “caught up in a tree.” When they arrived, emergency responders confirmed the man in the water was dead, removed his body from the river and called the Santa Cruz County coroner. The 46 year old man was identified and his family has been notified.
Boulder Creek Man Drowns in King Creek
A Boulder Creek man is dead after apparently driving his truck into Kings Creek on Monday night and drowning. The man appears to have accidentally driven off Kings Creek Road in his during Monday night’s storm, according to Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Sgt. Chris Clark. The vehicle was discovered upside down and submerged Tuesday. The body was recovered further downstream late Tuesday afternoon, Clark said.
Man Arrested at Gunpoint in Residential Home Burglary Off Carbonera Drive
Multiple units responded to a home off the 100 block of Carbonera near the corner of El Rancho on Thursday morning around 9AM to a residential burglary. They arrested one man at gunpoint. The homeowner was actually home at the time this happened and called it in. SCPD happened to be on the same block investigating another home break in and burglary. Imagine that! Turns out the guy had hit and burglarized a string of houses on the same block here. This neighborhood is a beautiful part of Santa Cruz, with million dollar homes and bums like this clown living in Carbonera creek.
Stop Unregulated and Unsanitary Food Giveaways in Downtown Santa Cruz
I see nothing compassionate or progressive about this. We’ve got numerous food distribution sites locally that legally feed the homeless in safe and sanitary conditions. And then we’ve got one unregulated, unsanitary, unlicensed, giveaway organized weekly by a group of individuals that knowingly break the law to seek attention. This group lies a lot. Delusional lies. Stuff like claiming the city hands out meth to the homeless. Crazy, delusional, lies. That’s how this group rolls. Lots of crazy lies to get attention. The people behind the movement to stop this free for all aren’t evil and they don’t hate the homeless. They seem to be the ones who really care about the type of conditions the homeless are fed. They are the ones advocating for the safety of the homeless here, not groups that could potentially be distributing food born illnesses throughout the homeless community with unsafe and unsanitary conditions that breed bacteria such as e coli as a result of rodent infestation and human fecal matter (the areas where food is distributed downtown is used as an outdoor bathroom on a regular basis). These groups don’t want to be accountable for safe food distribution and the responsibility that comes with it. Stop the madness already. Sign the petition.
Project Purr’s Rescued Treasures Burglarized Again
I heard that Rescued Treasures, the nice little second hand consignment store on Front street that donates proceeds to Project Purr, got burglarized again this week. This time though, they got some really good clear video of the culprit. Here’s a screencap:
If you recognize the guy in the about photo, please contact SCPD.
SCPD Arrests Man After Chasing Him in a Stolen Truck Along West Cliff Drive
SCPD arrested a 46 year old man from Santa Cruz after he led them on a short pursuit in a stolen vehicle around West Cliff drive on Tuesday afternoon around 3PM. An SCPD unit patrolling on the Westside identified a stolen tan Ford F-150 pickup truck parked on Chico street, where they observed and followed the pickup truck. When SCPD attempted to conduct a traffic stop, the driver failed to yield and sped away. The truck turned onto Swanton road, which was closed to traffic due to a large tree that had fallen onto the roadway 200 yards north of West Cliff. The suspect drove through yellow construction tape, over the median and continued north in the southbound lane of Swanton. After responding officers ended their pursuit due to excessive speed and reckless driving of the suspect, they continued their search and quickly found the truck abandoned at West Cliff and Cowell. Thanks to witnesses who reported seeing the suspect get out the vehicle and run towards the Dream Inn, several SCPD units responded to the hotel. Officers then located the suspect attempting to blend in with guests inside the hotel. Further investigation revealed the suspect is also on probation for a previously stolen car charge. PROBATION. The suspect was arrested and transported to jail for vehicle theft, reckless driving, and violation of probation.
How’s AB109 Working For You?
Not so swell down in Whittier.
Dirty Needles Continue to Pollute Santa Cruz
I’ve been meaning to share this update from the “Needles Team” from Take Back Santa Cruz, who have been voluntarily collecting this information regularly for the past several years now. From their latest report:
“For reporting period 50 (1/9/2017-2/8/17), 272 needles found in public spaces were logged. This count includes citizen reports, community group reports and reports by City workers. 92 needles were found by citizens and community groups; the other 180 needles were found by City workers.”
272 needles found in one month. That’s an average of NINE NEEDLES A DAY FOUND IN SANTA CRUZ. 180 were found by city workers. So let that sink in with all the local junkie coddlers that insist this is how Santa Cruz should progressively and “compassionately” treat them. Give them free needles and lots of get out of jail free cards from the county. You think we’d learn something locally given the years of data collected by this group. I’ve learned nothing really changes around here.
Is the Middle Completely Doomed?
I caught a pretty good article on Medium. Centrism is Dead. Time to Rebuild the Left.
The author is PAINFULLY honest here. There’s a lot I agree with in this article and some stuff I don’t agree with, but it’s a very well articulated read. Personally, I found it painful to read, in a way that someone might be exposing your personal or character flaws. I wouldn’t call myself a “centrist” (but the argument can be made I fit the profile). I do identify as a left leaning “moderate independent” with a liberal splash of Libertarian. And it’s a pretty accurate and fair assessment of the broader political landscape (outside of Santa Cruz) I think. It’s a little long but it’s a great take.
Who Wants Some Chowder?
The always popular (maybe too popular) 36th annual Santa Cruz Clam Chowder Cook-Off takes place this weekend at the Boardwalk. This year, it’s been expanded to 2 days (maybe due to it’s popularity and the crushing mob scene at the Boardwalk). Amateur chefs will hold court on Saturday and professionals take the stage on Sunday. Public tasting runs from 1-4PM. Tasting Kits are $10 each. Each tasting kit includes 6 taste tickets, spoon, cup, and a voting ballot. All proceeds benefit Santa Cruz Parks & Recreation.
by Ernie Douglas
Golden State Warriors:
The GS Warriors had the better part of the week off for the All Star break. Thursday night they took on the Clippers of LA. The Warriors looked like they had an all star hangover. The Clippers played them surprisingly well for the first half, even with Chris Paul in street clothes. The Warriors gave up 37 points in the 2nd quarter. Then they came back hard in the 2nd half and scored 50 in the 3rd quarter, with Curry scoring 20 himself in the quarter. The Dubs blew it open in the 4th quarter, winning 123-113. Curry finished with 35 points in 32 minutes. Durant had 25 points, 17 rebounds, and 7 assists. The Warriors just own the Clippers now.
Upcoming games this week: 2/25 vs. Brooklyn, 2/27 at Philadelphia, 2/28 at Washington, 3/2 at Chicago
Santa Cruz Warriors:
The Santa Cruz Warriors took on Reno at Kaiser this past Wednesday night and won going away by 20 points 116-96. Phil Pressey led the Warriors with 21 points and 11 assists. James Southerland added 16 points and 12 rebounds. Dennis Clifford (14 points, 10 rebounds) also had a double-double for Santa Cruz. Scott Wood chipped in 15 points, and Cleanthony Early and Cam Jones both added 11 points apiece off the bench.
Upcoming games this week: 2/24 vs. Reno (at Sacramento), 2/25 vs. Windy City (at Kaiser), 3/1 vs. Sioux Falls
Weekly shoutouts to all the folks that took action into their own hands when that tree fell on 17. They spared lots of folks lots of grief that day. Weekly shoutouts to everyone that helped look for and spread the word about the missing 8 year old from Live Oak that was found safe. People don’r care about politics when it comes to missing children and it’s always nice to see the community rally together when it’s necessary.
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