In the latest Weekly Dump, we’re talking mountain lions in East Santa Cruz, another water rescue from the Toilet Bowl, Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll, PACT gets an F from the County, mom killer back in court, K9 training at the Miramar, free jazz on the wharf, city council plays with boxes, Hugh’s News, Guerreros, and more.
Mountain Lion Stuck In Tree Tranquilized Safely
Thursday morning around 8AM, a young mountain lion was tranquilized safely after becoming stuck in a tree at the entrance to the East Cliff Shopping Center, near East Cliff Drive and 17th Avenue. The mountain lion is a male weighing about 80 pounds, suggesting he’s a juvenile. Full grown mountain lions usually weigh between 120 to 150 pounds. The animal was tranquilized by Department of Fish and Wildlife officials before a team from The Puma Project evaluated and tagged the lion with a GPS tracking collar before he was released back into the wild. Residents, schools and nearby businesses were asked to shelter-in-place until the animal was safely tranquilized and removed. Who needs a zoo when you’ve got mountain lions in plain view?
Man Rescued After Jumping Into the Toilet Bowl
A young man was rescued from the ocean off Lighthouse Point on West Cliff Drive by bystanders Tuesday night. Despite their efforts, the man did not regain consciousness before Santa Cruz Fire arrived on scene to continue CPR and transport him to Dominican Hospital. Around 7:30PM, Santa Cruz Fire received reports of a man in the water near the Toilet Bowl. Witnesses reported surfers and other bystanders managed to get the victim to Its Beach and had started CPR when Santa Cruz Fire arrived on scene. Witnesses reported that the young man was one of a group who had been jumping off the cliff at Its Beach. I’ve heard from a number of sources the kid is a local. Not sure if he survived.
Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll
Last Friday night around 10:30PM, SCPD was on patrol when they observed a white Dodge van with a 2017 registration sticker loosely attached to the license plate. A further check of the license showed the registration expired in 2012, even though it was displaying a tab for 2017. The registration history also showed the van was considered “non-operational” by the DMV since 2012. SCPD followed the van and when it was apparent the brake lights were not working properly, they conducted a vehicle stop in the 800 block of Hanover. The driver refused to identify himself or exit the van. He was uncooperative and stated he had a “right to travel.” The officer could also see a large blade knife in the center console. While the officer was trying to calm the suspect down, additional units responded and deployed spike strips in front of the tires of the van. SCPD recognized the suspect as someone who has a history with local law enforcement. GO FIGURE.
SCPD finally managed to talk the suspect into exiting the van. The 60 year old man from Santa Cruz was on probation with active search terms for narcotics. He was driving while on a suspended license for DUI. K-9 Luna conducted a narcotic search of the van and alerted to the presence of narcotics.
WHEN IT RAINS IT POURS HERE!
The subsequent search of the van resulted in finding almost $1500 in cash, along with almost 7 grams of meth, packaging materials for drug sales, an electronic scale, several knives, and a canister of tear gas. The man was arrested for probation violations, driving under suspended license, transporting, selling and possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.
PACT Gets an F From the County
After hearing an evaluation of two programs aiming to change outcomes for people, many of them homeless with alcohol dependence or mental health issues, Santa Cruz County supervisors voted 5-0 Tuesday to ask for a “redesign”. Recommendations are due in October.
A “REDESIGN”? GOOD LORD. HOW MANY WAYS CAN THE COUNTY FAIL HERE? HOW MANY YEARS HAVE WE BEEN ASKING THE SAME QUESTION? MAYBE WE NEED SOME NEW LEADERSHIP HERE. LET’S TRY THAT FOR A CHANGE.
The Bob Lee Partnership for Accountability Connection and Treatment, named for the former district attorney who died of cancer in 2014, cost $2.4 million for two years, reaching 153 people. It led to a 50% drop in citations, ambulance runs and emergency room visits, but jail nights grew by 33 percent. The city and county, which funded the program, saved only $1,300, because most of the savings went to Dominican Hospital and ambulance provider AMR. GEE, MAYBE THERE WERE TOO MANY COOKS IN THE KITCHEN HERE. Spend $2.4 million dollars to save $1300. I’d call that a giant FAIL. WTF happened here? I’d love to know how a program that was embraced by so many people in the beginning failed so badly here. Bob Lee must be rolling in his grave.
The Serial Inebriate Program cost $712,000 over three years, reaching 96 people with multiple disorderly conduct citations. It led to a 25% drop in ambulance runs and emergency room visits (Dominican and AMR say thanks!) and while jail bookings decreased, jail nights grew by 100 percent.
I’M DETECTING A PATTERN OF BEHAVIOR HERE. IT’S CALLED FAILURE.
Longer stays at the already over capacity County jail boosted costs, according to an evaluation by Cal State Monterey Bay. One individual stayed in jail three years. They said longer stays by program participants put pressure on jail officials to release people serving time for other offenses, such as burglary. That’s right. SERIAL INEBRIATES IN THIS PROGRAM FORCED THE COUNTY TO RELEASE OTHER INMATES DOING TIME FOR CRIMES LIKE BURGLARY. How is that a win again for the community? For the taxpayer? For anyone but Dominican and AMR?
“If they’re in jail, they’re not consuming another ambulance trip,” said Supervisor Zach Friend.
NO SHIT. BUT HOW IS THAT SAVING THE COUNTY (THE TAXPAYERS) MONEY? IT’S NOT.
“This is a very challenging population,” said Supervisor Ryan Coonerty, who represents downtown Santa Cruz where frequent complaints are made about people who are homeless sleeping overnight. “How do we continue to serve the community? How do we serve these offenders better without significant jail time?”
uh, I think I know the answer here. It’s called the County Shuffle™.
Do nothing but talk and fail. While that’s happening, keep the turnstile doors on the jail well greased because the County Shuffle™ turns recidivists from street to jail and back to the street in one day. It’s an endless cycle of apathy and willful ignorance and it keeps the jail from being overcrowded by turning on the bum faucet and filling the streets with it’s problems it can’t figure out how to fix.
Mom Killer Back in Court Last Week
Remember that murder that took place at the St. George downtown last fall that the city basically went zero dark media on and released as little information as possible about? The one they found mom stabbed in the neck after she’d apparently been dead for about 5 days. Remember how SCPD didn’t let anyone know for another 3 days after they found her body? And how he finally turned up at a homeless shelter in Kansas City months later and was finally arrested by Kansas City police (as opposed to Santa Cruz police)? Great job there! He was back in court last week. Last week Kasey Gaskell appeared before Superior Court Judge Stephen Siegel for a pretrial hearing, who set his preliminary hearing for June 19th at 9AM. He had been on the run from September 21st through Oct. 21st of last year. After his arrest, bail was set at $800,000. He has been in custody at Santa Cruz County Jail since Nov. 6th of last year, according to jail records.
SCPD Canine Training at the Miramar
SCPD has been temporarily using the closed Miramar restaurant (I didn’t even know they closed) as a training site for the SCPD Canine Unit, as well as other county law enforcement agencies. SCPD and other agencies will utilize the Miramar to stage searches for unknown persons in a building. Tentatively scheduled for two nights per month during April, May and June, the training will maintain and enhance the search and rescue skill sets of the canine officers and their human handlers. A secondary value will be in the presence of the SCPD and other enforcement agencies on the Wharf during the trainings, particularly in regards to the recent spate of break-ins and vandalism at the Wharf. So don’t be freaked out if you see them training on the wharf!
Free Jazz on the Wharf This Weekend
Saturday afternoon from Noon to 5PM, the bandstand at the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf will be the scene for a local celebration of International Jazz Day. The free event will feature a live afternoon performance by the Grammy-nominated John Santos Latin Jazz Band, as well as performances by violinist Terese Lien Evenstad and pianist Anna Greta Sigurdardottir, also featuring Oscar Williams on trumpet, James Leary on bass, Tammi Brown on vocals and Prince Lawsha on drums. Musicians have been performing in local schools throughout the week leading up to the concert. More details at www.jazzday.com.
City Council Plays With Cardboard Boxes During City Council Meeting
Chris Krohn looks like a kid at Gymboree. And we wonder why nothing ever seems to get done in this town?
City Council Meeting April 25, 2017
The first thing I noticed this week was how different the angle of the cameras were. Very few close ups of any of the council members, public speakers or audience. I am not sure if there is someone new operating the cameras, if they were on ludes or if this was a planned thing. It looked kind of off center and weird but hey it’s Santa Cruz. The most off center and weird place there is!
The DHS agent that was occupying a very part time office at SCPD is gone as of last week. The consent agenda took way longer than it needed to because Khron was having issues. He said he felt “attacked” because Cynthia Mathews had the audacity to say one of his motions was irresponsible. So someone sets a boundary and he feels attacked. The more I see, the more childish he becomes. And why does he feel entitled to go back in time and try to change things that were decided upon before he became a council member? By the way, thank you CM! I didn’t see it but a friend of mine said that they saw Brown mouth out “I’m sorry” when she voted yes on this item. Both of ya’ll need to put on some armor.
One of our retread public speakers stood up on several items and started out with “I didn’t study this and don’t know much about it but…”. Then sit your fat ass down. On to the evening agenda! Council was presented with findings from the Riverwalk Engagement Summit where a group of community volunteers and staff gathered to speak to improvements and enhancement of the San Lorenzo River and Riverwalk. Let’s face it. Improvements are needed. There were a number of public speakers in favor, and of course a few against. There were accusations of everyone being anti-homeless. Once again, this isn’t about anti-homelessness. This is about preserving wildlife and utilizing this beautiful resource that is a part of the community. This is a natural resource that can and should be enjoyed by everyone. Richelle Noroyan said it best. “If a company was dumping all this trash into the river everyone would be beside themselves” Breathe that one in and get back to me OK?
So while all of this was going on, preparations were being made outside for the next item on evening session. Denouncing the President’s executive order to build “the wall”. A number of community members were building a fake wall outside of chambers with cardboard boxes. Former council member Micah Posner donned a Trump mask and did a skit of sorts outside. A bunch of children knocked the wall down. Local media filmed and interviewed a few people and there was also drumming, sage and Native American song. The energy out there felt really good and that energy followed the speakers that came into chambers to speak on this item. Some people are saying that this is a useless item, a waste of time as our little City of Santa Cruz making this proclamation makes no difference. I disagree. What I witnessed was solidarity between a few groups of people that don’t always agree on things. Having the people there yesterday drumming and singing brought peace. It was tangible. Having someone do a parody of Trump lightened the mood. Most of the speakers during public comment on this item spoke with dignity and grace. I wish the drummers were at every meeting.
I wish I could close with a positive note but I can’t. It has come to my attention that a community volunteer was screamed at by a local activist out front of chambers around 9:00pm. It was dark, the woman was walking by herself, a lot of people were gathered out front for their weekly sleep in and this activist accused the community volunteer of being anti homeless. She was screaming at her over and over. Pretty easy to be surrounded by a group of people and scream at a person walking alone in the dark. What a cowardly act. Bullies tend to think they are tough, they pick on people they perceive as weaker than them and physically that person may be. What lies inside each bully though is an incredible amount of fear, insecurity, jealousy and low self-esteem. Check yourself activist.
by Ernie Douglas
Golden State Warriors:
Break out the brooms! Warriors dominated their first round series with Portland and swept the Trailblazers this past week, going 4-0 in the series and moving on to round 2. Game 3 saw the Warriors winning in Portland 119-113, with Curry scoring 34 and Klay adding 24 in KD’s absence. In Game 4, KD returned and Curry poured in 37 points in their 128-103 win. The biggest question mark right now surrounding the team is the health of head coach Steve Kerr moving forward. Mike Brown has filled in well in his absence, and I really like Mike Brown here. Tons of experience. The guy coached LeBron James for many years. And he’s a defensive minded coach. The players can pretty much coach themselves on offense right now. And Brown is hitting all the right spots with his rotations so far. KD also looks fine from the bruised shin that kept him out for a couple games in the Blazers series.
Upcoming games this week: Round Two Best of 7 series vs. either Utah or the LA Clippers starts next week.
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